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 Marie Gilmore

Senior Administrative Assistant to the Head of College

Ann Marie 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 Marie is the person to see.  Because Ann Marie 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.

Kristin Butler

Operations Manager

Kristin Butler joined Saybrook College on August 1 as its new Operations Manager. Kristin started at Yale in 2011 and comes to Yale College from Hospitality; her previous position was in Berkeley as a Guest Experience Manager. Kristin is thrilled to be part of the Saybrook Community.

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

Saybrook Aides:

Head Saybrook Aide

Nandini Erodula

Nandini (she/her), class of SY ‘23, is from Hamden, CT, and is majoring in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health 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 (she will talk about South Asian dance styles for hours if you let her) and is constantly listening to her Bollywood music playlist. On campus, Nandini is the co-captain of Yale Jashan Bhangra, a Women’s Health Research Fellow, a member of the feminist science and technology studies collective called fSTS (for students seeking a more interdisciplinary approach to education!),  and a volunteer for Havenly Treats (go visit the most beautiful cafe in New Haven). You can find Nandini reading about the history of obsterics/gynecology in the Sterling Music Library, hiking to see the sunset from East Rock, or laughing with her friends in Saybrook courtyards. 

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. 

Mariela Barrales

Mariela (she/her), SY Class of ’24, hails from sunny East Los Angeles. She is double majoring in Political Science and Spanish, and getting a certificate in Statistics & Data Science. On campus, she is a dance member and Co-President of Ballet Folklórico de Mexicano de Yale, so you can always find her dancing to some tune. She is also a Community Response Fellow through Dwight Hall at Yale where she interns with The Perfect Blend, a nonprofit in New Haven, CT. She absolutely loves Saybrook (say what?!) and currently serves as a Saybrook Activities Council Co-Chair with her best friend. She spends way too much time in her favorite study spot, the Saybrook Basement. In her downtime, she loves running, working out, and relaxing with her lovely friends. She also has the biggest sweet tooth and will never say no to dessert!

Simon Billings

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 activities and being an 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 him of all the work he is procrastinating.

Sarah Cheung

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 11.24.08 AM.pngSarah Cheung ‘25 is from San Francisco hoping to double major in Statistics & Data Science and Environmental Studies and get a certificate in Chinese. She is a proud Saybrugian (but the g is a hard g almost like a k not a j sound). She loves to sing (yes an acapella person) in her free time, is part of the Asian American Students’ Association, and is overall still exploring extracurriculars at Yale but enjoys sustainability/community service. Her favorite part about Saybrook is that they always have the best food (duty, study breaks, etc.) and that it’s the college that everyone hates on but secretly loves (why is the dining hall line always so long??).

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 (they/she) is a ’22+1 born and raised right here in New Haven, aka the Greatest Small City in America–#GSCIA. Donasia is an African American studies major concentrating in liberation pedagogies and in the Education studies program. During their year off, they bleated each morning with the goats while farming in Vieques, Puerto Rico, did DEI work at a high school, and fell in love with New Orleans’ parks. As a proud FGLI student, Donasia has held a number of jobs on campus, but currently works as a Saybrook College Aide, a Tour Guide, a Recruitment Coordinator for the Admissions Office, and as an intern to the Dixwell Community Q House Board through the Dwight Hall Urban Fellows program. She is thrilled to also be an incoming Saybrook FroCo this fall! Fun fact, Donasia’s first-year roommate (and bestie to this day) said they literally cheered the Saybrook chant in their sleep one night. Outside of student jobs, Donasia is a member of New Haven’s Urban Agriculture Community Advisory Board and on the women’s rugby football club team, ~the fittest team on campus ~. Their favorite place on campus (besides Saybrook of course) is the Yale Farm, and Cultural Connections, the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project, and Steppin’ Out will forever hold a special place in their heart. In her free time, you can find Donasia roller-skating, playing Pac-Man, frequenting New Haven’s coffee shops, and spending time in the sunshine with friends. <3

Lilley Harris

Lilley (she/her, sy ‘forever) is the proudest Saybrugian to ever exist and is from Southport, Maine. She will definitely make sure to tell you that Southport is an island, so it seems silly to not include that here too. She majors in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health and has somehow managed to write a significant portion of her college essays about TikTok.  On campus, Lilley is Head FroCo for Saybrook, and works in the Squiche on occasion. She is a founding member of fSTS, a feminist science and technology studies collective on campus. In the past, Lilley worked in the Addy Lab and studied preclinical nicotine addiction. One of her favorite pastimes is applying to jobs, and she has never not held at least two jobs during her time at Yale. Other hobbies include coffee (making and drinking), hosting elaborate themed gatherings with her friends, and unnecessarily putting “Say” in front of every word. You can always find Lilley somewhere in Saybrook (seriously, she never leaves). 

Satia Hatami

Satia Hatami, class of ‘25, is from Southern California and cannot decide what to major in, but she knows it will definitely be something in STEM. If she’s not in the Lyceum Room or SY College Office, you can find her in the Saybrook Dining Hall, Saybrary, or in one of her good friends’ suites in Saybrook. Satia is a member of La Casa and loves all of the cultural centers at Yale (especially their free food). She is definitely a coffee person but tries to avoid it because it gives her heart palpitations. In her free time, she loves to read, go on walks, drink boba, and eat good food.

Callie Krueger

Callie, class of ‘25, is from rural Wisconsin and likes to make it her whole personality. She plans to major in EVST and/or ENVE, and pursue a Spanish certificate. When not in the SY College Office, you’ll find her on the courts in Lanman, the rugby pitch, the Stiles basement with the Common Closet crew, basking in the sun, or anywhere that has food/books. She can’t decide if she’s a coffee or tea person, and is definitely a music enthusiast. She doesn’t have a favorite ice cream flavor because she is well-cultured and appreciative when it comes to ice cream, contrary to most other food groups.

Conrad Lee

Conrad, class of ‘25, hails from Livingston, Montana and enjoys the (relatively) mild and pleasant New Haven weather. He is a goalkeeper on the men’s soccer team and competes on the Yale chess team. Outside of school and sports, Conrad writes for The Politic, serves as a data analyst for Yale Votes, and works as a Temporary Expert for Blended Reality at Yale. He also plays the keys for an all-Saybrook band called Sayrock. Catch him watching obscure comedy shows in the SY TV Room or rocking out on the piano in the Common Room.

Hero Magnus

Hero, class of ‘22+1, is from right outside of Washington, DC. She’s an American Studies major with a concentration in the performing arts. On her gap year she released an EP based in queer history and worked at SiriusXM as a country music programmer. She’s done a bunch of projects at Yale, including a series of shows based on the seven deadly sins and writing a zine about burlesque performers in New Orleans. She’s thrilled to be back at Yale, where you can find her making shows, at WYBC Radio, in her beautiful off-campus backyard, going to concerts (alone, so she can dance really hard), or eating oatly froyo with her friends in the Saybrook dining hall.

Chernice Mbogori

Chernice Mbogori is a sophomore from Nairobi, Kenya majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Within her major, she plans to focus on the impact of gender in shaping public policy and government structures.  Outside of working as an  aide, she is involved in the Yale Women’s Rugby Team, Yale Undergraduate Productions House, and the Yale Dance Works Team and is the Director of Events and  Partnerships within the  Women’s Leadership Initiative. Chernice loves quad biking, spending time outdoors, dancing, reading literature, public speaking, exploring restaurants, and trying new recipes. She is excited to be an Aide !

Ben Mehmedovic

Ben, SY class of ‘23, is from Branford, CT and a first-generation American with roots in Bosnia. He is pursuing both a major in computer science and a certificate data science. Outside of class and his work as an aide, Ben is heavily involved with the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association, Yale Machine Learning, and Yale Model Congress. 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

Mirabel, class of ‘24, is an FGLI student from Littleton, Colorado, majorying in the History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health!! She immensely enjoys her work as a Communication and Consent Educator and piano teacher and co-chairs the Saybrook Activities Council. Mirabel has great fun notifying her friends immediately when she recognizes the Harkness song, buying new stationery, and sampling extra extra extra hot lattes from various coffee shops around campus. You can find her atop a different Saybrook stairwell every morning watching the sunrise if she wakes up early enough (which usually means she has to wait for sunset instead).

Nikita Paudel

Nikita (she/her), class of ‘25, is an FGLI student originally from Nepal who now resides in Baltimore, Maryland. She is intending to study Global Affairs and human rights. She works multiple jobs on campus such as being a Saybrook College Aide (the best college aides to ever exist) and a vaccine verifier for Yale College of Arts. Nikita also interns for the International Rescue Committee with their Asylee Casework Team to help asylum seekers and refugees resettle into the US. Outside of work, Nikita is involved in various student organizations such as the South Asian Society, Yale International Relations Association, Yale Votes, Rangeela (Yale’s premier bollywood fusion dance team), and the Saybrook College Council. While Nikita is not a coffee or tea fanatic, you can find her anywhere that has sweets and desserts and away from anywhere that has veggies because she is a chronic picky eater. In her free time, Nikita loves to nap, hang in the Saybrook hammocks, chill with friends, and on occasion, freaks out over why she does have any free time.

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.