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 Assistant Director of Operations ensures the smooth functioning of the college. In addition to coordinating its events and maintaining its facilities, the AD 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 II, Head’s Office
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 Assistant Director of Operations, 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.
Assistant Director of Operations, Saybrook College
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.
Head Saybrook Aide
Mirabel, class of 2024, is a proud FGLI student from Littleton, Colorado. She is studying the History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health and pursuing a certificate in French. On campus, she serves as President of the Saybrook College Council and works as a Communication and Consent Educator and piano instructor. Mirabel is constantly on the lookout for good Vietnamese food and reasons to brag about Saybrook.
Maria, ‘26, comes from sunny Tampa, Florida, and is proud to consider herself a Pitbull enthusiast (dale). A prospective English major (but still deeply confused), she’s involved with the Yale Student Environmental Coalition, Project Environmental Culture of Responsibility (ask her about the intersection of environmentalism + the arts!), and serves as co-president of the Cuban-American Undergraduate Students Association. Come say hi if you find her napping in the Saybrary, studying in the basement, or faithfully in the dining hall every Saybrook Taco Tuesday!
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!
Loui, class of ‘23+1, 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. If you find him napping on a Saybrook hammock, do him a favor: flip him over and tell him to get back to his psets.
Sarah Cheung ‘25 is from San Francisco and is a proud Hong Kong-American! She is majoring in Environmental Studies, is part of the Human Rights program, and is pursuing certificates in Data Science and Chinese (queen of “and” and doing too much). She also is the co-pitch (musical director) of Proof of the Pudding, an SSAA jazz acapella group, co-president of GREEN, and is a part of YSEC and the Asian American Students’ Association. She is currently doing data research for the Yale Center of Environmental Law and Policy (hit her up for any questions about environmental opportunities/the acapella scene!). Her favorite part about Saybrook is that they always have the best food (duty, study breaks, office snacks, etc.) and that it’s the college that everyone hates on but secretly loves (why is the dining hall line always so long??). You can find her avoiding Bass Library, rotating coffee shops (she has yet to settle on a favorite), and eating.
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!
Satia Hatami is a junior from Southern California majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics with a certificate in Energy Studies. If she’s not in the Saybrook College Office, you can find her in the Saybrook Dining Hall, the 12 Pack with her suitemates, or the Asian-American Cultural Center where she works as an AACC-MENA Peer Liaison. Satia is also a member of La Casa and serves as the Media Chair for the Yale Society of Women Engineers. 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 or go on explorative walks with her friends.
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.
Chernice Mbogori is a junior 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!
Jocelyn Maribel Naranjo
Jocelyn Maribel Naranjo is a Kañari Warmi raised in NYC from the Andes of Ecuador. She’s majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration with the goal of becoming a lawyer. Her interests lie in the intersection between indigeneity and migration in South America. You’ll mostly find her outside the Yale bubble, helping New Haven organizations, hanging out in East Haven, thrifting, traveling, and working as a paralegal.
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.
Sasha, Class of 2026, is from upstate New York, right in the capital of the state. She is studying Ethics, Politics and Economics (If she can get the pre-reqs done in time). When not in the office, you can find her at PWG or Gilder boathouse with the rest of the Yale Women’s Crew team or trying to join every pre-law group on campus. In her free time, she likes to read, write, daydream and go get her papers checked at the writing center.
Aryana Ramos-Vazquez is a sophomore majoring in Biomedical Engineering from Tuxedo Park, New York. When she’s not in the Saybrook College Office, you can definitely find her working as a Student Coordinator (or just drinking a cup of Cafe Bustelo and doing work in the kitchen) at La Casa Cultural, her other second home at Yale, or on the second floor of Sterling’s Music Library, curled on an armchair. Aryana also loves to sing, and you can find her performing in Woolsey Hall or on tour with the Yale Glee Club! She loves napping, drinking mint tea, reading, and going on long walks with Noah Kahan’s music on :).
Ashley, SY class of ‘24, is from Plano, Texas. She is majoring in Economics with certificates in Computer Science and Chinese. 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 soaking up the sun on Cross Campus.