Meet the House Teams

Heads of House
Heads of House

John Fernandez & Malvina Lampietti

 

 

John E. Fernández 
 

MIT class of 1985, I have been a member of the MIT faculty since 1999. I am currently the Director of the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, former Director of the Building Technology Program in the Department of Architecture, and the International Design Center. I am also the Director of the Urban Metabolism Group, a research group examining the resource intensity of cities and pathways for a low carbon urban future using drones, machine learning and system dynamics.
 

I am passionate about supporting and advocating for the Baker community, our GRAs, the building staff and alumni. I have extensive knowledge of how MIT works having served many years on a number of MIT committees including the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, the Committee on the Undergraduate Program, the ROTC Oversight committee, the Committee on the Innovation Initiative, the Faculty Policy Committee, and currently serving as Chair of DAPER. I have also served on various special groups and task forces including Task Force 2021, the Covid Monitoring Team, the subcommittee on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons, the Working Group on the Future of Teaching and Learning Spaces at MIT, the School of Architecture and Planning Dean’s Diversity Committee, the Dean’s Energy and Environment Council, the Campus Sustainability Task Force, the MIT Materials and Waste Management Working Group, and the Metropolitan Warehouse Advisory Group.
 

As a researcher with more than 100 UROP alumni of the Urban Metabolism Group and the ESI’s Rapid Response Group, I also have startup experience through DesignX and MIT Sandbox. I am a practicing architect in the US and abroad; I have been designer of more than 2.5 million square feet of new construction since completing graduate work at the School of Architecture at Princeton University.
 

I am also a classical pianist, a watercolorist and an enthusiastic, and sometimes reckless snowboarder.

 

Malvina M. Lampietti
 

After graduating from Barnard College and receiving a master’s degree from Princeton University, I practiced architecture in New York City for 10 years. Since moving to Boston in 1999, John and I cofounded LFA, where we focus on sustainable residential and commercial projects; which reflect the complex interplay of siting, materials and function that contribute to a cohesive design.
 

As well as being an avid tennis player and gardener, I provide architectural tours of the amazing building that is Baker House. We have two vizlas, Biko and Louie, who love living in the dorm and greeting students. Our adult children work in tech at startups and visit often. As a family, we have lived in Lisbon and Singapore and enjoy traveling, hiking and eating.
 

Since becoming Heads of House at Baker House in 2015, we continue to enjoy the vibrant and enthusiastic Baker students and Baker community.


Area Director
Area Director

Rachael Beaumont

Hi, I'm Rachael Beaumont, the Area Director to Baker House! I was born and raised in Lawrence, KS where I got my undergraduate degree in Theater Education at the University of Kansas before moving to Lincoln, NE to get my Masters in Student Affairs! I've spent some time in the Midwest working before coming to MIT where I'm excited to share in the experiences and the traditions with every student here! I'm a regular at the gym so if you see me say hi! I love trying out new recipes, exploring the city, watching baking shows, and can never go wrong with a good board game! I hope you'll swing by for a chat or a cup of coffee!

Heads of House
Heads of House

Janelle Knox-Hayes & Jarrod Hayes

 

Janelle Knox-Hayes & Jarrod Hayes have been the heads of house of Burton Conner where they have lived with their young twin daughters Isabelle and Mackenzie since 2018. Mackenzie and Isabelle love being around so many talented and interesting students. Study breaks, reverse trick-or-treat and bubble blowing parties are their favorites! During summer 2020 Janelle and Jarrod added Vala, a Leonberger puppy, to the family. Despite being born during the pandemic, Vala has few social inhibitions, happily greeting everyone she meets with lunging hugs and slobbery kisses.

 

Janelle is an associate professor of economic geography and the head of the Environmental Policy and Planning Group in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She attended the University of Colorado for her undergraduate studies where she triple majored in Ecology, International Relations, and Japanese Language and Civilizations. She completed a Master’s Degree in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy, and DPhil in Economic Geography and Environmental Finance at the University of Oxford. Janelle directs the Resilient Communities Lab, a research team with projects ranging from examining the interface of values and sustainability, weaving Traditional Ecological Knowledge and STEM disciplines together, and assessing risks, vulnerabilities and strategies of adaptation in major cities. In addition to research, Janelle teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on environmental policy, climate change mitigation and adaptation and environmental planning with indigenous communities. Janelle serves on a number of Institute committees and Co-Chairs the School of Architecture and Planning Diversity Committee with fellow HoH Larry Sass. In addition to scholarly enlightenment and international travel, she enjoys gardening, throwing ceramics, and hosting munchkin dance and backyard unicorn pool parties.

 

Jarrod Hayes is an associate professor at UMass Lowell where he teaches courses on global environmental politics, international security, and foreign policy. Before coming to MIT he was a tenured associate professor at Georgia Tech. He attended the University of Colorado and USC for his undergraduate and graduate degrees. In addition to a fascination with all things international, Jarrod enjoys reading about architecture, hiking, kayaking, science fiction, and traveling. He hopes to convert an ICE sports car to electric soon.

 

Janelle, Jarrod, Isabelle and Mackenzie have deeply enjoyed getting to know the vibrant BC community over the past few years with its dynamic floor cultures. They continue to host social virtual events while the community is offline for renovation, and are really looking forward to having the community back together in Fall of 2022. Vala is especially looking froward to having students to tackle play with!


Associate Heads of House
Associate Heads of House

Meg & Troy French

 

Meg and Troy French joined the Burton Conner community as Associate Heads of House in the spring of 2022.

 

Meg is the Mary Frances Wagley, `47 Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Head Coach/Physical Education and Wellness Instructor, and has been at MIT since the fall 2019 semester. Meg guided the men's and women's swimming and diving teams to conference titles In her first season at MIT and was named the 2019-20 Men's and Women's Swimming Coach of the Year by the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. In 2020, 27 student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships, and three of her student-athletes competed in the 2021 United States Olympic trials. Meg teaches beginning and intermediate swimming, running/jogging and wellness courses—if you’re interested in learning more about the physical education and wellness offerings at MIT, please reach out to her!

Troy is a licensed clinical social worker with years of experience working with youth and families. He is currently a program coordinator for Doc Wayne Youth Services, a non-profit organization that specializes in sports-based outpatient mental health services for youth in the Boston area. An avid runner and cyclist, Troy has run several marathons and thoroughly enjoys exploring what New England has to offer by bicycle.

 

Meg and Troy welcomed their son Emile in early 2022 and are so excited for their growing family to be a part of the BC community. Another important member of the French family is their dog, Sanka, who is ready to play fetch and chase squirrels around campus this coming fall!

 


Area Director
Area Director

Kevin Erixson

Kevin Erixson (he/him/his) is the Area Director of Burton-Conner. He holds master’s degrees in music performance and higher education administration and is currently pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership. Previously, he worked at Duke University in multiple capacities including residence life, student activities, and arts programming. Kevin has dual US and Irish citizenship and loves to travel the world with his family. Catch him most days with a coffee in hand walking his Great Dane, Duke. Be sure to say hello!  ​

Head of House
Head of House

Sandy Alexandre

 

Sandy Alexandre, Associate Professor of Literature, has been a faculty member at MIT since 2006. Her research interests include American literature and culture, race and visual studies, women’s and gender studies, performance studies, and material culture studies. She is married to an artist Renold Laurent, and is also mom to a dynamic and curious toddler named Zora. Sandy is an avid walker and might even have the plantar fasciitis to prove it. She enjoys listening to all kinds of music. She wants to take up playing jazz flute again, and is probably only saying this because saying it in a public forum will compel her to make it so! Stop by and ask to borrow a book or to talk all things Toni Morrison over a cup of nettle leaf tea.
Associate Heads of House
Associate Heads of House

Eden & Cristian Medina

Eden Medina is Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. Her research focuses on the role of science and technology in processes of social and political change. She holds a Ph.D. from MIT in the History and Social Studies of Science and Technology, a Master in Studies of Law from Yale Law School, and an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University. At MIT she teaches courses such as Data and Society, Computers and Social Change, and Science, Technology, and Human Rights She also teaches the course Tales of Two Parallels on the history of the East Campus residence.  Outside of the classroom, she enjoys dance and loves going to the ballet. She sang in a band for ten years, but now sings around the house, especially when no one is home. Other interests include travel, zombie movies, and, more recently, indoor rock climbing. Getting to know students is her favorite part of being a professor.

 

Cristian Medina earned a Ph.D. in geology and an M.S. in hydrogeology from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Indiana University. He is originally from Chile, where he earned a geology degree from the University of Chile. After a 20 year-career in geology, he is now transitioning to become a high school physics teacher. He has developed geology workshops for Latino elementary and high school students, hosted Spanish speaking radio shows, and organized handmade book workshops, chess tournaments, community meditation sessions, and poetry readings. He is a founder member of Cardboard House Press (cardboardhousepress.org), a nonprofit organization devoted to the creation of spaces and media for cultural, artistic, and literary development. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading poetry, and spending time with his wife, Eden, and son, Gael.

Area Director
Area Director

Alexandria Clyburn

Hi, I am Alexandria! I have been the Area Director of East Campus since August 2019. I have a bachelor's and master's degree in communication from Bryant University in Rhode Island. I first became interested in student life while being a D1 volleyball player and campus leader. Since my graduation I have worked at institutions in Vermont and Tennessee. Originally, I am from a small town in Georgia. I have a passion for travel, and an obsession for all things Disney and Harry Potter. I love to chat with people and I am always willing to lend a helping hand to all! Do not hesitate to reach out; aclyburn@mit.edu!

Heads of House
Heads of House

Larry & Terry Sass

 
 
Larry Sass
 
I am a professor in the Department of Architecture who wants to someday print houses directly from computer models. I have worked as a professional in architectural offices in NYC and Boston before teaching full time. I am also happy to say that I served as a Graduate Resident Tutor in New House in the 1990s. Currently, I teach courses related to design computation to graduate students and undergrads in the Department of Architecture, and my research investigates ways to rapidly produce small structures for communities in need of high quality homes and shelter. Whether teaching my undergraduate courses, conducting research with graduate students or living life at MacGregor, fostering relationships within the MIT community has been my greatest joy. Last, I enjoy traveling and exercise more than ever. My favorite thing to do is cycle to Walden Pond and back on weekends. 
 
Terry Sass
 
I am a licensed psychologist in private practice in Cambridge, working with adults across the lifespan and with couples. I entered the field of psychology following twenty years of work in education and public health. After growing up in New York City, I received a BA from Yale, settled in the Boston area, and earned an MPH from Boston University and a PhD from Boston College. Larry and I are parents of three adult children. We enjoy traveling, exercising outdoors, staying connected to friends and family, and exploring the culinary delights in and around Cambridge. It is a privilege to work with and get to know MIT students and help create a home for all MacGregor residents.   
Associate Heads of House
Associate Heads of House

David Singer & Steve Bertone

David Singer (right) is Associate Head of House and Professor of Political Science, where he studies international economic relations. He and his partner, Steve Bertone (left), have lived in MacGregor House for twelve years, and enjoy hosting brunches with students and taking long walks along the Charles River. Steve works in regulatory compliance for a Boston-based financial institution.
 

Area Director
Area Director

Charlie McBurney

Charlie (he/him/his) has been with MIT since November 2021. He has a bachelor's degree in social entrepreneurship and a master's degree in university leadership from Lenoir-Rhyne University. Prior to coming to MIT, he has worked at institutions in North Carolina and Massachusetts. He is passionate about spending time with his friends and family, playing video games, hiking, and collecting fountain pens. He loves meeting new people chatting over a cup of tea, so don't hesitate to stop by and say hello! He can also be reached at mcburney@mit.edu.

Heads of House
Heads of House

Donielle Buie

Donielle earned a BS in Biomechanical Engineering and an MA in Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies in Education, both from Stanford University. Her passion for innovation, social change, and leadership development led her to create opportunities to truly impact others. Donielle has spent time working in the nonprofit world. She taught entrepreneurship to high school students at Oakland Technical High School and Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy, both in Oakland, CA with BUILD. Donielle was certified by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and was recognized as an Apprentice Teacher of the Year in 2006. Donielle has spent the past six years building her business experience in pharmaceutical and healthcare market research with AlphaDetail, Inc where she is currently a Director. Donielle is still passionate about entrepreneurship and is currently developing plans for her own small business. Donielle and Cullen have an adorable son, Jeremiah, who loves living in Maseeh. When she's not spending time with Jeremiah and Cullen, Donielle likes bowling, baking and reading.

Heads of House

Cullen Buie

Cullen is the Mitsui Career Development Chair and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Cullen was born in St. Louis, MO and grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. As a student at Shaker Heights High School he was involved in sports (football and basketball) and several organizations to improve race relations within the community. He then attended The Ohio State University where he received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2003). After OSU, Cullen attended Stanford University as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and obtained his M.S. (2005) and Ph.D. (2009) in Mechanical Engineering. Cullen's Ph.D. research involved the study of microfluidic pumps to manage liquid water in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. He and his wife, Donielle, met at Stanford in 2004 while she was completing her Master's degree. Prior to joining MIT Cullen spent a year at UC Berkeley working with Professor Liwei Lin and Professor John Coates as a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. At MIT his laboratory explores fundamentals of electrokinetic phenomena for application in materials science and microbiology. His research is applicable to a diverse array of problems, from antibiofouling surfaces and biofuels to energy storage and bacterial infections. Cullen is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and service including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2012). In his spare time Cullen enjoys changing his son Jeremiah's diapers and watching college football (particularly, THE Ohio State University). He also enjoys stupid movies (e.g. Talladega Nights) and eating meat...lots and lots of meat.

Associate Heads of House
Associate Heads of House

Danielle Wood and Jonathan Wood

 

Professor Danielle Wood serves as an assistant professor in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, holds a joint appointment in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and serves as the faculty advisor for students majoring, minoring, or concentrating in African and African Diaspora Studies at MIT. As the first Black woman faculty member in the Media Lab, Prof. Wood combines a passion for space engineering, sustainability, and policy as she leads student researchers and professional staff on the mission of “advancing justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space.” Her projects combine social justice and space engineering by expanding the “benefits that people on earth receive from space technology such as satellite earth observation, communication, positioning and microgravity research.” Taken together with her teaching and community-based collaboration in Benin, Brazil, Ghana, and Indonesia, she is helping students harness their growing expertise and design space-based systems drawing from engineering, design, arts, humanities, and social sciences to address systemic injustice and inequity across society.

 

Jonathan Wood, the other half of the team, works as an IT program analyst and enjoys community service. He currently volunteers with the Boston Court Appointed Special Advocate organization to advocate for the best interests of children in the foster care system. In their free time, the Woods spend time in nature, especially discovering the many trails and parks in the Boston area.

Area Director
Area Director

Rebecca (Becky) Kjaerbye

 
Hello, and welcome to MIT! Becky is the Senior Area Director for Maseeh Hall. She has been at MIT since 2010 and has worked in higher education since 2006. Becky has her master's degree in Post-Secondary Education and her bachelor's degree in Political Science. You are most likely to find her in the lobby of Maseeh Hall with a coffee in her hand, taking in the beautiful view of the Charles River, and connecting with people. When she's not in Maseeh you can find her going to a make-up class, trying out a new restaurant or changing up her hair color. Becky enjoys a good Netflix marathon, traveling the world, and being with friends. Connecting with people is one of her favorite things to do, so please come on by her office (in the lobby) to grab a snack and chat!
 
 

 

Heads of House
Heads of House

Raúl Radovitzky & Flavia Cardarelli

 
Raúl and Flavia have been the Heads of House at McCormick Hall since August of 2015. Raúl’s whole life has been dedicated to the academic world with an equal love for research and teaching. But among all of his academic passions, the interaction with the student community is definitely his favorite. He obtained his Civil Engineering degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1991, his M Sc in Applied Mathematics from Brown University in 1995, and his Ph D in Aerospace Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1998. He is a Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has been on the MIT faculty since 2001. He is also the Associate Director of the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the National Football League Engineering Committee. Among other accolades recognizing his dedication to students, he is the recipient of the 2014 Student Champion Award for his excellence as a freshman advisor, and the 2018 Alan J. Lazarus Award (1953) Excellence in Advising Award.
 
The Institute is a family affair for the Radovitzkys. Flavia has been a senior administrative assistant with the MIT-Portugal Program and IDSS for the past 14 years. Their sons Felipe and Ben are both MIT undergrads, class of 2020 and 2022, course 2 and 6 respectively. When they were younger, they attended MIT summer camp for many years. The Radovitzkys love the outdoors and particularly enjoy sailing, skiing and kiteboarding as a family.
 
Food is another passion for them. The entire family has an international flair for cooking, drawing on Italian, Spanish, Jewish, French, and Argentine culinary traditions for inspiration. Raúl is known for taking meals with small groups of students, or cooking an authentic Argentine barbecue — called an “asado” — for students in his classes at the end of the spring term. The truly enjoy food, music, company and lively conversation.
 
Flavia has led the design and execution of several renovation projects at McCormick, including three new lounges, the game room with its own first 4K projector on campus, the west penthouse, and more on the way.
 
Both Flavia and Raul have dearly enjoyed their daily interactions with the McCormick community in the last five years, especially the events that they introduced and have, by now, become traditions: Pasta nights, Karaoke, Make your Own Pizza nights, and rain-shine-or-snow monthly BBQs in the Courtyard.
Area Director
Area Director

Akimmie Parker

Hi I am Akimmie Parker and I serve as the Area Director at McCormick as of February 2022. I am super excited to be a part of the McCormick community and to learn about all of its traditions. I received my BS. In Biology Science and previously worked in student housing at Howard University, where I served as the Assistant General Manager for a First-year and Upperclassman Hall. I am new to Boston and enjoy discovering new places to shop, eat, and learn. I also love music, art, and crafting. The McCormick penthouse is my favorite place to work and chill out when the weather is nice. My office is located right next door from the dance studio so feel free to stop by and say hello!

Head of House
Head of House

Wesley L. Harris

Wes Harris is the Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the director of the Lean Sustainment Initiative at MIT. Before his appointment as Associate Provost, Professor Harris served as head of MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 2003 to 2008.

 

He earned his BS in aerospace engineering at the University of Virginia, and his MA and PhD in aerospace and mechanical sciences at Princeton University, on whose Board of Trustees he later served (2001-2005). From 1972 to 1985, he taught and held several administrative positions at MIT, making seminal contributions to the study of unsteady aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, rarefied gas dynamics, sustainment of capital assets, and chaos in sickle cell disease.

 

He served as dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut from 1985 to 1990, and as vice president and chief administrative officer of the University of Tennessee Space Institute from 1990 to 1993. As NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics from 1993 to 1995, he was responsible for all programs, facilities, and personnel in aeronautics at NASA.

 

Wes Harris has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering, the Cosmos Club, and the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. He is also an elected fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Helicopter Society, and the National Technical Association, in recognition of his achievements in engineering, engineering education, management, and advancing cultural diversity.

Area Director
Area Director

Kat Howell

 

Kat (she/her/hers) has been at MIT since spring 2018. Prior to being in New House, Kat was the Area Director in Burton-Conner House. Originally from Texas, she lived in Providence, RI for 3 years before shipping up to Boston! She received her bachelor's degree from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR where she discovered her love of working with students by participating in band and Tau Beta Sigma. Kat received her master's degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. Kat loves traveling, watching movies, music, staying active, and her pup Katie.

 

Kat loves meeting new people and supporting MIT students, so don't hesitate to stop by and say hello. She may also be reached at khowell@mit.edu.

Head of House
Head of House

Steven Hall

Steven Hall is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He graduated from MIT with an SB degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1980, and earned SM and ScD degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1982 and 1985, also from MIT. He was appointed to the MIT faculty in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1985, and was named a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow in 2002. 
  
His teaching includes graduate and undergraduate subjects within the Information Sector of the department, including a dozen years teaching Signals and Systems in the famous (or infamous) Unified Engineering. He has also taught undergraduate subjects in control theory, guidance and navigation, and flight mechanics and control. His graduate teaching includes subjects in modern control theory and optimal control.
 
Steve has been active in service in his home department and the Institute. In his department, he’s served as an undergraduate advisor, Assistant Department Head, Chair of the departmental faculty search committee, Chair of the doctoral program, and Co-Head of the Information Sector. In service to the Institute, he has been a freshman advisor, a member and later Chair of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program, a member and then Chair of the CUP Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement, a member of the MIT Corporation Joint Advisory Committee on Institute-Wide Affairs (CJAC), and a member of the Institute-Wide Planning Task Force. He was Chair of the MIT Faculty from 2013 to 2015.
 
Steve is currently the Head of House at New Vassar. He has a daughter Caitlin, a son Michael, and granddaughter Maddy, all of whom live nearby. Steve is a certificated pilot, and enjoys flying his plane on weekends and on vacations.
 
Associate Head of House
Associate Head of House

Naomi Carton

Excited to start my 9th year at MIT and be living in a new community. I am passionate about wellness and cooking which is why I am thrilled to be living in New Vassar where we will have a chance to engage in cooking programs in our amazing new dining hall. My work is centered around our graduate communities and I work closely on programming and developing leadership opportunities for our graduate student leaders.

Associate Director for Undergraduate Residential Life
Associate Director for Undergraduate Residential Life

John Ross Campbell

 

John Ross Campbell is currently Associate Director for Undergraduate Residential Life and Area Director of New Vassar. Prior to this, he served as Area Director of New House since 2013. Originally from Ohio, John Ross moved to the Boston area in 2010. In addition to an undergraduate degree in English and linguistics, John Ross also holds a master's degree in higher education administration and student personnel with a certificate in international higher education from Kent State University. John Ross's favorite part of working at MIT is the opportunity to learn from students, and he enjoys helping students from all backgrounds as they navigate their MIT experience. Outside of MIT, John Ross enjoys reading, the outdoors, exploring Boston and New England, learning to sail, and being a fan of the Boston Red Sox.

 

 

Heads of House
Heads of House

Pablo Jarillo-Herrero & Empar Rollano-Hijarrubia

Pablo and Empar are the Heads of House at Next House, where they have lived with their three children, Marta, David, and Maria, since August 2016. Both Pablo and Empar are originally from Valencia (Spain). Before arriving to MIT, they both studied physics in Valencia, and then obtained their PhDs in physics (Pablo) and medical physics (Empar) in the Netherlands. After a (too) short year in New York City, they moved to Cambridge in 2008.

 

Pablo is associate professor in the MIT physics department. His group does experimental research on the quantum electronic and optoelectronic properties of novel low-dimensional materials. In addition to research, his academic passions include teaching different undergraduate courses (8.01L, 8.231, 8.223, 8.03, 8.04, 8.044, 8.14 and counting!), as he enjoys switching to a new course every couple years. He also enjoys serving on various department and institute committees, and he likes to organize community-building events. For example, in 2016 he organized the first Rising Stars in Physics academic career workshop for women. Pablo enjoys reading, playing squash, dancing, and eating good food. His future plans include starting skiing and scuba diving again… after a few years’ gap while the kids were small.

 

Empar is a research scientist at Witricity, a local start-up company focused on efficient wireless power transfer. Her work includes computer simulations of electromagnetic fields and device safety evaluation. Besides science, Empar has a very artistic side, having also obtained a degree in classical dance and performed as a semi-professional ballet dancer. Empar enjoys dancing, music, pottery, going on excursions, biking, and she plans to retake scuba diving too!

 

Both Pablo and Empar enjoy traveling around the world, visiting historical monuments, trying different cuisines, and enjoying the outdoors with the kids. 

Area Director
Area Director

Katie Rettie

Hi, I’m Katie Rettie and I’m the Area Director for Next House. I grew up moving all over the country, but Boston is my home! I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in community psychology. I love Next House for its many different student groups, and the many lounges where you can always find friendly Nexties to chat with. In my spare time I like to walk my dog, explore Boston’s restaurants, work out, and binge Netflix. Ask me about great food spots in the area, or strategies for maintaining a balanced lifestyle as a student. I’m always happy to chat and help!

Heads of House
Heads of House

Jared and Laurie Berezin

Jared and Laurie Berezin, Random Hall’s Heads of House, live in the dorm to support students. Randomites can visit Jared and Laurie’s apartment anytime to chat about challenges, struggles, and victories at MIT. They offer advice and a listening ear, host sing-alongs and other events, and are a liaison to the Deans, MIT Medical, the faculty, and the administration. Jared teaches in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication Program within the Comparative Media Studies/Writing department at MIT. Laurie is a professional jeweler and metalsmith who runs her own company, Beryllina. Students also enjoy hanging out with Laurie and Jared’s friendly little dog named Shakedown.

Area Director
Area Director

Jacob Oppenheimer

Jacob Oppenheimer (He/Him/His) graduated with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Beloit College in Wisconsin; earned his graduate degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Iowa and is working on his Masters of Social Work from Boston College. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Jacob came to Boston back in 2014 and has never looked back! Jacob is passionate about supporting student success and wellbeing through individual and organizational support, promoting mental health, and engaging in authentic one on one conversations. An avid fan of board games, video games, and random road trips to find new food, Jacob can be found roaming campus in search of his next Diet Coke and/or sunny spot to sit and read.

Heads of House
Heads of House

David Perreault & Heidi Nakajima

 

David Perreault and his wife and partner, Heidi Nakajima, are heads of house for Simmons Hall. David is the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor at MIT's Department Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Heidi is associate professor in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

 

David grew up in the Boston area, went to Boston University, and then completed his SM and PhD at MIT, where he has remained. David’s research focuses on design, manufacturing, and control techniques for power electronic systems and components and their use in a wide range of applications. He and his students in the Power Electronics Research Group work to advance the efficiency and performance of all kinds of electrical energy systems such as renewables and green energy. He also co-founded Eta Devices and Eta Wireless, startup companies focusing on reducing the energy consumption of cellular base stations, mobile phones, and Wi-Fi systems.

 

Hideko Heidi Nakajima was christened “Heidi” by friends when she moved to Indiana from Japan as a teenager. She received her MD and PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Her clinical training included general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Harvard Medical School, where she has remained. In her lab at Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Heidi and her team study human auditory mechanics. They develop implantable prosthetic technologies, diagnostic methods, and new treatments for middle- and inner-ear pathologies. Heidi also experiments in the kitchen, learning the intricacies of preparing dishes from various ethnic cuisines. She enjoys sharing and discussing culinary creations with friends.

 

Kaito, their Portuguese water dog, has become a familiar sight to students who visit David’s office. Kaito has been known to attend classes (though he often falls asleep) and is a master at catching Frisbees in Killian Court.

Associate Heads of House
Associate Heads of House

Bryan Bryson and Kevin Leiby

 

Through the Bryson Lab, Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering Bryan Bryson’s research focuses on manipulating the immune system to fight Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which infects about a third of the population and kills millions annually. Also an MIT graduate, Prof. Bryan completed his bachelor’s and PhD at MIT and conducted postdoctoral work at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Ragon Institute.

 

With partner Kevin Leiby, a management consultant focused on economic development, Prof. Bryson wants to promote wellness among Simmons residents.

Area Director
Area Director

Kristen Shannon O’Connor

 

Kristen is a Massachusetts native hailing from Foxboro. Kristen received her bachelor's degree in psychology in 2013 from Keene State College in New Hampshire. While at KSC, she was a resident assistant and worked in the Mason Library. Kristen moved to Boston to continue her studies at Suffolk University, and while there worked in the Office of Residence Life & Housing, as well as the Student Leadership & Involvement Office. Kristen completed her master's degree in mental health counseling, as well as a master's degree in crime and justice studies in 2016. Kristen went on to work in substance abuse and mental health in both prison and outpatient settings while completing her certificate of advanced graduate studies in 2017. Kristen comes to MIT in hopes of encouraging students to seek mental health and substance abuse treatment early, to reduce stigma, and to support and connect students with helpful offices on campus.

 

Kristen is an avid fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, and visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida for the first time in 2017. Kristen also enjoys the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films, but needs some added encouragement to finish the book series.