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!

Blair Betik

Blair Betik is a PhD student in the History of Art department, specializing in ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture. Born and raised in a rural town south of Dallas, Texas, she studied art history, anthropology, and Italian language at Southern Methodist University before completing a Master’s in classical archaeology at Brasenose College, Oxford. Her greatest loves are musical theatre, museum-going, makeup, fashion, and, of course, the great state of Texas. If you wanna swap beauty secrets, are interested in being an archaeologist or museum curator, or are feeling homesick for real southern barbecue, she’s your gal!

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!

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.

Ken Jung

Ken Jung is a PhD student in economics. He hails from North Carolina and is passionate about songwriting/guitars, film photography, and Vipassana meditation. Find him at the dining hall or at a dive bar open mic near you!

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

 

Ryan Liu

Hi Morsels! I’m a Morse 2018 alumnus, a Los Angeles native, and a current first-year student at the law school. I’m excited to be a graduate affiliate and give back to this community. Besides the law, I’m passionate about higher education access from my background as a low-income, first-generation college graduate who started at a community college before transferring to Yale College. I’ve been involved with higher education issues while working on Capitol Hill, on the College Promise Campaign, and on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. On the Clinton campaign, I served on the campaign’s Millennial Victory Council and chaired a national campaign-affiliated grassroots coalition of young Asian-Americans. I’ve given talks and spoken on panels focused on civic engagement and higher education, including on Capitol Hill and at the Reach Higher Initiative’s 2018 Beating the Odds Summit alongside former First Lady Michelle Obama. I’ve also authored pieces on these issues that have been published in outlets such as NBC News and Forbes.

After Yale College, I earned a Master of Science in Higher Education at the University of Oxford where I studied international tertiary education systems. At the law school, I’m serving as an elected student representative for my class and working in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic to represent veterans in litigation and advocacy. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions about jobs and internships, graduate and professional schools, or just want to talk!

Puskar Mondal

I’m Puskar and I’m from Calcutta, India. I’m currently in my 4th year of Ph.D. I study mathematical physics and I love my research. I started as a geophysics student trying to scan the Earth (much like CT scan) to see what lies beneath us and then shifted to mathematical physics at the end of 2nd year. I love playing sports especially Cricket (I can do it all day). I live quite close to Morse and therefore, you’ll find me in the dining hall every evening. If you have questions or ideas or want to discuss relativity or how ten thousand fireflies can synchronize the flashing of their lights or why marvel couldn’t just keep Tony stark alive, don’t hesitate to come up and talk to me. I hope I can help or will try my best. Love you all 3000!

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.