Newsletters, Summer 2014|

I am humbled and honored to serve as the 2014-2015 chair of Stanford in Government (SIG). As a public policy and urban studies major, I am continually impressed by the breadth of opportunities SIG offers at the intersection of academic study and public policy. SIG has been blessed with a history of effective chairs, and Meredith Wheeler is leaving SIG in a strong position.

I have been involved with SIG since my freshman year, serving as Director of Alumni Outreach and as Director of Communications. As I continue my SIG journey next year, I am excited to focus on SIG’s core areas—programming, fellowships, and operations—to build on our past and promote future SIG success:  collaboration within SIG, with the Stanford campus, and beyond; commitment to SIG’s history, membership, and the larger community; and continuity that builds on past successes to create a sustainable future.

SIG’s programming remains central to engaging SIG members, the Stanford community as a whole, and communities beyond Stanford.

  • After this year’s successful launch of the new Public Policy Forum (PPF), we will continue to raise PPF’s profile as the premier space for political dialogue and debate on campus.
  • Our Special Events Committee is working to bring well-known policymakers and leaders to Stanford, with a goal of inspiring and engaging not just SIG students but our entire campus community.
  • The Campus Awareness (CA) Committee will continue hosting policy lunches and on-campus events, engaging Stanford students with policy at an intimate level.
  • SIG’s Campus and Community Partnerships (CCP) Committee collaborates with local community groups, most recently through the newly pioneered SIG Local Fellowships, which support quarter-long local fellowship opportunities.

Three SIG Fellowships committees support our 38 fellowship experiences and this year a record 22stipend opportunities. Our fellowships introduce students to public service through existing placements with SIG partner organizations at the local, national, and international level. In addition, our stipends program enables students to identify their own unpaid public policy internship to receive funding and organizational support. With a record 62 stipend applications this year, we seek to sustain and expand the program with continued support from SIG donors and alumni.

The Operations Committee crafts SIG’s long-term vision and strategies to further our impact on campus. This next year, “Ops” will place a new emphasis on agile and innovative communication. Online articles and a new, interactive blog at our SIG website will be the cornerstones of this effort. The Communications team will also place a priority on website and social media accounts, working hand-in-hand with SIG’s Director of Technology. It has been exciting to see SIG’s Alumni Outreach team reengage and interact with so many SIG alumni, and we hope to continue these efforts through new platforms.

We also hope to commit to new SIG members in distinctive ways:  our Community Development team will place fresh emphasis on community and leadership development.

As always, SIG will work collaboratively with the Haas Center for Public Service.  The Haas Center has provided us with much needed support and mentorship over the years, and I am excited to continue and deepen the relationship.

Originally from Boulder, Colorado, I am an avid hiker and mountaineer, and hope to bring my high-altitude energy and enthusiasm to my work with SIG. After leaving Stanford for two quarters to study with Stanford in Washington and Stanford in Cape Town, I return to SIG with a fresh appreciation of its mission:  SIG engages the local community and the world—through campus events, speakers, fellowships and stipends, and more—with the broader goal of engaging ourselves and galvanizing the campus community.

Please do not hesitate to contact me as I begin my term as chair this summer. I invite you to join me in making this coming year SIG’s best ever!


Stefan Norgaard, ’15

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