Graduate Affiliates

Adam Gerard

Lead Grad Affiliate

Adam Gerard is a proud Former Morsel (MC ‘17) and is currently a rising 2L in the Law School from Los Angeles, California. He is passionate about international law, voting rights, and affordable housing work at the law school. Before coming to law school Adam was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company where his work focused on efforts in the public and social sector, along with higher education. Most projects involved economic development, disaster relief, or major infrastructure projects. 
Formerly, Adam served as President of the Tree Musketeers, the world’s first youth-led non-profit environmental organization. During Adam’s tenure as President, the organization worked with youth to plant over 250,000 trees around the world and received over $1 million in donations. 
In his spare time, Adam loves checking out new restaurants (and Happy Hours!) around the Greater New Haven Area, cycling, and travelling as much as he can. He is incredibly excited to learn from current Morsels (who always win!) about their research and academic work during this year’s Mellon Forums. 

Henry Balme

What’s up, I’m Henry and currently in my second year of a Music History PhD. When I’m not buried amongst scores and books, I like to take photos (I’m an enthusiastic photographer), play piano (mainly classical), and practice my French. Next summer I am sitting a test of language proficiency (DALF, C1), so I’m looking to improve my French as much as possible of the next two semesters. I’m also teaching myself how to code (Python), but I’m still pretty terrible at it. Just a couple of things about my background: I’m half German, half Kiwi, grew up in Germany, and did my undergrad in London (Music) and my masters in Oxford (Musicology). I live in HGS, right next door, so you’ll find me at Morse having dinner almost every evening. If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas don’t hesitate to come up and talk to me and I hope I can be of help!

Bel Ben Mamoun

Hello! My name is Bel, and I am a current student at the Institute of Sacred Music/UConn School of Social Work. I’m half Swiss and half Moroccan, and am a former Morsel (MC ’20)! At Yale, I study Medieval theology up the hill, and trauma interventions with children and adolescents down at the Yale Child Study Centre. Prior to the ISM, I worked as a mental health practitioner with women and children in Zürich, and studied baroque opera at the ZHdK. Outside of school, I love watching football (soccer) and am a mumble rap aficionado.

Griffin Black

Hello! I’m Griffin, and I’m thrilled to be back at Morse (Class of 2018). I have just returned to New Haven after finishing a PhD in History at the University of Cambridge and am now a first-year at the law school. My academic research focuses on nineteenth-century human rights thought, specifically how abolitionists in the Atlantic World developed unique transnational activism strategies. As a Yale undergrad, I was a research assistant in the History Department, a proud Alley Cat (a cappella), a member of the Elizabethan Club, and a researcher at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. My wife, Hannah, works in Yale’s Development Office and is a research fellow at Yale Divinity School. We can often be spotted walking our yellow lab puppy, Nellie, around campus!

Nathan Brown

I’m a proud former Morsel (c/o 2019) and now first-year law student. Since college I’ve had a creative writing fellowship in poetry and worked as a research assistant focusing on pharmaceutical antitrust. As a means of falling behind in law school readings I most enjoy playing recreational sports (plug for Morse IMs), reading fiction or poetry, and watching the Cowboys. I’m excited to rejoin the Morse community and get to know you all. 

Alec Chai

Alec is a first-year master’s student studying oboe performance at the School of Music. As an undergraduate Morsel (’22), he earned a B.S. in Chemistry and was an active participant in the championship-winning Morse Intramurals. Hailing from Colorado, he loves doing outdoor activities like hiking, hammocking, and snowboarding. In his free time, Alec enjoys playing piano, jazz saxophone, basketball, and falling off his skateboard due to various potholes around campus. 

Ayse Cicek Unal

She is a third-year PhD student in the history department. Her doctoral project at Yale focuses on seventeenth century Ottoman North Africa and the early modern Mediterranean, with an emphasis on cultural and commercial exchanges between Europe and Ottoman Regencies: Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli. She holds an MA degree from Istanbul Şehir University with a thesis examining the Ottoman-Spanish diplomatic relations in the eighteenth century. Her research was funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, the Cervantes Institute, the European Union Lifelong Learning Program, Turkish Cultural Foundation in Istanbul, and Istanbul Şehir University. Prior to Yale, she worked as a manuscript archivist and curator in Süleymaniye Manuscript Library in Istanbul, one of the richest manuscript libraries in the Islamic world. She is working as cataloguing assistant at Beinecke Manuscripts Library to uncover Ottoman-Turkish manuscript collections. 

Brent Godfrey

Brent is a 2L (and oldest person in his class…) at Yale Law School and was also a proud Morsel during his days at Yale College. Since graduating from Yale in 2008, Brent has had many lives. He served as a firefighter in New Orleans and as an intelligence officer in the US Navy. He’s also worked as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and founded Crescent City Corps, a non-profit that engages first responders in the work of reimagining public safety. Brent loves the outdoors and exploring tasty places to eat in New Haven. He is still trying to figure out what to do with his life, so don’t hesitate to reach out about your own journey, as well!

Meghanlata Gupta

Meghan Gupta is a first-year student at Yale Law School and was also a proud former Morsel during her time at Yale College (Class of 2021). After graduating from Yale, she spent a year at Oxford pursuing a master’s degree in US History as an Ertegun Scholar. Meghan is a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and particularly interested in the intersections of Indigenous history, law, and journalism. Outside of class, Meghan loves to try new restaurants, watch tv, and spend time with family and friends. She is super excited to be a Morse grad affiliate!

Marco Hernandez

My name is Jose “Marco” Hernandez, a first-year, first-generation graduate student at the Yale School of Public Health. I am in the Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases (EMD) program and have a passion for environmental epidemiology and environmental microbiology. I attended the University of Kentucky for my undergraduate studies where I received my Bachelor of Public Health. While in Kentucky I was a resident advisor and a teaching assistant for a biology lab. 

Apart from school and academics, I am passionate about futbol (soccer) both playing and coaching. I have coached for 6 years at different levels ranging from middle school to varsity high school. In addition to coaching, I am a “FirstGenSupport” mentor and advocate. Mentoring and coaching have been life-changing experiences that lead me to where I am today. 

For funsies and to de-stress from life’s craziness I enjoy working out, playing soccer with my intramural team (Go Booster FC), and taking walks around campus and East Rock Park. 

David Hopen

David Hopen is a second-year student at Yale Law School. Raised in Hollywood, Florida, he graduated from Yale College (Morse 2017) and earned a master’s from the University of Oxford. A writer, his debut novel, The Orchard, was named a 2020 National Jewish Book Award Finalist. David’s interests include Law & Humanities, fiction, and basketball.

Ami Ishikawa

Hi! I’m a 1L at Yale Law School. I graduated from Harvard College in 2021, where I studied Economics and Psychology. After college, I spent a year at Morgan Stanley in New York City, where I worked in the fixed income division securitized products group, specializing in structuring collateralized loan obligations. Outside of class, I like to read fiction and autobiographies written by comedians, play squash, go on runs, and take walks around campus. My latest hobby is trying out ~seasonal~ options at restaurants and coffee shops in New Haven. I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

Hale Jaeger

Hale is a second-year medical student who can’t wait to be back kicking axe in Morse College after graduating from Yale over the course of five (5) years (MC ‘20+1)! He grew up in Cranford, New Jersey and has never lived anywhere but the tri-state area. In undergrad, he completed a BS in neuroscience and sang a cappella, but believe it or not, he has more free time now than he ever did in college to play pickleball, read for leisure, and learn how to cook. Feel free to reach out about anything related to medicine, taking a gap year, trying New Haven restaurants, or anything else!

Koichi Kanaoka

Koichi is in his third year of the Environment PhD program. His work focuses on increasing the adoption of sustainable business practices through research and consulting. Koichi grew up in Winter Park, Florida, and spent his summer breaks attending more school in his parents’ hometowns in Osaka and Oki Islands (a UNESCO Geopark), Japan. He went to college at Soka University in Orange County, California, where he was a research assistant in environmental microbiology, the captain of the kendo team (i.e., Japanese fencing), and a conductor and violist of the student orchestra. He did his master’s at Duke University in energy and sustainability. In his free time, Koichi enjoys working with undergraduates and peers on improving their job and graduate school applications. He also has a great time playing taiko (i.e., Japanese drums), tennis, surfing, and snowboarding.

Theresa Kauder

I am a PhD Candidate in Yale’s German department. My dissertation critically exemplifies how Early German romanticism foreshadowed modern critical thought in art, literature, and theory in European and North American traditions regarding questions of environmental and identity politics and aesthetic utopia. Besides my research and teaching at Yale, I have worked as a curator. I am a Guggenheim intern alumna and I am familiar with Beinecke’s Modern European Collection.

Tho Tran

Tho Tran is a first year medical student from Seattle, WA (West Coast = best coast!). She graduated from Yale College (SY) in 2017 with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (Intensive). While at Yale, she conducted basic sciences research using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to study embryonic development in a zebrafish model. She was also involved in YHHAP (Demos and VITA), worked at the Yale Peabody Museum, practiced archery, and was a STARS peer mentor. After graduating, she worked for two years in a stroke immunology lab investigating the role of immune cells in mediating post-hemorrhage outcomes. In medical school she is involved with HAVEN Free Clinic and co-leads the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA). Tho speaks five languages and would love to talk to you in any of them about pre-med, gap years, immunobiology, service opportunities on campus, life in New Haven, or bubble tea.

Akhil Upneja

Hello Morsels! I am a current second-year medical student hailing from State College, Pennsylvania, and Newton, Massachusetts. I am a proud member of the Morse Class of 2017, and I graduated with a BS in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. 

During my time at Yale, I was involved in a bunch of activities. Among other things, I was the Head Science Tour Guide, volunteered with the HAVEN Free Clinic, conducted genetics research at the med school, and MOST importantly, was the Musical Director of Sur et Veritaal, a now-defunct South Asian a cappella group. After graduating, I deferred my matriculation to the Yale School of Medicine to conduct policy research at the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services. 

Outside of spending a bunch of time on clinical rotations in the hospital, you can catch me riding the latest hip hop and pop music waves, watching way too much college football, college basketball, NFL, and NBA games, and chilling with all of the amazing people I’ve met here over the years. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any and all questions! I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without valuable peer mentors along the way, and I would love nothing more than to pay it forward. 

William Vester

William is a first-year law student from Westport, Connecticut and a proud Morse 2019 alumnus. At Yale College, he majored in history with a focus on American political history. He was active in Morse intramurals along with serving as an editor for The Politic. After graduation, he spent two years doing human rights work in Mexico City before returning to Yale for law school. His interests include human rights, political economy, and criminal justice. Outside of law school, he enjoys mountain biking, playing guitar, and watching the New England Patriots. He is happy to talk about grad school, college, or anything else on your mind.  

Christina Waldron

Hi! My name is Christina, and I am currently a first-year medical student from St. Paul, MN. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2021 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a B.M. in Piano Performance. 
While at UT-Austin, I conducted biomaterials-based tissue engineering research, enjoyed teaching students everything from engineering statistics to piano, was heavily involved in the UT chapter of TBP, and completed my first triathlon. After graduating, I took one gap year where I moved to Pittsburgh, conducted research on genetic cardiomyopathies at the Vascular Medicine Institute, and ran my first marathon! 
In my spare time, I enjoy running with friends, baking, reading, hiking, and any other outdoor activity. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any and all questions! I would love to talk to you about pre-med/medical school, research, being vegan in New Haven, or anything that’s on your mind. 

Shunhe Wang

How do you do, fellow [Morsels]? I’m Shunhe, a third-year student (“three L”) at the law school and a proud MC ’20 alumni. I enjoy playing social deduction games (e.g., werewolf or mafia), poker, and whittling away the hours on insta reels and YouTube shorts (I had to kick the TikTok addiction somehow). I can’t promise any wisdom or insight, but always feel free to cold email me with questions about whatever strikes your fancy, and I’ll do my best to help out however I can.  

Sarah Wilkins

Hi! I’m Sarah, and I am a member of the Yale School of Medicine ’25. I’m originally from San Francisco but moved east for college and am a proud former Morsel (’18). In college, I majored in MCDB and was a FOOT leader and a member of the Model UN team. After graduation, I spent three years working in basic science research labs in both Germany and Boston. Outside of medicine, I love running, cooking new vegetarian recipes, hiking (I backpacked halfway around Lake Tahoe right before med school!), watching Formula 1, and just generally being outdoors! Feel free to reach out about medical school, taking (multiple) gap years, hiking in New England, or anything else. Morse Always Wins!