Transfer Addison Hoffman looks to integrate interest in CS, psychotherapy

Oct. 24, 2014, 9:23 a.m.

Stanford’s admission rate for transfer students is even lower than it is for the regular class, coming in at just 2 percent. Only 33 transfer students were admitted for the fall of 2014.

(CHRISTIAN VALDEZ/The Stanford Daily)
(CHRISTIAN VALDEZ/The Stanford Daily)

As part of our “Transfer Profile” series, The Daily interviewed Addison Hoffman ’17, who transferred from Wesleyan University before going abroad to Copenhagen University in order to study at their Center for Subjectivity Research.

The Stanford Daily (TSD): Where did you begin college and transfer from?

Addison Hoffman (AH): I began at Wesleyan University. I was there for two years and went abroad my fall semester junior year. I went to Copenhagen University for their Center for Subjectivity Research, based in philosophy with a focus on subjective phenomenology. I was with a lot of software developers working in what I was interested in there and after that I wanted to spend my spring semester at home to reevaluate my education.

TSD: Why did you want to transfer?

AH: I felt restrained by Wesleyan in a few ways. I was a philosophy major and even given the fact that I was extremely close with the heads of different departments, I was constantly having to push them to offer me more. To be honest, I also didn’t appreciate the location. It was difficult for me to find stimulation: I wanted to be more challenged.

TSD: The transfer pool is extremely competitive, more so than for freshman admissions. What was the application process like? What set you apart?

AH: I applied to just a few schools… I did not anticipate getting in. Funny story, I didn’t tell anyone that I was applying here… I actually have a website, and when I found out [I got in], I called my mom and asked her to edit my little bio — Addison is an undergraduate at Stanford University — and she told me I couldn’t lie. And then I just kinda looked at her and she got it. It was pretty sweet.

TSD: What are you planning for your time here at Stanford? How does your past experience factor into these plans?

AH: I’m doing Symbolic Systems. I am a junior in standing, but might have to adjust. Most [transfer students] do two years, which is what financial aid covers.

When I was in Copenhagen I had began talking about developing software. I submitted my work to the Mind and Life Conference, which the Dalai Lama is actually very involved with, and I got accepted to present. And then I was just really getting interested into the application of computer science to psychology and techniques. I am most distinctly interested in alternative forms of psychotherapy. There are so many studies coming out right now: for example, treating PTSD with MDMA. I spent my time reassessing how I can contribute to that field. I am hoping to follow through my past prospective major with more technical skill.

TSD: How has Stanford surprised you?

AH: I feel like the campus is much more casual. I expected people to present themselves in a more rigid or formal way. It feels like people are very fluent and approachable. I didn’t not expect this, but for example I can’t distinguish between masters’ and bachelors’ candidates, etc.

TSD: Describe what it’s like to be a transfer student. Have you found the transfer community to be welcoming and strong? Have you found the Stanford community as a whole to be welcoming?

AH: I absolutely love the dorm situation. All the transfers live together in Kimball. Being in the arts dorm is something I really appreciate because there is so much stimulation. During NSO we were doing the same lectures as freshmen, but didn’t integrate with them. I was fine with that. We had organized transfer dinners and events. It really helped that there is such a supportive class of former transfers. They really just pushed us along and it was a really fun orientation experience.

In a previous edition of this article, the studies Hoffman had exemplified were stated as those exploring “treating Alzheimer’s with LSD,” however the studies she made example of are those “treating PTSD with MDMA.” The Daily regrets this error.

Contact Ada Throckmorton at adastat ‘at’

Ada Statler '18 is an earth systems major hailing from Kansas City (on the Kansas side, not Missouri). She's most passionate about environmental journalism, but cares about all things campus-related.

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