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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.

Suzanne Young's picture

Suzanne Young

Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Professional Development
Founders Hall 185
+1 (203) 432-8895

OGSDD Fellows

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.

Josie Jayworth's picture
Josie Jayworth
Chemistry
Josie Jayworth's picture
Josie Jayworth
Chemistry

Josie Jayworth 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.

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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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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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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