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House Description

455 Arguello Way, Stanford, CA 94305
East Campus
Housing Theme Type: 
Pre-Assignment Programs
Theme Name: 
Sophomore Mentorship

Photograph of Toyon Hall community members on house retreat in JPG format.

As Resident Fellows we hope to help make Toyon a community of the kind that encourages students to feel truly at home, able to integrate the often-confusing variety of college life...

We welcome RAs and RISERS who are sensitive to the particular situation of sophomores, with freshman support mechanisms in their past and departmental majors still in their future.

We both 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 PWR, Thinking Matters,  Intro Sems, and other classroom experiences as a vital means of mentoring students into their new roles as scholars and citizens.

Resident Fellows

Resident Fellow Names: 
Grant Parker and Marie-Louise Catsalis

Photograph of Toyon Hall Resident Fellows and family in JPG format.

Grant 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  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.

Community Information

Residence Type: 

Panoramic photo of Toyon in JPG format.

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

The unique all-sophomore focus of Toyon is something that makes it special. Everyone is in the same boat, and there are aspects of freshmen dorms that make it exciting. In addition to its residents, Toyon’s location and sinks in every room make it a big draw. 

What qualities make a successful Toyon staff team member? 

Any successful Toyon staff will have a wide variety of personalities. From outgoing, personable, approachable, and caring, each staff member will express his or her versatility to adapt to circumstances on the fly. Above all, the underlying trait that makes every Toyon staff member successful is a desire to make Toyon a comfortable home for the residents. 

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

Some of the best Toyon events and traditions are the ones that are unique to the dorm, such as quarterly musical outings and the Getty Villa trip. Other events that are fun are hall meals and weekly study nights with snacks in the Main Hall.

Requirements to Qualify for Pre-Assignment

Photograph of Toyon community members out on a theme-related event within a Polaroid-style frame.

About Pre-Assignment at Toyon

The Re-Imagining the Sophomore Experience (RISE) program is designed to increase and support intentional engagement around sophomore academic concerns and community building within Toyon. The cohort will be responsible for serving as peer advisors with the support of Toyon resident fellows, student staff, and various campus partners.

RISE pre-assignees will be coached in peer advising, programming, and community building during a weekly, 1-unit course/cohort meeting in the fall quarter. In either the winter or spring quarter, each candidate will have the opportunity to lead a program within Toyon that they have developed within their coursework.

Tier Requirement

Pre-assignment to Toyon requires the use of TIER THREE housing choice.

Requirements to Qualify for Pre-Assignment

Pre-assignment to Toyon will be considered for students who fulfill the following conditions:

  1. Class year (frosh/rising sophomore applicants will not be considered)
  2. GPA (3.0+ cumulative preferred)
  3. Demonstrated interest in mentorship or peer advising, specifically mentorship of sophomore students
  4. Experience and commitment to community building
  5. Interest and experience in student leadership
  6. Preference will be given to former Toyon residents

Requirements if Assigned

If assigned to Toyon, you must fulfill the following participation requirements:

  1. Complete 1-unit leadership and program development course (fall quarter).
  2. Attend cohort meetings with RFs (winter/spring)
  3. Lead and execute 1 RISE program
  4. Assist in execution of 1 RISE program led by another cohort member
  5. Collect feedback and program evaluation with resident fellow(s)
  6. Attend hall meetings
  7. Attend 3+ Toyon events during fall quarter and 2+ Toyon events during winter and spring quarters, one of which must be RF initiated each quarter communicate news to Toyon community of sophomore-specific resources and/or events hosted by other departments of community partners
  8. Live in Toyon for the whole year.

House Staff

Community Resident Assistant (RA)
: 8
: 9