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What Matters to Me and Why

What Matters to Me and Why is a presentation and discussion series featuring Stanford Faculty and Administrators addressing life questions. The purpose of What Matters to Me and Why is to encourage reflection within the Stanford community on matters of personal values, beliefs, and motivations in order to better understand the lives and inspirations of those who shape the University. The presenter is encouraged to share how s/he has chosen to live her/his life, the core values s/he has adopted, and the personal choices s/he has made. We also encourage the presenter to choose any other topic that fits her/his definition of “what matters to me and why.”

Program History | Past WMMW Speakers

Select Wednesdays, 12 noon – 1:00 pm, CIRCLE Common Room, Old Union 3rd floor (Map)

October 17: Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Photo of Susie Brubaker-ColeThe first talk of this year's series features Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs. Susie Brubaker-Cole became Stanford University’s vice provost for student affairs on October 1,2017. As vice provost, she oversees a Student Affairs division that manages the residential life and many student experiences that take place outside the classroom. Its units include the University Registrar, the Dean of Students, student health services, Residential Education, BEAM Career Education, the Graduate Life Office, the Haas Center for Public Service and numerous student service and student cultural, diversity and community centers. She is also a member of the University Cabinet.

Prior to becoming Stanford’s vice provost, Brubaker-Cole led Oregon State University’s Student Affairs division for the past three years, an office similar in scope to that at Stanford. She previously served six years as OSU’s associate provost for academic success and engagement.
As associate provost, she worked in close partnership with the Division of Student Affairs, academic units, and the Faculty Senate to guide the vision, development and implementation of university-wide student success and engagement initiatives. From 1999 to 2008, she served for eight years as Stanford’s associate vice provost for undergraduate education, leading academic advising, undergraduate research, honors programs, academically themed living-learning programs, and graduate fellowships and scholarships advising. She also was a live-in Stanford resident fellow within Student Affairs, directing residential programming and student staff development for a frosh and sophomore residence.
Brubaker-Cole holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in French literature from Yale University, with a focus on 19th- and 20th-century literature and Francophone literature of sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. She earned her bachelor’s degree in French and comparative history of ideas as a transfer student at the University of Washington.

2018-2019 What Matters to Me and Why Schedule

Fall Quarter 2018

October 17: Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs

November 14: Chris Lorway, Executive Director, Stanford Live and Bing Concert Hall


Winter Quarter 2019

February 6: Jonathan LevinPhilip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business


Spring Quarter 2019

April 10: Priya Satia, Professor of Modern British History

May 1: Michael A. McFaul, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies, Department of Political Science; Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Director of the Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy