First student cohort chosen for Stanford in New York

Students selected for the new program, which Stanford will launch in the fall of the 2015-16 academic year, will live, work as interns and study in New York City for one academic quarter.

L.A. Cicero Rosina Miller and Patty Hamilton

Rosina Miller, director of the new Stanford in New York program, interviews junior Patty Hamilton about internships that will be available in New York City.

Stanford has chosen the first cohort of 20 undergraduate students for Stanford in New York, established a home for the pilot program in a Manhattan high-rise, and signed an agreement with a student residence hall in Brooklyn.

In addition, Stanford has created a suite of courses tailored to the program's focus and location, including "Divided America as Seen Through the Lens of New York City," "Outside In: Arts Organizations and the Changing Cultural Audience" and "Off the iPhone and into the City: Creating a Photography Project."

The courses reflect the focus of the program's inaugural quarter: the arts, architecture, design and urban studies.

Students enrolled in the program will spend fall quarter of the 2015-16 academic year living, working and studying in New York City. They will take a full load of required and elective courses, work four days a week in internships related to their academic and career interests, go on field trips and attend cultural events.

Under the program, the students will have the opportunity to develop adaptive learning skills – one of the key aims of a Stanford undergraduate education – by applying lessons learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

Stanford in New York City is a three-year pilot program. During the first year, it will be offered during fall quarter. During the 2016-17 academic year, it will be offered fall quarter – again focused on the arts, architecture, design and urban studies – and winter quarter, when it will focus on the media and on finance. In 2017-18, it will be offered fall, winter and spring quarters. The focus of the spring quarter session is still under discussion.

"The new Stanford in New York program presents our students with distinctive opportunities for dynamic engagement with the global city of New York," said Harry J. Elam, vice provost for undergraduate education.

"Through an intensive quarter of study, reflective practice and experiential learning in the unique environment that is New York, students will hone their intellectual skills and capacities, develop their abilities as adaptive learners and fortify their creative confidence."

The program also will offer opportunities for the students to discuss professional development and other interests with Stanford alumni working and living in New York City. Alumni have already contributed ideas and contacts for internships and cultural activities, and will invite students to alumni events in the fall.

Living, working and studying in NYC

The first cohort of students – 11 juniors and 9 seniors – represents 16 disciplines, ranging from computer science to architectural design, from human biology to medieval and ancient art history, and from symbolic systems to East Asian Studies.

More than 50 students applied for the 20 available slots. In choosing the first cohort, Stanford took into account each student's intellectual goals, disciplinary backgrounds and particular interests, and factored in the university's desire to create a diverse and balanced group.

The students will prepare for Stanford in New York through individual meetings and a group orientation session on campus during spring quarter.

During the program, the students will live in the St. George Clark Residence, which was once part of the Hotel St. George and is now a dormitory for students attending universities in New York City. The residence hall, which is run by a nonprofit student housing organization, is located in Brooklyn Heights, a neighborhood just one subway stop away from Manhattan.

The program will be headquartered on the 18th floor of a building in Manhattan, just south of Madison Square Park. The program space includes offices, conference rooms, and areas for students to work, relax and hang out.

Rosina S. Miller, the director of Stanford in New York, is on campus this week to meet with individual students and discuss potential internships.

Internship placements

"We will review their resumes, their interests and possible organizations to consider," Miller said. "I have established partnerships with different types of organizations in New York City, but I also want students to research and make their own suggestions for internship placements.

"A lot of good learning happens even before the internship starts, when students try to understand differences in organizational missions and structures, the ways roles in an organization contribute to accomplishing goals, and where they see themselves in that process," she continued. "This week we will come up with plans for each student moving forward, including contacting organizations for interviews."

When the program begins next fall, students will gather together every Monday for the program's two required courses.

In Experiential Learning in the City, students will identify, document and evaluate their learning throughout the program, and create a portfolio demonstrating their academic, professional and personal growth. Miller will teach the course, leading students in class discussions, activities and assignments designed to help them get the most out of their experiences in New York City.

In the City Seminar, Urbanism and Change: Strategy, Tactics, and the Guerrilla Movement, students will study how New York City has been shaped by different approaches to urban planning, design and intervention. Most class sessions will be spent on site in different parts of the city, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, the Bronx, the Queens Museum, Central Park and some of the city's pocket and community gardens.

Following the Bing Stanford in Washington model, and the Bing Overseas Studies Program model, Stanford selected sociology Professor Douglas McAdam to live in residence in New York City and teach elective courses in his field. McAdam's course, "Divided America as Seen Through the Lens of New York City," will explore the causes and consequences of the unprecedented political and economic divisions that now characterize American society.