WDCSA Newsletter – November 2019

This month’s newsletter is available for download in PDF format.

Events Calendar

  • All Fall – WDCSA Stanford Football Game Watches
  • November 6 – Drinks with Avestria
  • November 12 – Baltimore Book Club Discussion
  • November 17 – Parents Connection Autumn Social and Care Package Party
  • December 8 – Washington DC Book Club Discussion

Upcoming Events

WDCSA Stanford Football Game Watches

Fall 2019
Stoney’s, 1433 P St. NW, Washington, DC

Come join the Washington DC Stanford Association and fellow alumni to cheer on the Cardinal this season at our official bar, Stoney’s, in the Logan Circle area. Food and drink specials – including California beers! – available. Upon arrival, head up the stairs to the second floor to join the Stanford group.  

See below for upcoming schedule:

  • Stanford vs. Colorado: Saturday, Nov 9th, 3 pm
  • Stanford vs. Washington State: Saturday, Nov 16th, TBD
  • Stanford vs. Cal: Saturday, Nov 23, TBD (Note: Special Location for Joint Party with Cal TBD)
  • Stanford vs. Notre Dame: Saturday, Nov 30 TBD

If you have any questions, please contact James Barton at jamesbarton09@gmail.com.

Drinks with Avestria

Wednesday, November 6, 5:30- 7 pm
1299 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC

Linda and Corinne (B.S ’81) recently launched Avestria Ventures, a fund focused on investing in early-stage women’s health and female-led life science ventures. During this “Drinks with Avestria” event, attendees will enjoy drinks and learn about the lack of research into women’s health, the lack of funding to female entrepreneurs and the increasing value of and interest in “fem-tech.”

The event is free and open to both women and men. We would love to have to have you attend!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to eva@avestria.vc.

Parents Connection Autumn Social and Care Package Party

Sunday, November 17, 2 -4:30 pm
Fulton, MD

Join the Stanford Parents Connection for our autumn social and care package party. Please bring a snack to share at the social.  

For those making care packages, please bring multiples of one item. You will be told how many the Wednesday before the event.  USPS medium, flat-rate priority boxes will be provided, so come prepared with the mailing address and $15 for the postage. The boxes will not be mailed until Monday, December 2nd.  In the RSVP, please indicate the number of boxes you will be making.

Come to fellowship, ask questions, and share your experiences and insights.

Questions/RSVP: Helene Myers, Ph.D., P’14, at cedarhouse@comcast.net

Stanford In the News

  • To mark its fifth anniversary, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University was gifted two major works of art, Jackson Pollock’s 1944 Totem Lesson 1 and Willem de Kooning’s c. 1949 Gansevoort Street, by its eponymous supporter Mary Margaret “Moo” Anderson.

WDCSA Member Spotlight: James Yan

James Yan, PhD Chemistry ’18 grew up in Plainsboro, New Jersey. When James was applying to graduate schools, he focused his efforts on schools that had a strong chemistry program and an ultimate frisbee team. Stanford checked both boxes!

At Stanford, James spent his first year in Rains Houses before moving off campus. His best memory at Stanford was his thesis defense.  His parents and many of his friends attended, and witnessed “the culmination of a lot of work and struggle.”

Post Stanford, James moved back home to New Jersey while applying for jobs in the public service sector. 

James recently relocated to DC after being selected for a Presidential Management Fellowship, and now works as a chemist in the New Chemicals Management Branch at the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  Locally, James spends his free time playing lacrosse and volunteering with alumni associations for Stanford and for Princeton, where he did his undergraduate studies.

When asked about giving advice or tips, James strongly encouraged his fellow alums to prioritize sleep.  In his words, “life is too short to spend it sleep-deprived.”  You’ll see James at  the upcoming WDCSA Pac 12 Networking Happy Hour that he is leading.  He can also be reached at jjyan@alumni.stanford.edu.

If you have suggestions for other alumni in the DMV area to profile in upcoming newsletters, please send them to Jasmaine McClain (jasmaine.mcclain@gmail.com) or Stephanie Tan (stephanie.tan@stanfordalumni.org). 

WDCSA Book Club Corner

Washington DC Book Club Discussion

Sunday, December 8, 5-7:45 pm
Washington, DC

The book group will discuss The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.

The main character, Pak Jun Do, was the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer kidnapped to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs a work camp for orphans. Superiors in the North Korean state soon recognize the boy’s loyalty and keen instincts. He becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his overlords in order to stay alive. His failure on an unsuccessful diplomatic delegation to America leads to Jun Do being thrown into a prison. There a national war hero, “Commander Ga”, is imprisoned as well, and Jun Do takes on that man’s identity. 

Once out of prison, “Commander Ga” becomes the “replacement husband” of Sun Moon, a famous actress, who eventually allows him to live with her family. Tensions rise between North Korea and America due to the U.S. seizing materials bound for North Korea related to nuclear development, and the retaliatory seizure of an American woman who tried to row a boat around the world. When an American delegation comes to Pyongyang to free her, Jun Do is assigned by Kim Jong Il to put a desperate plan into motion.

Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is a riveting portrait of the hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty of North Korea, as well as camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.

For more information, contact Suzanne Harris at szharris56@gmail.com.

Baltimore Book Club Discussion

Tuesday, November 12, 7:30 pm
The Hull Street Blues Cafe, 1122 Hull St, Baltimore, MD

Our November selection is Bad Blood:  Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou.  This is the biography of Elizabeth Holmes of Stanford Class of 2005, who quit school in her junior year to pursue her fortune in biotech.  This book is a detailed account of the rise and fall of Theranos, Holmes’s company, which she founded in 2003, valued at $10 billion in 2014, and dissolved in 2018 under charges of fraud. ABC Radio did a 6-part podcast earlier this year on Holmes:  http://abcradio.com/podcasts/the-dropout/

The January selection is What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon.

Questions/RSVP: Helene Myers, Ph.D., P’14, at cedarhouse@comcast.net.