Teaching Team Bios


Our students aren't the only people who work in multidisciplinary teams. Our teaching team also is comprised of faculty and staff from several departments. Meet the teaching team:

Jim Patell
Graduate School of Business
Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management

Jim is an operations, accounting, and computer modeling GSB professor with an engineer’s training. He is a cofounder of the d.school and the Design for Extreme Affordability course. His GSB office is a semi-organized mélange of discrete-event simulation software, socket wrenches, and ultra-low-cost drip irrigation systems, surrounded by photos of his daughters and of Alaskan fishing trips with his son. 


Dave Beach
Mechanical Engineering
Director, Product Realization Laboratory

As a teacher, Beach trusts his students and intends that his students will find work that is important and interesting to them, learn how to discover information that will advance that work, respect the power of others who offer wisdom and experience beyond the student’s personal experience, take responsibility for the consequences of their creative decisions, and gain confidence that they can change the world. As Director of the Product Realization Laboratory, and teacher of Mechanical Engineering, Dave brings to the d.school creativity in teaching, experience with design and manufacturing process, sensitivity for the human and aesthetic values of products, and huge enthusiasm for the enterprise.


Stuart Coulson
Consulting Associate Professor, d.school

Stuart teaches at Stanford’s d.school, where he focuses on the business model design and implementation planning aspects of the Extreme Affordability course. He is a co-founder, along with Erica Estrada, of the Social E Lab program where Extreme teams can continue their project development beyond the course. Stuart’s background is in software development, specifically data communications and airline reservation systems. He owns and operates an old-vine Zinfandel vineyard in California’s Russian River Valley, from which a number of critically acclaimed wines are produced, all of which he is required to quality check on a regular basis.

Julian Gorodsky, PhD
Consulting Associate Professor, d.shrink for the d.school, Team Shrink (Psychologist) for the BioDesign Fellowships and Clinical Psychologist

Our d.shrink, Julian has been a clinical psychologist in Silicon Valley for several decades, providing services for young and old, families and teams. At the d.school Julian's approach is aimed at direct engagement with early interpersonal and team issues before they bloom into even bigger road blocks in the collaborative process. The opportunity to be available to people in the early stages of building an organization all about innovation, radical collaboration, and human-centered design, may be this people-helper's dream work. With a PhD from Berkeley in 1965, Julian remains a 60′s dude at heart, a humanist, a seeker of the clear truth, with a passion for free speech, community values, spiritual awareness and rock 'n roll! 


Alissa Murphy
Teaching Fellow, d.school

In 2006, Alissa traveled with the Extreme Affordability course on their first overseas trip ever – to the country of Myanmar to work with Proximity Designs on low-cost irrigation products for rural farmers. At the time she thought she was gaining credit towards her masters in mechanical engineering, not setting the course for her future. Proven wrong in 2010, Alissa returned to Myanmar with her husband to work full time on Proximity’s design team. Four years of power-outages, being constantly wet (from rain or sweat), and perfecting her flat-footed squat have prepared Alissa for the wonderful challenge she is now facing: to inspire Stanford students to build things that matter with people who need it the most.

Joan Youngblood Dorsey
Course Coordinator

Joan oversees all operations for the course. She manages course logistics, partner communications and is responsible for ensuring all the students receive a rich education. She spends her summers with Social E Lab, helping young, social entrepreneurs implement their course projects in the "real world". Before joining Stanford, Joan managed the daily operations of a global solar lighting nonprofit, One Million Lights, based in Palo Alto, CA, and directed the children’s education programs at Texas Discovery Gardens, an organic, public garden in Dallas, TX.

Special thanks to past teaching team fellows:

Taylor Cone, 2013-2014
David Janka, 2012-2013
Erica Estrada-Liou, 2009-2011
David Klaus, 2008
Sarah Stein Greenberg, 2007
Adam French, 2006
Scott Cannon, 2005