1VYG 2017 - Yale University

February 24-26, 2017


1vyG 2017 Schedule Breakdown

Friday, February 24, 2017

5:00 - 7:00 PM: Registration, Woolsey Rotunda 

7:00 - 12:00 PM: Casual Mixer Events for Students


Saturday February 25, 2017

8:00 - 9:00 AM: Breakfast in Dwight Hall  


9:00 - 10:00 AM: Welcome Address, Woolsey Hall

Opening remarks by Laura Plata ‘19 and Rayan Alsemeiry ‘19,

Conference Co-Chairs; 1vyG at Yale student leadership team;  

Featuring: 1vyG Student Leadership Team at Yale, President Peter Salovey,

Deputy Dean of Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Jeremiah Quinlan

10:00 - 11:00 AM:

Student Guided Discussions

Separate Administrator Programming


11:00 - 12:00 PM: Opening Keynote Address, Woolsey Hall

Michael McCullough, Co-founder and President of the Quest Scholars Program (QuestBridge)


12:00 - 1:30 PM: Lunch

Student Lunch with Alumni

Separate Administrator Programming


1:30 - 4:50 PM: Saturday Breakout Sessions


5:00 - 6:00 PM: Career Reception  

6:15 - 7:15 PM: Career Panels

Conference Partners include: Bain Capital, D.E. Shaw, Goldman Sachs, Google, Macquarie, McKinsey,

Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), Matriculate, Teach for America, Venture for America


8:00 - 9:30 PM: Dinner, Commons Dining Hall


10:00 - 11:00: Yale Showcase, SSS 114


Sunday, February 26, 2016


8:00 - 9:00 AM: Breakfast


9:00 - 12:20 PM:  Sunday Breakout Sessions


12:30 - 1:45 PM: Lunch


2:00 - 3:00 PM: Closing Address

Elizabeth Lee, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Ohio University


3:00 - 5:00 PM: Luggage Pickup


Information on our PResenters:


MICHAEL MCCULLOUGH, MD is Co-Founder and President of the Quest Scholars Program (QuestBridge). Prior to co-founding Quest with Ana Rowena McCullough, he co-founded, directed and institutionalized the successful Stanford Medical Youth Science Program from 1987-1989. Michael is a serial entrepreneur in both the non-profit and private sectors. Michael graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University. After attending medical school at UCSF, Michael trained in emergency medicine at Stanford University. He has worked part time as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at trauma centers associated with UCSF and Stanford. He also serves as an ER physician to the Dalai Lama for U.S. speaking tours.

In his early years, McCullough became the first undergraduate to teach at the Stanford Medical School. He worked his way through Stanford by teaching and through stand-up comedy. Michael attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, served as the student member of the Oregon State Board of Education, and has successfully founded several local, regional, and overseas health-related public service projects including Be a Good Doctor, S.C.O.P.E., KaeMe, and the Courage Project. Michael was named an Ashoka fellow in 2004 and a Kauffman Fellow in 2009. In addition to his role as President of Quest, where he is focused on new initiatives, Michael is currently a partner with Headwaters Capital Partners and an Operating Partner with the Capricorn Investment Group.


ELIZABETH M. LEE is a sociologist focused on higher education and inequality. She completed her doctorate in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.

Her primary area of research is low-socioeconomic status students’ social experiences at selective colleges; related work focuses on student support organizations and faculty members from low-socioeconomic status backgrounds. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation.

Her book Class and Campus Life: Managing and Experiencing Socioeconomic Inequality,Opens in a new window about low-income, working-class, and first-generation students' experiences at an elite women’s college was published by Cornell University Press in spring 2016. Additional areas of research interest include LGBQ student campus life, race/class/gender intersections, and cultural capital.

Other recent work includes a co-edited volume comprising new qualitative research on ways that college students' race, class, gender, sexuality and immigration statuses shape their experiences on campus, College Students' Experiences of Power and Marginality: Sharing Spaces and Negotiating Difference, published by Routledge Press (2015).


DOUGLAS WOOD, Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning, Ford Foundation.

Douglas Wood is part of the Youth Opportunity and Learning team. His grant making has focused on helping students transition from high school to college and also on improving the college completion rates of underserved students. He brings to his role at Ford broad experience in prekindergarten to 12th grade, as well as higher education policy and administration.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2011, Douglas was associate dean of administration and planning at the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School. During the 10 years before coming to Ford, he also worked as executive director and chief executive officer of the Tennessee State Board of Education; served as a member of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission; and was executive director and principal investigator of the National Academy for Excellent Teaching, an institute of Teachers College, Columbia University.

Douglas began his career as a public school teacher. After five years of teaching, he worked as a research assistant at Harvard University, the Center for Collaborative Education Metro Boston, and the Annenberg Rural Challenge, among others. He then served as a course assistant at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a teaching fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Douglas holds master of education and doctor of education degrees in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University; a master's degree in English from Middlebury College; and a bachelor's degree in history from Wofford College, where he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.



RENITA MILLER is the John B. Madden Dean of Berkeley College and Lecturer in the Political Science Department at Yale University. In her current role she is the chief academic officer to over 400 students, responsible for all aspects of their academic progress, while also serving on various institution wide committees and working groups. Prior to her current role, Dean Miller served as the Director of Studies at Forbes College and the Director of the Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience at Princeton University. Dean Miller has also taught in the political science department at Texas A&M and Rice University where she was honored for her distinguished teaching. Her research focuses on understanding the influence of race and gender in political institutions with a particular focus on political rhetoric, deliberation, education policy, and leadership within state legislatures. She was a research fellow for the Project of Equity, Representation, and Governance at Texas A&M and the Kinder Institute of Urban Research at Rice University. Dean Miller received her Bachelors in Business Administration from Baylor University and her Masters and Ph.D. from Rice University in Political Science with a focus on public policy.


VALARIE SWAIN-MCCOULLUM is the Vice Provost for University Life at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Valarie Ena Swain-Cade McCoullum, a native Philadelphian who is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, has served at Penn for thirty-four years and holds the position of Vice Provost for University Life. Throughout her career, Dr. Cade has been the recipient of numerous national awards. She completed her undergraduate work at Penn State University, and her graduate and post-doctoral studies at Temple University, Penn's Wharton School and Harvard University.


KHRISTINA GONZALEZ is Associate Dean of the College and Director of Programs for Access and Inclusion at Princeton University. Dean Gonzalez is responsible for programs and initiatives within the Office of the Dean of the College that support and advance Princeton’s commitment to an inclusive undergraduate student body. She plays a leading role in the creation, implementation, and management of strategic initiatives designed to enhance the experience of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and other historically underrepresented groups.


YOLANDA ROME is Assistant Dean for First-year and Sophomore Studies at Brown University. Yolanda Rome received her B.A. from Yale University in 1994 and her Ed.M. from Harvard University in 1996. She was the recipient of three awards while at Yale, including the F. Wilder Bellamy Prize in 1993. She has worked in a wide range of positions since, including running her own science business, directing a program designed to improve the college acceptance rates of students in Boston, and teaching high school science in Boston.


LOC TRUONG is a higher education administrator with 14 years experience in student affairs, diversity and inclusion, career advising, race relations, student advising, and program management at Harvard University. His special focus is on career development, first generation college students, and student leadership.


BURGWELL HOWARD is Senior Associate Dean of Yale College and Associate Vice President of Student Life. Dean Howard has made a career supporting students at colleges and universities, including those at Bowdoin College, Colgate University, Santa Clara University, Dartmouth College and, most recently, Northwestern University where he served as Asst. Vice President and Dean of Students. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford University, and is beginning his first year, here at Yale. He loves dogs, lacrosse, tennis, skiing and meeting and helping students, and he never ceases to be amazed at the creativity and capacity of students.


VYNESSA ORTIZ is the Director of College Success at Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA). Vynessa Ortiz first came to LEDA in the summer of 2014 when she served as the Director of Residential Life. She joined LEDA full-time in May 2015 as the Director of College Success and of Residential Life. Vynessa has served as a data analyst in the Student Affairs Research & Assessment office and a case manager in the Office of Student Conduct at Pennsylvania State University. She has also served as an academic adviser, residence life coordinator, director of the Women’s Resource Center and Director of the residential academic mentoring program at Humboldt State University. Vynessa has a B.A. in political science and ethnic studies from Humboldt State, and an M.S. in higher education from Penn State.


NATASHA TORRES received her B.A. in Educational Studies and Women Studies from Colgate University. Her studies and lived experiences have served as a framework to explore her passions surrounding identity, equity, activism and social justice. During her senior year, she co-founded the Association of Critical Collegians and helped lead a 101 hour sit-in, which resulted in Colgate For All’s 21 Action Step Plan to create a more equitable campus culture.

DESTINY CROCKETT is a senior at Princeton University, concentrating in African American Studies. Destiny and other students in the Black Justice League organized protests from November 2015-March 2016 at Princeton University. These actions consisted of sit ins, shutting down racist guest lecturer events, and marches, all while making several policy demands on the university. In alignment with her goal for a better world for Black girls and women, Destiny independently organized The Womanist Mystique, an undergraduate conference for research on Black women writers and activists. She has also hosted letter writing events for incarcerated Black girls.

JOSCELYN GUZMAN is a junior at Occidental College, with a Religious Studies major and Education minor. During her sophomore year she became involved in a movement called, "Oxy United for Black Liberation (OUBL)." As a group, they built up a large coalition of students and later faculty, staged a walk out, gathered in the quad and the backyard of the president's house calling for change, occupied the administrative building, created and presented a list of demands to the institution, held a public accountability meeting, stood before incoming students on admission days and shared experiences of people of color on campus, and more.


MESMIN DESTIN is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in the School of Education & Social Policy and the Department of Psychology. Professor Destin is a fellow of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research and a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation during the 2016-2017 academic year. He earned a PhD from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2010. As a faculty member at Northwestern, Destin directs the Status, Cognition, and Motivation lab group and engages in research that investigates social psychological mechanisms underlying socioeconomic disparities in educational outcomes during adolescence and young adulthood. He uses laboratory and field experiments to identify factors that influence how young people perceive themselves and pursue their futures. At the university level, Destin examines how subtle social experiences and institutional messaging shape the motivation and educational trajectories of low socioeconomic status and first-generation college students.


JENNIFER RICHESON’s research examines multiple psychological phenomena related to cultural diversity. Her work generally concerns the ways in which sociocultural group memberships such as race, gender, and socio-economic status impact the way people think, feel, and behave, especially during interactions with members of different sociocultural groups. Her current research is largely focused on dynamics and consequences of increasing racial, ethnic, and other forms of cultural diversity, most notably the rising racial/ethnic diversity of the nation. She and her students are also interested in how people reason about different forms of inequality and the implications of such processes for detecting and confronting it.  Further, Richeson and her students examine multiple consequences of managing the threats associated with being exposed to discrimination and intergroup inequality. Through her teaching and research, Richeson hopes to contribute to a better understanding of intergroup relations, including how best to foster culturally diverse environments that are cohesive.


JONI FINNEY is Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education (IRHE). She was vice-president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education from 1997-2007. She has also held senior policy positions at the California Higher Education Policy Center and the Education Commission of the States. For over twenty-five years, Dr. Finney has worked with state and national leaders on improving public policy for higher education. Dr. Finney has testified before state and federal legislative bodies and is a frequent speaker and resource for media. She has also advised presidential and gubernatorial campaigns and not-for-profit policy organizations. Dr. Finney is a founding board member of the National Clearinghouse Research Center and Research for Action. She chairs the national selection committee for the Virginia B. Smith Innovative Leadership Award sponsored by the Higher Education Policy Institute and the Council for Adult and Experimental Learning. She also serves on the executive committee of Change: The Magazine for Higher Learning, and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Competency-Based Education.


KIMBERLY HARRIS  is a co-founder and the CEO of America Needs You (ANY), a national nonprofit that fights for economic-mobility for ambitious first-generation college students, through transformative mentorship and intensive career development. ANY serves over 400 students in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California.  Under Kimberly’s leadership, ANY became the youngest recipient of the New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Award in 2015.  From 2006-2013, Kimberly was an Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. In a pro bono capacity, Kimberly worked with clients on education reform initiatives, political asylum matters, child custody disputes and domestic violence cases.  Kimberly received a Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School in 2006 and in 2008 was recognized as an “Outstanding Alumnus” by Columbia’s Black Law Student Association.  Kimberly is from Chicago, Illinois, where she attended public schools.


AARON SHIPP is originally from Denver, NC and is a product of the North Carolina public school system. Because of the love and support of his parents during his college application process and their belief that a post-secondary education was the pathway to a lifetime of opportunity, he applied and was accepted to Yale University as an Early Action candidate. Aaron was the first person from his home county to ever be accepted to the prestigious university. Aaron received his B.A. from Yale in English Literature and Language with Theater Studies in 1996. Concerned about the declining rate of minority and low-income students attending highly selective institutions, Aaron co-founded Y-Apply in 2007. He was elected as Chair in 2011 when it was still a volunteer organization and, sensing the need to formalize the program so more students like him would join the ranks of highly selective college and university graduates, immediately spearheaded the effort to incorporate Y-Apply a not-for-profit organization.


BRETT KIMMEL is Chief Program Officer, College Access and Success, at America Achieves. In this role he helps lead CollegePoint, a national initiative designed to significantly move the needle on the number of high performing low- and moderate-income students attending the best colleges in the country. From 2006-2015 Brett was founding principal of Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), a high performing New York City public school. In 2014 President Barack Obama highlighted the success of WHEELS in two speeches, including the State of the Union Address. From 2002-2006, Brett was Assistant Principal at Intermediate School 143 in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.


MATTHEW SHAW is a Doctoral Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education. Matthew's research focuses on researching constitutionally permissible ways that federal and state governments can reduce educational inequity and investigating the forms of evidence necessary to sustain such approaches.  His interests extend to affirmative action in higher education, the provision of free and appropriate public education for students with disabilities, the school experiences of religious and LGBTQ youth, and how educational pluralism creates dilemmas and opportunities for negotiating these differences. Before pursuing his doctorate, Matthew clerked for a United States District Judge and practiced civil and criminal law in Atlanta. He holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia University, a Master of Education from Harvard, and a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages and History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


HOANG MURPHY is the LEE Public Policy Fellow with the United States Department of Education. Prior to joining the fellowship, Murphy was a high school English teacher and debate coach in West Baltimore and, later, a fellow with the Center for American Progress. He is a native of rural Northern Minnesota. Hoang graduated with a B.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where he majored in Policy Studies. He then went on to complete his M.S., Ed. at the Johns Hopkins University. In his spare time, he likes to read immigrant literary fiction, cook, and lament about the Minnesota Timberwolves.


NIMISHA BARTON assists in the administration and management of the Freshman Scholars Institute, working in collaboration with faculty and staff from across the university to develop academic and co-curricular programming for student participants. She is also responsible for assisting in the coordination of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program and other programs and initiatives within the Office of the Dean of the College that support and advance Princeton's commitment to an inclusive student body.Her research interests include gender, sexuality, and migration studies with the objective of understanding factors that promote integration.


JENNIFER ROLEN is a proud FLI college graduate. She grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor's and a master's in sociology. She is an advocate of humanity and supports the idea of creating a harmonious society through relationships and education. She came to Stanford from the Educational Partnership Center at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she worked as a director of various programs. Her expertise is in facilitation, conflict management, program management and fund development. Jennifer supports all students in their endeavors in higher education and is committed to being a resource and advocate.


LOURDES ANDRADE is the Associate Director of the Leland Scholars Program (LSP). LSP is a Residential Program within the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) that supports students who may be the first in their family to attend college and/or come from under-resources schools or communities. Lourdes used her knowledge of university structure, curriculum, policies, and academic, extra-curricular programs/opportunities, and support resources to provide academic advising to the undergraduate student population. She served as one of the first-point advisors to students who may be experiencing academic and/or personal difficulty and also worked with staff and faculty who offered support to these students.


SHATAVIA ELDER is known for bringing transformative ideas and innovative solutions to the field of education. Globally she trains students, educators, and governmental leaders on how to effectively integrate principles of purpose, planning and leadership into their personal, corporate, and national spheres of influence. Shatavia Elder is an educator, author, and thought leader who has spent much of her career working with youth and teaching, training, speaking and writing about how to help first generation college students successfully navigate their own post-secondary paths. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and is the co-founder of the non-profit organization Young Masterminds, whose mission is to help empower the youth of today to become entrepreneurs and creative leaders of tomorrow. Her work as a practitioner in the field of educational access comes from her own experiences as a former first generation college student


UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON, STUDENT TEAM: We are an interdisciplinary research team of nine first-generation college students and recent graduates from the University of Massachusetts Boston with shared interests in healthcare, social equity and policy. We have independently designed and are executing a comprehensive legal, financial, quantitative empirical, and qualitative perceptual study examining the current pre-medical stages of the physician training pipeline and factors that facilitate the diversification of the physician workforce.


MEREDITH MIRA is the Senior Associate Director for graduate student advising.After earning a BA from Indiana University in Bloomington, she pursued an MA in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. She completed her doctoral degree in 2013 at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her research focused on how high school students from a range of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds become aware of social inequality and motivated to work towards social change. Meredith has also worked as a training facilitator and coach for Leading Change, an international network of educators, researchers, and practitioners engaged in strengthening community-organizing efforts throughout the world, and as a research associate and teaching fellow for Organizing for Health, working with teams of healthcare workers interested in implementing health innovations.


Hosted by the 1VYG Team at yale University

New haven, Connecticut


Contact co-chairs rayan.alsemeiry@yale.edu or laura.plata@yale.edu

Campus Ambassadors



Kay, McGarrell




Janilya Baizack


Noah Elden


PAMELY GOMEZ (resource mobilizer)




Juana Granados


Candida Alfaro




Alison Veintimilla


Giovanni Santiago






Bethany Malzmanb


Alexis Castillo




Calvin Guankahbah Goah


Alfredo Dominguez




My Bui




William Caruso




Tyler Dao


Chidinma Umeh




YooJin Yoon




Roman Shemakov


Tiauna Lewis




Paula, Ajumobi


Kayla Thompson




Kaelan McCone



Pomona/Claremont Sisters




Kevin Ly


On February 27th - March 1st, 2015 at Brown University, 250 first-generation college students, 25 administrators, and 25 experts from the Ivy League and beyond gathered to define ourselves and our community. First-generation college students may be the first, but they are not alone. Produced by Richard Flores.

What is it like to be the first member of your family to go to college? First-generation college students must learn to deal with the privilege and the challenges. Produced by: Natalia V. Follow the NYTimes coverage of 1vyG in "First Generation Students Unite.