Who we are

The BE Refs are graduate students trained in conflict management. You can directly contact an individual Ref, contact us all at berefs@mit.edu, or make an appointment using our online scheduling system. Note that REFS Trainees have not completed the conflict management training yet, and are thus not available for confidential conflict coaching.

If you’re interested in joining the team, check out the application.


Pablo Cárdenas
pcarden at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 5th year | Niles Lab
location Building 56


Tyler Dao
tylerdao at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 3rd year | Shalek Lab
location Broad/Ragon/IMES

Anisha Datta
anidatta at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 4th year | Lauffenburger Lab
location Building 56


Sarah Duquette
sduquett at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 3rd year | Manalis Lab
location Building 76/Koch


Elise Gubbins
egubbins at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 4th year | Griffith Lab and Guo Lab
location Building 16


Jeff Hsiao
jchsiao at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 4th year | Ribbeck Lab and Alter Lab
location Ragon/Building 56


Ellen Kan
ellenkan at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 4th year | Griffith Lab and Kamm Lab
location Building 56/NE-47


Bianca Lepe
blepe at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 5th year | Bryson Lab and Gifford Lab

Nick Nolan
ncn at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 2nd year | Del Vecchio Lab
location Building 3


Krista Pullen
kpullen at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 5th year | Lauffenburger Lab
location Building 56

Christine Wiggins
daviscld at mit dot edu
BE PhD student | 3rd year | Lauffenburger Lab
location Building 56

Faculty mentor & partners

The BE REFS team has a faculty mentor who advises the Refs and serves as a liaison with departmental faculty and staff.

Michael Birnbaum 
mbirnb at mit dot edu
Assistant Professor | BE
location 76-353/Koch Institute

Note: our faculty mentor is not specifically trained in conflict management and is not necessarily a confidential resource. If you are a BE student and would like to talk to a faculty member about your issue, we recommend reaching out to the Graduate Program Chair (Katharina Ribbeck), Associate Graduate Program Chair (Paul Blainey), Department Head (Angela Belcher), or Associate Department Head (Scott Manalis). 

BE REFS is partnered with the BE Communication Lab and the BE Graduate Board. We are part of the larger REFS program at MIT.

Former BE Refs

Scott Olesen (2014-2016)
Souparno Ghosh (2015-2016)
Deena Rennerfeldt (2016-2017)
Georgia Lagoudas (2014-2018)
Tu Nguyen (2014-2018)
Claire Duvallet (2016-2019)
Becca Black (2017-2019)
Molly Bird (2017-2019)
Lauren Milling (2016-2021)
Caroline Werlang (2017-2021)
Jacqueline Gerritsen (2017-2021)
Ian Andrews (2017-2022)