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.

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

Graduate Affiliates for 2019-2020 (Additional GA’s to be announced in September)

Co-Head Grad Affiliates


Eugene Kim (Law)

Eugene is a proud Berkeley alumnus (2016) and a JD candidate at Yale Law School. As an undergraduate, he majored in economics, writing his thesis on the relationship between education and economic development. After graduating, he worked at a quantitative hedge fund on a corporate credit trading desk, and then returned to Yale for law school, where he currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal on Regulation. His primary legal interests are in antitrust and administrative law. He is happy to talk about most anything, including law, finance, classical music, cooking, or any of the courses he took in college to satisfy his distributional requirements (e.g. conducting, English poetry, Eastern philosophy).

Allison Rabkin-Golden (Law)

Allison is a JD candidate at Yale Law School. She grew up in San Francisco, California but came to also love the east coast, and New Haven specifically, as an undergraduate at Yale College – she is a proud former Berkeleyite and loves all things Berkeley. After graduation she moved to China on a Fulbright and subsequently developed a professional career spanning the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She looks forward to getting to know Berkeley students and supporting them with any and all questions, about academics at Yale, post-graduate fellowships, law school, and anything else on their minds! 

Grad Affiliates

Nafeesa Abuwala (Public Health)

Nafeesa Abuwala (BK ‘19) is an MPH candidate in the five-year BA-MPH program on the chronic disease epidemiology track! At Yale, she majored in medical anthropology and was in the global health studies program. She also served on the executive committee of Dwight Hall and worked in a few research labs, including Laurie Santos’s dog lab (back when she thought she was a cognitive science major). If you’re interested in anything science/medicine/global health/public health related or anything else not academic and a lot more fun, she’s happy to chat!

Andrew Brod (Law)

Andrew (BK ‘17) is a current student at Yale Law School. He majored in economics and mathematics as an undergraduate; he also took Directed Studies and a large number of classes in the Russian and history departments. While at Yale, he was a clarinetist in the Yale Concert Band and Berkeley College Orchestra, an editor of Accent (a foreign language magazine), and research assistant to a Nobel Prize-winning economist. He’s worked in management consulting and interned at a large macroeconomic hedge fund, and he came to the law school with an interest in exploring the intersection of law, business, and economics. He’d be more than happy to discuss academic interests, extracurriculars, law/career paths, travel (50+ countries), or just about anything else—and he’d be happy to help you practice your Spanish, French, or Russian at the same time!

Andrés Bustamante (History)

Andrés Bustamante (BK ‘15) is a Ph.D. student in the History department. After graduating from Yale, Andrés spent two years at the University of Cambridge as a Paul Mellon Fellow studying archaeology and history of art. His research looks at 19th and 20th century Mexico, focusing on the history of pre-Columbian art and the use of archaeology as a tool for nationalist mobilization and state formation. Andrés has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian. He enjoys cooking Mexican food, exploring archaeological sites, and playing the marimba. Feel free to get in touch about history, museums, the Paul Mellon Fellowship and Mellon Mays program, or generally about life in Berkeley and at Yale.

Michael Cohen (Public Health)

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.

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 !

Ken Gunasekera (MD-PhD)

My name is Ken Gunasekera (BK ‘15 – Thundercoqs Fly High). I’m from Long Island, NY, and am currently an MD-PhD student and will be pursuing my PhD training at the School of Public Health in Epidemiology of Microbial Disease. I’m really interested in medicine, social determinants of health, figuring out how to measure things, traveling, food, running, swimming, long walks, and spending time with people. I am happy to keep being a part of the Berkeley Community and would love to talk about academic/career stuff and other interesting things in life. If you see me in the dining hall or on campus, say hi – I promise to be friendly!

Danielle Miyagishima (MD-PhD)

Danielle is a third year MD-PhD student in her first year transitioning into the lab. She is originally from New Mexico and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Biology from New Mexico State University. Her PhD will be in genetics studying genetics of brain tumors and aneurysms. Her other academic interests include teaching/tutoring, anatomy, bioethics, and neuroscience. She hopes to pursue a career in neurosurgery and is Co-President of a medical student organization (Yale Cushing Society) that hosts events with YMPO for Yale College students interested in the field (so if you are interested, or curious, talk to me!). Outside of school, Danielle enjoys anything outdoors (hiking/backpacking/camping, running, cycling, swimming, soccer, rock climbing), and cooking New Mexican food. She has three very cute (unbiased, of course) dogs that live with her in West Haven. Talk to her about: anything, philosophy, surgical (or any medical/biomedical research) career interests, life in general, or life as a dog mom. 

Taylor Ottesen (Medicine)

Taylor Ottesen was born in raised in Orem, Utah. After a two-year gap serving a mission for his church, Taylor completed a bachelors degree in Neuroscience and Anthropology at Brigham Young University. During college, he spent several years abroad working in various medical and educational settings including the founding of his non-profit organization in Visakhapatnam, India.  After college, Taylor took a gap year to expand and scale the NGO and apply to medical school.  Now as a student at Yale School of Medicine, his international interests continue to be a core interest particularly in the expansion of global access to safe and affordable surgical care. He is also interested in big data, policy, and biomedical innovation. He is continuing to expand his knowledge in epidemiology, statistics, and databases in hopes of utilizing these skills in a future surgical career.  He is passionate about orthopedics and research and wants to complete an orthopedics residency after his time here at Yale. Outside of school, Taylor enjoys traveling (he has been to 56 countries), trying new food, running, photography, rock climbing, and learning about faith.

Max Rolison (Medicine)

Max Rolison (BK ’15) is a first-year medical student. Before beginning medical school, Max worked at the Yale Child Study Center for two years, researching autism using electroencephalography and eye tracking. As an undergraduate, Max majored in Psychology (Neuroscience Track) and was involved with research. He also served on the student executive committee of Dwight Hall and led Students for Autism Awareness at Yale, through which he created a social support program in New Haven high schools for students with developmental disabilities. In his free time, Max enjoys running, taking spin classes, and reading biographies.

Jonathan Silverthorne (FES & Management)

Jonathan is a first-year, joint degree student at the School of Management and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he focuses on renewable energy and environmental policy. His first job out of college was as a staffer on the Obama in campaign in 2008 and he’s been hooked on politics and policy since. After the campaign, he worked as a foreign policy advisor in the Obama Administration and later left government to lead the transformation of a program on global leadership at the Atlantic Council, a DC think tank. He grew up in DC and New Hampshire and majored in history as an undergrad at Dartmouth, where he also studied French, Russian, and Arabic. He enjoys tennis, hiking, traveling, and woodworking. Ask him about careers and internships in government or nonprofits, applying to business school without being an econ major, outdoor escapes around New Haven, or how to cook the world’s best late night comfort food.

Tara Torabi (Medicine)

Tara is a second year medical student. After graduating from Brown in 2015 with a degree in Neuroscience, she received a Mitchell Scholarship to study Neuropharmacology at NUIG in Galway, Ireland. There, she spent her time traveling (too much) while also completing a master’s thesis focused on the neuroprotective potential of a cannabinoid receptor in Parkinson’s disease. As a medical student, she is a student leader of Physicians for Human Rights and the Student Interest Group in Neurology; she currently conducts research on campus in a lab focused on therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.