First-Year Counselors 2018-2019

Nicholas Girard

Nick Girard grew up in the small town of Stafford Springs, Connecticut. He is a Political Science major with a passion for understanding the criminal justice system and wrongful convictions (but his favorite thing is to explore new fields). While at Yale, Nick has been a part of the Yale College Council- the undergraduate government- serving as Stiles representative and most recently as Student Body Vice President. As a first-generation student, he is deeply committed to making the Yale experience more accessible for all students. In his free time, you’ll find him exploring New Haven, taking photos, and imagining what politics could be while (re)watching Parks and Recreation (with fellow FroCo Greg). He is incredibly excited to serve as a FroCo and cannot wait to welcome the Class of 2022 to the best residential college at Yale!

Rafael Esteva

Rafael is an Ethics, Politics, and Economics major from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At Yale, he works with local nonprofits to help them fundraise more effectively, sings in the Yale Gospel Choir, and really enjoys planning events with the Stiles Student Activities Committee. He also loves cooking and eating, skipping, whistling, and reading. He spent last summer in Rio de Janeiro learning Portuguese and trying to dance samba. Rafael is so excited to welcome a new class of Stilesians to the best college on campus!

Me’Lena Laudig

Me’Lena, or Mae for short, grew up in Amarillo, Texas, home of tumbleweeds and the occasional dust storm. She’s double-majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and Religious Studies and spent the spring of her junior year studying migration and transnational identity in Rabat, Morocco. She loves to sing, performing with Shades for the past three years, and looks forward to singing with Whim N’ Rhythm during her senior year. She’s involved in Yale’s premier Black drama group Heritage Theater Ensemble and researches the intersection of migration theory and religious thought through the Edward A. Bouchet Fellowship Program. 
Outside of Yale, she has tried to get to know the beautiful city of New Haven by working at Artspace, a not-for-profit art gallery; serving as a leader for the pre-orientation program FOCUS on New Haven; mentoring an a cappella group at a local high school; and singing on the worship team of her local church. She would love to chat with you about anything at all and invites you to swing by the FroCo suite to do a face mask, smell some essential oils, eat some dark chocolate, and destress with her. Welcome to the Class of 2022! 

Ellis Burgoon Miskell

Ellis is a Cognitive Science major originally from Yarmouth, Maine. Despite taking Directed Studies her freshman year, she now studies language in the brain, and spent last summer studying abroad in Avignon, France. Outside of class, Ellis is involved in Splash at Yale and Code Haven, two educational outreach organizations in New Haven and the broader community, and she also plays in Pan Jam & Lime, Yale’s steel drum band. She can usually be found in the Stiles dining hall, buttery, or common room, and works as a House Aide so you’ll see her at a bunch of Stiles’ events! Most importantly, she’s excited to meet all the incoming members of the Class of 2022!

Mohamed Mohamed

Mohamed is an international student from Sudan. Majoring in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB for short), he plans to purse a medical career after Yale. Mohamed is passionate about research and spends a good amount of his time in lab. He is involved in the Yale Global Health Review, the Hypertension Awareness & Prevention Project @ Yale, and the IRIS football club.

In his free time, Mohamed loves to play soccer, ping-pong, volleyball, board games, video games and is literally down to try ANYTHING! He also LOVES ice cream! Most important of all, he is super excited to meet and welcome the Class of 2022!

Minh Nguyen 

Minh grew up in the rainy city of Portland, Oregon. After realizing how much her secondary education affected her college experience, she decided to study Political Science with a focus on education. Though she loves her time at Yale, Minh’s best experiences have been studying abroad in Spain, Chile and Argentina. While on campus, she has found a second home at the Asian American Cultural Center, where there is always great food and company. Minh also enjoys dancing  with the Yale Ballroom Dance Team and coordinating Camp Kesem, a summer camp for kids affected by their parents’ cancer. Additionally, she has formed (and almost broken) friendships through many competitive board game nights. In the rest of her free time, Minh likes long bike rides around New Haven. Above all, Minh is excited to welcome the class of 2022 and introduce them to the many delicious restaurants in the area!


Greg Pollard

Born and raised in Middletown Connecticut, Greg is an American Studies major with a concentration in Politics and American Communities. At Yale, Greg does independent fellowship research, works with the Policy Lab at the Institute for Social and Policy Studies on campus, is a member of a cultural dance team, and occasionally tutors Spanish at the Center for Language Studies.  When not running around, you can find him watching Parks and Rec or making Spotify playlists (it’s an art). Greg´s excited to meet the first years and welcome them to Stiles in the fall!

Fernando Rojas

Fernando is from Fullerton, California. Although Fernando loves sunny weather, he enjoys the lovely seasons of Connecticut. Fernando is majoring in History, and he is a Mellon Mays Fellow. He is simultaneously completing his B.A. and M.A. in History (with a specific focus on Latin America). During his time at Yale, Fernando has worked at the Ezra Stiles College Office, the Yale College Dean’s Office, and the Yale Law School. When Fernando is not at work or in classes, he is involved with spoken word on campus and performs in various capacities around Yale. Fernando spends a lot of time at La Casa Cultural and the other cultural centers. He is incredibly excited to learn and grow alongside the wonderful class of 2022.