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). Details about the program, Peer Liaison profiles, and how you can get a Peer Liaison (aka “PL”) will be sent in a future mailing and are on our website (www.yale.edu/aacc).
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!
Kevin Chen '14
Hey there!! My name’s Kevin, and I’m a senior (yikes) in Pierson College. I'm a Cognitive Science major (a mishmash of linguistics, psychology, and other stuff that happens to be relevant), but I was pre-med until last year and recently grew very interested in the arts and arts criticism, so feel free to talk to me about whatever academic interests you have!
At Yale, I'm active in the Asian American and LGBTQ communities, and particularly the Taiwanese American community. This year, I'm super, super excited to be co-directing the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association East Coast Conference at Yale! I've also been on the board of ReadySetLaunch, a non-profit offering free college counseling to low-income students. The past two summers, I studied abroad in Nice, France, and did biological research at Yale, and this summer, I'm interning at a community health center in Manhattan's Chinatown.
Hit me up if you want to grab a meal and chat about classes, suitemates, home(sickness), awkward relationships, crazy parties, brutal midterms, existential crises... or life in general! I promise to be as sassy or sympathetic as you like--your choice :].
Andrew Chun '15
Hey, everyone! My name’s Andrew, and I’m a junior in Pierson College majoring in Anthropology. I’m also a premed that started out as a Biology major, so feel free to ask me questions about the sciences and research at Yale.
I was born in South Korea, but grew up in Upstate New York after my parents moved to the States when I was three. This past summer, I was fortunate enough to return to Seoul for the first time in my adult life as part of a study abroad program.
Outside of classes, I am involved in ReadySetLaunch, a nonprofit that helps low-income high school students from across the country apply to college. I also volunteer at Connecticut Hospice and help out with the Asian American Students Alliance. Last but not least, I do research on Southeast Asia with Yale’s Anthropology department.
I’m super excited to serve as a peer liaison for the Class of 2017 and am looking forward to meeting you. If you have any questions at all (about premed, extracurriculars, social life at Yale, why Game of Thrones and Parks & Rec are the greatest television series ever, anything!), I would love to talk. =)
Jenna Cook '14
Hi, my name is Jenna and I am the Head Peer Liaison for the Asian American Cultural Center at Yale. I am a senior in Davenport College and a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) major. Over my four years at Yale, I have switched my major five (*gasp*) times, so I can also answer questions about Chinese, Psychology, East Asian Studies, and Anthropology. I am from Newburyport, Massachusetts (which is about about an hour north of Boston), and before Yale I was a day student at Phillips Exeter Academy.
I am adopted from China, and I’m really into the adoption community at Yale. We have a number of really great social/education/service-oriented adoptee groups, including Adopted Yalies, Chinese Adopted Siblings Program at Yale (CASPY), Adopted Friends Korea, and A Learning and Interactive Vietnamese Experience (ALIVE). If you’re adopted, have adopted family/friends, or just LOVE adorable kids, come join us!
During my free time at Yale, I love taking cardio kickboxing classes at Payne Whitney Gym, drinking iced coffee at Blue State, and never missing a single episode of The Ellen Show. What am I looking forward to most about next year?... Getting to know you!!
Winnie Huang '14
Hello! My name is Winnie and I'm a senior in Branford College majoring in Psychology. I am from Staten Island, NY but have lived in almost all of the boroughs in New York.
Here, I'm involved with the Chinese American Students Association (CASA) and Asian American Students Alliance (AASA). Last year, I chaired the Political Action and Education Committee of AASA, and had the chance to organize a high school conference about political issues affecting Asian Americans. Aside from my involvement in the Asian community, I'm super passionate about education. I'm part of a mentoring organization called ReadySetLaunch, have worked in the New Haven public schools and taught with Breakthrough Collaborative. This summer, I'm off to New Orleans on a bulldogs program to intern at their local school district in the Education Policy office. If any of these activities sound interesting to you, let me know! Also, I'm obsessed with tv shows and am usually on Netflix, Hulu or tivli. I also love good food and great company so feel free to send a text when you want to chat, watch some tv or grab a snack.
Ysabel Ilagan '14
Ohai! I'm Ysabel Ilagan and I'm a senior in Ezra Stiles College, aka. Stiles (STILES WHAT?!). I’m a Filipino-American who grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, but now lives near Orlando. I like the sun, anime, dancing in the rain, mangoes, IM tennis, Hello Kitty, dark chocolate, my fluffy dogs Charlie and Ellie, boba tea, and being a big sister ("Ate"). I'm an MCDB (Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology) major and premed. On campus, I’m a proud member of the Asian American Students Alliance - I still bond with my KASY, CASA and TAS families from freshman year, and I love my new friends in the Yale Q+A (Queer + Asian) club. I also volunteer with the Yale Undergraduates at Connecticut Hospice and plan on continuing research in the OB/GYN department of the Yale Med School as a STARS II Fellowship student (I also did STARS summer last year). I did not consider myself a science major until the end of sophomore year, and I encourage all freshmen to come to Yale with an open mind. If you’re feeling stressed, lost, or just plain confused – don’t worry, it’s natural. We should talk. I’ll bring the snacks.
Lorraine James '15
Hi! My name is Lorraine James, and (can't believe) I'm a junior in Trumbull. I am majoring in both American Studies and MCDB (Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology) and want to go to medical school after college. I was born in India and lived there for a bit before moving to Michigan then California before moving to the great state of TEXAS! My parents aren't in the mafia or anything, so I can't give you an easy explanation for all those moves.
I'm a director of the Yale Gospel Choir (YGC), a former Public School Intern (PSI), current student board member of Dwight Hall, on Trumbull's housing committee, in the South Asian Society (SAS), and, most importantly, here to be a Peer Liaison for the AACC and be of help to the amazing class of 2017. Come find me to chat about singing at Yale, community service/advocacy, housing drama, being pre-med, homesickness, and much, much more.
I'm pretty obsessed with sitcoms (especially from the 90s), spicy food, finding good study spots, and meeting new people. Thus, I can't wait to meet y'all, so we can do some of those things!
Kathy Phan '15
Hi y'all! My name is Kathy, and I'm a junior in Ezra Stiles College. I was born and raised in Katy, TX (a suburb of Houston). I'm a Political Science and Ethnicity, Race & Migration double major.
I am a Vietnamese American, and at Yale, I am involved with the Vietnamese Students Association. I also worked at the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) during my freshman and sophomore years of college. I am very passionate about and interested in Asian American Studies. I also love volunteering and mentoring, and I am involved in various Dwight Hall community service organizations on campus. I also work as a recruitment coordinator at the Yale Admissions Office and a fellow at the Chaplain's Office. This summer, I'm doing research at UChicago on race-based political identity.
I'm so excited to meet all of you! In my free time, I often go to Tomatillo (a burrito place on campus so I can get my Mexican food fix), watch sports games, do yoga, swim, go to Buffalo Wild Wings, go to Popeyes ('nuff said), and just sit around and chat. I would love to have you guys join me any time! Freshman year was stressful, wonderful, confusing, and amazing all at the same time, and I'm here to help you navigate it. Feel free to email me, Facebook me, text me, whatever. I'm here for you guys!
Jessica Wang '15
Hey everyone! I'm Jessica, and I'm a junior in Morse College (MORSE KICKS AXE!) majoring in Economics. I have wanted to be a PL ever since my freshman year when my own PL offered me so much support and served as a wonderful resource in helping me adjust to freshman year. I am excited to be a PL this year and do what my PL did for me.
I love running, singing, speaking French, biking, yoga, and colorful spandex. I have dabbled in a variety of activities and student jobs while at Yale, including serving as Business Chair for Women’s Leadership Initiative, planning events for Morse College Council and Relay for Life, and swimming. In addition to being a PL, I prepare taxes for low-income New Haven residents through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), take the kids in my CASA family out to eat, and work a couple of on-campus jobs. So if you have any questions about extracurriculars, student jobs, or anything at all, feel free to ask me! I am looking forward to meeting all of you :-).