Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Academic Strategies Mentors

Meet Our Peer Mentors of 2022-2023!

Isaac Yu (he, him)


Isaac is a junior in Berkeley College from Garland, Texas. He is a Questbridge scholar majoring in American Studies with a focus in politics. He is a student journalist with bylines in the Yale Daily News, the New Haven Independent and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is also a Production & Design editor and Instagram editor at the News. Isaac is in Mixed Company, Yale’s oldest all-gender all genre a capella group. Outside of school, he loves nearly burning himself in the kitchen, laughing with/at his friends, and begrudgingly exercising. You can find him at Starbucks, the AACC or Atticus Market. He is addicted to cappucinos.

Anna Zhong (she, her)
Anna is a junior in Branford College from St. Louis, Missouri. She is studying Computer Science and Mathematics and is pursuing a Certificate in Data Science. At Yale, Anna plays violin with the YSO, does stand-up and sketch comedy with The Odd Ducks, and serves on the social committee for WGiCS (Women and Gender Minorities in Computer Science). She also loves performing spoken word with Jook Songs and dancing with Danceworks. Anna loves to read Webtoons, eat yummy food with friends, and drink mango slushes with mango popping boba.
Taylor Russ (she, her)
Taylor Russ is a junior in Johnathan Edwards college majoring in the History of Science and Medicine. She’s lived in Mississippi since she was 5, but enjoys traveling to places that have a rockier terrain for hiking. Taylor enjoys baking cakes from old recipes books and is working on ranking every restaurant in New Haven. She knits sweaters when it’s not too hot outside and also admits to having a slight obsession with jigsaw puzzles. At Yale she has worked with the Pedagogical center, Dwight Hall, and Onexys. She is always open to answering any of your questions and cannot wait to begin working with her fellow students as an Academic Strategies Mentor.
Sophia Moore (she, her)
Sophia is a junior in Berkeley College from Greenwich, CT. She is majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics, as well as pursuing a certificate in Data Science. Outside of being an Academic Strategies Mentor, Sophia is a member of the Varsity Swim & Dive team and is collaborating with Girls Who Code to help bring the nonprofit organization to Yale’s campus. She is all too happy to talk about her summer abroad through Yale’s program at the London School of Economics. When she’s not at Payne Whitney, you can find her at one of New Haven’s many coffee shops. She is so honored and excited to be part of the Academic Strategies team!
Emely Lopez (she, her)
Emely is a senior in Silliman College majoring in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (MB&B) on the pre-med track. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She’s interested in cancer research, having specifically done research concerning hematologic malignancies at Northwestern this summer (’22). At Yale, she’s a barista at her college’s café, the Acorn, as well as an Academic Strategies Mentor, which she’s incredibly excited to be apart of. Outside of the academic setting, she loves reading and watching shows. Her favorite book is The Secret History, but she also loves romance novels. Her favorite shows are Criminal Minds and Running Man. She hopes to also become more involved with volunteering at Yale Health as well as LWAY (Latina Women at Yale).
Charnice Hoegnifioh (she, her)
Charnice is a pre-med junior in Benjamin Franklin College (the best resco!) double majoring in Classical Civilizations and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry with a concentration in Medicine. You can find her around campus working as a Peer Liaison at the Afro-American Cultural Center, singing in her jazz a cappella group Redhot & Blue, volunteering at the Haven Free Clinic, or doing research as an Edward A. Bouchet Fellow. Charnice is a major foodie, so she loves exploring the restaurants in New Haven and is more than happy to share recommendations! Charnice is excited to support you in any way that she can as an Academic Strategies Mentor, so please feel free to reach out! :)
Danielle Doss (she, they)
Danielle is a junior in Berkeley college from Virginia, majoring in the History of Science and Medicine and Public Health focusing on reproductive health. She is very involved in the Afro-American Cultural Center (The House), and as such, she is a peer liaison for the House this year. She also enjoys singing and is in the acapella group Redhot & Blue. Some of her hobbies include listening to music, working in theater on campus, dancing and studying languages. She is also involved with the Office, and will spend free time there when she is not at the House.
Dominic Curtis (he, him)
Dominic is a junior in Pierson College from Coal City, Illinois. He is majoring in Chemical Engineering. He enjoys doing combustion research in the Pfefferle Lab, eating at restaurants with friends, and playing videogames. Dominic is excited to be an academic strategies mentor this year.
Vanessa Cheng (she, they)
Vanessa is a junior at Pierson College from Ridgewood, NJ. Pursuing a major in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (MB&B) on the pre-med track, Vanessa has recently started research on RNA modifications in the Gilbert Lab. On-campus, they are involved with Matriculate, Davenport Pops Orchestra, and the FGLI Pre-Health Community. Off-campus, you’ll find Vanessa screeching Nintendo music on their violin, overanalyzing film scenes, and inhaling sushi. As a first-generation, low-income student, Vanessa entered college with great uncertainty about what “normal” really meant at Yale. Thanks to the abundance of kindness and support they received from their peer mentors, Vanessa realized that everyone feels to some degree the uncertainty of what to say, what to do, and most importantly—when to ask for help. Thrilled to be joining the ASP mentor team, Vanessa aims to help guide peers with STEM-related questions, transitioning to college, the best places to nap, and anything else under the bright sun of New Haven.
Cesar Lara (he, him)
Cesar is a senior in Saybrook College from Houston, Texas, studying Computer Science. On campus, he is a part of the Yale Latinx Preprofessional Student Association (Sube). In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing basketball, working out, and hanging out with friends. He is a huge Houston Astros fan and you can usually find him in one of New Haven’s Loose Leaf Boba shops. He is excited to be an Academic Strategies Mentor and he looks forward to meeting fellow Yalies!
Morgan Emokpae (he, him)
Morgan is a senior in Davenport college from Mississippi. He is a Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology major on the pre-med track. He also has interest in public health and health policy. He is a member of Yale Stepping Out, Yale’s only step dance team.He has also served on board for BPHY, Black Pre-health at Yale. Beyond extracurriculars, Morgan also enjoys cooking, playing soccer, and learning different languages. He is excited to have the opportunity to work as an academic strategies mentor and give back to his peers!
Tramy Nguyen (she, her)
Tramy is a junior in Saybrook College from Houston, TX. She is majoring in Cognitive Science with a focus in Law and Policy and pursuing certificates in Education Studies and Data Science. Tramy is a first-generation, low-income student and a Jack Kent Cooke College Scholar. On campus, she is involved in clinical psychology research at the Fineberg Lab within the Connecticut Mental Health Center as part of the Dwight Hall Community Mental Health Fellowship. She also serves as a Student Organizations Consultant with the Yale College Dean’s Office, President of the Vietnamese Students Organization, and President of Negative Space: An Asian/ Asian American Oral History Project. Outside of academics, Tramy loves binge-watching random YouTube videos about trivial topics (this month she’s watching videos about urban planning and public transit), learning to embroider, and curating oddly-specific Spotify playlists. She is excited to dedicate her time this year to supporting her peers on their academic journeys. 
Jennifer Tegegne (she, her)
Jennifer (Jenny) Tegegne is a senior in Pauli Murray College from Chicago, IL. She is currently majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and in the Education Studies program. In addition to working with amazing student and teacher organizers in New Haven, she has found community in Dwight Hall and the AfAm House. Jenny is very excited to be an Academic Strategies Mentor!
Naomi Sellers (she, her)
Naomi is a junior in Timothy Dwight College, majoring in Global Affairs with a Chinese language certificate. She grew up in Mesa, Arizona (which has the most beautiful sunsets on the planet). On campus, she spends most of her time working in the TD Art Studio or coordinating events as a TD Aide. Naomi is also passionate about faith communities at Yale, serving as a Student Deacon at UCY and member of Yale Students for Christ. Her participation in an FGLI Peer Mentorship group as a first-year and sophomore was immensely formative, so she is excited to become a mentor herself!
Daisy Sanchez (she, her)
Daisy is a junior in Trumbull College, majoring in History of Science, Medicine, & Public Health. She’s a proud Chicana and FGLI student from Fort Worth, TX with roots in Guanajuato, MX. Outside of classes she’s involved with MEChA, MedSci, and Girls on the Run. She also volunteers at the HAVEN Free Clinic and is involved in research studying the effects of early life stress in mice. In her free time, she loves hanging out with her dogs, reading tarot cards, and watching telenovelas. At Yale, you can find her looking for new study spots with tons of natural light, riding around on her scooter, or lounging with friends on Cross Campus. Daisy is excited to be a resource for her peers and support them in their academic journeys!
Arushi Dogra

Arushi is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College from San Diego, California. On the pre-med track, she’s double-majoring in HSHM (History of Science, Medicine, & Public Health) and English. She’s on the board of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project, partakes in health advocacy initiatives on and off campus, and conducts research at the Yale School of Medicine. She’s also involved in student journalism with the Yale Herald, the Yale Undergraduate Research Journal, and Distilled. In her ground state, she can be found with coffee and a book at Book Trader, binging any number of comedy specials, or watching sunsets from high places. She really enjoys talking and loves to listen even more, so don’t hesitate to reach out to ask any questions at all, grab a meal, or just take a saunter around New Haven!

Shen-Vey Lai (he, they)
Shen is a junior in Pierson College from Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. He is majoring in Film Studies and Cognitive Science. At Yale, he enjoys dancing with Movement, being involved in Yale theater, and working with Iris’ after school homework program. He also enjoys reading and going on long hikes and/or walks around the area. He will also pet any dog that he’s allowed to. He is very excited to be joining the Academic Strategies team and to be working alongside his fellow peers!
Estephanos Bekele

Estephanos is a class of 2023 Economics and Mathematics joint major in Berkeley College from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At Yale, he has served as a research assistant on two projects in the Economics department both exploring the effect of gender and race discrimination on career trajectories/outcomes. Outside of academics, Estephanos has been able to explore his various interests at Yale through his involvement in clubs such as Kitchen2Kitchen and MathCounts, and being a Yale Young African Scholars mentor. In his free time, he loves watching and playing basketball, binge watching pretty much any Netflix show, painting, and playing volleyball.

Lily Dorstewitz (she, her)

Lily is a junior in Pauli Murray College majoring in psychology. She is from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and loves photography, swimming, and poetry. She is involved with Yale Radio, the Record, and is a photographer for the Yale Daily News. She loves puzzles and a good book or TV show, and has a serious plant addiction. She is so excited to work with everyone as an Academic Strategies Mentor!

Allison Cho (she, her)


Allison is a junior in Davenport College from Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and hoping to pursue medical school afterwards. As a low-income student, her FGLI mentor inspired her to also become an ASP mentor. She is passionate about including music in her life. She plays the cello in the Davenport Pops Orchestra, Berkeley College Orchestra, and musical pit orchestras. She loves working with the elderly and doing genetics research at the Yale Medical School. To relax, she enjoys doing yoga, going out to eat, and playing just dance. Feel free to reach out with anything big or small.

Diego Lopez (he, him)
Diego is a junior in Berkeley College majoring in Political Science. From Los Angeles, CA, Diego is a fan of anything and everything “chill,” including supporting Chelsea F.C., vibing with friends, and listening to the latest hip hop and rap music. At Yale, Diego is involved with First Gen/Low income community through the YFAM, the Yale College Council, and YHHAP.
Alicia Mazzurra (she, her)
Alicia is from Georgia and is a junior in Grace Hopper College. She is an Education Studies Scholar majoring in English. On campus, you can find her writing poetry with Jook Songs in the AACC, enjoying any warmth or sunshine New Haven decides to offer, or pursuing her true passion: eating food. She is excited to help any and all students, especially those from low-income and diverse backgrounds!
Wren Wolterbeek (she, her)
Wren is a junior in Davenport College from Rindge, New Hampshire. She is majoring in English and is also an Education Studies Scholar. As a low income student she is passionate about education equity and is a Head Advising Fellow with Matriculate at Yale. Through Matriculate she helps first generation and low income students navigate the college application process and also writes for their blog. She also loves to teach with Splash at Yale and worked at LEAP in New Haven strengthening literacy education for high school students in New Haven. She loves trying different coffee shops in New Haven and is working on learning new languages and trying new baking recipes! When she is not drinking coffee or tea you can find her reading or playing card games, Just Dance, and IMs. Wren is excited to work as an Academic Strategies Mentor and to talk about anything from reading loads to reading recommendations and beyond!
Katie Taylor (she, her)
Katie is a junior in Branford College from Somers, New York. She is majoring in History, but she has dabbled in everything from global affairs to proof-based math. On campus, she has served as an undergraduate learning assistant for the Directed Studies program and an editorial intern for the Yale Law Journal. During her leave of absence in the fall of 2020, she worked on political, legal, and policy-based teams. She is happiest spending time with friends, being outside, and exploring new coffee shops in New Haven. She is so excited to be serving as an academic strategies mentor—please reach out with any questions!

Alex Taranto (she, her)alex.taranto@yale.edu">​alex.taranto@yale.edu

Alex is a senior in Davenport College from Richmond, Virginia. She is majoring in Art, with a focus on painting and printmaking. A proud FGLI student, Alex is passionate about educational accessibility and community enrichment, particularly for the visual & performing arts. Outside of class, Alex is a college admissions coach, working primarily with FGLI students interested in arts programs, and develops curriculum related to arts admissions. She has also served as a TA for Yale Pathways’ first visual arts summer program, completed a residency with the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and is founding a new visual arts club on campus! In her free time, Alex enjoys wandering around the School of Art, eating brunch on Tuesdays, and talking about anything & everything with her suitemates.
Kennedy Schwiebert (she, her)
Kennedy is a senior in Berkeley College, majoring in English. Born and raised in Minnesota, she is a MN State Fair fanatic and always loves to bring a little Midwestern pizzazz to the table. Within the Yale community, Kennedy participates in dance, archery, the occasional club gymnastics, and running publicity for the Elm City Echo. She enjoys spending her time outside the classroom tutoring middle school students, volunteering as a script reader, going on spontaneous ice cream runs, and having movie nights with friends. She is always excited to chat and meet new people and is ready to help in anyway she can as an academic strategies mentor.
Josh Atwater (he, him)
Josh is a senior in Timothy Dwight College, originally from southern New Jersey. He’s majoring in English and is very passionate about the importance of the humanities. During the school year, Josh is a member of Yale Danceworks, a leader for Harvest first-year orientation trips, and a contributor to the Yale Herald. As a first-gen student, Josh feels a special conviction towards promoting equity & accessibility in education and would love to help you make the most of your time at Yale—be it developing relationships with professors, securing research and funding opportunities, or planning a manageable schedule!
Esther Seo (she, her)
Esther is a senior in Davenport College, majoring in psychology and history with the Education Studies certificate. She’s lived in both the North and the South: New York and Louisiana! On campus, she is a member of the QuestBridge community and works as a research assistant for the Fundamentals of the Adolescent Brain Lab. She also works at one of New Haven’s childcare centers near campus and hopes to continue working with children, youth, and families in the future. During her free time, she loves taking care of her plants and starting new hobbies, like embroidery, that never last long. She also enjoys watching movies and doing art, sometimes at the same time. She’s excited to be part of the ASP team and welcomes any movie recommendations. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any kind of support, if you have any questions, or just to say hello!!
Demi Lee (she, her)
Demi L. is a junior in TD studying Cognitive Science with the theme of Human-Centered Design. Originally hailing from Seoul and Bangkok, Demi’s current hometown is Las Vegas. On-campus, Demi works as a photography aide for TD’s Head of College Office and serves as YIRA’s Hemispheres Director. In her free time on campus, Demi loves taking candid photos and attempting to create pottery in a basement ceramics studio. Demi is thrilled to join the program and work as an Academic Strategies Peer Mentor!
Enyo Adoboe (she, her)

Enyo is a senior in Davenport College and is from Belchertown, MA. She is currently double majoring in Astrophysics and Film Studies. She is part of UCW and in her free time loves to watch movies, knit, eat, and hang with friends. She’s very excited to be an Academic Strategies Mentor and work with everyone!

Laiba Akhtar (she, her)


Laiba is a senior in Branford College from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is majoring in Chemical Engineering on the pre-med track with a language certificate in Russian. Outside of class, Laiba does research in the Saltzman Lab, interpretation and translation for refugee and immigrant organizations, and college advising programs. She enjoys trying new restaurants with her friends, going to game nights, doing embroidery, and finding new books and shows to binge. Laiba is thrilled to be an academic strategies mentor and hopes to share her experiences that have helped her throughout her time at Yale.
Faiad Alam (he, him)

Faiad is a junior in Grace Hopper college, majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology and a Global Health Scholar. He represents the great city of Houston, Texas where he grew up (i.e., he is a huge Houston Rockets fan!). He is very active in the First Generation, Low-Income community, where he is involved in Yale FGLI Advocacy Movement and Matriculate, an organization mentoring FGLI high school students. He is passionate about doing research and planning to pursue an  MD/PDH in the future. Outside of class, he loves eating at different restaurants, watching movies, and playing intramural basketball.  He also loves to chat, laugh, and meet new people!

Sandra Amezcua Rocha (she, her)

Sandi is a senior in Jonarthan Edwards college majoring in environmental science with a focus on food and agriculture. She primarily grew up in El Monte, CA but also lived in her P’urhepecha and Nahuatl homelands of Mexico. On campus, she is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, works at the Native American Cultural Center, and dancer for Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale. She’s also learned a lot as a peer liason for La Casa Cultural Center and Conexiones MECha mentor and is excited to help you grow!


Zully Arias (she. her)



Zully is a senior in Silliman College majoring in Statistics & Data Science. She is from Lyndhurst, New Jersey, a small town not too far from NYC. She has an interest in data journalism and is currently working on research geared towards environmental justice. She served as a Production & Design editor for the Yale Daily News and is also a camp counselor for Camp Kesem. In her free time, she likes solving jigsaw & sudoku puzzles, watching reality TV shows, and beating my friends in card games. She’s excited to be a part of the Academic Strategies Peer Mentor team!  

Elena Castro-Oliva (she, they)


Elena is a senior in Branford College, majoring in Architecture with a concentration in Design. She is originally from Greenville, SC, but really considers home to be wherever her avocado plant is. On campus, she serves as Co-Head Peer Liaison for La Casa Cultural and is a member of WORD: Performance Poetry at Yale. She is also currently serving as an assistant to the Yale Dura-Europos Archive (YDEA), where she works to create geospatial maps of the ancient Dura-Europos city and its buildings. She is passionate about urban planning, green infrastructure, and art of all kinds. She would love to chat about anything and everything (especially music, poetry, and the outdoors), so please feel free to reach out!

Michael Chen (he, him)

Michael is a senior in Branford College from Alameda, CA. He is a first-generation low-income student majoring in ER&M and Political Science with a language certificate in Chinese. Outside of classes, Michael is involved with the Asian American Cultural Center, the Chinese American Students Association, Dwight Hall, and Matriculate. He loves to explore local cafes, restaurants, and parks, and is more than happy to give recommendations. Michael is excited to support you in any way that he can as an Academic Strategies Mentor!

Matthew Davidson (he, him)

Matthew is a senior in Pierson College majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He is from a small farm in a rural area outside Clay Center, Kansas. Matthew is a member of the FGLI community, as well as involved in Matriculate. On any given day, Matthew can probably be found drinking coffee and playing video games with his suitemates.

Yabi Degefu (she, her)

Yabi is a senior in Grace Hopper college studying Economics. She was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and being a part of the international community has been a big part of her college experience and would love to connect about it! On campus, she is involved with the International Student Organization, YUMUNC, the Good Life Center, and is also an OISS Peer Liaison. Yabi loves listening to music, going on walk around campus, meeting new people, and cooking. She looks forward to meeting you and working with you as an Academics Strategies Mentor to help you thrive!
Jordan Fitzgerald (she, her)

Jordan is a senior in Trumbull College from New Jersey majoring in American history. She works as a Trumbull College office aide, writes and produces podcasts for the Yale Daily News, serves as a board member for The Women’s Network-Yale, and teaches with Community Health Educators. As a first-generation college student, she is dedicated to ensuring that everyone at Yale has the tools they need to succeed. Outside of school, Jordan loves nearly burning herself in the kitchen, laughing with/at her friends, and begrudgingly exercising. According to her Head of College, she is the only person in history to break a bone for Trumbull IMs. She’s incredibly excited to work with the academic strategies program this year.

Laine Garber (she, her)


Laine was originally a member of the class of 2022, but after taking a semester off during COVID, she is now proud member of the class of 2022.5. She is majoring in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and History of Science, Public Health and Medicine. Laine is also a member of the varsity field hockey team, and as she originally hails from the Greater Philadelphia area, she is a passionate Philly sports fan. When Laine is not on the hockey pitch, in the lab or doing her history readings, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, whether it be hiking, skiing, biking or just relaxing. Laine also whole-heartedly believes that Hopper is the best Res College at Yale. 

Sam Heimowitz (he, him)

Photo coming soon!

Sam is a senior in Branford College from Washington, DC—we are indeed taxed without voting representation in Congress! He is a simultaneous BA/MA student in East Asian Studies, focusing on modern China, and also a RSEE double major, concentrating on Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Along with his studies of classical and modern Chinese, modern Turkish, and Hungarian (you could say he likes to pick the hardest languages in the world and then convince everyone else to be as big of a language nerd as he is), he is an avid anti-Indo Europeanist. He is chiefly interested in the Russian influence in China’s northernmost provinces, the Soviet legacy and pre-Soviet cultural interaction in Central Asia, and fascist, communist, and socialist regimes of the past and present. He also has a keen interest in finding tiny classes with unique professors (ask him about his Slovene professor who picked him up from the airport)! Outside of class, he is a professional tap dancer alongside his identical twin brother and serves as a co-president of Taps. He has served as the choreographer for Steppin’ Out; volunteered with CityStep; worked as a Branford Aide; and has written and edited for Symposia. Of course, one of his passions is napping, and he finds joy in discovering international TV series on Netflix to binge at night.



Hannah Hernandez (she, her)

Hannah is a community college transfer student from California in Pierson’s Class of 2022. She is majoring in Political Science and is especially interested in U.S. relations with Russia and China as well as the intersection between human rights and foreign policy. At Yale, she dedicates her time to the Civic Allyship Initiative Cohort, Yale Students for Christ, and Yale’s Transfer Program in which she is a Transfer Counselor. During her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, baking, cooking, and searching for antiques at the flea market. She’s excited to join the ASP community and assist fellow students accomplish their academic goals!
Tyler Jager

Tyler is a senior at Yale College pursuing a joint B.A. / M.A. degree in Political Science and a member of the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights at Yale Law School. Born and raised in Manchester, Vermont, his academic studies focus on refugee protection, political violence, and 20th-century political thought. For his master’s thesis, he conducts ethnographic research on how aid organizations and cultural institutions along the Greek-Turkish border attempt to reduce prejudice between asylum seekers and host communities in Greece. On campus, Tyler was formerly editor-in-chief of the Yale Review of International Studies and coordinated the YHHAP Fast, the university’s largest student fundraiser. Today, he edits BRINK, Yale’s undergraduate book review, and gives tours at the Yale Art Gallery. He has interned at media and immigration-related institutions at the local, national, and international level, and enjoys creative nonfiction, cooking, and long-distance running. Tyler plans a career as a human rights lawyer and journalist, and is always excited to chat with anyone interested in law, nonfiction writing, or social science research. 
Katerina Kargioti (she, her)


Katerina is a Senior in Pauli Murray College studying Applied Physics. Katerina is also a member of the Energy Studies Multidisciplinary Program at Yale. Outside of class, she enjoys Physics research, listening to podcasts, and taking long walks. Katerina is a member of the YuQC, the Yale Undergraduate Quantum Computing Group, and the Yale Women in Physics. She is excited to work with students and help them explore different tools and recourses to aid their learning process. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to her!

Annaelise Kennedy (she, her)

Annaelise is TD class of 2023.5, double majoring in Theater and Performance Studies & English. At Yale, Annaelise has been involved with Matriculate, CCAM, and YLS. She also founded and currently is the President of the student-run production company Yale Cinematic Productions. Annaelise is a member of the FGLI community, proudly serving as a FSY counselor this past summer. She’s excited to be an ASP mentor! 
Kayleigh Larsen (she, her)

Kayleigh is a senior in Hopper College from San Antonio, Texas. She is double majoring in Political Science and History of Medicine, and is passionate about health and educational equity! On campus, Kayleigh is involved with Matriculate and Community Health Educators, and works as a research assistant in the History of Medicine Department and as a fellow at the Yale Institute for Global Health. In her free time, you can catch her lounging around crescent courtyard, playing volleyball at Payne Whitney, and trying not to kill her plants!

Akweley Mazarae Larte (he/him & xe/xem/xyrakweley.lartey@yale.edu


Akweley Mazarae is a senior Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies major also pursuing the Education Studies Certificate. Xe is passionate about making education accessible for students from immigrant communities, low-income students, and students with disabilities. Originally from the Greater Philadelphia Area, Akweley Mazarae loves reading (and sometimes writing) poetry, making playlists, and talking about all things Philly!

Esther Lee (she, her)

Born and raised in the South, Esther (she/her) is a first-generation, low-income Korean-American in Silliman College. She is a Neuroscience major (‘23) who wants to pursue something related to health in the future. (Currently, Esther is on the pre-med track, but that is something subject to change lol). At Yale, she loves spending her time with friends, talking and eating with them. She’s a big fan of spicy foods! She is also involved in several volunteer-based organizations, like RISE and HEAR. Esther is so excited to become a peer mentor, where she can really engage with the Yale student body, especially other FGLI students. 
Michelle Liang (she, her)

Michelle is a senior in Pierson College from California. On campus, she studies economics and has given her time to the Asian American Cultural Center and Asian American Students Alliance. She is an FGLI student who cherishes her mentors and peers who have supported her learning journey, and is eager to be a source of support for you through the ASP program!
Karen Lu (she, her)

Karen is a senior in Benjamin Franklin College and hails from sunny South Florida. She is majoring in Economics and has a love/hate relationship with R. She’s involved with Yale Movement (a K-Pop dance group), the Yale Globalist (international relations magazine), and writes for a few publications in her free time. She enjoys picking up new hobbies, but her go-tos are baking, drawing, and working out. She is looking forward to meeting new people on campus and supporting them as an Academic Strategies Mentor, especially those who are FGLI!

Emme Magliato (she, her)

Emme is a senior in Pierson College studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. She is also pursuing the Global Health Scholars program and following a pre-medical track in hopes of attending medical school. She is originally from Poughkeepsie, NY, but loves New Haven for its plentiful food trucks, coffee shops, farmers markets, parks, and beautiful community! As a first-generation, low income student, she is passionate about health equity and access for marginalized communities and volunteers with a free clinic in the city. She also helps low-income students apply to college through Matriculate and teaches health education in New Haven Public Schools through Yale’s Community Health Educators. Outside of classes, jobs, and extracurriculars, Emme loves to sing, drink coffee, cook tasty vegetarian food, and ride her bike through New Haven.

Sayda Martinez-Alvarado (she, her)

Sayda is a senior in Davenport College from Northern Virginia. She is majoring in Psychology and is an Education Studies Scholar. As a psychology major, Sayda is a Research Assistant at the Social Cognitive Development Lab at Yale. On-campus, she is very involved with the first-generation, low-income (FGLI) community at Yale, being one of the Head Advising Fellows for Matriculate at Yale, the former sophomore representative for QuestBridge at Yale, an FGLI Student Ambassador for the Yale College Dean’s Office, and an FSY Counselor this past summer! In her free time, Sayda can be found with her friends searching New Haven for the best ice cream, bagels, and pizza! She is looking forward to contributing to the Academic Strategies Program!

Rachel Merrill (she, her)

Rachel is a rising junior in Trumbull College, majoring in Physics and working on a language certificate in Modern Hebrew. She is both a community college transfer and an Eli Whitney Student, and this year she is serving as co-president of the Eli Whitney Student Society at Yale, as well as an officer in her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. In addition to her work with Academic Strategies, Rachel is a peer tutor in the Physics department, and has worked as an ONEXYS coach for the past three summers. When she isn’t working or in class, Rachel enjoys hanging out in the Music Library at Sterling Memorial Library or Kroon Hall at the School of the Environment, grabbing gelato from Elm, or savoring a ginger snap latte at Koffee? This is Rachel’s third year working for Academic Strategies, and she is looking forward to meeting students and sharing all the tips, tricks, and advice she’s gained from other mentors in the program through the years.
Shady Mina (he, him)

Shady is a senior in Morse College from Tampa, Florida. He is on the pre-medical track, majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He also has a passion for political science and enjoys examining topics from different perspectives in the political science courses. Shady is involved in the FGLI Pre-Health Community, and he is an interpreter at HAVEN Free Clinic. When not in the classroom, he conducts research at the School of Medicine, studying the role of non-coding RNA in RNA modification and splicing. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, listening to Christian music, and trying new food. Shady looks forward to serving as an Academic Strategies Mentor.

Laura Nicholas (she, her)
laura.nicholas@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Laura is a senior in Pauli Murray College from Madison, WI. She is majoring in Cognitive Science and is an Education Studies Scholar. On campus, she’s been on the board of Yale Daily News for two years and recently finished up a second advising cycle for Matriculate. She took a spring gap semester to work at an education non profit, and is so looking forward to enjoy lots of coffee and living with friends again back on campus this fall. In her free time, she loves watching reality TV, listening to politics podcasts, and create extremely specific Spotify playlists. Laura is very excited to work with you through the ASP program this year!

Ayanle Nur (he, him)
ayanle.nur@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Ayanle is a senior in Davenport College from Denver, Colorado. He is a pre-med majoring in Neuroscience. He is the Vice President of the Black Men’s Union, as well as the Secretary of Black Pre-Health at Yale. He is on the Club Archery team and also serves as an Advising Fellow for Matriculate. He is a QuestBridge scholar and a first-generation low-income college student. Ayanle is also involved with the Yale Muslim Students Association. In his free time, you can find Ayanle playing basketball, board games, or getting boba and hanging out with friends.

Sheri Ofwona (she, her)
sheri.ofwona@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Sheri is a senior in Grace Hopper College from Nairobi, Kenya. She explores her wide range of academic interests at Yale by double majoring in Economics and Global Affairs. She also explores her interest in human rights through the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights. On campus, you can find her working at the Undergraduate Admissions Office as a recruitment coordinator or dancing on Yale’s first, finest and only step group - Yale Steppin’ Out. She enjoys making Spotify playlists, picnicking and buying novels that seem interesting (whether or not she reads them in their entirety a separate and slightly complicated conversation). Sheri hopes to help other students find creative and sustainable ways to explore their interests at Yale while prioritizing their mental and physical health.

Alejandro Ortega (he, him)
alejandro.ortega@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Alejandro is a second-semester senior in Benjamin Franklin College majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. He was born in Venezuela and grew up in Miami, FL. Alejandro is involved in Danceworks, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, and AIESEC. He is a Questbridge scholar and a proud member of the first-generation/low-income community on campus. Outside of class, he enjoys spending time with friends, cooking vegan food, and watching Tik Toks.

Chloe Papai (she, her)
chloe.papai@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Chloe is a senior in Berkeley College from New Orleans, Louisiana. She is majoring in Economics with a concentration in French. Outside of class, she works as a college aide (for the best college at Yale) and a financial literacy educator (check out ReisUp - it’s free for Yale students to learn all about money!), in addition to being an Academic Strategies Mentor. Chloe enjoys cooking, making cajun food when she’s homesick, exploring New Haven, and drinking coffee. She is so excited to be an academic strategies mentor and pay forward all the help and support that other students have provided during her time at Yale.

John Plumeri (he, him)
john.plumeri@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


John is a senior in Pauli Murray College from Long Island, New York. He is a Political Science major and member of the Men’s Lightweight Crew Team. He is also a Pre-frosh Mentor and a Spanish peer tutor for the Center of Language Study. While not on the water or in the classroom, John enjoys cheering on his favorite sports teams (Go Browns), dancing at WOADs, binging shows and watching movies.

Tony Potchernikov (he, him)
tony.potchernikov@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Tony is a junior in Saybrook College from Nashville, Tennessee returning from a gap year. He currently studies Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He is a Hahn Scholar and undergraduate researcher under the mentorship of Prof. De La Cruz and also works with community organization Stand Up Nashville. In his free time, Tony enjoys cooking, figuring out how to play piano, and impromptu painting. He is excited and grateful for the opportunity to be an Academic Strategies Mentor and looks forward to working with fellow students on campus—and please feel free to reach out to him with absolutely any questions!

Jerry Ruvalcaba (he, him)
jerry.ruvalcaba@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Jerry (he/him/his) is a senior in Timothy Dwight College, majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology while also seeking a Certificate in Data Science. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrant parents. On campus, he is involved in undergraduate research — whether that be by working directly as a research assistant for the Malvankar lab group or through supporting Yale undergraduate work as a member of the Yale Undergraduate Research Association. Additionally, during the school year, he serves as a Spanish interpreter for the HAVEN Free Clinic, writes for the Yale Scientific Magazine, and mentors for Matriculate at Yale. He is passionate about his cultural heritage and hopes to combine his love for medicine with his background in his career. In his free time, Jerry loves watching and reading up on Formula 1 news or going out on runs.

Avik Sarkar (any/all pronouns)

avik.sarkar@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Avik is a senior in Davenport College from Boston, Massachusetts. He’s majoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and pursuing a certificate in French. As a queer person of color and the child of Bengali immigrants, he’s particularly interested in queer and trans aesthetics across South Asia and its diasporas. On campus, Avik works as a Dwight Hall Urban Fellow at the Yale Prison Education Initiative, which offers Yale courses to incarcerated students. He also organizes events and supports programming at the Asian American Cultural Center as a student coordinator. In his free time, he loves spending hours at Koffee, taking long walks around New Haven, and staying up way too late talking to his suitemates. He’s so excited to join the Academic Strategies team!

Maayan Schoen (she, her)
maayan.schoen@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Maayan is a senior in Davenport College considering majoring in Psychology or Humanities. On campus, Maayan is involved in Jewish life, The Politic magazine, YCC, tutoring in New Haven public schools through IRIS, and a few other clubs whose mailing lists she can’t leave. Hailing from Atlanta, GA, she loves making jewelry, hanging out with her suitemates, and smiling at people she remembers sitting near during shopping period (often despite no indication that they remember her). She is especially excited to work with peers to succeed through medical challenges that may come up, as ASP was such a great resource in her own experience. Let’s be in touch!

Gladys Venegas (she, her)
gladys.venegas@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Gladys is a senior in Silliman from Anaheim, California. She is majoring in Neuroscience with a certificate in Spanish. She has also been involved in Matriculate and Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale. She enjoys dancing in New Haven and eating out with friends. She is a part of and loves the FGLI community at Yale, which is why she is especially excited to be working as an Academic Strategies mentor :)

Hillary Warolin (she, her)
hillary.warolin@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Hillary is a junior in Silliman College and an Eli Whitney student from Stillwater, Minnesota. She is currently pursuing an English degree but loves exploring areas of anthropology, economics, and language studies. Outside of classes and work, she loves hiking, reading comics (particularly anything from the Mignolaverse), snowboarding, running Dungeons and Dragons games, and getting coffee. Having used many of the Academic Strategies resources herself, she is thrilled to be a part of the ASP Mentors team and looking forward to connecting with other students!

Beichen Zhang (she, her)
beichen.zhang@yale.edu(link sends e-mail)


Beichen (she/her/hers) is a second-semester junior in Pierson College from Shanghai, China. She is currently studying Economics. On campus, she works as a campus tour guide and a FroCo, in addition to being an ASP mentor. She is also involved with Smart Woman Securities and was a President’s Public Service Fellow. Beichen enjoys exploring places around New Haven, meeting new people, and collecting city maps. She’s super excited to meet everyone!


Questions? We’d love to be in touch with you! Just send a note to academicstrategies@yale.edu.

You can also follow us atASP Facebook GroupASP Instagram (@academicstrategies)