Welcome to Yale, Class of 2018!
Congratulations on gaining admission to Yale and deciding to attend! As you begin to prepare for college, many questions and concerns may be flooding your mind about life at Yale. As Peer Liaisons, we realize that college is an exciting time full of memorable and challenging experiences. Yale is committed to making the transition into your first year as smooth and comfortable as possible, and—as part of the Peer Liaison Program for Freshmen—we’re here to help.
To help you transition into college, you’ll be assigned a freshmen counselor (aka “FroCo”). Your FroCo is a senior in your residential college who will live with you in the freshmen dorms. In addition to your FroCos, the Peer Liaisons (that’s us!) are here to provide additional support. The Peer Liaison Program enables all incoming students to receive a mentor from any of the seven cultural and resource centers (Asian American, Latino American, African American, Native American, LGBTQ, the Chaplain’s Office, and the Office of International Students & Scholars).
We were chosen for our relationship with campus deans and faculty, understanding of the campus, academic record, and civic engagement. Our role is to answer any questions that you may have about all matters of life at Yale (getting involved, New Haven, academic support, social life, anything and everything!). We work with your FroCos and college deans and act as your liaison to campus resources. While one of us will be the primary PL reaching out to you, we encourage you to turn to any of us for help or guidance. As peer liaisons for the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) at Yale, we have experience with and can connect you to the AACC, Asian American cultural groups on campus, Dean Saveena Dhall (Assistant Dean of Yale College and Director of the Asian American Cultural Center), and a ton of other resources on campus.
You can think of us as friends who happen to be upperclassmen and are seasoned at navigating Yale’s academic, extracurricular, and social circles. As PLs, we are here as mentors and confidants who can offer you our guidance and advice on the decisions you make. We recognize that each of you comes from a different background with varying interests and that each of you has different needs. As we approach the start of the fall term, remember that your PLs are at your side to help you find your way through Yale. Rest assured, you will have ample resources and support for all situations large and small.
We will be in touch again soon, but in the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns at all, feel free to email or Facebook any or all of us - even if it’s just a matter of one of us majoring in something you’re interested in. We are excited to meet you and can’t wait to see you on campus!
See you in the fall!
Meet the Peer Liaisons!
Victoria Chu ‘15
Academic: Biomedical Engineering (molecular engineering track & premed)
Hometown: Austin, TX (but also spent a good 10 years in Plano, TX)
Summer: research at Yale Med on epilepsy and loss of consciousness
Extracurricular: Yale Hunger and Homeless Action Project, Yale Daily News Copy-editor, blood pressure volunteer work, hospital volunteering, was on board of a the following cultural groups (Korean American Students at Yale, Taiwanese American Society, Chinese American Students Association), organized ITASA 2014 East Coast Conference
General Interests: learning languages (Native Mandarin Chinese, Fluent Spanish, Beginning Korean, and conversational Taiwanese), event planning, writing blog posts
Hello, HELLO! My name’s Victoria, and I’m a senior in Pierson college, hometown Austin, Texas. I’m majoring in Biomedical Engineering (the molecular engineering track) and am also premed. Throughout my years at Yale I have taken both Spanish and Korean (I enjoy learning new languages).
At Yale, I am involved in the Asian American community and have been on board for three different cultural groups (Taiwanese American Society, Korean American Students of Yale, and Chinese American Students Association). Outside of my commitment to cultural groups I have been involved in YHHAP (Yale Hunger and Homeless Action Project), copy-edited for YDN, tutored local New Haven children, and done research on the pediatric cardiovascular disease.
In my free time I can be found trying out new cookie recipes in the Pierson kitchen, going on late night food runs, or dancing along to some random music video. I am super excited to be heading the 2014-2015 Peer Liaison team. I can’t wait to meet y’all!
Zobia Chunara ‘16
Academic: Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (premed)
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Summer: Has lived in New Haven over the summer doing research on pulmonary hypertension and atherosclerosis; Rainforest Expedition
Extracurricular: Yale Journal of Public Health, Yale Culinary Connoisseur Society, the Yale Cardiovascular Disease General and Diabetes Association, and HAVEN Free Clinic(Spanish translation work).
General Interests: Trying out new restaurants, watching movies, hanging out with friends
Hey y’all! My name is Zobia, and I am a sophomore in Pierson College from Chicago, the Windy City. I’m majoring in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and am following the premed track.
I am part of the Yale Journal of Public Health, Yale Culinary Connoisseur Society, and the Yale Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Association. On Saturday mornings, I volunteer at the HAVEN Free Clinic, translating between Spanish-speaking patients and doctors. I have done research on pulmonary hypertension and as part of the Rainforest Expedition and Lab Course. During freshman year, I was part of Perspectives on Science and Engineering and STARS, both of which are programs that support students looking for research opportunities.
When I’m not studying, I’m hanging out with my friends, watching movies, and going out to try new restaurants around New Haven. I hope that this coming year, I will be able to spend some time meeting and getting you know you all as an AACC Peer Liaison!
Katherine Fang ‘ 17
Academics: Potential Economics and Modern Middle East Studies major
Hometown: Houston, TX
Summer: traveled to Ghana, Korea, and Morocco; this summer learning Arabic in Oman and doing economics research in Israel
Extra-curricular activities: Yale Global Health Review, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Prison Project, Lit, and Freshman Class Council
Nickname: Call me Kat or KFang!
Languages: Native speaker of Chinese, learning Arabic and Spanish
General Interests: Drinking tea, collecting holiday sweaters, figure skating
Hi, everyone! I go by Kat or KFang (call me either, I have no preference!), and I’m a sophomore in Trumbull. I was born and raised in Houston, TEXAS <3, so I just braved my first real winter last year. I haven’t picked a major yet, but I’m interested in Economics and Modern Middle East Studies. I’m a native Chinese speaker, but I’ve also been taking Arabic for four years and Spanish for seven.
My biggest extra-curricular commitments include being editor-in-chief of the Yale Global Health Review, a sister in Kappa Kappa Gamma, and a member of the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project. I was also a part of Freshman Class Council last year and a staff member of the Lit, our campus’s literary magazine. I’ve traveled quite a bit in my summers—to Ghana, Korea, and Morocco. In summer 2014, I’m participating in an Arabic language program in Oman and doing economics research in Israel.
In my free time, I drink tea, collect holiday sweaters, intermittently try to keep up figure-skating at the Whale (Ingalls Rink), and watch good comedy.
I’m so, so excited for this coming year! XO
Austin Long ‘15
Academic: Chemistry/Political Science + Energy Studies
Hometown: Pinole, CA San Francisco Bay Area
Summer: Has spent summers in Beijing learning Mandarin, Hong Kong working with a non-profit, and in New Haven working on energy projects
Extracurricular: Asian American Studies, Political Action and Education Committee, Jook Songs, Public School Intern, DEMOS, Yale Concert Band, Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association
Languages: Speaks conversational Cantonese, basic Mandarin
Fun Fact: Has a twin at UC Berkeley
Hi there! I’m Austin, a senior in Calhoun College! I’m from Pinole, a small suburb of San Francisco, California. I’m a double major in Chemistry and Political Science, as well as a part of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute’s Energy Studies Program.
For the past year and a half, I have been incredibly lucky to have been a part of the Asian American community here at Yale. I am currently directing the Asian American Studies Task Force to work towards introducing more academic opportunities to explore our community on campus, and I also do spoken word with Jook Songs, the Asian American spoken word group on campus! Previously I headed Asian American political activism on campus on the behalf of the Asian American Students Alliance and the Political Action and Education Committee.
Aside from being involved in the Asian American community, I love working with kids! I have worked for two years as a Public School Intern at a local New Haven high school, taught science classes to elementary students with DEMOS, spent a summer in Hong Kong helping run a daycare for impoverished children, and currently help host birthday parties for little boys and girls at the Peabody museum. I have also played French Horn with the Yale Concert Band, launched rockets and balloons with the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association, and ran crisis scenarios for Security Council Simulations at Yale.
I love to hang out and play games (board/card/video games!), mess around with photography, learn how to play my ukulele, and watch movies! I’m so honored to be a part of the AACC Peer Liaisons this year, and I’m looking forward to meeting all of you!
Connie Lu ’15
Academics: Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry/premed
Hometown: Hails from the south: Marietta, GA; parents from Hong Kong and Vietnam
Research: Currently doing research in DNA Repair
Summer: Richard U. Light Fellowship for Harvard Beijing Academy, Beijing, China; Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory course and summer research in New Haven; Yale in London using International Summer Award (ISA)
Extracurricular: Yale Undergraduates at Connecticut Hospice, Asian American Students Alliance, Japanese American Students Union, Asian American Studies Task Force
Also dabbled in: DanceWorks, MonstRAASity, Painting Basics course
Hi y’all! My name is Connie, and I’m a senior in Morse College majoring in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry. I’m premed and currently applying to medical schools.
My mom is from Hong Kong, and my dad is from Vietnam. I was born and raised in Marietta, GA with my two older sisters and have lived in the same house all my life. I love chocolate, dimsum, dessert, K-pop and K-dramas, watching YouTube videos, singing, dancing, drawing, laughing, learning new things, and getting to know people! I’m proud to be part of the Asian American Students Alliance, Asian American Studies Task Force, and Japanese American Students Union. I’ve met the most amazing people through my involvement in the various cultural groups.
Outside of the Asian American community, I volunteer with the Yale Undergraduates at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, CT, and do research in Patrick Sung’s DNA repair lab down at the medical school. I’ve been a part of DanceWorks and took hip hop classes at Payne Whitney Gym freshman year. I studied Mandarin at the Harvard Beijing Academy the summer after my freshman year through the Richard U. Light Fellowship and got to travel to Inner Mongolia. Sophomore year, I explored the Amazon Rainforest over Spring Break in Ecuador and researched natural products over the summer in New Haven. Junior year, I learned Cantonese through the Directed Independent Language Study program. This past summer, I studied history and art history in the dapper city of London through the Yale in London program using my International Summer Award.
Throughout all of my experiences at Yale, I’ve been blessed with the most caring mentors I could have asked for, and I hope I can be the same for you!
Payal Marathe ’15
Academics: Psychology (neuroscience track)
Hometown: West Windsor, NJ
Summer: taking classes in Cambridge this summer
Extracurricular: reporting for Yale Daily News, Bhangra (high energy dance group), South Asian Society, Yale Scientific Magazine, organizes educational service trips to India, staffed the Asian American Cultural Center
General Interests: Loves writing, watching sitcoms (Modern Family), FOOD
Hi, everyone! My name is Payal, and I’m a junior in Silliman College. I was born in Syracuse, NY, but I’ve spent most of my life in West Windsor, NJ (which is just outside of Princeton). I’m majoring in psychology with a focus on neuroscience. But I also love to write, and have taken many creative writing seminars during my time at Yale so far.
In addition to working with the Asian American Cultural Center, I also edit features for the Yale Scientific Magazine, and I spent a year reporting for the Yale Daily News. This is my third year dancing for Yale’s Bhangra team (a high-energy style of dance) and my second year on board for the South Asian Society. I’m also involved in clinical neuroscience research on campus. I’ve planned a Spring Break educational service trip to India, and from that started a new club to organize repeat trips.
Beyond that, I love swimming, reading, and watching my favorite sitcoms (Modern Family, anyone?) in my free time. I’m also a huge fan of food, and I love trying out new restaurants and going out for froyo or coffee. I’m so excited to be a peer liaison this year, and I can’t wait to meet the class of 2018! We’re going to have a great year at Yale!
Sara Miller ‘16
Academics: Computing and the Arts Major; did Directed Studies Freshmen year
Hometown: From Missouri but have lived in New York, California, and Korea.
Summer: Spent a summer studying North Africa and the Middle East in Morocco and Israel.
Extracurricular activities: Yale Daily News, Yale College Council, Asempa! (African a capella group), Intramurals, Pierson Students Activities Committee, HAPA (I am Korean and German-American).
General Interests: Bubble tea at Jojo’s, photo shoots with friends
Hi! My name is Sara Miller (original, I know) and I am from Waynesville, Missouri though I’ve also lived in New York, California, and Korea. I am a Computing and the Arts major and for some period of my life, I want to be a photojournalist. I hope to spend my life traveling and experiencing different cultures.
So far at Yale I have been involved with the Yale Daily News as a photography editor, a Pierson representative for Yale College Council, a member of Asempa!, blogger for the Politic, an IM volleyball captain, Pierson Students Activities Committee, a buttery worker, a Master’s Aide, and also a member of HAPA! I find myself endlessly interested in being more engaged with Yale. I enjoy attending to a capella, dance, and theatre shows, so feel free to join me.
In my free time you’ll spot me having impromptu photo shoots with my friends, drinking bubble tea at Jojos, and avoiding the gym. I can’t wait for the school year to start because I’m already too excited to meet you!
Isra Syed ‘15
Academics: History / American Studies, humanities, pre-law; Social justice work / activism.
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Summer: Has spent summers abroad (India, Hong Kong) doing non-profit / public service internships; Taking time off
Extracurricular: Women’s Center, Broad Recognition, economics research, Sur et Veritaal, Raga Society, The Politic, Yale Student Investment Group.
Additional Info: Indian American, also happy to talk about Muslim life at Yale
Why hello! My name’s Isra, and I’m a senior in Morse College, originally hailing from Sacramento, California. I’m a History and American Studies double major, but I have changed my major at least five times and am happy to discuss any and all of your academic interests with you!
At Yale, I’ve dabbled in a variety of activities, including serving on the board of the Yale Women’s Center, singing with Sur et Veritaal (Yale’s awesome South Asian a capella group), putting on classical concerts with the Yale Raga Society, organizing study breaks as a Chaplaincy Fellow, and doing economics research. In addition to being your PL this year, I’ll be serving as an editor for Broad Recognition and teaching a coding class for girls in New Haven as an Amy Rossborough Fellow.
During my free time, I’m usually drinking too much tea at Blue State, dancing poorly to Bollywood music, and having late night conversations with friends when I should be doing my reading. I am so very excited to meet you all as you begin your collegiate journeys—please don’t hesitate to ask any questions and reach out whenever you want to chat!