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

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A range of on-campus and off-campus community service projects fits each student's schedule and interest. This includes tutoring for the Caltech Y Rise Program, Reading Partners, serving meals at Union Station Homeless Shelter or Alternative Spring Break service trips. 


Students learn to be effective citizen scientists and to address diverse issues that face us today - on campus, and in our local, national or global communities. 

civic engagement

Outdoor trips to many exciting venues each year service student adventures - from novice to seasoned. Day trips and multi-day trips afford students the opportunity to escape the daily rigours of Caltech. Students learn about themselves and explore the boundaries of their comfort zones within the ease of a trip guided by other students. 


Caltech Y programs broaden student views through cultural exchanges and service opportunities, students see that they can have an impact on the world beyond their own vocations, and they learn how to affect change locally, nationally, and internationally. 


Students play a key role in initiating and organizing every Caltech Y program and activity. The Caltech Y leadership activities give students meaningful opportunities to sit on a nonprofit board, program committees, manage budgets, and plan programs from start to finish. 




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.



Krissy Stoyanova

Kristina is studying computer science, with a minor in biology, and is a peer advocate at Fleming House. She loves organizing events for the Caltech community through the Y and working for the Miller Group on developing quantitative theoretical models for protein translocation. Oftentimes, you can find her being part of TACIT, Caltech's gracious community theater, or cooking crepes and other foods with friends. She is always excited to help incorporate people's ideas into the Y events!

vice president
of operations
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Sarah Dunbar

Sarah ('23) is a member of Dabney house, majoring in computer science. She enjoys mentoring above all else, having served as a course instructor, a head TA (and regular TA), as well as a tutor both in dean's tutoring and in the Caltech Y's RISE tutoring program. In her free time she enjoys running, making art, hanging out with her amazing friends, and playing board games. She has very much enjoyed her time with the Y thus far and hopes to lead and coordinate more events in the future."

vice president
of internal affairs

Albert Kyi

Albert (23’) is an Averite Junior from New York City majoring in Chemical Engineering (Environmental). As a part of the Caltech Y’s ExComm and the VP of Internal Affairs, Albert is a part of the Life Skills and Explore LA teams, and helped lead the virtual D.C. Science Policy trip in 2020. Outside of the Y, he serves as co-president of Caltech Science Olympiad and secretary of AICHE in addition to supporting Avery House in both a peer advocate and health advocate capacity. He also enjoys road biking and playing volleyball or badminton in the rare free moments he gets at Caltech. He is excited to bring more people and their experiences into the Caltech Y family and is especially happy to get to see JJ, the Caltech Y Dog, soon.

vice president
of external affairs

Sarah Barrett

Sarah (’23) is in Blacker house studying mechanical engineering. She started attending excomm meetings because of her interest in social activism and community service. She has since led Explore LA events, been a site leader for Make A Difference Day, and was one of the student leaders on the 2019 Washington D.C. Science Policy trip. She’s looking forward to continuing her work with the Y on the board in her second year as Vice President of External Affairs.


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. 

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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.