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House Description

658 Escondido Rd, Stanford, CA 94305
East Campus
Wilbur Hall


Photograph of Soto House Staff at campus opening 2017-18.

Soto is an all-freshman dorm located on the east side of campus, in the community of dormitories known together as Wilbur Hall.

The house is comprised of one-room doubles, with one-room singles available under special condition.

In addition to two Resident Fellows, Soto has seven student staff members, all of which are available to the 85 freshmen residents who reside there. Soto is located at the northeast corner of Wilbur Hall.

Many in-dorm activities and “off-the-farm” events are planned throughout the year for both intellectual and recreational purposes.

Resident Fellows

Resident Fellow Names: 
Karen Hirsch and Tony Forte


Photograph of 2019-20 RF Family in JPG format.

Karen and Tony are the Resident Fellows at Soto House. New to the role in 2019, we are excited to share new adventures with the students and staff. 
Karen is a neurocritical care physician who divides her time between clinical care in the Stanford Neuro-Intensive Care Unit, research on cardiac arrest and severe traumatic brain injury, and administration developing and maintaining academic and clinical programs. Growing up with professors for parents, being a part of an academic ecosystem has long been a key component of her identity. Karen and Tony met as undergraduates at Johns Hopkins University, where they were both athletes and Karen majored in Neuroscience and Mathematics. After attending medical school at Stanford, Karen returned to Johns Hopkins for residency in Neurology, and then happily returned to the Bay Area for fellowship at UCSF. She joined the faculty at Stanford in Neurology and Neurosurgery in 2012. Karen values learning, healthy discourse, and respectful debate, and views the innovative collaborative spirit of Stanford as one of the greatest benefits of her current position. In addition to her academic work, she enjoys raising her two young children, taking advantage of the California climate by being active outdoors, trying new restaurants, playing soccer, and supporting Stanford clubs and sports. 
Tony, a Bay Area native, has a background in finance and works in clean tech. He has spent time on both coasts, first in Baltimore as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins where he majored in economics, and then New York working as an investment banker. Making the move back to the west coast he completed an MBA from the University of Southern California. He then moved back to the Bay Area where he has been since, holding a variety of positions at clean technology companies focused on solar and battery storage projects. While not working on transitioning the world to sustainable energy, he enjoys spending time with Karen and their two kids, traveling and eating in new places, being in the mountains, cooking and a good bowl of ramen. 
As RFs, we are excited to work together with staff and residents to build a shared community focused on mutual respect and inclusion. College is a time to grow and mature, and our goal is to foster an environment that supports that process. As a part of that mission, we will also emphasize the value of family and learning, which can take many forms now and throughout one’s life.  


Community Information

Residence Type: 

Photograph of Soto House.

What’s the coolest thing about your house and community?

We plan to foster teamwork among staff members, which will then translate into a sense of engagement, and community among Soto residents.   We want Soto to be known as a close-knit community where residents look out for one another.  Our six staff members have fostered an atmosphere for our residents that has made this building the next-best-thing to being at home.  Our lounge is like the “family room” of our dorm – residents are always present studying, helping each other with homework, playing pool or ping pong, and just hanging out together.  Soto is a close-knit community where residents look out for one another.

What qualities make a successful Soto staff team member? 

Likely Soto staff members are mature, secure, flexible people who are willing to put their own interests aside for the greater good of the team and the health of the house, and who are committed to building a sense of community within Soto house through a mix of informal fun and planned, intentional programming. Staff members should be enthusiastic about initiating and leading activities for the house. They should help the frosh build a community rather than hoping to relive their own freshman year. They should be willing and able to engage in self-reflection; listen to and apply constructive feedback from residents, fellow staff, and the RFs; make mature and difficult decisions that support the house values; enjoy getting to know the students in the house in meaningful ways; and be willing to communicate openly, honestly, and frequently with RFs and other staff. 

What’s your favorite event or tradition in your house? 

We would love to have a staff that challenges “traditions” such as snow trip and large parties and is willing to consider activities that engender community in more daily ways, punctuated with interesting, bigger events. We enjoy the comaraderie of sharing routine meals and conversations in the dining hall with our residents and having residents in the RF cottage to cook, converse, do crafts, or play games.  We also enjoy participating in events that celebrate who people are and who they want to be, experiencing the outdoors and cultural events, and engaging in conversations and actions that address social and political issues of the day.

House Staff

Resident Assistants (RA)
: 4
Resident Computing Consultant (RCC)
: 1
Peer Health Educator (PHE)
: 1