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Grounds Leader

Land, Buildings & Real Estate

In the seven years she has worked at Stanford as a grounds leader, Catherine Parrish says Stanford has offered her far more than just a job. It has offered her access to invaluable resources, broadening experiences and a unique community which she appreciates.

“I’m very much part of the Stanford community,” she says. “I interact with building managers, students, staff and professors as well. I like that exchange and having the opportunity to discuss stem cell research just in passing on the way to my own next mission.”

Catherine takes advantage of as many resources on campus as she can. She swims in the pool, attends lectures, forums and events, including a conference with the Dalai Lama, and regularly visits the Cantor Arts Museum. She also takes advantage of professional development money the university provides staff members – up to $800 per year – to enhance her skills. “There’s so much to latch on to whatever your interests may be,” she says. “There’s something really for everyone.”

For Catherine, “authenticity, creativity, innovation, collaboration and inspiring her team to excel” are the most stimulating aspects of her work. “It’s definitely much, much bigger than just one part of the whole, but I like being part of that bigger picture,” she says. “It’s burgeoning, things are always happening. You never know who you’re looking at and what they’re working on; it could be the next big breakthrough.”