Twenty alumni will return to YYGS as summer staff

May 7, 2024

Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS) is excited to announce that twenty past participants will return as YYGS instructors and residential life staff during this summer’s program.

The following alumni instructors attended YYGS between 2016-2021, and they represent a wide variety of universities and colleges across the United States. YYGS is thrilled to invite alumni back to campus in these expanded roles, and we are especially excited to welcome students who attended YYGS Online during the pandemic and will visit Yale College for the first time.

Brennis Carrillo | YYGS 2021 (PLE) | Instructor

  • Studying Government and Theater, Dance, and Media at Harvard University.
  • “My favorite memory of YYGS would definitely be Family Time! It was during Family Time when I had the best, most heart-warming conversations in YYGS, and I loved when my family came together to surprise our lead with a thank-you video at the end of our session.”

Maju da Silveira Castro | YYGS 2019 (IAG) | Instructor

  • Studying Social Sciences with a concentration in Designing Societies at Minerva University.
  • “During my time at YYGS, the most impactful memory for me was the first breakout session following the opening lecture, where I was amazed by the diverse range of impressions and opinions among fellow attendees who had experienced the same lecture, which emphasized the significance of diversity in academic and broader settings, and highlighted the valuable learning opportunities that arise from listening to and understanding others’ perspectives. It was my first time discussing with international students from around the world and it impacted me so much that I made it a priority for me to pursue diverse environments in the future.”

Lina Elatik | YYGS 2021 (IST) | Instructor

  • Studying Computer Science and Psychology at Minerva University.
  • “My favorite memory was getting to know people from all over the world and getting exposed to different cultures and beliefs. I also had very interesting conversations showcasing different opinions and experiences. I have made friends that I am still in touch with until this day.”

Ava Estacio-Touhey | YYGS 2020 (SGC) | Instructor

  • Studying Anthropology and Archaeology at Yale University.
  • “Since YYGS was remote my year, I really enjoyed Family Time and smaller breakout rooms within all of my different classes because it gave me time to connect with people one-on-one. Beyond the program, I am grateful to have stayed in touch with my YYGS friends, and have visited them around the world!”

Lóri Fejes | YYGS 2016 (PLE) | Instructor

  • Studying dance and movement studies at Hamilton College.
  • “I am very fond of my YYGS family’s pizza night, and miss my siblings a lot!”

Aakash Gunturu | YYGS 2021 (LPC) | Residential Life

  • Studying Economics at Kenyon College. 
  • “I was part of the virtual YYGS class, and my favorite memory had to have been taking a Zoom screenshot as our Family Time picture. It was something so casual at the time, but looking back it’s awesome to see how all of us from around the world connected even in the face of a global pandemic. “

Natasha Machera | YYGS 2019 (BBS) | Instructor

  • Studying Biochemistry at Skidmore College.
  • Bonding with my YYGS family group through different games like Pictionary was wholesome, it really felt like I was at home away from home.”

Jonathan Meija | YYGS 2019 (CAM) | Residential Life

  • Studying Global Studies and Public Affairs at University of California, Los Angeles.
  • “I remember one time my friend Daphne and I were walking back from our seminar and saw some of my friends sitting around some of the chairs in the quad, and we decided to sit around with them. We talked about our own experiences and started playing some of our favorite music with a speaker. It was a fun time just to be with each other and share our different music tastes.”

Yulia Pukhareva | YYGS 2021 (SGC) | Residential Life

  • Studying Mechanical Engineering and Urban Studies at Trinity College.
  • “I met very good friends during the program, and we did mini YYGS reunions all around the world. It’s so nice to travel when you have friends from so many places. In every country I come to, I have a personal tour guide. People were definitely the best thing I got from YYGS and definitely my favorite memory!”

Nahom Seyoum | YYGS 2021 (SGC) | Instructor

  • Studying Computer Science and History with a certificate in Data Science at Yale University.
  • “I did YYGS at the height of Covid but it was one of those experiences that made my year. Meeting people from everywhere and with a plethora of experiences is truly an experience I cherish to this day. Additionally, of course, family time was incredible.”

Michael Tulskikh | YYGS 2019 (FST) | Instructor

  • Studying Mathematics at Columbia University.
  • “My favorite part of YYGS was getting to know people from all around the world, and staying in touch even after the program had ended. I even got to take a few classes in university with people I met during the program.”

Harrison Walker | YYGS 2021 (SGC) | Instructor

  • Studying Earth Science and Urban Studies at Vassar College.
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed my seminars, which opened up ideas and thinking patterns that I have found useful since! Some of the key takeaways I had from YYGS are frameworks I incorporate into my seminars as a YYGS instructors.”

Will Walker | YYGS 2021 (PLE) | Instructor

  • Studying Chemistry at Yale University.
  • “I loved the seminars the most! All of my instructors were so intelligent and passionate, and now I love being able to share what I’m passionate about with new students!”

Hanni Wiegand | YYGS 2017 (PLE) | Instructor

  • Studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.
  • “One of my favorite memories at YYGS was a discussion after an inflammatory and somewhat unorthodox lecture by Akhil Amar. I remember how some students, angered by his polarizing opinions, had tuned out during his lecture while others diligently took notes, waiting for an opportunity to refute his claims. My discussion instructor later explained that this willingness to stay engaged, to continue to question instead of tuning out when presented with opinions that offend our own, makes the difference between a student and a scholar. I think it was this distinction that Professor Amar wanted to illustrate. It is this spirit of inquiry and engagement that makes me marvel at YYGS students.”

Other alumni staff include Isaac Monks, Maria Clara Pedroza Santos, Nicholas Romero, Angelo Ryu,  and Bettina Tang.