Our Mission | Our History | Leadership Bios

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Our Mission

The Stanford Pre-Education Society's mission is to inspire and empower Stanford students to pursue careers in education, broadly including teaching, administration, research, policy, tech, entrepreneurship, law, nonprofits, journalism, higher education, international education, and more.

We strive to inspire the next generation of educators and educational professionals by illustrating that education is an intellectually stimulating and fulfilling field worthy of pursuit.

We seek to empower the next generation of educators and educational professionals by fostering a community of pre-ed students in which they can feel supported socially and professionally as they develop their educational interest and aspirations.

Our History

The Stanford Pre-Education Society was founded in spring 2013 by a Stanford sophomore. As a pre-education student intending to pursue a career as a teacher, she was frustrated by the gaps in cohesive support services and opportunities afforded to pre-ed students who would benefit from exploring various career options in education. SPREES was founded as a way to provide those opportunities to current and future students with the hope that they would feel less lost and more empowered in choosing to pursue a career in education.

Multiple experiences converged to form the conception of SPREES: the founder knew she wanted to teach, but did not know at what grade level or subject nor whom to turn to for advice; she was surrounded by pre-med students in the Human Biology core, for whom multiple pre-medical associations existed to provide support; she took Education 101: Introduction to Teaching and Learning, in which Professor Jennifer Wolf challenged students to think critically about the professionalization of teaching and what it means to describe teaching as a "profession"; and she had the opportunity to form a final project for the Education and Society Theme House seminar under Professor Christine Wotipka, who later became an official SPREES advisor.

SPREES was also created to promote teaching as an attractive career option for students who might never consider it otherwise. The SPREES founder steadfastly believes that education reform efforts will be futile until we can attract the best and brightest from all colleges and universities into teaching as a career and elevate the status of the profession through increased compensation, autonomy, prestige, and standards to entry. These beliefs largely influence the shape that SPREES has assumed and the messages that it advocates.

Leadership Bios

President - Ngoc Bui
Ngoc is a Junior at Stanford studying Computer Science who aspires to one day start a school. Joining SPREES was as life changing for her as discovering Nutella was. It introduced her to a community of inspiring, passionate people that she can geek out about education with and have belly-aching laughs with. When not doing SPREES things, she can be found running, doing yoga, eating Goldfish, or rummaging for new music.

VP of Operations - Akhila Moturu
Akhila is a sophomore at Stanford possibly studying computer science, mostly undecided, from the sweet southern state of Georgia. She is interested in education because of its ability to serve as an opportunity equalizer for people of different backgrounds. SPREES introduced her to some of the most interesting and passionate people that she can still die with laughter from. In her free time, she can be found watching excessive amounts of television, hanging out with friends, or finding her next adrenaline rush (skydiving = done, bungee jumping is next).

VP of Outreach - Sarai Gould
Sarai is a senior at Stanford University studying Symbolic Systems with a concentration in HCI (Human Computer Interaction). She really discovered her passion for teaching junior year of high school when, while tutoring a friend in AP Calculus, she realized, "You know... I wouldn't mind being a teacher", and she's been teaching ever since. Much of her time is spent teaching (previously, she's been a Tutor Coordinator at EPATT (East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring) and mentored young children in programming through Breakout Mentors). She is now on her third year Section Leading for the CS106 classes, and she's excited to be more involved with SPREES this year. She's interested in education technology, teaching, and making a good education accessible to more people.

VP of ignitED - Otto Zhen
Otto Zhen is a sophomore at Stanford, originally hailing from the windy city of Chicago. Studying computer science, he is in interested in exploring the intersection between technology and education, specifically how education technologies can improve access to learning for those in developing areas of the world. In his free time, he loves to perform magic, backpack in the wilderness, and adventure to new places.

VP of Community Building - Connor Stubbs
Although most people have heard of Connor as "mafia man" or "that kid who never wears shoes," he promise you he's at least mostly sane. At Stanford, He tries to strike a balance between enjoying the wonderful life he have and using his education here to grow as a person, and using my time to serve and better the lives of others. Though he's still exploring a number of life paths, he know that teaching will always be part of my lifestyle even if he don't pursue it as a profession.

VP of GSE Progamming - Negin Behzadian
Negin is a junior studying bioengineering and electrical engineering, interested in medical imaging technology in order to better understand physiological phenomenon as well as enhance the efficacy of current diagnostic techniques. Despite having been active in a variety of STEM outreach and education organizations on campus, she am excited to more closely explore the the education enterprise, more specifically teaching as a professional and academic pursuit through SPREES. In her free time, she really enjoys reading lots of non-fiction, speaking foreign languages, salsa, and badminton!

VP of Internship - Luis Arturo Apolaya
Luis is a junior, SymSys major from LA that is seeking to become a public school high school math teacher. The big question that has led him to this pathway is how people learn, and how the teaching that occurs at school helps and hinders this process that is so natural for us, which is something that has persisted in his mind since he moved to the US from Peru. He chose to stick with SPREES because of the camaraderie, friendship, and fun that individuals similarly interested in the field of education helped foster in the group, and why he's gladly part of this team as the VP of the internship. Other stuff about him: he's a percussionist, really into listening and making music, if you want to jam just let him know :)