Undergraduate Director’s Fellows, Class of 2020

Jessica Bae is in Davenport majoring in American Studies with a Concentration in Politics and the American Communities. Her interests include racial justice, immigration, and civil rights law. In the past, she has worked on issues of affordable housing, voting rights, and immigrant rights as a Civic Engagement Fellow in Flushing, NY, and volunteered with the ACLU of Washington State. At Yale, Jessica is the Co-President of Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investment Fund, and works as a research assistant for Professor Daniel Martinez HoSang.

Bessie Bauman is  in Ezra Stiles College majoring in Economics. At Yale, Bessie is the Co-President of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and she conducts research with the Yale Law School Community Economic Development clinic. She is interested in how public policy, specifically tax policy, can assist underserved communities to build wealth and alleviate wealth inequality in the United States.

Serena Cho is majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics. She is interested in philosophy of language and communication, and how these ideologies bear on arguments about free speech and information regulation. She hopes to research anti-fake news initiatives and regulations for social media platforms. Serena enjoys reporting and serves as the managing editor of the Yale Daily News.

Jason Contino is in Benjamin Franklin College majoring in sociology with a concentration in health. He is mainly interested in drug policy, with a focus on studying the effects that different treatment modalities have on people who use opioids, as well as labor policy and legislation protecting and empowering the right to collective bargaining in the workplace. Jason is currently Co-President of A Leg Even (a first-generation/low-income student group on campus), and has previously been involved with Matriculate.

Kahlil Greene is from outside of Washington D.C. majoring in History with a specific focus on United States policies affecting Black Americans. Currently, he is the student body president of Yale College and is the first Black student to ever hold this title. Kahlil has also served as an executive board member of the Yale Black Men’s Union, an advocate for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and consultant at McKinsey and Company.

Christopher J. Irsfeld is studying History with a concentration on social change and social movements. His research interests include the logistical challenges of rural infrastructure policy, the political relationships between progressivism and marginalized communities, and the history and development of farmer-labor movements. CJ works as the chief of staff to New Haven Alder Darryl Brackeen and coordinates the Dwight Hall Urban Fellows program, in addition to working on program and funding development with EMERGE Connecticut.

Makayla LaRonde-King is studying Political Science. She is also a Human Rights Scholar through Yale Law School’s Schell Center. She is interested in the implications of Black feminist theory for studying U.S. law and policy, particularly surrounding criminal and reproductive justice. On campus, she works as a research assistant in the Departments of Sociology and African American studies, where she has conducted research on lynching, police violence, and white supremacy.

Brian Reyes is majoring in History and Ethnicity, Race and Migration.  He is interested in race and class in urban environments, especially concerning the racial wealth gap and the rise of austerity policies since the 1970s. During his time at Yale, he has done research at the University of Chicago, currently conducts research as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, and has worked on several legislative and community campaigns at the state advocacy organization Connecticut Students for a Dream. 

Henry Rosas is majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration with a concentration in Latinx Studies. As a Mellon Mays fellow, he researches Arizona immigration policy and Latinx community organizing in south and west Phoenix. He is passionate about working on advancing progressive immigration policy, servicing immigrant communities, and working for elected officials dedicated to migrant justice. At Yale, he is heavily involved in the Latinx community, serving as the President of De Colores and Outreach Chair for Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale. 

Eli Sabin is  majoring in Political Science. After growing up in New Haven, Eli came to Yale determined to stay involved in his community. For the past year, he has served as the Director of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Progressive Caucus, and this past fall, he won a seat on the New Haven Board of Alders representing Ward 1. In each of these roles and in his studies at Yale, Eli focuses on researching and advocating for public policies that promote economic and social mobility in working class communities like New Haven.

Naomi Shimberg is majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics and pursuing a certificate in Energy Studies. She is especially interested in energy and resource economics, state-level climate policy, and environmental law. In the past, she has worked on climate outreach with Yale’s Office of Sustainability, as a leader of Students for Carbon Dividends, and in a backcountry hut on the Appalachian Trail. On campus, Naomi serves on the board of Dwight Hall, the Slifka Center for Jewish Life, and the New Haven Urban Debate League.

Sherrie Wang is majoring in Political Science and a Human Rights Scholar of the Schell Center.  She is interested in health policy, with an eye towards promoting value-based care that is grounded in health equity and community engagement. She works with the MOMS Partnership at the Yale Child Study Center, where she has researched mental health policy and family-oriented care as an approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. As a Yale Policy Lab Fellow, she teams with DreamKit to study technology’s application in ending youth homelessness.