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Staff & Fellows

Staff

Michelle Nearon's picture

Michelle Nearon

Senior Associate Dean & Director of Office for Graduate Student Development and Diversity
Warner House 206
203-436-1301
Michelle Nearon's picture

Michelle Nearon

Senior Associate Dean & Director of Office for Graduate Student Development and Diversity
Warner House 206
203-436-1301

Primary Responsibilities: Diversity Strategic Initiatives, Emerging Scholars Initiative, Title IX and Dean’s Designee

Michelle Nearon joined the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in July 2008, where she works closely with students, members of the faculty and administration, and the McDougal Center Offices, to proactively recruit, retain, and assist in the professional development of graduate students from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, political, cultural, and lifestyle backgrounds. Dean Nearon received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brooklyn Polytechnic University, respectively. After completing her master’s degree she devoted approximately ten years to both the aerospace and automotive industries, beginning as a research engineer and ultimately becoming a general manager. She then completed a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stony Brook University in May 2000. Nearon subsequently served on the faculty at Stony Brook University as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and as director of recruitment and diversification in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences until coming to Yale.

OGSDD Fellows

Stephane Andrade's picture
Stephane Andrade
African American Studies
Stephane Andrade's picture
Stephane Andrade
African American Studies

Stephane D. Andrade is a PhD student in Sociology and African American Studies, and a Junior Fellow of the Urban Ethnography Project at Yale.  His research interests lie at the intersection of race/ethnicity, urban and community sociology, inequality, and the criminal justice system.

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Patrice Collins's picture
Patrice Collins
Sociology
Patrice Collins's picture
Patrice Collins
Sociology

Patrice Collins is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Sociology and a fellow of the Urban Ethnography Project and Comer School Development Program at Yale. Her research focuses on sociology of family, urban ethnography, mass incarceration, and racial inequality. Before coming to Yale, Patrice worked as a preschool teacher, early education lab instructor and child development lecturer for California State University. She holds an M.A. in Early Childhood Education and a B.A. in Child Development Studies. 

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Emma Corcoran's picture
Emma Corcoran
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Emma Corcoran's picture
Emma Corcoran
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Emma Tung Corcoran is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Emma’s research investigates how epigenetic mechanisms regulate genome stability in the plant system Arabidopsis thaliana. Emma is also a leader for the Yale chapter of oSTEM, a national organization dedicated to the promotion and support of LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM-designated fields.

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Kathryn Graves's picture
Kathryn Graves
Psychology
Kathryn Graves's picture
Kathryn Graves
Psychology

Kathryn Graves is a fourth year PhD candidate in the Psychology Department, studying the neural mechanisms by which people learn and extract structure from their environments as they navigate. She uses behavioral studies, computational models, and intracranial EEG in epilepsy patients, including cutting-edge brain implants that can record neural activity from humans during real-world navigation. Beyond the lab, Kathryn has striven to fix the “leaky pipeline” in higher academia as Co-Chair of her department’s Diversity Committee, organizing mentorship programming and workshops with international reach.

Nia Harmon's picture
Nia Harmon
Chemistry
Nia Harmon's picture
Nia Harmon
Chemistry

Nia Harmon is a second-year PhD student in the Chemistry Department. Her research interests focus on developing selective and energy-efficient heterogeneous catalysts for the electrochemical conversion of nitrate to ammonia. In her free time, Nia enjoys volunteering in local science outreach programs and mentoring the next generation of scientists.

Josephine Jacob-Dolan's picture
Josephine Jacob-Dolan
Chemistry
Josephine Jacob-Dolan's picture
Josephine Jacob-Dolan
Chemistry

Josie Jacob-Dolan is a fourth year PhD student in the Chemistry Department. Josie's lab is in the Energy Science's Institute on Yale's West Campus where she studies solar powered water oxidation as a way to produce fuels such as hydrogen in a green way. Josie is also the director of Open Labs, a STEM outreach group at Yale focused on lowering barriers to science  for students in New Haven and the surrounding towns.

Marius Kothor's picture
Marius Kothor
History
Marius Kothor's picture
Marius Kothor
History

Marius Kothor is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History with broad research interests in 20th century African history, gender, and Black Internationalism. Her dissertation focuses on women trader's political and economic contributions to Togo's independence movement and how Togo's anti-colonial struggle informed African American discourses on decolonization in Africa. Marius employs a variety of methods in her research including; archival research, oral histories, and visual analysis.

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Jon-Paul Lapeña's picture
Jon-Paul Lapeña
Religious Studies
Jon-Paul Lapeña's picture
Jon-Paul Lapeña
Religious Studies

Jon-Paul is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Religious Studies with research interests in Biblical interpretations of healing and healthcare and its impact on public health. His work focuses on developing ethical perspectives that liberate illness and disability from historical and religious interpretations that may lead to stigmatization today. Jon-Paul is also working jointly as the inaugural fellow with the Yale Schwarzman Center to help lead the Sessions initiative.

Uzoji Nwanaji-Enwerem's picture
Uzoji Nwanaji-Enwerem
Nursing
Uzoji Nwanaji-Enwerem's picture
Uzoji Nwanaji-Enwerem
Nursing

Uzoji Nwanaji is a 2nd PhD student at Yale School of Nursing. Her research interests include investigating how psychosocial stressors (i.e., discrimination, stigmatization) affect health outcomes among vulnerable and marginalized populations. For her dissertation, she is focusing on opioid use disorder (OUD) related stigma and its impact on sleep health, treatment processes and outcomes. Before coming to Yale, Uzoji worked as a wound care registered nurse for PruittHealth. In addition to her B.S. in Nursing, she holds an M.S.N with a concentration in family practice. Furthermore, along with serving as an OGSDD fellow, Uzoji also serves as a Career Strategy Fellow for Yale’s West Campus and the PhD Student Representative on Yale School of Nursing’s Alumni Association Board.

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Shanelle Shillingford's picture
Shanelle Shillingford
Chemistry
Shanelle Shillingford's picture
Shanelle Shillingford
Chemistry

Shanelle Shillingford is an immigrant from the Commonwealth of Dominica, and currently a third-year PhD candidate in the Chemistry Department.  Her research interest focuses on a protein phosphatase, known as MKP5 which has been shown to play a role in fibrosis and skeletal muscular degenerative diseases.  As such, Shanelle is interested in exploring the mechanism of action of MKP5 to discover means of inhibition, and possibly treatment of such diseases.  Her office hours are Mondays 11am-12:30pm and Wednesdays 5:00pm to 6:30pm.

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Cera Smith's picture
Cera Smith
English
Cera Smith's picture
Cera Smith
English

Cera Smith is a fifth-year PhD candidate in African American Studies and English.  Their work focuses on representations of the Black internal body in 20th- and 21st-century U.S.Black literature and visual art.  Outside of school, Cera supports local community organizations working towards racial justice, such as CTCORE Organize Now! (Connecticut Community Organizing for Racial Equity—Organize Now!)

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Brittany Torrez's picture
Brittany Torrez
Management
Brittany Torrez's picture
Brittany Torrez
Management

Brittany Torrez is a fourth year doctoral student in Organizational Behavior at the Yale School of Management. Her research examines the psychological processes that contribute to the reproduction of race and class inequality in the workplace. Brittany also serves as a Graduate Diversity Fellow for the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life and is a member of The PhD Project.

Jennifer Troiano's picture
Jennifer Troiano
Chemistry
Jennifer Troiano's picture
Jennifer Troiano
Chemistry

Jen is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Chemistry Department. She works on West Campus as part of the Energy Sciences Institute. Her research focuses on developing systems that can use solar energy to produce fuel, allowing for storage of this renewable resource. She is also a board member for WISAY, a group dedicated to promoting equality for all gender minorities in STEM.

Shannon Whittaker's picture
Shannon Whittaker
Public Health
Shannon Whittaker's picture
Shannon Whittaker
Public Health

Shannon Whittaker is a 2nd year PhD student in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research interests include studying how social and political processes such as gentrification and redlining impact the health of marginalized communities of color. Before Yale, she worked in healthcare advertising at Omnicom and as a health policy coordinator for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She holds a B.A with honors from Brown University and an MPH from the Brown University School of Public Health.

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Teona Williams's picture
Teona Williams, PhD
History
Teona Williams's picture
Teona Williams, PhD
History

Teona Williams is a second year Phd student in History and African American Studies. She studies 20th century United States history with a focus on African American and environmental history. Before Yale, she completed a master’s degree in Environmental Justice at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. There she researched African Americans access to outdoor recreation. She hails from D.C. which to her will always be the greatest city in the world!

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