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Baker House
About Baker House

The GRAs

Last updated October 26, 2018

A Graduate Resident Advisor (GRA) is a graduate student at MIT who lives in the undergraduate community and serves as mentor, advocate, and resource for the students. Baker has 10 GRAs including a Leadership GRA who helps with the Baker Leaders program. While the GRAs focus on their individual areas on floors, they are available to the whole community as a resource. Meet our Baker GRAs!

Baker Leaders - Stewart Isaacs

Hello! I’m a 3rd year PhD Candidate in Aeronautics and Astronautics in the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment. My research looks into low-carbon alternative fuel and solar energy generation in West Africa. I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and earned my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Outside of academics, I am passionate about the sport of competitive jump rope. I love being outside, watching popular anime, and building caring communities that help people to thrive.

Why Baker leaders is the best: Baker leaders are the best because we thrive on the excitement of every Bakerite!

Baker First West - Mark Saddler

Hello! My name is Mark. I am a PhD student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department where I work on building computational models of human hearing. I mostly grew up in San Diego, CA, though I ventured to colder climates for college in Chicago, IL, and have now made it all the way across the country. Some of my favorite things about Cambridge are the pick-up soccer scene and the large number of places to get hot chocolate. Outside of work, I enjoy sports (especially soccer, volleyball, squash, and skiing), hiking, and Jeopardy. In college, I studied biology and chemistry, and I first became interested in auditory neuroscience while researching how blue whales use sound.

Why Baker First is the best: Literally #1. Elevator down again? Poor Baker Sixth.

Baker Second West - Chelsea Onyeador

Chelsea is a 2nd year graduate student in Aeronautics and Astronautics, where she researches computational aerodynamics with the Hypersonics Research Team (HRT). She is Nigerian-American, but born and raised in Pflugerville, TX. She received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2018 and is deeply interested in education equity. Here at MIT, she is closely involved with the Black Graduate Student Association and AeroAfro group. Her hobbies include playing bass guitar and cooking.

Baker First and Second East - Claire Lazar

Claire grew up in a New Jersey suburb with a love for the outdoors and friends that drop by spontaneously. In school she became drawn to math and chose it as her major as an undergrad at MIT. Claire is now back at MIT, this time for grad studies in statistics and finance. She hopes to one day contribute to US policy through data-driven research on financial law. Until then, Claire divides her time between studying and venturing off campus where she's often found cooking with friends, playing sports, or discovering Boston's endless nooks. She's excited to join the GRA team and take part in welcoming the students who make Baker their home.

Why Baker Second is the best: We know how 2 live well.

Baker Third West - Rachel Hoffman and Jason Bice

Rachel and Jason Hoffman-Bice met at the University of Florida while pursuing their B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Go Gators!). They are currently pursuing their PhDs in mechanical engineering. Rachel is in Course 2 within the D’Arbeloff Laboratory where her research focuses on robotics and controls, and Jason attends Northeastern University in the Directionally Aligned Particles and Suspensions Laboratory (DAPS Lab) where his work focuses on smart material systems. Outside of school and research, they enjoy competing in triathlons, playing board games, hiking, backcountry camping, and most winter sports. Rachel and Jason will always take any excuse to travel to New Hampshire or Vermont and spend a day in the mountains. They love being a part of the Baker community and house team and look forward to helping create an exciting third floor student experience.

Why Baker Third is the best: We have an amazing view without having to climb all of the stairs!

Baker Fourth West - Haluk Akay and Ingrid

Hi, we’re Haluk and Ingrid! We’re your 4th floor west GRAs. While Ingrid has sold her soul to corporate America and is currently a UX designer at Fjord, Haluk has chosen to put off adulthood in pursuit of a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. We enjoy running along the Charles, making enough guacamole to feed an army, and finding deals on flights to Europe and Turkey.

Why Baker Fourth is the best: Because we’re here *four* you :).

Baker Third and Fourth East - Emilie Skoog

Hi! I’m Emilie Skoog, and I grew up in Los Angeles, CA. I studied Biology and Geology at the University of Southern California and am now a second year Geobiology PhD student in the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences department at MIT where I use bioinformatics to understand early life on Earth. I also study viral-host bacterial systems at hydrothermal vents where some believe life to have originated. I absolutely love space and debating about the possibility of life beyond our planet. (And you can frequently spot me in my NASA shirts.) Other loves include climbing, family, friends, sport medicine, planes, learning languages, and being a GRA! My goals are to become an astronaut and have an incredible year with Baker 3rd and 4th East!

Baker Fifth West - Randi Williams

Randi (who gets her name from her dad and grandpa, Randy Jr. and Sr.) is a PhD student in the Personal Robots Group at the Media Lab. She creates socially engaging robots to teach Artificial Intelligence to children in Pre-K through 2nd grade. Randi was born, raised, and educated in Maryland where she got really into computers, engineering, and social change. Her dream job would involve traveling the world, engaging in different communities, and working to build something cool. Randi’s favorite hobby is finding new hobbies so, in her free time, she’s probably exploring something, making something, or eating something new. During her time at MIT, she has enjoyed getting to know people who love to geek out about their passions. She looks forward to getting to know students in Baker and learning about things they find cool.

Why Baker Fifth is the best: We've got a good mixture of freshmen and wise upperclassmen.

Baker Sixth West - Ki-Jana Carter and Alexandra Smith

Ki-Jana: I was a Course 22 and 8 in undergrad, and now I'm a third-year course 3 PhD student in Jeff Grossman's lab. As you can tell, I really see the appeal of all there is to study at MIT! My research focuses on computational design of transparent solar cells. When I'm not fixing broken code, I like to keep up with new hip-hop records. I also like watching both MasterChef and Facebook cooking videos, and occasionally actually making the recipes I've learned about!

Alexandra: I grew up in Oklahoma, and I've been living in Cambridge for three years, first as a City Year Americorps member and now working as a project manager in Boston. I love exploring Boston and Cambridge - there's a lot more to do around here than in Oklahoma! One of my favorite things to do is sail and kayak on the Charles River. I'm not quite pirate-level yet, but I'm getting there!

Why Baker Sixth is the best: Great people, great views, and every day is leg day with those stairs.

Baker Fifth and Sixth East - Brooke Huisman

Brooke is a PhD student in Biological Engineering, utilizing experimental and computational tools to study antigen presentation and immune recognition. Brooke hails from Michigan and earned her Bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan in Biomedical Engineering with minors in Mathematics and German. She enjoys traveling, playing volleyball, and running along the Charles River.

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