Selection to the Legacy Circle is an honor reserved for members of the Camp Kesem community who have demonstrated their ability to be a successful student leader, a dedicated alumnus, and an individual committed to Camp Kesem’s mission and expansion. Members will be presented the opportunity to be key players in the continued expansion of Camp Kesem by being ambassadors in the community, mentoring student leaders, reconnecting with fellow alumni, and many other great opportunities.
Gary “G-Money” Hanson was convinced by a group of friends to join Camp Kesem in the summer of 2006 at UCLA after they had had a successful first year, and has not looked back since. While in school, he served as counselor, Admin/Programming Coordinator, and was the Co-Chair for the summer of 2009. Upon graduating, he spent a year traveling and working as an accountant, at which point he moved to Chicago to become a high school math teacher and then was able to get more involved with Kesem. He advised Indiana University in 2011 and at Augustana for their inaugural camp in 2012. He will also be an Advisor at the University of Texas in Austin in the summer of 2013. On top of that, He have served as Northwestern’s Alumni Rep since 2011 and joined their Advisory Board last year. Gary has also acted as Regional Alumni Rep for the Midwest Region for the CK Alumni Association.
Mark “Gramps” Howard first became involved with Camp Kesem while seeking his undergraduate degree at Indiana University. Before that, Mark spent his formative years as a camper, CIT, counselor and senior staff at Camp Palawopec in Brown County, Indiana. Mark became involved with Camp Kesem in 2006 as a volunteer counselor. During his six years with the IU organization, he also served as a unit leader and as a fundraising and public relations coordinator and helped start the teen program at IU. Currently, he volunteers as a camp advisor during the summer camp season and has traveled to camps at OSU and Miami. He is from Oakland, California and resides in Bloomington, Indiana. Mark has experience as a college administrator and currently works as a Special Education Teacher at Templeton Elementary School and began his graduate studies in the fall of 2013.
Caroline “Congo” Huang is the founder of Camp Kesem’s MIT chapter and current chair of the CKAA Membership Committee, which has the pleasure of encouraging more CK alumni to share in Kesem life post-graduation. Since joining the CK community in 2006, she has served as a three-year co-chair, senior advisor, and advisory board member for MIT; a two-term co-chair of the National Student Advisory Board; a three-time summer intern for CK National; a two-year camp advisor for CK Florida; and a three-year coordinator for the CKAA. She is a Public Health PhD candidate, Rhodes Scholar, and World Economic Forum Global Shaper who researches, teaches, and writes about medical ethics and health policy at the University of Oxford’s Ethox Centre. Her thesis examines ethical issues surrounding access to care for breast cancer gene mutations, a topic inspired by CK families. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT, where she was named a member of the USA TODAY All-USA College Academic First Team and recipient of an Institute Award for public service.
Shari “Roxy” Ilsen first heard of Camp Kesem during Admit Weekend at Stanford in the Spring of 2002. Five years later she was running Camp Kesem Stanford as a co-chair. Inspired by her Camp Kesem experience, she decided to ditch her PhD program and find a way to make a difference in the nonprofit sector. She’s currently using her fast-talking, fast-typing talents as the Senior Online Communications Manager at VolunteerMatch, and enjoying the food, weather and spirit of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jeff “Tiny” Leibach joined Camp Kesem as a co-founder of Camp Kesem North Carolina as a student at Duke University in 2003. Jeff served as a co-chair, and advisory board member, helping grow CKNC to serve over 100 campers per year by its fourth year. After graduating in 2006 with a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University, Jeff served as Camp Kesem’s first National Program Director. Working with incredible student leaders and board leadership during his two years as National Program Director, Jeff helped Camp Kesem grow from 9 campuses to 22 campuses during that two year period. During that time Jeff also helped organize Camp Kesem’s first National Leadership Conference, and helped unify the Camp Kesem around its current logo and branding. In 2008, Jeff began a career in healthcare strategy consulting, helping hospitals and insurers transform the way the healthcare is paid for in the U.S. Jeff continues his work in healthcare consulting today, is currently pursuing an M.B.A from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Jeff lives in suburban Chicago with his wife Amy and daughter Kaylee.
Sarah “Pancake” Leibach co-founded the GW chapter of Camp Kesem in 2007 and served as a co-chair, counselor, camp advisor, and Camp Kesem National intern throughout her college career. Sarah works as an Associate at Orr Associates, Inc., a consulting firm to the nonprofit industry, where she assists clients with development management, event management, and strategic planning. She received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from The George Washington University and currently lives in Washington, DC.
Alicia “Smiley” McCarthy has been working with Camp Kesem since 2007. Initially, Alicia became involved with Camp Kesem as a counselor and camper care coordinator at the University of Virginia. She has also served a chair, camp nurse and advisory board member. Alicia graduated from UVA in 2009 and worked as a pediatric nurse for three years. She is currently completing her Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Media, PA.
Katie “Goldie” Roth is the founder of Camp Kesem Wisconsin. She had her first experience of Camp Kesem as a teen counselor at Camp Kesem Notre Dame in the summer of 2009. The next year she transferred to Wisconsin and founded the CK Wisconsin chapter and was co-chair from 2009-2011. She has also been the camp nurse for Camp Kesem Minnesota and a member of the Camp Kesem alumni board. Katie received her BS in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin and after college was an adult oncology nurse in Florida. Currently, Katie is a pediatric nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and living in Milwaukee, WI.
Bethany “Peach” Slentz joined Camp Kesem as a founding member and Camper Care Coordinator at Camp Kesem-UC Berkeley in 2006, where she graduated in 2008 Phi Beta Kappa and with Highest Honors in Cultural Anthropology. Since her time at UC Berkeley, Bethany has developed a robust career in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry holding various positions from Sales, to Corporate Communications/Public Relations, to New Business Development/Pipeline Management at Advantage Sales and Marketing (ASM), the nation’s largest CPG outsourcing firm. Currently, Bethany is a National Client Team Leader for ASM’s Abbott Nutrition business, touching over $900M in client invoice sales. Camp Kesem is her greatest passion, and she owes the success of her career today to what this organization taught her as a student, and is very eager to pay it forward to the next generation as a Legacy Circle member. Today, she splits her time between Scottsdale, AZ or Los Angeles, CA.
Rachael “Pippy” Suffrin was thrown into Camp Kesem in 2006 as a freshman at Northwestern University (NU) as their Programming/Admin Coordinator and Treasurer. Later as NUCK’s Co-Chair in 2009, she helped launch their first teen camp, and in 2010, chaired their first Make the Magic fundraiser. Rachael went on to serve as a Camp Advisor at multiple universities across the country, and now sits on NUCK’s advisory board, as well as the Chicago CK alumni committee. Currently, she is working with Camp Kesem to conduct research looking at the positive impact of Kesem involvement on college students. Rachael graduated in 2010 from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Education and Social Policy, double majoring in Human Development and Psychological Services, and Psychology, with a Certificate in Civic Engagement. Rachael currently lives in Chicago and is getting her Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology at DePaul University.
Rebecca “Noodle” Wong Camp Kesem journey began in May 2006. Bridging her love for her hometown of Chapel Hill and her alma mater Duke, Rebecca helped solidify the unique Duke-UNC partnership at Camp Kesem NC as the summer intern, fundraising coordinator, co-chair and senior advisory board member. After graduation in 2009, Rebecca served as the Camp Kesem Alumni Association co-chair and coordinator as well as the Camp Advisor for the University of Washington. She is tremendously humbled to serve on the CK Legacy Circle, and looks forward to sharing the Kesem magic with our campers, families, alumni and volunteers whose strength and joy continually inspire her. Rebecca works as an early education consultant at ICF International, where she supports federal projects that strive to ensure that our youngest children have access to quality early care and education. Rebecca holds an MPP from Georgetown University, and a BA in Public Policy Studies and a minor in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies from Duke University. Rebecca currently resides in Washington, DC.