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 2020-2021 (Additional GA’s to be announced in September)

Co-Head Grad Affiliates


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!

Max Rolison (Medicine)

Max Rolison (BK ‘15) is a medical student. He received a B.S. in Psychology (Neuroscience). During college, Max did autism research at the Yale Child Study Center, served on the student executive committee of Dwight Hall, and created a social support program in New Haven high schools for students with developmental disabilities. Before beginning medical school, Max worked at the Yale Child Study Center for two years, researching autism using electroencephalography and eye tracking. He uses neuroimaging to study early neurodevelopmental signatures of autism. He is applying for residency in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Max is always happy to discuss academic interests, extracurriculars, being pre-med/medical school, or generally about life in Berkeley and Yale.

Grad Affiliates


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.


Ken Gunasekera (MD-PhD)

Ken Gunasekera (BK ‘15) is an MD-PhD student. He is originally from Long Island, NY. He is pursuing his PhD training at the School of Public Health in Epidemiology of Microbial Disease. He is interested in medicine, social determinants of health, figuring out how to measure things, traveling, food, running, swimming, long walks, and spending time with people. He is 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 him in the dining hall or on campus, say hi – he promises to be friendly!

Danielle Miyagishima (MD-PhD)

Danielle is an MD-PhD. 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 is a fourth-year medical student at YSM with a passion for orthopedics, systems innovation, and access to surgery in underserved populations on both a domestic and global scale. Taylor completed a bachelor’s 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 research is focused on orthopedic outcomes using large databases such as NSQIP, musculoskeletal health of Paralympic athletes, as well as safe and affordable orthopedic access and training in both Haiti and Guatemala. He plans to do an orthopaedic surgery residency following his time at YSM. 

Anthony Ratinov (Music)

Anthony Ratinov (BK ‘20) is a M.M. (Master of Music) student at the Yale School of Music, studying piano with Professor Boris Berman and Professor Wei-Yi Yang. His family is originally from Moscow, Russia and he grew up in Maryland. At Yale, he majored in Chemical Engineering (ABET-accredited). He was a FOOT leader, serving as one of the equipment coordinators, and was on the leadership board for the Undergraduate Piano Collective. He also was a member of the Pfefferle Lab Group, where he researched the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials and superconductors. During the summers, in addition to research, he participated in international music festivals and competitions, recently winning the Pianists’ Award, sponsored by Bösendorfer, at the International Summer Academy in Austria (2019), and the 3rd prize at the Virtuoso & Belcanto piano competition in Italy (2017). 

He enjoys exploring new food, going on hikes and backpacking, and loves watching and analyzing films. He is always happy to discuss his academic, social, and extracurricular experience at Yale, and would be happy to meet new people!

Jonathan Silverthorne (FES & Management)

Jonathan is a 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

Safia Speer (Public Health)

Safia (BK ‘20) is a MPH student at the Yale School of Public Health. She is in the Healthcare Management track, and is very interested in health innovation and policy. While at Yale, Safia was involved in the Yale Undergraduate Ballet Company and Add Dance Company. She also worked as a College Aide and volunteered on BKCC. Safia is currently the Public Health Coordinator for Berkeley College. She is always happy to talk about public health, health insurance and policy, majoring in Econ, and the BA/MPH program!