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.
Nicole Ortega, a native of Long Island, N.Y. and alum of Penn State University (WE ARE!), has been active and playing sports since her childhood. She’s played soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse and earned captaincy for the latter two sports. Nicole also enjoys going to the gym and staying active, especially through group exercise classes, a favorite fitness pastime. Her role with MIT Recreation has her overseeing the day-to-day operations at Alumni/Wang and the administrative functions of memberships. (If you have a membership question, Nicole will likely have the answer!)
Outside of the office, Nicole enjoys going to the movies, cooking, and going to exercise classes.
Favorite quote: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein
Jennifer Lima was born and raised in the Boston area to a family of Brazilian immigrants, and is the first American-born member in her family. Her mom had her in swim lessons starting when I was very young at the Kennedy Pool in Somerville, Mass. This is where Jennifer would learn to swim, join their swim team, and eventually work there for the majority of her young life. She also received her American Red Cross Certifications in Lifeguarding and First Aid at Kennedy Pool. Aquatics has always been a large part of her life and she’s happy to be a part of the MIT Recreation community as the Evening Aquatic Supervisor. Jennifer’s role consists of training and supervising the MIT lifeguards, managing the lifeguard schedule, and helping with onboarding, cleaning, and orientations when needed.
Currently Jennifer Lima is a Junior at Massachusetts College of Art and Design studying for her Bachelors in Ceramics and Art Education. In her free time, when not progressing in her artistic practice in Ceramics, loves working in watercolor and Acrylic painting, and oil pastels. Outside of the Arts, Jennifer loves to cook, going to see live music, and has begun to take an interest to running, including running her first 5K in December of 2022.
“‘Don’t you hear it?’ She asked. And I shook my head no and then she started to dance and suddenly there was music everywhere and it went on for a very long time and when I finally found words all I could say was thank you.”
Nichell (she/her) is originally from Derry, NH. As a child, she participated in dance (ballet, jazz, and modern dance), cheerleading, and track and field (sprinting and jumping). She graduated from Pinkerton Academy with an HSD, and continued to obtain a BS in Biological Sciences from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Nichell then returned to New England and enrolled in Boston University’s Master of Social Work program. After practicing social work for a number of years, and undergoing a significant fitness and wellness transformation (60lb weight loss), Nichell became a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine in January 2019. She has worked in a number of different facilities and capacities including but not limited to budget friendly fitness centers, women-only/non-male fitness centers, health clubs, virtual training, and partner/small group training. Her specialized foci include behavior change, weight loss, flexibility, resistance (weight) training, and strength training.
Nichell’s personal training philosophy is as follows: “Do the work when no one is watching!” Understand that you will get out what you put in, and whether or not you receive accolades or recognition, doing the work will get you your results. Skimping only affects you, so make the choice to do the (HARD!) work while exercising grace and patience with yourself.
Michael has earned a bachelor’s degree at Salem State University in Theater Arts. He opens the pool during the week, as well as manages the private swim program. Michael also assists Aquatic Program Director, Morgan Anderson, with the coordination of group swim lesson programs. Michael has been around the MIT community for over a decade. He has worked for the MIT Athletics Summer Day Camp program, and started officially working for Health Fitness in 2017 as an instructor and part-time lifeguard. Additionally, Michael has spearheaded new ideas to streamline private lessons in order to create the best experience possible for our members.
Jessica Roldan, a native of Eastie, which is what locals call East Boston, has worked at MIT Recreation since 2018 in various part-time roles until climbing the ladder to her current supervisor role in 2021. She loves her work, especially working with the people and patrons who fill up the Zesiger Center.
Jessica graduated from Wakefield, Massachusetts’s North East Metro Tech in 2012 and has even worked in auto body collision repair for four years before joining the MIT Recreation team. Away from the Z Center, Jessica enjoys going to parks with her son, watching sports with her family and trying as many different varieties of cold brew coffee from as many different coffee shops as she possibly can.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” — Peter Parker
Joseph Douyon, known best as Joe for short, is currently the evening Supervisor at Alumni Wang after moving from his previous position at the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center. He was born and raised in Cambridge, Mass., not far from the campus of MIT. Joe grew up very active, and always enjoyed sports which served as a way for him to express himself. Basketball however is his favorite sport and you can definitely catch Joe playing in the Z-Center when not working at Alumni Wang. Currently, he is a student at UMass-Boston majoring in communication/media.
In his free time, Joe enjoys playing basketball, working out, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. He also craves being a part of the team. He believes to be a good leader, communication is key to everything, including running a great recreation facility. Being able to be there for his staff when they need him the most and understanding their needs or concerns is what he enjoys about his job the most. Joe’s a big believer in “always trying your best,”, and he lives by the motto of giving something your all then that’s what matters the most, even if the outcome may not be the desired outcome.
Dayvon Russell, MIT Recreation’s Evening Member Services Supervisor was born and raised in Naugatuck, CT. He’s Recent graduate of Dean College, where he pursued a bachelor’s degree in sport management. While at Dean, Dayvon starred on the men’s basketball team. In addition to finding him on the hardwood during his days at Dean, you can now find him in the school’s athletic record book as the team’s first 1,000 point scorer in the history of the Dean College Bulldogs program.
As part of his duties here at MIT Recreation, Dayvon serves as the evening shift supervisor. This places him the emergency point of contact for the department of athletics, physical education, and aquatics. When away from the Zesiger Center, Dayvon loves to workout, play basketball & supporting his beloved UConn Huskies.
How do you go from where you are to where you wanna be? And I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And you have to be willing to work for it. — Basketball coach Jim Valvano
MIT Recreation’s Associate Director of Member Services, Jeff Callahan, grew up playing all kinds of sports. You name it, he played it, including football, baseball, basketball, soccer, rugby and lacrosse through high school. After his playing days were over, he has coached flag football baseball, and basketball at the middle school level. He has additional personal training experience and fitness experience through both the Beverly and Reading, Massachusetts YMCA’s. Callahan is also a graduate of Central Connecticut State University’s Exercise Science program and Endicott College’s Sports Leadership program is a native of Woburn, MA. When he’s not working all of the Z Center, you can find Jeff playing golf, video games, watching movies, and rooting for all of the Boston sports teams.
“We have to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. But work has to come third.” — Leslie Knope
Luke Olivier is a proud East Boston resident who was dragged into personal training by his fascination with research on fitness and strength sport, and its myriad connections with health, wellness, and wholeness. He is presently the Assistant Director of Fitness, Performance and Equipment. Olivier runs the Personal Training program, manages the gyms’ equipment and maintenance, and the ENGINEERyourHEALTH plus program, among other things.
Luke has a Personal Training Certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, and a Stretching Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In his free time, Luke trains himself from a bodybuilding school of thought, reads books, and takes his dog on road trips.
“We have met the enemy and he is us” — Walt Kelly
Originally from New Jersey, Emily moved to Boston to pursue her B.S. Health Science degree at Northeastern University. Emily developed a love for Group Fitness through her roles as a barre and boxing instructor. She is also certified in AFAA Group Fitness, AFAA Cycling and AFAA Practical Yoga. An additional passion Emily has is food, she is currently pursing her Masters degree in Applied Nutrition from Northeastern. She loves trying new foods, and restaurants especially with friends and family. Emily will be supporting Group Exercise, Personal Training and much more here at MIT Recreation.
A quote Emily lives by is “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” ~Maya Angelou
Bio Coming Soon!
Charlie is a multifaceted fitness professional with a pragmatic mindset. With eight years of experience, he has gained great insights about campus recreation, corporate and commercial fitness, and collegiate and professional athletics. Charlie developed a passion for recreation while studying in undergrad at Indiana University because of familial community and vibrant atmosphere within the program. Additionally, Charlie has been a certified Personal Trainer for five years and designs safe, fun fitness programs that challenge athletes to achieve their optimal performance. He also loves leading Group Exercise classes like Spin and HIIT Circuit Training. He is a proud Hoosier who earned his B.S. in Kinesiology from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2013. Moreover, he earned his M.A. in Kinesiology from Saint Mary’s College of California where he was the PA Announcer for Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Women’s Volleyball, and Softball and instructed an undergraduate Functional Cross Training course. He loves Chicago and is a fan of the Cubs, Bulls, and Bears, but has learned to love the Boston sports teams. He also loves playing basketball, going for long walks, watching movies, listening to podcasts, and writing.
His favorite quote is “…People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”- Maya Angelou
Originally from the South End, Boston Morgan was introduced to aquatics at a young age. Starting with swim lessons, eventually becoming a life guard intern and now our Assistant Director of Aquatic Programs. Morgan studied Marine Affairs and Women’s Studies at University of Rhode Island before joining MIT Recreation. She is certified in CPR, First Aid, SCUBA and CPO. When she isn’t in the pool you can find Morgan training her puppy, trying new restaurants or reading!
Favorite quote: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel -Maya Angelou
Greg Cameron’s love of sports truly ignited after a trip and tour of the hallowed halls of Boston Garden on a family trip before the vaunted arena was knocked down and replaced by the current TD Garden. Since that fateful trip, Cameron has played, covered, and completely consumed sports including, but not limited to hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball, and football throughout his childhood and subsequent career as a sports journalist for MassLive, WEEI.com, and LWOSports. In the dozen years since graduating from Springfield College, Cameron has built a career in marketing with several companies across Massachusetts focusing on social media and content-driven work. When Greg isn’t creating marketing collateral, you can find him at local record shops searching for awesome vinyl records, playing golf, going to the movies and museums, and cheering for the local Boston teams and Liverpool FC.
“You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory. Be a goldfish, Sam.” — Ted Lasso
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.
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.
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!
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).