Resident Tutors

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!

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!

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

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!

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!
Kevin Mastro

Kevin Mastro

Resident Tutor
G-23
Tutor In: BGLTQ, STEM Table

Hi Kirkland House!!!!! My name is Kevin (he/him/his) and I am so excited to shift from my first year as a tutor (virtually) to being with the Kirkland community in-person! Grew up in Worcester (Central Mass, Woo!) before heading out to undergrad and graduate school in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, respectively. As the old saying goes, all roads lead back to Boston, and now I am a postdoc in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School where I am interested in how our brain and behavior changes through adolescence and why we are willing to take so many risk during that time. 

Within the Kirkland community, I will specialize on building, with all of you, a safe space for the BLGTQIA+ community and to lend my support to STEM, race relations, pre-med and IM, too! Outside of the lab, I enjoy staying active, tending to my millions of plants and finding the best new food spots in town. Beyond academia, I am passionate about affordable housing, healthcare equity and finding new ways to get involved within community advocacy. Can't wait to meet you all and to see what makes Kirkland community so special, you!! 

Katilau Mbindyo

Katilau Mbindyo

Resident Tutor
M-12
Tutor in: Writing, Drama Society

Hi Kirkland!
My name is Katilau (kah-tee-lah-oo).  I am a third year PhD student in the department of African and African American studies researching African indigenous wisdom and environmental humanities. Prior to living in Cambridge, I lived in New York City,  Poughkeepsie, NY, Houston, TX, Huntington Beach, CA, and Nairobi, Kenya. My pandemic hobbies include: long early morning walks, astrology, pop culture (currently in BTS rabbit hole), crocheting, in-home karaoke, and finding and taking care of houseplant friends. 
Super excited to spend this year in community with you all! 

Kadeem Noray and Savannah Noray

Kadeem Noray

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Economics, Pre-Career, Public Service

Hello Kirkland House! My name is Kadeem and I am excited to get to be a part of the Kirkland community. I’m a PhD Candidate in Public Policy (Economics Track) at the Harvard Kennedy School, where my research focuses on labor economics and economics of education. I grew up primarily in New Jersey, but have lived in Michigan and Montana as well. When I am not behind a computer analyzing data, I am usually playing basketball, reading philosophy, writing stand-up jokes, or watching TV shows / movies with my wife Savannah (who is also a resident tutor at Kirkland). Please feel free to contact me if you need anything or if you just want to get to chat!... Read more about Kadeem Noray

Kadeem Noray and Savannah Noray

Savannah Noray

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Econ, Public Service, CARE

Hi Kirkland! My name is Savannah, and I'm excited to be a new tutor in Kirkland this year. I am a third year Public Policy PhD student with fields in labor economics and international trade. My research focuses on labor market issues related to immigration and how women navigate having a career and a family. I grew up in a military family, so I have lived in California, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Japan. Outside of my research, I most enjoy watching good TV/movies, googling pictures of beautiful fashion/interior design, and having deep conversations over a cup of coffee. Looking forward to a wonderful year!