Samantha Wood ‘20 (she/her/hers) is in Saybrook College from Wolfeboro, NH, and is majoring in Religious Studies. A low-income student from a rural area, she is involved in LGBT community and is a member of the Yale Debate Association and a varsity fencer. Having interned for county attorney in New Hampshire, Sam is interested in attending law school after graduating from Yale.
Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? “I’m an FGLI Ambassador because I think that we are all brilliant, talented people and with a supportive community we can accomplish even more!”
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Henry Rosas ‘21 (he/him/his) is in Timothy Dwight College from Phoenix, AZ, and is double-majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and Political Science. A first-generation, low-income college student, he is currently involved with MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) de Yale and Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Yale. Given his previous involvement in politics in D.C. and Arizona (campaigns and policy), Henry is a hopeful law school applicant.
Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? “As FGLI students, we know that building community is essential for getting through the hardships and challenges that come with attending an institution like Yale. This year, I want to work on leveling the playing field for FGLI students so that we too can get the opportunities and experiences so many of us left our hometowns for. I hope to be more involved with our incredibly diverse community in order to build our presence on campus and make this space ours this year and in the years to follow.”
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Esther Reyes ‘21 (she/her/hers) is in Ezra Stiles College from Brooklyn, NY and is majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. Her family hails from Puebla, Mexico, where her father lives. She is the first-year liaison for MEChA and manages the wardrobe for Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale. She has worked with first-gen/low income communities throughout her time at Yale and will also serve as an Academic Strategies mentor this year. In her spare time, she loves to file articles for her high school Speech and Debate team, watch Now This videos, and collect earrings.
Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? “I am involved in the first gen-low income community because I have been fighting for dignified spaces for my people my entire life. Growing up in a single parent household and entering predominately white, male spaces as soon as I got to high school made me realize that my socioeconomic status did not have to determine my life. I was fortunate enough to experience constant affirmation at speech and debate tournaments and being there to affirm other low income kids on campus is how I pay it forward.”
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Alejandro Nuno ‘21 (he/him/his) is in Grace Hopper College from Anaheim, CA, and is majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (Neuroscience Track). A Mexican-American and first-generation, low-income student, he is a member of Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale and La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. He is also a recent recipient of Edward A. Bouchet Fellowship for research in Neurobiology, and he plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D in the field of neuroscience.
Why are you involved in the FGLI community? “I am involved in the FGLI community because I believe that each of our unique backgrounds should be celebrated. Being first-generation, low-income is an identity that many students of different cultural backgrounds share and we should all celebrate our diversity of thought. Through our appreciation of our diversity, we will establish a strongly bonded community that shares our common identity as FGLI students. Through community building, we will remain resilient through the challenges that uniquely affect FGLI students.”
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Akweley Lartey ‘22 (they/them/theirs), is in Timothy Dwight College from Lansdowne, PA, and plans to double major in Latin American Studies and Mathematics. On campus they are involved in Danceworks, Oye, and DEFY (Disability Empowerment for Yalies), as well as dabbling a bit in theater. They have also volunteered with LEAP, INC (Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership) as a math tutor for New Haven High School Students. Akweley loves talking about Philly, about how much they love chocolate, and about social justice issues.
Why am you involved with the FGLI community? “Navigating a space that was built on classism and exclusionary practices in general can be difficult, but especially as a person who occupies identities many FGLI share, such as identifying as a person of color or a woman. Having role models, mentors, and friends who are FGLI and share some or all of my identities was a major inspiration for me as a first-year, and I want to provide that same support for FGLI students across the university.”
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Nathan Somerville ‘22 (he/him/his) is in Berkeley College from a modest town in the U.K. called Stowmarket. Given his love for design and solving complex problems, Nathan intends to double major in Architecture and Economics+Mathematics. While he is unsure what he hopes to do with his education, he aspires to run his own architecture firm after traveling the world and exploring places he has never been.
Why are you involved in the FGLI community? “As an FGLI international student, particularly from England, my role in the Yale community is a rather unique one, and I’ve found the transition from my hometown to an elite space like Yale to be incredibly rewarding, yet certainly demanding. It has been an unamenable journey, and in my role as Ambassador I hope to not only support others undergoing the same experience as I, but also to learn from them and how I can make the most of my time at Yale.”
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Manh-Linh (Linh) Le, ‘22 (he/him/his) is in Branford College from Hanoi, Vietnam, and is a potential double major in Chemical Engineering and Global Affairs. A low-income, international student, he is involved primarily in the Yale International Relations Association and Yale Movement on campus, while working with Model UN initiatives back home. Linh is interested in applying to graduate school after his time at Yale or working for an international NGO.
Why are you involved in the FGLI community? “Inasmuch as Yale has striven to be cognizant of the experiences and struggles of FGLI students, there is still a long way to go for this institution to make the Yale experience inclusive and nonburdensome. I hope to be involved with this incredible community, allow our voices to be heard, and be a part of the positive force for change for Yale in the future.”
2018-2019: Fatima Chughtai (DC ‘19), Diana López (ES ‘19), Markus Reneau (SM ‘19), Maddy O’Neal (ES ‘18), Jaster Francis (BC ‘20), Samantha Wood (SY ‘20), Henry Rosas (TD ‘21)
2017-2018: Fernando Rojas (ES ‘19), Jonathan Salazar (MY ‘19), Peter Huang (SM ‘18), Kristen Wright (TD ‘18), Pamela Banner (TC ‘20), Samantha Wood (SY ‘20)
Burgwell (Burgie) Howard
Senior Associate Dean of Yale College, Associate Vice President of Student Life
Dean Howard’s (he/him/his) career has been about supporting students at colleges and universities, and helping them get the most out of their university experience. His motto for his work in Student Life is: “Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of Our Community.”
As Dean of Student Engagement, Dean Howard is charged with the enhancement of the student experience for all Yale Students - with a particular focus on Yale’s First Generation/Low Income (FGLI) students. He works in partnership with campus groups such as Yale’s cultural communities, student-atheletes, and students involved with Greek letter organizations. Dean Howard also works with some of Yale’s summer academic and cultural preparation programs including First-Year Scholars at Yale (FSY), ONEXYS, Mellon and Bouchet Scholars, and the Cultural Connections pre-orientation program.
He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford University, and has been at Yale since 2015. He is a dog lover, avid sports fan, especially lacrosse (Go Bulldogs!), and enjoys meeting and helping students. He never ceases to be amazed at the creativity and capacity of Yale students.
Why are you involved in the FGLI community? “As a low-income student going through school, I am informed and understand some of the challenges and barriers FGLI students encounter when coming to a place like Yale. However, the different backgrounds and experiences FGLI students bring with them are not deficits, but assets. My job is to connect students ot resources and opportunities, to lower barriers and allow the brilliance and curiosity of Yale students to flourish. I want all Yale students, especially FGLI students, to thrive and share their perspectives, communities, and distinctiveness to make Yale an even more special place.”
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Director of the Academic Strategies Program and Associate Director for Writing and Tutoring, Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning
Dr. Karin Gosselink (she/her/hers) creates academic programming to support undergraduate learners throughout Yale College. In 2016, she founded the Academic Strategies Program. Led by junior and senior peers (most of whom identify as FGLI), Academic Strategies workshops and peer mentoring sessions share evidence-based learning practices adjusted to the specific context of Yale’s learning culture. Centered on student voices and experiences, the workshops and mentoring sessions discuss topics such as managing time, connecting with family, and developing new study practices for college-level work. When she has time, Dr. Gosselink can also be found teaching English 114 (Globalization) and English 115 (Writing Exile).
Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? “Students, instructors, and administrators all have a role to play in constructing our Yale community to fully support FGLI students and their learning. In making transparent Yale’s “hidden curriculum,” we help students better navigate Yale’s existing academic culture and make informed, powerful decisions as they take control of their education and their futures. This work also supports a larger transformation of the Yale community by challenging all of its members to value each other’s unique strengths and support each other with genuine ethusiasm, compassion, and respect.”
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Jorge Anaya, TD’19
Woodbridge Fellow (YCDO & Poorvu Center), Coordinator of The Community Initiative
Jorge (he/him/his) is from Wilmington, CA, and majored in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. A first-generation low-income alum, Jorge served as the Chief Aide for Timothy Dwight College Office and was a teacher’s assistant at Calvin Hill DayCare Center. He was also a student assistant at the Film Study Center and a translator for the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, and plans on obtaining a Masters in Public Health after his position.
Why are you involved in the FGLI community? “I am involved in the FGLI community because I believe identifying as a first-gen or low-income student is not something to be ashamed of, but rather a powerful tool in our identity. Elite spaces such as Yale tend to feel catered toward a certain demographic, but I hope to make Yale more accessible to any student regardless of background. FGLI students deserve to be at Yale and are an integral part of the Yale community.”
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Senior Administrative Assistant, Yale College Dean’s Office
Sílvia DeCastro (she/her/hers) provides primary support to the Associate Dean for Student Engagement. Sílvia is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. Her first job after college was in the Department of Italian Language and Literature where she worked for the Chair and with the graduate student population at Yale from 1983-88. After working as an executive assistant in several multinational corporations in Brazil, she returned to Yale in 1995 as Executive Assistant to Sterling Professor Edward Zigler in the Department of Psychology. She then joined the Yale College Dean’s Office where she has worked as Senior Administrative Assistant II in the Office of Student Affairs; and now in the Office of Student Engagement. Sílvia is a skilled polyglot; she is fluent in Portuguese (native), English, Italian and Spanish. On her free time, you will find her near the ocean whenever possible, and travelling is always on her mind. She is, of course, a huge soccer fan.
2018-2019: José Yobani López Sánchez (BF ‘18)
2017-2018: Ruben Vega Perez (DC’17, YPH ‘18)