Transfer Student Counselors (TroCos) 2016-2017


[Gessica Ni, Josh Tranen, Jake Brussel Faria, Ashley Suan, Brendon Bouphachay, Ryan Liu, Taylor Buscemi, Philippe Chelenski, Lora Kelley, Harry Gray, Katie Grasso, and Tim Gavin]

Launched in 2011, the Transfer Counselor Program is designed to help incoming transfer students adjust to life at Yale and explore the full realm of their interests. TroCos are students who transferred to Yale in previous years, and who are interested in providing guidance and mentorship to the incoming class. Each new transfer student will be assigned a TroCo during the summer, and this TroCo will serve as both a friend and a mentor to them throughout the academic year. However, accepted students are encouraged to explore the bios of all TroCos, and to contact any TroCo with questions specific to his or her academic or extracurricular interests. All Trocos are happy to answer any and all questions about the Yale experience.



Brendon Bouphachay, Silliman ‘18

Yo what up ya! My name is Brendon Bouphachay and I’m a junior in Silliman College majoring in Political Science. Before Yale, I spent two years at Monroe Community College located in the city I was born and raised in— Rochester N.Y. My main academic interests are studying the roots of urban poverty, and the specific role of education in counteracting it. Alternatively, I’m also hyped about researching developmental and humanitarian aid in international conflict zones. On campus I’m involved in Kendo, the inception of the Military History Circle, and being the low-key leader of Squad. Lifestyle activities include reading manga, watching anime, and keeping it real! I’ll be in D.C. over the summer in an educational mentorship program for low-income and minority youth students. If you’re in the area, hit me up! I’ll always be checking my email and Facebook, so get in touch if you have questions about anything. I can’t wait to welcome ya!

Taylor Buscemi, Calhoun College ‘18

Hello, and welcome! My name is Taylor Buscemi. I am a rising junior in Calhoun College majoring in Psychology and pursuing the neuroscience track (I’m also premed).  Born and raised in the suburbs of North Carolina, I transferred to Yale from UNC Chapel Hill.  On Yale’s campus, I am an active member of the Calhoun College Council, I am a coxswain on the women’s crew team, and I perform psychology research for the Motivated Cognition and Aging Brain Lab. I am also the Director of Central Operations for the Ivy Council, a non-profit organization that aims to foster student leadership and bring together students from all universities across the Ivy League.  In my free time, I enjoy photography, traveling, yoga, and cooking.  My first year at Yale was an incredibly rewarding experience for me, and – except perhaps when yearning for warm North Carolina winters – I haven’t looked back once. I am thrilled to be one of the two Co-Head Transfer Counselors, and I look forward to meeting you all! Please reach out to me about anything!

Winston Yanting Cheung, Branford ‘18

Hello there, incoming class of Yale transfers! My name is Winston and I am a rising junior in Branford. I grew up in Hong Kong and I spent my freshman year at the University of California, San Diego. Coming to Yale with the intention of majoring in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, I decided to switch to Economics while continuing to take classes focusing on the Middle East and learning Arabic. (Yes, it is ok to change your mind!). In my spare time, I practice kendo (I’m in the same club as Brendon Bouphachay), watch TV shows, go to the gym, and travel. I am also the Consulting Director of YANA (Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance), an income tax preparer in VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), a quantitative reasoning tutor for Economics, and one the founding members of Squad. Though I will be in various corners of the world throughout the summer, you can still reach me via email or skype! Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy your summer! I am looking to meeting you all!

Philippe Chlenski, Branford College ‘18

I am first and foremost one of your Co-Head Transfer Counselor. I am also very excited to meet all of you. In my spare time, I study Mathematics & Philosophy here at Yale College. Before that, I hailed from Deep Springs College by way of a gap year back home in Chicago. I do web development for The New Journal and technical support for the Student Technology Collaborative in addition to mentoring through the Yale Undergraduate Prison Program. I’ll be in New Haven over the summer, so please feel free to get in touch as soon as you get here (or before).

Jake Brussel Faria, Davenport College ‘18

I’m a Humanities major focusing on literature in translation and my personal obsession, the surreal pubescence. I transferred after my freshman year at Northwestern University, where I co-produced and engineered a radio show that broadcasted live, in-studio performances by local and touring bands. My primary non-academic pursuits are in music and radio: I make computer music all by my lonesome, I am part of the events department of Yale’s radio station, WYBCX, and I work with New Haven Independent’s low-power FM station, WNHH, where I spent the summer producing content in the exceedingly cozy office they share with La Voz Hispana. You’re absolutely welcome to email me any questions you might have.

Tim Gavin, TC ‘17

My name is Tim Gavin and I’m a rising senior in Trumbull College. I transferred to Yale after spending two years at Union College in Schenectady, New York. My chief academic interest is continental philosophy; I am a Humanities major concentrating on contemporary critical theory. Currently, I am working with the Warrior-Scholar Project, an intensive two-week program that helps facilitate veterans’ transition from the military to college. I’d be happy to answer to any questions or simply establish a correspondence. Feel free to reach out!

Katherine (Katie) Grasso, Berkeley College ‘17

I transferred to Yale as a junior last year after two years at Middlebury College and a year away from school. I’m originally from Annapolis, Maryland, but I’ve also lived in Vermont, DC, and Baltimore. I’m majoring in Physics and Ethnicity, Race & Migration. Besides the school stuff, I spend my time working as a barista at a bakery off campus (stop by, the scones are great) and volunteering at the Amistad House in the Hill neighborhood. I’m working at the public library in New Haven this summer, so I’ll be around and happy to answer any questions/hook you up with some children’s books. Looking forward to meeting you all!

Harry Gray, Branford College ‘18

I’m Harry, a rising junior of Branford College, some say. I transferred to Yale after spending my freshman year at Amherst College. There’s a major here called Mathematics & Philosophy, and that’s what I’m majoring in. I enjoy, or in some cases, have enjoyed, classes on logic, other philosophy stuff, food and agriculture, and music technology. Sometimes I work on electronic music projects. I have experimented with month-long 100% liquid diets. I mentor an inmate at Manson Youth Institute in Cheshire, CT, as part of the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project, and copy edit for The New Journal, a Yale publication. This summer I’m working on the Yale Farm here in New Haven, CT. I’m originally from the nearby Darien, CT, though I split the ten years before college evenly between Madrid, Spain, and London. I’d be more than happy to talk Yale or otherwise with you, so please reach out if you’d like!

Rona JiMorse College ‘18

I transferred to Yale after spending my freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. Now, I make the most of the amazing cultural and language study opportunities Yale affords its undergraduates. I grew up in Seattle, Washington, where there is a large immigrant population and I was very active in the Chinese American community back home, allowing me to learn to speak, read, and write both Chinese and English at the native level. At Yale, I study both Economics and Ethnicity, Race & Migration, and hope to bridge the two fields to focus on how economic policies affect migrant and immigrant families. My goal is to use her bicultural and bilingual background to serve the Asian American community after graduation. At Yale, I am also part of the Yale Concert Band, where I plays the flute and piccolo, and engage in US-China service as part of the Yale China Economic Forum and the Yale Building Bridges programs. 

Caroline Nicole Jones, Timothy Dwight ‘17

Hello, everyone! I’m a rising senior Economics major in Timothy Dwight College who transferred in from UNC Chapel Hill. Originally from Atlanta, I have survived New Haven winters (and you can too!). Most passionate about the gender gap in education, I serve as the Executive Director of nonprofit Circle of Women, which increases access to education for girls internationally. Beyond Circle, I also serve as the Curator for TEDxYale, a dancer with Yaledancers, and a member of Pi Beta Phi. Yale has made an incredible home for me, from student organizations to the phenomenal people that surround me, and I am thrilled to answer any questions you might have. Welcome!

Lora Kelley, Davenport College ‘17

Here is a pic of me giving a big “thumbs up” to being a Yale transfer student. Transferring here is great, and I’m excited for you. My name is Lora but you can call me LK. I’m a rising senior Humanities major from Evanston, Illinois. I transferred to Yale as a junior, after 1.5 years at Stanford University and a term abroad at Oxford University. On campus, I spend many hours working in the Yale University Art Gallery each week. I also edit the culture section of The Yale Herald, write for The New Journal, and perform with the Sphincter Troupe, Yale’s feminist sketch comedy group. I am especially happy to answer questions about transferring as a junior and the arts/writing scene at Yale. Welcome. The transfer community rules!

Ryan Liu, Morse College ‘18

Hi transfers! First off, congratulations on your acceptance to Yale — that’s an amazing accomplishment and you all truly deserve it. My name is Ryan Liu, I’m one of your TroCos. I transferred from Pasadena City College, a community college in Southern California, where I was involved in community organizing, campaign work, political engagement efforts, and student advocacy. Previously, I also worked on Capitol Hill, coached a Speech & Debate Team, and advocated for Asian American and Pacific Islander groups. At Yale, I’m studying Political Science, with an interest in examining the role of education in expanding access to socioeconomic mobility. I’m involved with the Yale College Council, and just finished being Philanthropy Chair of Sigma Chi, where I organized 20 student groups, including student government, performing art, Greek life, and service organizations. I also fundraise for the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), which supports survivors of sexual assault. I hope to eventually pursue a career in law and in public service. Outside of class, I help manage an e-commerce business I co-founded; I consume too much coffee at Starbucks; and I’m a big fan of musicals. Well, mostly Hamilton. I can’t wait to meet you all, and please feel free to reach out with any and all questions in the meantime!

Alexander Mutuc, Branford College ‘18

Hello all! That’s me to the left and my name and residential college up top. Before either of those things existed on this page, I studied at a military school — of sorts — back on Okinawa, Japan. I transferred as a sophomore, came to Yale, started studying military history, and am now writing this while riding Yale’s Blue Line. At Yale, I mostly study history and languages, but I also enjoy music and film outside of class. I’m part of Kasama and Squad. I play smash. My main, of course, is Falco; however, my Falcon and Fox are becoming increasingly difficult to sleep on. I also have 3 jobs at Yale: I work at the Yale University Art Gallery, as an aide for Branford College, and as a research assistant for one of my history professors. Be in touch with any questions you may have through email, or, if you prefer face-to-face, you can probably find me at Blue State Coffee.

Andrew Myers, Davenport College ‘17

I am a rising senior in Davenport and transferred to Yale from the University of Southern California. I am studying political science and history. On campus, I mentor in the New Haven Public Schools through Dwight Hall, and am in the middle of launching a startup called Ripple Recruiting, that helps employers find, filter, and hire top students. I spent the year before coming to Yale backpacking in Patagonia and traveling in Southeast Asia. In my free time, I love to travel, hike, and play soccer. I am excited to get to know you and you can reach out to me for help or advice on anything!

Gessica Ni, Jonathan Edwards College ‘17

My name is Gessica (with a G) and I am a rising senior in the ever so wonderful Jonathan Edwards College.  I am originally from San Francisco and spent my first two undergraduate years at the University of California, Santa Cruz before transferring to Yale.  As a psychology major, I am specifically interested in cross-cultural parenting styles and its effects on the development of children.  During the school year, I am the business manager of Yale Banner, a research assistant at the Innovative Interactions Lab, a photographer for JE, a flyer on the cheerleading team, and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.  In my free time, I enjoy shooting film photography, playing the ukulele, traveling to new places, napping, and being the token female member of Squad.  Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have or just to say hi!  For now, congratulations on getting into Yale and I am very excited to meet you all this upcoming fall!

Jack Siegel, Trumbull College ‘17

Hi! My name is Jack Siegel, and I’m a rising senior in Trumbull College. I transferred to Yale after completing my freshman year at Hamilton College in upstate New York. At Yale, I major in computer science and dabble in architecture and design. Unlike most Yalies, I’m on an extracurricular diet – I prefer to spend my spare time exploring art museums, attending concerts and Master’s Teas, going to the Yale Repertory Theater, taking long walks up to the Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, shooting pool, and exploring the culinary wonderland of New Haven.

Ashley Suan, Berkeley College ‘18

My name is Ashley Suan and I am a rising junior in Berkeley College. I transferred to Yale last fall after spending my freshman year at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. I am originally from Baltimore, MD, but I spent my high school years as a boarding student at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ. After dabbling a bit in the English and Film departments, I have declared an American Studies major, and within the major hope to delve deeper into literature, cultural studies, and media studies. I am especially interested in the media’s representation of women in the United States, and the effects these representations have on our society today. Outside of academics, I play on the Women’s Varsity Squash team, sing and play fiddle in Yale’s American Folk Singing group called Tangled Up In Blue (TUIB), and am a member of Pi Beta Phi. I also love spoken word and poetry, and spend a lot of my free time writing music. I’ve had an incredible first year at Yale, surrounded by profoundly thoughtful, caring, and driven people. I can’t wait to meet you all and welcome you to Yale and the Yale transfer community this fall! 

Joshua Tranen, 

Hey, everyone! I’m Josh Tranen, a rising junior in Pierson College. Last fall, I transferred to Yale after studying abroad in Israel and attending Yeshiva University in New York City. At Yale, I’m majoring in American Studies, where I concentrate on queer literature, theory, and culture. On campus, I work for the Yale Writing Center and am currently a research assistant for Professor George Chauncey, a historian of US lesbian and gay history. In my free time, I read and write creative nonfiction, and stalk my favorite literati and activists on Twitter. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Yale, American Studies, or just want to say hi!