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Student and Alumni Profiles

Western Journeys: Get to Know Our Students

Read profiles of our alumni to learn more about their journeys through the West when they were students with us. What courses and programs did they participate in at the Bill Lane Center? How did the Center support their academic, research and career goals? Why were they interested in exploring the West? From researchers to denim enthusiasts to musicians and beyond, Lane Center students showcase their talents and share their Western journeys. 

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Against a backdrop of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Carly Taylor smiles at the camera wearing a blue baseball cap

Stanford alumna Carly Taylor talks about how an internship through the Bill Lane Center led to her current full-time role at the Natural History Institute.

Sydney Lee Schmitter

Sydney Schmitter talks about what it was like to be a remote intern with the Henry’s Fork Foundation.

Alex Lee outside with mountains and sand dunes in the background

"The BLC has provided an academic community that I haven't found elsewhere on campus.”

Naomi Ray

After completing a BLC summer internship with the Washington Water Trust, Stanford senior Naomi Ray says she wants to pursue a career working on water issues.

Sophia Boyd-Fliegel in a red baseball cap and sunglasses with mountains in the background

Stanford rower Sophia Boyd-Fliegel finds an academic community at the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

Headshot of Aja Two Crows

At Stanford, Aja Two Crows ’21, found a new appreciation for the American West and its indigenous communities. During her time at the Bill Lane Center, she co-produced a podcast about modern Native American experiences.

Headshot of Benek Robertson

“I stayed because of the people; I was surrounded by brilliant peers and supportive faculty!”

Headshot of Max Klotz

“I got so many opportunities through the Bill Lane Center, and a nice support group for all of my academic endeavors.”

Headshot of BLC alumna, Makena Wong

A connection made through the Bill Lane Center helped Makena Wong, MS ’20, land a job in environmental planning after graduation.

Headshot of Ron Pritipaul in a brown brimmed hat

Stanford alum Ron Pritipaul, ’19, shares how the Bill Lane Center helped him land a dream job with an iconic Western clothing brand.

Nick Mascarello sits outside on a mountain plateau with mountains in the background

Stanford alumnus Nick Mascarello shares how the Bill Lane Center for the American West helped broaden his understanding of what a career in the environmental sciences can be.

Headshot of Victoria Mao

Stanford alumna Victoria Mao reflects on how the Bill Lane Center has shaped her career in the energy sector. 

Fiona Noonan '17 credits her summer internship at Yellowstone National Park with helping her understand how important “place” is to understanding issues that cross the West.

Stanford alumnus Caleb Smith shares how his time on the Farm helped propel him into a career in local government.

Christina Morrisett '15 spent a summer working at the Henry's Fork Foundation, an experience that reinforced her desires for a career serving rural communities. 

Stanford Alum Connie Huynh Fife says the connections she made at the Bill Lane Center helped guide her to a career in local government. Today she works for her hometown of Chula Vista, California.