WDCSA Newsletter – April 2021

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

Events Calendar

  • Apr 28 • ENCORE! An Evening with Dr. Stan Engebretson (DMA Music ’80) and Dr. Stephen Sano (AM Music ’91 and DMA Music ’94)
  • May 9 • Washington DC Book Club Discussion
  • May 12 • Baltimore Book Club Discussion
  • May 25 • Protecting the Potomac

Upcoming Events

ENCORE! An Evening with Dr. Stan Engebretson (DMA Music ’80) and Dr. Stephen Sano (AM Music ’91 and DMA Music ’94)

WDCSA Members Only Event
Wednesday, April 28 7 pm

This event is a treat for members of the Washington DC Stanford Association and their guests (Class of 2020 graduates can join for free at https://www.wdcsa.org/membership/)

Join us for a lively conversation with two illustrious Stanford alumni from the music department as they share stories on “Stanford, Then and Now.”

Dr. Stan Engebretson

Dr. Stan Engebretson, DMA Music ’80 has served as the Artistic Director of the National Philharmonic Chorale since its inception and has appeared on concert stages throughout the United States and in Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has held faculty positions within the University of Texas system and at the University of Minnesota, and has served as the Artistic Director of the Midland-Odessa Symphony Chorale and Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Chorale. In Washington, DC since 1990, Dr. Engebretson is a professor of music at George Mason University and Director of Music at the historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Stephen M. Sano

Dr. Stephen M. Sano, AM Music ’91, DMA Music ’94  is the Harold C. Schmidt Director of Choral Studies and Rachford & Carlota A. Harris University Fellow in Undergraduate Education [at Stanford]. The Director of the [Stanford] Chamber Chorale and Symphonic Chorus, Dr. Sano is a nationally and internationally invited master class teacher in conducting and choral music, guest conductor and adjudicator in choral music.  He has conducted master classes and performances with festival, honor, and collegiate choirs, orchestras, and other instrumental ensembles from over 20 states as well as from England, Germany, Austria, Australia, Canada, and Japan.  Sano also serves as Affiliate Faculty in Asian American Studies and Center for East Asian Studies.

Register here for this WDCSA members-only event, free of charge:

For additional information or to offer questions for our guests to address, please contact Chris Shinkman at c.shinkman@verizon.net or Risa Shimoda at risa@theshimodagroup.com.

Protecting the Potomac

Tuesday, May 25 7-8 pm

What happens when a small, scrappy nonprofit takes on Potomac River polluters? Find out by joining us!
The Potomac River is the primary source of drinking water in the D.C. area. Thanks to the hard work of many, the water quality of “the Nation’s River” has improved dramatically since its nadir in the 1970s, and that progress now supports revitalized waterfronts in Georgetown, Alexandria, National Harbor, and the Wharf.
However, when it rains the Potomac is still burdened with urban runoff and raw sewage overflows. To make the impact ever more real, the river has become increasingly popular as a destination for kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, and even open water swimming.
Our guests are Mac Thornton BA ’69 and JD ’72 and Nancy Stoner, President of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, whose mission is to “protect the public’s right to clean water in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and their tributaries.” They will share both inspiring stories about what is being done to further improve the Potomac, and data that can guide us to know when it is safe to go in the water, how to avoid getting sick from exposure to polluted water, and how we can help to clean it up.
Register here: http://alumni.stanford.edu/goto/protectthepotomac for this WDCSA event, which is free of charge and open to all. A Zoom connection link will be sent to registrants on the day of the event.
For additional information or to offer questions for our guests to address, please contact Risa Shimoda at risa@theshimodagroup.com.

Stanford in the News

  • Assistant Professor of Earth system science Gabrielle Wong-Parodi has received a 2021 National Science Foundation CAREER Award. The grant supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Wong-Parodi leads the Behavioral Decisions and the Environment lab in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth). The research team employs behavioral decision science approaches to create evidence-based strategies for informed decision making, with a focus on building resilience and promoting sustainability in the face of a changing climate.

WDCSA Book Club Corner

Washington DC Book Club Discussion

Sunday, May 9 5 pm

The March book is The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste.

Set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, this novel takes us back to the first real conflict of World War II and a brutal chapter in Ethiopia’s history. At its heart is orphaned maid Hirut, who finds herself tumbling into a new world of thefts, violations, and betrayals. One part of the story takes place in 1935 and another part four decades later, as Hirut remembers what it was like to be a woman soldier at war, at a time when women were left out of the historical record. 

Questions/RSVP:  Don Bieniewicz, MS ’75, at donbien@erols.com.

Baltimore Book Club Discussion

Monday, May 17 7:30 pm
Google Meet:  Everyone will be emailed a link to join the meeting a few minutes before.

New York 2140 is a unique work of science fiction that takes place in a future New York City impacted by climate change. The author, Kim Stanley Robinson, applies one of the climate change scenarios developed by scientists to set the novel in a possible future New York City flooded by sea level rise.

This kind of fiction, called “climate fiction,” is very important for raising awareness about climate change. As Princeton Environmental Institute’s professor Rob Nixon puts it, “Nonfictional forays into the future, on the one hand, tend to warn us of coming disasters, and on the other, urge us to take action today.” Climate impacts on distant future people that are impossible to observe, making it easy to avoid confronting the seriousness of climate change. Works like New York 2140 put the physical, personal, social, and political impacts of climate change into stark relief and helps us to better understand the implications of our actions and policies.

The July 12th selection is Exercised:  Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding by Daniel E. Lieberman

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