People

Christopher Kabacinski

Administrative Coordinator
Christopher Kabacinski
CHRISTOPHER KABACINSKI (617.495.8434) is the administrative coordinator in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. He supports URAF’s day-to-day activities and programs, including the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village (HSURV). Additionally, he assists with URAF's financial transactions and manages the building at 77 Dunster Street. Before joining the URAF team, Chris worked as program coordinator in the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard. He has also worked at Health Story Collaborative and at Post Road Magazine. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in medical humanities, health, and culture from Boston College.

Seelai Karzai

Staff Assistant
Seelai Karzai

SEELAI KARZAI (617.495.5095) is the staff assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF). She supports URAF's day-to-day activities and programs, including the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF). Before joining the URAF team, Seelai worked at the Language Resource Center at Lamont Library. She has also worked with the Religions and the Practice of Peace Initiative at Harvard, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and War Resisters League. Seelai studied English Literature and Classics as an undergraduate at Hunter College (CUNY), where she was an MMUF Fellow and a McNair Scholar. She obtained her Master of Theological Studies with a focus on Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion from Harvard Divinity School. 

Greg Llacer

Director, Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF)
Director, Harvard College Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE)
Greg Llacer

GREGORY A. LLACER (617.384.7995) is the director of the Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.  An associate of Leverett House and a member of the Harvard College Board of Freshman Advisers, Greg also has been the director the Harvard College Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) since its inception in 2005.  In addition to his Harvard responsibilities, Greg is editorial chair of the national Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Research Journal.  Prior to his appointment as URAF director, Greg served in several administrative roles, including institutional director of postdoctoral affairs, interim chief of staff for the vice provost of research (in the Office of the President and Provost), and coordinator of the Herchel Smith-Harvard Research and Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellowships at OCS.  Before arriving at Harvard in 2004, he managed educational initiatives and academic enrichment programs for the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST). Greg spent the first 16 years of his administrative career in the academic and research planning unit of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of California, San Diego, where he was senior research analyst for the vice chancellor for research.  Greg received an AB degree from San Diego State University in liberal studies with an emphasis on education, and conducted postgraduate study at UCSD and SDSU focused on policy studies in language and cross-cultural education.

Elizabeth Perten

Programs Manager, Research and Fellowships
Perten headshot
ELIZABETH PERTEN (617.384.7959) is the programs manager for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. She manages the Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) and the administration of the Harvard College-Mindich Engaged Research programs (in collaboration with the College's Mindich Program for Engaged Scholarship). In addition, Elizabeth is responsible for the day-to-day management of URAF-administered undergraduate research grants. She comes to URAF from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where she specialized in fellowships and student affairs and gained experience in both managing programs and overseeing fellowship competitions. Elizabeth also serves as a member of the Board of Freshman Advisers. Elizabeth studied music history as an undergraduate at Barnard College (Columbia University) and holds a joint MA degree in Music and Women’s and Gender Studies and a PhD in Historical Musicology, both from Brandeis University.

Thomas Spencer

Assistant Director, Research and Fellowships
Thomas Spencer

THOMAS SPENCER (617.495.5050) is an assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. He is responsible for the Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellowship, the pre-professional programming activities of the SHARP program, as well as advising for research and fellowship competitions run through the Office. Before joining the URAF team, Thomas worked at Columbia University in the Office of Global Programs and Fellowships managing study abroad programs in France, Germany and China. Prior to this, Thomas worked as an academic advisor and program coordinator at Columbia Global Centers | Paris. Thomas received a BA in art history from the University of Missouri | Columbia, as well as a Licence, Maîtrise, DEA and PhD in medieval art history from the Université de Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Cammi Valdez

Assistant Director, Research and Fellowships
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CAMMI VALDEZ (617.496.6220) is an assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. She is responsible for managing the pre-professional programming activities of the PRISE, BLISS, PRIMO, SHARP, and SURGH programs, as well as the House operations of the Summer Undergraduate Research Village, and advising students on research opportunities and programs at Harvard and beyond. In addition, Cammi manages the Amgen Scholars Program. Before joining the URAF team, she worked at MIT as the program manager for the MIT Summer Research Program. She has also served on the Board of Freshman Advisers. During her graduate career, she was the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, represented Harvard at the 60th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, and spent two years as the President of the Harvard Graduate Student Council. Cammi received a BS Professional in chemistry and a BS in mathematics from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and holds a PhD in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology from Harvard University.

Gwen Volmar

Assistant Director, Research and Fellowships
GTV

GWEN VOLMAR (617.495.8126) is an assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. She is responsible for communications, management, and advising for the more than 30 fellowship competitions run through the Office. In addition, she is the primary administrator for Harvard's Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT), the institutional application utility used by the College, GSAS, and affiliated research enterprises across the university.  Before joining the research and fellowships team, Gwen taught fifth grade in Oakland, California, and worked with Human Rights Watch and Teachers Without Borders. At UC Berkeley, she studied Spanish literature and worked as a research apprentice studying second-language acquisition in schools. Gwen recently received her master's degree in psychology.

Ruth Wilson

Associate Director of Administration
Ruth Wilson

RUTH WILSON (617.496.6997) is the associate director of administration for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, the Office of Career Services, and the Office of International Education. She oversees financial and human resources administration for the three offices. Before joining the URAF team, Ruth worked in various roles at the Office of Career Services, including Client and Resource Services Assistant, Assistant to the Department Administrator, and Department Administrator. Prior to working at Harvard, Ruth worked as a volunteer manager at Horizons for Homeless Children in Jamaica Plain and taught English abroad in Greece and France. She received her BA in psychology from Smith College and her Masters degree in Management from Harvard Extension School.