First-Year Counselors (FroCos)

Timothy Dwight First Year Counselors 2023 - 2024 

First-Year Counselors, colloquially known as “FroCos,” seek to ease the transition of incoming first-years to the academic, social, and cultural life of Yale College. FroCos are exceptional seniors to live among first-year students in TD and offer oversight, advice, and guidance. 

TD has 10 FroCos from diverse backgrounds and unique experiences in their time as undergraduates. They are beyond excited to be working with the newest class of first-year Red Lions.

Kaleb Assefa (Head FroCo)

Kaleb Assefa (he/him) is from Woodbine, MD and is double majoring in Global Affairs and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with a certificate in Global Health Studies.  On campus, he organizes events and plays the alto saxophone with the Yale Undergraduate Jazz Collective, advises students with Matriculate, and designs for the Yale Review of International Studies.  He is also a First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trip (FOOT) leader and an avid Intramural sports fan as one of TD’s Intramural Secretaries.  In his free time, Kaleb enjoys reading fiction books, playing basketball with his suitemates, watching tons of Netflix, and tracking everything Baltimore Ravens.  He is so excited to meet this year’s Red Lions and to welcome them into the wonderful TD community!!

Olivia Ang-Olson

Olivia (she/her) is from Sacramento, California. She is a political science major and on the premed track, as well as an incoming Yale School of Public Health student in the 5-year BS/BA-MPH program, concentrating on health policy. Olivia is involved in several student organizations, including Hypertension Awareness and Prevention Program at Yale (HAPPY) and HAVEN Free Clinic, and she also conducts research in an epigenetics lab at Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery.

On the side, Olivia enjoys a variety of hobbies, including painting pictures of fruit, rearranging her room (per feng shui guidelines), and trying out viral Tik-Tok recipes. She is also an avid hiker when back in Northern California, loves practicing violin in her free time, and is a regular pickleball player on the New Haven courts. She is so excited to meet and welcome all to Timothy Dwight College!

Lauryn Burdine

Lauryn Burdine (she/her) is studying American Studies with a concentration in politics and American communities as well as pursuing the Education Studies Scholars Intensive Certificate. She is from Eubank, Kentucky and will talk to anyone about Appalachia and the South (especially Southern literature). On campus, she is involved with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the Education Studies community.

During her free time, Kennedy likes baking in the student kitchen, listening to records, and filling up her National Parks passport. She loves to hike, camp, and read (book recommendations are always welcome!) She is beyond excited to welcome the class of 2027!

Jhon Escobar

Jhon Bryant Escobar (he/him) is from New Haven, Connecticut studying Economics and pursuing a certificate in Programming. If you love food and looking for some local recommendations, he will be your go to guy to ask. On campus, he is dancer for Yale’s Latin Premier Dance Team, Sabrosura; a member of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Incorporated; and is involved with a variety of mentoring/teaching opportunities. As well as this, you can see him being an avid member of the Timothy Dwight Community, working as an Intramural Secretary for the past year, volunteering in the TD Buttery, and working with the Students Activities Committee (SAC).

During his free time you can find him skateboarding around campus and blasting to a mix of different genres of music. Merengue, bachata, and salsa are some of his favorites because they get him dancing wherever he is. If you want to learn some steps, feel free to ask, he would love to teach. He also loves picking up new hobbies like learning more about photography, collecting and playing small instruments (his favorite is the güiro), and learning Portuguese. He is super excited to meet the class of 2027 and welcome you to our TD community.

Justin Ferrugia

Justin was born and raised in Denver, Colorado where he still loves to ski, hike, and snowshoe. He came to Yale in the fall of 2019, and took a leave of absence the next year to avoid what is now unaffectionately called “Zoom University.” He returned to Denver and spent a year working at a plaintiff-side, civil litigation firm. He majors in Ethics, Politics, and Economics with a concentration in the philosophy of law. At Yale, he sings in the Yale Glee Club, competes on the Mock Trial team, runs the Yale chapter of The Thomistic Institute— a research institute that studies medieval philosophy, is the Executive Director of the Yale Logos— Yale’s undergraduate journal of Christian thought, and is a member of the Yale Political Union. He is also Catholic and participates in religious life on campus at the St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel, and off-campus at St. Mary’s Parish.

Demi Lee

Demi L. (She/Her) is studying Cognitive Science with the theme of Human-Centered Design. Originally hailing from Seoul and Bangkok, Demi’s current hometown is Las Vegas. On-campus, Demi works as a photography aide for TD’s Head of College Office, serves on the board for the Yale International Relations Association as the Director of Hemispheres (an international relations teaching program for New Haven high schoolers), mentors students as an Academic Strategies Peer Mentor for the Poorvu Center, and works with student-run ventures through the Tsai City Venture Associates team.

In her free time on campus, Demi loves taking candid photos, eating out with friends at local New Haven restaurants, and making pottery in college basement ceramics studios. Demi is thrilled to soon meet and welcome the Class of 2027 to the TD community!

Grace Miller

Grace Miller (she/her) is from Newport, Vermont and is an Economics major and an Education Studies Scholar. On campus, Grace is involved in Yale Radio (listen to her show nostalgic for__ on!), the climbing team, and tutors for the Economics Department. When at Yale, Grace spends most of her time at Common Ground High School working as a public school intern. During the summers, she enjoys working in outdoor education or conservation (please ask her about her time on an all women’s chainsaw crew). In her free time, Grace enjoys woodburning, making pottery, and any activity outdoors. She is so excited to meet the TD class of ‘27!

Pranav Parakh

Pranav Parakh (he/him) is from Niagara Falls, Canada, and is a Mathematics and Physics major pursuing a certificate in Computer Science. He is a researcher at the Quantronics Lab (QuLab) under the direction of Prof. Michel Devoret and is currently working on simulating the behaviour of superconducting circuits. Pranav is the president of the Yale Undergraduate Quantum Computing society and has been a longstanding member of the Yale Net Impact consulting group. Pranav is game for nearly any sport (he plays as many intramural as possible!), is a member of the Yale Climbing Team, and enjoys playing guitar and piano. He is so excited to meet and welcome the class of 2027 to campus!

Naomi Sellers

Naomi (she/her) is from Mesa, Arizona and is majoring in Global Affairs with an Advanced Language Certificate in Chinese. On campus, she spends most of her time working at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning as a peer mentor for first-generation, low-income students or coordinating events in the TD art studio as a residential college aide. She is also passionate about faith communities at Yale, serving as a Student Deacon at the University Church in Yale and member of Yale Students for Christ.

In her free time, Naomi loves to be outdoors, and you can usually find her strolling around New Haven - checking out more books than she can carry from the New Haven Public Library, perusing assorted art supplies at Hull’s and Artist & Craftsman, or fueling her M&M addiction at TD-Heav. She cannot wait to welcome the Class of 2027 to the best residential college, Timothy Dwight, and help them find their footing at Yale!

Sidney Velasquez

Sidney Velasquez (she/they) is from Los Angeles, California and is an American Studies major focusing on structural racism, the criminal justice system, and black literature. During her time at Yale, she mentored New Haven students through the African American Cultural Center (affectionately known as The House), worked with the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project (YUPP), and conducted archival research at the Beinecke Library with an American Studies professor. You may see her leading groups of young, starry-eyed high school students, as she is also a campus tour guide.

In her free time, she enjoys dancing with her friends, reading, journaling, and has recently picked up knitting. She also absolutely loves to binge episodes of reality TV shows after a long day. This coming year, she is eagerly awaiting meeting and welcoming the class of 2027 to the TD family.