Adams House is located within Governor's Corner, providing close access to the Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC) and the trails surrounding Lake Lagunita.
I (Elvira Prieto) was born and raised in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley working alongside my parents and siblings in the grape fields and fruit packing sheds of Reedley, CA and surrounding communities in Fresno County. I am the first woman in my family to attend college. I received my B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I have worked in higher education, student affairs, academic advising, policy analysis and implementation, and community-based education for over 30 years.
I am also a writer and poet. I published a manuscript in poetry and prose about my life journey, "An (Im)possible Life: Poesia y Testimonio in the Borderlands" in 2015. My writing is focused on the retelling of life recuerdos (memories) and testimonio with the intention of creating spaces of learning, light, love, and healing for individuals and community. Artistic and creative expression has been an integral part of my life since I can remember and these passions are manifested in everything I do: drawing, painting, writing, cooking, baking, teaching and learning, and even the labor of helping to bring fruit to life from the earth.
Having grown up in a very humble and economically disadvantaged, but extremely hard-working immigrant family, I learned very early in my life the incredible value of an education as a means to the better life my parents wished for their children when they risked their own lives to come to the US. My work in education has always been informed by a desire to be of service in the field that allowed me to both honor my parent’s sacrifices and also to pursue my dreams.
My own education at Stanford and my personal and professional development and learning came from spaces like El Centro and the residences in which I lived, as much as from any of the classes I attended. Ujamaa, Adams, Yost, and Twain Houses were spaces that, via programming, shared meals, and all-night conversations not only helped me feel at home at Stanford, but they also afforded me the opportunity to learn about myself and the life path I could hope to follow. I am thrilled to return to Adams this year – it was my sophomore residence at Stanford 30 years ago!
Working in education is my passion, as is being an artist and writer, and contributing to the educational journey of others is a responsibility I take very seriously. I come to work every day with an open heart and a willingness to share of myself and learn as much from my colleagues and students as I can ever hope to teach them. I believe this same sense of love and respect for all members of the communities in which I participate is of value in service in our residences. I cannot imagine my own education without the rich life experiences, relationships and bonds I was able to create both as a resident and as an RA during my undergraduate journey at Stanford. I was able to live and learn with peers from backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives about life that were often times very different from my own, and although navigating difference can sometimes be challenging it can also be deeply fulfilling if we engage in open dialogue with a willingness to build relationship, to find common ground, and too learn. My goal as an RF is to help my RAs create opportunities for learning and sharing that celebrate diversity and promote a sense of “familia” for our residents, where the members of our house community can feel supported, honored, and safe.
My family is an incredibly important part of my life both at Stanford and outside of it. My siblings and I are very close and we are all involved in education or community development as part of our professional and personal endeavors. We are a very open and loving group and I have found that my students often enjoy spending time with us during community building events or holidays, especially when my nieces and nephews are around because little kids can be light and lots of fun. They will likely visit the dorm and help us create a sense of extended family at Adams as well. My hobbies include writing poetry and prose, reading historical fiction especially with themes of fantasy and magic, watching movies, listening to live music, dancing, hiking and being in nature.
I love spending time by the ocean as it is a place of peace and renewal for me. I am a huge fan of all things magical and I absolutely adore animals. I love to cook and bake and eat, especially spicy food and/or most things chocolate. I am fascinated by alternative medicine and holistic healing practices, especially for promoting emotional and spiritual well-being.
My RF family includes my godson David Patino (Stanford Class of 2014) and my three fur babies Luna, Gatito, and Osito. My pets are all rescues who also rescued me. Luna is 10-year-old mini-poodle terrier who wants snuggles and belly rubs at all hours and by everyone she meets. Gatito is a 7-year-old large tuxedo-looking social butterfly known across campus who made it onto the Daily this past year. Osito is our baby at under two years old and he is very sweet and rambunctious at home but pretty shy overall. We look forward to sharing and building our “familia” with everyone at Adams and Sterling Quad.