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Pioneering Women

Oral histories and video-taped panel conversations with trailblazing women on the Stanford faculty and staff.

Oral Histories

2020 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Medical School - Pediatrics
Interviewer: Marine-Street, Natalie
Ann Arvin describes her early life and educational background, her research on the varicella- zoster virus, and her position as Stanford’s Associate Dean of Research from 2001 to 2006 and as Vice Provost and Dean of Research from 2006 to 2018. Highlights include her description of studying T cell...
2015 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Brest,Iris
Barbara Babcock traces the journey of her growing up in a little town in Arkansas to eventually becoming the head of the Washington DC Public Defenders, the first woman faculty member at Stanford Law School, the Assistant US Attorney General for the Civil Division, the author of two casebooks and a...
2015 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Medical School - Microbiology & Immunology
Interviewer: Waldron, Manjula
Helen M. Blau talks about her personal, academic and professional journey, her early adventures in Europe and how her parents were instrumental in shaping her career in science. She discusses her family’s escape from Nazi Germany; her father’ return to Europe, and her broad education in US...
2017 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Samra, Sukhi
Eve V. Clark, Richard W. Lyman Professor of Humanities and an internationally known linguist, reviews her life journey from the United Kingdom to the United States, discusses her research on language acquisition, teaching undergraduates, and the growth of the Department of Linguistics at Stanford....
2020 | Project: Alumni Interviews, | Project: Pioneering Women, | Project: Trustees
Interviewer: Waldron, Manjula; Marine-Street, Natalie
Dr. Linda Hawes Clever (BS 1961; MD 1965), an accomplished physician who served on the Stanford Board of Trustees for fourteen years, describes her family background, her education and medical training, her career in community and occupational medicine, and her experiences as trustee. She describes...
2020 | Project: Faculty Spouses, | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Mahony, Zoe
In this oral history, Mary Lowenthal Felstiner, a PhD alumna of Stanford University’s Department of History and Professor Emerita of History at San Francisco State University, offers reflections on her career as a teacher of women’s history and her research on the life of the German Jewish artist...
2019 | Project: Alumni Interviews, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Marine-Street, Natalie
In this oral history, psychiatrist, researcher, and author Nanette Gartrell (BA Human Biology 1972) discusses her family and educational background and traces the trajectory of a career devoted to overturning stereotypes and scientific misconceptions about homosexuality, providing non-homophobic...
2019 | Project: Alumni Interviews, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Du, Melissa
In this oral history, Paola Gianturco (BA History 1961) discusses her family background, her undergraduate years at Stanford, her experiences in the advertising business from the 1960s to the 1990s, and her work as an author and photographer of books about women. Topics covered include her work as...
1978 | Project: Pioneering Women, | Project: Staff
Interviewer: Davis, Margo
Former head of Stanford's Department of Women's Physical Education (1956-1968), Professor Guthrie joined the Stanford faculty/staff in 1936. She is especially remembered for her activities in women's intercollegiate tennis and skiing. She reflects on her family background and childhood in Seattle,...
2014 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Medical School - Genetics
Interviewer: Kiefer, Joyce
Leonore (Lee) Herzenberg reviewed her life story with emphasis on her upbringing in New York; her studies with her husband Leonard at Cal Tech; the scientists they worked with in France, at Stanford and elsewhere; getting the Genetics labs started when Stanford’s medical school moved to...
2015 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Medical School - Oncology
Interviewer: Genovese, Jacqueline
Charlotte Jacobs begins her interviews by discussing her happy childhood in a large family in Tennessee, and the pressure she felt being a young girl in the 1950s with dreams of being a doctor. She goes on to detail the influence of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine trials, of which she was a...
2020 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Marincovich, Michele
Patricia Pearce Jones, the Dr. Nancy Chang Professor in Humanities and Sciences, Emerita, speaks about her early life and education, her training in immunology, and her career in the Department of Biology at Stanford. Additional topics include her service on the Provost’s Advisory Committee on the...
2019 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Political Science
Interviewer: Anderson, Benjamin
Nannerl O. Keohane, a distinguished political scientist and former president of Wellesley College and Duke University, discusses her early life in the south; her undergraduate and graduate education at Wellesley, Oxford, and Yale; her faculty positions at Swarthmore and Stanford; and highlights of...
2018 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Interviewer: Kiefer, Joyce
In this 2016 oral history, Professor Anne Setian Kiremidjian, a structural engineer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, describes her early life in Bulgaria, her family’s immigration to the United States in the 1960s as a part of a program for those of...
2014 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Tobey, Karen
Marion Lewenstein talks about her background and career trajectory at Stanford. She speaks about her family, her work at Women’s Wear Daily and Fairchild Publications, and her work in Stanford’s Department of Communication. She reflects on working with the Stanford administrative staff and...
1977 | Project: Faculty Spouses, | Project: Pioneering Women
Stanford Community
Interviewer: Davis, Margo
Award-winning poet and writer Janet Lewis speaks about her family background and childhood; the Poetry Club at the University of Chicago; and her husband, Arthur Yvor Winters. She offers reflections on her literary work, motherhood, and life at Stanford during the Great Depression and World War II...
| Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Marine-Street, Natalie
This interview was conducted in 2019 and is currently in processing. We hope to have it up as soon as possible. Please direct any inquiries to
2011 | Project: Faculty, | Project: Pioneering Women
Interviewer: Lewenstein, Marion
In this interview, Eleanor Emmons Maccoby offers great insight into her career in the Psychology Department at Stanford University. Much of the conversation focuses on her research into behavior, gender, and linguistic development, from the study of how young children behave to the ways in...