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Siebel Awards 15 Students

The Stanford Daily

October 5th 2009

Fifteen students from Stanford’s graduate departments were awarded tuition grants of $35,000 and the title of 2010 Siebel Scholar last month by the Siebel Foundation.

The Siebel Foundation, founded in 1996, is a non-profit benefit corporation intended to recognize and bring together 80 talented students a year from the fields of bioengineering, computer science and business. Students are chosen from 11 of the nation’s leading universities.

Julia Chen, Christina Fan, Douglas Jones, Andrea Les and Chuba Oyolu were honored as Siebel Scholars within the Department of Bioengineering. Graduate School of Business recipients included Ashley Evans, Kenneth Hammond, Andrew Martin, Matthew Skaruppa and Iain Ware. And from the Computer Science Department, graduate students Tom Dillig, Shaddin Dughmi, Daniel Gibson, Daniel Horn and Edward Luong were selected.

“The Scholars program creates an active community of interactive students just about to enter the ‘real world,’” said Jenny Hildebrand, Siebel program manager. “The network we create fosters collaboration and exchange of ideas between leading minds representing all different academic disciplines.”

The Siebel Scholars are graduate students in the final years of their studies. University faculty choose scholars based on outstanding academic merit and leadership, but as a rule, the particulars of the nomination process are kept vague.

“We’re not made aware of the professors/staff who nominate us,” Martin said in an email to The Daily. “Indeed, there isn’t much visibility into the selection process.”

Nevertheless, having a graduate student population under consideration for the prestigious title allows Stanford University to have an active role in the Siebel Scholars community.

“The main office in downtown Palo Alto allows for smaller-scale group conferences, and we have meetings on Stanford’s campus,” Hildebrand said.

The network of over 540 past and present scholars also engages in yearly conferences that have in the past focused on topics such as global terrorism (2001), stem cell research (2002), methamphetamine use in America (2004) and water conservation (2009).

These conferences often forge partnerships between universities, such as a joint project between Stanford and UC-Berkeley in 2002 for a project concerning stem cell research.

According to the foundation’s Web site, the overall goal is “to support projects and organizations that work to improve the quality of life, environment and education of its community members,” with the hope of alleviating societal problems stemming from hot-button issues.

“[Siebel Scholars] are very different people given the means to interact in the professional world so that they can improve upon and affect aspects of society immediately and for the better,” said Nitsa Zuppas, executive director of the Siebel Foundation. “These are our best and brightest – our future.”


By: Alyssa Ahluwalia


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