Student Advisory Board
Tsai CITY Student Advisory Board Leader
Franz Hochstrasser serves as a Teaching Assistant at Yale Law School, and a Research Assistant at Yale University with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, and the Data Driven Yale: Environmental Solutions Group. He's pursuing a Masters in Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Hochstrasser served 8 years in the Obama Administration, most recently as Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the US Department of State working on international climate negotiations and policy. Prior to that, he was Deputy Associate Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality working on energy, environment and climate policy; and a Confidential Assistant and Legislative Analyst at the US Department of Agriculture working on food security policy, agricultural research and conservation, and open-data. He also worked on both of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Tsai CITY Student Advisory Board Leader
Nya is a proud native of the Bronx, NY. At Yale, she is pursuing a joint degree—a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree of Public Health in Health Care Management. As a first generation American, she grew up in a Caribbean family who believes that with each opportunity comes the great responsibility to improve the lives of those around you. From an early age, Nya has been passionate about using business strategy to make a difference in the world. Last year she launched a project in her hometown to introduce mindfulness practices and creative self-expression to help young women better navigate the high pressure environment of high school. Last summer she worked for a health reform consulting firm to develop strategic plans to support New York City's public hospital system. She is currently building a new program to enable financial sustainability and professional development for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. After Yale, Nya hopes to use her leadership opportunities, academic endeavors, and professional experiences to continue to promote positive social change.
Tsai CITY Student Advisory Board Leader
Sheila is junior in Morse College studying Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. She's passionate about education and innovation. She is the Executive Director for the Teaching Peace Initiative, a non-profit organization offering peer-to-peer peace education. Additionally, she is an Operations Associate for Firoz Academy, a for-profit start-up offering Afghan youth the skills necessary for jobs in technology. She is also a Public School Intern for Dwight Hall at James Hillhouse High School.
Tsai CITY Student Advisory Board Leader
John Paul is a sophomore from Buffalo, New York (Go Bills!) who is still undecided on his major but looking into Molecular Biophysics & Biophysics or Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Outside of the classroom you can find him running around New Haven with the Club Running Team or helping organize events for Not So Straight Frosh. In his spare time he’s often studying, doodling, or watching Rom-Coms with members of his Fro-Co Group.
- 2nd year PhD student from Italy studying Medieval Literature
- Alumni Leader at Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY)
- Flimmaker working on documentary & shorts
- Inspired by her father who shot family films with a Super 8 camera and is working on a project about the meaning of family and the connection with memory.
QUOTE: “The interdisciplinary aspect of CITY is amazing. At Yale, you don’t tend to connect outside of departments. I want to connect on topics we all care about.”
- 3rd year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering studying lung - tissue engineering
- Co-President of the Graduate Society of Women Engineers
- Won the 2016 CBIT Healthcare Hackathon
- Created a carrying case and washing system for a nebulizer
QUOTE: “I’m excited to make innovation accessible to everyone of all walks of life.”
- Senior studying economics and global affairs.
- On the Net Impact Executive Board
- Helped organize Spark, the first social venture conference for Yale undergrads
- Student representative at the Yale Collaborative on Social Entrepreneurship
QUOTE: “Entrepreneurship is trying to put things together and see how you can create new things—such as high tech equipment with research and knowledge. I’m interested in climate migration and using creative tools to help shape policy.”
- 2nd year Architecture major
- BA in Architecture from Miami University in Ohio
- Worked for Edun Live on campus (sweatshop-free apparel)
QUOTE “I’m interested in learning how to build interdisciplinary workplace cultures from the ground up.”
- Currently in the accelerated MBA/MPH program
- Co-Chair of SOM Net Impact
- Working on starting a Yale-wide case competition with a social theme.
- Volunteer for New Haven Reads and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
- Feels most creative when cooking - especially bread and ice cream
QUOTE: “I like that CITY is expanding what entrepreneurship is and stretches how you think about it.”
- Yale College ’18 – Saybrook College – studying political science & education
- Chair of the Politic magazine
- President of West Wing Weekly, a group that watches the West Wing and eats wings
- From Brazil, has lived in Venezuela and Panama
- Education Fellow for InnovateHealth Yale
QUOTE: “I’m excited to bring education issues to the forefront of innovation.”
- Yale College ’19 studying CS and Humanities
- Head of sponsorship at YHack
- Head TA for CS50
- Working on a Hacker Retreat
- MBA ‘18
- Ran a communications consulting business for art museums and galleries
- Lead Innovation Advisor at Tsai CITY
- Loves supporting artists and plans to work with them
QUOTE: “The Innovation Advisors at Tsai CITY are amazing. I love working with these all-star students and helping to shape the program.”
- MBA/MEM ‘18
- Involved in Global Social Entrepreneurship Program at SOM and consulted for agro-forestry initiatives in Ghana
- Current TA for GSE India
- Runs ultramarathons, including in Nepal where she used to live
QUOTE: “I think of entrepreneurship as a way of thinking and working within an organization. Having an entrepreneurial spirit is important to my own work of motivating private sector solutions to environmental problems.”
- YC ’16, LAW ‘20
- From Sierra Leone
- Focused on how human rights interact with thinking about identity and gender
- Graduate Assistant of Intercultural and Social Justice at the Afro-American Cultural Center
- University-wide Chair of Black History Month & oversees Martin Luther King, Jr. Day campus events
QUOTE: “I’m interested in cross-discipline collaborations at CITY. In particular, the way that artists’ advocacy can help bridge gaps between lawyers and the community.”
- YC ’19 at Pauli Murray College studying mechanical engineering
- Design Thinking Instructor at Design for America
- Mentor for High School Robotics Team in New Haven
- Intramural Chair at Pauli Murray overseeing inner tube water polo, broom ball, and other more traditional sports
- Lover of sticky notes
QUOTE: “I love sticky notes because I don’t want to lose random good ideas.”
- Divinity School ‘19
- President of Yale Black Seminarians
- Member of Black Church Studies Committee
- Mentor at Brennan Rogers Magnet School, supporting boys in need of role models
QUOTE: “I’m working to create a partnership between CITY and Yale Divinity School and bring business acumen to ministries.”
- YC ’18 Morse College studying geology, geophysics & mechanical engineering
- Working at Landscape Lab designing rainwater collection
- On the Steering Committee for parisagreement.org, a nonprofit between Yale and the private sector tracking the negotiations
QUOTE: “My dream is to go into climate entrepreneurship – adaptation and mitigation. I’m hoping to build experience in entrepreneurship and develop real business acumen at CITY.”
- YC ’19 at Pauli Murray College studying data science.
- Impact Development Coordinator at Dwight Hall working on ways to evaluate the impact of student-run profits in New Haven
- A Christian who believes that innovation must be directed toward an end goal
QUOTE: “I’m excited to bring all the entrepreneurship resources across campus together. CITY’s emphasis on diversity is very Yale – it makes it very different from other accelerators.”
- YC ’20 at Pauli Murray College studying computer science
- Organized the CBIT Healthcare Hackathon
- Built an app for Murray College to navigate the basement tunnels with plan to expand to other colleges
- Participated in an earlier startup called Hemostat
QUOTE: “I’m interested in innovation at healthcare. With so much support at CITY, it’s easy to start something.”
- YC ’19 at Saybrook College studying ethics, politics and economics
- Co-President of Yale Launch
- Foot Leader – Led freshman orientation trips in the Catskills and White Mountains
- Cofounder of Verb energy bars
- Coordinator for Hunger Heroes, a weekly soup kitchen
- Homebrews beer for Saybrook, 5 gallons at a time
QUOTE: “I’m excited to work with CITY to get student from diverse backgrounds and academic skills involved in entrepreneurship.
- MBA ‘18
- Co-chair of PE & VC Club
- Currently working on a startup
QUOTE: “It’s great having CITY at the center of Yale entrepreneurship. There are really smart people here with amazing ideas that need support.”
- MBA/MEM ‘19
- Member of Consortium for Graduate Study and Management
- Co-Leader of the Business and Environment Club at SOM
- Practices and teaches jujitsu at a gym in Hamden
- Former environmental scientist who worked for the city of Dallas doing water quality analysis
QUOTE: “I’m excited to support CITY in connecting students across the university who believe in a diversity of ideas and want to support them.”
- 2nd year PhD student studying biomedical engineering
- Founded and served as President of STEM Mentors for 3 years
- Coordinator for the Scholars Pathway to Science engineering program
- Co-founder of a medical device company that won the 2016 CBIT Healthcare Hackathon
QUOTE: “I’m excited to speak on behalf of grad students at CITY and push the idea of a post-graduation year for working on new ventures.”
Bio coming soon
Bio coming soon
Allison is a joint PhD/MBA student between the Yale School of Management and the Oxford Internet Institute. Her PhD focuses on how technical and educational innovations influence child development. Outside of her academic pursuits, Allison started Bit by Bit, an annual conference that aims to create a social community for high school women interested in STEM. Now in its third year, the event brings together celebrities, like Mindy Kaling, with leading innovators, like Ursula Burns, to inspire the next generation of female technologists.
Before coming to Yale, Allison managed National STEM Video Game Challenge at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, for which she was invited to the White House Science Fair. Allison also served as the lead ELA Games Product Owner at Amplify where she consulted with game design companies to manage production of a suite of Middle School English games. A former Google Policy Fellow, Allison has published research on topics including technology and child development, young girls and STEM education, youth interaction in online communities, telecommunications policy and more. As a freelance consultant, she has worked with start-ups and non-profits including Quirky, E-Line Media, and Brown University. As an innovator, Allison got her start when, at 14, she started an online book club for her favorite author, which went viral.
A Thouron fellow, Allison graduated with her MSc from Oxford University as the Google Graduate Scholar at the Oxford Internet Institute. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania with an individualized degree in the Social Implications of Computer Science.
Katharina Davies was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is a 2nd year MBA student at the Yale School of Management. Having started her career as an entrepreneur, Katharina understands well the wonders and challenges of choosing this career, especially at a young age. Later, as a consultant in Brazil and Mozambique, she learned skills and techniques to help companies grow, cut costs, analyze markets and measure impact. She is excited to be part of Tsai CITY as part of the Student Advisory Board and an Innovation Advisor because she believes she can add value to start-ups and new entrepreneurs , using skills gained in her career and MBA.
Sherri Reed is earning her Master's Degree in religion and literature at Yale Divinity School where she is also the Garden Coordinator at the Divinity Farm. She hopes that working with Tsai CITY, she can help find ways to decrease food insecurity for local folks, and engage in important conversation about sharing economies and open source.
Hao Xing is a 2nd year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering Department, studying diabetic tissue environment at Prof. Themis Kyriakides's Lab.
Originally from Shanghai, China, Hao came to the States in 2012 for undergraduate study at MIT. During undergrad, he co-founded the MIT Undergraduate Biotech Group, one of the largest student groups on campus with more than 700 members. Within one year of directorship, he established more than 30 industry connections and hosted numerous networking events, talks, and career panels to expose the undergraduate community to the different sectors of biotech.
He is currently working as a Canaan-Yale Fellow to receive training from this flagship VC firm and execute projects identifying investment opportunities in the healthcare space. He is also a scientific advisor for a Chinese precision cosmetic company Uniskin, helping them establish research collaboration and identify potential genetic traits affecting skin conditions in Asian populations.
Fun fact, he was a competitive ballroom dancer for 10 years. He was nationally ranked 4th in his division (Amateur Latin Teenage Division) nationally in China.
He firmly believes that the current medical field has much room for innovation. Thus, he wants to work with CITY to help brainstorm and attract talents to innovate the healthcare system, from digital health to clinical application.
Alice Conant is a 2018 MPH Candidate in Heath Policy at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and has been working with InnovateHealth Yale as their Senior Fellow since 2016. Before coming to Yale, Alice co-founded Energize the Chain (EtC), a global health NGO that seeks to eradicate vaccine preventable diseases world-wide by making effective vaccines as accessible as global cell phone coverage. After launching EtC and graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, she became a Penn Social Impact Fellow and was chosen as a Fulbright Scholar, traveling to India to conduct a geospatial analysis of healthcare accessibility in rural tribal communities in southern Karnataka. She spent her YSPH summer internship in Haiti building out the cancer screening and treatment capacity at the Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante run hospital in Mirebalais.
Jessica is a Designer who uses Engineering principals and Human Centered Design to approach the world’s problems. During her undergraduate studies, she is focused on learning the basics of mechanics and computer science. After college, she wants to pursue design and gather experience both the in the social services field (such as working to improve water quality in the developing world, or reduce homelessness) as well as the consumer world of design (product design and stage design). She plans to study architecture in the future in hopes of rounding out her design experience, and adding to her understanding of how people interact with spaces and systems. She uses her skills to lead Design for America at Yale. DFA is a national organization with chapters at schools across the United States. She has helped develop the Yale club from a small group that hosts 4 design projects to one with 30+ members, 6 projects, and multiple outreach initiatives for local New Haven schools. Each of these teams work with a community partner (for instance working with the Errera Center for homeless veterans and the beth-el family shelter), and uses the DFA design process to identify a problem, emphasize with the users, and develop a solution. In a team she provides in depth-experience in engineering and mechanics as well as experience working with social service groups and vulnerable populations. She has worked in projects ranging from designing a self-driving sailboat, to creating a water disinfection unit for disaster relief and low resource settings. Current projects include understanding and using 3D printers to their full potential as well as developing tools to help teach children how to fabricate and use everything from a hammer to a laser cutter.
Arghavan is a graduate student at Yale School of Architecture. She graduated from Tehran University of Art in Architecture Engineering, and took a 3 years gap to work and gain some real-world experience in Architecture and urban planning in public sector. During her studies and work she became interested in working on the aftermath of the war-torn zoon areas and refugee camp solutions. She is also interested in following an interdisciplinary path where the intersection of the knowledge of global affairs, architecture and urban planning can be the agent of constructive change for the built environment. She is working for the IRIS as an Intern in the employment service where they help refugees and immigrants from all of the world with every aspect of their resettlements.