Graduate Affiliates

Graduate Affiliates are graduate and professional students who receive certain privileges in Berkeley in exchange for coordinating programs for, interacting with, and counseling undergraduates.  They have been active throughout the college in many ways: helping with freshman move-in, hosting Junior Semester Abroad and pre-med info talks, and sponsoring yummy study breaks.  Berkeley’s head Grad Affiliate is Allison Tjemsland.

If you would like more information on the Graduate Affiliate program, please follow the following link:

Graduate Affiliates for 2016-2017

Michael Cohen (Health Policy and Management)

Michael Cohen is a third year PhD student in the Health Policy and Management department. His research generally falls under the umbrella of health economics, with interests in quality and financial incentives, particularly related to long-term care. Prior to arriving in New Haven, he got his master’s degree from Harvard, worked for a few years in Boston, and received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis. When he’s not hitting the books, Michael enjoys hiking, cooking, listening to podcasts about Survivor, and competing with the Yale curling team.

Weston Jennings (Music)

Weston Jennings is a second year Master of Music student at the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. As an undergraduate, he studied organ performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Following his undergraduate studies, Weston lived in the United Kingdom serving as Organ Scholar of Canterbury Cathedral and Chelmsford Cathedral. During this time, he was also appointed the first Organ Scholar to the Royal Festival Hall, London. His other interests include language study, running, cooking, and world travel. 

Jesse Marks (Law)

A proud 2011 Thundercoq, I am excited to return to Berkeley as a graduate affiliate. I am now a second-year student at the law school with academic interests in economic regulation and budgetary policy. During my time away from New Haven, I worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in Washington, D.C., on the strategy team of Adidas America in Oregon, and on the analytics team of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency in Addis Ababa. Outside of work, I love trail running at West Rock, rock climbing on Ragged Mountain, and cheering on my hometown soccer team, the New England Revolution. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to talk about careers in management consulting or sports, are considering law school, or want a trail running partner.

Kavita Mistry (Medicine)

I love Yale. In fact, I love Yale so much that after graduating from Berkeley College (Class of ‘11), I decided to stay here for another 8 years as part of Yale’s MD/PhD Program! While I was at Yale College, I majored in English and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, took part in dance, volunteering and science research, and shared some wonderful times with fellow Berkeleyites and students from the other (lesser) residential colleges, alike. Although I initially thought about going to English grad school, I found my vocation to be in healing the sick, and in furthering scientific knowledge in order to allow doctors to better treat their patients. I’m currently about to enter my fourth year of graduate school, and I’m loving it! In addition to my clinical and scientific work, I am a recreational equestrian, and love to cook.

Katherine Rich (Public Health) 

I graduated from Yale (Berkeley!!) last spring and I am completing a masters in Public Health as part of the 5 year BA-BS/MPH program. As an undergraduate I majored in Psychology (neuroscience track), was a FOOT leader, and was involved with Community Health Educators (CHE). I spent this past summer in Lima, Peru, surveying HIV and TB patients in public hospitals. I’m so psyched to still be a part of Berkeley this year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to talk about anything- from public health to why BK is the best! 


Eric Rutkow (History)

Eric Rutkow is a seventh year graduate student in the department of history.  He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and has practiced environmental law in Southeast Asia and corporate law in New York City.  He is the author of American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation (Scribner, 2012), which won the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award for U.S. history.

Farhan Murshed (Medicine)

Farhan is a medical student at Yale. After stops in Sydney, Toronto, and Detroit, he attended a small school in Boston, majoring in Neurobiology. After graduation, he worked with the team doctor to the Detroit Pistons and Tigers. On research: he’s published journal articles in cancer biology and most recently worked in a tissue engineering lab at Yale. Of his experiences at Yale so far, a highlight was teaching undergraduates- who were awesome- and he looks forward to sharing stories and helping BK students find and do what they love.

David Suwondo (Medicine)

David Suwondo (BK ’13) is an M.D. student at the Yale School of Medicine, where his interests and activities include global health research, point-of-care emergency ultrasound, and anatomy teaching; he hopes to someday pursue a career in academic emergency medicine. As an undergraduate, David majored in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; served as chief of service for Yale Emergency Medical Services, where he worked as an EMT, CPR instructor, and EMT class practical skills instructor; conducted leptospirosis research in the Ko Lab at the Yale School of Public Health; and was co-chair of the Undergraduate Council at Saint Thomas More. Having spent his bright college years in Berkeley, David is honored and excited to rejoin Yale’s best residential college as a graduate affiliate, and he hopes you will find him in the dining hall or contact him sometime to talk about life, med school, advice, research, or food.

Arpit Dua (Physics)

I am a PhD student in the Department of Physics. I graduated from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee in 2014.  I am currently working in the area of Quantum Computing and Condensed Matter which is at the intersection of physics, math and a ‘bit’ of computer science. During my undergrad, I gained international research exposure at the Max Planck Institute and the Perimeter Institute. For a while, I had been a programming enthusiast and participated in coding contests at the national level. Besides, I was fortunate to get a flavor of social entrepreneurship by doing foundational work for the chapter of Avanti Fellows at IIT Roorkee. Serving as a Young Ambassador for DAAD (Germany) for two years, gave me experience to talk about a number of fields at the graduate level and the corresponding scholarships. Feel free to talk to me about math, physics, programming and academic career options in general as well as social or technical entrepreneurship. I am looking forward to interact with you !

Jessica Glass (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)

Jessica Glass (BK ‘10) is a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. She has spent the past four years in Alaska, first working on commercial fishing boats in the Bering Sea, then getting a M.S. in Fisheries. Her interests include the biogeography and evolution of commercially important marine fish species, specifically using genetics to inform management and conservation. Her dissertation research is on fishes of the western Indian Ocean, from South Africa to Seychelles. In Alaska, Jessica spent her spare time fishing, hunting, and skiing. In New Haven, she plays violin for the Berkeley College Orchestra, rides on the Yale Polo Team, and is frequently seen running around East Rock with her black lab, Zephyr. Get in touch if you want to talk about biology, grant writing, international research, or how to share a bathroom with 19 fishermen.

Allison Tjemsland (Law)

I’m a second year student at Yale Law School. After graduating Yale College in 2011 (Berkeley!!), I worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique where I taught eighth grade chemistry and tenth grade English in a small beach village. I am so happy to be back at Yale and more specifically back in Berkeley. In my free time I love to bake, make massive amounts of pasta, and obsessively read food blogs. Feel free to find me to discuss Peace Corps (or similar organizations), law school, or if you’re looking for a Portuguese conversation partner!