About Us

Meet the Leadership Team

Saleem Curry, Director, University Life, Space and Events
Saleem Curry
(He/Him)
Director, 
University Life Space and Events
Saleem Curry
(He/Him)
Director,
University Life Space
and Events

To schedule a meeting, email Regina De La Cruz.

About Saleem

Saleem serves as the principal advisor for all of University Life Space and Events. His core competencies include operations and logistics, organizational development and effectiveness, and talent management and team engagement.

Patrick Faulk Headshot
Patrick Faulk
(Mister)
Senior Associate Director, 
University Life Space and Events
Patrick Faulk
(Mister)
Senior Associate 
Director,
University Life Space
and Events
About Patrick

Pat has over 10 years of Youth Development/Community Experience. He was born and raised in Camden, NJ and spent a lot of time visiting the city of Philadelphia growing up. He loves watching sports and spending time with his family. As the Senior Associate Director for Space & Events, he handles the day-to-day management of the Event and Operations Teams at Houston Hall. 

lucywh headshot
Lucy Hendrickson
(She/Her)
Associate Director,
University Life
Facilities
About Lucy

Lucy graduated from Lafayette College with a degree in history. As the Associate Director for University Life Facilities, she oversees the on-going maintenance, renovation, and upkeep of all University Life facilities. Prior to joining University Life, she served as an Assistant Director of Operations at Drexel University, as Senior Conference and Event Manager at Princeton University, and as an Administrative Assistant with the Penn Fund here at Penn. Lucy lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their dog Bodie. Outside of work she enjoys spending time outdoors, travelling, and values spending time with family and friends. 

Meet the Administration & Finance Team

Regina De La Cruz outside on Locust Walk
Regina De La Cruz
(She/Her)
Administrative Assistant &
Office Coordinator,
University Life Space and Events
Regina De La Cruz
(She/Her)
Admin Assistant,
University Life Space
and Events
About Regina

Regina is an alumna of Arcadia University, where she graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She is originally from Florida and is new to the Penn Community. Regina loves to experience new things whether it’s traveling to a new country, trying new cuisines, or just adding some spontaneity to her everyday routine. She isn’t afraid to go outside of her comfort zone, which is what led her to the University of Pennsylvania, where she now serves as the Administrative Assistant and Office Coordinator to University Life Space & Events. Her role is crucial in supporting the Director of ULSE, the administration and finance team, and the strategic goals and principles of University Life Space & Events.

Samorrha Headshot
Samorrha Epps

Project Manager,
Administration &
Finance
About Samorrha

Samorrha is currently serving as a Project Manager in an interim capacity within the Administration and Finance department. In this role, she is primarily responsible for overseeing the financial and administrative operations of the department. Her key responsibilities include collaborating with the Director to ensure the compliance and integrity of various business processes, with a particular focus on resource management and financial activities.

Sarah Lam Headshot
Sarah Lam
(She/Her)
Coordinator,
Administration &
Finance
About Sarah

Sarah was born in Cuba and has lived in Minnesota, California, Iowa, Spain, and Japan. She speaks English, Japanese, and Spanish, and wishes she had time to learn a million more languages, write books, cook fancy things, and go hiking in beautiful places. She got her BS in Economics and International Business at Penn State way back in 2000, and then went on to get her MA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. After graduating, she worked as an architect in San Francisco and Stair Designer in Seattle before coming back with her husband to Philadelphia to raise their daughter near family. Since returning, she worked at Penn in the Weitzman Architecture department as a Graduate Student Records Coordinator for 7 years and is currently the Financial Coordinator for University Life Space & Events. She is responsible for the day-today financial operations of the department, which includes maintaining all financial records, assisting in the oversight of budgets, and ensuring the integrity and compliance of financial transactions processed within the budgetary units. Additionally, she coordinates all event billing activities of the department, utilizes KX Event software to maintain client records, reconcile charges, and send out invoices. 

Meet the Events Team

Andrea Krapevka Headshot
Andrea Krapevka
(She/Her)
Events Manager, 
Scheduling and Events
About Andrea

Andrea is a 2015 graduate of Rowan University where she earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts and M.S. in Teaching: Theatre Education. She spent a decade as a theatre arts educator and program director. That chapter of her professional journey allowed her to foster supportive communities, create student-centered experiences, and helped shift her career into Event Management. She is also a yogi, loves to keep active, and seeks all opportunities to soak up the sun with her loved ones and pup named Sophie! She manages scheduling and event reservations and a team of Event Coordinators for Space and Events. 

Naroden Headshot
Ben Naroden
(He/Him)
Systems Manager,
Scheduling and Events
About Ben

Ben received his Master’s in Communications from West Chester University, with a focus in Public Relations. As the Systems Manager, he is responsible for maintaining the scheduling systems, facilitating the effectiveness of the reservation processes, and managing the implementation and utilization of event planning and reservation software. When Ben isn’t working, he enjoys playing soccer, gaming, and listening to podcasts. GO BIRDS!!!

Christina Figueroa
Christina Figueroa
(She/Her)
Coordinator,
Scheduling and Events
About Christina

Prior to Penn, Christina launched her own Event Planning business which she still manages on weekends. Christina is the proud mother of two children, Joey and Jaden, who will be attending college in the fall. When she is not working, Christina enjoys musicals, spending time out in nature, and relaxing with her two cats, Momo & Remy. In her role, Christina is responsible for managing events in Houston Hall, Irvine Auditorium, and non-academic events in the Central Pool Classrooms. As an Events coordinator, she advises student groups and organizers on their event needs and helps coordinate events and additional considerations with university affiliates. Christina also collaborates with the Associate Director of Events, and other relevant staff, when events require special attention such as open expression, A/V, in-event support, and security. 

Lashae Wright on campus.
LaShae Wright
(She/Her)
 Coordinator,
Scheduling and Events
About Lashae

LaShae attended Peirce College for Business and Marketing, with plans to eventually run her own businessShe currently works as an Event Coordinator, focusing on coordinating events for Penn-affiliated departmentsOff the clock, you can find LaShae watching the Phillies alongside her puppy Harper (Rhyse Schwarber), and an iced coffee in hand. 

Monica Kessel Headshot
Monica Kessel
(She/Her)
Coordinator,
Scheduling and Events
About Monica

Monica graduated from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington with a B.A. in Chemistry and a Minor in Japanese Studies; she currently attends Georgetown University where she is a candidate for M.P.S Higher Education Administration. Her hobbies include watching anime, cooking, baking, playing with her puppy (Mary Jane), and playing video games. She currently serves as one of the Events Coordinators at University Life Space and Events, specializing in student organizations. 

Meet the Facilities Team

Chris Kessler Headshot Square
Chris Kessler
(He/Him)
Coordinator,
University Life Facilities
About Chris

Chris brings over 20 years of experience managing Penn’s student activities and performing arts facilities to our team. As a Facilities Coordinator, he is responsible for monitoring building conditions in Space and Events managed spaces, coordinating and tracking necessary repairs and maintenance, and supporting the Operations team through professional staff coverage of the Houston HallHe also works closely with the Events team to coordinate housekeeping, security, and access needs for events in Houston Hall, Irvine Auditorium, and Central Pool classrooms. 

Isabel P. on campus.
Isabel Pichardo
(She/Her)
Coordinator,
University Life Facilities
About Isabel

Isabel graduated from Cedar Crest College in 2022 with a Bachelor of Art in Studio Art. She loves to create whether it be little trinkets or fun prints. If she’s not working on something, you can find her in the kitchen trying a new recipe. She enjoys using her creativity in new ways which led her to the University of Pennsylvania. Here she monitors building conditions in Space and Events, manages spaces, documents, coordinates, and tracks necessary repairs and maintenance as well as supports the Operations team through professional staff coverage of the Student Union @ Houston Hall. 

Meet the Operations Team

barthel butch akins
Barthel Akins
(Mister)
Associate,
Operations
About Barthel

Barthel is responsible for timely setup and breakdown of events within University Life spaces, central pool classrooms, and other University Life supported venues. He provides advisement to part-time and student staff assisting with events. Barthel assists with the overall operational needs of venues managed, supported, and occupied by the University Life team.

Brian Larthey stands outside of Houston Hall.
Brian Larthey
(He/Him)
Coordinator,
Operations
About Brian

Brian received his Bachelor’s in Adult and Organizational Development at Temple University in 2018. Before graduating from Temple, he received an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts at the Community College of Philadelphia in 2014 and used to serve as a Facilities Manager at North Light Community Center. Brian is a Philadelphia native, who grew up as an only child within the Roxborough & Manayunk community. As an Operations Coordinator, Brian is responsible for assisting with the management of daily operational activities and facility related issues for both, Houston Hall and Irvine Auditorium, contributing within a leadership role to help observe, review, and analyze processes to improve inefficiencies and areas that need improvements, and facilitating daily event planning information between team members, while presenting a customer service atmosphere toward clientele. During his free-time, Brian loves watching sports, playing basketball, managing fantasy sports, hiking, gaming, and traveling. 

Caleb H. on campus.
Caleb Harvey

Coordinator,
Operations
About Caleb

Caleb is responsible for monitoring the daily operation of facilities including the student union at Houston Hall, Irvine Auditorium, and Iron Gate Theater. This includes serving as a customer service point person, performing opening and closing the facility, assisting with room set ups and take downs, and assisting with training and supporting staff. Caleb’s role encompasses identifying areas of improvement and growth within the operation and aiding in creation solutions. Caleb is responsible for being forward thinking and ensuring all operational practices, procedures, and policies are followed.

Dashawn Jackson
DaShawn Jackson
(He/Him)
Team Lead,
Operations
About DaShawn

DaShawn was born and raised in Philadelphia and began his career as a Personal Care Attendant at Universal Institute Charter School. He is responsible for timely setup and breakdown of events within University Life spaces, central pool classrooms, and other University Life supported venues. Provide advisement to part-time and student staff assisting with events. Dashawn assists with the overall operational needs of venues managed, supported, and occupied by the University Life team.

He loves traveling, spending time with family, learning new things, and watching as well as playing sports. Love all my Philadelphia teams. 

Julian Lawrence
Julian Lawrence

Associate,
Operations
About Julian

Julian is responsible for timely setup and breakdown of events within University Life spaces, central pool classrooms, and other University Life supported venues. He provides advisement to part-time and student staff assisting with events. Julian assists with the overall operational needs of venues managed, supported, and occupied by the University Life team.

Laron Overby Headshot
Laron Overby

Associate,
Operations
About Laron

Laron is responsible for timely setup and breakdown of events within University Life spaces, central pool classrooms, and other University Life supported venues. He provides advisement to part-time and student staff assisting with events. Laron assists with the overall operational needs of venues managed, supported, and occupied by the University Life team.

Meet the Student Engagement and Development Team

Bea Carag Headshot
Bea Carag
(She/Her)
Graduate Assistant,
Penn Student Agencies
About Bea

Bea is an M.S.Ed in Education Entrepreneurship Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She grew up in the northern part of the Philippines, which is abundant with beautiful fields and beaches, which is why she particularly enjoys a variety of outdoor activities like cycling, running, golf, and scuba diving. She is the Penn Student Agencies Graduate Assistant, where she works with the PSA Program Manager and the Student Leadership to align agencies in PSA, coordinate community building initiatives and provide support to student entrepreneurs towards achieving their business goals. 

Michael Warren
Michael Warren II
(He/Him)
Program Manager,
Penn Student Agencies
About Michael

Michael graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology concentrating in Law & Society. He is now pursuing his Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics, also at Penn. He is originally from Pittsburgh and before returning to Penn, he spent some time living in New York City working for a consumer wellness start-up. During his undergraduate years at Penn, Michael discovered his innate passion for business and entrepreneurship as a devoted member of Penn Student Agencies (PSA). Now, as the Program Manager of PSA, he plays a pivotal role in molding the next generation of student entrepreneurs. His role is crucial in providing and supporting transferable skills development for students in the program, overseeing the overall operations & compliance, budgeting & financial procedures, and general administrative functions of the department. Beyond his professional endeavors, Michael knows the importance of balance. He finds solace in the great outdoors, usually Wissahickon, with his two dogs, Nola & Gio! 

Bea Carag Headshot
Bea Carag
(She/Her)
Graduate Assistant,
Penn Student Agencies
About Bea

Bea is an M.S.Ed in Education Entrepreneurship Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She grew up in the northern part of the Philippines, which is abundant with beautiful fields and beaches, which is why she particularly enjoys a variety of outdoor activities like cycling, running, golf, and scuba diving. She is the Penn Student Agencies Graduate Assistant, where she works with the PSA Program Manager and the Student Leadership to align agencies in PSA, coordinate community building initiatives and provide support to student entrepreneurs towards achieving their business goals. 

Michael Warren
Michael Warren II
(He/Him)
Program Manager,
Penn Student Agencies
About Michael

Michael graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology concentrating in Law & Society. He is now pursuing his Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics, also at Penn. He is originally from Pittsburgh and before returning to Penn, he spent some time living in New York City working for a consumer wellness start-up. During his undergraduate years at Penn, Michael discovered his innate passion for business and entrepreneurship as a devoted member of Penn Student Agencies (PSA). Now, as the Program Manager of PSA, he plays a pivotal role in molding the next generation of student entrepreneurs. His role is crucial in providing and supporting transferable skills development for students in the program, overseeing the overall operations & compliance, budgeting & financial procedures, and general administrative functions of the department. Beyond his professional endeavors, Michael knows the importance of balance. He finds solace in the great outdoors, usually Wissahickon, with his two dogs, Nola & Gio! 

Sophia Gambale Headshot Square
Sophia Gambale
(She/Her)
Program Associate,
Student Engagement
About Sophia

Sophia is originally from Long Island, New York, and completed a B.S. in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven in 2022. During her time at New Haven, she served on the Student Committee for Programming Events and planned large-scale traditional events on campus. Currently, she is pursuing an M.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Earth Systems at Drexel University. She has three not so regular pets which are a leopard gecko named Koko Pebbles, a canary-winged Bee Bee named Fern, and a canary named Bagel. Sophia is a Program Associate responsible for overseeing the Houston Hall Programming Team and the planning and execution of events catered to all University students. She works closely with other Penn departments to foster collaboration and community engagement as well as to provide students at Penn with opportunities to take care of themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. 

Yuxuan Zhu Headshot
Yuxuan Zhu
(She/Her)
Graduate Assistant,
Student Engagement
About Yuxuan

Yuxuan is a current IMPA student at Penn, having previously earned a BFA with a minor in Business Studies from NYU. Her passion for communications and community building drives her work as the Student Engagement & Community Development Graduate Assistant. She coordinates the Houston Hall Student Advisory Council and strives to create a cohesive council membership. Yuxuan leads meetings, gathers student feedback, and actively collaborates with University Life departments to support and improve programs aligned with Houston Hall and University Life’s mission and vision. If you’re seeking someone passionate about communication and engagement, Yuxuan is here to help you connect and thrive 

Meet the Audio Visual Team

Dawn Blandford
Dawn Blandford
(She/Her)
Director of Client
Services, Visual Sound

Meet the Catering Team

David Spinosa Headshot in front of Houston Hall
David Spinosa
(He/Him)
Catering Sales Manager,
Bon Appétit
Management
Company
David Spinosa
(He/Him)
Catering Sales
Manager,
Bon Appétit Company
About David

Dedicated catering sales professional with a rich background from Widener University. Proven track record in selling large conferences to intimate weddings. Backed by a robust operational expertise ensuring seamless execution. Let’s turn your events into unforgettable experiences. 

Kala Williams
Kala Williams
(She/Her)
Director of
Catering,
Bon Appétit
Company
About Kala

Kala N Williams is a seasoned professional with a diverse background in Event and Project Management spanning over a decade. Currently serving as the Director of Catering for Bon Appetit Management Company, Kala brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Her journey in customer experience spans various industries, including non-profit, legal, and customer service, cultivating a deep-rooted dedication to ensuring a positive client journey. Driven by a passion for people, Kala has centered her career on community engagement and client satisfaction, making a tangible impact in every role she undertakes. Her commitment to delivering exceptional service led her to the vibrant University of Pennsylvania campus, where she leads a team dedicated to providing an unparalleled catering experience. Kala’s enthusiasm and commitment to excellence shine through as she strives to create memorable and satisfying experiences for clients, reflecting her unwavering dedication to the art of hospitality and service. 

Kito Pearson Headshot in front of Houston Hall
Kito Pearson
(He/Him)
Catering Operations Manager,
Bon Appétit
Management
Company
Kito Pearson
(He/Him)
Catering Operations
Manager,
Bon Appétit
Company
About Kito

Kito Pearson, originally hailing from Accomac County, VA, ventured to Philadelphia in his early years. Initially trained in culinary arts at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Kito’s journey took a fortuitous turn when he found his true passion lay in front-of-house operations. His career path has led him through esteemed establishments such as Ruth’s Chris, Hotel Palomar, Philadelphia International Airport, and Di Bruno’s House of Cheese. Today, as the Catering Operations Manager at the University of Pennsylvania, Kito seamlessly combines his culinary expertise with his exceptional management skills to create memorable dining experiences for the university community.