People

Photo of Elliot

Elliot Akama-Garren

Resident Tutor
F-31
Tutor in: Pre-Med, Race Relations, Fellowships
Hi Kirkland! My name is Elliot and I’m looking forward to getting to know you over the course of my first year as a Resident Tutor. I’m starting my third year in the MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School, where I’m beginning my PhD in Immunology this Fall. Originally I grew up in California and went to MIT for undergrad, after which I spent two years in Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship doing cancer immunology research. Outside of lab I enjoy playing ice hockey, biking, exploring Boston, and hopefully learning how to fly planes. Feel free to stop by F-entry and say hello with any questions you might have or thoughts on your mind, my door is always open!
Buse Aktas

Buse Aktas

Resident Tutor
K-21
Tutor in: Arts, STEM
Merhaba, Kirkland! I’m excited to be joining Kirkland House as a tutor this year. I’m originally from Edirne, Turkey and I’m currently a third year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering & Material Science (in SEAS) with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice (VES). I make soft robots, and study their behavior - sometimes for engineering, sometimes for art (sculpture, installation, performance, etc.), usually both. I’m a passionate advocate for hands-on education in STEAM, and for safeguarding the cultural heritage of traditional crafts. I’d be more than happy to chat about art, craft, science, education, culture, music, food and interdisciplinary career paths. I look forward to meeting you all, and to making / crafting together!
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Rosa Baum

Resident Tutor
G-23
Tutor In: Conversations with Kirkland, Pre-Law, IMs

Hi all! I’m incredibly excited to be in the Kirkland Community. I’m currently a dual degree student, pursuing a JD at the law school and a Masters in Public Policy at the Kennedy School. I hail from Colorado, with life having taken me for a great ride fo work (ie Mexico City where I was a legal services provider for migrants arriving in Mexico), study (Cairo, Egypt), play (I just competed in the World Ultimate (Frisbee) Club Championship), and pleasure (my most recent trip oversees was to work at a refugee camp on the island of Leros, Greece). I’m always up for a good chat about life, school, sports (I personally have played basketball, softball, baseball, football, soccer, and ultimate frisbee), or the future (I’m headed into public interest government work), and love getting out and about—the Colorado in me jumps at the opportunity to run, hike, or get out on the water. Whatever it is, let’s have some fun with it.

Resident Dean Family

Soha Bayoumi

Allston Burr Resident Dean, Kirkland House and Assistant Dean of Harvard College

Hello Kirkland! I am excited to start my fourth year in the wonderful community of Kirkland House, along with my husband, Ahmed Ragab, our daughter, Carmen and our cat, Jesse.

I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, where I graduated with a BA in political science from Cairo University. I went on to do my Master’s and PhD in political theory and history in Paris, France at the Paris Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po).

I’ve been at Harvard since 2007 and have been privileged enough to experience multiple facets of this place: first as a visiting fellow in the Department of Government, then as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and finally as a lecturer in the Department of the History of Science, where I continue to teach, in addition to my responsibilities as the Allston Burr Resident Dean (ABRD) of Kirkland House.... Read more about Soha Bayoumi

p: 617-495-2276
zorina

Eric Bersin

Resident Tutor
L-12
Tutor in: Engineering, Boat Club, Fellowships

Hey KHaus! I'm excited to return to Kirkland this year along with my partner, Kori. Originally from Chicago, I graduated from Kirkland in 2014, joint concentrating in {Biomedical Engineering} and {Chemistry and Physics}. At Harvard I had the privilege of performing with the Glee Club, the Krokodiloes, and the Bach Society Orchestra. After graduating, I spent a year in Munich on a Fulbright fellowship working at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics. I'm currently a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at MIT, where I'm supported by a NASA Graduate Fellowship and work with Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington. Accordingly, I tutor in Engineering, Fellowships, and Music. My research entails shooting lasers at diamonds in order to build quantum computers - or at least, that's what I tell our funding agencies. Outside work, I love spending time outdoors, volunteering at the Museum of Science, and singing. Come say hello at STEM office hours, stop by Boat Club on Monday nights for cookies, or visit L-12 to play with our dog, Dusty!

Photo of Alyssa and James

Alyssa Botelho

Resident Tutor
B-23
Tutor in: Arts Outings, Kirkland Drama Society, Late Open Houses

Hi Kirkland! James and I are thrilled to return to Kirkland House this year. I’m in my sixth year as an MD/PhD student at Harvard, and am pursuing my graduate work in the History of Science department. My dissertation is on the history of health inequities in the rural U.S., with a focus on how rural hospitals figured into movements for racial equality, economic justice, and indigenous sovereignty in rural communities. Before starting medical school, I graduated from Harvard College and spent one year working as a reporter in Boston. I’m originally from Davidson, North Carolina and hail from a family of classical musicians. I love yoga, running, and hiking/camping. James and I are always happy to chat about graduate school, professional school, and the great outdoors. We look forward to seeing you all!
... Read more about Alyssa Botelho

Kate Drizos Cavell

Kate Drizos Cavell

House Administrator
H-13 (Office)

I've been at Harvard since 2006 and have gotten to see the university from lots of different angles. In Kirkland, I work on housing, events, room reservations, the budget, and whatever comes my way! My favorite things about Kirkland include KDS, Conversations with Kirkland, HoCo, sophomore advising, and our truly wonderful community of Tutors, students, and staff [and dogs]. Outside of Kirkland, I'm a PhD student at Boston College, where I study Higher Education. My office is under the Kirkland archway in H-Entry. Visitors are always welcome!

p: 617-495-2272
chadaideh

Katia Chadaideh

Resident Tutor
H-31
Tutor In: Study Abroad, Science Outings, CARE, STEM, Dessert Open Houses

Hey there, Kirkland! I’m super excited to be starting my second year as a tutor in H-entryway! Born and raised in Orlando, I braved the Boston winters to pursue a PhD in human evolutionary biology here at Harvard. I’m studying the impacts of diet on the gut microbiome (my research makes me think a lot about food, so you’ll be seeing me in the dining hall often!). As an undergrad at Rollins College, I majored in biochemistry and anthropology, and had the chance to conduct fieldwork in Spain, Mexico, and Japan. I’d be thrilled to chat about all things science at the STEM table, and to help you find opportunities for lab experiences or travels abroad! In my free time, I love hiking/camping, yoga, and am trying to become a more consistent runner. Looking forward to an amazing year!

Marcus Comiter

Marcus Comiter

Resident Tutor
E-31
Tutor in: Fellowships, CS, Math

Hi Kirkland! I'm very excited to return to the house community as the E-entryway Tutor. I'm a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science here at Harvard, where my research focuses on machine learning, wireless networks, computer vision, as well as public policy relating to technology issues. I am also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. I graduated from Harvard (Class of 2014) with a joint concentration in Computer Science and Statistics. I'm a native of South Florida, growing up among the alligators a little north of Miami. Outside of work, I enjoy movies, music, following environmental issues (especially in Florida), and politics. I'm also an avid aquarist (I have a saltwater aquarium with a clownfish named Crusty at home in Florida) and can never get enough of the beach. I'm looking forward to another great year in the Kirkland community!

Dawn Comstock

Dawn Comstock

Resident Tutor
20 DeWolfe 48
Tutor In: Pre-Med

Hi Kirkland House! Looking forward to my 3rd year as a Tutor in Kirkland! I’m originally from Minnesota, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College where I majored in Biology and Scandinavian Studies. I’m starting my sixth year as an MD/PhD student at Harvard, and pursuing my PhD in Immunology. Currently, I spend a lot of my time in lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute studying cancer immunotherapy. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, being outdoors, eating brunch, and traveling. I’m excited to play IM sports, hang out in the Kirkland Dining Hall, and have lots of conversations over coffee or tea!... Read more about Dawn Comstock

Tom Conley

Tom Conley

Faculty Dean of Kirkland House
Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor of Romance Languages & Literature and Art, Film, and Visual Studies

I came to Harvard in 1995 and to the Kirkland House in 2000. Trained in French literature at Columbia University (M.A.) and the University of Wisconsin (Ph.D.) in French and Art History, I taught at a number of institutions in North American and France before joining Romance Languages and, soon after, Visual and Environmental Studies. My research is devoted to literature, cinema, and cartography. I am on leave in 2019-20 and have been awarded a Berlin Prize. Verena and I consider Kirkland to be our House and Home, and its staff, students and affiliates all part of a wondrously extended family. It is a delight and an honor to be where we are. 

p: 617-495-2274
Verena Conley

Verena Conley

Faculty Dean of Kirkland House
Long-term Visiting Professor, Departments of Comparative Literature and Romance Languages and Literature

I was born in Zürich, Switzerland and spent my childhood on the shores of Lake Geneva. Raised bilingually in a family that specialized in business in Southeast Asia, I quickly developed a liking for other languages and cultures. After an education in the liberal arts built around seven years of Latin (!!), a Fulbright fellowship allowed me to settle on American shores. I turned resolutely to contemporary studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning my Ph.D. in French and Comparative Literature. I have taught at several institutions ( the University of Paris-VIII, the University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA among them). At Harvard, I teach in Comparative Literature and Romance Languages and Literatures. I have written on post-World War II intellectual history, experimental women writers, ecology, technology as well as a couple of creative books. I like to swim, hike, attend varsity games or simply hang out. I look forward to another wonderful year in Kirkland House.... Read more about Verena Conley

p: 617-495-2274
Christine Gant

Christine Gant

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Senior Common Room, Faculty Engagement, Pre-Law
Hi Kirkland! My husband Philip and I are excited to be back as tutors after a few years away. We’ll be running SCR and Fridays with Faculty. As a Pre-Law tutor, I’ll help you with exploring and navigating different paths in your legal careers. Previously, I worked as an intellectual property consultant and a legal researcher at Yoon & Yang LLC in Seoul; I also TFed CopyrightX at HLS, worked within the Recording Artists Project clinic, and interned with the Law Library of Congress. At HLS, I work as a research assistant, focusing on the legal understanding of knowledge. Before first coming to Kirkland, I studied International Relations and Film at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. I love listening to jazz, training dogs, and riding horses whenever I can find great trails. Come join us on our river walks or early morning coffees with our sweet Doberman, Isabel!
Philip Gant

Philip Gant

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Senior Common Room, Faculty Engagement, Writing
Hi Kirkland! After two years away, I'm excited to be back for my fifth year as a Kirkland tutor. Christine and I will be living with our pup, Isabel, and heading up SCR and Fridays with Faculty. I'll also be working with you as part of Writing Team. Come share a meal with us anytime, or just come hang with us and Isabel in the courtyard. I'm a Ph.D. student in History and East Asian Languages (HEAL), focusing on premodern Korea and China. Before returning to Boston this summer, I was a William R. Tyler Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, and, in 2017-8, a visiting fellow and student at the Academy of Korean Studies and at Kyujanggak Institute at Seoul National University. Despite all my years away, I remain at heart a Southern Californian. So if you find yourself wanting to talk about the ocean or the sun, about history or travel or language study or fellowships or sports or taking time off—or about anything really, I hope that you'll come say hello.
Scott Haywood

Scott Haywood

Building Manager
H-17 (Office)

Scott is responsible for the physical maintenance of the House and for improvement of all House facilities. Minor maintenance requests-such as repairs of leaky faucets, defective lights, or faulty locks-should be reported to his office. The Building Manager issues key cards and keys for all entries, suites, and House facilities. Scott is eager to help students in any way he can and welcomes questions and suggestions about Kirkland House.

Visit the Building Info tab of this site for information.

p: 617-495-2271