How far will Cole Shiflett go to bring his friends and family around the table for community and conversation? How about roasting a whole pig? Knowing this, it’s no surprise that this associate dean of residential education recently accepted a new assignment to advance neighborhood engagement, which means leading a team of students and professionals to help community boards plan and promote all kinds of events and programs for students.
What training and experience do you bring to this job?
I started at Stanford about a year and a half after I graduated from Yale. Since then, I’ve been at Stanford, with a brief break to work at a startup. While working at Stanford, I earned my MBA from the California College of the Arts. I worked in residential education the entire time.
Tell us about your family.
I am a wife and new mother – I have a 10 month old son.
Do you have pets?
We have a dog and two chickens – one is called Chatty Cathy and the other Guinan after Star Trek character. My dog’s name is Lola.
What are your hobbies?
I’m an avid gardener, camper, and hiker, and I love cooking and baking.
What program do you think all students should follow?
At the Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center you can rent – at a very low cost for students – tents, backpacks and other equipment for a weekend of camping. One of the barriers to exit is investment in equipment. The center makes it very easy!
Tell us a good memory of the neighborhoods.
My favorite memories are of sharing meals with students – in a co-op, co-op, or dining hall. What is consistent is the joy of breaking bread with students.
What are your favorite places in the neighborhoods?
In the S district, my favorite thing is the mural on the Okada side. It shows the history of the Asian American diaspora. It is extremely beautiful and educational. One of the things I really love about Ward A is Columbae, a co-op located in Lower Row. You might not expect it to be a co-op as it has large Greek columns. It is incredibly focused on social justice and social action.
What unexpected thing did you learn about Stanford?
There is a magnetic wall on campus near the mechanical engineering lab. If you get close to it, anything that responds to a magnet will be attracted to the wall.
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you recently at Stanford?
I had a run-in with the ground squirrels that hang out outside my office sliding glass door. I was on a Zoom call and a squirrel was scratching at the door. I was waving my hands, trying to get him somewhere else, and he didn’t care. Squirrels are not afraid of me.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I’m not quite expert status but maybe advanced status when it comes to whole hog roasting. This is one of my favorite things to do for a large group meal for a special occasion.