Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Academic Strategies Graduate Lead Mentors

Meet Our Graduate Lead Mentors of 2023-2024!


Eden Rea-Hedrick (they, them)

Eden is a third year graduate student from Indianapolis pursuing a combined PhD in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Their research interests lie at the intersection of queer studies, disability studies, and the twentieth-century novel. Besides working as a Graduate Mentor for ASP, Eden is a Lead Writing Partner in the Yale College Writing Center and a member of the English department’s Graduate Student Advisory Committee. Outside of academic commitments, Eden can be found consuming speculative fiction, spending all their money on Broadway tickets, and playing far too much Dungeons & Dragons.


Meghanlata Gupta (she, her)

Meghanlata is a second-year law student from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She graduated from Yale College in 2021 with a BA in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and from the University of Oxford in 2022 with a master’s degree in US History. She enjoyed supporting her fellow students as an undergraduate mentor, and she is excited to continue doing so in her role as a graduate student mentor. She is happy to speak with students about a variety of topics ranging from time management to choosing a major as well as questions about fellowships, graduate school, and law school. Outside of school, she loves spending time with family and friends, drinking bubble tea, and watching tv.

Anthony Isenhour (he/him)

Anthony Isenhour is a fourth year PhD student in Cell Biology from Placerville, California. He studied Biology and English at the University of Richmond. His current research investigates how proteins involved in maintaining integrity of the nucleus regulate the cell’s innate immune response to cytosolic DNA. Outside of research he spends time on the Graduate Student Assembly advocating for graduate student needs. Outside of Yale, he spends time rock climbing, brewing beer, and hiking.


Ketty Kabengele (she/her)

Ketty is one of the Graduate Lead Academic Mentors and a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Ketty is a member of the Ogbunu Research Lab. She uses experimental evolution to understand how viruses evolve in different ecological settings and how that influences disease. Apart from her scientific interests, Ketty is interested in teaching and learning. She is interested in equitable, active, and collaborative teaching strategies that inspire students to think critically during their intellectual growth. Ketty leads workshops on the Fundamentals of equitable teaching for Yale Graduate students and Postdoctoral Fellows as a McDougal Fellow. During her time at Yale, she has also conducted summer seminars for the Yale African Scholars titled  ”Becoming A Scientist” and “Viruses All Around Us.”


Violet Kimble (she, her)

Violet is a third-year Ph.D. candidate hailing from New Jersey. She is currently enrolled in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (INP) and conducts her research in Dr. Nii Addy’s lab. Her research interests revolve around exploring the potential role of L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) and ovarian hormones in regulating substance use and social behavior. Apart from her academic pursuits, Violet actively participates in extracurricular activities. She is a member of the Yale figure skating team, showcasing her talent on the ice. In addition, she contributes to the Yale BBS Diversity and Inclusion Collective (YBDIC) as an outreach fellow, organizing and hosting the BBS e-Lecture Series. Outside of her academic commitments, Violet is an enthusiastic runner who has been engaged in track and cross country since her early years, ultimately becoming a D3 athlete during college.


Victor Olmos (he, him)

Victor is a fifth year graduate student in the Genetics department in Dr. Janghoo Lim’s lab. He is originally from California and identifies as first generation and URM. Victor did his undergraduate and Masters at Stanford University where he studied stem cells and iPSCs in the Wernig Lab. Due to his family having Huntington’s disease, he studies neurodegenerative genetic diseases with the goal of working at a company to find a cure/treatment. In his free time Victor loves to play videogames, cuddle his cats, and go to NYC for the food.


Jae Kirkland Rice (he, him)

Jae Rice is one of the Graduate Student Lead Mentors for Directed Studies. He was born and raised in Columbia, SC and is now a seventh year PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature, researching grammar and the vernacular in Renaissance Italian and 19th-20th century Caribbean poetry and poetic treatises. He is passionate about helping students develop their skills as writers, readers, and researchers. Outside of his academic work, he enjoys music, cooking, tabletop and video games, and walking his dog, Sprocket.


Nancy Sanchez (she, her)

Nancy is a third-year PhD student in the Genetics Department. Her research focuses on understanding how our germ cells produce small signals to protect their genetic information from foreign invaders. Outside of research, she serves as Social Chair for the Society of Advancing Chicanos and Native in Science Chapter at Yale (YSACNAS), a student organization that aims at increasing diversity in the STEM workforce and building a community. As Social Chair, she organizes fun community building events. Outside of Yale, she enjoys hanging out with her Shiba Inu puppy and playing video games.


Sandra Sandria (she, her)

Sandra is a second year PhD student in the Cell Biology department and is originally from San Diego, California. She was a Molecular Biology and Biochemistry major at the University of California, Irvine (as well as a transfer student from her local community college MiraCosta). She is interested in using disease models such as skin fibrosis to investigate how cells respond to mechanical stimuli. Outside of the lab she is interested in becoming a better mentor to other FGLI students, as well as a better educator and science communicator. Outside of Yale she enjoys watching horror movies, writing short stories, eating ice cream, and petting dogs.


JoAnne Villagrana (she, her)

Hi everyone! My name is JoAnne, and I am a 3rd year graduate student in the Department of Genetics. I started my research career at my undergraduate institution the University of California, Irvine in Dr. Luis Mota-Bravo’s microbiology lab. During my time in this lab, I investigated the role aquatic environments play in the spread of antibiotic resistance across different bacterium facilitated by various mobile genetic elements known as DNA transposons. I now have switched fields out of microbiology and into a genetics and developmental biology lab spearheaded by Zack Smith, PhD. In his lab I study epigenetic regulators that suppress retrotransposons (another type of mobile genetic element) in mammalian development. Aspects of my research I find fascinating are the fact that these mobile genetic elements that are still active in humans to this day can be used to regulate our genes. They have even been shown to help various lineages development such as my favorite transient organ – the placenta! During my free time, I enjoy dragging labmates with me to the gym, going on walks with my Doberman Pinscher, and eating at various restaurants in New Haven. I am excited to help you all in any way I can! (: