Our Team

Ambassadors

Sayda Martinez-Alvarado ‘23 (she/her/hers) is a senior in Davenport College from Northern Virginia. She is majoring in Psychology and is an Education Studies Scholar. On-campus, she is one of the Head Advising Fellows for Matriculate at Yale, is a questbridge Scholar, and was a counselor for the First-Year Scholars at Yale (FSY) program. Currently, Sayda also serves as Head FROCO for Davenport College.

Why are you involved in the FGLI community? “I am involved because I found a home in the FGLI community at Yale and know how much its support does for succeeding at Yale! I look forward to working as an FGLI Student Ambassador and can’t wait to see the FGLI community gather hopefully in person!”

Email: sayda.martinez-alvarado@yale.edu

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Chigozie Chukwunyere ‘23 (she/her/hers) is a senior in Silliman College from New Jersey. She is majoring in Neuroscience.

Why are you involved in the FGLI community? ”I am involved because I love how welcoming the FGLI community is at Yale, and i definitely appreciate the support that I received during my first years in college. As an FGLI Student Ambassador, I can’t wait to work with other FGLI students and offer them the same level of guidance.”

Email: chigozie.chukwunyere@yale.edu

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Natalie Sangngam ‘23 (she/her/hers) is a senior in Branford College from New York City. She is majoring in Economics and Anthropology and is currently a Global Health Scholar. 

Why are you involved in the FGLI community? ”I love working with FGLI students because everyone has such a unique story to tell, and their strength and persistence always amazes me. The FGLI community at Yale is so wonderful and has provided such a great support system for me, I am so proud to be a part of it! I hope to bring that same support to other FGLI students.”

Email: natalie.sangngam@yale.edu

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Reece Maccaux ‘24 (he/him/his) is a junior in Silliman College from Green Bay, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Political Science and also volunteers at the VITA tax clinic here in New Haven.

Why are you involved in the FGLI community? ”Connecting with the FGLI community at Yale brought out my strengths and helped to create a sense of belonging for me on campus, so I am eager to help other students navigate a first-gen identity as well. FGLI students have an important role both in the classrom and in the broader Yale community at balancing the perspective of a traditionally privileged and sheltered institution. I am thrilled to offer whatever help I can give to FGLI students the best shot at success in this environment. “ 

Email: reece.maccaux@yale.edu

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Linh Pham ‘24 (she/her/hersis a junior in Jonathan Edwards college, majoring in Statistics & Data Science.  On campus, she volunteers for Code Haven, and she does pottery in her free time. Born and raised in Nashville, TN to Vietnamese refugees, Linh is passionate about helping other students adjust to Yale.

Why are you involved in the FGLI community? ”I am involved because many FGLI students come into Yale thinking they are alone, but I want to make sure that they know we are here for them! As they say, it takes a village.

Email: linh.pham@yale.edu

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Drake Prince ‘24 (he/him/his) is a junior in Davenport college majoring in Psychology. As a student-athlete on campus he competes for the Track and Cross Country teams. San Diego born and raised, Drake is excited to help FGLI students make the transition to Yale. 

Why are you involved in the FGLI community? ”I am involved because I have found a home in the FGLI community at Yale. I am constantly inspired by the resilience and grit of FGLI students and I want to be a support system to help these students reach their goals while finding a sense of community. ”

Email: drake.prince@yale.edu

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Huda Siddiqui ‘25 (she/her/hersis a sophomore in Ezra Stiles College from Addison, Illinois. She is pursuing the neuroscience path in the psychology major along with an Arabic and Islamic Studies certificate. Huda is passionate about serving underresourced communities by creating mental health resources for the Institute of Muslim Mental Health, providing educational mentorship for FGLI students through Matriculate, tutoring and supporting immigrant and refugee women and children through IRIS, and providing medical debt and insurance counseling through the Haven Free Clinic. Outside of academics and extracurriculars, she loves to spend time with family, read, go on walks, enjoy Mediterranean food, and exercise with friends!

Why are you involved in the FGLI community? ”I am committed to the FGLI community because I have first-hand experience with the challenges students from underserved communities face in pursuing higher education. As an ambassador, I am eager to advocate for the critical academic, financial, and social support and mentorship needed by FGLI students in transitioning to college and being prepared for professional success. I hope to enhance professional development resources, increase alumni, and faculty mentorship, and alleviate financial challenges associated with college expenses.

Email: huda.siddiqui@yale.edu

Previous Ambassadors

2020-2021: Nathan Somerville (BK ‘22), Sayda Martinez-Alvarado (‘23), Chigozie Chukwunyere (‘23), Natalie Sangngam (‘23), Linh Pham (‘24), Jeffrey Caliedo (‘24), Reece Maccaux (‘24), Yasmeen Adeleke (‘25) 

2019-2020: Alejandro Nuno (GH ‘21), Henry Rosas (TD ‘21), Esther Reyes (YC ‘21), Nathan Somerville (BK ‘22), Sayda Martinez-Alvarado (‘23), Chigozie Chukwunyere (‘23), Natalie Sangngam (‘23)

2018-2019: Samantha Wood (SY ‘20), Akweley Lartey (TD ‘22), Linh Le (BR ‘22), Alejandro Nuno (GH ‘21), Henry Rosas (TD ‘21), Esther Reyes (YC ‘21), Nathan Somerville (BK ‘22)

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)


Administrative Team

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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Karin Gosselink

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

Assistant Director, Student Engagement (YCDO) and Coordinator for The Community Initiative

Jorge (he/him/his), born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, majored in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health as a member of the class of 2019. As an undergraduate, Jorge was heavily invovled in residential college life, serving as the president of TD’s Student Activities Committee during his first year and as Chief Aide for TD’s Head of College Office during his senior year. Outside of TD, Jorge was passionate about mentoring Latinx high school students by participating in MEChA de Yale’s Conexiones program for three years. Throughout his undergrad, he also served as a teacher’s assistant at Calvin Hill DayCare Center, a student assistant at the Film Study Center and a translator for the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association. Prior to his current role, Jorge served as the Woodbridge Fellow for the Yale College Dean’s Office & Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning for two years. 

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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Sílvia DeCastro

Senior Administrative Assistant, Yale College Dean’s Office

Sílvia DeCastro (she/her/hersprovides 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.

Previous Woodbridge Fellows

2020-2021: Jorge Anaya (TD ‘19)

2019-2020: Jorge Anaya (TD ‘19)

2018-2019: José Yobani López Sánchez (BF ‘18)

2017-2018: Ruben Vega Perez (DC’17, YPH ‘18)