Hecht's Resident Assistants (RAs) are full-time undergraduate students who live and work with students, staff, and resident faculty to facilitate a learning environment in Hecht Residential College. They serve as a role model and a resource person, contributing positively to the intellectual, social, academic, and cultural development of students. Learn more about each Hecht RA below.

McDonald Tower:   1 & 2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7   |   8   |   9   |   10   |   11   |   12
Pentland Tower:  2  |   3  |   4  |   5  |   6  |   7  |   8  |   9   |   10  |   11  |   12
MT 2
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Jason van Esso

Class year: Sophomore

Major(s): Biomedical Engineering

RA location building/floor: Hecht McDonald 2

Hometown/where from: Weston, Florida

Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite movie: Remember the Titans

Hobbies: Traveling, Sports, and Exercising

Advice to residents: College is a great experience and an opportunity to try new things, but make sure to stay focused on your studies and manage your time, while getting involved on campus in clubs and organizations.

Back to top.
MT 3
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Jasmine Tomita-Barber

Class year:  2015

Major(s):  Biology

RA location building/floor: Hecht MT 3

Hometown/where from: Miami, Fl

Favorite food:  Pasta

Favorite movie: Pride and Prejudice

Hobbies: Piano, reading, cooking

Advice to residents: Try new thing and be open to different experiences. Take a class that sounds interesting, join a club for fun, learn a quirky skill, and meet lots of new people. College is a great time to explore your interests; you never know what you might like! Work hard in class, have fun and enjoy the journey!

Back to top.
MT 4
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Akea Hi’ikua Kahikina

Class year:  2016

Major(s):  Musical Theatre

RA location building/floor:  Hecht MT 4

Hometown/where from:  Honolulu, HI

Favorite food: Hawaiian Food

Favorite movie:  Just Friends

Hobbies: Surfing, Hiking, Swimming, Paddling, Video Games

Advice to residents: King Kamehameha, great conqueror and unifier of the Hawaiian Islands, met many challenges and hardships along the rigid and towering summit toward success. During his campaign, he planned to invade the island of Maui by brute force. After paddling 30 miles from the island of Hawai’inui, across treacherous seas and under a blazing sun, he spoke these words to his exhausted warriors that live within his people hundreds of years later, “I mua e na poki’i, e inu i wai ‘awa’awa. ‘A’ohe hope iho e ho’i mai ai. Forward my brothers, drink of the bitter waters, for there is no turning back.” It means to go forward in your endeavor, welcome the challenges it brings, and don’t look back until victory is secured.

Back to top.
MT 5
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Yi-yun Tsai (Preferred: Minnie)

Class year: Class of 2016

Major(s): Elementary Education

RA location building/floor: Hecht Residential College (MT 5)

Hometown/where from: Taiwanese Raised in Thailand

Favorite food: Thai Food

Favorite movie: Definitely Gilmore Girls Hopefully TV Shows count

Hobbies: Arts and Crafts, Swimming, Reading

Advice to residents: Firstly, I hope everyone feels right at home in Hecht, we are a community in ourselves. Get to know the people around you, and soon, you’ll be seeing a lot of friendly faces, it always makes my day. Regarding university life in general, remember that tomorrow is a new day, and sometimes life takes amazing unexpected turns. We’ve got your back, and we’ll be looking out for you.

Back to top.
MT 6
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Andres Casas

Class year: 2015

Major(s): Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

RA location building/floor: Hecht/McDonald Tower 6

Hometown/where from: Miami, Florida

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite movie: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Hobbies: Watching and playing all types of sports, and Video Games

Advice to residents: Freshman year will be an exciting time for you guys. Get involved on campus and get to know people. There are hundreds of organizations on campus, so don’t be afraid to try something new and get out of your comfort zone. Stay focused on your classes, but don’t forget to also have fun around campus. If you ever have any questions about UM or Miami in general just ask me, I’ve lived in Miami my whole life. Look forward to meeting you all. Go Canes!

Back to top.
MT 7
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Viviana (Vivi) Jimenez

Class year: 2015

Major(s):  Neuroscience

RA location building/floor: HRC- MT7!

Hometown/where from:  Born in Ecuador/Hometown: Miami

Favorite food:  Ceviche!

Favorite movie:  Remember the Titans

Hobbies:  Running, Reading, Hanging out with friends

Advice to residents: College is a place like no other! The opportunities are endless so make the most of your time here. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to others when things get stressful, we all have been through hard situations and we will try our best to help out. Join clubs, be active on campus! It is the best way to meet new people and make a difference in our school and community. Always have a balance between your academic life and your personal life, set time to study everyday but also go to the gym and watch movies with friends; there should always be time to relax. This is definitely necessary to be academically and personally successful throughout college!

Back to top.
MT 8
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name):  Matt McCabe

Class year:  Senior

Major(s):  Psychology

RA location building/floor:  Hecht-McDonald 8

Hometown/where from:  Oak Park, Illinois

Favorite food:  Cuban

Favorite movie: Inception

Hobbies:  Going to the beach, exploring the city, and scuba diving.

Advice to residents: Keep an open mind while you are here on campus. There are so many opportunities and you are going to have to have the courage to take advantage of them. Step out side your comfort zone and try something new! Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help and support. Your peers and the professional staff are here for you.

Back to top.
MT 9
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Jordana Herr

Class year: 2016

Major(s): Biology

RA location building/floor: Hecht McDonald 9

Hometown/where from: Glen Ridge, NJ

Favorite food: Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Favorite movie: The Proposal

Hobbies: Playing piano and tennis, cheerleading, tumbling, and reading

Advice to residents: Make the best of every opportunity you have this year. There will be so much available to you, so enjoy every moment of it. Have fun with friends, try something new, and smile as often as possible. Don’t let anything stand in your way of making your first year at the U something special. And call your mom, she worries.

Back to top.
MT 10
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Ryan Nolan

Class year: Junior

Major(s): Biology and Economics

RA location building/floor: MT 10

Hometown/where from: Plantation, FL

Favorite food: Baby Back Ribs and Cheesecake

Favorite movie: Django Unchained

Hobbies: Playing sports, snorkeling, snowboarding, watching movies with friends

Advice to residents: The best advice that I can give to incoming residents is to learn to manage your time. One of the great things about UM is that there is always something to do, but it can be easy to get distracted and lose track of time if you don’t plan effectively. I recommend keeping a weekly planner and scheduling in sacred time for schoolwork. You can still take advantage of all that Miami has to offer, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your schoolwork. College presents you with much more “free time” than you’re probably used to, and if you are ble to master this time, success will come that much easier.

Back to top.
MT 11
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Jordan Schuman

Class year: Junior

Major(s): Broadcast Journalism

RA location building/floor: Hecht MT 11

Hometown/where from: Long Island, NY

Favorite food: Chicken Parm

Favorite movie: Dirty Dancing

Hobbies: Drugstore Makeup, Napping, Watching Chick Flicks and bad television

Advice to residents: The next 4 years will fly by so don’t let any opportunity go unattended to… and if there’s something you want to accomplish that you don’t see happening with anyone’s help, don’t be afraid to go after it yourself. Let UM test your limits, expand your horizons and shape your future.

Back to top.
MT 12
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name):  Nick Azzarito

Class year:  Senior

Major(s):  Mechanical Engineering

RA location building/floor:  Hecht MT12

Hometown/where from:  New Canaan, CT

Favorite food:  Anything from Versailles

Favorite movie:  Caddyshack

Hobbies: Car stuff

Advice to residents:  Four years at Miami goes by unbelievably quickly and the city has so much to see and do. I take every opportunity to just explore the area and see the sights. For me at least, I most likely won’t stay here once I graduate and it is important to me that I feel like I actually lived in this city. Definitely try to get off campus when you can because there is so much beyond the gates of the University.

Back to top.
PT 2
TBA

Name (Full name and preferred name): Megan Allen

Class year: 2016

Major(s): Biochemistry and Finance

RA location building/floor: Hecht Pentland 2

Hometown/where from: Miami, Florida

Favorite food: Italian

Favorite movie: She's the Man

Hobbies: Soccer, waterskiing, scub diving, running, and reading

Advice to residents: Success in college comes from gaining new knowledge and new skills, and delving deeper into your passions. The more you take responsibility for carving your own path of adventure, the more your true abilities will emerge. So, surprise yourself and take a course you don’t know much about, or attend an event and join a club you wouldn’t have gone to or joined in high school. However, while focusing on your academics, remember to enjoy the new freedoms of college and the new experiences throughout your freshman year!!!

Back to top.
PT 3
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name):  Joshua Krstic, Josh for short.

Class year:  2016

Major(s):  Biomedical Engineering

RA location building/floor:  Hecht Pentland 3

Hometown/where from: Honolulu, Hawaii

Favorite food: Anything with Sriracha Hot Sauce

Favorite movie:  Ip Man

Hobbies: Video Games, bodyboarding

Advice to residents: Work hard and play hard. College is a time to have fun but also to develop crucial life skills. Give yourself enough time to study and enough time to have fun. You will do better in school if you are enjoying your time in college. You will be happier if you meet people and have fun during the short time you have in college.

Back to top.
PT 4
TBA

Name (Full name and preferred name): Maite V. Torres

Class year: Class of 2016

Major(s): Psychology Major, English Minor on the Pre-Law Track

RA location building/floor: Hecht Residential College Pentland 4

Hometown/where from: Lake Worth, FL

Favorite food: Homemade Lasagna

Favorite movie: White Chicks

Hobbies: Traveling, Cooking, Paintball

Advice to residents:Take advantage of all of the on-campus resources that are included with your time at UM, anything from the Academic Resource Center for tutoring to the Counseling Center. Most of the different resources on campus have workshops and out-reach events that you can attend to see if you could benefit from the help they are offering to provide. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to your RA to see if they can help you figure out where the best place to go may be.

Back to top.
PT 5
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Stefan Kennerly

Class year: Senior

Major(s): Human and Social Development

RA location building/floor: Hecht/PT5

Hometown/where from: Miami, FL

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite movie: The Waterboy

Hobbies: Listening and dancing to music, playing sports

Advice to residents: Listen to the rules your RA tells you! They are for your best interest and will help you succeed on and off campus!

Back to top.
PT 6
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Nicole Garcia

Class year: Junior

Major(s): Human and Social Development/ Psychology; Minor: Business Administration

RA location building/floor: Hecht Pentland 6

Hometown/where from: Miami Lakes, FL

Favorite food: Mac and Cheese (though it changes often!)

Favorite movie: The Dark Knight Trilogy

Hobbies: dancing, cooking/ baking, outdoors, watching movies

Advice to residents: Get involved, have fun, and enjoy every second you have at the University of Miami! Your time here is valuable, so learn as much as you can- and not only in the classroom. Find something that you’re passionate about and go for it. One thing I suggest is taking part in all the campus traditions we have like Homecoming, Sportsfest, Orange Festival, and go football games. Go ‘Canes!

Back to top.
PT 7
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Rutvik Gandhi

Class year: Class of 2016

Major(s): Neuroscience

RA location building/floor: Hecht Pentland 7

Hometown/where from: Detroit

Favorite food:  Chips and Guacamole

Favorite movie: The Departed

Hobbies: Longboarding

Advice to residents: Go beyond what defined you in High School. This includes making friends with a different palette of interests, getting into new hobbies yourself, exploring classes that seem interesting but are outside your planned line of work, and being open to try new experiences that you may not have had the opportunity to before coming to the []_[]. There are so many fun and rewarding things to learn, and University of Miami is one of the easiest places to learn new things as we have a very diverse student body with diverse tastes and talents.

Back to top.
PT 8
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name):   Hannah Elizabeth Kendrick Class year:  Sophomore

Major(s):   Athletic Training and Business

RA location building/floor:   Hecht Residential College Pentland Tower Floor 8

Hometown/where from: Born and raised in Palm Bay, Florida

Favorite food: Peanut Butter

Favorite movie:   Remember the Titans

Hobbies: CrossFit, baking, guitar, sharpie art, beach, bowling

Advice to residents: _Get involved in things on campus to keep our focus on things other than yourself if you are feeling homesick. Come up with a plan to manage your time. I recommend using the Big Rock-Little Rock method. Figure out what your "Big Rocks" are… Academics, health, your faith… Make firm plans in your week to maintain each of those Big Rocks. Then, decide what your "Little Rocks" are… Intramurals, clubs, greek life. Let plans involving the little rocks fall around the "Big Rock" engagements. And lastly, let your "Sand" or all other plans fall in around the Big and Little Rock plans. Everyone will have different priorities in their lives, but I would encourage each of you to establish on your own what your personal Big Rocks, Little Rocks, and sands are and plan out your weeks accordingly. If it weren't for my dad encouraging me to come at each week with a plan like this, I would not have kept up with things the way that I did my freshman year. Lastly, HAVE FUN! Freshman year only happens once. Take advantage of all of the programs, opportunities, and resources that are made easily accessible to you.

Back to top.
PT 9
TBA

Name (Full name and preferred name): Dillon Knop

Class year: 2015

Major(s): Chemistry, Psychology, Womens & Gender Studies

RA location building/floor: Pentland Tower 9

Hometown/where from: Concord, Ohio

Favorite food: Steak and Potatoes

Favorite movie: AI Artificial Intelligence

Hobbies: LED Gloving

Advice to residents: Don’t waste time watching TV in your rooms. Go out and explore the city and enjoy the sunshine. There are thousands of people in Miami with thousands of unique stories and you never know when or where you will meet good friends.

Back to top.
PT 10
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Kaitlyn Rancour

Class year: 2014

Major(s): Biology and Psychology minors in Chemistry and Religious Studies

RA location building/floor: Hecht Pentland 10

Hometown/where from: Virginia Beach, Va.

Favorite food: Mexican

Favorite movie: The Avengers

Hobbies: Being active, gym, cooking

Advice to residents: Attending the University of Miami is such a privilege, so do as much as you can to get the full experience of our school. The RA staff is here to meet all of your needs and we will do our best to make sure that you have all that you need to succeed. Don't be afraid of trying something new, RAs put on several programs to introduce new ideas to our residents so take advantage of all that you can get and try something new.

Back to top.
PT 11
TBA Name (Full name and preferred name): Derik Madorma

Class year:  2015

Major(s):  Biochemistry

RA location building/floor:  Hecht Residential College/ PT11

Hometown/where from:  Wellington, FL

Favorite food:  McFlurry

Favorite movie: Step Brothers

Hobbies: Football, Basketball, video games, re-watching LOST

Back to top.
PT 12
Paige Towey

Name (Full name and preferred name): Paige Towey

Class year: senior

Major(s): Creative Writing

RA location building/floor: HRC PT 12

Hometown/where from: St. Petersburg, FL

Favorite food: Pad Thai

Favorite movie: Inception

Hobbies: reading, writing, running

Advice to residents: Focus on school, but don't spend all your time stressing out over academics. Try to find your niche and make friends who understand you - UM is a big enough place that there is always someone else with the same interests as you. Figure out who you are and who you want to be, and most of all enjoy your freshman year!

Back to top.