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.

Graduate Affiliates for 2023-2024

Head Grad Affiliates

Alex Brod (BK ’19) is a student at Yale Law School. Originally from New Jersey, Alex graduated from Yale with a degree in Political Science. While at Yale, Alex was a member of the Berkeley College Orchestra, the Yale Concert Band, the Berkeley College Big Sib Program, and Berkeley’s “North Court Grilling Squad.” After graduating, he worked for two years in the legal and compliance department at a quantitative investment firm in New York. Outside of school, Alex enjoys cooking, playing the clarinet and piano, watching baseball (go Yankees!), and golfing. He is thrilled to rejoin the Berkeley Community and looks forward to chatting about academic, extracurricular, and social life at Yale, especially over a cookout in North Court!

Grad Affiliates

Andrés Bustamante (BK ‘15) is a PhD candidate in History. As an undergrad, he was a Berkeley College Aide, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, and student coordinator at La Casa Cultural. Before beginning his PhD, he studied Archeology and Art History at the University of Cambridge as a Paul Mellon Fellow. He also has curatorial experience at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Yale Center for British Art. He is thrilled to be back in the BK community after a year of field research in Mexico City and looks forward to chatting, especially over bubble tea!

Mary Katherine DeWane is a joint degree student pursuing a Masters of Forestry at Yale School of the Environment and an MBA at Yale SOM. She is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, and graduated from Harvard College in 2020 with a degree in Integrative Biology and a secondary in Archaeology. While at Harvard, Mary Katherine was a resident of Dunster House- Berkeley’s sister house!- and has many fond memories of staying in Berkeley during H-Y weekend. She loves anything outdoors, especially if it means she gets to see cool plants, and she also loves any water related activity- swimming, rowing, boating, fishing, etc. Feel free to talk to her about any of these activities, applying to YSE or SOM, college football, Memphis basketball, and any good food spots in New Haven!

Lucien Dieter is a PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. Growing up in Portland, Oregon. He graduated in 2021 with a degree in environmental engineering at Arizona State University, where he also minored in sustainability and music performance. As a student researcher with The Biodesign Institute, Lucien investigated the impact of pharmaceutical compounds in the environment. After graduating, he worked as a physical scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before arriving at Yale. His PhD research studies analytical and molecular biotechnology applied to environmental health. Lucien is always looking to be active outdoors, experiment with new vegan foods, and catch up on a backlog of movies and TV. Please talk freely with me about things to do in the area, science and engineering research or career interests, pets, and all things health and environment!

Naomi Gluck is a second-year Physics PhD student from Long Island, NY. Her current research is in computational astrophysics and cosmology, simulating large-scale structure formation and evolution. As an undergraduate, Naomi majored in Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University, and conducted research there and in Israel at the Technion Institute of Technology. Aside from astrophysics, Naomi is interested in music composition, cooking, digital art, and mentoring. Please feel free to reach out - she is always happy to talk about physics, graduate school, art/music, and coffee!

Dhruti (Dhru) Gopaluni is an MBA student at the School of Management. She grew up in Houston, TX and graduated from Stanford University (’17) with a degree in Management Science & Engineering. After school, she lived in DC for six years, predominantly doing strategy and analytics work for NASA HQ. Outside of school and work, she is a big reader, a huge sports fan (talk to her about hockey, soccer, tennis, and your fantasy football team), and an outdoors enthusiast. She also loves trying new restaurants and cooking for her friends and family. Give Dhru a shout if you want to talk about business school, civic tech, space + energy policy, non-profit leadership, and what you’re listening to, watching, or eating.

Eui Young Kim (she/her) is a student at Yale Law School from Seoul, South Korea. She majored in philosophy at Yale College and worked as an immigration paralegal at New Haven Legal Assistance for a year after graduating. As an undergraduate, she was a writer at the Yale Daily News, a Peer Liaison at the Asian American Cultural Center, and a board member of Yale Effective Altruism. She enjoys vegan baking, spoken word, art galleries, superhero movies, and long walks.

Siddharth Mitra is a PhD student in the Computer Science Department and enjoys working on algorithms for machine learning and optimization. For undergrad, he was at the Chennai Mathematical Institute, a small and close knit community of eccentrics in the heart of South India, where he majored in Mathematics and Computer Science. Originally from New Delhi, India, he has lived in Virginia and Illinois. Sid loves the outdoors and particularly enjoys running and hiking. He plays the piano and, never seen without his camera, has a deep love for photography. His greatest talent may lie, however, in brewing an excellent cup of coffee, and in being a good listener.

Danielle Miyagishima is an MD-PhD student. She is originally from New Mexico and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Biology from New Mexico State University. She is doing her PhD in Genetics with Dr. Murat Gunel and is studying the tumor microenvironment of meningiomas using a variety of molecular biology and computational methods. Her other academic interests include teaching/tutoring, anatomy, bioethics, and neuroscience. She hopes to pursue a career in neurosurgery and was Co-Founder and Co-President of a medical student organization (Yale Cushing Society) for several years, which hosts events with YMPO for Yale College students interested in the field (so if you are interested, or curious, talk to me!). She’s involved in a variety of leadership and community-based activity inside and outside of Yale including her role as Founding Curator of the New Haven Global Shapers Hub. Global Shapers is an initiative by the World Economic Forum inspiring young people to organize in their local communities for the betterment of the world. 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.

Laura Plata (she/her) is a first-year student at Yale Law School from Illinois. Laura graduated Yale College with a degree in Ethics, Politics and Economics and was also a member of the Human Rights Program. As an undergraduate, Laura was part of the Yale Refugee Project (now known as the Migration Alliance at Yale) and also was involved with community-building efforts among first-generation college students. After graduating, she spent time both in Mexico doing research on U.S. asylum policy and in the UK pursuing a masters in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. Laura enjoys pursuing hobbies she is very mediocre at (salsa, painting, running 5ks). She’s always happy to talk about human rights work broadly, graduate school, the FGLI experience, or anything about life at Yale, in general. 

Sydney Riemer is a PhD student in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department from New York City. She studies the coevolution of life and the environment during Earth’s early history through the geological record (i.e., rocks). Before coming to Yale, she was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, and after graduation lived in Israel for three and a half years doing a master’s and working at an environmental technology start-up. Outside of her research she serves as an undergraduate mentor in the EPS department, and enjoys going to trivia nights and live music shows throughout New Haven, reading, playing electric guitar/bass, playing soccer, surfing, and hiking/camping. She’s happy to talk about anything at all and find new people to explore New Haven with!

Sarah Spaulding is an MD student at Yale School of Medicine. Originally from sunny Wilmington, NC, Sarah double majored in Environmental Engineering and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology as a Yale undergrad. After graduation, she worked in cancer research for two years in New York City. Now back at Yale for med school, she is passionate about student wellness and making time for life outside of school. Talk to her about reality TV, pickleball, audiobooks, online shopping, or anything STEM/medicine-related. 

Karenna Thomas (BK ’23) is a second-year MPH student at the Yale School of Public Health in the BA/BS-MPH program. She is originally from Rochester, NY and studied History of Science and Medicine (HSHM) and Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology (MCDB) at Yale. Her research focuses on reproductive rights behind bars and impacts of mass incarceration on community health, with specific interests in reproductive justice and activism-based research. As an undergraduate, Karenna was a FOOT leader, part of the Yale Environmental Coalition. She loves to hike, bake, and can often be found working at one of the many New Haven coffee shops.

Jackson Willis (BK ’20) is a first-year law student from St. Petersburg (“St. Pete”!), Florida. As an undergraduate, Jackson majored in Humanities and Economics and volunteered with the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project (YHHAP) and Dwight Hall. Prior to law school, Jackson served in the Peace Corps, toyed with a backwards clock, and pursued graduate study in the U.K. He’s thrilled to be back at Berkeley. Want to chat about public art or anything else under the Florida sun or Berkeley thunder? Please say hello! 

Mitch Wride is an MD student at Yale School of Medicine. After growing up in São Paulo, Brazil, he went to high school in St. Louis, MO before majoring in Portuguese at Brigham Young University. Before starting medical school, Mitch worked in ethnolinguistic and language pedagogy research. He spent his most recent summer in Germany and Poland as a medical fellow for the Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE). Mitch has two young children and believes strongly in work-life balance. He loves pickleball, basketball, hiking, audiobooks, going to the movies, and exploring Connecticut. He would love to talk about medicine, school, sports, or things to do in the area!

Amy Zhao (BK ’18) is an MD/PhD student at the Yale School of Medicine. She was born in California and grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts. As an undergrad, she majored in Statistics and Data Science as well as Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. She was also a member of the varsity swimming and diving team, a student researcher in the Koleske and King labs, and a co-leader/member of several student organizations. In addition to her Genetics PhD thesis research on lung diseases, she is passionate about advocating for women in STEM and medicine, advising students, and teaching/tutoring. She also enjoys board gaming, playing piano, and trying new restaurants. Please feel free to reach out - she is happy to talk about things to do in New Haven, STEM, medicine, and life in BK and at Yale!