Warehouse RAs 2019-2020

Resident assistants (RAs) work alongside the Heads of House to build community among the first-year residents and to aid in ensuring the smooth functioning of the building as a living environment and student space. For more information about RAs and how to join, see Join the RA Team.

Email the RAs at wh-ras@mit.edu.

President: Zahra Essack

Zahra is a PhD Candidate in Planetary Science, where her research involves the detection and characterization of exoplanets (planets outside the solar system). Zahra hails from hot and humid Durban, South Africa, where she received her undergraduate and Masters degrees in physics and applied mathematics. She enjoys cooking, travelling and swimming, and can often be found outside enjoying the four distinct seasons Cambridge has to offer.

Treasurer: Alexander Papen

Alexander is a second-year Master’s student in the Transportation Program at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. As part of the International Center for Air Transportation, his research focuses on developing new revenue management and optimization solutions in collaboration with several of world’s largest airlines. Before coming to MIT, Alexander obtained a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from KU Leuven in his home country, Belgium. He also spent several years abroad in Houston, Tokyo and Toulouse (Airbus). During his free time, you will most likely find Alexander sailing on the Charles River, jogging along the Esplanade, or playing soccer at Briggs field.

Co-Welcoming and Wellness Chair: Michael Das

Michael is a PhD student in the Department of Biology and studies the role of RNA aggregation in neurological diseases. He grew up in Michigan and went to Michigan State University where he studied plant biology. When he’s not in lab, Michael enjoys hiking, playing his trombone, and watching reruns of Seinfeld.

Co-Welcoming and Wellness Chair: Rose Zhang

Rose is a second-year PhD student in Mathematics studying harmonic analysis. She grew up in Shanghai, China, and received her bachelor's from UC Berkeley. In her free time, Rose enjoys baking, swimming, and digging through piles of used books.

Webmaster and Technology Officer: John Tauber

John is a PhD student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, where he works on statistical methods for neuroscience data. John graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Biology in 2010. Before coming to MIT, he spent several years living and working in Florida. He also spent half a year backpacking in Chile and Argentina during this time, and still remembers some Spanish on his good days. John enjoys reading, tennis, travel, and exploring all the amazing dining options in Cambridge and surrounding areas.

Secretary: Annie Zhang

Annie is a PhD student in the Biology Department, where she is studying the mechanisms of DNA replication during the cell cycle. Before coming to MIT, she lived in Hong Kong for 18 years and then came to the States and studied at the University of Chicago. Although most of the time you will find her in lab, she also enjoys cooking, baking, running and biking. Her favorite recipes are freshly pounded mochi, castella, chiffon cakes, and okonomiyaki!

Co-Sustainability and Building RA: Flo Ma

Flo is an M.Arch student in the Department of Architecture. Before studying architecture, she majored in Molecular and Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. After that she spent a year working at a health clinic in Philadelphia and the year after walking dogs in Chicago. Flo enjoys eating and making food, being outside, growing plants, and climbing at the wall on campus.

Co-Sustainability and Building RA: Francis Reilly-Andujar

Francis is a PhD student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, where he studies the physiology of synaptic plasticity and how experience and pharmacological manipulations may affect these processes. Francis is from San Juan, Puerto Rico and attended the University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras where he received a Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology. In his free time, Francis enjoys going on bike rides, playing baseball/softball (when it's not cold), playing guitar and talking about anything that is related to aviation.

Sports RA: Brenden Butters

Brenden is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He specializes in circuits and systems with a focus on radio frequency and high speed applications. Brenden is from Sydney, Australia, and completed his undergraduate degrees at the University of Wollongong. He enjoys outdoor activities, competitive shooting, and working out in the gym.

Lori and Steven Lerman Arts Co-Chair*: Soohyun Lim

Soohyun is a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry, whose research focuses on main group catalysis. She was born and grew up in South Korea, where she received her undergraduate degree from Seoul National University. She is not entirely new to the Boston area, however, as she also has a master's degree from Harvard University and work experience at the hub of biopharmaceutical industry in Kendall Square. Outside the lab, Soohyun enjoys strolling around the city, travelling, watching soccer, and exploring craft beers. She also is a compulsive walker and truly believes that Boston provides her with an almost ideal environment for her lifestyle.

Lori and Steven Lerman Arts Co-Chair*: Zainab Taymuree

Zainab is a second year master's student at the School of Architecture and Planning. Her current research combines racial equity and design history. From California's Bay Area, Zainab received her bachelor's degree from Stanford University in African-American History. She is looking forward to planning arts events for fellow residents and finding small ways to build art practices into grad life.

*This RA position was created to honor the contributions and legacy of founding Warehouse Housemasters Lori and Steven Lerman who lived at the Warehouse from 2000 to 2010. One of Lori's many contributions to the Warehouse community was a music program to which she dedicated her talents and resources. Lori and Steve now live in Monterey, California, where Steve is Provost and Academic Dean at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Community Chair: Marie Feng

Marie is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Her research specialization is in using ultrasound to continuously monitor hemodynamic parameters. Originally from Austin, Marie graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Computer Science. Outside the lab, Marie enjoys watching college football (GO CARD!), teaching group fitness, and finding the best cannoli in Boston.

Kindness and Outreach RA: Dimitra Vardalaki

Dimitra is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, where she studies the computational power of single neurons and what that enables them to do. Before coming to MIT, Dimitra studied Medicine at the University of Athens, Greece. She enjoys running and swimming. You will often find her on the terrace socializing with friends.