Applied physics major Kazemi Adachi has been ‘cornerstone of JE community’

Kazemi Adachi (left) with his roommates and fellow JE Class of 2020 graduates Aidan Pillard and Jax Blaska
Kazemi Adachi (left) with his roommates and fellow JE Class of 2020 graduates Aidan Pillard and Jax Blaska

After four years at Yale, Kazemi Adachi’s interests and passions bear little resemblance to those of the high school student he was, growing up in suburban Chicago.

When I first got to Yale, I was overwhelmed by the cool, different opportunities,” said Adachi, who will graduate with a degree in applied physics.

Among the interests he acquired in New Haven are a passion for African-diaspora step dancing, Buddhism and the desire to help build quantum computers.

He also found something else at Yale, a deep sense of community at Jonathan Edwards College. He spent three years as a college aide, working closely with custodial staff and dining hall workers to keep the college running smoothly. He worked in the JE buttery, interacting with students of all different ages over coffee and croissants. He served as a freshman counselor, introducing incoming JE students to some of the wildly diverse cultural and intellectual activities that had overwhelmed him when he first arrived.

In addition to his academic accomplishments — which are impressive — he has been a cornerstone in the JE community since his arrival,” said Mark Saltzman, head of JE.  “He has a remarkable sense of care for people and appreciation for our community.”

Adachi waving the JE flag
Adachi waving the JE flag at first-year Olympics in 2017

When the pandemic hit and colleges closed, Adachi took a little bit of Jonathan Edwards with him: He is now living in an apartment in New Haven with two JE Class of 2020 graduates: theater studies major Jax Blaska and Aidan Pillard, who will graduate with a degree in public health. Blaska plays guitar and is still working on a production of the Broadway play “Chicago” while Pillard works for a group that helps collect PPE for essential workers.

We’ve been living together now for four years,” Adachi said.

When he isn’t organizing impromptu Zoom dance parties for the household or virtually introducing people to the meditation and community of the Yale Buddhist Sangha, Adachi is working in the Yale Nanodevice Laboratory with the long term goal of helping to build one of world’s first quantum computers.

Next year, he plans to begin work on his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Media Contact

Bess Connolly: elizabeth.connolly@yale.edu, 203-432-1324