Potter is located on the beautiful western edge of campus. It neighbors the other houses in Sterling Quad—Robinson, Schiff, and Adams—and is steps away from the educational farm, tennis courts, driving range, golf course, and Red Barn. Beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year, the Explore Energy House will be located in Potter.
A large field and picnic area is directly adjacent to the house, with barbecues, basketball courts, and a sand volleyball court. Lake Lagunita is just across the lawn, and one block down the road you will find Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC), which offers a recreational swimming pool, climbing gym, indoor basketball courts, and fitness center. Residents share a computer cluster and study room, laundry room, kitchenette, and lounge with a piano, pool table, and television. The front door opens into a courtyard that leads to Ricker Dining Hall. More than just a building, we hope Potter can become your home away from home, a supportive community that celebrates the incredible intellectual and personal dynamism that each person brings to a house.
Resident Fellows (2023-2024)
Ben and Jill Patton, the current Resident Fellows in Potter, started as frosh at Stanford in 1999. They're entering their third year in Potter and previously spent 4 years as RFs in Otero, in Wilbur Hall. Jill earned her bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies in 2003 and a coterminal master’s degree in Media Studies in 2004. Highlights during her time at the Farm include two summers as Sierra Camp staph, serving as a student instructor for the Outdoor Education Program, running the climbing gym as president of the Stanford Climbing Wall Club, and co-founding SOOP, the Outdoor Outreach Program. She lived in Larkin, Kairos, Potter and, again, Kairos (as the kitchen manager), in addition to quarters in Santiago, Chile, and Stanford in Washington. She hails from various states in the Midwest and from Raleigh, North Carolina. Jill is currently senior editor for STANFORD magazine, the bimonthly publication serving Stanford’s 230,000 living alumni. She returned to the Farm in 2014 after nearly a decade in daily journalism.
A native of Seattle, Ben is Vice President of Finance for Idemitsu Renewables’ U.S. solar project development team. Ben has a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and a minor in East Asian Studies. He started out his Stanford days in SLE and ended up on the Row; along the way, he led Outdoor Education Program trips, raced with the cycling team, and studied abroad in Kyoto. He also took a year off to complete a ceramics apprenticeship in Karatsu, Japan, with Takashi Nakazato, a nominated Living National Treasure. These days, you’ll find him surfing at Ocean Beach, kitesurfing under the Golden Gate Bridge, grilling salmon on the back porch, or traveling to space in couch-shaped rockets (with his kids).
Joining Ben and Jill in Potter are Wyatt, 10, and Cora, 8, who enjoy playing soccer, learning gymnastics, making art, playing Pokémon Go, watching Star Wars movies, rollerblading, boogie boarding, and learning about the lives of college students.
Resident Fellow (2024-2025)
Dr. Holmes Hummel is the first Managing Director for Energy Equity and Just Transition at Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy. Holmes is also the co-founder of multiple courses at Stanford, including Quest for an Inclusive Clean Energy Economy and Racial Equity in Energy. In addition, Holmes is a regular guest in the special orientation for incoming graduate students in the Energy@Stanford & SLAC program and students at all levels in Stanford's foundational course, Understand Energy.
Over the past two decades, Holmes has worked at the intersection of energy policy, technology, and finance through positions in academia, private sector, public policy, and civil society organizations. These adventures in energy first began in the mid-90s when Holmes co-led a college team to develop a solar powered battery-electric car, designed as a super-efficient experimental vehicle to race across the country with cars built by other college teams. Many of the related innovations demonstrated in that race are now commercial in mass production, real-life energy revolutions!
Later, as a Congressional Science Fellow, Holmes worked on developing federal energy policy in the office of a national leader on clean energy, Jay Islee, and was subsequently appointed to serve as the Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy & International Affairs for the first term of the Obama Administration. Most recently, Holmes founded Clean Energy Works, an award-winning public interest organization with expertise in inclusive financial solutions that can accelerate investment in the clean energy economy for all.
Holmes is a three-time graduate from Stanford, starting with an individually designed major in energy engineering as an undergraduate - back when the University offered no such degree. Holmes was also the first graduate in the initial cohort of PhD candidates admitted to the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, focusing on global energy transition scenarios for 100% clean energy. Now there are multiple paths for majors, minors, certificates and more!
As the founding Resident Fellow in the Explore Energy House, Holmes is eager to create more space for emergent leaders with interests in an inclusive clean energy economy and to ensure Explore Energy House is a place where all residents can thrive. Joining Holmes in the adventure as founding Resident Fellow at the Explore Energy House is Ren Essene, a leader in a federal agency focused on consumer protection, and our beloved dog, Jameson.
Explore Energy (Theme)
A vibrant residential community and living laboratory that expands energy and sustainability education through interdisciplinary dialog, exploration, and action. A home for people passionate about making a difference!