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Kirkland House won’t have to put up with History Tutor Bradley S. Zakarin’s sports fixation any longer.
Zakarin—described by Kirkland House Master Tom C. Conley as an “unmitigated sports fan”—was named the next senior tutor of Mather House last week.
Mather’s current Senior Tutor, Rena Fonseca, announced earlier this year that she would be stepping down at the end of the term.
Mather House Masters Sandra Naddaff ’75 and Leigh G. Hafrey ’73 said they are looking forward to having Zakarin in the House next year.
“He is following a senior tutor who is a real pro at the business and who knows all the ins and outs of the College. We are sorry to be losing Rena, but we think that Brad has much of the same knowledge that Rena has,” Hafrey said.
In spite of feuding sports loyalties, Kirkland residents and faculty members said they are sad to see Zakarin—who has been a tutor in the house for the past three years—make the move to Mather.
“He is a wonderful student of modern history,” Conley said. “[But] we’ve had to put up with his affiliation with Flipper and the Miami Dolphins, and Brad certainly knows how to rub salt in the wounds of this Red Sox fan.”
“I hate to lose him. He’s been a superlative tutor in every respect and an unbelievable presence in this House. I hated to write a great letter for him because, if I were strategic, I would have written a negative letter of recommendation in order to keep him here,” Conley added.
According to Conley, Zakarin was the driving force behind the transformation of the Senior Common Room into a popular institution of Kirkland House, with lectures attended by faculty and students alike.
But Conley said Zakarin will be most remembered for the many hours he spent each day in the dining hall, talking and joking with students and fostering a strong sense of community in Kirkland House.
Zakarin specializes in international history with an emphasis on United States and Latin American relations.
He is planning to receive his Ph.D. from the history department this November upon completing his dissertation on the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Zakarin. Originally from Miami, Fla., Zakarin graduated from Amherst College in 1996.
Zakarin said he looks forward to continuing his work with undergraduates and also becoming a lecturer in the history department.
“I get to combine the aspects of tutoring I enjoyed along with the teaching side of the job. I get to work with students in a more complete fashion, and I get to work in the house as well as in the classroom,” he said.
Zakarin said he will draw on his experiences as a resident advisor in the graduate residence halls at Harvard and also as an area coordinator at Amherst—where he supervised a staff of 13 resident counselors.
Conley said Zakarin will do very well in his new role.
“I am thrilled that he is going there, thrilled for Mather, thrilled for Brad, and we’ll see what we can do from this side because he is a person that will be very difficult to replace,” said Conley.
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