Meet the Staff

The MIT Camp Kesem staff can be reached at Please send us any questions or comments — we would love to hear from you! Otherwise, look below to meet the organizers behind Camp Kesem MIT 2014.


Angela “Horton” Ma

Hellloooo!! I’m Angela, but at Camp Kesem, I’m a giant Who-hearing elephant called Horton (my favorite bedtime stories were Dr. Seuss’s!). I’m a senior studying biology, and I love singing Disney songs in the shower, cooking and baking, and of course, being at Camp! The past three years with CK MIT have been incredible, and I’m so excited to see how ridiculously awesome and amazing the coordinators and counselors are going to make Camp Kesem 2014! (I also really like using exclamation points, hehe.)

Dylan “Tiger” Soukup

Hello everyone! I’m Tiger, but for some odd reason they wrote Dylan on my birth certificate. I am currently a senior studying biology. When I’m not working on camp planning, you can find me driving an ambulance, trying to learn picture/video editing, eating, or hanging out with my friends and fellow CK counselors. Trust me when I say, the word ‘excited’ doesn’t even begin to describe my feeling towards CK 2014! This will be my third year coordinating camp, and I cannot wait to make this year even better than last! CK 2014 can’t come fast enough!

Preeti “Strawberry” Singhal

Hi guys! I’m Strawberry, but some people call me Preeti for some unknown reason. I hail from good ‘ole Texas and am a junior studying Biology and Management. I love to dance, sing in the shower, laugh, and plan Camp! This will be my third year at camp and first year as a director. I absolutely cannot wait for CK 2014!


Lizy “Peaches” Trujillo

Hi everyone! I’m Lizy, aka Peaches, and I am a sophomore studying Biological Engineering. I love to cook and bake, find strange earrings, watch Ghibli films (yay Totoro!), and smile – lot of smiles. This will be my second year at camp and I simply cannot wait for CK 2014!!

Sami “Cheese” Alsheikh

Hey! My name is Cheese. I am a sophomore studying computer science, but that’s just what I do when I’m not Camp Kesem Camper Care Coordinating. I have three younger siblings who are all wonderful, just like Camp. I am beyond psyched for Camp Kesem 2014!!

Vikas “Crush” Velagapudi

Hi, my name is Vikas, but you can call me Crush! I’m so excited to help plan Camp Kesem 2014!

Nathan “Koopa Troopa” Landman

What’s Up My Troopers?! My name is Koopa Troopa but my parents call me Nathan. I came from Mushroom Kingdom to let people know that in all reality, my cousin, Bowser, is actually a nice person who is misunderstood by the media. Get ready because this year’s camp will be amazing!!

Carlos “Goofy” Torres

My name is Goofy, or just plain ‘Goof’. I am a very happy, go-with-the-flow kind of guy. I’m tall yet clumsy, and I smile a lot. I love to play games and sing-along. But most importantly, I love Camp Kesem!

Joanie “Sourire” Weaver

Hi everyone! I’m Joanie or at camp I’m called “Sourire” (it means smile in French). I’m a current senior majoring in Computer Science and also. I love playing board games, running, reading, teaching, singing camp songs and eating. I’m super excited to be on the fundraising team and looking forward to working with the whole coordinator board this year!

Kathy “Mittens” Yang

Hi! My name is Mittens. I’m from Michigan, which is shaped like a mitten. I also wear mittens on my hands, which are conveniently mitten-shaped when my fingers are closed. My Chinese name is Mi Teng, which roughly translates to Kathy. I’m currently a junior studying Mechanical Engineering, and I’m super pumped to be a fundraising coordinator for CK this year! If I’m not doing research, eating, playing the clarinet, baking, doodling, or daydreaming about Camp, I’m probably asleep.

Rachel “Squagel” McDermott

My name is Squagel, but you can call me Squags or, if you must, Rachel. I’m involved in several organizations on campus, but my absolute favorite is CK. I’m thrilled to be working with Gizmo and Mac this year on the Student Support committee and with the rest of the Coord Board to make CK 2014 the best year ever! Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions or if you ever want to join me for some square bagels. CK love!

Katie “Gizmo” Lee

Hey! My name is Gizmo, but some people call me Katie Lee. By day, I am a junior majoring in computer science, but by night, I am a craftmaster who is often spotted singing camp songs while delivering loaves of banana bread around campus. I loved camp the past two years, and I can’t wait for another amazing summer!

Jonathon “Mac” Zuniga

Hey everyone! I’m Mac, but if you really must, you can call me Jonathon. I’m a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering, but my most important job is supporting the awesome counselors we have here at MIT! I love video games, sleeping, talking about the great state of Texas, and of course, going absolutely insane for CK! I am so excited to get working this year with Gizmo and Squagel to make sure that this camp is the best yet! See ya!

Amelia “Rodeo” Mockett

Howdy y’all! I’m Rodeo, but at MIT they call me Amelia! I’m a junior studying Biological Engineering, and when I’m not pondering the Teen Program with Zazu I’m rowing, researching or reading the newspaper. Or sleeping. I’ve also been known to, on occasion, whip out the boots and belt buckles and go country for a while. I’m so excited to be one of the leaders of the Teen Program this year – is it August yet??? CLAM!

Ben “Zazu” Bell

Howdy y’all! My name is Ben Bell, or Zazu if you’re feeling the CK magic. I’m originally from Texas so I get along well with my co-coordinator Rodeo. I’m a senior studying biology and chemistry and when I grow up I want to be the best majordomo Pride Rock has ever seen. I have a lot of experience working with crazy teens (like Simba) and I have a blast doing it. You can find me belting Disney songs, being silly with friends, or slowly becoming a mad scientist in lab. This will be my second year at camp and I can’t wait to pull out all the stops for the best Teen Program yet! ;)

Cheng “Snuggles” Dai

Aloha! My name is Snuggles (or Snugs), but for some reason professors at MIT call me Cheng. I’m a sophomore studying biology and when I’m not busy sleeping, I like to explore the great outdoors, run, swim, and sing camp songs! Is it August yet? Because I can’t wait for Camp! CLAM!

Catherine “Mulan” Chang

Hey! I just arrived from a lengthy expedition where I was training to be one of China’s greatest heroes. It isn’t easy so I try to take breaks from time to time, especially at camp! I’m beyond excited for next year’s camp, but until then I must train with Kung Fu Panda. See you all in August! CLAM.

Juan Diego “Sonic” Castrillon

Watsup! I’m blue, spiky, and can run real fast. I’m excited for next year’s camp to hopefully be able to meet the future “Tails” or “Knuckles”!! Can’t wait!