The past few months have certainly tested the resilience and flexibility of the Stanford community. The Stanford Historical Society (SHS) held its first ever electronic election due to COVID-19 and the subsequent Santa Clara County shelter-in-place protocol. SHS members enthusiastically elected four new members to the Historical Society’s Board of Directors on May 29th.
All of the new board members are current Stanford staff members: Isabel Alvarez-Valdez, Director of Business Expense, Travel, and Payment Services; Nate Boswell, ’99 and MS ’09, Special Assistant to the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs; Jeannie Crumly Cole, Marketing Communications Manager at the Graduate School of Education; and Pat Lopes Harris, Communications Director for the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.
According to Marie Earl, ’78 and MLA ’98, recently retired SHS vice president and co-chair of the Governance Committee that oversaw board recruitment and the election process, “This incoming group of board members brings considerable expertise in financial management, student and digital engagement, marketing, and communications. These newest board members will be able to immediately contribute to the organization’s ambitions in each of these areas.”
The new board members started their three-year terms on July 1 and are eligible to serve another three years after completing the first term. In addition to serving on the Historical Society board with 18 current directors, they will also serve on at least one of the eight Historical Society committees that direct much of the work of the organization.
SHS president Rick Yuen noted, “The Historical Society has been fortunate to benefit from the contribution of exemplary board members since its founding in 1976.”
Isabel Alvarez-Valdez, Director of Business Expense, Travel, and Payment Services at Stanford, has had extensive experience at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics and at the university.
As part of a rotational professional development program, she strategically influenced the unification of the Business Expense, Travel and Payment Services as one group under her leadership to align similar tasks, simplify processes and reduce administrative burden.
Alvarez-Valdez joined Stanford Hospitals and Clinics in 1996 and held various administrative roles in the two hospitals before transferring to the university in 2005. Soon after she joined the Controller’s Office as a financial systems analyst and managed the financial systems and reporting operations before going to the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) in 2016, where she was Director of Finance and Research Administration until 2019. Her experience in a variety of roles, both in the schools and in central offices, provide her with a broad perspective and an ability to balance both campus and central office needs while contributing to the mission of the university. Alvarez-Valdez received both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance and an MBA in finance from the Notre Dame de Namur University in 2004 and 2007 respectively.
Nate Boswell, ’99 and MS ’09, Special Assistant to the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, currently works to support the executive team in Student Affairs and is the Resident Fellow for West Lagunita House.
After graduating from Stanford in 1999 he helped found College 411.com, a startup focused on supporting and connecting college students that was acquired by Student Advantage Inc. in 2000. In 2001, he returned to Stanford to work in financial management in Residential Education where he held an appointment as Associate Dean and Executive Director for the Undergraduate Residential Experience. During his time in ResEd, he worked closely with Row houses, Residence Deans, Fraternity and Sorority Life and auxiliary finance. More recent areas of service to the university include work related to campus engagement, student social life, and the future of the undergraduate residential experience. In the past he has served on the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing (APIRL), the Board on Judicial Affairs (BJA), and Stanford’s Task Force on Sexual Assault Policies and Practices. In 2015, he received the Margaret Ann Fidler Award for Distinguished Service in Student Affairs. He earned both a bachelor’s degree (history) and a master’s degree (higher education policy and leadership) from Stanford. Boswell lives on campus in West Lagunita House with his wife, Anne. They have two sons, Luke (10) and Ryan (8).
Jeannie Crumly Cole is Marketing Communications Manager at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She works to promote the research and teaching mission and strategic initiatives of the school. Her career in education has spanned publishing, curriculum development (primarily social studies and history), educational technology, and workforce development. Most recently, her focus has been on digital communications strategy for startups and higher education.
Cole received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University. Before working at Stanford Cole served as a chaplain at the Santa Clara County jail and continues to volunteer at a residential program for women recovering from incarceration, trauma, and addiction. A fourth-generation Californian, she was born and raised in Palo Alto. She lives in Menlo Park with her Stanford-alum husband and is a Stanford parent.
Pat Lopes Harris currently serves as the communications director for the Vice Provost for Student Affairs at Stanford, where she provides strategic direction on communications, media relations and digital communications for departments including residential life, student organizations, BEAM career education, Vaden Health Center, the University Registrar, the Dean of Students, and the Graduate Life Office.
She is an accomplished communications director, media relations and crisis communications expert, trusted spokesperson, and certified emergency response public information officer. Previously, she was the Director of Media Relations at San Jose State University for 12 years. Her professional career also includes working as an analyst for accounting firm Arthur Andersen, an editor for the International Economic Development Council, and a reporter for the San Jose Silicon Valley Business Journal and at the San Jose Mercury News. Pat Lopes Harris is a graduate of Washington and Lee University, where she received her BA in journalism and political science in 1991, and she studied modern history as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 1993.