SCR Student Connections

The following Senior Common Room members have offered to make a Student Connection with undergraduates of Kirkland House. If you are interested in connecting with one of these members, please email Anika and Raj (for the 2020-21 academic year).

Timothy B. Brown

Managing Director, Asia – Alumni Affairs & Development; Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Timothy B. BrownOver thirty-five years at six major universities on two continents Tim has worked to advance higher education on a global scale. After a decade working in the performing arts, Tim pursued a life-long passion in world affairs and culture rooted in childhood experiences living in France and the Middle East. After completing a bachelor’s degree in The Arts at the State University of New York’s Empire State College, Tim earned a master’s degree in International Relations at The American University and the EdD at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Before enrolling at Harvard, Tim advised the Ministry of Education of Kuwait on implementation of a government funded international scholarship program and established the first office of international admissions at The American University in Washington DC. In 1991, with a doctorate in Administration, Planning and Social Policy and a concentration in Higher Education, Tim served as special assistant to the president at the University of Hartford where he built the university’s international profile through a series of student and faculty exchange programs with universities in the Middle East and East Asia. From 2000-2002 Tim and his family relocated to Lebanon where he worked at The American University of Beirut (AUB) helping to restore AUB as a first-class medical research and clinical center in the Arab Middle East. Before coming to Harvard in 2009, Tim directed the fund-raising effort for the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, a joint venture involving Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University. Tim enjoys advising, mentoring and networking with students, particularly those with an interest in non-profit management, fundraising, the arts, international exchange and education. 

Thomas Byrne

Professor of Neurology and Health Sciences & Technology, Part-time, Harvard Medical School; Neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital
Thomas has been a clinical neurologist and neuro-oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School since 2005. He also teaches a Freshman Seminar at Harvard College exploring how the mind emerges from the human brain. Prior to moving to Cambridge, he was at Yale for 24 years. He has met with and mentored countless undergraduates who are considering the profession of medicine as clinicians, scientists or clinician-scientists throughout his time at Yale, MIT and Harvard. He would be quite pleased to speak with Kirkland students.


Ivan Gaskell

Professor of Cultural History and Museum Studies at Bard Graduate Center, New York City
Before taking up his current chair, Professor Gaskell was Margaret S. Winthrop Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts at the Harvard Art Museums, and senior lecturer on History. At Harvard he remains research associate in North American Ethnology at the Peabody Museum, and an associate of Kirkland House. During his regular visits to Cambridge he is available to members of the House interested in either graduate work in history, art history, anthropology, or philosophy; or in an eventual museum career. Mobilizing non-written traces of the past, Professor Gaskell addresses intersections among history, art history, anthropology, and philosophy. As well as writing case studies ranging from seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, Native American baskets, and Congo textiles, he works on underlying philosophical questions. While at Cambridge University, he edited the book series Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and the Arts with Salim Kemal. He organized numerous exhibitions at Harvard University, where he taught and curated between 1991 and 2011. At Bard Graduate Center, as well as teaching in the Masters and PhD programs, Professor Gaskell heads the Focus Project, an ongoing series of experimental exhibitions and publications. Professor Gaskell is the author, editor, or co-editor of twelve books, including The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish Painting (Philips, 1990), and Vermeer’s Wager (Reaktion, 2000). His most recent book (with Laurel Ulrich, Sara Schechner, and Sarah Anne Carter) is Tangible Things: Making History through Objects (Oxford University Press, 2015). He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and edited volumes in history, art history, anthropology, and philosophy. In addition to his Bard Graduate Center and Harvard positions, Professor Gaskell is research associate in Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and a permanent senior fellow of the Lichtenberg-Kolleg (Advanced Study Institute) of the Georg-August University, Göttingen where he spends two months each spring. He also writes contemporary art criticism, contributing regularly to artUS and West 86th

Virginie Greene

virginiegreeneProfessor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard
Virginie Greene has joined Harvard faculty in 1998, after obtaining her Ph.D in French literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She studies and teaches the Middle Ages, Marcel Proust, WWI, logic and fiction, and more recently cultures of protest in France and elsewhere. She is interested in literature, philosophy and history. She likes looking at things, places and people. Although she has been living for more than thirty years in the United States, she maintains strong connections with her hometown in northeast France. She has been recruited in the SCR of Kirkland House for quite a long time, and enjoys the good spirit she finds there.


John Henn

johnhennJohn is a Kirkland House and Harvard Law School alumnus. He held a long career as a partner in a prominent Boston firm, but is now retired and hears cases as a private arbitrator. For 35 years, he was outside pro-bono counsel for Planned Parenthood of MA, and led many important abortion rights cases in Massachusetts, even arguing in the Supreme Court. John is also the former president of the Board of the ACLU of MA. He is likewise the former president of Cambridge’s Just-A-Start Corporation, which develops and manages affordable housing, provides job training in biomed and in IT, and both for underserved or underprivileged populations.


Kessely Hong

Lecturer in Public Policy, Faculty Chair (MPA Programs + Mid-Career MPA Summer Program), Harvard Kennedy School

hong_kesselyKessely Hong is a Lecturer in Public Policy and the Faculty Chair of the MPA Programs and the Mid-Career MPA Summer Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. She teaches both Degree Program as well as Executive Education students in the areas of negotiation and decision-making. Kessely was presented with the Manuel C. Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching by the graduating class of 2015, and the Holly Taylor Sargent Award  for Women’s Advancement by the Women and Public Policy Program in 2018. Kessely is interested in exploring strategies low-power or low-status parties can use to influence others through negotiation. She has been collaborating with a team of colleagues funded by the Hewlett Foundation Madison Initiative to develop teaching materials that demonstrate tools to make progress in partisan legislative negotiations. Before coming to the Kennedy School, Kessely worked for the management consulting firm McKinsey and Company and taught English in Ecuador. She earned her PhD in Public Policy and MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she won the Dean's Award for Excellence in Student Teaching; her BA is from Harvard College.

Benjamin N. Levy 

School Teacher

Ben N LevyBen Levy (AB 1969, MAT 1972) walked from his Somerville home to Wigglesworth D-11 to become a freshman in Harvard College. His parents had not graduated from high school, so he was what is now called a “first gen” student. Harvard’s generous financial aid allowed him to get the education his parents wanted for him. He became a high school teacher directly after graduation and currently teaches mathematics to international students in a language pathway program. Living close to campus has enabled him to attend lectures and audit classes on poetry, film, literature, and philosophy. Ben has been an active alumnus, serving as long-time reunion co-chair for his Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1969. He loves Commencement ever since Harvard invited him, as a recently admitted local student, to be an usher in June 1965. For over a quarter century he has been a member of the Committee on the Happy Observance of Commencement (aka the Happy Committee) – it’s real, ask him about it. He would be delighted to chat with Kirkland students about teaching, public service, politics, and all things Harvard.

Keegan Mendez 

keeganPhD Student at Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) Program
Keegan Mendez called Kirkland home until 2017. During her time at Harvard she studied biomedical engineering, conducting her research at the Wyss Institute with Professors Mooney and Walsh. After leaving Kirkland, Keegan traveled to (the other) Cambridge to pursue her MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise at the University of Cambridge. Keegan is now back in (the better) Cambridge to begin her PhD through the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program. She is happy to discuss biomedical engineering and biotechnology, the clinical translation and application of biomedical research and innovation, graduate programs in the UK, and the application process for PhD programs in the US. While she now spends most of her time at MIT, Kirkland will always be home at heart. Please reach out if you have any questions!

Lawrence Miller

M.D., CEO, Macrolide Pharmaceuticals and Dept. of Medicine, MGH and Harvard Medical Schoollgmiller
Larry Miller was trained as a pulmonary/critical care physician and pharmacologist, but for the last 26 years he has been in the start-up world. He has founded 9 start-up companies in life sciences/ healthcare (and served as CEO or Board Chair in each), and has held senior positions in two other companies. He also has been a venture investor in more than a dozen companies in this area. He is currently CEO of a start-up based in Watertown developing novel antibiotics. He has sponsored a number of start-up dinners at Kirkland, and would be happy to speak to students about starting companies or joining start-ups, whether in life sciences, healthcare, technology, etc.



Thomas Murphy, MD

tmmdEditor in Chief, Pediatric Pulmonology

Thomas Murphy (Kirkland ’68) was Chief of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at the U of Chicago and Duke University and currently on the teaching faculties of MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Harvard Medical School.  His research included basic science and clinical outcomes.  He was co-founder and first medical director of the Coordinating Center, a non-profit group that does case coordination for home care of complex medical conditions for medicare- and medicaid-recipients in the state of Maryland. He was a member of a safety committee in the development of human recombinant DNase, a treatment to clear mucus from the airways of cystic fibrosis fibrosis patients and an endpoint adjudicator in the development of the biologic Fasendra for treating severe asthma.  He is an active member of the College of Reviewers of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and previously of multiple review panels for the National Institutes for Health. He would like use his multi-faceted clinical and translational background to discuss the rewards of medical career evolution with Kirkland House students.

Danilo Petranovich

Danilo PetranovichDirector of the Abigail Adams Institute
Dr. Petranovich '00 has taught political science at Duke and Yale Universities, and is currently writing a book (under contract with Yale University Press) about the three-decade duel between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, which resulted, he argues, in a transformation of American nationhood. Dr. Petranovich received his BA from Harvard and his PhD in Political Science from Yale. He taught courses in political theory, social thought, and the humanities at Duke and at Yale. His expertise is in nineteenth century European and American political thought. He is also the director of the Abigail Adams Institute.


Donald H. Pfister

Curator of the Farlow Library and Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany and Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany, Harvard University
Donald Pfister has been at Harvard for many years, 18 of which he served as what is now Faculty Dean at Kirkland House with his wife Cathleen.  He served as Dean of the Harvard Summer School and as Interim Dean of Harvard College. The Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology is his academic home.  His research activities center on the study of life histories and relationships among several groups of fungi.  He teaches a course on the Biology of Fungi and has taught courses on economic botany, trees and forests. He is also curator at the Farlow Reference Library and Herbarium.  He has an on-going interest in biography, history of science and topics related to the documentation of natural history expeditions. His work in the Farlow Library and Herbarium involves the stewardship of well over 1 million specimens of fungi, bryophytes, lichens and algae.  His current favorite location for doing field studies is southern South America an area that is both understudied and biologically diverse. His studies have taken him to many parts of the world. Perhaps in the House he is best known as the advisor for the student doing the study of the Kirkland cockroach.

Sushma Raman

SushmaExecutive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Sushma brings a rich and diverse background in philanthropy, human rights and social justice through her work in the U.S. and globally with the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations, as well as her experience leading human rights programs, philanthropic collaboratives, and social justice foundations. Sushma has served as a judge for the Robert F. Kennedy Center’s international human rights award, a prestigious award given annually to a courageous leader working to end injustice and improve the human condition. She has also taught graduate public policy courses on global civil society, the state and the NGO sector; inter-sectoral leadership; as well as nonprofit policy and management at the University of Southern California and University of California at Los Angeles. Sushma has been an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School for the past two years, after graduating from the mid-career MPA program from HKS in 2013, where she was awarded the Lucius N. Littauer Fellowship in recognition of her academic achievements and leadership role within the HKS community.

Tamara Elliott Rogers

tamaraVice President for Alumni Affairs and Development
Tamara assumed the position of Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development in 2007. Previously, she was the Associate Dean for Advancement and Planning at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Associate Director of University Development and Director of University Capital Projects, Director of Major Gifts for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Director of International Admissions in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She is past president of the Phillips Academy (Andover, MA) Alumni Council, and past president of the Abbot Academy Association.  She has also served on the American Selection Committee of the United World Colleges. In spring 2014 she was appointed a Charter Trustee of the Board of Phillips Academy.

Bridgette Slater

slaterbKirkland '15; JD/MBA Student, Harvard UniversityBridgette Slater (Kirkland '15) is a JD/MBA student at Harvard Law School (HLS) and Harvard Business School (HBS). She calls both Washington, DC and Arkansas home. During her time at Harvard College, Bridgette studied Biomedical Engineering with a secondary in the Classics. After graduation, Bridgette worked for Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Chicago, focusing on Healthcare and Social Impact. Her HBS activities include: the African American Student Union, the Women's Student Association, and the Food, Agriculture, and Water Club. Her HLS activities include: the Black Law Students Association, the Women's Law Association, and the Human Rights and Business Students Association. She is happy to discuss management consulting, applying to law and/or business school, balancing love of science and the humanities, and general life lessons. Kirkland holds a special place in her heart. Bridgette is eager to help and looks forward to meeting you!

Charles Swearingen

Charles was a psychiatrist at Harvard University Health Services and then in private practice in Harvard Square for many years. He has been a pre-med advisor at Kirkland House, and some years back offered an informal course on meditation for House members. He has a wide range of interests: psychology, zen buddhism, politics, business, literature, and religion/spirituality. He has been in the SCR for many years, and has a real love for Kirkland. During his undergraduate years, he was a student in Leverett House; he obtained his medical education at Yale.

Ellen Williams

Premedical and Health Careers Advising, Office of Career Services at Harvard University
Ellen advises students and alumni of Harvard College and GSAS who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, public health, or another health profession. She also works with the rest of the pre-med team on developing programming and resources for pre-health students. Prior to coming to OCS she practiced both primary care internal medicine and urgent care for many years at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School where she taught medical students and residents, served on the admissions committee for Harvard Medical School, worked on internship selection for the MGH, and served as an editor for continuing medical education at the New England Journal of Medicine. Most recently she has worked in secondary education in the Boston area. Ellen is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is interested in talking to students and alumni about anything, but has the most expertise in issues related to medical school admissions and education. She loves to be outside, to hike, and to do anything that involves being in, on, or near water.