10 students are
selected for each of eight seminars, which meet for two hours every morning over
two and one-half weeks in early September, before regular classes begin. In the
afternoons sophomores learn about the resources that are available to
Last year there were about 200 applications for 50 slots, compared with almost
500 applications this year for 80 spaces, according to Todd Benson, coordinator
of sophomore programs.
For Jones two-week class on The Crest of the Wave: Frontiers in
Research, she organized several field trips and also invited students to
at her home where they could chat informally with her husband, Bob Schimke,
professor of biological sciences, about his work in cancer research.
As the sophomores heard about the other faculty members in the biological
sciences department who had signed up to talk with them Ellen Macdonald,
Virginia Walbot, Ron Kopito and Susan McConnell they exchanged amazed
Id like you to meet a number of Stanford biologists who are doing a
research in hot areas and get a sense of the excitement they
feel, Jones said.
A brief hour into the seminar, the students caught her enthusiasm and began
firing and answering questions as fast as Jones could construct red
and green diagrams on the whiteboard. Discussions leapt from enzymes and
hemoglobin to genetic mutation and molecular biology in an overview of topics to
One sophomore, who came to Stanford planning to major in pre-law or pre-med, said
that largely as a result of the seminar she has shifted her focus of study.
Now I would love to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. program which would give me an
opportunity to work with students as a professor, with patients as a physician
and with scientists as a peer, Vivian Tsai said. These past two weeks
exhilarating, and meeting and talking with scientists who are the tops in their
field has been an amazing experience.