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 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!
baum

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.

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

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

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.
Edie Johnson

Edie Johnson

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

Hi KHouse! Rachel and I are excited to be back as tutors for our third 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 worked at Harvard’s Office of Career Services for two years, and now I work at a startup called Virtudent (founded by one of Kirkland’s non-resident tutors). Outside of work, I love playing board games in the dining hall and am always looking for new players!
... Read more about Edie Johnson

Marie Keil

Marie Keil

Resident Tutor and Sophomore Advising Coordinator
A-26
Tutor In: HoCo Advising, IM Crew, Faculty Dean Retreat

Hey Kirkland! I’m so excited to be back for another year in Kirkland, proudly living in A entry (go A-team!). I’m your Sophomore Advising Co-Coordinator, HoCo advisor, Intramural Crew tutor (we’re always recruiting!), and general Kirkland fanatic. After growing up in a small town in rural Oregon, I graduated from Harvard (and Kirkland) in 2014 with a degree in Chemistry and Archaeology, then went abroad for a Master’s degree at Oxford. I've worked in a number of jobs around Harvard, including at the Institute of Politics and the Freshman Dean’s Office, before taking my current role at Mentor Collective, an edtech startup that runs mentoring programs for college students. My other passions include breakfast food, tea, Shakespeare, baking, powerlifting, knitting, and rowing. You’ll always find me in the dining hall for breakfast, and for most dinners as well – I hope you’ll join me for a meal to chat about anything and everything!

mateo

Katherine Mateo

Resident Tutor
C-42
Tutor in: Pre-Law, Race Relations, First Gen advising, Spanish Table

Hi Kirkland! I’m very excited to be part of this community. I am from Philadelphia, PA and am in my third year of the joint degree program at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School. I am a pre-law advisor, a race relations advisor, and I host a Spanish table in the dining hall. Swing by if you’d like to chat!... Read more about Katherine Mateo

pian

Julia Pian

Resident Tutor
20 DeWolfe 48
Tutor In: Pre-Med

Hi Kirkland! My name is Julia and I'm from sunny San Diego, but now call this freezing place home. I graduated from Kirkland in 2015, concentrating in Chemical and Physical Biology, with a secondary field in English. Currently, I am an MD/MBA candidate dividing my time between the Longwood and Allston campuses. I'm happy to chat about science, medicine, the MD/MBA path and other joint degree programs. In my spare time, I am a theater aficionado (always game for a musical sing-along or a discussion of Shakespeare), martial artist and pasta/udon lover. 
... Read more about Julia Pian

Thomas Plumb-Reyes

Thomas Plumb-Reyes

Resident Tutor
N-Entry
Tutor in: CARE, STEM Table, Wine Seminar, Brew Club, Beer Seminar
Hi Everybody! I’m so excited to be joining the resident team after years of helping (of-age) Kirklanders learn to appreciate the wide world of fermented beverages. I’m a PhD candidate in Applied Physics where I study tangled things (think long hair, bird’s nests, headphones in your pocket, DNA, etc.) in the Applied Math Lab under Professor L. Mahadevan. Beyond the Beer, Wine, and Whisk(e)y Seminars, you can find me during STEM office hours and as part of the CARE and Writing teams. I’m always happy to talk comic books, sci-fi and crime fiction, old movies, and vintage fashion. Finally, I look forward to working with you all to build a better, more inclusive STEM culture.