Meet Our Committee Directors



Lauren “Sharkbait” Vaughan & Michael “Phelps” Ruder

Sharkbait: Hi! My name is Sharkbait, and I am a fourth year biology major and pre-veterinary student at UCLA. This will be my fourth year with Camp Kesem, and my third year on CK UCLA’s committee. Two years ago, I was one of the Operations Coordinators, and last year I was one of the Development Coordinators. One of my favorite memories is seeing Harry Potter Dinner come to life: drinking Butterbeer, eating Bertie Bott’s Beans, and casting spells with the kids. I am so grateful that I found Camp Kesem as a freshman, and that I have the opportunity to be a part of this inspiring family. It has been an exciting couple of years for CK UCLA, especially with last year’s expansion to two weeks of camp, and as one of this year’s Co-Directors, I cannot wait to see what magic that this year brings!

Phelps: Hey! I’m Michael “Phelps” Ruder, and I’m a fourth year cognitive science major. This is my third year as a Camp Kesem counselor. Prior to becoming Co-Director, I was a member of committee and spent my time as an operations coordinator, and have been a counselor for blunit and purple unit. I’m excited to build upon the strong foundation that UCLA CK has and provide the Kesem experience to a record number of campers this year. My favorite part of Kesem is having the opportunity to witness kids be kids while courageously confronting adult sized problems together. At camp I’m a huge fan of dodgeball. Outside of camp, I’m a huge fan of pizza and riddles.


Outreach Directors:
Kelsey “Ruby” Orens & Chelsea “Dottie” Saurer 


Ruby: Hi there! I’m Ruby, and I am one of UCLA Kesem’s Community Outreach Coordinators this year! Kesem is an incredible organization that has without a doubt brightened my life and encouraged me to give back in all ways that I can. I could not be more excited to be a member of committee and help create our best camp yet. Outside of Kesem, I am a fourth year Political Science and Global Studies student and spend my time working in a handful of other organizations. In my free time, I love to travel, try new restaurants, and spend time with loved ones. Kesem is so special to me, and I can’t wait for my third year as a counselor next summer. Our spunky, wonderful, loving campers motivate me year-round, and it is an absolute gift to be a part of their camp experience!

Dottie: Hey Hey, Camp Kesem! My name is Dottie and my UCLA career has just begun. I am a second year Sociology major and this is my second year as a part of Camp Kesem. I am thrilled to be one of CK UCLA’s Outreach Coordinators this year! Outside of CK my “real” name is Chelsea, but I still regularly sing camp songs, play Ninja whenever I can, and of course spread the Kesem magic to everyone I meet. This year of Camp Kesem is going to be legendary! I can’t wait!

Public Relations and Marketing Directors:
Nicole “Quinkidinc” Andrews & Matt “Marlin” Driver


Quinkidinc: Hi, all! My name is Quinkidinc, and I’m one of UCLA’s Camp Kesem Marketing/PR Coordinators! I am currently a third year majoring in Ethnomusicology, with a world music emphasis. This will be my eleventh year at Camp Kesem!!! After attending as a camper for many years, this will be my third year as a counselor, and my first on committee. I was fortunate enough to have help a number of years ago in petitioning to create a teen program, and after that I worked with my lifelong Kesem friend, 1:07, and many others on UCLA and national committees, to create the now thriving CIT program. My only complaint about Camp Kesem has always been that it is TOO SHORT, so I am elated to extend the Kesem love all year round now as a committee member. I have grown up through Camp Kesem, so it’s safe to say that it has truly shaped me as a person, and I am deeply thankful I get to give back as a counselor after so many years of love and support from my Kesem family. When I’m not totally consumed in all that is Kesem, I love playing music with others, making zines, going to see live music, and riding my bike with friends! My favorite camp rotation has, of course, always been Arts ‘n’ Crafts, and I am already brainstorming fun, new activities!

Marlin: Hey guys! I’m Marlin and I’m the other CK UCLA’s Marketing/PR Coordinator! I’m a third year Applied Mathematics major from Sacramento, CA with a passion for kittens, In-N-Out, and of course all things Kesem! My favorite camp activities are Dance/Drama and Rock n Roll Breakfast (pretty much any opportunity to showcase my incredible dance moves, really). Last year was my first year with CK UCLA and it was truly life-changing. I’m so grateful to be a part of such an amazing network of students, families, and of course campers. I can’t wait to see what Kesem adventures await this summer!


Program and Operations Directors:
Chris “Pockets” Lama & Jake “Toaster” Schnur


Pockets: Hey hey hey, Pockets here. I am currently a senior studying Bioengineering at the UCLA School of Engineering. I hail from the small town of Highland in southern California, but since being at UCLA, I consider Los Angeles my new home town. This will be my second year being involved with Kesem and I can’t wait to see what it has in store. The people I’ve met, both campers and counselors, have been so inspirational to me that it has motivated me to work in pediatrics in the future. Our goal as Operations and Programming Coordinators is to plan the most exciting, funny, and exhausting (in a fun way) week of camp for our deserved campers. I’m looking forward to another great year, and as always, can’t wait for camp.

Toaster: Hey! My name is Toaster and I am one of the Operations Co-Directors at Camp Kesem UCLA. I am a third year Geography major and am a second year Camp Kesem Counselor. This year is my first year on committee and I am crazy excited to have a hand in the planning of camp this year. Since arriving at UCLA, Camp Kesem has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity it has given me to continue my goal of being a lifelong camp counselor. Kesem is truly a magical place, and I look forward to continuing to develop a community of campers and counselors that is extremely unique. 

Development Directors:
Connor “Sawyer” Eichten & Lauren “Clementine” Choi


Sawyer: Hi there! I’m Connor “Sawyer” Eichten, I’m a senior at UCLA studying economics and I’m excited to be one of UCLA’s Camp Kesem Development Coordinators this year. This is my fourth year as a Camp Kesem counselor, and it has been an incredible experience. Outside of camp, I love to travel, play golf, and spend time with my friends and family.

Clementine: Hey hey! My name is Clementine and I’m a third year Linguistics and Computer Science major. This is my third year in Kesem and second year being on committee. When I’m not singing camp songs and doing arts and crafts (actually I’m probably still doing arts and crafts…), I love baking, snacking, and hanging out with friends! I’m unbelievably grateful to be a part of Kesem and am so excited to be one of the Development Coordinators this year! Already counting down the days until camp!

CIT/Teen Programming Directors:
Kory “Beans” DiGrande & Cameron “Chewbacca” Moattari


Beans: Hello everyone, my name is Beans and this will be my fourth year as a member of Camp Kesem at UCLA.  I have been fortunate enough to be able to serve on committee for two years and this year me and yaboy Chewy are going to be captaining the CIT/Teen aspects of camp.  When I’m not butchering camp songs or making a fool out of myself I enjoy to get outdoors and am a big fan of casual strolls.  Kesem is a huge part of my life and I hope everyone can in some way or another experience a part of the magic that is camp.

Chewbacca: Howdy! They call me Chewbacca, Chewy, Chewbacca Flocka Flame around these parts. I’m currently a senior majoring in Neuroscience and I’ve been a part of Camp Kesem for 4 years now. Joining this organization has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. The people I’ve met, experiences I’ve had, and laughs I’ve shared will stay with me for the rest of my life. In my spare time I enjoy fettucini alfredo and long walks on the beach.  My partner in crime, Beans, is really good at dodgeball, so watch out! Can’t wait for camp this year! :)

Volunteer Directors:
Spencer “Scooby” Hall & Dan “Wonka” Cook


Scooby: Hey! I’m Spencer “Scooby” Hall, the Volunteer Coordinator for UCLA Camp Kesem 2014! I am a 4th year Economics major and Spanish minor, and this summer will be my 2nd year being a counselor at Camp Kesem! I am a huge sports fan, a movie aficionado, and I love playing soccer. I am so excited to go back to camp. One of my favorite parts of camp has to be the messy activities and counselor sundaes. I can’t wait to help the kids pour sprinkles and chocolate syrup instead of being in the sundae this year!

Wonka: Hey hey! My name is Wonka and I am one of UCLA Kesem’s Volunteer Coordinators this year! I am a second year Political Science student at UCLA and this will be my second year in Kesem and first year on committee. I could not be more excited to be a part of such a fun and compassionate group of counselors for another year, and cannot wait to get back to camp this summer! Outside of Kesem, I enjoy playing tennis, trying new restaurants, watching films, traveling and hanging out with family, friends, and my dog. Kesem has added magic to my life and I am extremely grateful for the things I’ve learned, people I’ve met, and the impact Kesem has had on my life, my fellow counselors’ lives, and our campers’ lives.

Make the Magic Directors:
Nathalie “Snicklefritz” Dierkx & Brenna “Biscuit” Mendoza


Snicklefritz: Hello! I’m Snicklefritz and I am one of the coordinators in charge of Make the Magic, the major fundraising event for Kesem. I am a third year majoring in Philosophy and Political Science and am hoping to work in education policy. I am very grateful that I got involved in Kesem my first year and am ecstatic about getting to be more involved as a member of CK UCLA’s committee this year. Camp Kesem has been the most rewarding thing I have done at UCLA and I have met the most incredible counselors and campers during my two years in Kesem. Outside of Kesem, I like hiking, seeing stand-up comedy, going on walks with my dogs and family in my lovely hometown of Oakland, cooking, and listening to podcasts. I cannot wait to see all the planning for Make the Magic come to fruition and for my third year getting to experience the magic of camp. The entire Kesem experience is incredible but my absolute favorite part is the WATER SLIDE!!!!

Biscuit: Hey, Biscuit here! I’m a second year molecular biology major at UCLA who loves the llama song and making friendship bracelets. This is my second year as a Camp Kesem counselor and my first year serving on UCLA’s committee as one of our Make the Magic Coordinators. I am from the East San Francisco Bay Area but have found a home away from home in Kesem. I couldn’t be more excited for both weeks of camp this year and our annual Make the Magic fundraiser! Kesem has had such a positive impact on my life and I feel so fortunate to be a part of something so rewarding and special. Looking forward to many more years of messy activities, cabin chats and night hikes with my Kesem family.