Meet the Staff
Camp Kesem Minnesota is planned, organized, and run completely by college student volunteers at the University of Minnesota who have a passion for changing the face of the cancer community in our state. The Executive Board is comprised of thirteen students who serve on various committees specific to different aspects of planning camp.
Alek “Pecs” Tomich
I am currently a senior at the U of M, studying Architecture with a minor in Construction Management. I come from Waukesha, WI, and am of a family of five kids including myself. When I was a kid, my brothers and I were put through the pain of watching my father pass away from skin cancer. I “Kesem” because ever since then I’ve always wanted to help kids that are going through the same experience, by giving them a chance to have fun and meet new friends who can relate to them. Being a Co-Director is the perfect opportunity to make a difference in these kids’ lives. My favorite camp memory every single year is being able to see how much the kids can transform in just one week – it’s truly incredible! In my spare time I like to be outdoors, practice photography, spend time with friends and family, and of course on Sundays watch the Packers dominate whichever team they play on the field. I am so excited to continue this awesome organization!
Tim “Shazaam!” Fagerness
I am originally from Sioux Falls, SD, and I am now a junior at the University of Minnesota majoring in biology. In my freetime I like to play basketball, occasionally tennis. I chose to be part of Camp Kesem because I wanted to become more involved on campus and Camp Kesem seemed like the perfect fit. I applied to be the Co-Director of Camp Kesem Minnesota because, since joining the organization freshman year I have wanted to have an increased role with camp and to be as involved as possible. My favorite experience at camp this past summer was the talents show when the Magical Smarties Boys brought down the house with our dance moves!
Michelle “Seashell” Todd
Hey all! My name is Michelle and I am a senior studying child psychology and special education. I’m originally from a little town called Sycamore which is about an hour west of Chicago. I decided to join Camp Kesem because I believe in its message and I love to see how much fun our campers have at camp each year! Whether its preforming onstage at the talent show or getting messy on messy day, I think everyone agrees that Camp Kesem is definitely the best week of the year! In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching the Chicago Bears win, playing soccer, listening to music and playing cards with my grandma. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Camp Kesem 2014!
Olivia “Lulu” Terp
Hi guys! My name is Olivia or “Lulu,” and I am a junior this year, studying biomedical engineering with hopes of going to med school. Last year at CK was truly amazing and I am so unbelievably excited for this year! Outside of CK, I love hanging out with my Pi Phis, watching Disney movies, listening to Kenny Chesney, and munching on Qdoba. Camp Kesem has made such an impact on my life, and I cannot wait to reunite with all my CK campers this coming summer!!
Hanna “Kathy” Naegeli
Hi everyone! I am a senior studying biomedical engineering with a management minor. My hometown is Hudson WI, but I’ve always been a gopher fan! I CK because Camp Kesem is truly magical in its ability to bring people together in great ways. I am excited to be on the outreach committee this year, and be in contact with all our amazing families! My favorite part of camp is the talent show and messy day! I love tennis, skiing, making art, singing Christmas songs all year long, and thinking up great Halloween costume ideas.
Brady “Scrub” Gust
Hi guys! I am a senior studying nursing and I am originally from Eden Prairie. I chose to be part of Camp Kesem because I love working with kids and hate cancer. I am also still a kid at heart so spending the week at camp, being silly, and having a blast makes camp one of the best weeks of my life! I decided to take my role on exec because I love camp so much and wanted to spend the remainder of the year preparing everything to make camp possible each summer! My favorite experience at camp this year was paint twister and throwing eggs at each other. In my free time, I like to be doing anything outdoors, but more specifically, fishing for humpback whales.
Hey guys! I’m Ryan or Zzzzz, and I am a junior studying Sociology. I am originally from Eden Prairie, MN and in my free time I like to hang with friends, play backyard sports, and work on my motorcycle. I joined Camp Kesem because it sounded like a great opportunity to volunteer as well as hang out with a good group of other college students. I decided to become even more involved with CK by joining the exec board after having such a great experience at camp.
Lydia “Pookie” Christianson
I am currently a junior studying microbiology with minors in leadership and pharmacology. I am originally from Fergus Falls, MN, a small farm town near Fargo, ND. Camp Kesem truly is magic. It is something that when you try to explain it to friends and family you cannot find the right words. It honestly feels like there aren’t any words that can truly convey the atmosphere of Camp Kesem. There is an instant connection with everyone and it seems like you’ve known everyone your entire life. I wanted to carry that experience throughout the entire year, which is why I took a position on the executive board. My favorite thing at camp would have to be arts and crafts, especially the paint fight that we had on messy day! Outside of camp and school I love reading! Yes, reading. I am a massive bookworm! I also love having Disney movie marathons and visiting my family.
Pat “Hobbes” Moffet
Hi I am Hobbes and I am a senior in Architecture and I am also getting a Construction Management Minor. I grew up in Plymouth, MN playing soccer and hockey as well as attending many camps during the summers. I chose to join CK because of my friendships with some of the inaugural executive board members. I also have really enjoyed being a camp counselors at other camps and hearing about this opportunity, it was something I couldn’t pass up. My favorite camp experience from this past summer were the campfires we had with the Teen Camp. I really enjoyed ending my day talking with the campers and getting to know them better! In my spare time I enjoy playing intramural sports of all kinds, biking around Minneapolis and going to the beach when the weather is nice!
Tricia “Goober” Wagner
Hey all! Goober here. I hail from the cozy town of Hastings, MN and am currently a junior studying Neuroscience. Last year I got the opportunity to be a Program Counselor for Camp Kesem and LOVED every second of it. There is no better feeling in the world than to see a smile spread across the face of a child and know you helped put it there. This year I am honored to be apart of the Operations team, which is a position that will allow me to have an even BIGGER impact on the lives of these adorable nuggets. Sometimes smiles are hard to come by for these kids, and I can’t wait to spread Kesem magic at my second year of camp! Outside of Camp Kesem I love to read, play the piano, play lacrosse, ride and train horses…. oh and SCUBA DIVE! I am also involved in the Dean Scholar program through the College of Biological Sciences. I’m already counting down the days until my days consist of the Llama song, Get Loose, and the Toast rap!
Melissa “Mojo” Roth
Hey guys! My name is Melissa “Mojo” Roth and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, double majoring in Mass Communications and Film and Cultural Studies. I was born and raised in Madison, WI and I will forever be a die hard Packer fan! In my spare time I enjoy watching Disney movies and being goofy with my friends and family. I also love to eat ice cream! I had heard nothing but great things about Camp Kesem from my older sisters and decided I wanted to experience it for myself. I CK for my dad, who is a cancer survivor. I also CK for these kids, who have been through so much and yet are so brave. I wanted to be on the executive board because I love helping others and wanted to have a bigger role in Camp Kesem! Camp Kesem has had a major impact on my life and I am so excited to reunite with everyone again this year!
Kristen “Pinkey” Kraimer
Hello! I am a junior studying Neuroscience minoring in Spanish. I am from Savage, Minnesota but am a huge Packers fan! I love being outdoors, spending time at my cabin, cooking, running, and figure skating! I CK because I love working with kids and am passionate doing what I can to help those around me. I was a counselor last summer and it was incredible! After the week I wanted to do as much as I could to help make another great week of Camp for more kids to experience the Kesem magic! I’m excited for another year of camp!!
Michael “Kitten” Meer
Hi everybody! I am currently a senior at the U of M, studying Architecture. I grew up around the Milwaukee area in Mequon, WI. Camp Kesem means alot to me because of the amazing amount of magic it brings to the world. It is an organization which is here to help kids who often don’t have time to be kids and that is why I love it most. I love kids because they bring happiness to the world and never fail to brighten up the day. After this past year as a counselor, I immediately felt the urge to become a bigger part of Camp and being a part of exec board was most definitely the right step to take. My favorite experience at camp was definitely capture the flag. It has always been my favorite game growing up and playing it at an older age, but surrounded by kids having a blast, really brought me right back to my childhood. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and playing/watching any kind of sport. I’m a die-hard Packer fan! Cheesehead for life!
Keara “Knucks” Bailey
Hey! My name is Keara Bailey (aka Knucks) and I am finishing up my last year in the B.S Architecture Program. I was born and raised in South Minneapolis and continue to love this city more every day. Especially during the fall. Last summer was my first year participating as a counselor at Camp Kesem and it was an experience that nothing else can relate to. As for being a part of this years exec team I am extremely excited to put forward my own ideas and work towards building another successful year at camp!
Rajat “Mowgli” Ghosh
Hey everyone! My name is Raj “Mowgli” Ghosh, and I was born and raised in Norman, OK. I am currently a junior, majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Management. I love playing soccer and basketball, going on hikes, swimming, playing racquetball, singing/listening to country music, fishing, playing the bass guitar, eating sushi, watching Disney/Pixar films and spending time with friends and family. I became involved in Camp Kesem because of its deep commitment to being a selfless organization and focusing on helping others. Being a part of Camp Kesem Minnesota’s inaugural year was such a great experience and I can’t wait for another great year with the CK Family!
Amanda “Snowflake” Gentle
Hi all! My name is Amanda Gentle and I came to the University of Minnesota from Oconomowoc, WI. I am currently a junior studying Graphic Design and Mass Communications. In my free time I love being outside. I am an avid runner and biker, and when there is too much snow to do either of those I spend my time down hill skiing (hence the camp name “Snowflake”). I CK because I want to make a difference in kids, lives and nothing make me happier than making someone else smile. This past summer was my first year as a Camp Kesem counselor and it was, by far, the best week of my summer. While as counselors we are there to provide support and fun, the campers created an impact in our lives that will never be forgotten. I am so honored to be able to help with Camp Kesem all year, and I am super excited for next year’s camp!