Career Catalysts is an incubator at BEAM working at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. We work towards creating a single web of connections that is aimed at providing universal access to opportunity, as well as engaging students, faculty and staff in critical thinking and awareness around the relationship between career and identity.
As Catalysts, we encourage students to learn by doing. We believe that students gain greater clarity about their future possibilities through a cycle of experimentation and reflection.
We accomplish our work through providing opportunities for networking, experiential education, and professional development. We are committed to working with university partners to ensure that every student experiences a firm and abiding sense of belonging. Alumni and students interested in getting started with our mentoring program can visit Stanford Alumni Mentoring.
Danielle Wood is Associate Dean and Director of Career Catalysts at Stanford University. Prior to joining the BEAM, she co-founded Education.com, and helped grow the site to over 7 million unique visitors and nearly 2 million downloads per month. For 8 years, Danielle served as Education.com's VP of Content and oversaw content strategy for the site. Danielle's work has been published in Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, the Huffington Post, and many other publications. She wrote a book on experiential learning and has appeared as an expert on that subject on The Today Show, CBS Early, NPR, and other shows and been quoted extensively in print. She previously served as Director of Publicity for Sterling Publishing. Danielle graduated with honors from Harvard University, where she spent four summers and several semesters interning to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up.
Ahmad develops career connections through networking events, mentoring programs, and career meetups that serve as catalysts for students and alumni of diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups to discover career paths, connect with mentors and opportunities, and engage in the career development process early and often. Ahmad’s professional experience includes a combined 9 years of work in higher education and the recruiting industry. Ahmad received his M.A. in Education and B.A. in Sociology, both from the University of California, Berkeley.
David manages the experiential education opportunities at BEAM, which include Career Treks and alumni shadowing. He brings an array of experience from both the public and private sector, having worked for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, President Obama’s Presidential Campaign in 2008, and most recently as a marketer at Eventbrite. David is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his B.A. in History and M.A. in Education.
Joslyn primarily serves as a connector for students, ensuring that they have equitable opportunities through career programming focused on the intersection of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. She has been working in higher education for 8+ years and has established a history of pioneering programs that champion diversity, education, and student development. Through her experience she has had the unique opportunity to view higher education from multiple perspectives; including student affairs, academic affairs, and recruitment. Her most recent research focused on how life-wide learning experiences served as shaping factors in the career success of high potential young adults. Joslyn received her PhD in Education from Texas State University, an M.A. in Human Resources Development from Midwestern State University and her B.A.A in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts from Central Michigan University.
Jenny will be primarily coordinating the large-scale events through the Catalyst Team to help students explore and define what meaningful work is for themselves. She has 6 years of experiences in both nonprofit and higher education sectors from abroad, the Midwest, and most recently New York. Jenny received her M.S. in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Indiana State University and her B.A. in Anthropology from California State University, Chico.
Kathy draws on more than 15 years of Silicon Valley Industry experience developing electromechanical and software product. Kathy is passionate about how human-centered design and the design thinking mindsets can fundamentally shift the way that everyday people engage with their world. Kathy has worked on products ranging from power tools and heart implants to high tech electronics and quality management software. Having realized that design thinking can have a great impact in empowering social change, she traveled to Myanmar to teach design thinking to budding entrepreneurs with the DeBoer Foundation and works with local community groups to impact engagement in health and wellness initiatives. Kathy received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University and an MS in Engineering (Product Design) from Stanford.
Gabrielle Santa-Donato has been designing and teaching at Stanford for three years. Through her work, she helps students of all ages apply the tools and mindsets of design thinking to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. She’s worked in many facets of education prior to coming to Stanford — as an educator, researcher, and professional development designer in K12. These experiences included living in a no excuses charter school, researching resilience and creativity at the Yale Child Study Center, and running research and development at an NYC non-profit, The Future Project. She’s also worked in adult education, teaching employees at Deloitte and LinkedIn how to design their lives, and scaled design education communities, namely The Design Gym, to train new audiences eager to solve local challenges through design thinking. She received her BA at Dartmouth College where she played outside and her M.Ed. at Harvard where she played in the Innovation lab.
Emily is passionate about designing and delivering transformative experiences that explore the wicked problems of life. She brings a wealth of experience, having co-founded CULTURE LABx, led talent development initiatives at Cisco, and served in Mayor Bloomberg's administration. She is also a Senior Facilitator with The Energy Project and a contributing author of Sleep Wise. Emily received her B.A. in Economics & East Asian Studies from UCLA and an MBA in Organizational Strategy & Design from the University of Michigan.
As a lecturer in Stanford's Life Design Lab, John teaches classes and develops programs to help people use design thinking to get the most out of college, work, and life. John has previously worked with Stanford students and faculty in the office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Student Activities and Leadership, and Graduate School of Education. Prior to Stanford, John has served as a Dean of Students and taught meditation and wellness in middle and high schools. John received his BA from Colorado College and MA from Stanford.