who we are 


about us 

The Caltech Y is an independent 501c3 organization recognized by and formally affiliated with the California Institute of Technology. Founded by students in 1916, the Caltech Y seeks to broaden students’ worldviews, raise social, ethical, and cultural awareness through teamwork, community engagement, activism, and leadership.








For more than 100 years, the Caltech Y has enriched the lives of Caltech students through a wide variety of programs and services that are initiated and led by students.  We supplement and complement the excellent academics of Caltech by providing a variety of co-curricular events and activities for all campus members. Our programs fall within our 5 pillars: Leadership, Service, Adventure, Civic Engagement, and Perspective.

The Caltech Y's mission is to enrich student life and challenge students to grow into responsible citizens of the world. 


CALTECH Y pillars

civic engagement



Eleven students of Throop College of Technology petitioned and ultimately received a charter for a YMCA club on campus. This would later be called the Caltech Y.


The Y was primarily a service organization. During WWI, it provided refreshments and other services for the soldiers training on campus and at the Santa Anita Racetrack.



Laura Hu

Laura ('21) is studying computer science and English, and a member of Page and Ruddock house. She initially got involved in ExComm meetings to plan Explore LA events and was drawn by the diverse range of Y programs. The Y has been an incredibly enriching part of her college experience, and she is eager to share what the Y has to offer.

vice president
of operations

Elisabeth Gallmeier

Elisabeth is a chemistry major (’21) from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Besides chemistry, she and is also interested in history and law and loves spending time in nature, whether it be hiking, swimming, or gardening. Elisabeth has been involved in organizing several Y trips and programs including Make a Difference Day, MLK Day of Service, Decompression, tutoring with Hathaway Sycamores, and the Geneva global policy trip. She is excited to step into her role on the cabinet of the student Excomm and looks forward to continue working with fellow student Excomm and board members.

vice president
of internal affairs

Jillian Reed

Jillian is studying chemical engineering and is affiliated with Ruddock House. She enjoys volunteering and traveling with the Y, working with the Lewis Group on catalysis for artificial photosynthesis technologies, and improving global access to clean water with Engineers Without Borders here at Caltech. You can find her staring at the night sky, saying hello to dogs, or hiking on her best days. Come talk to her about opportunities at the Y!

vice president
of external affairs

Sarah Barrett

Sarah (’22) in Blacker house studying mechanical engineering. She began her interest in social activism and community service in high school and continued this interest by attending ExComm meetings. She’s led Explore LA events, been a site leader for Make A Difference Day, and was one of the student leaders on the Washington D.C. Science Policy trip. She’s looking forward to continuing her work with the Y on the board.


MEET OUR board

board chair

Fred Clayton 

Fred holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from USC. Currently, he is Chairman of Berkhemer Clayton, Inc.
He has served as a board member in several non-profits within those the National Investor Relations Institute - Los Angeles Chapter, The Paralysis Project of America, and in INROADS – Southern California.


Peter Hung  


Peter (BS ’08 and PhD ’16) is a Caltech alum, majored in Physics and Applied Physics and was a member of Page House. He is currently working at The Aerospace Corporation. Peter was an ExComm member for several years while he was a student, as well as the Director of Southern California State Science Olympiad for 8 years.

vice chair

Laurice Balian 

Laurice holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from CSU Northridge. She is a Certified Public Accountant, and a Certified Internal Auditor. 


Mary Wahl


Mary is a Caltech alum (BS 2008) and former Y student volunteer who recently returned to Pasadena as a faculty spouse. She is currently a data scientist at Microsoft, specializing in computer vision on overhead imagery, and formerly studied genomics and experimental evolution.


MEET OUr staff

Executive director

Athena Castro 


Athena began working at Caltech in 1994, where she has filled a number of roles. She began her current position as Executive Director of the Caltech Y in 2000. She earned a BA in English Literature at Scripps College, an MS in Education and PhD in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University. 

PROGRAM director

Greg Fletcher 


Prior to coming to the Caltech Y, Greg worked in Residence Life at UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona, and in Student Life on board the SS Universe Explorer for Semester At Sea. Greg is a native of Niagara Falls, Canada, and holds a Masters of Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Azusa Pacific University. 

of marketing & development

Agnes Tong 


Agnes joined Caltech in 2006 and worked closely with graduate students as the Chemistry Graduate Program Administrator for 8 years prior to joining the Caltech Y in 2016.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Binghamton University and an MBA from the University of Redlands.  She is a passionate advocate for our students and student programs. 

associate director
of student programs

Liz Jackman 


Liz joined the Caltech Y in 2010 while obtaining her Master's degree in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University. She worked as a teacher for four years in Japan prior to joining the Y. She is very committed to finding ways to partner with and better serve the community of Pasadena. 

Contact Us


MC: C1-128

Pasadena, CA 91125

EMAIL: caltechy@caltech.edu

PHONE: (626) 395-6163

visit Us


505 S. Wilson Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91106

HOURS: Mon - Fri  9am - 5pm 

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© 2019 by The Caltech Y