Career Catalysts is an incubator for networking, experiential education, and professional development. The team draws on years of experience to unite all of the university’s diverse entities – students, alumni, parents, and faculty – to create a single web of connections. They are committed to ensuring effective, productive, and meaningful interaction between all of the university’s networks, on and off campus to connect students with the opportunities they are looking for. Let the Career Catalysts team help you get connected! To get started, visit our Stanford Alumni Mentoring program.
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.
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.