- Spring Quarter, 2022: My most important takeaways from my first year at Stanford and how LSP relates
- Winter Quarter, 2022: LSP helped me get through this big challenge while transitioning to Stanford
Check back for more blog posts in future quarters!
More about Mia
Hometown: Lutcher, Louisiana
Stanford neighborhood: Neighborhood R - West Lagunita
Academic interests: Public Policy, Education, and Mathematics
Favorite class I took during fall quarter: An Introductory Seminar (IntroSem) EDUC115N: Mathematical Mindsets with Jo Boaler
Winter quarter course I think I'll enjoy most: THINK56: Healthcare, Justice, and Ethics
Favorite hang-out on Stanford's campus: The Axe & Palm (TAP). Ordering Oreo milkshakes with friends is a must.
Coolest student organization I joined since arriving: (1) Frosh Council and (2) IgnitED & The Cutting EDge, Stanford’s Education Research & Teaching Society
Thing I miss most about home: My family and Louisiana food
Primary reason I applied to Stanford and what I enjoy most about it so far: I applied to Stanford because I wanted an opportunity to explore academic areas I had never had exposure/access to before, whether that be in STEM or humanities/ social sciences. Although I have an interest in studying education policy, I hope to take advantage of Stanford’s engineering courses, such as exploring computer science or MS&E. There is abundant opportunity to explore the intersection of many disciplines as well. So far, I have enjoyed the connections I had made with my professors the most. I encourage anyone coming to Stanford to apply to Intro Seminars. It has been a delight to get to know my professor Jo Boaler, a world leader in mathematics and data science education. Beyond the classroom, I have been able to help plan a summer program to teach data science to high school students from under-resourced backgrounds, tried Thai food for the first time during a class dinner, and even got to meet her adorable dogs.
Favorite Winter quarter class: THINK 56: Healthcare, Ethics, and Justice. Although none of my primary academic interests are related to healthcare, the intersectionality of this course was really engaging. Some topics we explored were social determinants of health, organ transplantation allocation, and healthcare economics. In my final paper, I argued why nations should stray away from vaccine nationalism– the hoarding of vaccines by countries for their own citizens– and distribute their supply to countries with higher rates of COVID and less resources to treat their patients.
Spring quarter class I think I’ll enjoy the most: I was admitted into Dr. Widom’s intro-seminar CS46N: Data-Driven Decisions and Discoveries. This course will explore the data science pipeline– from acquisition to analysis. I will probably enjoy this course the most because I will learn how to utilize tools and techniques for working with data, including spreadsheets, data visualization systems, SQL, and machine learning. Data is the oil of the 21st century so knowing how to organize and interpret it is essential for society.
Spring Quarter, 2022
At a STEM student panel during LSP summer programming, an older student stressed one piece of advice: give yourself grace. At Stanford, there will be many times where you don’t perform as well as you would have hoped, but it’s important to remember you are trying your best. Instead of holding myself to perfect academic standards, I have learned to strive for growth in my own work and knowledge.
LSP also taught me how to balance studying and class with growing friendships. During LSP summer, an environment was created where all scholars had to navigate balancing our first Stanford classes while living and interacting with new people. Some time would have to be dedicated to working on assignments in anticipation of allowing time to hangout and explore campus. One of my most important takeaways from my first year at Stanford is to always make time for your friends and nurture those relationships most important to you, for they are the ones who will get you through each quarter and have something to look forward to. Over Easter weekend, my two closest friends and I will be going to my hometown for their first ever crawfish boil. I’m excited to share some of my Louisiana traditions with them.
My priorities for the summer ahead
I have received an Education & Youth Development/ Cardinal Quarter Summer fellowship from the Haas Center to partner with Youcubed, a math education organization here at Stanford. Youcubed is co-founded by Dr. Jo Boaler, the professor of my intro-seminar from the Fall quarter, so I am ecstatic to continue working with her. I will be staffing her data science summer camp for high school students in the San Jose area. At the camp, I will serve as a mentor for students taking the coursework alongside them and aid them in working with data. My main priority is to foster a welcoming community for the high school participants to be a part of, for this may be their first experience working with data and with other students from other schools.
Besides the Haas fellowship, I am prioritizing spending time with my family back home this summer. After completing my first three quarters at Stanford, I have spent the majority of the year across the country with my family. Although Stanford somewhat has a student culture of always being “on the grind,” I want to make time for myself to recharge and process the completion of my freshman year.
Winter Quarter, 2022
Being a part of LSP has felt like the only time I may ever be “ahead of the game” here at Stanford. I can’t imagine how I would have easily transitioned into Stanford without my time in LSP’s summer institute. During New Student Orientation, I already had the most comforting group of friends to rely on, understood what to expect out of a Stanford class, and felt oriented to the layout and direction of campus. While all the other frosh were scrambling to understand where their classes were located, form friendships, and gain a sense of the resources available to us, I was able to focus primarily on my courses and joining student organizations because I had the summer to become accustomed to the fast-paced Stanford lifestyle. From all of the advice I had accumulated during the summer from our program coordinators, preceptors, PWR professors, and math instructors, giving myself grace stands at the forefront of the best advice. Culture shocks came in waves as I left my small hometown in Louisiana for an academic arena bustling with life and opportunity. Almost every aspect of my social life had changed, but having recognizable LSP faces scattered throughout campus made Stanford life feel less foreign.