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Spring Quarter

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STANFORD CONTINUING STUDIES BERRY-ELIGIBLE COURSES

This Spring, select Continuing Studies courses will be Berry-eligible for employees participating in Stanford’s BeWell program.
 
**In order to receive a Berry, students must take the course for Credit or a Letter grade.** Students will be asked to choose the credit option during the registration process. The Continuing Studies program will report student attendance to the BeWell office at the conclusion of the quarter. And, as always, all Continuing Studies courses are STAP-fund eligible.  
Spring courses that are Berry-eligible include: 

Course: Diet and Gene Expression: You Are What You Eat (BIO 03 W)
Instructor: Lucia Aronica, Postdoctoral Researcher in Epigenetics and Nutrition, Stanford School of Medicine
Schedule: 5 weeks, May 7—June 8, 1 unit, $330
Format: Online course

We tend to think that good genes make us thin and healthy, whereas bad genes make us fat and sick. But what if we could turn our “good” genes on and our “bad” genes off, and improve our overall health, by making the right dietary and lifestyle choices? The science of epigenetics suggests we can do that.
 
In this course, we will provide an introduction to epigenetics, the study of how lifestyle factors can change gene activity without actually modifying the underlying DNA. With that basic foundation in place, students will then discover how food in particular is a powerful signal to our genes that can have a positive impact on our metabolism, longevity, and mental well-being. Along the way, we will specifically explore basic concepts in nutrigenomics, the study of how gene expression can be modified by certain nutrients and bioactive food compounds. We will have live question-and-answer sessions on this topic with two of the world’s leading scientists in this field, Professor Randy Jirtle and Professor Michael Skinner. Using the information covered in this course, along with data gleaned from personal DNA testing (e.g., 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Genos), students will be able to design a personalized nutrition action plan to positively impact their gene expression.

This is an online course. While necessarily structured differently from an on-campus classroom course, this course maintains a similar level of instructor engagement through videos, interactive exercises, and discussion with fellow students, as well as optional online video conferencing sessions. 

Learn more > https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/liberal-arts-and-sciences/diet-and-gene-expression-you-are-what-you-eat/20173_BIO-03-W


Course: Nutrition: A Personalized Approach (SCI 12)
Instructor: Clyde Wilson, Research Associate, Biochemistry, UC San Francisco
Schedule: 8 weeks, April 12—May 31, 2 units, $510
Format: On-campus course

Good nutrition sounds simple: Eat a variety of wholesome foods and drink some water. But in our modern environment, we are surrounded by food options very different from those on a traditional farm. Low-calorie sweeteners, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and a multitude of other additives vie for our attention, all claiming to be the key to improved health. Various fad diets claim the same thing, offering different (and even completely opposite) approaches to eating from each other. How can we figure out a “best” way to eat for each of us personally, and then survive a trip to the grocery store or our own kitchen? Science provides broad guidelines for meeting our body’s needs, but only when we take into account each person’s individual situation does an effective, sustainable personalized approach emerge. Nutrition for general health, weight loss, disease prevention, and exercise performance will be explored throughout this course. Homework assignments will challenge students to apply the concepts from class to their own personal life, schedule, and food preferences. In the end, each student’s diet will be highly individualized despite resting on the same sound principles.
 
Students should be comfortable hearing about scientific findings on the topics discussed in class, but no science background is required in this introductory course.

Learn more > https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/liberal-arts-and-sciences/nutrition-a-personalized-approach/20173_SCI-12

Course: Inflammation and Disease (BIO 04 W)
Instructor: Tobi Schmidt, Immunotherapy Researcher; Personal Health Advisor
Schedule: 5 weeks, April 2—May 4, 1 units, $330
Format: Online course

Inflammation is a double-edged sword. It is required to protect the body, but too much of it can create disease. Diabetes, cancer, depression, and stroke are just a few of the diseases associated with chronic inflammation. How can something that protects us from infection and helps us to repair and restore the body also be so bad for us? 

Chronic inflammation is associated with lifestyle factors like weight, diet, exercise, sleep habits, and stress levels. However, the root cause can be attributed to the impact of these factors at a cellular and a molecular level. An intimate and complex network of communication is constantly taking place in our bodies, and our immune system is at the center of this network. Signals about what we eat, how much we weigh, and how much we exercise are all communicated through our immune system and impact our levels of inflammation. In this online course, we will take a closer look at how our lifestyle choices affect our health through inflammation and investigate the cellular events orchestrating our healthy and unhealthy states.

This is an online course. While necessarily structured differently from an on-campus classroom course, this course maintains a similar level of instructor engagement through videos, interactive exercises, and discussion with fellow students, as well as optional online video conferencing sessions. 

Learn more > https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/liberal-arts-and-sciences/inflammation-and-disease/20173_BIO-04-W

Course: Playful Mindfulness (PDV 103)
Instructor: Ted DesMaisons, Founder and Principal, ANIMA Learning
Schedule: 6 weeks, April 18—May 23, 1 units, $365
Format: On-campus course

The fast-paced demands of our current world often leave us breathless and frustrated. Mindfulness—paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and kindness—helps us slow down, take a breath, and befriend the inner resources that lead to discovery, delight, and a life well-lived. Integrating insights and exercises from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) with those from improvisational theater, this course will help you forge new neural pathways and develop a more connected personal presence. 

While mindfulness training sometimes takes on a somber or even pious tone (this is serious stuff!), in this course we choose a different track, learning to “play attention” through traditional methods and also through humor, games, and exercises drawn from improvisational theater. As a collaborative art form, improv offers the benefits of shared adventures that deepen enjoyment of life’s good times and provide a buoy in rough waters. Our topics will include our relationship to failure, paying attention, cultivating curiosity and kindness, the mind as storyteller, mindfulness in motion, and moving from reactivity to response. Learning modes will include formal mindfulness practices, informal practices that integrate these skills into daily life, and shared inquiry using safe small and large discussions to draw wisdom from the whole group.

Students are expected to commit to at least twenty minutes of daily practice at home for the duration of the course.

Learn more > https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/professional-and-personal-development/playful-mindfulness/20173_PDV-103

Course: Forgive for Good (PDV 13 W)
Instructors: J. Farr, Online Course Designer, Resilience Experts and Frederic Luskin, Director, Stanford Forgiveness Project
Schedule: 8 Weeks, April 2—May 25, 1 unit, $470
Format: Online course

The secular push for forgiveness emerged with the field of positive psychology, where, since the late 1990s, research has demonstrated that forgiveness can be taught and is effective in promoting physical and mental health. The results from the Stanford Forgiveness Project show that interpersonal forgiveness leads to decreased anger, depression, blood pressure, stress, and hurt, as well as increased hope, physical vitality, and self-confidence. In this online course, we will explore forgiveness from a biological, psychological, and social perspective. We will reflect upon the need for forgiveness in our own lives, and through guided practice in the methods developed through the Stanford Forgiveness Project, we will work with one of the few forgiveness methodologies that has been successfully subjected to scientific examination. We will explore the process of self-forgiveness, which, like forgiveness of others, has been associated with decreased anger and depression as well as increased positive emotion and well-being.
 
This is an online course. While necessarily structured differently from an on-campus classroom course, this course maintains a similar level of instructor engagement through videos, interactive exercises, and discussion with fellow students, as well as optional online video conferencing sessions. 

Learn more > https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/professional-and-personal-development/forgive-for-good/20173_PDV-13-W


Course: Choosing Happiness (PDV 83 W)
Instructor: Laura Delizonna, Executive Coach and Consultant
Schedule: 5 weeks, April 9—May 11, 1 unit, $330
Format: Online course

Most of us have the formula backward: Success does not create happiness—it’s happiness that creates success. Research shows a causal relationship between happiness and achieving greater wealth and higher performance, health, resilience to stress, and positive relationships. Happier people enjoy numerous advantages because they more adeptly respond to challenges and create opportunities. In this course, we approach happiness as a way of being—wholehearted living as a full expression of oneself with depth and meaning. 

Happiness is a skill to learn. Using habit design, students will create an action plan for building mental habits in daily life. This practical course will equip students with research-based techniques to deepen and expand flourishing in relationships, career, and life. The techniques presented are derived from research in the innovative field of positive psychology. The course text will be Thrive: Self-Coaching for Happiness and Success, a workbook written for this course that includes summaries of scientific findings, worksheets, action plans, and practical exercises. Students will apply these principles to their daily personal and professional lives and engage in online breakout groups, discussions, meditations, and other experiential exercises. 
 
This is an online course. While necessarily structured differently from an on-campus classroom course, this course maintains a similar level of instructor engagement through videos, interactive exercises, and discussion with fellow students, as well as optional online video conferencing sessions. 

Learn more > https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/professional-and-personal-development/choosing-happiness/20173_PDV-83-W

For more information about Stanford's BeWell program, please visit: https://bewell.stanford.edu/