Who’s who in the Saybrook College Office

At the forefront of Saybrook is the Head of College (HoC). In the role as chief administrative officer,  the HoC sets the college’s intellectual and cultural tone, just as they are responsible for students’ physical safety and well-being. Together with the Associate Head of College,  the HoC oversees and cultivates the college’s social life, hosting study breaks, Saybrook Teas, trips, and other events. The HoC and Associate Head of College live amidst the students in the Saybrook “Biggs House” where many events are coordinated.

The Operations Manager ensures the smooth functioning of the college. In addition to coordinating its events and maintaining its facilities, the OM oversees the college’s finances, serves as a liaison between the college and the business office, and supervises special projects.

Supporting the Head of College is the senior administrative assistant, who handles the day-to-day business in the Saybrook Office. While coordinating with the staff in staging the college’s events, the senior AA works especially closely with students and the SCC in support of their many activities.

The Saybrook Aides staff the front desk of the Saybrook office and help students and visitors with the million questions they bring to the office. The aides can help with reserving a room, getting keys, signing out a DVD or board game, or registering a party.

Head of College Thomas Near

Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Curator in Vertebrate Zoology at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Chair of the EEB Department, and Head of Saybrook College, Thomas Near earned a B.S. in biological sciences and a B.A. in history from Northern Illinois University in 1993, a Ph.D. in ecology, ethology, and evolution from the University of Illinois, and a Center for Population Biology postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, Davis. Prior to arriving at Yale in 2006 Prof. Near was an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee. At Yale Prof. Near has served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and the Fact Finder for the Yale College Executive Committee. From his first semester as a member of the Yale faculty, Prof. Near has been a fellow of Saybrook College serving as a freshman advisor and on committees to select Saybrook summer fellowships.

Prof. Near’s research uses genomic data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of fishes. Focusing on North American freshwater fishes and a lineage of fishes endemic to Antarctica, his research seeks to understand the mechanisms that generate and maintain biodiversity. An interesting by product of this research is the discovery and description of new species of fishes. As a curator in the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Prof. Near has supervised a dramatic increase in the research collection of fishes, with a large number of important specimens resulting from field work with Yale undergraduates. Prof. Near’s research has resulted in the publication of more than 110 scientific papers. He teaches courses in ichthyology, phylogenetics, and evolutionary biology.

Prof. Near is from the Northcenter/West Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago and is a rare example of someone who roots for both the Cubs and White Sox. Given that the only time the two teams faced off in the World Series was 1906, he is assured that he will never have to choose the best of his favorites.

Associate Head of College Allison Near

Allison Near earned a B.A. in English and French from Colgate University, and a J.D. from Northeastern University. Allison grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, but she relocated to Connecticut in 2006.  Since landing in New Haven, Allison has worked as a legal aid attorney at New Haven Legal Assistance, Inc. and as an Assistant Federal Public Defender.  Presently, she is a partner at the New Haven law firm of Jacobs & Dow, LLC, where she focuses her practice on criminal defense and general civil litigation. Allison loves to cook, enjoys camping with her family, and has season theater tickets to the Yale Rep.

Allison and Tom live with their two school aged daughters, Alice and Becca, and their two cats, Basil and Snowball.  The girls can often be seen in the courtyard sharing baked goods, organizing games, or putting on impromptu performances.

Ann Gilmore

Senior Administrative Assistant to the Head of College

Ann Gilmore is at the center of the action in the Saybrook office, handling the heavy volume of its day-to-day business. If you’re looking for information about applying for one of Saybrook’s fellowships, using one of the college’s public spaces, or planning an event, Ann is the person to see.  Because Ann works so closely with the Saybrook Aides, the Operations Manager, and the Head of College, she’s a great resource to turn to whenever you’re not sure where to start with a project you’re just getting off the ground.

You can reach her by phone, at 203 432-0540, or by e-mail.

Micah Luce

Operations Manager

With the support of the entire administrative team, Micah Luce is the business manager for Saybrook College.  He is a two-time graduate of Yale Divinity School and a proud Memphian.  While not helping the amazing students at Saybrook plan events or acting as the liaison between Saybrook College and the Yale College business office, Micah likes flying airplanes, watching Japanese (or Russian or American or French or…) film, attending baseball games, listening to Radiohead, climbing rocks, or thinking about how he can plan his next getaway to the red rock, canyons, mountains, and deserts of Utah.  Of course, he prefers to do all of this with his wife, Katharine and their son, Éomer.

You can reach him by phone at 203-432-0532, or by e-mail.

Saybrook Aides:

Kelsey Tamakloe

Head Saybrook Aide

Kelsey, class of ‘22, is majoring in both Political Science and German. She is one of the leaders of Blackbrook and YBWC. She is also an editor for DOWN magazine. Her hobbies include playing piano, reading, and watching cartoons.  

Anna Aller

Anna, SY class of ‘22, has only lived in the Philippines, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, thus she cannot handle the New Haven weather. Other than complaining about the weather or pondering about her future major, she participates in monstRAASity, Kasama Club, Special Needs Undergraduate Swimming Lessons, and Christian Union! A master at the art of pun-making, she is a proud Saybrugian who is always willing to answer “Say What?!” in any time of the day. Also, she will always answer Lakers everytime you ask her what the best NBA team is. 

Mariel Barocas

Mariel is a member of the class of ‘21+1, hails from Stamford, CT, and loves getting her picture taken with Handsome Dan.

Mariela Barrales


Loui Chen

Loui, class of ‘23, is from Long Island, NY, and is majoring in Economics and Mathematics. If he’s not completing psets right before the deadline, he’s usually playing soccer for Yale’s C1 Men’s Club Soccer Team or doing chess puzzles.  Besides these ativites and being and aide, he is also a Saybrook IM Sec and a member of the Yale Jashan Bhangra dance team.  He is also a big advocate of the Saybrook hammocks, but if you catch him on one feel free to remind me of all the work he is procrastinating.

Nandini Erodula

Nandini, class of SY ‘23, is from Hamden, CT, and is majoring in HSHM and on the pre-med track. Her favorite ice cream flavor is coffee oreo from Ashley’s Ice Cream, and her favorite spot in New Haven is Edgerton Park.  She loves to dance and is constantly listening to her Bollywood music playlist.  On campus, Nandini is a dancer on Yale Jashan Bhangra Team, a board member of the South Asian Youth Initiative, and a volunteer for Havenly Treats.

Sofia Godoy

Hailing from sunny South Florida, Sofia, class of ’23, is endlessly grateful for the chilly weather she experiences in New Haven. She is looking to major in Global Affairs and Political Science. Outside of being an aide, Sofia is heavily involved in the Yale International Relations Association and its constituent programs (Yale Model UN Taiwan? Yale Model UN Korea? Yale Model UN? Is there a difference?? Ask her!). She also writes for The Yale Globalist and is a member of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán. In her free time, Sofia enjoys making Spotify playlists, playing Scrabble, running, and reminding everyone that she is in fact Mexican-American. Additionally, she is a big fan of mangoes and Koffee’s nutella lattes!

Donasia Gray

Donasia, class of SY ‘22, is from New Haven and is choosing between 6 majors (so is essentially undecided.) As a native New Havener, she is a firm believer that Ashley’s Ice Cream and Modern Apizza are two of the best places to eat in the area. Donasia’s favorite color is yellow, and she is a board member for the Black Solidarity Conference, a Community Health Educator, Saybrook College Council Secretary, and a member of Danceworks. When she’s not at the Squiche or the Saybrary, you can find her with a Nutella Latte at Koffee?, pretending to do work in the Good Life Center, or napping in the Women’s Center.

Lilley Harris

Lilley, class of SY ‘23, is from Southport Island, Maine and actually enjoys the New Haven weather because it is so much better than living in sub-zero temperatures for the entire month of January. She is currently undecided in what to major in but wants to pursue something related to public health. She is the Director of Fundraising for the Timmy Global Health Project on campus and can always be found in a Bass Library weenie-bin.

Hero Magnus

Hero is a member of the class of ‘22 and she’s from right outside of Washington, DC. Hero is a singer-songwriter and an indie rock musician. She’s not sure what she wants to major in yet (History? American Studies? English??) but she’s looking for anything that lets her read and write and talk a lot and learn things. She’s an avid member of WYBC Radio and she has a really cool little brother. You can find her in the Saybrary (napping) or in the Saybrook music studio (check out her new single) or on Cross Campus (studying outside whenever the sun is out)! 

Ben Mehmedovic

Ben, SY class of ‘23, is from Branford, CT and a first-generation American with roots in Bosnia. He is looking to major in computer science/math and political science. Outside of class and his work as an aide, Ben is heavily involved with the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association, the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, and GREEN. You can find Ben on a run around New Haven, giving a Yale campus tour, or in one of New Haven’s many coffee shops!

Mirabel Nguyen

A member of the class of ‘24, Mirabel is from Littleton, Colorado and enjoys playing piano, good books, and coffee ice cream.

Bea Soto

Bea, class of SY ‘24, is from San Juan, Puerto Rico and is hoping to major in Economics and History of Art.  Outside of being an aide, Bea is very involved with several Yale-New Haven projects: most recencly, she has been working on a COVID-19 Memorial Project with Tsai City and other local organizations.  You can always find Bea sitting on cross campus (when the weather permits) or walking to the Jitter Bus to get some coffee!

Ashley Tauhert

Ashley, SY class of ‘24, is from Plano, Texas.  She is currently undecided, but is leaning towards either majoring in Economics and Computer Science or Economics and Environmental Studies.  Outside of being an aide, Ashley is involved in the Yale Undergraduate Piano Collective, Matriculate, and YUDI.  When she’s not taking a long afternoon nap in her room, you can find Ashley going on a run around campus, drinking coffee at Atticus, or picking up a noodle bowl from Junzi.