Graduate Affiliates 2018- 2019

Maxim Baranov

Maxim Baranov is a 2018 Yale College graduate (Ezra Stiles college, of course) and a Class of 2021 School of Management student. In college, he studied Cognitive Science and Economics, and is now looking to apply these disciplines to the business world. In the short term, he might work in Big Tech or Design and Innovation firms, but in the long term he would like to start innovative companies that combine cognitive science and technology to change the way humanity interacts with the world. At SOM, he spends his free time rowing with the Grad Crew Team and organizing events with his fellow Silver Scholars (the MBA students who came straight from college). His parents are both Russian immigrants from Moscow, and he grew up in a town in Maryland right outside Washington, DC, so he calls multiple regions home. As a Graduate Affiliate, he is looking forward to providing fun outdoor opportunities to reconnect with nature and de-stress, as he found that these kinds of events were the most helpful for staying mentally and physically healthy in undergrad. Feel free to ask him about anything outdoorsy, business school, SOM, Silver Scholars, or Washington, DC!

JaQuan Beachem

JaQuan Beachem is a New York, now Connecticut, transplant raised in Georgia with New Jersey roots. JaQuan is a first year Master of Divinity student with a B.A. in Theater & Performance from Bard College. He is an interdisciplinary artist interested in integrating the arts and theology for social change. JaQuan’s theology explores the intersections of identity, blackness, masculinity and ethics. Outside of the classroom, you can find him practicing yoga poses, jamming to an album, catching up on a tv series, or viewing a new work of theater/art. JaQuan could not be more excited to join the Stiles family. Feel free to reach out to discuss anything under the sun — from food + faith to politics + pop culture — or if you simply need a listening ear or new self-care technique!

Asia Brown

Asia Brown is a second year Master of Public Health and Master of Divinity. She graduated from Yale in 2016 and is excited to become part of the Stiles family! She’s originally from New York, but is calling New Haven her home for the 6th year. Asia loves photography, cooking/baking, singing (especially with the Yale Gospel Choir), and dancing–you can usually catch her doing at 1-2 of those activities at any given time. Asia is passionate about using her love for people to help them access health care. Feel free to reach out if you want to make something delicious, get a headshot,  make some music or talk health or faith! 

Maria Brouard

Maria is from Dover, New Jersey and is currently a NIH-PREP Scholar at Yale for one year. She has a B.A. in Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering from Harvard University (GASP!) and is a proud Pforzheimer House alumnus. During her undergraduate studies, Maria conducted chemical biology research in Christina Woo’s lab and worked at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR). As a NIH-PREP scholar, she currently conducts medicinal chemistry research in Jonathan Ellman’s lab in the Yale Chemistry Department AND is applying to MD/PhD programs (The pre-med struggle). Maria speaks Greek fluently and LOVES to bake. Whenever she is not in lab or filling out applications, Maria sings in the Yale Camerata and volunteers at the Yale New Haven Hospital. Please feel free to reach out to Maria for any premed, chemistry, biomedical engineering, internships, or gap year questions. She also really likes to just chill and morally support students with chats, snacks, and chocolate. GFM!

Bianca Dang

Bianca is a second year Ph.D. student in African American Studies and History. Originally from Missouri, she has become a Californian at heart. She received her B.A. in History from Stanford University in 2013 and while there spent a lot of her time working in the Bridge Peer Counseling Center and running around in co-ops. When not reading, she enjoys cooking large meals, rock climbing, and doing crossword puzzles. Her work looks at questions of citizenship in the nineteenth century, with a particular focus on how African American emigration movements to the Caribbean and to Africa reflected particular ideas about belonging and possibility. She welcomes any questions about her work/interests/or anything else you may want to talk about!

Allison Durkin

Allison Durkin is a first-year J.D. candidate at Yale Law School, and a proud Stilesian. Originally from West Pittston, Pennsylvania, Allison graduated from Yale College in 2016 with a B.S. in Cognitive Science. Before returning to New Haven for law school, Allison worked as a Research Coordinator to the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment in New York, where she developed interests in disability rights, education law, and health law. Outside of class, Allison loves to bake, attend trivia, and explore New Haven’s incredible ice cream scene. She’s thrilled to be rejoining the Stiles community.

Arash Fereydooni

Arash is a third year medical student, graduated Yale in 2015 with a BS and MS in MCD Biology, and was a proud stilesian. Though he hails from Southern California, he has weirdly been okay with New Haven’s bipolar weather for the past five years. He is interested in surgery, academic medicine and social justice issues and enjoys hiking, reading non-fictions, playing soccer, and watching Grey’s Anatomy. He is very excited to be rejoining the Stiles community.

Mansur Ghani

Mansur Ghani is a medical student from Los Angeles, CA. He’s a proud Moose (class of ’14) who studied Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry as an undergrad. He’s passionate about global health and his projects have taken him to Malaysia, Turkey, Ecuador and more. When not traveling, Mansur is an avid Astronomy enthusiast and would love to organize a stargazing study break as a graduate affiliate. Feel free to chat with him about the newly founded Space Medicine Interest Group or really anything at all! 

Noa Golan

Noa is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Interdepartment Neuroscient program. She is specifically interested in enhancing recovery after spinal cord injury. Noa grew up in Newton, MA and attended Northeastern University as an undergrad. In her free time, she loves to run and spin and usually tries to incorporate those passions in her Stiles programming. 

John Gonzalez

John is a second-year law student, who graduated from Yale College in 2014 with a BA in Economics, where he was a proud Stilesian. Originally from California, John worked in New Orleans after graduation, teaching 8th-grade math in Tréme through Teach for America. Later, he spent a year doing worker’s compensation plaintiff work, representing injured workers. He is interested in criminal justice and educational reform. At law school, John is a member of the Criminal Justice Clinic, Community Chair for the Latinx Law Students Association, Co-President of the Project for Law and Education at Yale, Co-Director of the Rebellious Lawyering Conference, a Dean’s Advisor, and a teacher at the Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School through the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. When not learning about the commerce clause, he enjoys playing the piano, performing at The Moth, shooting hoops, and eating Pepe’s. He’s excited to be a part of the Ezra Stiles community again and wants to help out in any way he can!

Alycia Hall

Alycia is a second year Ph.D student in African American Studies and History. One of five children born in New York to Jamaican parents she began her college career at a small liberal arts college called Mount Holyoke College. After two years, her interest in pursuing a career in the medical field waned as she realized she was terrible at all her science classes. Eventually she would transfer to the City College of New York where she won the Mellon Mays Fellowship and graduated in 2016 with her B.A. and M.A. in history. Alycia has excitedly been researching the history of Jamaica, in particular she is interested in understanding how maroon communities navigated a changing social, political, and economic world as Jamaica transitioned from slavery to free labor. When not overwhelmed by reading, research, and writing papers, Alycia likes to watch movies, bake, play with her animals and go out to eat with friends. 

Yuki Hayashi

Yuki is a 2nd year Health Policy student in the BS-MPH 5-year joint degree program. She was a Psychology/Neuroscience major and a proud Stilesian as an undergrad. After graduating college in 2017, she took off to work in healthcare consulting in San Diego in pursuit of warmer weather. Now that she’s back in academia, she is pursuing her interest in reducing health disparities through improving access to and quality of mental health care from a policy perspective. She’s from Japan and enjoys cooking with friends, shopping, vegetating while watching reality TV, and playing racket sports. She’s looking forward to contributing to the Stiles community with the Grad Affiliate team! 

Dandan Ji

Dandan is a fifth-year PhD student in the Physics Department, working on fluid dynamics. She grew up in northern China, home of Shaolin martial arts. Besides science, she loves to travel and experience new things. She recently came back from a 2-month trip to India. Other than that, she enjoys watching NBA, playing squash at PWG, and running in East Rock. Given that she went to college in China, she would love to learn more about college life in the US. She’s thrilled to be a graduate affiliate at Stiles. Feel free to reach out to her via email, if you have any questions.

Dianne Lake

Dianne Lake is a first year J.D. Candidate at Yale Law School originally from Freetown, Sierra Leone. Her family immigrated to the U.S. following the Sierra Leonean Civil War and have since been based in Los Angeles. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale College in 2016 and is a proud Stilesian. Before attending Yale Law School she worked as a Woodbridge Fellow for the Yale Office of International Affairs and curated Yale’s Contemporary African Arts and Culture Festival, Africa Salon. Dianne’s research and academic interests include International Human Rights, Post-Conflict Politics, Critical Legal Studies, Feminist Theory, Cultural Rights, and the intersections of Art and Social Justice. Dianne is also a singer and visual artist, and in her spare time she loves cooking, watching TV, and tearing up the dance floor. 

Megann Licskai

Megann grew up outside of London, Ontario on a farm with horses, chickens, and corresponding barn chores. She moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia to complete her undergraduate studies at the University of King’s College, where she read a lot of books and accidentally discovered a love for the history of science. Now that she is in her 4th year in HSHM at Yale, Megann reads even more books but is still enamoured with the field. She is interested in reproductive justice, particularly looking at abortion (access to, attitudes about) in the decades after Roe v. Wade. When not elbow-deep in reading, Megann is probably walking, writing letters, binge-watching TV, or thinking about food. She is passionate about mentorship, care packages, and poutine, and could not be more excited to be the head grad affiliate at Stiles this year. 

Viveca Morris

Viveca Morris is a joint-degree graduate student at Yale SOM and Yale FES. She wants to spend her career building a more humane and compassionate society for animals and people. Viveca graduated from Yale College in 2015 as a Stiles Moose. She is interested in what animals think and feel, and the questions animals and our relationships with them raise about conscience, consciousness, power and what it means to be human. She is delighted to be part of Stiles community again! Her areas of expertise include enthusiastic appreciation of Yale squirrel mischief, learning important life lessons from dogs, and working from her office, er I mean, Blue State.

Joel Ong

Joel is an astronomy graduate student from sunny Singapore, doing research on asteroseismology and radial velocity instrumentation for exoplanet detection. He earned his B Sc. degree from the National University of Singapore, doing research on general relativity (wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff IN SPACE). As an undergraduate, he was part of the Ezra Stiles community while a visiting international student, and liked it so much that he decided to come back to Yale. Joel also likes food. A lot. When not doing science, you can probably find him in a kitchen somewhere. Maybe one day he might cook for you!

Maryam Ivette Parhizkar

Maryam was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but has made New York City and Jersey City adoptive homes in adulthood. She earned a B.A. in English from Columbia University, and an M.A. in Liberal Studies from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, with work experience as an arts administrator, music teacher and small press editor. A second-year PhD student in African American Studies and American Studies at Yale, she is interested in migration in U.S. cities throughout the 20th century, and the creative and political exchanges between African American and other migrant culture-makers. Maryam is also a poet and violist, and keeps her ears out for to all kinds of music in and out of New Haven––from chamber music  and avant-garde jazz to soul, folk, cumbia, hip-hop and post-punk. She is also an avid experimenter of Persian and Latin American cooking, and happy to talk to Stiles students about any of these interests and experiences!

Maria Jose Plascencia

Maria Jose, or MJ, is a first year PhD student in American Studies. Her work focuses on the cultural history of her hometown- the San Diego/Tijuana border region. MJ is a first-generation college graduate. She received her B.A. in American Studies from the University of Southern California. At USC, she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. After graduating, MJ lived in Boston where she danced for the NBA Boston Celtics and worked in HR. Boston was a great experience, but her long term goal was graduate school and she’s excited to be at Yale! Outside of school, MJ is the proud dog mom of a rescue named Chonchis Monchis. Together they enjoy binge-watching TV, dancing cumbias, and Ashley’s ice cream. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about her work/MMUF/graduate school/resumes/dance/Chonchis Monchis/anything!

Héctor Peralta

Héctor is a 2nd year PhD student in the American Studies department. Héctor graduated from Brown University, where he received a BA in Ethnic Studies and Education-Human Development. While at Brown, he was a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow, he studied abroad in Paris, and he was part of various dance teams. His doctoral research explores the history of the Californian borderlands. Héctor studies how migrant, refugee, Native and indigenous people shape the sociopolitical geography of California. Héctor grew up in El Centro, CA; Mexicali, BC, MX; and El Cajon, CA.

Malena Rice

Malena is a second year PhD student in the Astronomy department at Yale, where she specializes in exoplanets and planet formation. She is originally from southern California, and she graduated from UC Berkeley in 2017 with degrees in Physics and Astrophysics. She loves to be outdoors and is particularly renowned for her love of great bread. Malena is passionate about STEM outreach as well as playing the flute, stargazing, traveling, and smiling. She’s incredibly excited to be a part of the Stiles community!

Cera Smith

Cera is a third year PhD student in African American Studies and English. Originally from Southern California, Cera earned a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from California State University Long Beach where they focused on radical protest literatures of the U.S., especially those by writers of color from the 20th and 21st centuries. Now, their work focuses on the ways that Black literatures expose processes of race-making as well as how racialization is chronicled, interpreted, upheld, and/or resisted through the racialized body. Outside of school, Cera enjoys swing and tango dancing, getting to know people, organizing with local social justice organizations, and perusing the “free” section on Craigslist.

Maile Speakman

Maile is an Oregonian, lover of Super Nintendo, critical theory nerd, and ex-roller derby queen. As an American Studies PhD student, she spends her time researching an alternative media network in Cuba called el paquete semanal. She also studies telecommunications infrastructure, informal markets, and U.S. imperialism in Cuba. Before studying at Yale, Maile received a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. Outside of the ivory tower, she has worked as an ESL teacher for Portland Public Schools and for the Ministry of Education of Spain. In her free time, Maile enjoys riding her bicycle, discovering new cities, looking at the ocean, and collecting colorful stationary.

Stephanie Tu

Stephanie Tu is a second year medical student.  She was born and raised in southern California.  She attended the University of California, Irvine for college, where she graduated with a BS in Human Biology in 2016.  Stephanie is interested in integrating the topics of bioethics, medical humanities, and immunology for her career.  Outside of school, you can find her reading, writing, listening to music (and occasionally singing along), playing adventure games, hiking, and running.  She has had extensive experience helping students narrow down their major/minor options and adjust to university life.  She can’t wait to join the Stiles community and is happy to talk about whatever students are interested in learning more about!

Monique Flores Ulysses

Monique is a third year Mexican/Cypriot Ph.D. student in the Department of History. She grew up on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples in Victoria, BC, Canada, completing her B.A. in History and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, and her M.A. in History from McGill University. Monique is a cultural historian of 20th c Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and Indigenous peoples (especially anything to do with music, fashion, and physical culture!) as related to questions of U.S. empire, citizenship, and migration. Before beginning her Ph.D. at Yale, Monique spent almost ten years working in the service industry and still longs for all the free espresso she used to get. When she isn’t doing school-related things, Monique likes to spend her free time reading, binge-watching Netflix, playing the guitar, making art, and hanging out in green spaces around New Haven. This is her third year as a Stiles graduate affiliate and she is excited to get to know all of the new students at Stiles! Feel free to contact her with anything you might need.

Sydney Wade

Sydney is a second-year student at the Yale School of Public Health in the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases department as a candidate of the five-year joint degree program between Yale College and YSPH. She graduated from Yale College in 2018 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and was (and always will be) a proud Stilesian. Sydney primarily studies mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and Zika virus, and hopes to develop public health strategies and policies one day. When she is not tutoring for PHYS 170, you can find Sydney dancing, eating, dancing while eating, bullet journaling, or planning trips that she will never take. Feel free to reach out to Sydney if you ever want to chat about public health, the five-year joint degree program, good food, or anything else!

Teona Williams

Teona Williams is a second year Phd student in History and African American Studies. She studies 20th century United States history with a focus on African American and environmental history. Before Yale, she completed a master’s degree in Environmental Justice at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. There she researched African Americans access to outdoor recreation. She hails from D.C. which to her will always be the greatest city in the world!

Emily Duncan Wilson

Emily Duncan Wilson is a second-year Sound Design MFA Candidate in the School of Drama, where she combines her love of music with her passions for theatre and storytelling. Originally from Keene, NH and a graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA with a B.A in multiple woodwind performance, she loves spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking, traveling, sitting in coffee shops, wearing scarves, doing calligraphy, drinking seltzer, browsing used bookstores and record stores, and thinking about sound.