Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
The Pritzker University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Professor of Physics
Sarah Church, the Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford, has been in teaching, research and senior-level administrative roles at Stanford University for more than 20 years. In her VPUE role, she oversees numerous offices, programs, and grant initiatives dedicated to involving faculty with undergraduate education, connecting students with phenomenal academic, experiential and research opportunities at Stanford, and fully realizing a liberal education. The VPUE office includes Academic Advising, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Stanford Introductory Studies, the Program in Writing & Rhetoric, Undergraduate Research, Community Engaged Learning, and the Bing Overseas Studies Program. Prior to becoming Vice Provost for Undergraudate Education, Church held multiple senior roles at the University including Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Teaching and Learning (2019-2020), Senior Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (2019) and Senior Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (2016-2019). She is currently the Pritzker University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Church has been leading Stanford’s Academic Continuity Group which is part of the University’s Emergency Response Center. The ACG, made up of more than two dozen administrative and teaching staff from across the University, is responsible for ensuring the continuity of education during the global pandemic. Church also recently led the University’s Coordinated First-Year Committee that reimagined the first-year experience at Stanford. In May 2020, the Faculty Senate approved the establishment of a Civic, Liberal and Global Education requirement for first-year students, based on the committee’s proposal.
Church has been a faculty member in the Physics Department since 1999, where she established a research program in experimental astrophysics. Her work includes measuring cosmological parameters by mapping the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR)—the residual heat from the Big Bang—and mapping emission from molecules such as carbon monoxide in nearby galaxies to better understand how stars form in these objects. She currently is the principal investigator for The Argus experiment (90 GHz spectrometer for Green Bank Telescope) and Co-Investigator for The Carbon Monoxide Mapping Array Pathfinder (COMAP). Church served as the Deputy Director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology from 2007-2012, and as the Director of the Hanson Experimental Physics Laboratory from 2012-2016. She received her B.A. in Natural Sciences and Ph.D. in Radio Astronomy from Cambridge University.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Sweet Hall, Fourth Floor
590 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-3082