Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Newsletter - Autumn 2022

Main content start

Stanford in New York Quarter Highlights

Stanford in New York brings 25 undergraduate students to New York City for a quarter-length, off-campus immersion experience. Students take courses, work in internships, and experience living and learning in New York. Field trips, guest speakers, cultural events, professional development, and community engagement opportunities contribute to student learning, and each quarter focuses on different fields of study and their application in the city.

Autumn Quarter: Arts, Architecture, Design, and Urban Studies
Our Autumn Quarter students represent a diverse range of interests. Below is a partial list of some of our internship partners this quarter. 

  • NYC Department of Environmental Preservation
  • Ark Media
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Gehl Studio Inc.
  • NYC Housing Preservation & Development
  • Second Stage
  • CITYarts

Classes and Faculty
Take a look at some of our autumn classes and faculty bios:

Student Spotlight

We sat down with Stanford in New York Autumn 2022 student, Maddie Connelly, to talk off-campus studying, internships, and living in NYC. Read our Q&A with Maddie below. 

Tell us a little about yourself! 
Hi there! My name is Maddie (she/her) and I am a Junior from San Diego, CA, currently majoring in Environmental Systems Engineering with an Urban Systems focus and minoring in Urban Studies. On campus, I am the Co-lead of Community Development for Stanford Women in Politics, a VIS Tour Guide, and am involved in research with the Billington Lab in the Civil Engineering department. As much as I love New York, I do miss my on-campus Stanford communities!

Why did you choose to attend Stanford in New York?
When I was 14, my mom and I spent a summer nannying in New York, and I fell in love with the city. Not only is it an incredible place to live, work, and study, but it is such a unique cultural center that houses some of my favorite pieces of art/media (my favorite movie of all time is When Harry Met Sally). I hoped that by participating in the Stanford in New York program that I could continue to grow my appreciation and understanding of the city from a new perspective. 

Where are you currently interning, and what is your role? 
I am interning at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in the Commissioner’s Office, where I am helping to develop policy for the new administration’s strategic plan. From collaborating with different Bureaus at DEP to investigating deep data dives and creating policy briefs, I have gotten to work on a number of projects that have allowed me to learn about how the agency functions as a whole–which is pretty amazing considering that they deliver millions of gallons of water to New Yorkers every day! Specifically, I report to Anna Ponting, a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner, and work with some amazing colleagues, including a NY Fellow who is not an intern, but still close to my age.  

What has your experience in NYC been like so far? 
My experience has been amazing–I love waking up every morning to stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and getting to really explore different areas across the city. Living in Brooklyn Heights and working in Elmhurst, Queens, I’ve gotten to know some really cool neighborhoods and incredibly delicious and diverse food. I’ve also loved my classes, particularly Walking and Writing in the City where we’ve gotten to explore the sociological/literary history of NY on foot and Performing New York where we’ve gotten to see such a wide variety of Broadway/Off-Broadway shows. My favorite experience so far has definitely been seeing Robert O’Hara’s interpretation of A Raisin in the Sun at The Public Theater, which was truly a transformative experience and made me realize the true power of theater. I think it can be easy to fall into a routine or follow the crowd in the experiences you choose to pursue, and this was a reminder of how important it is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to really understand what it means to take up space in New York. 

What do you hope to do after you graduate?
I am hoping to Co-Term in Civil Engineering and later pursue a career in infrastructure/policy design where I can help develop solutions to issues such as the housing and climate crises facing the modern urban environment. Whether it's in New York or other places across the world, I am passionate about cultivating holistically healthy neighborhoods with affordable housing, green infrastructure, accessible transportation, and other projects that can help meet the needs of local community members, who really make up the heart of cities.

Faculty Q&A

Michael Kahan, co-Director of Stanford's Program on Urban Studies and Gabriella Safran, Senior Associate Dean of Humanities and the Arts, and Professor of Jewish Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures join Stanford in New York as the Autumn 2022 Co-Faculty in Residence. Take a look at our Q&A with Professors Kahan and Safran. 

Why did you choose to teach at Stanford in New York?

MK: As the co-director of the Urban Studies program, I was a member of the committee that developed the initial proposal for Stanford in New York. I knew immediately that it would be a wonderful opportunity to work closely with a small group of students who share my interest in urbanism and history. I grew up near New York City, and it retains many personal connections and memories for me. I'm delighted that everything aligned to allow me to spend this quarter here.

GS: As a literature scholar who thinks a lot about people who travel from Eastern Europe to the US, I was thrilled at the prospect of spending time in New York. I'm delighted to have the chance to teach writing by those travelers and their children, from the Bolshevik poet Vladimir Mayakovsky's passionate description of the Brooklyn Bridge to Alfred Kazin's gritty accounts of his childhood in Brownsville. Meanwhile, now that I am serving as the Senior Associate Dean of Humanities and Arts, I spend too much time with files and not enough time with students, so getting to spend a quarter with a small group of highly focused undergraduates is a treat.

Please describe your class at SiNY
MK & GS: Since one of us is a professor at Stanford of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the other is the co-director of the Program on Urban Studies, it was an interesting challenge to develop a course that would draw equally on our respective areas of expertise. The course we have created is entitled Walking and Writing New York. It focuses on walking in the city, as seen through both literature and social science. We read literary authors such as Walt Whitman, Frank O'Hara, Shirley Jackson and Teju Cole, as well as urbanists such as Jane Jacobs, Michel de Certeau and Saidiya Hartman, all reflecting on the experience of being a pedestrian in New York. The students reflect on their own experiences of walking through observation of the streets, leading a walking tour, and analyzing literature on this theme. We treat walking as a culturally and historically specific activity, and we hope the students emerge from the class with a clearer understanding of their own experiences moving around the city.

Is there a particular person or movement that has inspired you in your career?
MK: In thinking about my time in New York, I would say an important inspiration has been writer and activist Jane Jacobs, the author of the transformative book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Although she had some blind spots and was hardly perfect, she was a keen observer, a savvy activist and a terrific writer. She inspired me and many others with her defense of urban density, diversity, and excitement.

GS: The events of our moment, as Russia attempts to recolonize Ukraine, make me reflect on how inspirational I found it to be in college and then graduate school during the end of the Soviet Union and the early establishment of the post-Soviet states. That exciting time prompted me and others to study the Russian-dominated space and its many languages and cultures. Although optimism may come with blinders, I am grateful for the opportunities that I had as a person who grew up during an optimistic era.

Favorite experiences in New York?
MK: Walking, of course! Taking the ferry to Brooklyn at sunrise while reading Whitman's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" was also a highlight. I greatly enjoyed seeing Ralph Fiennes play Robert Moses in a new play, Straight Line Crazy, on a field trip sponsored by SINY. Jane Jacobs was also a character in the show!

GS: Also walking! I walk very fast, and I have a weakness for jay-walking, both of which are more socially acceptable in New York than elsewhere. Giving myself just 20 minutes to get from our apartment at 30th and 6th to a talk at NYU and making it - that was a triumph.

Looking forward to Winter: Media, Business, & Finance

Our Winter quarter runs from January 9 through March 17, and we are actively in the process of finding internship placements for our students. If you know great organizations looking for interns, please connect them to us at In particular, we have high student demand in finance, media/journalism, music industry, and public policy/public service.

Alumni Engagement Survey

Interested in getting involved with Stanford in New York? Share this link and newsletter with  fellow Alumni so they are in the know about our events and programs.

Take our Alumni Engagement Survey