We hope to help make Toyon a community of the kind that encourages students to feel truly at home and able to integrate the often-confusing variety of college life. We take very seriously the intellectual lives and academic work of students. The pace of development expected of Stanford students can be brisk and demanding. We feel the residence hall experience can take its place with classroom experiences as a vital means of mentoring students into their new roles as scholars and citizens.
Grant Parker comes from Cape Town, South Africa. Many years ago he grew up and studied there, and in 2010 he was faculty-in-residence in BOSP's new Stanford-in-Cape-Town program. On the Farm since 2006, he teaches in the Classics Department. His day-job has been to teach Latin and ancient cultural history, something that began with his first job at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, thirty years ago. Since then he has studied at Princeton and Hamburg Universities; spent several years at a research institute in Munich, Germany; and taught at Michigan and Duke Universities.
What makes him tick? Comparative perspectives on society sometimes find a useful base in antiquity, since, as in the case of the Romans, we can read their literature, their graffiti, visit their monuments, and generally know a surprisingly large amount about their hopes and fears. The Cape Town stint gave great opportunities for this, focusing on novels and memorial practices. Current research projects are on collecting practices and monuments not only in antiquity but also in modern times; and on Latin literature in a comparative framework. Having grown up in a mixed-race environment of the apartheid era, Grant is generally interested in cross-cultural encounter and its artistic productions.
Marie-Louise Catsalis hails from Sydney, Australia. She majored in music, with emphasis on piano performance, and Italian and French, before branching out into K-12 education (general; languages; music). Her love of languages and music led to the obvious place of opera and musical theatre. She undertook graduate studies as an opera repetiteur, and mounted a variety of musical shows in Australia, before falling in love and being whisked away by a certain professor working in the USA. Marie-Louise completed her PhD in 2005, focusing this time on baroque music, combining historical research and performance. As an active harpsichordist she especially welcomes the chance to work with singers, and has been editing unpublished manuscripts of early Italian vocal music - performing them whenever possible. She has led choirs of all ages, shapes, and sizes, and at Stanford is actively engaged in producing opera performances. Marie-Louise brings her musical passion to Toyon. Residents have the chance to learn and sometimes perform excerpts before seeing shows playing in the Bay Area.
Our children Kai (14 years) and Tobin (12 years) add U.S. passports into the mix, having been born in North Carolina and California. After spending their formative (!) years in Munich, Germany, Tobin attends the German International School of Silicon Valley and Kai is at Gunn HS. Either will happily engage any German language student in conversation.
Lili AKA 'Waggy' and Lola AKA 'Shaggy', Toyon's four-legged community members, correct the gender imbalance in the RF family. Though Lili looks like a chihuahua and Lola like a maltese, they are in fact sisters.