Resources for Easing Friction and Stress

At your service, providing confidential peer-to-peer support for all ORC graduate students.

Welcome! We are a group of ORC graduate students who are here to help you get through any of the issues that may arise during your time at the ORC, including but not restricted to:

We are trained by Conflict Resolution@MIT in conflict resolution and are familiar with other resources offered at MIT. Our purpose is not to judge or make decisions for you, but rather to facilitate a productive discussion about your concerns and potential ways to address them. If you would like us to explore your options with you or simply have a chat about how things are going, we encourage you to contact us at or-refs "at" You may also email us individually. We keep all conversations in confidence and will share only with the permission of the visitor or party -- except in the unusual situation of imminent risk of harm to self or others.


In addition to the REFS, there are several other sources of support at MIT, such as:

Conflict Resolution Services - Helps two parties resolve a conflict by providing a confidential medium in which they can talk constructively to each other, assisted by a trained neutral third party.
Ombuds Office - Provides confidential, neutral, independent and informal assistance to anyone at MIT who has concerns arising from or affecting their work and studies at MIT.
Wellness at MIT Medical - Offers counseling services and workshops on stress reduction.

Current REFS


Christina Epstein

Christina Epstein

Year: 2 (SM)
Dimitris Bertsimas
Email: cmiller4 "at"



Kris Johnson

Year: 4 (PhD)
David Simchi-Levi
Email: krisdj "at"



Jerry Kung

Year: 2 (PhD)
Dimitris Bertsimas
Email: jkung "at"




Founded in 2012 by Adam Elmachtoub, with assistance from REFS Allison Chang and Virot Chiraphadhanakul.