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Carmen Torres
Spotlight

Carmen Torres

Civil & Environmental Engineering
Story originally published on Nov 2021
Stanford has been my professional home for 20 years; I’ve been in the Chemistry department, the School of Medicine and the Institutional Review Board, and the Stanford Hospital, where I spent time in the OB/GYN and cardiovascular specialties.

At Stanford Engineering, where I’ve been for the last five years, I’m a Program Administrator with the Civil and Environmental Engineering department.

That’s the best thing about Stanford – you can move around, meet all kinds of interesting people and gain all these amazing experiences. Before you know it, two decades have passed! Between the School of Medicine, the hospital and academia, I’ve learned to adapt to different systems, ways of working, environments and people.

Today my job is mostly about supporting faculty and students for two groups, Atmosphere and Energy as well as Environmental Fluid Hydrology. I love the hands-on interaction I get to have with people – from the moment I walk in the door, I’m helping and guiding them, getting them where they need to go, answering everyday questions, you name it. It feels like every process at Stanford is a challenge, in the best sense, because that’s what keeps it interesting after 20 years. There’s always something you’re learning, some new process to figure out, someone you’ve never met before. Every day brings change.

Now that we’re back in person, it’s almost like we all have to re-learn our pre-pandemic rhythms and get back into the groove. That’s OK, though. Students are so happy to be back and we are too. It’s clear we all missed and needed that human connection. Every day, it’s “Hi, Carmen!” and “So glad to see you, Carmen!” They want and need someone to be there for them as much as we want that too. I’m really glad I’m here for them.

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