People

2018-2019 Executive Team

Lyndie Mitchell - President

I’m a mechanical engineer, stress baker, runner, hiker, dog lover, Disney Princess/animal whisperer, Harry Potter/LOTR and all things nerdy enthusiast, Addir President, and an awkward raging weirdo, but I love what I do. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormons) and love being part of Addir 🙂

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Lithium (I do research on why it explodes in batteries)
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Sleeping 🙂
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: The Cliffs of Insanity (aka the Cliffs of Moher)

Somesh Mohapatra - Vice President

PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering
Exploring science for the mind, spirituality for the soul and sports for the body!

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Be
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Squash
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Robert H. Schuller, Roman Catholic

Fiona Tanuwidjaja - Secretary

Hi there! I'm Fiona! I'm currently a senior at MIT studying Course 11 (Urban Planning) and will be sticking around another year for my Master in City Planning. I primarily grew up in Seattle in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For fun, I like listening to podcasts, trying new restaurants, and biking. Fun fact about me: I have a 5.0 Uber rating (as of July 15, 2018)!

Favorite Fictional Character: Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation)
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Bike rides and bubble baths

Robert Zollinger - Treasurer

I’m a Mormon, and I joined Addir because my experience as a missionary in Australia opened my eyes to try and see the world the way others see it. I’m Course 18C (MATH and computer science), and the only things I know I don’t want to do with my life are work on Wall Street and write a thesis. When I’m not serving at my church or drowning in psets, you’ll probably find me either watching or playing either Super Smash Bros. Or Pokemon - or, occasionally, “creatively” arranging music I downloaded from MuseScore.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Copper (Cu)
Favorite Fictional Character: Winnie-the-Pooh
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Prayer
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Jonathan Sacks and Mr. Fred Rogers

Hope Dargan - Fellowship Recruitment Chair

Grew up in Deland, Florida (18 years). Studying Computer Science at MIT (1.5 years). Volunteered in Sweden (1.5 years) with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I like people, sports, games and food.

Favorite Fictional Character: Ross Poldark
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Sleep

Joseph Edwards - Interfaith Council Chair

I'm Joseph, a junior majoring in Philosophy. I grew up in Houston, Texas as a Baptist Christian. Looking for a personal experience of spirituality and find a path to wisdom, I've been studying Taoism and Sufism to learn about how spiritual practices themselves deepen life. Some of my hobbies include computer security, soccer and reading. I wanted to be Interfaith Council Chair because I believe that interfaith has the power to bridge conflicts and promote understanding. In addition to solving sectarian problems, I think interfaith can help us learn about how our traditions mirror each other and discover the purpose of spiritual teachings across religions.

Ciara Mulcahy - Publicity Chair

Growing up in Roanoke, Virginia instilled in me the desire to get to know and understand others, across religious and socioeconomic classifications. I am passionate about applying science to address environmental issues.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Potassium
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Exercising

Katie O'Nell - Campus Engagement Chair

Hi I'm Katie, and this is my third year in Addir (token athiest holla)! I'm a Course 9, which means that I love brains and the minds that they create. Religion is an important conceptual framework upon which many of our experiences are built, and I'd like to learn as much about as many different traditions (on both individual and community scales) as possible. I'm also Addir's campus engagement chair, so if you have ideas as to how we can better promote interfaith dialogue and cooperation outside of our small groups, come talk to me 🙂

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Surprise 😉
Favorite Fictional Character: Maude (From the 70s cult classic [and objective best movie of all time] Harold and Maude)
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Franconia Notch State Park
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Matisse Peppet - Fellowship Chair

Matisse Peppet is a junior studying philosophy and pure mathematics. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, she is still disappointed that people don’t greet each other on the streets here in the Massachusetts. Nevertheless, she loves living in Cambridge; there’s nothing quite like being surrounded by public art and architecture. Her hobbies include talking to people, asking questions, and making unusual academic decisions. Matisse lives at East Campus with her fiddle-leaf fig tree, Edwin.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Nitrogen
Favorite Fictional Character: Jack Burden (All the King's Men)
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Taking walks outside

Lindsay Sanneman - Graduate Community Fellow

My name in Lindsay Sanneman, and I am a fourth year graduate student in the AeroAstro department. I am a member of the Lutheran Episcopal Ministry at MIT and enjoy thinking deeply about the difficult questions around faith. For this reason, I also enjoy building bridges through Addir and learning about different worldviews in a way that allows me to incorporate new ideas into my own worldview. Outside of research and interfaith dialogue, I also enjoy pole vaulting and volunteering with the Cambridge Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition.

Favorite Self-Care Activity: Drinking hot chocolate from LA Burdicks
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Kerala, India
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Pope Francis

Kathleen Zhu - Service Chair

Curious, sizeable degree of existentially fraught, proud citizen of Seattle, Washington
Likes her Shetland sheepdog puppy named Miko (her brother and parents too), films, lakes, mountains, hills, trees, air, badminton, stand-up comedy, philosophy, friends-of-virtue, logical consistency, god(?)
Aspires to have a competent brain, figure out what life is, not mess up the world too much (net positive would be great), work out more this semester
Looking forward to meeting some cool Addir Fellows!

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Carbon
Favorite Fictional Character: The Little Prince
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Going on hikes with good friends
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: The Palouse, Steptoe Butte State Park
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Socrates

2018-2019 Fellows

Marwa Abdulhai

Peace be upon you! My name is Marwa and I'm a junior computer science major at MIT interested in robotics, deep learning, and ideas that have a social impact. I enjoy reading non-fiction, swimming, and having religious/philosophical conversations with everyone and anyone!

I was born in Bangalore, India but was raised in 8 different places in the States & Middle-East. In others, I consider myself a global citizen.

Favorite Self-Care Activity: Reading non-fiction while eating berries
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Kashmir, India
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Henry David Thoreau

Julia Arnold

I’m a 5’9” sophomore from Dayton, Ohio, home of the best donuts in the nation, the best museum in the nation, and a bunch of cornfields. My other home is in J Entry, MacGregor, where I’m a J Entry Co-Social Chair, a Resident Peer Mentor and a MacRAC. I'm studying to be a 6-1/Electrical Engineer. I’m also an Air Force ROTC cadet, and in my free time, I love to make people laugh, stress bake and clean, spend time with my friends, and cultivate the finest mixtapes.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Carbon, the building block of life
Favorite Fictional Character: Halt, from Ranger's Apprentice
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Eating an extra brownie
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Home

Emma Bernstein

My name is Emma Bernstein and I am a rising junior in Computer Science and Molecular Biology with a minor in Ancient and Medieval Studies. On campus, I am involved in the Society of Women Engineers, MIT Model United Nations, and the Margaret MacVicar Memorial AMITA Oral History Project. In my spare time I enjoy book clubbing and watching The Crown.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Helium
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Alaska

Emma Bingham

Hi, I’m Emma. I’m a senior majoring in physics and minoring in political science. Outside of class, I spend much of my time at The Tech, where I am the editor in chief. I am also a serial UROPer, having UROPed in five completely different fields. It is rumored that I fill my elusive free time with long walks, conversation, ClickHole, and playing the piano. I’m searching for answers to the big questions: What is the good life for a human being? How can we explain man’s inhumanity to man? And what would society be like if humans could photosynthesize?

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Molybdenum
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Petra, Jordan

Elizabeth Choe

Howdy, I’m Elizabeth.
I was born and raised in Columbia, MO–home of the greatest pizza in the world, my high school mascot (a naked baby), and the best little brother in the universe.
Growing up, I was obsessed with the Animal Planet TV show, The Jeff Corwin Experience. Somehow, that led to me studying Course 20 (Biological Engineering) as an undergrad at MIT, working as a science media producer/communicator, and returning as a BioE PhD student. While in college, I converted to Catholicism. Currently trying to make sense of that hodgepodge of genetic engineering, science communication, spirituality, and ethics.

Favorite Fictional Character: Meg Murry
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Home

Christopher Compton

Just a seeker on a spiritual quest for enlightenment. Studying neuroscience. Often has delusions of grandeur. Currently interested in counterfeiting money (legally (probably)). Free time is spent trying to figure out how best to spend free time and trying to solve self-referential questions.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Zinc
Favorite Fictional Character: Xavier from Xavier: Renegade Angel
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Procrastination 😉
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: The Astral Planes tbh fam (but really I haven't left the country so idk)
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Heraclitus, Lao Tze

Christian Cruz Matias

Neena Dugar

Hello! My name is Neena and I’m a rising senior at MIT majoring in 6-2 and minoring in Literature. I’m from the UK and I love tea, origami and food (both cooking and eating)! On campus, I live in Kappa Alpha Theta and am also involved in TechX and Tea with Teachers. When I'm not on campus, I'm usually either travelling to a new city, enjoying nature, or relaxing at home with my family.

Favorite Self-Care Activity: Taking walks with my camera
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Wadi Rum, Jordan

Austin Edelman

Adam Estes

I am a practicing Catholic from Southeastern Massachusetts. I am majoring in Electrical Engineering (course 6-1) and minoring in Ancient and Medieval Studies.

Favorite Fictional Character: Creed Bratton (as a character in The Office)
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: The Vatican
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Socrates

Bernice Estrada

Zehreen Etwarooah

I’m an animal-loving, chocolate-eating, ocean-swimming, cat-petting, people-friending Muslim. At MIT, I sometimes tinker with cells and try to build stuff with them, but mostly I think about God. I greatly enjoy praying with others, meditating, and talking about philosophy, theology, cats, cooking, and baking. I’ve had 4 cats give birth at my home, which is located 9101 miles away from Boston, on the beautiful African island of Mauritius. When you read this, I’ll be married to the sweetest man on Earth (totally unbiased). Have I mentioned that I love cats? Also, my name is Zehreen.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Oxygen. I love it so much I can't live without it, literally.
Favorite Fictional Character: Hei-hei from Moana
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Dhikr (remembrance of God)
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Genting highlands, in Malaysia.
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Eihei Dogen!

Kavish Gandhi

I am a senior majoring in course 18 and minoring in course 8, and (lately) my passion has been in astrophysics, specifically the small-scale (comparatively) study of stars and exoplanetary systems. Originally, I am from the Boston area, and as such am a fanatical Boston sports fan, Dunkin Donuts devotee, and lover of New England weather. I am a music lover of many disparate genres, and am always looking for new and interesting artists to expand my repertoire. Finally, in my faith, I am agnostic, and am still searching for spiritual answers that speak true to me.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Hydrogen
Favorite Fictional Character: Sazed from the Mistborn trilogy
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Being in nature
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Otter Cliff at Acadia National Park (more generally the cliffs of Acadia)
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: The Dalai Lama

Tyndale Hannan

-Ohio-born and raised, youngest of 3 children
-Prefer having too much nature to too little
-Activities I enjoy include: running, soccer, dancing, writing, self-improvement, learning, laughing, reading
-Topics I find intriguing include: languages, ethics, physics, metaphysics, linguistics, anthropology, exercise science

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Sn
Favorite Fictional Character: Bean (Ender's Game)
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Stretching w/ deep breathing
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Neuschawnstein Castle
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Rabindranath Tagore

Houssam Kherraz

Born and raised in Morocco, I went to an international boarding school in Hong Kong before coming to MIT for my undergrad. I am a CS major and I live in Next House. I am looking forward to having interesting conversations and forming strong relationships with other people with different perspectives and beliefs!

Favorite Self-Care Activity: Face masks :p
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Sipadan Island

Jay Laone

I'm a junior in course 8; I love physics, puns, anime, and memes. I identify as an agnostic atheist, and love learning about other religions. I like philosophy and being the devil's advocate in discussions.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Rubidium, because it's fun to say
Favorite Fictional Character: Arturia Pendragon, from Fate/Stay Night
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Hanging out with friends and watching anime
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Great Wall of China

Jonathan Ledet

Hi, I'm Jonathan. I’m from Roswell, Georgia. I have three brothers. When I was smaller, I had a special talent for falling into creeks, ponds, or the nearest body of water. I haven’t exactly grown out of this skill, but I have learned to bring a boat or skip the middleman all together and wade through! I joined Addir because inter-faith dialogue is an interesting part of life, and getting my feet wet more often might show me some non intuitive ways to approach different worldviews.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Mercury
Favorite Fictional Character: Bullwinkle Moose
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Yellowstone National Park
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Gautama Buddha

Alison Louthain

Hey y'all! I'm Alison and like many other Ohioans, I'm super excited about space and flight, ergo Course 16. I am incredibly curious and take every opportunity to learn more about the world.Most of my life at school is consumed by psets and Navy ROTC, but in what little spare time I have I like to run, bake, make origami, read, listen to podcasts, and take/send out BuzzFeed quizzes (after all, it is incredibly important to know which potato side dish you are).

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Carbon
Favorite Fictional Character: Jo March
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Snuggling up with a book and a cup of tea
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Niagara Falls
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Mahatma Gandhi

Shoshana Marks

Hi! I am from Baltimore Maryland, "The Greatest City in America", at least according to all of our park benches. I am a rising sophomore at MIT and am in Course 16. I consider myself a Modern Orthodox Jew, that both loves and struggles with aspects of my religion. I immensely enjoying learning, strange right? Constantly looking for answers and different ways of approaching the issues that surround me. I am looking forward to meeting people of other faiths who might give me different perspectives on those questions.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Tungsten
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Being in the ocean with the waves

Miranda McClellan

I grew up in Dallas, TX. I enjoy writing short stories, reading, and cuddling with my cats, Jolene and Izzy (pictures available at request). At MIT, I studied computer science and I have a minor in African studies. Next year, I am starting my masters degree in Computer Systems and I'm excited to meet more amazing people.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Pb
Favorite Fictional Character: Moana
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Scalp massage
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Lisbon, Portugal
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Elijah Muhammad

Charlotte Minsky

Hi! I'm a junior double majoring in EAPS and 21E (which is a joint degree in History and Computer Science). I’m the president of Queer West and the Prison Education Initiative, and my hobbies/interests include freaking out over how beautiful Jupiter is, listening to podcasts, learning about the Arab-Israeli conflict and other parts of 20th century Middle Eastern history, writing ridiculous song parodies for various social shenanigans, coaching grade schoolers on debate and public speaking, and going on spontaneous adventures and road trips with friends.

Favorite Fictional Character: Uncle Iroh from Avatar
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: A library in a tiny, tiny town on the border of Poland and Lithuania. Ask me why 😉

Rebecca Nelson

I'm a member of the Undergraduate Class of 2021, and currently living in East Campus on Putz. I'm studying Course 18, Applied, and hoping to double with Course 15-2. I love sailing on the Charles, playing clarinet in MITSO, and baking tasty treats! I'm originally from North Carolina, but I'm finally learning to wear winter coats and enjoying my time here in Cambridge.

Favorite Fictional Character: Mara, Servant of the Empire
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Painting my nails while binge watching Netflix

Jeremy Owen

I'm a graduate student at MIT studying physics. I was born in the UK and went there for college, but in between, I grew up in the US. My mother is Italian and I speak the language.
In my research here, I'm especially interested in applying physics and mathematics to understand life-like phenomena. My other interests include pure mathematics, moral philosophy, voting and social choice theory, space colonization, and Renaissance music.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Oxygen
Favorite Fictional Character: Jean-Luc Picard

Sasha Rickard

I'm a senior studying Computer Science and Ancient and Medieval Studies. Originally from DC, I'm still a bit bitter about the whole taxation without representation business. I'm considering pursuing a PhD in political philosophy and am passionate about the pursuit of human truth. I'm an avid swimmer and am expecting any day now to grow a 3rd eye from one too many encounters with the Charles.

Favorite Fictional Character: The Duchess Sanseverina (Charterhouse of Parma)
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: The Grand Canyon

Deepsing Syangtan

I was born in Kathmandu, Nepal. I came to the USA four years ago to pursue an undergraduate degree at Bates College. People are often surprised when I tell them that I saw snow for the first time in the USA. I recently completed my undergraduate degree in chemistry and will be starting my Ph. D. degree in chemistry at MIT from this fall. I am interested in understanding biological phenomena and using tools of chemistry in solving biological problems. Besides my love for scientific research, I love dancing, meeting new people, traveling to new places, and watching movies.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Carbon (I love organic chemistry!)
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Napping
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Heidelberg, Germany

Michael Winer

I like physics, writing, and asking acquaintances if they believe in god.

Favorite Fictional Character: Jalaketu West
Most Incredible Place I've Visited:Westminster Abbey

Addir Coordinator

Adam Reynolds

Adam Reynolds first came to MIT as an undergraduate in 1997. He spent his days as an MIT student studying physics, rowing on the crew team and enjoying Greek life—giving little thought to God or spiritual pursuits, but now he is making up for lost time. Adam serves as MIT's Chaplain for Interfaith Engagement and Spiritual Health. Adam wants to help students to explore the wonderful and tragic mystery of what it means to be human through mining religious and spiritual traditions for wisdom, seeking connection with the Divine and strengthening the muscles of self-awareness, relationship-building, emotional literacy and self-care.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Hydrogen (where do you think all these protons came from?!)
Favorite Fictional Character: Don Gately - Infinite Jest
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Chocolate (especially the liquid forms)
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Iceland
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Abraham Joshua Heschel

Addir Interns

Basil Kannangara, S.J.

Growing up on the tiny tropical island of Singapore, amidst coconut trees and skyscrapers, I was a 5-year-old delivery boy ferrying food on my little bicycle from my Grandma’s kitchen to a nearby Buddhist temple. I would spend childhood afternoons with these saffron-robed monks, all the while knowing I was Catholic and enjoyed my faith. A best-friend who was Agnostic-Catholic, and another who was Muslim-Atheist, a 6-year relationship with a pastor’s daughter, and a shorter one with a Taoist who became a sorceress, would all continue drawing me into the deeper stuff of life – religion, spirituality, truth, awe, and love.

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Radon (Rn) - it's a gas (not quite solid), brought about by decay (suffering & ephemerality), and it's noble (duh!)
Favorite Fictional Character: Yoda
Favorite Self-Care Activity: Sitting still, sometimes in a cafe, with a cup of matcha
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: The stillpoint of my human mind; and the cliffs of Big Sur, California
A Religious/Spiritual/Philosophical Leader Who I Admire: Yoda

ChewLin "Chewie" Kay

I have been interested in interfaith work because of two reasons: one, a curiosity about the different ways that people can understand and interact with the world and how that can enhance our own ways of being in the world, and second, a realisation that it is only with respect and appreciation that we can have the common space for ourselves as communities and individuals to flourish.
When I'm not working/studying, I'm embracing the newness of being in the United States – what is this seasons thing? Why is the ground wet all the time? Who wants to come visit a lovely museum with me?

Favorite Element (from the Periodic Table): Platinum
Favorite Fictional Character: Adam Dalgliesh, PD James' detective-poet
Favorite Self-Care Activity: A toss up between hanging out with the housecats and my Tuesday singing group!
Most Incredible Place I've Visited: Koyasan, a sacred mountain in Japan