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 third year as a Resident Tutor. I’m in the MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School, where I’m doing my PhD in Immunology. 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, and exploring Boston. Happy to discuss applying to medical school, fellowships, or anything else that might be on your mind!

Buse Aktas

Buse Aktas

Resident Tutor
J-entry
Tutor in: Arts, STEM, International Student Advising, Study Abroad

Merhaba, Kirkland - I’m excited for my third year as a tutor in KHouse! I’m from Edirne, Turkey and a fifth year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering (SEAS) with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice (AFVS). After undergrad at Princeton, I had a variety of day jobs (R&D for household appliances, urban design work with municipalities, studio assistance for artists) while I worked in my own art studio by night. I also did a masters with field research in traditional craftsmanship practices (broommaking, saddlemaking, locksmithing, etc.). At Harvard, I design, model and build soft and squishy robots, design new engineering education methods, and make art objects. Let's chat about craft, science, education, and interdisciplinary and international career paths. And if you'd like some personalized fiction, I can make you some Turkish coffee and tell your fortune.

 

Tyler Alabanza-Behard

Tyler Alabanza-Behard

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Pre-Law, First-Gen

Hello, Kirkland! I am thrilled to be joining the community as a resident tutor. Currently, I am pursuing a JD at Harvard Law School, where I am a member of the Black Law Students Association, First Class (first-gen/working class students), and the Harvard Law Review. I was born and raised in Bristol, England. My BA (English Language and Literature) is from Oxford and my MA (Education Policy) is from Columbia. Before law school, I taught high school English in Houston, Texas, through Teach for America and worked in strategy and operations at an industrial supply company. Outside of my studies I enjoy playing football ("soccer"), watching sports, and going to the gym. Please don't hesitate to reach out; I look forward to getting to know you!

Lucia Baldock

Lucia Baldock

Building Manager
H-17 (Office)

Lucia 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 her office. The Building Manager issues key cards and keys for all entries, suites, and House facilities. Lucia is eager to help students in any way she can and welcomes questions and suggestions about Kirkland House.

Visit the Building Info tab of this site for information.

p: 617-495-2271
Eric Bersin

Eric Bersin

Resident Tutor
B-23
Tutor in: Engineering, Boat Club, Fellowships

Hey KHaus! I'm excited to return to Kirkland this year along with my wife, Kori. Originally from Chicago, I graduated from Kirkland in 2014, joint concentrating in {Biomedical Engineering} and {Chemistry & 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 with the Museum of Science, and singing. Come say hello at STEM office hours, chat me up about ways to fund your dream service/study trip, or come de-stress at our dog Dusty's Pawfice Hours!

Peter Blair

Peter Q. Blair

Scholar-in-Residence
Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Peter Q. Blair is on the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he co-directs the Project on Workforce. He serves as a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the principal investigator of the BE-Lab — a research group with partners from Harvard University, Clemson University, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His group’s research focuses on the link between the future of work and the future of education, labor market discrimination, occupational licensing, and residential segregation.

Blair received his Ph.D. in applied economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, his M.Sc. in theoretical physics from Harvard University, and his B.Sc. in physics and mathematics from Duke University. He is the youngest of his parents’ seven sons, and got his start understanding markets by selling fruit and vegetables in the Bahamas in the Nassau Straw Market with his brothers.

chadaideh

Katia Chadaideh

Resident Tutor and Senior Tutor
H-31
Tutor In: CARE, STEM, Conversations with Kirkland, Tutor Hiring Coordinator

Hey there, Kirkland! I'm super excited to be back for my fourth year as a tutor in H-entryway along with my partner, Dan! Born and raised in Orlando, I braved the Boston winters to pursue a PhD in human evolutionary biology here at Harvard. I study 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 get your input on fun Conversations with Kirkland speakers! In my free time, I love hiking/camping, yoga, and hammocking along the Charles with a good book. Looking forward to an amazing year!

Dawn Comstock

Dawn Comstock

Resident Tutor
20 DeWolfe 48
Tutor In: Pre-Med

Hi Kirkland House! Looking forward to my 5th 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 8th year as an MD/PhD student at Harvard. 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

Deming and Santimauro

David Deming

Faculty Dean of Kirkland House
Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Director, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

 

I grew up in Nashville, TN and after moving to Shaker Heights, OH when I was 15 I attended THE Ohio State University. After trying on several career paths, I found my way to Berkeley (where Janine and I met) and then Harvard. Apart from a year as an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon, I’ve been at Harvard continuously since 2005. I am a professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and also hold an appointment at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I am the Faculty Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at HKS. I teach Economics 1084, “The Causes and Consequences of Inequality”. My research focuses on education, technology, skills, labor markets and the future of work. I always enjoy conversation about the issues of the day, so come find me and let’s get into it. I’m an avid runner and a novice but eager skier. Thin crust pizza is better in general but nothing beats Pinocchio’s. It is a great honor and privilege to be your Faculty Deans!

 

p: 617-495-4370
Christopher Egi

Christopher Egi

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Pre-Career
Hi Kirkland! My name is Chris and I'm very excited to rejoin the Kirkland community in my first year as a Resident Tutor. I'm orginally from the Greater Toronto Area, and went to Harvard for undergrad, where I lived in Kirkland and played on the basketball team. After graduating in 2018, I've spent the last three years working in finance and investing in technology startups, with a focus on backing underrepresented founders. I'm now working on building a start-up of my own as a member of the South Park Common's Founder Fellowship, a program that provides funding and mentorship to entrepreneurs. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, writing music (hip hop and R&B), and watching movies. If you have any questions about entrepreneurship or are trying to get a game of basketball going, feel free to hit me up!
Gupta and Vatsa

Anika Gupta

Resident Tutor
D-11
Tutor in: STEM, Faculty Engagement, Arts Outings
Hey there, K-House! I'm delighted for year two with the Kirkland family as a tutor alongside Raj. We'll be running Fridays with Faculty and Senior Common Room events, and I'm excited to also advise in STEM. Originally from California, I'm currently a fourth year PhD student at Harvard and the Broad Institute using single cell genomics to better understand gene regulation. I studied at MIT for my undergrad ('18), where I fell in love with data science, biotech, and Boston. Outside of lab, I enjoy nature (hiking, climbing, biking), creating (singing, podcasting, poetry), and spending time with friends and family. I'm thrilled to get to know you all, please never hesitate to reach out!

Kevin Holden

Kevin Holden

Writer-in-Residence
I-27
Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows

I'm very happy to continue this year as Kirkland's Writer-in-Residence. I graduated from Harvard College in 2005, after which I attended Cambridge (MPhil), the Iowa Writers Workshop (MFA), and Yale (PhD). I am now a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, where I am writing about poetry and philosophy. I have published several books and chapbooks of poetry, as well as translations from French, German, and Russian. Here in Kirkland I organize poetry readings and events, and bring writers to the House for dinners and conversations. I am also one of the BGLTQ tutors and help out with fellowships in the fall. I also host an occasional writing table, where we read texts of our own or by writers we enjoy — everyone is welcome!

Mohammed Jagana

Mohammed Jagana

Resident Tutor
A-26
Tutor in: Pre-Law, Social and Environmental Justice, Race Relations

 

Hey Kirkland! I'm excited to be retuning for my second year in A-Entryway! I'm originally from Seattle, WA (no, it does not rain everyday lol) and am in my third year at Harvard Law School. Before coming to law school, I spent a year in Amsterdam, Netherlands teaching English and researching education while on a Fulbright. I'm a pre-law advisor, but will also be helping out with Race Relations and Social & Environmental Justice programming. I'm happy to chat about hiking, travel adventures, and Harry Potter. I look forward to meeting you all!
Edie Johnson

Edie Johnson

Resident Tutor and Sophomore Advising Coordinator
20 DeWolfe 38
Tutor In: BGLTQ, First Gen advising

Hi KHouse! Rachel and I are excited to be back as tutors for our fifth year! You can find us and my dog, Cookie, in DeWolfe 20-38. We are both Kirkland House alums dedicated to bringing the Straus Cup back to its rightful home! I'm originally from a very small town (population <100) in Northern Minnesota and graduated from Harvard with a concentration in Engineering Sciences. I currently work at a startup called Habu as a Revenue Operations Manager. Outside of work, I love playing board games in the dining hall and am always looking for new players!... Read more about Edie Johnson

Daniel Kapec

Daniel Kapec

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: STEM table, Outings, Conversations with Kirkland
Hi there Kirkland House! My name is Dan, and I'm stoked to be joining the tutor staff along with my partner Katia! I'm excited to be back at Harvard as a postdoc at the Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications (CMSA) after receiving my PhD in theoretical physics here in 2018. As an undergrad at Yale I majored in Physics and Mathematics, and I just finished a postdoc in Princeton at the Institute for Advanced Study. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, going to Red Sox games and exploring Boston. I'm also always down to play some video games after grabbing dinner in the dining hall. Looking forward to chatting with you at the STEM table and planning some fun outings. Be sure to also give us your recommendations for Conversations with Kirkland. I can't wait to get to know you all!