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 M. Near earned a B.A. in English and French from Colgate University, and a J.D. from Northeastern University. She is a partner at the New Haven law firm of Sheehan, Reeve & Near, where she focuses her practice on criminal defense in both state and federal court. Allison loves to cook, enjoys camping with her family, and has season tickets to the Yale Rep.

These days, Allison and Tom’s primary passions are their two young girls, who can often be found running around the college or dancing in the Killingworth Courtyard to the bells of the carillon.

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 new son, Éomer.

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

Saybrook Aides:

Paulina Halley

Head Saybrook Aide

Paulina is from San Diego, CA and a member of the class of 2021. Being half-Mexican, she is a native Spanish speaker and a lover of Mexican food. Her favorite food in New Haven, however, is Arethusa ice cream. Throughout her time at Yale, she plans on nurturing her passions for the French language and French and British history. Other passions include espionage films, trivia, museums, and music. In addition to being an aide, Paulina is a member of Camp Kesem, Alzheimer’s Buddies, Pi Beta Phi, and Saybrook’s IM soccer team. 

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, hails from Stamford, CT, and loves getting her picture taken with Handsome Dan.

Nandini Erodula

Nandini, class of SY ‘23, is from Hamden, CT.  She is currently choosing between two majors, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Cognitive Science.  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 listning 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, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and a volunteer for Everybody Dance Now.

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!

Nico Moscoso

Nico, SY ‘21, hails from Virginia Beach, Virginia and is a prospective Global Affairs or History major. Being so close to the water, he absolutely loves going to the beach on scorching summer days, and has perfected the art of not getting sunburnt. Beside being a beach bum, Nico enjoys all things sports-related, whether it being playing (catch me at IMs) or watching the Yankees and Giants’s games. Outside of being an aide, Nico is a member of Chi Psi fraternity, worker at the Saybrook buttery, and was the representative for Saybrook on the Yale College Council.

Annie Roberts

Annie is a member of the class of 2021 and a prospective African American Studies and History of Art major. Annie a board member for the Yale Black Women’s Coalition, a tutor at New Haven Reads, and a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. In her free time Annie enjoys reading and binging Netflix comedy specials. A native New Yorker, Annie firmly believes that New York City is the best place on Earth and that the Yankees are the greatest team of all time. Feel free to stop by anytime to discuss any of the above positions.

Taylor Roberts

Taylor is a member of the class of ‘22 from New York City, New York. His favorite food is pasta with butter. He enjoys watching football, basketball and baseball, and his favorite teams are the Yankees and Giants. He also is an avid reader, and he loves to read about American history. Other hobbies include playing golf, running, and hanging out with friends. On campus, he is a member of YUDI and tutors in math.

Kelsey Tamakloe

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.