Student Profiles

Western Journeys: Get to Know Our Students

Read profiles of our students and learn more about their journeys through the West. 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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Current Students and Recent Grads

Sydney Lee Schmitter

Sydney Schmitter '23

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

Naomi Ray

Naomi Ray '22

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.

Alex Li '22

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

Benek Robertson '20, MA '21

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

Max Klotz '20, MS '21

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

Aja Two Crows '21

Since coming to Stanford, Aja Two Crows ’21 has found a new appreciation for the American West and its indigenous communities. Now, she’s co-producing a new podcast about modern Native American experiences.

Sophia Boyd-Fliegel '21

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


Nick Mascarello '18, MS '19

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.

Ron Pritipaul '19

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

Christina Morrisett '15

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. 

Fiona Noonan '17

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.

Connie Huynh Fife '15

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.

Caleb Smith '17

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

Headshot of BLC alumna, Makena Wong

Photo courtesy of Makena Wong

Makena Wong MS '20

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