Student Staff

NACC Student Staff work at the Center during open hours (4:00pm-10:00pm, Sunday through Firday) and assist with publicity, planning and coordinating events, and maintaining the NACC facilities.

Graduate Affiliate


Kohar Avakian

Program: American Studies

Native Nation: Nipmuc

Kohar is a first-year PhD student in American Studies. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2017, with a major in History, modified with Native American Studies. While at Dartmouth, Kohar was a peer mentor for first-year indigenous students, co-president of Native Americans at Dartmouth (NAD), and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Outside of the classroom, Kohar enjoys taking photographs of beautiful landscapes, eating Ben & Jerry’s, playing/watching soccer, and rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. She is really excited to be a part of the NACC this year! 

House Staff


Meghanlata (Meghan) Gupta

Morse ‘21

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Major: Anthropology and History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health

Native Nation: Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Meghanlata (Meghan) Gupta is a junior in Morse College double majoring in Anthropology and History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. Outside of her House Staff position, Meghan is a writer for the Yale Human Rights Journal, a member of ANAAY, a Splash! at Yale teacher, and a FOCUS on New Haven leader. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, reading, and trying out new restaurants in New Haven!


Darrell Pona

Grace Hopper ‘21

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Native Nation: Narragansett, Pequot

Darrell is a junior in Hopper College working as House Staff. In addition to being a part of the Native community, he shakes it up as the President of Sabrosura: Yale’s Premier Latin Dance Team, is a part of the executive board for Despierta Boricua: Puerto Rican Students at Yale, and is the Intercultural Liaison for the Students of the Diaspora. Outside of the NACC, he works in the DNA Analysis Facility at Yale to further his interest in biomedical research. In his free time, he loves to practice taekwondo, play basketball and soccer, and sing along to his favorite songs.


Elia Taffa

Trumbull ‘20

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Major: Computer Science

Native Nation: Quechan

Elia is a senior in Trumbull College majoring in Computer Science. In his free time, he enjoys helping around the house, playing video games, and hosting movie nights. He is excited to contribute to Yale’s Indigenous community. He is currently involved in archiving and updating the NACC website.


Micah Young

Saybrook ‘21

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Major: Economics and African Studies (Double Major)

Native Nation: Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian)

Micah is a Junior in Saybrook College. In addition to serving on house staff he is a Cultural Connections counselor and sings in the St. Luke’s Church Choir. This year, he is working on the NACC newsletter and events programming. In his free time you can catch him reading and practicing the ukulele.


Nolan Arkansas

Trumbull ‘22

Hometown: Cherokee, North Carolina

Major: Undecided

Native Nation: Cherokee

Nolan Arkansas (Unagalisgi) is a second-year student from the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. Nolan is a LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America) scholar, and is currently a resident of Trumbull college. You will often see him in the Trumbull dining hall, the Native American Cultural Center, or on campus running late to class (Indian time). Proficient in Cherokee and English, Nolan loves to study languages, and he has a profound interest in writing poetry. He plans to learn Spanish, perform slam poetry, and explore new artistic and physical interests.


Jay Fife

Davenport ‘22

Hometown: Beggs, Oklahoma

Major: Undecided

Native Nation: Mvskoke (Creek), Apsaalooke (Crow), Chickasaw

Jay Fife is a second-year Mvskoke student from Beggs, Oklahoma. He plans to major in linguistics and/or anthropology. He is a member of the Association of Native Americans at Yale. Most of the time you can find Jay at the Native American Cultural Center, if he’s not in his dorm room. Whenever Jay has free time, he enjoys speaking his tribal language, singing stomp dance songs, and missing home.


Mikki Metteba

Branford ‘22

Hometown: Deer Springs, Arizona

Major: Ethnicity, Race, and Migration

Native Nation: Diné/Navajo

Mikki Metteba is a second-year Diné/Navajo student from Deer Springs, AZ on the Navajo Nation. Mikki plans to research the historical and contemporary praxis of indigenous feminisms throughout Indian Country. Aside from her passions for indigenous social justice, she also enjoys drawing small comics, film appreciation/analysis, and angry feminist punk music.


Catherine Webb

Benjamin Franklin ‘22

Hometown: Newport Beach, California

Major: Environmental Science and Art

Native Nation: Cherokee

Catherine Webb is a sophomore in Benjamin Franklin and is double majoring in Environmental Science and Art. She is the liaison between the NACC and the Yale Sustainable Food Project, and is very passionate about indigenous agriculture. Outside of her work with the NACC and YSFP, she competes on the Yale sailing team and is apart the Diversity and Inclusion division of the Student Athlete Advisory Council.

First Year Liaisons


Hema Patel

Saybrook ‘23

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Major: Ethnicity, Race, and Migration/Environmental Studies or South Asian Studies

Native Nation: Turtle Mountain Ojibwe

Hema is a member of Yale’s hip-hop dance team (Rhythmic Blues), a member of the Association of Native Americans at Yale, and is getting involved with several environmental organizations and South Asian groups across campus. She loves beading, face-timing her sisters, eating Hot Cheetos, and learning her cultural languages Hindi and Ojibwe.


Truman Pipestem

Morse ‘23

Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Major: Philosophy

Native Nation: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Osage Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe

Truman is a first-year in Morse College currently in Directed Studies. He plans to major in Philosophy, though he is also considering History, English, ER&M, and anything in-between. He is a member of Lux Improvitas, the Association of Native Americans at Yale, Chi Alpha, and Blue Feather. In his free time, Truman can be found procrastinating at the NACC, dancing to upbeat disco music, and playing board games with friends.