Head of College

Head of College, Arielle Baskin-Sommers

arielle.baskin-sommers@yale.edu / 203-432-0702

Arielle Baskin-Sommers is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Yale and is affiliated with The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School and the Wu Tsai Institute. She received her Sc.B. from Brown University (2007), a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013), and completed her pre-doctoral internship and fellowship in clinical psychology at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Baskin-Sommers focuses on identifying and specifying the cognitive, emotional, and environmental mechanisms that contribute to antisocial and risky behavior. Her research has powerful implications for legal system involved individuals as current assessments and interventions take a more or less one size fits all approach. Instead, Dr. Baskin-Sommers’ research shows the importance of distinguishing and targeting the underlying mechanisms that are associated with specific forms of antisocial behavior and psychopathology. To support her work, Dr. Baskin-Sommers has been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Justice, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Dr. Baskin-Sommers is the author of over 110 peer reviewed publications.

Dr. Baskin-Sommers is most known for her work on psychopathy. She routinely is invited to give talks on the etiology and treatment of this misunderstood and misrepresented disorder. She spoke at the Royal Society-London, where members of Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice and Supreme Court of the United Kingdom attended as did other jurists, scholars, and politicians. She chatted with Bill Nye on his podcast, Science Rules!, and has been interviewed on NPR several times. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Atlantic, PBS, and Vice.

Dr. Baskin-Sommers is proud of her commitment to working towards more humane (and scientific) approaches to mental health and crime. In addition to her research, Dr. Baskin-Sommers created a specialized mental health clinic that serves the needs of individuals who were released from incarceration. She also is a subject matter expert in state supreme court cases involving life without parole for juveniles and serves on the American Psychological Association’s Presidential Task Force on Adolescent Death Penalty.

Dr. Baskin-Sommers teaches several popular classes, including The Criminal Mind and a seminar in Law and Psychology. She also is the Director of the Mechanisms of Disinhibition Lab and the lead PI of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study in which undergraduate students serve as research assistants. In 2019, her contributions to interdisciplinary instruction were recognized by Yale through the Poorvu Award for Excellence in Teaching.

In recognition of her work, Dr. Baskin-Sommers has been the recipient of many other awards, including Early Career Awards from the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the American Society of Criminology, the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, and was selected as a 2020-2021 Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Researcher.

In her spare time, Dr. Baskin-Sommers watches lots of TV, especially the Real Housewives and basketball, snuggles with her Bernedoodle, Luna, and rides her Peloton– #teamAlex.

Assistant Director of Operations, Sergio Gonzalez

sergio.gonzalez@yale.edu / 203-432-0708


Senior Administrative Assistant II, Head’s Office, Deanna Brunson


Deanna Brunson joined the Sillimander Team April 2022. When not in the office, she stays busy being the cheer mom to her daughter Taylor’s cheerleading team and loves talks with her son Sherman about graphic design and fashion. Deanna travels to Pittsburgh twice a year to watch the Steelers play with her husband Ben, they also enjoy walks with their two dogs, Zeus, and Thor.

Residential College Service Assistant, Cara Vo

Cara.Vo@yale.edu / 203-432-0181

Cara Vo joined the Sillimander Team February 2016. Coming to Silliman from Yale Catering (‘08-16), she was an Event Captain/Manager. Now she creates delicious treats & builds amazing memories for Silliman Students during their time at Yale. This ‘Jill-of-All-Trades” food professional extensively coordinated & executed great, beautiful events all over Yale for many departments including but not limited to: Yale President’s Home, SOM Executive Programs, Schools of Forestry, Medicine, Music, personal homes of Deans/Heads of Colleges. Honored, she has served Yale Guests such as: The Society of the Cincinnati, Ivo Josipović [President of Croatia ‘10-15], Former US General David Petraus, Glenn Close, Yo-Yo Ma, Nicolas Sarkozy [Former President of France ‘07-12), among many others. When not at work, you may find her enjoying the wooded seclusion of a CT State Park, supporting the local CT music scene, curled up with her cats or at her home away from home; a Renaissance Festival.