We work around the clock to help the MIT Community get a daily dose of health and wellness. Our goal is to keep you motivated and remind you to take a break for a little bit of recreation.
Karissa is a fun-loving group exercise enthusiast and former high school basketball and cross country athlete from Allentown, PA. These days you can find Karissa at the MIT Recreation Alumni/Wang Center helping to keep the moral of our fitness instructors high. In addition to group exercise, she oversees adult fitness instructional programs, campus outreach, and related PE classes. With a BS in Kinesiology from Penn State University, Karissa joins our team after a stint in Manhattan as a fitness professional for NBC Studio’s 30 Rock (what a great show). She’s a CSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and also has a handful of group ex certs including Spinning, Zumba, PiYo, and Insanity. What she loves to do during her free time is visit family and friends, check out new group ex classes, try new restaurants, and see new places.
Kayla is originally from Alton, Illinois. Growing up just 15 minutes from St. Louis, Kayla developed a love for the outdoors at a young age. She spent time hiking, backpacking, and camping with family and friends. This active life-style inspired Kayla to work at summer camps and at an environmental center leading hikes, canoe trips, and rock climbing instruction. Now, at MIT Recreation, Kayla supervises morning operations at the Alumni Pool and Wang Fitness Center. She also has ambitions of introducing more outdoor recreation opportunities to the MIT Community. For fun, Kayla enjoys rock climbing, jewelry making, and baking.
Mike grew up in Burnt Hills, NY and attended Endicott College in Beverly, MA, earning his Sport Management degree. After graduating in 2014, he spent one year as a teacher’s assistant with the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District while also working as an assistant coach with the Union College volleyball team. In 2015, Michael joined the MIT Recreation community as a member services supervisor, and now manages the day-to-day operations at Alumni/Wang. Mike handles a lot of our back office details and member accounts, but also makes time to coach volleyball for MIT Athletics. In his spare time when he’s not coaching, Mike enjoys playing volleyball, watching the Mets, and attending concerts.
Tyler grew up in Shrewsbury, MA and received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Merrimack College where he was introduced to campus recreation and the immeasurable impact it has on the campus community. He went on to pursue a career as a strength & conditioning coach, then went back to school and obtained his Master’s in Higher Education from Boston College. Now, Tyler brings his fitness and campus recreation knowledge to MIT, overseeing the personal training program, assessments, and equipment maintenance. Outside of MIT, you may find Tyler playing sports, hanging by the beach, and exploring the city with friends.
Bio Coming Soon!
Jason was born and raised in the Hoosier State, Indiana. He joined MIT Recreation in 2007 after working in campus recreation at Boston College. Prior to arriving in Boston, Jason was a campus recreation graduate assistant at Indiana University, where he graduated with his BS in Public Management and MS in Recreational Sports Administration. As the Director of Member Services, he currently oversees many of our front-line operations including the pro-shop, locker and equipment rentals, towel service, court reservations and memberships. When it’s time to relax and have a little fun, Jason enjoys road biking, playing guitar, hiking with family and watching movies.
Ali comes from the small town of Lunenburg, MA. A proud runner, she completed her first half marathon in 2015 and plans to add more to her schedule in the future. Planning is one of Ali’s strengths, as the Business Manager for MIT Recreation she keeps things in order and manages our day-to-day administrative tasks while working with our Director to maintain, plan and schedule many of our operations. She is a graduate of UMass Amherst with a BS in Exercise Science and Fitchburg State University with a Master’s in Business Administration. Ali loves spending time with her family including her son, an energetic toddler who keeps her busy. Her recipe for relaxation includes “some me time” and a good book.
Born and raised in Lincolnton, NC, Chris started his Aquatic career as a lifeguard at the local YMCA when he was 15. He later attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he received his BS in Anthropology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. After continuing to work with the YMCA for a few years in both North Carolina and Charlestown, Chris joined us as an Aquatic Manager in February 2015. He currently oversees our pool schedules, rentals and reservations for our expansive Aquatic Department. For fun, Chris enjoys rock climbing, Netflix, reading, ice skating, hiking, and kayaking.
Ethan has a passion for fitness and consistently reinvents ways to support our private programs like Golf, Massage, Ice Skating, Squash, and Nutrition. He also develops our incentive programs designed to help the MIT Community get more involved with the maintenance of personal health and wellness. Originally from Pennsylvania, Ethan played basketball and soccer growing up and continued playing soccer throughout college. He is a 2015 graduate from Lesley University with a BS in Business Management and specialization in Sports Management. When he’s looking to have some fun, he usually participates in weight training, basketball, soccer, attends concerts and spends time with family and friends.
Originally from Massachusetts, Ben has significant experience in the aquatics field and has been in and out of the water for the past 15 years. Ben received his BS in Sport and Movement Science with a concentration in Aquatic Recreation Management from Salem Sate University and his MS in Emergency Management from Anna Maria College. In 2004 he joined the MIT Recreation staff and continues to oversee one of the premier aquatic facilities in the northeast. He holds multiple certifications including Emergency Medical Responder Instructor, First Responder, ARC Water Safety, Lifeguard, CPR Health Care Provider, First Aid and MA Municipal Police Training Committee First Responder Instructor. Outside the natatorium, Ben enjoys spending time with his family and hiking.
Hailing from Enfield Connecticut, Brad began swimming competitively at the age of 5 and continued through college. By the age of 15, Brad became more involved with aquatics as a lifeguard and a swim instructor. After receiving his Bachelor’s is Sports & Recreation Management and a Master’s in Education, both at Springfield College, Brad began a professional career in aquatics which includes administrative and coaching positions in Western Mass. At MIT, Brad manages the staffing of lifeguards and deck managers while also taking on large events that occur in the Zesiger pool. When he’s not at MIT, Brad is likely to be found cycling, swimming, and playing with his dog Linda.
Originally from Springfield, Massachusetts, Heather is a former Aquatics Director at the Lawrence YMCA where she helped obtain and manage a 150,000 dollar grant to give over 850 kids from local elementary and middle schools free swim and music lessons in a community that has a 7 times higher drowning rate than most of Massachusetts. At MIT, she is our morning aquatics supervisor in addition to assisting with the learn to swim program. Heather graduated with a BA from Simmons college were she was a captain of the swim and dive team. Teaching is Heather’s first love, so she spends a lot of her time as a coach and instructor but also enjoys settling down with a good book.
Francesca is from Malden, Ma where she grew up with two older brothers and developed a love for athletics and competition. Earning her BA from the University of Connecticut in Human Development & Family Studies, Francesca also worked in the Campus Recreation Department. As an Assistant Director of Member Services, she currently manages the Member Services front-line staff who are responsible for providing quality customer service to our patrons and supervises our main facility operations. Outside of her position at the Z Center, Francesca enjoys hiking, kayaking, cooking, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.
Kayla is enthusiastic about all things wellness and tries to live by her own advice. Being in the Wellness industry for over twelve years, she has managed to expand her education and experience to an efficacious career. She has had the opportunity to work in private gyms and studios, corporate wellness centers, clinical sites, Non-For-Profits and Universities. Kayla serves as the Associate Director of Programs & Wellness at MIT Recreation, where she will serve her team and her new Cambridge community. She received her M.S. in Exercise Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2012, as well as her B.S. in Exercise Physiology from Saint Francis University in 2011. Kayla comes to us from the city of Pittsburgh where she led the development and implementation wellness programs at the University of Pittsburgh. While she certainly doesn’t hide that she is a Steelers fan, she says she is “Campus Rec by day and a taco aficionado by night.” Pilates was the beginning of her group exercise career and personal training had always been her passion, she now holds certifications in a variety of areas from USA Weightlifting to Cycling but she is most passionate about Meditation. From destination backpacking to gardening, Kayla loves the wild outdoors and staying active daily. A soon to be dog mom, at home you will find her gardening or working on wood projects with her husband, as they prepare for their new 4-legged friend and settle into their new Boston home!
Matt is a soccer enthusiast who has played and coached for as long as he can remember. He graduated from Duquesne University in 2012 with a BSc in Business Administration, and a concentration in Sports Marketing. Matt joined our team in 2015 after working in Pittsburgh in the years after his graduation. As a Member Services Supervisor, Matt processes registration for many of our programs and classes, is a Point of Contact for emergency incidents at the Z Center, supervises part time member services staff, and manages the locker rental operations for the Zesiger Center and DuPont locker rooms. In his free time, he is an avid live concert goer and tries to attend at least one concert a month. When he’s not at the Z Center or a live concert, he enjoys watching movies and sports.
Katrina is a graphic designer with a love of art going back to her finger-painting days. Tempered by an equal appreciation for science and utility, she finds using design as an effective means of communication to be very rewarding. Katrina also enjoys practicing yoga and the calm, stress-free environment that it engenders – even with the occasional tumble from a more difficult pose. At MIT Recreation, she applies her knack for design and her curious nature to managing the blog and social media in addition to creating print and digital collateral. When at home she can be found in the kitchen, creating a huge mess as she tests new, healthy dishes.
Steph is the “woo” of recreation and you might just catch her chatting with students, patrons and staff around the facility. She manages to stay right in the action while keeping recreation in the loop and managing the department. Steph’s career progressed from teaching dance class at a young age to becoming a “fitness junkie” and group exercise instructor. Working with MIT Recreation was her first job out of college, when she graduated from The Ohio State University with her BA in Health and Wellness, then Northeastern University with her MA in Sports Leadership. As Director, Steph oversees the administration and management of all programming and operational aspects of aquatics, fitness, customer service and facility maintenance within our programs and consults with the leadership in Intramural Sports, Club Sports, Varsity Athletics, Physical Education and Facility Operations in the administration of DAPER programs and services. She takes a break from MIT life every now and then with hiking, SUP, trips to the beach, visiting friends and family, and defeating her husband at everything possible (except go-carts).
Hailing from Fall River, MA, Steven only began swimming after taking a lifeguarding course for high school credit. He continued to work as a lifeguard for local beaches during the summer and even served as head lifeguard and aquatic supervisor while attending the University of New Hampshire. While at UNH Steven competed in track and field and earned his BS in Athletic Training. Joined MIT aquatics staff in Jan 2018 as the lifeguard manager and Pool deck supervisor. Steven is still an avid harrier to this day but cuts down on the mileage by supplementing plenty of swimming. Outside of exercise you can find Steve playing Nintendo games and taking siestas in a hammock.
Esther is an artist turned athlete, turned creative-brand-strategist. With a hybrid background that includes design, business, and athletics, it’s only fitting that she spends her time making recreation look good. Esther played collegiate basketball while pursuing her BA in Graphic Design from Fairleigh Dickinson University and played overseas while coaching and pursing her MSc in Marketing Management from Durham University. Now, she manages our marketing department which includes the development and implementation of creative strategies. Wallace also oversees our website, email marketing, and promotional collateral. When Esther’s not marketing recreational programs and services, she is usually playing on the basketball court, coaching on the sideline, or designing t-shirts.