Five New Senior Tutors Selected For Next Year

Lewis says large turnover is expected, reflects tutor quality

In an announcement with major implication for life in Harvard’s undergraduate Houses, five new senior tutors were appointed yesterday.

Nearly half of the College’s Houses—Cabot, Dunster, Currier, Lowell and Kirkland—will get new senior tutors, including a former platoon leader in the French Alpine forces and two anthropologists.

According to Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68, who made yesterday’s announcement, the senior tutor is a short-term position “by design” and high turnover in any particular year is not unusual.

“As much as anything, the turnover reflects the quality of the individuals who hold these positions,” he wrote in an e-mail. “They often are desired by others, inside and outside Harvard, for more advanced academic positions.”

Lewis said the new tutors will enter into life in their new Houses “quickly and eagerly.”

Paulette G. Curtis ’92 will take over as senior tutor in Dunster House. Originally from New Orleans and currently living in Las Vegas, Curtis expects to receive her doctorate this fall for a dissertation about American veterans who have returned to Vietnam to give battlefield tours.

As an undergraduate Curtis lived next door in Mather.

“I worked in the Dunster House kitchen as an undergrad, so my affiliation with Dunster is long and illustrious,” she said.

Curtis is a former assistant senior tutor in Winthrop House and is a lecturer in the anthropology department.

“She relates to students very well, and has a lot of knowledge about Harvard from her many years here,” said outgoing Dunster Senior Tutor John T. O’Keefe, who will work full-time next year as assistant dean of undergraduate education.

Stephen H. Kargere, a native of France who once commanded an infantry platoon in the elite French Alpine forces, will assume the senior tutor position in Cabot House this fall. A lecturer in history and literature, Kargere has studied at Williams College and Brandeis University, as well as in London and Paris.

“I absolutely love advising, and I’m looking forward to doing more of it in Cabot House,” Kargere said.

He says he looks forward to the prospect of playing intramural sports. He recalls that one of his predecessors, Billy Weitzel, was involved in more than 20 intramurals during his stay as Cabot’s senior tutor.

“I don’t think I can match that record,” he said. “My 11-month-old twins affect my ability to perform athletically, unless you count packing around two 20-pound weights everywhere.”

Kargere’s only previous involvement with Cabot House came through his wife Karen, who once took a course at the Harvard School of Public Health from Cabot House Master James H. Ware.

Current Cabot senior tutor Robert H. Neugeboren will advise and teach in the economics department next year.

Currier House’s new senior tutor, Associate Professor of Anthropology Carole Mandryk, has served as an archeology tutor in the anthropology department and as curator of North American archeology at the Peabody Museum.

“Currier is a really friendly house,” Mandryk said. “My office being right near the front entrance is great. I’m able to see everyone coming and going.”

Lowell House will see John “Jay” Ellison succeed Marshall T. Poe, who was appointed only last year. Ellison holds a degree from the Harvard Divinity School and expects to receive his doctorate from the University in June. He will continue his teaching next year in the Near Eastern languages and civilizations department.

At Kirkland House, Coral Fernandez-Illescas, a native of Spain and currently an assistant master in Rockefeller College at Princeton University, will assume the position from Timothy C. Harte ’90, who will accept a tenure-track position at Bryn Mawr College.

Fernandez-Illescas plans to receive her doctorate in environmental engineering and water resources this spring from Princeton and will teach in Harvard’s Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

—Anne K. Kofol contributed to the reporting of this story.