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Summer Quarter

Summer Registration Now Open
Most Classes Begin Jun 21
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This quarter, select Continuing Studies courses will be Berry-eligible for employees participating in Stanford’s BeWell program.
**In order to receive a BeWell 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.

**All Continuing Studies spring courses will be held online. To learn more about our Live Online and Flex Online formats, please see our Course Formats page.

Summer registration opens Monday, May 17. Courses eligible for BeWell Berries will include:

Inflammation and Disease (BIO 04 W)
Instructor: Tobi Schmidt, Immunotherapy Researcher; Personal Health Advisor
Schedule: 5 weeks, Jun 21–Jul 23
Format: Flex Online

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? In this online course, we will take a close look at how our lifestyle choices affect our health through inflammation and investigate the cellular events orchestrating our healthy and our unhealthy states. Learn more »
How to Overcome Our Fears and Live Mindfully (PSY 98)
Instructor: Axel Valle, Therapist; Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychiatry, Stanford School of Medicine
Schedule: 8 weeks (Mondays), Jun 21–Aug 16, 7:00–8:50 pm
Format: Live Online

Having fears is a normal human experience, but often they can interfere with our daily lives and even those things we care about most. This course will cover principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a science-based kind of psychotherapy that is effective for managing thoughts, emotions, and behavior patterns that make people feel trapped. In this course, you will learn basic skills used by clinicians that can help you understand your own fears and anxieties, and ultimately to see that you are able and courageous enough to confront them. Learn more »
Building Resilience (WELL 06)
Instructor: Antoine de Morrée, Instructor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Stanford
Schedule: 8 weeks (Wednesdays), Jul 7–Aug 25, 7:00–8:50 pm (PT)
Format: Live Online

In times of stress, resilience is key. Luckily, resilience can be learned. In this interactive course, you will learn research-based techniques to help you build resilience, navigate setbacks, and identify your purpose. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, this course will teach you how to find solid footing when you feel overwhelmed and a way to find the strength to bounce back. Students will acquire a framework to analyze and discuss their own minds and emotions, together with exercises to help them evaluate and guide those emotions. Learn more »
Begin Again: A Half-Day Mindfulness and Writing Retreat (WSP 80)
Instructors: Kelly McGonigal, Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Ammi Keller, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford Schedule: 1 day (Saturday), Jul 17, 10:00 am–1:30 pm (PT)
Format: Live Online

Writing, paired with mindfulness practice, can bring us back to ourselves and connect us to others, even during the most challenging of times. By dropping into guided meditations, responding to creative and reflective writing prompts, sharing the words that result, and listening and reading mindfully as a celebration of our common humanity, we will build community while learning tools that expand our capacity to be with our present-moment experience. Learn more »

This workshop will follow the format of Kelly McGonigal and Ammi Keller’s previous mindfulness and writing retreats but will include new practices and writing prompts. Past attendees looking to deepen their experience are encouraged to attend.
Enhanced Dialogue for Couples: Current Research and Practical Tools (WSP 257)
Instructor: Kathryn Ford, Couples Therapist
Schedule: 2 days (Saturdays), July 17 & 24, 9:30 am–2:30 pm (PT)
Format: Live Online

The quality of a couple’s relationship is often the most important determinant of their sense of well-being and satisfaction in life. It can also be the source of challenge and frustration. The course will include the latest research in the fields of couples dynamics and interpersonal neurology to help us understand the basis for our responses to each other and the optimal conditions for receptivity, expressiveness, and learning. Students will leave the course with enhanced skills for the openness that creates loving relationships. Learn more »
What Matters Most in Life: The Lessons We Can Learn from Dying (PDV 105 W)
Instructor: Jason Silverstein, Lecturer and Writer-in-Residence, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Schedule: 6 weeks, Jul 12–Aug 20
Format: Flex Online

No subject demands answers to the hard questions of life more than death: What kind of life is worth living? How do I want to be remembered? This course searches for answers through a compassionate reading of authors who wrote about their experiences with death and dying: Paul Kalanithi, Max Ritvo, and Joan Didion. Throughout this course, we will reflect on identity and living with illness, grieving, and how to care for others and honor their wishes. In thinking about death, we will think more clearly about what makes life meaningful and what goals we ultimately want to set for ourselves. Learn more »
Aging: Science and Technology (WELL 03)
Instructor: Sohila Zadran, Neuroscientist; Ronjan Nag, Fellow, Stanford Center for the Study of Language and Information; President, R42 Group
Schedule: 6 weeks (Thursdays), Jul 22–Aug 26, 7:00–9:00 pm (PT)
Format: Live Online

Why do we get old? Does aging have to be a problem? Or is deteriorating as we age just another disease that can ultimately be cured? This course will begin with a survey of the biology of aging, starting with changes occurring at the molecular and cellular level and then analyzing the consequences at the systems level. Our specific topics will include molecular theories of aging, the impact of oxidative stress on cell and organ function, age-related diseases, the quest for immortality, and innovations not only to extend life but also to improve the quality of life as we age. Learn more »
Managing Emotions with Skill: An Introduction to the Principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSY 96)
Instructor: Hannah Raila, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Psychiatry, Stanford School of Medicine
Schedule: 5 weeks (Tuesdays), Jul 27–Aug 24, 5:30–7:20 pm
Format: Live Online

Whether we are trying to navigate our own distress or to comfort loved ones through trying times, we may find ourselves wishing we had more tools to handle emotions from a different perspective. Skills derived from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—a treatment especially effective for depression and anxiety—are one way of challenging the thought patterns and behavioral habits that keep people stuck in a spiral of negative emotion. In this course, students will learn the principles of and theory behind CBT, as well as ways to integrate them into daily life. Learn more »
Planning for Your Late-Life Brain: Habits You Can Build Now to Improve Cognitive Function Later (WSP 57)
Instructor: Quinn Kennedy, Founder and CEO of QK Consulting; Professor, Naval Postgraduate School
Schedule: 2 days (Saturday/Sunday), Jul 31–Aug 1, 9:30 am–12:00 pm (PT)
Format: Live Online

In this online course, you will learn about evidence-based approaches to maintaining cognitive function as you age; the importance of regular physical exercise, mindfulness, social connection, and good sleep for your brain; and how to be a savvy consumer of brain-training products and brain-boosting supplements. You will learn methods for keeping new habits and will make an individualized plan for incorporating cognitive-boosting activities into your everyday life. By the end of the workshop, you will have the tools to create and execute a retirement plan for your late-life brain. Learn more »
Your Next Life Chapter: Achieve Your Potential with Joy, Meaning, and Creativity (WELL 11)
Instructor: Raj Bhargava, Educator and Entrepreneur
Schedule: 4 weeks (Mondays), Aug 2–23, 6:00–8:30 pm (PT)
Format: Live Online

The current pandemic has affected society deeply. Many of us are considering how to improve key aspects of our lives—work, health, love, community, play, or spirituality. This workshop, based on a course the instructor teaches to Stanford undergraduate and graduate students, will help you identify the areas that matter most to you and develop a plan for change in these areas. To help inform and sustain your change efforts, we will explore what behavioral science research tells us about the meaning of life, mindsets, vulnerability, and habits. Learn more »
Nature-Based Mindfulness: Developing Your Own Practice (WELL 07)
Instructor: Natasha Deganello Giraudie, Nature Practice Teacher; Co-Director, One Word Sawalmem
Schedule: 7 weeks (Saturdays), Jul 10–Aug 21, 9:00–11:00 am (PT)
Format: Live Online

Research has revealed the many mental, emotional, and physical health benefits we can gain from spending time in nature. Many of us find that we can access a calm presence while hiking or gardening, but after returning to our regular routines, can once again feel over-scheduled, stressed, or anxious. Drawing on insights from Buddhism, traditional ecological knowledge practiced by indigenous peoples, and other sources, this course will help students learn how to interact more intentionally with nature and use the calm, clarity, and freedom gained there to improve their well-being. Learn more »
Diet and Gene Expression: You Are What You Eat (BIO 03 W)
Instructor: Lucia Aronica, Lecturer, Stanford Genetics and Genomics Certificate Program; Genomics R&D Lead, Metagenics; Topic Editor, Frontiers in Genomics
Schedule: 5 weeks, Jul 26–Aug 27
Format: Flex Online

What if we could turn our “good” genes on and our “bad” genes off to improve our overall health by making the right dietary and lifestyle choices? Learn how with epigenetics, the study of how lifestyle factors can change gene activity without modifying the underlying DNA. In this course, we will discover how food is a powerful signal to our genes that can positively impact our metabolism, longevity, and mental well-being. With this information, you will be able to design a personalized nutrition action plan to positively impact your gene expression. Learn more »
Exercise Theory and Design for Health and Fitness (SCI 39)
Instructor: Clyde Wilson, Research Associate, Biochemistry, UC San Francisco
Schedule: 5 weeks (Thursdays), Jul 29–Aug 26, 6:30–9:30 pm (PT)
Format: Live Online

Human movement and exercise can increase quality of life through improved immunity, sleep, energy, metabolism, psychological state, longevity, and the improved function of tissues. This course highlights what the scientific literature says about the impact that human movement has on health and fitness parameters so that exercise can be targeted to specific goals. We will also develop a simple approach for applying this information to our lives, helping students to develop personalized exercise programs. Learn more »
Ketogenic Diets and Intermittent Fasting: Fads, Facts, and Fiction (BIO 11)
Instructor: Lucia Aronica, Lecturer, Stanford Genetics and Genomics Certificate Program; Genomics R&D Lead, Metagenics; Topic Editor, Frontiers in Genomics
Schedule: 4 days (Saturday/Sundays), Aug 14, 15, 21, and 22, 10:00 am–12:30 pm (PT)
Format: Live Online

In this workshop, we will take a close look at two increasingly popular diet trends: extreme low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets (aka “keto”) and intermittent fasting (IF). By reproducing the biological effects of fasting, these diets promise to accelerate weight loss, enhance longevity, boost performance, and help treat a variety of diseases. But do they really work? And if so, can people eat this way for a long time? We will answer these questions together and explore the promises, perils, and pitfalls of keto and IF. Learn more »

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