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! 

Alumni & Career Outreach Fellow

   
 

Leila Ben Abdallah

Program: Political Science

Leila is a doctoral candidate in political theory. She graduated from DePaul University in 2016, earning a degree in political science and sociology. As an undergraduate, Leila was an Arnold Mitchem Fellow and Ronald E. McNair Scholar. If not sifting through archives at the Beinecke, you can find her tending to her house plants, preserving lemons, and skyping with her family in Tunisia. As NACC’s Alumni and Career Outreach Fellow, Leila is excited to develop pathways and programs that connect affiliated alumni with current students and help foster networking, career opportunities, and mentorship relations within NACC’s community.

House Staff

 

Meghanlata (Meghan) Gupta

Morse ‘21

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Major: Ethnicity, Race & Migration 

Native Nation: Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Meghanlata (Meghan) Gupta is a senior in Morse College majoring in Ethnicity, Race & Migration. Outside of her House Staff position, Meghan is the president of the Association of Native Americans at Yale. 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.

 

Evan (EC) Mingo

Stiles ‘22

Hometown: Canton, CT

Major: Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and Psychology

Native Nation: Cherokee Freedpeople, Afro-Seminole Creole

Evan (EC) is a junior in Ezra Stiles College, and is super excited to serve the Indigenous Community at Yale as a House Staffer! Outside of the Native American Cultural Center, EC is a research assistant in the Social Perception & Communication Lab, the founder of BlackOut, and the current President of Ichthys. EC is also involved with ANAAY and BSAY. When EC is (rarely) not overcommitted, EC likes to read opinion articles, play video games, watch Disney, and talk with friends.

 

Alexandra Contreras-Montesano

Benjamin Franklin ‘23

Hometown: Burlington, Vermont

Major: Sociology with a concentration in Ethnicity, Race and Migration

Native Nation:  Tlaxcaltecan (Nahua)

Alexandra Contreras-Montesano (she/her) is a sophomore hoping to major in Sociology with a concentration in Ethnicity, Race and Migration. Some of her favorite things in the world are her little sister Scarlett, chai from the Jitterbus, and queer poetry. She is part of the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project, A Leg Even, Mourning our Losses, Student Unite Now, and the Association of Native Americans at Yale. In her free time she enjoys hanging out at the NACC, attempting to embroider like her grandmother, and wearing colors and patterns that really should not go together. She looks forward to seeing and helping anyone at the NACC.

 

Nolan Arkansas

Trumbull ‘22

Hometown: Elawodi (Cherokee, North Carolina)

Major: American Studies

Native Nation: Anikituwagi (Cherokee)

Nolan has been a member of the NACC House Staff since 2018, this year managing the newsletter, social media accounts, and a number of community events and seminars. In addition to House Staff, he’s the Student Curatorial Assistant in the Western Americana Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library. A Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow in American Studies, Nolan specializes in Cherokee archives, history and philosophy. On campus, he’s the Vice President of ANAAY and a founding member of Indigenous + Queer. He enjoys anything outdoors, but takes special interest in gardening Indigenous foods like corn, squash, gourds, and beans. Reach out to talk about the newsletter, NACC events, gardening, or to grab socially-distanced coffee.

 

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.

 

Hema Patel

Saybrook ‘23

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Major: History of Science Health & Medicine and 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.

 

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 - 2020-2021

 

Mikiala Ng

Pierson College ‘24

Hometown: Waialua, O’ahu HI

Major: Undecided

Native Nation: Native Hawaiian

Mikiala Ng is a proud mix of Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Mexican, Portuguese, and Irish and is from the North Shore of O’ahu Island. She is a first-year in Pierson College who is interested in studying both science and studio art. In her free time, she enjoys surfing, going to the beach, making art (any medium really!), and reading. This year, Mikiala will be studying online remotely from her home in Hawai’i.

 
 

Daniela Flores Torres

Grace Hopper ‘24

Hometown: New Haven, CT

Major: Chemical Engineering

Native Nation: Nahua Tlaxcaltec

Hey y’all! My name is Daniela Flores Torres and I’m from San Francisco Tetlanohcan in Tlaxcala, Mexico. I’ve grown up in Fair Haven, New Haven my entire life, so I’ve been very involved with local organizations. I’m a teaching assistant for the EVOlutions program at the Peabody Museum and a volunteer for Havenly Treats. My hobbies include drinking tea, doodling, and admiring nature! I’m considering majoring in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or Environmental Studies (maybe a mix?). 

 

Eva Greyeyes

Berkeley ‘24

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Major: Computing and the Arts

Native Nation: Cree (Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan)

Eva Greyeyes (she/her) is a first-year currently hoping to major in Computing and the Arts. Outside of the NACC, she’s involved with WiCS (Womxn and Gender Minorities in CS), the Berkeley College Film Society, and the Association of Native Americans at Yale. In her free time, she loves to draw, watch cartoons and movies (especially sci-fi & fantasy!!), play volleyball, and facetime friends and family.