Graduate Affiliates

Graduate Affiliates

The Graduate Affiliate Program facilitates interaction between graduate students and undergraduates in both social and academic contexts. Trumbull Graduate Affiliates are a great resource for students and are involved at TC via the Mellon Forum, the Graduate Connections Program, study breaks, Thanksgiving and spring break dinners, and more.

Chelsea Lowell

School of Management

Chelsea is a second year School of Management student originally from Charlotte, North Carolina.  She attended UNC Chapel Hill for her undergraduate studies, majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication.  From there, Chelsea worked in Advertising in New York City for Ogilvy & Mather, leading Business Development efforts for North America.  She is currently interested in pursuing a career in technology and is passionate about learning to code this year.  She is an avid reader and loves painting, sculpting, and writing.  She also enjoys running and dabbling in aerial and acro yoga.  Within the School of Management, Chelsea is actively involved in the Tech and Fintech Clubs and serves as a Research Assistant for the Chief Executive Leadership Institute. 

Email Chelsea

Dipin Kaur

Polictical ScienceEmail Dipin

Kassandra Leiva

School of Architecture

Kassandra is a third year M. Arch I student at the School of Architecture. She is originally from Cuba but grew up in Florida and North Carolina. She attended college at Princeton University, majoring in architecture and minoring in French language and culture. Kassandra is interested in the threshold between architecture and nature and does research on architectural ornament. During her free time Kassandra enjoys, painting, sketching buildings, singing, reading, running, hiking, being a photographer, traveling to exciting architectural destinations, baking delicious goodies, and hanging out with her bichpoo puppy, Daphne. She looks forward to meeting all Trumbullians!

Email Kassandra

Leonardo Lizbinski

Public Health

Leonardo is a first-year M.P.H. student in Health Care Management at the Yale School of Public Health. Prior to Yale, Leonardo attended Brown University, where he graduated magna cum laude and Sigma Xi Honours with a B.A. in computer science and a M.S. in pathobiology. At Yale, Leonardo is interested in environmental conservation, multidisciplinary healthcare, and start-up entrepreneurship. Leonardo enjoys premier league football (Chelsea FC), skateboarding, suspenseful mystery cinemas, and exploring new food recipes. He is looking forward to this wonderful experience and the Trumbull dining hall most especially. Leonardo is both excited and honoured to be a member of the Trumbull family!

Email Leonardo

Lisa Hansmann


Lisa is a first year student at the Law School. She studied history as a Yale undergrad, focusing especially on questions of race and memory in the United States.  As a native New Yorker, she couldn’t resist the pull of the big city after graduation. She spent three years at McKinsey & Co in New York City, where she worked on public and social sector issues with clients ranging from gender equity organizations to jails working on violence reduction. She’s interested in just about anything having to do with gender equity, criminal justice reform, and progressive politics. In New Haven, she loves exploring the astoundingly varied culinary scene, discovering new ice cream flavors, reading fiction, and going to the Criterion. As a former Trumbullian, she looks forward to getting to know all the new faces in her old haunts!

Email Lisa

Maki Tazawa

Forestry and Environmental Studies

Maki will be a second year MEM student at Forestry and Environmental Studies. She grew up (and is obsessed with) RI and lived in DC the seven years before starting grad school (also obsessed with it). She went to George Washington University for her undergraduate studies. She switched from studying and working in international wildlife conservation to moving businesses and culture towards sustainable food systems. She loves running, reading, culture and political podcasts, pretty much every living thing (except leeches) and pottery. She has always enjoyed helping mentor others, and is looking forward being part of the Trumbull family to provide open spaces for growth.

Email Maki

Margaret Douglas

School of Drama

Margaret Douglas is an MFA candidate in playwriting at the Yale School of Drama. She grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from Brooklyn College where she studied creative writing and classics. Margaret has a dog and a cat. In her free time she enjoys board games, riding bikes, backpacking, Yahtzee, and gardening. Beyond plays, Margaret writes songs, poetry, and children’s

Email Margaret

Matt Meizlish


Matt is a 7th-year MD/PhD student, studying how macrophages sense the stiffness of their environment in order to regulate tissue repair (in the Medzhitov Lab in Immunobiology). He spends time outside the lab working on patient access to quality health care—through organizing medical students for political activism and running a program in which students learn to help patients navigate social and economic barriers to health. He was a History major as an undergrad (Trumbull 2011) and wrote his senior essay on Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution. He was also premed and did research in immunology (with Kevin O’Connor, now a Trumbull fellow). Matt made a brief escape from CT after college to study History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, before returning for medical school. Matt also likes to write and loves to ski.

Michael LoPiano

History,Renaissance Studies

Michael is a fourth year combined PhD student in History and Renaissance Studies. His research focuses on Renaissance Humanists in the latter half of the 15th century and first half of the 16th century in Italy and Central Europe. Michael graduated with a B.A. in History and Italian from the Johns Hopkins University. In his own time, Michael enjoys learning new languages, strength training, nutrition, and singing.

Email Michael

Miranda Janvrin

Public Health

Miranda is a second year MPH student at the Yale School of Public Health studying Health Policy and Management. A native New Englander, she grew up in coastal New Hampshire before attending University in Rhode Island to study Pharmaceutical Sciences. As a returning Trumbullian, she hopes to engage with more underclassman and host events that will enrich Trumbull’s community. In her spare time Miranda enjoys learning new languages - computer programming languages that is. She also is an avid consumer of The Washington Post, New York Times, and CNN, and will happily discuss any issues related to healthcare legislation. You can find Miranda on the Medical Campus, where she works at the Cushing Whitney Medical Library. As this is her last year at Yale, Miranda hopes to make the most of her in Trumbull!

Email Miranda

Misha Semenov

Schools of Architecture and Forestry/Environmental StudiesMisha Semenov is a fourth-year student in the joint program between the Schools of Architecture and Forestry/Environmental Studies and the Graduate Affiliate Coordinator for Trumbull. Originally from San Francisco, Misha graduated in 2015 from Princeton with a major in Architecture and minors in Urban Studies and Translation. Misha views buildings and cities as complex human habitats, and hopes to combine the disciplines of design and ecology to create a healthier relationship between people and nature--check out his blog at In addition to his studies, he works on urban ecology research at FES, TAs undergraduate courses on architecture and urbanism, sings with the Yale Camerata, and enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities. He is also a translator of poetry from Russian to English, and loves discussing languages, literature, and culture. In the past year, he's enjoyed mentoring Mellon forum students, leading hikes and outdoors trips, and organizing an exciting singalong circle in the common room. Email Misha

Nicole Sonnert

Physics and Engineering Biology

Nicole, a native of Cambridge, MA, is a second year Ph.D. student in the department of Microbial Pathogenesis and part of the Physics and Engineering Biology (PEB) program. She studies the human gut microbiome at the interface of the host and microbe. She split her college years between Western Massachusetts and New Hampshire in pursuit of a 3-2 dual degree with Mount Holyoke College and Dartmouth College, where she studied Biomathematics and Chemical Engineering respectively. Before coming to Yale, Nicole worked at an awesome antibody discovery company, doing early stage drug development in New Hampshire. 

Outside of lab, Nicole likes rowing, cooking, crafting, and hiking. She also really likes whales. She is excited to get to know you and would love to talk to you about anything!

Email Nicole

Sara Abbaspour

Email Sara

Simon Torracinta

History of Science and Medicine

Simon is a third-year PhD student in Yale’s program for the History of Science and Medicine. Half-British and half-Swiss, he grew up in Switzerland, England, and the U.S. After undergraduate studies in History at Oxford University and Master’s at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, he worked for several years in London in various policy roles for the UK Government. At Yale, his research centers on how anthropologists have historically made sense of the world at the intersection of western and indigenous life-worlds. Off campus, he enjoys New Haven’s modernist architecture and local politics, and its wonderful music venues the Space Ballroom and Firehouse 12. At Trumbull, he’s looking forward to revitalizing the darkroom and photo lab!

Email Simon

Sophie Tyack

School of Management and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Sophie is a second year joint degree between the School of Management and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Originally from Massachusetts with a brief stint in Italy and CA growing up, she then moved to Princeton NJ for undergraduate studies in Classics. After spending inordinate amounts of time writing about Rome’s transition from republic to empire, she moved on to a teaching fellowship in Lawrence, MA before changing tacks once again to work in environmental consulting, where she worked on policy analysis, natural resource damage assessment, and environmental economics projects for a variety of federal agencies. At Yale, her work focuses on energy and economic development, and is especially excited about the potential for infrastructure and intelligent design to help create more sustainable and livable communities. Outside of the classroom, Sophie loves anything outdoors and is always up for a trip to East Rock Park or Sleeping Giant. She also loves a good book, learning new languages (branching out to coding languages right now, so if anyone has Python resources they like, let her know!) and pot lucks.

Email Sophie

Staci Hill

ChemistryStaci is a second year graduate student in the chemistry department. She hails from sunny south Florida, but went to undergrad in Vermont's Champlain Valley where she studied chemistry and dabbled in philosophy and literature. Before coming to Yale, she spent some time in Annapolis where she read some of the Great Books at St. John's College. Now that she's back in the lab, she is championing the intersection of science and humanities. When not researching the wonders of chemistry, Staci loves to read, learn new words, and run on rural dirt roads. Her craving for a good conversation is forever present, and she looks forward to satiating it by discussing the good life in New Haven with the Trumbull fam! Email Staci

Walter Hsiang

School of Medicine

Walter is a third year medical student in the School of Medicine. He grew up in the Bay Area, California and moved to New Haven nearly 8 years ago to study biology as a Yale undergrad. During that time, he became interested in the business behind pharmaceutical and medical device development. After graduating Yale, he worked as a healthcare consultant in Boston for Simon-Kucher & Partners. He then returned to Yale to pursue medicine, while also remaining actively involved in healthcare policy research and business endeavours. He loves cooking, hiking, alpine skiing, and attending concerts of his old rock band, “Low Strung.” He enjoys mentoring undergraduate students and he leads a team of aspiring researchers that works on projects ranging from health insurance to the opioid crisis.

Email Walter

Xiaobo Pu


        Xiaobo is a first year master student at the Yale School of Music. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at top international venues around the world, such as Carnegie Hall, National Centre for Performing Arts in China, Beijing Music Hall among others, and earned the first prize in numerous guitar competitions. Originally from Kunming, China, he then went to Philadelphia and received his Bachelor of Music’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. While at Curtis, he also served as Residence Assistance for two years.

      Outside of music, Xiaobo likes trying different foods, filming funny videos and learning new languages, he’s looking forward to sharing his music with Trumbullians!

Email Xiaobo

Yihana von Ritter

Global Affairs and School of Management

Yihana is half Costa Rican, half German and grew up in the US in Maryland. At Yale, she is pursuing joint degrees: a Masters in Global Affairs at Jackson and an MBA at the School of Management. For her undergraduate degree, she studied at Stanford with a BA in political science. She’s very excited about international development, and creating greater impact in international development through social enterprises and impact investing. 

Prior to Yale she lived in countries starting with P: in Papua New Guinea, where she lived on an island without running water or electricity conducting research for her thesis on HIV/AIDS policy, in Paraguay where she joined the Peace Corps and co-founded a democracy-building organization, and then in Panama where she worked with CHAI on eliminating malaria from Central America. She’s now working on her own start up reducing teen pregnancy in Colombia. Outside of school, Yihana loves snowboarding, Caribbean dancing, exploring spirituality, and learning how to kite surf! This past year with Trumbull she’s enjoyed taking students to jump around on trampolines at Sky High, carving pumpkins, going to the Yale Rep, doing a public advocacy workshop, and just hanging out in the courtyard.

Email Yihana

Zara Contractor


Zara is a second year PhD student studying economics. She plans to research labor markets, education policy and international development. Before that, she was an undergrad at Yale (Trumbull!) studying economics and mathematics interspaced with classes in biology, literature and creative writing. Her hobbies include reading (anything, but especially fantasy stories), running (but not jogging), photography and playing strategy-based games/puzzles. She is very excited to once again join the Trumbull community, and would love to talk about economics, books, or just about anything!

Email Zara