First-Year Counselors

The First-Year Counselor Program was established in 1938 and has been ever since an intrinsic and essential component of Yale’s advising system for the first-year students. The program has evolved in many ways over the years, but the general purpose of the program has remained the same: to help ease the transition of incoming first-years to the academic, social, and cultural life of Yale College.

Silliman 2019-2020 First-Year Counselors:

Fatima Abaroa

Fatima is a senior Sillimander majoring in psychology. Like Pitbull, she was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Unlike Pitbull, she is not an award-winning rapper and has significantly less digits in her bank account. During her time at Yale, she has enjoyed all things Silliman -working as Elaine’s favorite HoC Aide, forgetting to take notes as the SAAC Secretary, wearing the Salamander costume when forced to, and even playing that one IM dodgeball game where she broke her foot but brought the team to victory. Fatima also enjoys tutoring local New Haven kids, volunteering for Camp Kesem, and killing it on the dance floor at Toads. In her free time, she enjoys rewatching old rom-coms she can quote, playing board games with friends, and working on her goal of eating at every restaurant in New Haven. Fatima is very excited to be a FroCo and is looking forward to welcoming her frosh into her Sillihome!

Kishore Chundi

Kishore is a Philosophy major from Palm City, Florida. Kishore is a guide at the Yale University Art Gallery and an academic mentor to middle schoolers at Wexler-Grant Community School. He is the director of the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, which runs a pop-up school for middle schoolers from New Haven during the summer, and has been the president of Bridges ESL, an organization that teaches English to immigrants in New Haven. He was the captain of the club baseball team and is a brother of Chi Psi fraternity. Kishore loves to cook, watch Bollywood classics, and play one-on-one with challengers far and wide. He is also willing to eliminate spiders and other critters (not that Silliman has any). He sucks at making puns and telling jokes but will do so more often than he should. He is so excited to meet the wonderful Silliman first-years!

Prisca Dognon (Head FroCo)

Prisca is an Ethnicity, Race, and Migration major from Chicago (in the city). She spends most of her time on campus writing, and performing, with WORD: Performance Poetry, The Heritage Theater Ensemble, and Sphincter Sketch Comedy. At any given point Prisca could likely be found talking about Chicago, her succulents + tomato plant, how much she loves Silliman, or how much she loves tropical fruit (mango and passionfruit in particular). If you see her around, ask about her Spotify playlists or her thoughts on German Rap/Brazilian Funk. Prisca is super excited to be a FroCo and share the joy of Silliman with the class of 2023! Come visit in Entryway B, and she will make you her favorite Rosehip tea!

Esmeralda Lugo

Esmeralda (Esme) is a chemical engineering major from Los Angeles, CA. Outside of class, she is involved in Kappa Kappa Gamma and Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale. She loves working with college outreach programs that help low-income, first generation students apply to college. She is a huge sports fan who enjoys watching the MLB, NBA, and NFL. Catch her training for her third marathon (2020) throughout this year.  She cannot wait to meet the new Sillimanders and hope that she can help them find their way throughout Yale! 

Matthew Peoples

Matt was born and raised in the city of Derry in Ireland, where he had lived his whole life before becoming to Yale. He studies Neuroscience and Italian, so if you want to chat about brains or Italian - or about brains in Italian - he is the man to talk to! He considers himself a proud international student, having been a Peer Liaison (PL) for the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) and OIS Head Counselor. Throughout his time at Yale, he helped manage AIESEC, a student run non-profit, worked in the Alzheimer’s Research Unit and volunteers with the Elder Horizons program, which works to combat symptoms of delirium in geriatric patients. He loves hanging around Silliman, and spends most of his free time chatting (too much) to every Sillimander he walks into, conversing enthusiastically about sports and Netflix series and managing the Silliman Buttery, where he can’t wait to meet all of the new Sillimanders and cook them up some late-night grub!

Caleigh Propes

Caleigh is a proud Kentuckian who studies Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and French, and she is so happy to call Silliman home. She has spent her time at Yale planning events like Spring Fling and studying health care policy. She loves hanging out in Silliman with her amazing friends, Blue State trips, going to concerts, gymnastics, and all things related to the outdoors and is so excited to welcome the class of 2023. Stop by entryway E anytime to chat!  

Kamau Walker

Kamau Walker is from Saint Louis, Missouri, and majors in Ecology and Evolutionary biology. His decision for the major stems from his overwhelming love for the natural world. He is also passionate about artistic expression in all forms, but his primary artistic interests are music and writing. Because of these interests, he hopes to blend his appreciation for the natural world into his writing to help others and himself discover everything nature has to teach us literally and metaphorically. In his free time, aside from writing poetry with WORD: Performance Poetry at Yale, he can be found freestyling with friends, drawing, climbing trees, or having random late night conversations. He holds a strong belief in the power of love as agency and revolution, and his ultimate goal is to leave spaces better than they were found.

Abby Waugh

Abby is a Neuroscience major and a proud Ohioan, which is made obvious from her love for the Cavaliers and Ohio State football. She spends her time on campus doing research at the Child Study Center, working as a student photographer, and searching for new study spaces. In her down time she enjoys exploring New Haven by running, playing soccer with the awesome women of the club soccer team, eating at New Haven restaurants, volunteering for an educational organization for women in the Midwest, and watching rom coms, basketball, HGTV, and the USWNT. This year you can find her chipping away at her bucket list items of meeting all the campus dogs and attending as many Yale athletic and creative events as possible. She’s so excited to be a FroCo for the best residential college at Yale, stop by entryway E to say hi!

Margo Williams

Margo is a History of Medicine major from Michigan. Outside of class, she spends her time playing in the Yale Symphony Orchestra, researching neuroscience at the med school, volunteering with Chapel on the Green, drinking iced coffee, and bragging incessantly about the superiority of the Silliman courtyard. She’s passionate about romantic comedies and the importance of eating breakfast (in Silliman) and is so excited to welcome the new Sillimanders to Yale’s best residential college!

Ellen Yang

Ellen is a Mechanical Engineering major born and raised in upstate New York. She does research with the Yale Faboratory (ask her about soft robots) and is an Energy Studies Scholar. At Yale, she has launched rockets with the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association, served as Chair of The Yale Record (America’s Oldest Humor Magazine!), and performed stand-up with The Coven. She loves solving crosswords in the Silliman courtyard, watching the Bon Appetit Youtube channel, and frequenting Junzi Night Lunch. She’s thrilled to welcome the newest class of Sillimanders to the best residential college!