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Fall quarter on campus

Dear SoE graduate students,


I hope your fall quarter has been going well so far. It's so terrific to see all of you back on campus -- such a welcome change from the previous year and a half! I plan to write to you about once per quarter to share what's on my mind and, I hope, to hear back from some of you about what's on yours.   

One of my favorite parts of being dean is interacting with you -- our talented, ambitious, and diverse graduate student body. It was inspiring to meet many of you at the Dean's Welcome event a few weeks ago. We invited our community of about 1000 new graduate students, along with about 700 who started in 2020. I enjoyed seeing so many of you in person in the Science & Engineering Quad, and I hope those of you who joined us valued the opportunity to meet one another. This one-minute video captures the spirit of the event.

At the welcome event I emphasized that graduate school is an exciting time. In fact, I personally believe it can be one of the most fun and enriching times in one's life, with so much freedom to learn and do new things, and to work alongside a wide variety of scholars. But it can also be a challenging time, and perhaps particularly so this year: We’re still coping with the pandemic and all that it entails, and we’ve had to become accustomed to new routines and ways of working, collaborating, and getting together in groups both large and small. As you pursue your academic journey, if you are experiencing challenges or feeling stressed, I encourage you to make use of all that Stanford has to offer in terms of wellness and health resources. In particular, I want to point you to this site, which includes mental health resources available to you as Stanford students. 

Relatedly, I’m pleased to let you know that on October 20 at 4 p.m., Sophia Lu, a therapist from Stanford’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), will be hosting a presentation on managing anxiety for all currently enrolled Stanford Engineering graduate students (RSVP here to request the Zoom link). In addition, starting October 25, Sophia will be offering 25-minute “Let’s Talk” appointments via Zoom for graduate students who need a one-time support session with a clinician (sign up here). 

As I emphasized at the welcome event, there are resources and friends all around you. You're all learning and doing extraordinary things, and as you do, we're committed to supporting you and helping ensure your academic experience is as successful as possible. 

Welcome back,