FGLI Alumni

1stGen at Yale

As part of a recent alumni initiative, 1stGenYale is a shared-interest group (SIG) under the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) that aims to connect first-generation alumni with each other and with current FGLI students to share their own experiences and become resources for current students. 1stGenYale hosts an annual event that includes an alumni panel, student discussion groups, and a networking reception for FSY (First-Year Scholars at Yale) students in the summer, and an alumni conference in the spring (the first which occured in 2018).

View the program book for the “Blazing the Trail” conference.

Alumni Directory

Hong Bui, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Post-Baccalaurate Intramural Research Fellow

Current Residence: National Institute of Mental Health

I’m from Austin, Texas. Daughter of two amazing parents who immigrated to the US as refugees from Vietnam. At Yale, I studied Psychology and I was an Education Studies Scholar. Currently, I am in my first year as a research trainee at the NIMH, working in a pediatric irritability lab. 

Contact: hong.ntbui@gmail.com

Ryan Davis, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Eastern Tech Company, Product Manager

Graduate Education: MS Chemistry, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ‘18

Current Residence: New Haven, CT

From Los Angeles, CA. Grew up in low income home with drug addicted father. First in family to graduate from college. Put myself through college working 2-3 jobs, through community college system, transferred to a university, and then to Yale. Undergrad major in Biology, graduate Chemistry. I would LOVE to be involved in this program in any way I can. I am also interested in taking a more direct role if you are looking for help in the program.

Contact: ryan.davis@aya.yale.edu

Summer Kim, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Development Associate, All Our Kin, Inc.

Current Residence: New Haven, CT

I grew up in Arizona as the daughter of small business owners. My parents owned, managed, and worked full time at our sushi restaurant from when I was 5 years old, and still do so today. I graduated in 2018 with a degree in Political Science, and was in Davenport College. I also was a part of Something Extra and Whim ‘n Rhythm, underclassmen and senior a cappella groups respectively, and hosted a couple shows on WYBCx Yale Radio. I was hired in late July 2018 as a Development Associate at All Our Kin, a non-profit founded by two Yale alumnae in New Haven focusing on family child care, and I’m excited to be sticking around New Haven as a recent graduate.

Contact: summer.kim896@gmail.com

Laura Estela Leon, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Teacher, Clark County School District; Student (Masters of Education), University of Nevada Las Vegas 

Current Residence: Henderson, NV

Hi, my name is Laura Leon and I am a 2018 Yale College Grad. I’m from Oceanside, California but live in Las Vegas. I grew up in a predominantly Latinx low-income neighborhood and was the first in my family to attend/graduate from college. During my time at Yale I majored in Ethnicity, Race and Migration and was also in the Education Studies Program. I am currently a first-year corps member with Teach for America in the Las Vegas Valley where I am also getting my masters in elementary education instruction. Let me know if you have any questions!

Contact: laura.leon754@gmail.com

Nina Mesfin, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Student (MPhil Social Anthropology), Cambridge University

Current Residence: Cambridge, England

I was born in Chicago where I was raised by a single mother who immigrated to the US from Ethiopia. As an undergraduate, I was an Ethnicity, Race, and Migration major as well as a Mellon Mays Fellow. I was then awarded the Paul Mellon Fellowship to pursue an MPhil in Social Anthropology at Cambridge University.

Contact: mesfin.nina@gmail.com

Gabrielle (Gabi) Scarpa, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Yale-China Teaching Fellow

Current Residence: Xiuning, China

Gabi hails from a small town of 115 people in rural Iowa. At Yale, she studied Art with a concentration in photography. As a first-generation, low-income student, Gabi was heavily involved with FSY on campus, both attending the program in 2014 and later serving as a counselor. Currently, she is living in rural China, where she teaches English with the Yale-China organization: a non-profit built on fostering positive US-China relations. 

Contact: gabrielle.scarpa@yale.edu

Kristen Wright, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Graduate Student (M.S. in Medical Sciences), Boston University

Current Residence: Boston, MA

My name is Kristen, and I’m from Boca Raton, Florida. I come from a low-income family, and I am the first in my family to go to college. I double majored in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) and Psychology, and graduated from Yale with a Bachelor of Science in both majors. Currently, I am a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science degree in Medical Sciences, a special master’s program at Boston University, and will pursue medical school in the future. 

Contact: kristen.wright086@gmail.com

Lani Barry

Current Occupation: Graduate Student, Yale School of Architecture

Current Residence: New Haven, CT

I am from Denver, Colorado. I am an aspiring architect in the M. Arch program at Yale. In undergrad I studied Political Science.

Contact: lani.barry@yale.edu

Leo Espinoza, Yale College ‘17

Current Occupation: College & Career Advocate, Topeka High School, Topeka Public Schools; Student (Masters in Communication and Leadership), Washburn University

Current Residence: Topeka, KS

From Topeka, Kansas. Was first-generation college student and low-income while at Yale too. Received my B.A. in political science.

Contact: leo.espinoza@aya.yale.edu

Yamile Lozano, Yale College ‘17

Current Occupation: Medical Student, Loma Linda University

Current Residence: Loma Linda, CA

Yamile grew up in Mesa, AZ. She is a daughter of immigrants (Mexican and Colombian) who work in housekeeping and construction. She studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale and is currently working on her M.D. at Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

Contact: yamile.daney@gmail.com

Ivonne Gonzalez, Yale College ‘16

Current Occupation: Operations Specialist, Bird Scooters

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Ivonne Gonzalez is from East Los Angeles, CA and is the first in her family to graduate from college. Her parents are immigrants from Mexico and she was heavily involved in the La Casa community during her time at Yale. She majored in Ethnicity, Race and Migration and pursued a one-year research fellowship in Mexico City after graduation. Since then, Ivonne has been exploring different careers in various sectors including education, non-profit, and tech. She is currently enjoying working at a tech startup in Santa Monica managing contractors employed by an electric scooter company, and is considering returning to academia in the future. 

Contact: ivonneglz.1221@gmail.com

Aneesa Noorani, Yale College ‘16

Current Occupation: Graduate Student, University of Texas at Dallas

Current Residence: Dallas, TX

FGLI; undergrad major: Psychology; post-undergrad career: healthcare IT; post-undergrad education: part-time Masters in Business Analytics / Data Science

Contact: aneesa.noorani@gmail.com

Rebecca Matsumura, Yale Law School ‘15

Current Occupation: Associate Attorney, Kind & Spalding

Undergraduate Education: University of Texas Austin ‘11

Current Residence: Austin, TX

Hometown: Georgetown, Texas. Parents’ positions growing up: Mom, legal secretary for state agency; Dad, manager for furniture company; first person in family to attend graduate school; after law school, clerked in EDNY and worked in BigLaw firms.

Contact: rmatsumura@kslaw.com

Christofer Rodelo, Yale College ‘15

Current Occupation: Graduate Student/Teacher (PhD American Studies), Harvard University

Graduate Education: MA English, Harvard University ‘17

Current Residence: Boston, MA

Hometown: Ontario, CA; FGLI queer Latinx identified; majored in American Studies and Ethnicity, Race & Migration (Yale College 2015); currently a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Harvard University (anticipated graduated 2021) 

Contact: crodelo22@gmail.com

Leonard Thomas, Yale College ‘14

Current Occupation: Actor (and many side hustles)

Graduate Education: MFA Acting, American Conservatory Theatre ‘18

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

I’m originally from Detroit and went to public school there—Renaissance HS. I’ve been functioning as an emancipated minor since the age of 16. I studied Political Science with a concentration in Urban Studies and focused on urban poverty and education.

After Yale, I worked as an investment banking analyst in New York for a year. I then went to drama school in the Bay Area. I recently graduated and moved down to LA.

I’d be happy to talk about working in finance, living without the financial support of parents throughout college and after college, and pursuing artistic pursuits. I’m very interested in tech/startups and can speak about that a little as well. 

Contact: leonard.thomas92@gmail.com

Jacqui Kaplan (Ottomeyer), Yale College ‘99

Current Occupation: High School English Teacher, Newtown High School

Graduate Education: MS English, Southern Connecticut State University ‘03

Current Residence: Sandy Hook, CT

I grew up in Hillsboro, MO (pop. 1200) to a plumber dad and a housekeeper mom.  I always wanted to be an English teacher, but was steered in a different direction by well-meaning people who were worried about my “wasting my Yale education.”  So, while I continued to major in English, I set my sights on law school.  After graduating in 1999 I took a job as a paralegal in New Haven and soon realized I *definitely* did not want to pursue law.  I attended SCSU to get my teacher certification and have been in the classroom ever since.

Contact: jacquelyn.ottomeyer@gmail.com

Tara C. Smith, Yale College ‘98

Current Occupation: Professor, Kent State University

Graduate Education: PhD Microbiology, University of Toledo

Current Residence: Kent, Ohio

Originally from NW Ohio. My dad built tires and my mom stayed at home due to a chronic disease. Majored in biology at Yale; obtained a PhD in microbiology and additional post-doctoral training in epidemiology at the University of Michigan. Spent 9 years at the University of Iowa before moving back to Ohio to take a position at Kent State University.

Contact: tsmit176@kent.edu

Holly Robinson, Yale College ‘17

Current Occupation: Associate Consultant, The Chartis Group

Graduate Education: Yale School of Public Health ‘18

Current Residence: Boston, MA

I am originally from Lynn, MA and am a first generation college student. I studied anthropology and Russian while at Yale, and then stayed on to do the 5 year BA/MPH program at the School of Public Health. I completed internships with and worked at various nonprofits while at Yale, and I now work in healthcare consulting. I’m happy to chat about anything Yale/first gen related, especially around how it affects career decisions (public vs. private sectors).

Contact: robinsonholly01@gmail.com

Aaron Shipp, Yale College ‘96

Current Occupation: The Ivy Edge, LLC - Founder & CEO

Current Residence: Durham, NC

Aaron A. Shipp is originally from Denver, NC and is a product of the North Carolina public school system. Because of the love and support of his parents during his college application process and their belief that a post-secondary education was the pathway to a lifetime of opportunity, he applied and was accepted to Yale University as an Early Action candidate. Aaron was the first person from his home county to ever be accepted to the prestigious university. Aaron received his B.A. from Yale in English Literature and Language with Theater Studies in 1996.

Aaron is the Founder & CEO of The Ivy Edge LLC, a college admissions consulting firm, and is also the Founder & CEO of Y-Apply, Inc., a national nonprofit dedicated to helping high-achieving, low-income, public school students apply to top-tier colleges. He has also worked as a  leadership development and communications coach. He has worked with business professionals from Fortune 500 companies such as JPMorganChase, Ernst & Young, UBS and Goldman Sachs to enhance their executive presence and leadership skills. Aaron has also worked in the Corporate and Investment Banking division of Wachovia Securities at its former headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before transitioning to the corporate sector, Aaron worked as a professional stage actor, working at renowned venues such as the Williamstown Theater Festival and The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey.

Aaron is an active Yale alumnus and served as a founding member of the Yale Black Alumni Association. He led its New York City chapter and served on its Board of Directors. Aaron is also a former Vice President of the Yale Alumni Association of New York.

Contact: aaron.shipp@mac.com

Curtis Sano, Yale College ‘88

Current Occupation: Holland & Knight LLP, Partner

Graduate Education: JD, Berkeley School of Law ‘93; MPP, Goldman School of Public Policy ‘94

Current Residence: McLean, VA

Grew up on Maui, parents had some college but did not graduate.  We were working class, living paycheck to paycheck.  After Yale I went to law school and now practice in commercial real estate law.

Contact: curtis.sano@hklaw.com

Adriana Ortiz, Yale College ‘13

Current Occupation: Student, Yale School of Management ‘20

Current Residence: New Haven, CT

I grew up in Miami, FL, the daughter of two Paraguayan immigrants–a first gen American, first gen college student, and low income.  While at Yale, I was deeply involved at La Casa, in the spoken word community, and was part of the final class of ER&M double majors before it became a free-standing major. I’ve worked largely in Higher Education (as a FroCo, Dean’s Fellow at Yale-NUS, and in the YCDO), but have also dabbled in startups and design and innovation work. I’m currently at the Yale School of Management, learning more about strategy best practices, design and innovation, and human capital work. All my identities matter to me and I’m excited to connect with students who are grappling with who they might be in college and after.

Contact: adriana.ortiz@yale.edu

Darian M. Parker, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ‘13

Current Occupation: Founder and CEO of Parker Academics

Graduate Education: MA 2005, M.Phil 2005, PhD Anthropology, ‘13

Current Residence: New York, NY

From Winston-Salem, NC.  First in family to graduate college, first to pursue graduate studies.  Undergraduate degrees: English and anthropology. Graduate degrees: anthropology.  Founder of test prep/tutoring company (www.parkeracademics.com).  Worked with thousands of students in Northeast and China from all backgrounds–low income to affluent. Published author in anthropology and educational philosophy.  Editor of anthropology and education series at Rowman & Littlefield Press.  Adjunct professor of anthropology at NYU.  Board member of Y-Apply, a nonprofit that identifies and supports talented public high school students in their application to top-tier colleges and universities.

Contact: info@parkeracademics.com

Curtis Sano, Yale College ‘88

Current Occupation: Holland & Knight LLP, Partner

Graduate Education: JD, Berkeley School of Law ‘93; MPP, Goldman School of Public Policy ‘94

Current Residence: McLean, VA

Grew up on Maui, parents had some college but did not graduate.  We were working class, living paycheck to paycheck.  After Yale I went to law school and now practice in commercial real estate law.

Contact: curtis.sano@hklaw.com

John Allison, Yale College ‘77

Current Occupation: Lawyer

Graduate Education: Boston University Law School; MBA, University of California Irvine

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Originally from Pittsburg, attended Yale on three scholarships, practices tax law with Villanova LLM

Contact: jrazyrs@gmail.com

Peter Gordon, Yale College ‘80

Current Occupation: Course Director at Full Sail University

Graduate Education: MFA, Carnegie-Mellon ‘82

Current Residence: Orlando, FL

I was born in Brooklyn before it was hip. I don’t know if I qualify as low income, but I could not have afforded Yale without financial aid, work study jobs, and summer employment. I majored in history but spent most of my time working in Yale theatre, and moved on to Carnegie-Mellon to receive my MFA in Directing in 1982. I started as a director but as my family grew I launched a career as a “suit”  in television programming and development, working for HBO, NBC, PBS, and various production companies. I am most famous for my stint as first head of programming at Golf Channel in Orlando, FL where I created the programs and plans that enabled the channel from startup to a value of over $1 billion. I still live in the Orlando area and teach Business of Film in Full Sail University’s Film Production MFA program.  I am very involved in alumni affairs as an ASC member, Day of Service coordinator for Florida, and now Florida rep for 1st Gen.

Contact: petermgordon1@gmail.com

Summer Kim, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Development Associate, All Our Kin (non-profit)

Current Residence: New Haven, CT

Summer was raised by Korean immigrant parents, and grew up wiping down tables at their small restaurant in Arizona. Her experiences growing up in a low-income household inspired her to pursue a B.A. in Political Science at Yale (Davenport College), focusing on racial, spatial, and socio-economic equity in the United States. At Yale, Summer was a student leader in various groups on campus, including Whim ‘n Rhythm and Something Extra. As a Development Associate at All Our Kin, a non-profit founded in New Haven by two Yale alumnae, Summer reports on All Our Kin programming to their donors, and pursues new funding opportunities to sustain and expand All Our Kin’s work across their sites and family child care networks. 

Contact: summer.kim896@gmail.com

Jinchen Zou, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Postgraduate Light Fellow at ICLP in Taiwan

Current Residence: Taipei, Taiwan

Born and raised in Queens, NY.
Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.
During my time in Yale, I was heavily involved in the dance community and the pan-Asian American community.
I am currently studying Mandarin Chinese for an academic year at ICLP in Taiwan with the postgraduate Light Fellowship. 

Contact: katherine.oh@aya.yale.edu

Katherine Oh, Yale College ‘18

Current Occupation: Business Analyst, McKinsey

Current Residence: Washington, D.C.

I’m a recent grad, studied economics and global affairs at Yale. I grew up mostly in Houston, by way of China and Germany. My focus currently is on climate change adaptation and public policy. I want to make sure that smart decisions are made well ahead of time to provide an equitable outcome for folks in situations where climate change creates negative consequences. 

Contact: jinchenzou@gmail.com

Esther Zirbel, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ‘93

Current Occupation: Education Consultant

Graduate Education: Ph.D. Astrophysics, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ‘93

Current Residence: Boston & San Diego

Esther is a first generation high school graduate, born in Istanbul to German parents who migrated to Turkey during the post-World-War-II years.  At the age of thirteen she realized that education could be the key out of poverty.  She fought to attend high school, secretly applied to college, and left when she turned eighteen.  She attended college in England and had to catch up in every way.  Her eventual success gave her the drive to go further and earn an award-winning PhD in astrophysics from Yale.  As a faculty member, she loved to see her students’ eyes sparkle with excitement when they came to understand new concepts.  Now she is coaching professors in teaching and learning.  Her goal is to ensure that students of all backgrounds, especially FGLI students, receive the best possible education, are well prepared for the 22nd century workforce, have a chance to live full lives, and pass on what they have learned to others.

Contact: ezirbel@gmail.com

Martha Glodz, Yale College ‘15

Current Occupation: KIND Snacks, Field Marketing

Current Residence: Chicago, IL

Chicago-born, I graduated Yale College in 2015 as an Economics major. With the rife of hardship and unpredictability aside, I take great pride in my upbringing that is emblematic of the American Dream. My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Poland in search of education and job opportunities. Their intentions took an unexpected hit when my dad had a stroke while my brother and I were still very young. My parents deferred their dreams to the next generation and accepted the new life upon them. My dad could no longer work and my mom has been single-handedly grappling away for decades at her labor-intensive, low-paying job. My parents still somehow managed to save enough money to purchase a home, raise two American children, and send them both off to among the most lauded institutions of higher education in the world. My motivation stems from the eagerness to construct a life that my parents could not.

After graduating, I started my career in the financial advising industry at Northwestern Mutual in Chicago. A couple years later, I realized that I was unhappy chasing after income potential rather than my own happiness. I’m now working in Field Marketing at KIND Snacks. I rekindled my passion for marketing and brand management, and it’s been a blast working for a company that prioritize maintaining a healthy lifestyle and spreading kindness throughout the community.

Contact: martha.glodz@gmail.com

Pablo Muñoz, Yale College ‘91

Current Occupation: Superintendent of Schools, Passaic Board of Education, NJ

Graduate Education: Teachers College, Columbia University ‘96

Current Residence: Maplewood, NJ

Pablo Muñoz has served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Passaic Public Schools in New Jersey since October 2013.  Throughout his tenure in Passaic, he has led significant systemic change with the goal of creating a great school system.

Muñoz led a complete district rezoning and realignment across the PreK-8 schools.  He led the district to acquire critical spaces that added 44 new classrooms to the district, reducing the severe overcrowding.  Muñoz created and opened 3 new schools in 2015, the Passaic Gifted and Talented Academy; and in 2018, the Passaic Preparatory Academy and the Passaic Academy for Science and Engineering.

He has also worked to ensure that instructional programming shifted to increase student engagement through cognitively challenging curricula.  He has led a commitment to providing every student the opportunity to graduate high school with 15 college credits and/or a career certification.  This has resulted in an Early College program that has led to dramatic increases in Advanced Placement and dual enrollment college course offerings.

As a first-generation high school and college graduate, Muñoz’s personal experience fuels his passion for creating high quality school systems.  He graduated from Elizabeth High School, Elizabeth, NJ in 1987 with academic and athletic merits, including All-State selection in baseball.  He continued to excel at Yale University, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Ivy League pitching honors.  He graduated college passionate about supporting students, and began his career at Elizabeth High School as a teacher of social studies.  In addition to his role as a teacher, Muñoz continued his studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration.  He has served as Supervisor, Director, and Assistant Superintendent, before becoming Superintendent of Schools in the Elizabeth Public Schools in May 2005.

During his 8-year tenure in the Elizabeth Public Schools, Muñoz led a significant overhaul of the district, resulting in three National Blue Ribbon School awards from the US Department of Education.  He oversaw a significant high school transformation effort culminating in the recognition of two Elizabeth high schools at the state and national level for commitment to preparing students for college with ranking among the best in the state by U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, and the Washington Post Challenge Index.

Muñoz was named 2008 Union County School Superintendent of the Year by the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce and was selected to be a member of the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s 2008 Daring Dozen– a prestigious group of twelve educators “who are reshaping the future of education.”

Most importantly, Muñoz is the son of Luz and Pablo Muñoz, both originally from Aguada, Puerto Rico.  He and his wife, Alanna, are proud parents of two daughters.

Contact: munozpa@me.com

Kristina Jones, Yale College ‘05

Current Occupation: Analyst, Sierentz North America LLC

Current Residence: Stamford, CT

I grew up on a family farm in Appalachian Ohio. I was one of the only students from my high school to leave the state for college, much less attend an Ivy League school. Looking back at the fifteen years since I moved away from my hometown - including several years living in Europe and the Middle East - I can easily say that my first two years of Yale was the biggest culture shock I’ve felt in my life! I managed to make it through my time at Yale with a degree in history and a lot of gratitude for the amazing friends  I met along the way.  After graduation, I spent a year living in Beirut, Lebanon as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar with the original intention of getting a PhD in Middle Eastern History but changed course after taking a job as an oil analyst on  the commodity derivatives desk at JPMorgan. I have spent the past 12 years working in various aspects of commodities trading and now work at a commodities focused family office in Connecticut focusing (ironically enough considering my background) on agriculture investing.  I’d be happy to speak to any first generation students about culture shock, courses of study and subsequent impact on career choices,  and working in finance. 

Contact: kristina.l.jones@gmail.com

Ariel Nurieli, Yale College ‘93

Current Occupation: Real Estate

Current Residence: New York

Grew up in Brooklyn, to uneducated, low-income immigrant parents.  Studied Political Science at Yale, with focus on the Middle East.  Been an investment professional for 20 years, the last 15 in the real estate space.

Contact: anurieli@aya.yale.edu

Trinh Nguyen, Yale College ‘11

Current Occupation: Northwell Health, Project Manager - Pediatric Service Line

Graduate Education: MHA, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health ‘16

Current Residence: Greater NYC Area

Trinh Nguyen grew up on Long Island, New York.  While at Yale, she studied medical sociology, and researched cancer care among AAPI populations as an Edward A. Bouchet Fellow. Prior to graduate school, she worked in higher education in NYC and Hong Kong.  After earning her MHA from Columbia University, Trinh completed her administrative fellowship at Northwell Health, where she now works in project management and operations.

Contact: trinh.nguyen@aya.yale.edu

Eva M. Heater, Yale School of Music ‘91

Current Occupation: Librarian, Yale Music Library

Graduate Education: Yale School of Music ‘91

Current Residence: New Haven, CT

I am from Walpack, New Jersey (now part of the Delaware Water Gap National Park). My family have always been farmers. I am the first person in my family to have gone to college; I had no support, and had to work my way through, and it took me 6 years to do it. My Master’s degree is from the School of Music. For many years I was the only member of my family to have a Master’s degree (my niece got hers recently–squee!) Yale changed my life in more ways that I could ever make anyone understand, but when I first got here for grad school, it was very difficult to adapt, and was overwhelming at first. 

Contact: eva.heater@yale.edu

Lise Chapman, Yale School of Management ‘81

Current Occupation: Chair, 1stGenYale; Private counselor for students and adults

Graduate Education: MBA, Yale School of Management ‘81; MA School and Mental Health Counseling, Kean University ‘15

Current Residence: Short Hills, NJ

As a native Los Angeleano with Mexican heritage, I was fortunate to attend Stanford through work-study, loans and scholarships, and later the same at Yale School of Management. I was an active student leader at school which gave me lots of on the job training and helped me succeed in a career in finance, first as a commercial banker and later as a VP in mergers & acquisitions in investment banking. Married to a fellow Yalie, raised three children, and went back to school at night to earn a Masters in Counseling in 2015. Grateful for my opportunities, I want to give back to help others succeed as people did for me.

Contact: lpchapman@aya.yale.edu

Osamu Watanabe, Yale Law School ‘85

Current Occupation: Moelis & Company, General Counsel

Graduate Education: Yale Law School ‘85

Current Residence: New York

I was born and raised in New York as a 5th generation Japanese American.  My dad was a technician of sorts and died when I was 13.  My mom was a waitress.  Neither went to college and my sister, uncles and aunts also did not graduate college.  I stopped going to High School for a while.  I think that marked the upswing in my education which led to me going to Antioch College (History) and eventually Yale Law School.

Contact: osamu.watanabe@moelis.com

Maria Kouneli, Yale College ‘14

Current Occupation: Ph.D. candidate, New York University (‘19 expected graduation)

Graduate Education: (current)

Current Residence: New York

I grew up in Karystos, a town of 6000 people in Greece. My parents did not attend college, and they run a small family business transporting goods from Athens to my town by truck (my dad loads and drives the truck himself). Moreover, they do not speak English, and had never traveled outside of Greece until they visited me once at Yale. I double majored in linguistics and economics at Yale, and I started a Ph.D. program in linguistics at NYU immediately after graduation. I am currently in my last year, with an expected graduation in May 2019. 

Contact: mrkouneli@gmail.com

Maria Calvache, Yale College ‘10

Graduate Education: M.B.A., Kellogg University ‘17

Current Residence: New York City

Marketing/Brand Management post-MBA and Finance/Market Research post Yale 

Contact: maria.j.calvache@gmail.com