What do CAs do?

Community Associates (CAs) are graduate students who enjoy being involved with the Rains community. Their goal is to help build a sense of community among Rains residents. CAs:

  • Plan educational, cultural, social, and recreational programs at the neighborhood and Rains-wide levels.

  • Offer information and advice to anyone who needs help finding services or information on Stanford Campus.

  • Create opportunities for residents to take an active role in the organization of events.

Each building in Rains is part of a neighborhood served by at least two CAs. We have a lot of information about Stanford and the surrounding communities. We're available when you have specific questions and when you just want to talk.

Who are the CAs?

Head CAs
Mahalia Miller mahalia
Lauren Howe lchowe
Neighborhood CAs
Buildings 206-209
Sharon Briggs
Scott Arcenas
Tom Colvin



The Hood
Buildings 212-214
David Montague
Akshay Chaudhari

The Plains of Rains
Buildings 215, 216
Colleen Rosania

Jessica Shindo

The Beach House
Buildings 217, 218
Sayuri Yapa

John Taggart

Buildings 220-226
Blair Benham-Pyle

Joe Funke

Buildings 227-229
Beth Jens

Vladimir Troyansky

Julie Blumreiter


Buildings 229-238
Karla Gleichauf

Kelcie Abraham

More Rains CAs
Treasurer Liz Wiltshire wiltshie
Webmaster Zach Zappala zappala
Rains-Wide CA Javier Stober stober

CA Bios

Colleen Rosania

Hey everyone, and welcome to Rains! I'm Colleen and a CA for the best neighborhood of all, the Plains of Rains! I'm a fourth year Aeronautics & Astronautics PhD student here at Stanford specializing in structures and materials, specifically composite materials such as carbon fiber reinforced polymers. Originally I hail from Alexandria, VA and I did my undergrad degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rochester in New York before coming to sunny and amazing Stanford. When not breaking things in lab (experiments are awesome!) I enjoy swimming, social dance, and watching or reading as much sci-fi as possible. I'm super excited to be a CA this year, meet all of you and run fantastic events!

Javier Stober

Hi! My name is Javier and I'm a 3rd-Year grad student in Aero/Astro Engineering. I had the good fortune of being a University of Florida Gator for undergrad, before coming out to the Bay Area. My academic background and interest is in all things propulsion, but I particularly fancy experimental hybrid rocket propulsion. Ask me about it, and our conversation will have no end. When not launching rockets, I thoroughly enjoy learning about different cultures, road-tripping aimlessly, and musical theater.

I'm super-psyched to be serving the Rains community as a CA and look forward to the opportunity of supporting Rainsians in any capacity. Don't hesitate to shoot me an email or stop me to say hello :)

Joe Funke

Hey! I'm Joe, one of the Midtown CAs. I'm from (the great state of!) Ohio and did my undergrad at the Franklin Olin College of Engineering, a new and small school outside Boston. Afterwards, I came directly to grad school here at Stanford, where I'm now beginning my 4th year in Mechanical Engineering. I play with cars and computers, both in the lab and for fun. Outside of that, I'm always looking for new experiences and hope I can introduce you guys to some great things to do here at Stanford!

John Taggart

Welcome to Rains! My name's John, and I'm one of the CAs for the Beach House neighborhood. I'm a third year grad student in Management Science & Engineering, focusing on energy systems. Prior to Stanford, I went to undergrad at Princeton University and then worked for two years in Washington, D.C in science and tech policy. I'm a fan of pretty much anything that doesn't involve staring at a computer screen, and takes advantage of California's perpetually perfect weather. In my free time (when there is any, and often when there isn't), you'll likely find me running the Dish, tossing a frisbee in front of Willis, playing a pickup soccer game, or hiking up in the Santa Cruz mountains. I'm looking forward to seeing you at the awesome Rains events we've got in store for you this year, and if you ever have any questions, or suggestions for fun activities, just let me know!

Julie Blumreiter

Hi my name is Julie but you can call me Badger if you like. I'm from Wisconsin, and yes... I do love cheese and the Green Bay Packers.. and I'm also Lutheran (so cliché). I'll be a CA in Hilgard this year, as well as a 5th year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering. My research focus is making car engines more efficient... but I probably won't help you soup up that Accord you're driving. I like watching football, baking, playing board games, and keeping active with things such as biking, weightlifting, yoga, volleyball, racketball, etc. I hope to plan lots of active events in Rains! I also hope to make volunteer opportunities more accessible to Rains residents. Contact me with fun event ideas and we'll make it happen!

Karla Gleichauf

Hey there! I'm Karla and I'm a CA in the Frontier. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, I attended Rice University before I came out to Stanford. I am a 5th year PhD student (already?!) in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory in Civil and Environmental Engineering, which means that I really enjoy studying and being in the water. Besides water, I love baking, running, traveling, cooking, and spending time in the amazing California weather! Rains has been a great place to make new friends and unwind after lab, so I hope to continue running fun events for you guys!

Lauren Howe

Hey there fellow Rainsians! I'm Lauren, and I'm looking forward to being one of your head CAs with Mahalia this year. I'm a 3rd year PhD in Social Psychology (studying morality-related topics), and grew up in Virginia, where I was proud to be a Wahoo for undergrad :) I lived in Germany for a couple years studying abroad and teaching English, so I love traveling and practicing my German. In my spare time I enjoy anything outdoors , especially hiking and swimming, cooking, reading as much as possible, live music, and being spontaneous (I'll try pretty much anything at least once). Mostly I love getting to know people, so drop me a line anytime, and let me know if there's anything you'd like to see happen around Rains!

Mahalia Miller

My name's Mahalia Miller and I'm a head CA here in Rains along with Lauren Howe. I'm from Wisconsin originally and went to MIT and Cambridge University for undergrad. I came to California to study earthquake engineering and now I'm focusing on seismic risk analysis of transportation networks as well as working part-time at a tech start-up. In my free time I enjoy running, hiking, cooking for friends, and traveling. If you have any suggestions for Rains events or how we can be a support network, please don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to meeting you!

Sayuri Yapa

Hi, and welcome to Rains! I'm pumped to be a CA in the Beach House this year. I'm originally from upstate NY, but have called California home for the past couple years and am a 4th year in Mechanical Engineering. In my spare time, I compete for the Stanford Taekwondo Team, run, swim, and will try almost any new sport (I've recently tried surfing, climbing, and mountain biking - all were awesome!). I also love to draw, paint, cook, bake, and feed people, and am looking forward to hosting some fun events for you all. See you around Rains, and feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions for events!

Scott Arcenas

Howdy, and welcome to Rains! My name is Scott, and I'm neither an engineer nor a scientist of any sort. In fact, I'm a second-year PhD student in the Classics Department, focusing primarily on Greek political and legal history, during the 6th-4th centuries, B.C.. Originally from Casper, Wyoming, I now both live and serve as a CA in the Multicultural Theme House (MCTH!). In my spare time (and yes, grad school really does leave you spare time!), I enjoy any and all water sports, hiking, fishing, cooking, eating-basically anything that involves food, the outdoors, or (preferably) both. I look forward to meeting you all, and please don't hesitate to contact me, if you have any questions or concerns.

Sharon Briggs

Hi Rains! My name is Sharon and I am a fourth year in the Genetics Department and also a CA in MCTH. I love stem cells and development and human reproduction and am planning to pursue policy and advocacy for women's reproductive health rights after my PhD. I am originally from West Virginia and went to college in Pittsburgh. When I am not in lab, I love playing and watching sports (Go Steelers!), baking, reading, and generally having an awesome time. If you have any ideas for events or want to get involved, let me know!

Vladimir Troyansky

Warm welcomes to Rains! My name is Vladimir and I am a CA for Hilgard! I am a third-year PhD student in History and I focus on Modern Middle Eastern and Ottoman history. I am interested in migration and economic history. I grew up in Russia and the Baltics, and I completed my undergraduate and Master's degrees in bonnie Scotland, at St Andrews and Edinburgh. Prior to coming to Stanford, I lived in Syria, Egypt, Israel, and Turkey for short periods of time. It will not be surprising that I love strong coffee, sweet tea, hummus, and the Istanbul protest movement. I am very excited about this coming year! Hilgardians, remember that if you have any questions, complaints, suggestions about your residential experience, I am here for you! Let's have an awesome year!

Blair Benham-Pyle

Hello Everyone! I’m Blair and I am a CA in Midtown. I’m a third year PhD student in Cancer Biology and I study how mechanical forces influence cell behavior and cell signaling. I was born and raised in Minnesota, then moved out to Connecticut to do my undergrad at Yale University. In my free time, I enjoy pick up Volleyball, chilling outdoors with a good book or a game of cards/poker, and movie marathons. I’m so excited to get to know you and plan lots of awesome events this year! If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Liz Wiltshire

Kia Ora (Hello)! My name's Liz and I'm your treasurer this year, working mainly behind the scenes to make sure your CAs have money to run all their fantastic events for you! I come from Christchurch, New Zealand and did all my undergrad there, so if you hear me speak that's why I sound funny! I'm a 4th year PhD student in Biology, studying how plant cells and bacteria work together to fix nitrogen in legume plants. When I'm not doing that, I can be found social dancing (cross-step waltz is my JAM), playing my bassoon, camping around the California coast, playing computer games, and generally being a huge Sci Fi/Fantasy/Marvel geek. Welcome to Rains!

Jessica Shindo

Hey hey Rains! My name is Jessica, and I'm a CA for Plains. I'm a 2nd year MA student at the Center for East Asian Studies, and my focus is on Japanese culture, food & foodways, and identity. I was born and raised in the far off lands of the East Bay (Berkeley/Concord, CA), but I did my undergrad down in San Diego, so I have been thoroughly spoiled by California weather and I love the beach. I lived for two years in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, teaching English before coming to grad school here. As you can probably guess, I really like food -- both eating and cooking -- but I also enjoy gaming (video and board), kayaking, swimming, diving, tea, and aquariums. When the weather is nice, I try to spend as much time outside as I can, so if you see me chillin' at a bench or on the grass feel free to stop by and say hello, or shoot me an email if you ever want to have any questions, concerns, or ideas~

David Montague

Hello! I'm David, and I'm a CA in The Hood. I'm a 2nd year PhD student in the math department, and my research interests have a lot of overlap with the stats department as well. I was born and raised in Michigan, and went to the University of Michigan for my undergrad. I did a master's at Cambridge, and am now happily settled at Stanford away from the cold! You'll find me at the gym almost every day, unless I'm out surfing, snowboarding, or enjoying beautiful California in some other fun way. I like to play board and video games in my down time, too. As a CA, I'm looking forward to a lot of new experiences, and also to meeting lots of new people. I hope you'll be one of them!

Akshay Chaudhari

Hey everyone, I'm Akshay and I am really stoked to be one of your CA's this year. I am a second year PhD student in the Bioengineering department. I work in medical imaging to look inside of you better (but not in a weird way). I am focusing on how we can improve the quality of current MRI procedures so that we can improve medical diagnoses. In my free time, I absolutely love playing and watching sports. I also enjoy biking around the gorgeous scenery that we have at Stanford. I am also an avid fan of electronic music and love going to shows. Feel free to drop me a line if you'd want to to chat. I look forward to meeting all of you!

Tom Colvin

I'm striving to be a minimalist. Ask me what I packed for my Guatemala trip! I just bought a surfboard and wetsuit. Wanna surf?

Let's talk! Things you can easily talk to me about: Space travel, terrestrial travel, dancing, WEIRD-ASS MUSIC, electronics, being a radio DJ, interpersonal relationships / social dynamics, radical life extension, cyborgs, your goals for your life, recurring childhood dreams, ghost stories, making music of any kind, and I really wanna hear about that thing that you did that time.

If you were handed a one-way ticket to Mars and a year's-worth of supplies, would you go?

Beth Jens

G'day, g'day, I'm Beth and I'm a fourth year grad student in Aeronautics and Astronautics. I am super pumped about all things space exploration and rockets. I completed my undergraduate degrees at home in Australia where I studied engineering (mechanical) and science (physics). I grew up in a small town by the ocean and love the beach. In a past life, before moving to the States, I worked in management consulting and full-time in a sushi shop. I enjoy a lot of different sports, but my particular favourites at the moment are white water kayaking, soccer, indoor climbing and hiking. I'm looking forward to meeting you all and enjoying this awesome area of the world together!

Kelcie Abraham

Hey! My name is Kelcie, and I'm a CA in the Frontier. I'm a fourth year in Civil and Environmental Engineering studying multi-disciplinary, multi-objective decision problems on sustainable building projects. I am originally from Toronto and, like any true Canadian, I am a huge ice hockey fan (Go Leafs!). In fact, I played on the varsity women's team at MIT, where I went for undergrad. Despite the lack of ice and snow, I love living in the Bay Area. In my free time, I enjoy running and hiking outdoors, relaxing with a cappuccino and a good book, and getting creative in the kitchen with my roommates. If you have questions about life at Stanford, ideas for events, or a desire to get involved, let me know! Get excited for a great year in Rains!

Zach Zappala

Hey all, my name is Zach and I'm one of your Rains-wide CAs this year (but I live in the Frontier!). I'm a 2nd year PhD student in the Genetics department, where I spend my days investigating the functional impact of genetic variation in humans. I was born in New York but raised and went to college in New Jersey, save a lovely stint in Tokyo. I enjoy doing pretty much anything and everything, but I particularly like cooking, playing sports, and spending (almost) all of my stipend money on concerts. I'm really excited to be a CA - I look forward to meeting all of you!