Study Abroad Summer Session MyYSS

Summer Colleges Staff

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Get to know the Summer Colleges Staff!

Learn about the incredible people we have hired as summer staff! Our staff live with you in the Summer Colleges and are there to support you. We are all eager to welcome you to Yale!

Residential Directors

Kara Amar

Hey party people, I’m Kara (she/her)! I’m a recent graduate (Pauli Murray) who double majored in MCDB on the neurobiology track and E&EB on the organismal biology track. I've had the pleasure of calling New Haven and Yale my home for my whole life, and this will be my second summer as an RD. Hit me up if you wanna know anything about the area, talk all things procedurals (trust me, I've seen them all), or hear me drone on endlessly about theater lighting!

Matthew Bray

Hi! I'm Matthew (he/him), and I'm one of your YSS Residential Directors! I graduated from Yale with a B.A. in Sociology (intensive) and a concentration in Health & Society. Originally, I'm from Birmingham, AL, but I've called New Haven home for four happy, pizza-filled years. This summer, I'm excited to co-chair our Events Committee, help lead our amazing team of Residential Counselors, and help everyone have a safe, fun YSS experience! 

Jack Denning

Hi! I'm Jack Denning (he/him) and I graduated from Yale this spring with a degree in History, specializing in the histories of ideas, labor, physical infrastructure, and migration. Outside of academics, I enjoy cooking and drinking espresso, reading Wikipedia articles, working with my hands, building Spotify playlists, and analog photography. As a former YSS student and YSS Buttery Manager, I'm excited to join the team again as a Residential Director.

Aaron Weiser

Hey y'all! My name is Aaron Weiser, and I’m from Dallas, Texas. I recently graduated with a degree in English Language and Literature and what I would call an unofficial second major in Ceramics. This is my fourth year at YSS, and I am so happy and grateful to be returning as a Residential Director. New Haven is wonderful during the summer, and I can’t wait for y'all to experience it for yourselves! You will probably catch me reading, playing lots of volleyball, and lounging in the sun, but feel free to interrupt and ask about YSS, poetry, pottery, or my favorites of the Pixar movie catalog.

Wren Wolterbeek

Hi everyone! My name is Wren Wolterbeek and I graduated with a degree in English and Education Studies (intensive certificate). This summer, I'm making a prolonged good-bye to New Haven and working as the Residential Director for Special Programs. When I'm not running around campus, you can almost certainly find me in a cafe (please ask me about my favorite coffee spots in New Haven). I'm looking forward to reading, wandering, and playing ping pong. I'm also always down for a game night or trivia. 

YSS Counselors

William Archacki

Hi! You can call me Will (he/him). I'm a rising junior in Pierson, and I study chemistry. This summer I'm planning on researching materials that harness energy from sunlight. My hobbies include writing, solving New York Times crosswords (Mondays only), and vibing to Flipturn and Hozier.

Ruth Aromolaran

My name is Ruth Aromolaran, I am a junior majoring in Molecular Biochemistry & Biophysics on the premedical track! I enjoy singing and photography!

Jae-Hee Bae

Hi all! Welcome to Yale Summer Session! My name is Jae-Hee, and I’m a rising junior in Davenport, majoring in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry with a certificate in Climate Science and Solutions. I’ll be a residential counselor this summer and I'm super excited to meet you all and spend my second summer in New Haven. <3  If you really like birdwatching, I'd appreciate your help in identifying birds.

Abigail Barlow

Hey everybody! My name is Abigail Barlow (she/her), and I'm a rising sophomore in Davenport currently planning to major in E&EB. Before coming to New Haven, I spent my entire life on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. This summer, you can probably find me studying for my organic chemistry classes or getting ice cream from Ashley's. In my free time, I love baking, listening to music (Elton John is my favorite!), and spending time with my four cats. I'm looking forward to a great summer with YSS!

Katherine Chou

Hi y’all! I’m Katherine (she/her), from Arizona. I am a rising senior studying neuroscience and interested in emerging-tech policy. This summer, I’ll be doing policy research at a think tank on AI, neuroscience research in decision-making under uncertainty, and eating all the ice cream that Yale’s cold winter has deprived me of.

Joelly Cortes

Hi! I’m Joelly. I’m a rising junior in Hopper majoring in neuroscience. I’m from Houston, TX and in my free time I like training for powerlifting meets.

Diane Documet

Hi I’m Diane! I’m from Miami, FL. I just graduated yale with a B.S. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. I’m excited to be in New Haven this summer and hopefully go kayaking!

Vamsi Gorrepati

Hi everyone! My name is Vamsi Gorrepati (he/him/his). I just graduated from Yale as a Neuroscience and Computer Science double major in Pauli Murray College. This summer you can find me in the gym and outside playing spike ball.

Cameron Jones

Hey everyone! My name is Cameron (he/him) and I am a rising junior in Ben Franklin. I'm currently a philosophy major, but I hope to pursue double major with linguistics. In my free time, I enjoy reading, creative writing, finding new music, and wandering around New Haven.

Jaspreet Kandola

Hello! I’m Jaspreet Kandola (she/her), and I’m a rising senior in JE majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. I’m from Hannibal, Missouri, but I was born in India and have also lived in Italy. This summer you can find me in the gym or studying for my physics class. I look forward to meeting you all! :)

Oluoma Kanu

Hello! I’m Oluoma Kanu (YC’ 25.5), an MCDB major in Trumbull College. I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, but call Boston, MA my home away from home. This summer, I’ll be involved in regenerative biology research at the van Wolfswinkel lab, volunteering at the Haven Free Clinic, working as an instructor for Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS), AND serving as a residential counselor! When I’m not doing any of these things, you’ll find me trying to complete my unfinished crochet projects, getting through my reading list in cool, shaded areas, or trying out chai from around New Haven. Cheers!

Jaion Kelly

Hey y'all! I'm Jaion Kelly and I am a rising junior in Benjamin Franklin College from Alexander City, Alabama majoring in psychology. My hobbies include cooking, dancing, reading, and listening to music (if you have any good music recs, please send them my way)! This summer, you can most likely find me lounging on Cross Campus, tucked away in a library somewhere, or in Grace Hopper College, where I am a residential counselor. I'm super excited to meet everyone and looking forward to a great summer!

Sahriar Khan

Hi! My name is Sahriar Khan (pronounced Shariar), a rising sophomore at Jonathan Edwards College. I’m from Brooklyn, New York, studying Computer Science and pursuing a certificate in Statistics & Data Science (S&DS). My hobbies include origami and wearing floral shirts. I look forward to working with you beautiful people.

Tsach Mackey

Hi! My name is Tsach (“Zack”) and I’m a rising senior double majoring in Chemistry and Computer Science. When I’m not working, I enjoy running and listening to podcasts.

Daniel Metaferia

Hi. My name is Daniel. I'm a rising senior and I'm based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I like stargazing/movie nights, long runs, and volunteering. This is my first summer in New Haven so I'm excited to be here and work in the RC team.

Araya Miller

Hi, I am Araya Miller (she/her), a rising junior in Benjamin Franklin College. I am studying Political Science with an Education Studies Certificate. In my free time I like to go on long walks, listen to 90s hip hop and R&B, eat good food, and explore new places. I was born and raised in Connecticut and I am excited to spend my summer in New Haven as a Residential Counselor this year.

Kalisa Minas

Hi everyone! My name is Kalisa Minas and I am an FGLI rising senior in Morse majoring in E&EB. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I’m super excited to be spending another summer in New Haven. I’m a big lover of all things music and have a soft spot for anime, so I’m always down to exchange recommendations.

Mofeed Nagib

Hi everyone! My name is Mofeed (he/him), and I just graduated from Yale with a Computer Science and Statistics & Data Science double major. Originally, I am from Baltimore, MD, and I was in Timothy Dwight College. Over the summer, you can find me working at PWG, reading on cross campus, and hanging out in the buttery.

Peter Nelson

Hey everyone! My name is Peter (he/him), a rising junior in Jonathan Edwards. I plan to major in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry with a language certificate in Mandarin. Besides frequenting Payne Whitney for pick-up volleyball and practicing flute in the School of Music, you can find me down by the medical school volunteering at HAVEN Free Clinic this summer. I look forward to getting to know you all!

Chidimma Nzekwe

Hey everyone! My name is Chidimma Nzekwe and I am a rising junior in Silliman College majoring in neuroscience on the pre-med track. In my free time, I love to cook and experiment with new dishes. I'm super excited to be an RC this summer and look forward to meeting you all!

Sebastian Orozco

Hi! My name is Sebastian (he/him), and I'm a rising junior in Stiles majoring in CS. I'm from New York, though I've spent a third of my life in Mexico & a gap year in Taiwan. This summer I'll be a residential counselor for YSS and will also be doing computer science research, but in my free time I'll be hanging out with friends, trying out new cafes/restaurants, or hiking!

Pranav Parakh

Hi guys, I'm Pranav Parakh from Niagara Falls, Canada, and I graduated recently with a Mathematics and Physics major. I have been a researcher at the Quantronics Lab (QuLab) since 2021 under the direction of Prof. Michel Devoret and I'm currently working on simulating the behaviour of superconducting circuits. Outside of quantum, I'm always game for nearly any sport (I plays as many intramurals as possible!), I'm a member of the Yale Club Squash Team, and I enjoy playing guitar and piano. I will also be starting a PhD in Applied Physics at Stanford in September.

Mia Pineda

Hi! My name is Mia Pineda (she/her), I'm a rising Junior in Ezra Stiles College and majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB). I was born in Indiana but raised in Saint Petersburg, Florida. This summer you can find me enjoying the sun, binging movies, hopefully gyming, and being with friends!

Emily Poag

Hi everyone, I'm Emily (she/her), a rising junior from Iowa double majoring in chemistry and economics. When I'm not studying in the Stiles common room or in HQ, I can be found running, crocheting, reading, or getting boba with friends.

Tony Potchernikov

Hi y'all, I'm Tony Potchernikov, and I just graduated with a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and have also gotten quite a bit into photography as well. I'm originally from Nashville, TN. If you see me around please feel free to say hello!

Luciano Romero

Hey there! My name is Luciano (he/him) and I am a rising senior in Pierson majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and I’m excited to spend my summer in New Haven with you all!! Along with being a RC, I will be around campus volunteering for HAVEN Free Clinic and doing research at the Sheltzer Lab so feel free to send me any question relating to pre-med/research. I love to hike, listen to music, workout with friends, and be involved in advocacy. I hope to see you around!

Emily Shang

Hi everyone! My name is Emily Shang (she/her) and I'm a rising senior in Timothy Dwight college. I come from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and major in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. This summer, I'll be doing research at Yale Med. In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball, running, and losing at chess.

Steven Shepherd

Hi everyone, I'm Steven! I enjoy being in water, I’m in Branford class of 2027, and from Southwest Florida.

Naheem Watson

Hi! I’m Naheem Watson (he/they) and I’m a senior Cognitive Science major with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction! Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, but plan to move to NYC post-grad. I hope to have a lot of fun with you all this summer as an RC and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone!

Ava Wilson

Hi! My name is Ava Wilson and I’m a rising junior from Baltimore, MD. I study history here at Yale, and in my free time I love to play sports, listen to live music, and try new foods. I’m so excited to meet everyone and to be part of the YSS team!

Kayla Wong

Hi! I’m Kayla (she/her) and I’m a rising second semester senior in Davenport majoring in Neuroscience. I love avocados, picnics, and long walks. I will be a residential counselor this summer and can’t wait to meet you all! I’m especially excited to play spikeball, go on boba runs, and discover new pockets in New Haven.

Lucy Zha

Hey everyone! My name is Lucy, and I am a rising senior in Morse majoring in MB&B. I am super excited to be a residential counselor this summer and exploring summer New Haven with you all! At Yale, I have been involved with Yale Synapse, Camp Kesem, and Research at the Med school and West Campus. If you ever run into me, I am probably on a walk on campus listening to music, doing work in the nice weather outside, or running towards East Rock.

Michelle Zheng

Hi, I’m Michelle, and I’m a rising senior studying Cognitive Science specifically in Human-AI Interaction. I love playing tennis, drinking iced fruit milk teas, and dancing with friends!

Carolina Zubler

Hello! My name is Carolina, and I am a rising senior in Davenport College. I'm from just outside of Washington, D.C. and am majoring in Computer Science and Neuroscience. In my free time, I love reading, exploring nature, and watching good movies. I can't wait to meet everyone this summer!

Residential Assistants

Haimanot Belachew

Hello! I am Haimanot Belachew (she/her/hers), and I am a rising junior in Berkeley College. I am an international student from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. I love dogs, indie folk music, and sunny, warm weather. I am super excited to work as a residential office assistant this summer and to be a part of YSS.

Catherine Esteves

Hi, my name is Cat and I am a rising sophomore in Hopper majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. I'm originally from New Jersey, but went to boarding highschool in New Hampshire, so I've definitely made my way around the Northeast. At Yale, you can typically find me singing with the jazziest a cappella group on campus (go RHB!), lifting at PWG, or enjoying an iced vanilla latté at the Elm. In addition to working as an ROA this summer, I am working at the Yogev and Hammarlund labs, going thrifting, and spending lots of time soaking in the sun.

Ethan Lewis

Hey, everyone! I'm Ethan Lewis (he/him), a rising junior in Benjamin Franklin College from Golden, Colorado! I'm an economics major pursuing a certificate in data science, and cannot wait to meet all of you! I'm on the Yale baseball team and will play locally out of Norwich this summer. On campus you can catch me soaking up the sun in the courtyard, doing hot yoga, or having a heated debate about Denver sports teams. This summer, I will be working primarily in the YSS office so make sure to stop by and say hi!

Melissa Tian

Hi! My name is Mel, a recent graduate of the class of 2024, with a BA in sociology. My career passions include health policy and understanding the social factors that shape health. I also plan to pursue medicine in the near future. In my free time, I love to be outdoors, whether that's going for walks, jogging, reading a book in the grass, or being very mediocre at whatever sport is being played in the campus courtyards. Also, nothing makes me happier than a good cup of coffee! This summer, I will be trying to reignite my passion for reading while also studying for the MCAT when I'm not in the office. 

Sonam Wangchuk

Hello everyone! My name is Sonam Tenzin Wangchuk (he/him), and I'm a rising junior from Pauli Murray! I was born and raised in Bhutan, and I'm currently pursuing a double major in Computer Science & Psychology and Statistics & Data Science. I'm really excited to spend my second summer here in the amazing city of New Haven, where you'll probably find me reading some weird book I saw in a video essay, watching an old lecture while sunbathing, or failing to win at board games. Really excited to meet all of you!

Assistant Residential Director for Butteries & Catering

Kevin Chabla Piruch

Hey everyone! My name is Kevin Chabla Piruch and I am your Assistant Residential Director for Butteries and Catering. I am a rising senior majoring in Political Science and Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. I'm also from Long Island, New York. This summer I'm running both butteries in Stiles and Morse College. My favorite flavor of ice cream is mint ice cream.

Head Residential Director

Maxine Dillon

Hello and howdy, y'all! I'm Maxine, your Head Residential Director. I'm so happy to welcome you to Yale Summer Session. I graduated from Yale in 2017 with a B.A. in English and have been living in Texas since, doing my part to help Keep Austin Weird! I'm a playwright and teaching artist if you ever want to talk about theater and writing. This summer, when I'm not managing the Reslife Office, you'll probably find me roller skating around Tower Parkway, haunting the bookstacks of Sterling library, writing fanfic when I am supposed to be researching and writing a play, or eating mozz sticks in the Morse buttery. 

STARS Counselors

Matt Midy

Hi, my name is Matt (he/him), I am from Stamford, CT, and I am excited to be your STARS counselor! I am a recent graduate from Trumbull College (Moo-Rah!) who majored in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry with a certificate in Statistics and Data Science. Throughout the summer, you may find me biking around New Haven, playing basketball, or watching basketball (Celtics 2024!!!).

Jenny Wong

Hi everyone! My name is Jenny Wong (she/her), and I am a Neuroscience major in Saybrook College from Brooklyn, NY. Outside of the STARS Summer program, you can find me studying for the MCAT, volunteering in the HAVEN Free Clinic, or reading fiction novels. 

Assistant Residential Director for Finance

Catherine Santiago

Hellooo! I'm Cat. I recently graduated from Benjamin Franklin College with B.S. in MCDB on the pre-med track. I'm originally from South Florida, but I now live in New Haven while pursuing my PCT and EMT certifications and gaining healthcare experience. This is my third year at YSS, and I'm so excited to be coming back this year as an Assistant Residential Director of Finance. When I'm not wrestling with excel sheets, my summers are filled with movie nights, plants, hanging with friends, boba, ice cream, pizza, movies, books, art, and more movies!

Assistant Residential Director for Trips & Activities

Bryant Valladares

Hello! I’m Bryant, this summer’s Assistant Director for Trips and Activities. I’ll be helping out with planning, ticketing, and supporting all the events we have for you throughout the week. I love dancing and smoothies- so if you catch me at tropical smoothie or moving to some music, feel free to say hi!

Photography and Social Media Coordinator

Jocelyn Zhou

Hello :) I'm Jocelyn (she/her/hers), and I'm excited to be the Photography and Social Media Coordinator this summer! I'm finishing up my last 1.5 credits with ASL in Session A before I officially graduate and spend the next year abroad in Taiwan. In the meantine, you'll see me around campus, taking pictures and trying to pet all the dogs. Hope you have a great YSS experience!