People

Eric headshot

Eric Kuenstner

Resident Chemist and Model
Second Year Adviser

Eric Kuenstner lives in D entryway with Leslie and their dog Zwiebel. Eric serves as a second year adviser to Kirkland students interested in chemistry. He has a PhD in chemistry and works as a senior scientist at Entasis Therapuetics, a drug development company that focuses on antibiotic discovery. Outside of his work, Eric enjoys rock climbing, motorcycling, photography, and cross-country skiing. Eric would never admit it, but he is also a clothing model for Foehn. Unfortunately for Eric, he is married to a prankster, who wrote this bio unbeknowst to him.

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!

Julia Pian

Julia Pian

Resident Tutor
20 DeWolfe 48
Tutor In: Pre-Med, Fellowships

Hi Kirkland! My name is Julia and I'm from sunny San Diego, but now call Kirkland home. I graduated from Kirkland in 2015, concentrating in Chemical and Physical Biology, with a secondary field in English. In 2020, I completed the combined Harvard MD/MBA program and am now a physician resident in the Combined Boston Residency Program in Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital. I'm happy to chat about science, medicine, business, and 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

Wilson Qin

Wilson Qin

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Kirkland Drama Society, Fellowships, Outings, STEM Table, website, community kitchen

Hi K-House! I'm excited to serve as your resident tutor of I-entryway along with my friend Stefan. I'm a Computer Science PhD candidate in the Data Systems Lab (DASlab) @ Harvard SEAS (on leave). This year I am spending my time working on a new venture. I first came through Kirkland House with Class of 2015, concentrating in Computer Science. Before the PhD, I was incredibly lucky to have had a broad set of opportunities, including working as a data analytics staffer for a presidential campaign, growing quantitative hedge funds, and engaging with the venture & startup community. I'm happy to chat about STEM research & academia, quantitative finance, tech startups and venture capital, political campaigns, and your creative pursuits in general. I hope to meet all of you throughout this year!... Read more about Wilson Qin

Stefan Rajkovic

Stefan Rajkovic

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Pre-Career, IMs, Brew Club, Beer Seminar

Hi Kirkland! I'm excited to return to Kirkland this year for my third year as a resident tutor, living in I Entryway with Wilson. I'm currently a software engineer at a local startup , where I arrived after spending two and half years at Microsoft post graduation in 2017. As an undergraduate, I was involved in house committee, intramurals, teaching (CS51 and CS61), and advising (as a PAF for 3 years), and now as a tutor I focus on the Pre-Career team, IMs, and brew club/beer seminar. Outside of that, I like to bike, hammock, and enjoy all that Boston has to offer. Can't wait to meet all of you and welcome you into the Kirkland community!

Professional headshot of Dean Rith-Najarian

Leslie Rith-Najarian, PhD (she/her/hers)

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

As your Resident Dean...

I am so excited to be joining Kirkland House! Harvard first became my home when I was undergraduate in 2008, and it is an honor to continue serving this community. After completing a PhD in clinical psychology at UCLA, I returned to the Harvard Psychology Department in 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher and instructor. My approach to advising students focuses on empowering each student through their unique strengths, goals, and values.

Along with Kirkland House’s Academic Coordinator, Linda, I am here to support your academic and personal welfare at Harvard.  My door is open to all. You can sign up for a time during my support hours here (options for in-person or Zoom).

More about me...

My academic research aims to develop mental health interventions for young people, with a focus on accessibility and underserved populations. Example interventions include an online stress management program for university students, and a primary care screening program for adolescents with recent trauma. Complimenting my research, I worked as a clinician at a high school and at the UCLA Counseling Center. I am currently a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts, with a specialty in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance use, and crisis management. I will also be teaching as lecturer in the Psychology Department, with planned course topics including: technology and mental health, evidence-based treatments, and the psychology of culture and identity.

Practicing what I preach, self-care is crucial. Having grown up in northern Minnesota, I love the outdoors. I am an avid rock climber along with my spouse, Eric (he/him), and we enjoy taking our senior dog, Zwiebel (“onion” in German), on hikes. My other hobbies include cooking (especially vegan, Armenian, and German food), board games, and planning elaborate pranks.

p: 617-495-2276
Amber Rock

Amber Rock

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: STEM Table, CARE, Arts, Music
Howdy! My name is Amber and I'm delighted to be joining Kirkland as a resident tutor! I am a third year PhD student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. I grew up in Long Beach, CA and completed my undergraduate at Bowdoin College before coming to Harvard. Outside of the lab, I enjoy printmaking, camping, and am a proud member of Bachelor Nation™. At Kirkland, I am a STEM, CARE, and arts and music tutor. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all!!!
Deming and Santimauro

Janine Santimauro

Faculty Dean of Kirkland House

I was born and raised in NYC, and after studying business administration and finance at Villanova I moved back to the Big Apple to work in health care investment banking. On September 11th, 2001 I reset my career and have since dedicated myself to improving health care access for all, especially children. In my day job, I am the vice president of network development and strategic partnerships at Boston Children’s Hospital. I have masters’ degrees in Public Health and Public Policy from UC-Berkeley, where David and I met in math camp. I enjoy running on the Charles river most mornings and training for marathons - whether or not they actually happen. I am always looking for running partners to burn off the tasty treats that our two daughters will be baking for all the members of the Kirkland House.... Read more about Janine Santimauro

p: 617-495-2274
Channing Spencer

Channing Spencer

Resident Tutor
Tutor in: Fellowships, Public Service

Hi Kirkland! My name is Channing (she/her/hers) and I'm a PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior, a joint program between Harvard Business School and the Department of Sociology. My research focuses on inequality--particularly gender and race--within organizations and labor markets. I'm an alum of the College and previously worked in the tech and ed tech industries. At Kirkland, I advise on Fellowships and Public Service. I'm also happy to chat current events, bingeworthy shows, yummy eats, good reads, and podcasts.

R Tandias

Rachel Tandias

Resident Tutor
20 DeWolfe 38
Tutor In: IMs, Outings, Pre-Med
Hi Kirkland! I'm excited to be returning for my 5th year as a tutor along with my best friend Edie. I'm a 4th year medical student at Harvard and part of the Kirkland Pre-Med team. I'm originally from Wisconsin and was in Kirkland as an undergrad, graduating in 2016 with a concentration in chemistry. I'm a die-hard K-Force Intramurals enthusiast and enjoy leading fun Kirkland outings, running the steps at Harvard Stadium, designing Kirkland merch, and watching reality TV. I can't wait to share the K-House love with all of you!
Matthew Thomas

Matthew Thomas

House Aide
Tutor in: Dessert Open House

Hi K House! My name is Matt Thomas, and this year I will be Kirkland's House Aide (also known as a "House Elf"). I've spent the last three years living as a student in Kirkland House, and I graduated from Harvard College last May (2021). Kirkland holds a very special place in my heart, and I want to do all that I can to help other Kirklanders get the same experience. So far in practice that has meant making snow cones, going on junior outing boat cruises, and starting flame wars on the Kirkland House Open email list. Pretty exciting, right? A House Elf by day, I moonlight as a middle school History and English teacher at the Community Charter School of Cambridge and a graduate student pursuing my Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. If you have any questions related to German, lasers, or how to make a legendary Housing Day video, ask our tutor Eric Fadel. He's much cooler than me. But if you any questions about Venn diagram humor, space travel, Los Angeles sports teams, unionization, improv comedy, or Lyndon B. Johnson, then I might just be your guy.

Linda Thomas

Linda Thomas (she/her/hers)

Academic Coordinator

Hello Kirkland! As Kirkland’s Academic Coordinator, I manage student records including letters of recommendation and assist with academic questions for the Registrar or Ad Board. I’ve been working at Harvard since 2014 and came to Kirkland in the fall of 2020. Before Harvard, I worked in academic journal publishing and teaching English to adult immigrant and refugee students in various non-profit community programs around Boston and Lawrence. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with family, and going on hikes in local state parks.

p: 617-495-2276