Terraces at Los Altos residents help Stanford graduate students prepare for dissertations

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July 26, 2021 -- School might be out for the summer, but residents at The Terraces at Los Altos are showing education never takes a break, thanks to a unique partnership with graduate students from nearby Stanford University.

In its fourth year, Stanford GRAMS – Graduate Researchers, Active Minds, and Science – sees graduate students of all disciplines bring their research to the senior living community and present their topics of study to residents.

“Students use this as an opportunity to practice their communication skills,” said Niki Goularte, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in structural biology at Stanford and founder of the program. “When we debrief students, they often share how helpful it was to get a variety of questions, some like you’d get at home around the dinner table from family and those you’d get defending your dissertation.”

Once a month, Goularte brings two or three presenters to the community. Residents can request topics they’re interested in, including law, education, medicine, and any other graduate program on campus.

“The program really empowers people to learn more,” said Goularte. “We have some residents who are regulars and are told how great the presentations are to stretch their minds and push them to ask questions on topics they may know nothing about.”

“We have a number of Stanford alumni at The Terraces, so this program has been warmly received by many residents,” added Debby Gonzales, The Terraces’ executive director and family friend of Goularte. “We’re so grateful for the opportunity to partner with a world-class institution and participate in a program that’s mutually beneficial for the students and residents.”





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