A note for the Class of 2020
Welcome to Yale, Class of 2020! As you prepare for college, many questions and concerns may start to flood your mind – we’ve all been there. As current students, we realize that the transition to college is both exciting and challenging so we’re here to help make your first year as comfortable and fun as possible. We are part of the Peer Liaison (PL) Program for first-year students at Yale. The PL Program provides all incoming students with the opportunity to receive an upperclassman mentor from one or more of 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 as PLs for our academic record, our understanding of campus culture, our civic engagement, and our relationships with deans and faculty. Our role is flexible and we’re here to serve as an extra layer of support for you. Even if we don’t have the answer you need, we’ll be able to connect you to the right resources, whether it’s academic assistance, deans’ offices, health services, extracurricular groups at Yale and in New Haven, and more.
We’ll be working closely with your FroCo and college dean as well as PLs from other centers. We work specifically as PLs for the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) at Yale, so we’ll be able to connect you to the AACC house, to cultural and interest groups on campus, and to Dean Saveena Dhall (Director of the AACC). We’ll be your mentors, confidants, and friends. Whether you want to talk about culture or the farthest thing from it, we’re around and here for you! We come from a variety of backgrounds and we have an array of interests, so although you’ll have a PL specific to your residential college, we work as a team and want you to reach out to any of us at any point. We can’t wait to meet you!
Irene Chung - Branford College
- Academic: Political Science & East Asian Studies
- Hometown: Anaheim, CA
- Summer: Internship at the State Department in DC
- Extracurriculars: Women’s Leadership Initiative, tour guide at the Yale Center for British Art, production editor for the Yale Globalist, Yale for North Korean Human Rights, yoga instructor in Branford College
- Hobbies: Art, traveling, yoga and running, taste-testing new recipes
Hey 2020! My name is Irene, and I am a senior in Branford College (BFA!). Since my sophomore year, I have been studying Chinese in hopes of one day becoming fluent! Last summer, I studied abroad in Beijing with the generous support of the Light Fellowship. I also went to Seoul to work at an NGO that advocates for Korean reunification. I am super excited to be a PL this year, and I can’t wait to meet all of you!
Edward Dong - Jonathan Edwards College
- Academics: Literature
- Hometown: Saratoga, CA
- Summer: Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Beijing
- Extracurriculars: Ballet Folklórico Mexicano, Yale Queer + Asian, Asian American Cultural Center undergraduate staff, Harvest Pre-Orientation Program
- Hobbies: Gardening, taking walks, journaling, drinking tea, cooking, procrastinating through Duolingo
I study Literature and have spent the last five years fighting the dictates of the Silicon Valley, which I otherwise adore and which I call home. Coming to college from the San Francisco Bay Area has transformed me in countless and unimaginable ways! Over the last two summers, I found myself on the Camino de Santiago in a travel writing program and then in Brooklyn, New York, as an intern at the Asian American Arts Alliance. I’m in Beijing this summer focusing on Chinese language and literature in preparation for further research.
Jessica Liang - Timothy Dwight College
- Academics: Political Science & Education Studies
- Hometown: San Francisco, CA
- Summer: Asian Studies Intern at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC
- Extracurriculars: Asian American Cultural Center, Senior Class Council, Yale Club Badminton
- Hobbies: Writing illegible letters, gorging on dark chocolate, going on long walks
Having worked at the AACC as Co-Head Coordinator for the past two years, I am so excited to continue my involvement with the Asian American community as a PL! My other campus activities have included being a member of the Senior Class Council and the Provost’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee, an editor for The Yale Historical Review, social chair of the club badminton team, a flyer on the cheerleading squad, and a runway model for Y Fashion House. I’ve spent my summers interning at Lenovo, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and The Heritage Foundation.
Vicky Liu - Pierson College
- Academics: Undeclared, potentially French or Ethics, Politics, & Economics
- Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
- Summer: Yale-coordinated internship at Leinweber & Zimmermann, OIS Counselor
- Extracurriculars: Accent Multilingual Magazine, Canadian Students Association, Pierson Aide, The Yale Record, Yale Model Congress, YTV
- Hobbies: Arts and crafts, Harmonic analysis, Fandom, Poetry, Storytelling
Bonjour! My name is Vicky, and I am a rising sophomore in Pierson College. Feel free to ask me about my experiences in Directed Studies, club archery or the Yale Precision Marching Band. I have also worked for the Office of Sustainability as a member of the SSC Energy Squad. I feel most at home writing and editing for the Accent Multilingual Magazine, and I am super excited to support humour writing in particular next year as The Yale Record’s Business Manager. I will be on Board for Yale Model Congress, too. In my free time, I like to take long walks and write cards to my friends. Class of 2020, I cannot wait to meet you! I know you will flourish here.
Claire Ong - Saybrook College
- Academics: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (premed)
- Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
- Summer: Research internship at UNLV for cancer treatment, doctor shadowing head of surgery of University Medical Center, math tutor at Mathnasium
- Extracurriculars: Yale Daily News, undergraduate research assistant at Katz Lab (Yale School of Medicine), Yale Model United Nations, KASAMA: The Filipino Club, DEMOS, Student Library Advocate at Bass Library, Yale Ambassador
- Hobbies: Music (Top 40), Traveling, Languages, Foodie, Downton Abbey, Movies, Art
This year at Yale, I have mostly been involved in the Yale Daily News, where I am a staff reporter. I am also the secretary of KASAMA: The Filipino Club at Yale. As a proud tsinoy (Chinese-Filipino), I love exploring both my Chinese and Filipino heritage through food, language and culture with the AACC and KASAMA. I work as a student library advocate with Bass Library and I do research on cell apoptosis at the Katz Lab at the Yale School of Medicine. Since I am considering becoming an MD/PhD future, research has been a really important part of my year at Yale. I also love volunteering.
Andi Peng - Berkeley College
- Academics: Global Affairs & Cognitive Science
- Hometown: Solon, OH
- Summer: Working at NASA on design and prototyping of the Hyperloop
- Extracurriculars: Head TA of CS50, Yale Women’s Club Soccer, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Yale International Relations Association
- Hobbies: Watching movies, running, hiking with friends, watching the Cavs dominate in the NBA, watching the Browns get dominated by everyone else in the NFL
I’ve been actively involved with many teaching programs on campus, ranging from CS50 to peace teaching and have had the fortune to be involved with organizations that have allowed me the chance to travel all over the world, from Budapest to Taipei to Tel Aviv. Born in China yet raised in small-town Ohio, I grew up familiar with many different cultures, even though I never quite knew exactly how they should all fit together. I hope that in my last two years here, I get the chance to both help incoming students better discover their own identities as well as explore my own.
Mimi Pham - Morse College
- Academics: Economics & History (U.S. track)
- Hometown: Tampa, FL
- Summer:I’ll be interning at IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) in New Haven. I’ll also be at Yale’s Office of Development, working as a Tour Guide, and taking a class.
- Extracurriculars: Co-Chair of the Senior Class Council/Class Day Officer, Class of 2017 Treasurer, Head Morse Aide, Chair of Morse Housing Committee, ViSA (Vietnamese Students Association), Vice President of Communications for the Panhellenic Council, Alpha Phi
- Hobbies: Trying new food places, shopping, napping, watching KUWTK/other reality TV, jamming out to FOB/ATL/Ke$ha/all Top 40
In past summers, I have gone home to Tampa, studied abroad at the London School of Economics (LSE), conducted independent research on public education in Vietnam (funded by the Southeast Asia Studies Council and the Morse Richter Fellowship). Around campus, I am actively involved in Morse life and the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC). I am in a sorority and I will be one of two chairs for the Senior Class Council. I worked for two years at a local middle school in New Haven and have participated in other volunteer groups/opportunities through Dwight Hall.
Rohan Naik - Ezra Stiles College
- Academic: History (Politics & Law track) & Special Academic Program in Human Rights
- Hometown: Houston, TX
- Summer: I’ll spend the first half of the summer interning at a foreign policy thinktank in D.C. For the second half, I’ll be working for a newspaper in New Haven and interning with a journalist.
- Extracurriculars: The Yale Daily News, The New Journal, The South Asian Society, Freshmen Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT), Communication and Consent Educators
- Hobbies: Traveling, Reading, Writing. Avid sports fan and napper
On campus, I’m involved with the Yale Daily News, where I write long-form feature pieces. I’m President of the South Asian Society, an undergraduate organization devoted to South Asian affairs. I also write and edit The New Journal, lead Freshmen Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT), and have led workshops on sexual consent and misconduct for the Yale College Dean’s Office. I’m a history major, and I’m primarily interested in American political and racial history, as well as the evolution of American foreign policy. I’m also in the Special Academic Program in Human Rights, based in Yale Law School. In my free time, I love reading unique journalism, exploring New Haven and catching up on sports.
Shireen Roy - Davenport College
- Academic: Undeclared (Psychology)
- Hometown: Plano, TX
- Summer: Working and spending time at home
- Extracurriculars: Research Assistant at the Canine Cognition Center, Humor Writer and Lifestyle Editor for The Boola, on board for the Hindu Students Council
- Hobbies: Reading, eating, traveling, hanging out with friends, music, watching TV/movies
I’m a pre-med and tentatively a psych major. I came in thinking I was an English major, so I’ve taken some of those classes as well. Extracurricular wise, I’m a humor writer and lifestyle editor for The Boola, an online publication similar to Buzzfeed. I’m also on the board for the Hindu Students Council and work as a research assistant in the Canine Cognition Center, a comparative psych lab. Over my freshman summer, I plan to spend some time relaxing at home. In my free time, I love reading, traveling, finding new restaurants, scouting out dogs to pet, hanging out with friends, listening to music, and watching trash.
Nitya Rayapati - Trumbell College
- Academics: Undeclared (potentially Ethics, Politics, & Economics)
- Hometown: Austin, TX
- Summer: Taking a class in Valencia, Spain
- Extracurriculars: Graphic design for various groups, Project Homeless Connect, the Roosevelt Institute, Yale International Relations Association, Danceworks
- Hobbies: Writing, graphic design, Netflix, eating Chipotle chips & guac
Hey! I’m from Austin, which I consider the coolest city ever. I’ve lived there all my life, so being in the northeast for college has been pretty exciting. I’m not sure what I want to study– I love science but I also love the humanities. I’m also maybe premed. I did a lot of biology research during high school summers, but this summer I’m doing my language credit via a Yale class in Spain and then traveling Europe for a few weeks. I’m super excited to be a peer liaison next year and can’t wait to meet all of y’all!
Alice Zhang - Calhoun College
- Academics: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
- Hometown: Columbus, IN
- Summer: Conducting research at NASA
- Extracurriculars: Wound healing research, Davenport Pops Orchestra, Greek life, Volunteers Around the World
- Hobbies: Running, playing the saxophone, traveling, and food (especially dim sum and bubble tea)
Hi, everyone! Most of my academics have focused on biology (#premed), but I also really love to dabble in other areas like in the English department reading science fiction and French literature. My extracurricular involvement revolves around conducting research in wound healing. I also play the saxophone in the Davenport Pops Orchestra, volunteer with Volunteers Around the World, and am a part of Greek life at Yale. In my spare time, I love to run. Last winter, I ran the Disneyworld marathon with my roommate! I also love to travel and explore new cultures and food.
Anne Zlatow - Silliman College
- Academics: East Asian Languages & Literatures (pre-med)
- Hometown: Oro Valley, AZ
- Summer: Breaking the world record for largest quantity of mangoes consumed in 3 months without suffering jaundice… and Tagalog language study in the Philippines, funded by the Council on Southeast Asia Studies at Yale
- Extracurriculars: Co-President of Kasama: The Filipino Club at Yale, Directed Independent Language Study Program (DILS) for Tagalog
- Hobbies: Chinese calligraphy, piano/flute
Welcome to Yale, Class of 2020! As a Filipino-American from suburban Arizona, I associate my transition to college with discovering seasons and recovering from jet-lag. Most summers I can be found volunteering/interning/beach-going in the Philippines, though last summer I studied abroad as a Light Fellow through Princeton in Beijing. On campus I’ve been involved with Kasama, The Alliance for Southeast Asian Students at Yale (ALSEAS), and MedX. In my spare time, I love watching theater, dance, and musical performances by Yale’s amazing student groups.