First-Year Counselors


JE is delighted to announce 2019 - 2020 Fro-Cos!

Rocky Lam ‘20

Head FroCo, Rocky identifies as both a New Yorker and a Hongkonger—born in Brooklyn, he spent the first four years of his life in Hong Kong, before returning to the City and remaining there until… Yale! At Yale, he is a Sociology major with an interest in Chinese diasporas in Spanish-speaking countries, which has led him to live in countries like Spain and Argentina. Outside the classroom, he has planned events with the Asian American Cultural Center, held wellness check-ins at the Good Life Center, and mentored students at the Center for Teaching and Learning. During his free time, he loves to watch anything from travel blogs to dance videos on Youtube and read books, especially those by POC authors. He is excited to talk about all of the above and more with JE first-years!

Rocky’s $0.02:

Don’t be afraid to do things alone! Starting college is nerve-wracking and you will probably feel inclined to do a lot of things with someone else, from dining hall meals to club meetings. Do build relationships by going to things with other people, but don’t let the fact that you may be going to something alone stop you from going. Yale is full of incredible opportunities and people, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on some of these possibilities simply because you didn’t want to walk into a room of strangers. Also, how do you usually react when someone walks into a room that you’ve been in? Yeah, it’s really not a big deal. That said, definitely do what you’re comfortable/slightly uncomfortable with!


Kazemi Adachi ‘20

Kazemi (he/him/his) comes from the exciting Chicago suburb of Lincolnshire, Illinois. In the classroom, he studies in the Applied Physics department and Energy Studies program with a goal to make energy systems more equitable and sustainable. Each year has brought him a different set of extracurricular activities – he has variously been the chair of the Spring Fling committee, danced with the Yale Steppin’ Out (with Rocky!), and become ingrained in the JE community as the head JE College Aide. This year, he plans to split his time between FroCo duties and serving as the president of the Yale Buddhist Sangha (in addition to school). In his spare time, he watches too many Bon Appetit cooking videos on Youtube (iykyk) and dreams of the day when he will have all the necessary time and equipment to cook to his heart’s content.

Zemi’s $0.02:

Yale can be a crazy bubble, for better or worse. No matter your passion or what you do during your time here, I encourage you to contextualize the things that you learn and the experiences you have here in the interconnected stories of your own life, of Yale, of New Haven, and of the world. Being a Yalie (and a JE spider) affords you so many privileges, so use them to move and shape the bubble for everyone’s benefit!


Matthew Le ‘20

Matt (he/him/his) hails from the suburbs of Atlanta, where he was born and raised in the small town of Conyers, GA. He is among the first generation of his family to attend college. He traces his family’s roots back to Vietnam, from which his parents emigrated in the 1970s. On campus, he studies Economics and Mathematics, serves as the president of the Vietnamese Students Association (ViSA), and teaches public schoolers all around New Haven. He’s spent his summers in places ranging from Tokyo, Japan, where he studied Japanese through the Light Fellowship, to Chicago, IL where he is currently working on improving educational outcomes in low-income communities.

You can often spot Matt on campus studying with headphones on chilling out to music, drinking cold brew coffee, or eating a breakfast sandwich, and sometimes doing all three at once. Having loved his experience last year as a Peer Liaison working with first-years through Yale’s Asian American Cultural Center, he’s looking forward to getting to know JE’s first-years during the next school year!

Matt’s $0.02:

Take care of yourself. At Yale, many people often experience feeling pressure to do more, to study more, to join more groups, to push yourself oftentimes to a point where it negatively affects one’s health, physically, mentally, or otherwise. There’s nothing inherently wrong with ambition. However, it is vital you do not
lose sight of yourself in the process. As people, we are necessarily
imperfect. We have limitations. As such, take time to figure out your limits and to find your own balance of pursuing your goals
and taking care of yourself. Furthermore, remember that what’s
seemingly right for other people does not mean it will be right for you.


Mary Martin ‘20

Mary (she/her/hers) is from Oak Park, IL, but she’ll tell you she’s from Chicago because that’s close enough. Although she’s constantly cold, she loves both snow and her electric blanket and is thus a huge fan of New Haven weather. She is pre-med and majoring in Humanities and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry. A French horn player, she’s a member of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the president of Coup de Brass (a brass ensemble, as the name suggests), and an artist liaison at the School of Music. Mary also does research in a biochemistry lab and volunteers at Yale-New Haven Hospital in the pediatric hematology/oncology ward. Her favorite things include Bananagrams, tea with too much sugar, road trips, snacking, and movies that pass the Bechdel test. She can’t wait to meet the Class of 2023!

Mary’s $0.02:

Transitioning into college has no set timeline—don’t feel like you have to be settled in after a week, or a month, or a semester. No one really has it figured out, and no one has to, because part of the point is to try things out and learn from what does and doesn’t work. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself to do everything or to feel like you have it all together; celebrate all your victories, even the tiny ones, and be thoughtful about checking in with yourself. Most importantly, do what makes you happy, and remember that lots of people (including your Frocos!) are here for you if and when something doesn’t go perfectly.


Lorena Ortega ‘20

Lorena grew up in Oakland, California and identifies as a Mexican- American. She is a history major with interest in U.S-Latin American relations and immigration policy. On campus, Lorena has worked as the Events Coordinator for the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association and the FIS coordinator for Dwight Hall. She has also enjoyed getting to know the New Haven community through internships with local organizations that work to empower immigrants and refugees such as IRIS and New Haven Legal. Growing up in a Spanish speaking household, Lorena loves studying languages, which has led her to study abroad in Paris, France and Amman, Jordan. Lorena has also traveled to Israel and Palestine as a Peace and Dialogue Fellow. Lorena is most proud of her role as an audience member. She tries to attend as many student events as possible to cheer on her friends, so make sure to let her know if you have an event coming up, so she can cheer you on! During her free time, you can find Lorena drinking a honey- ginger-lemon tea at Jojo’s and pretending to study with her friends. Or you can find her on the couch, wearing her PJs watching a Netflix series while eating pad Thai.

Lorena’s $0.02:

Find ways to make Yale best fit you, not the other way around. There is no right way to do Yale, so don’t let the fear of somehow not being a good « Yalie » stop you from trying new things or going against the flow. Yale has more opportunities to offer than any person is capable of accessing in their four years, no matter how hard they try. So stay true to what impassions you, to what sparks your curiosity. Doing so may lead you down paths you never expected. Do not be afraid to try out for the coveted part in a play, to apply for the selective program, to try the new hobby, to take the class that has nothing to do with your major, and to do it all while maintaining the humility that comes with acknowledging the possibility of failure. Although the fear of failure is scary, the regret you might feel for not trying at all can be worse. These next four years are about making the most of this experience, whatever that means for you and only you. And we are excited to help you along the way!


Juliette Wallace ‘20

Juliette is from Portsmouth, Virginia, but her heart lives in a million different places. As an environmental studies major, she’s usually pressing flowers or lecturing anyone she meets about the importance of sustainability. When she grows up, she wants to plan and manage urban green spaces. Her favorite things to do in New Haven are ride her bike, read in Wooster Square, and eat Mamoun’s falafel pitas at 2AM. She can’t wait to meet her first-years and make them desserts in the JE kitchen.

Juliette’s $0.02:

College advice is full of clichés, but they are all true. Be gentle with yourself. Academics are important, but they aren’t everything. Use this time to figure out who you are, and only invest your energy into things that fulfill you. Take the interesting classes; get out of town on a Saturday; wake up early and have a beautiful breakfast; stay up eating junk food with your suite mates. The freedom of college is wonderful, and there is so much to anticipate.

Sana Aslam ‘20

The best moments of Sana’s day are those like wandering upon a new study spot, or sitting in the after feeling of a hearty conversation, or noticing something different in what she sees every day. Sana majors in Anthropology and has a love for the social studies of human thought. On campus, she researches with a domestic violence initiative and has served as a Chaplain’s Office fellow. She has also enjoyed getting to know New Haven, through teaching sex-ed in local high schools and working with the U.S. Grant summer program for awesome New Haven public middle schoolers. Sana is Muslim, Pakistani American, and Kentuckian, and she uses she/her/hers pronouns! This photo is from winter break, when she was in Indonesia with fellow Yalies, learning about grassroots community building. She is so excited to welcome all the first-years to JE.


Sana’s $0.02:

In the whirlwind that can be college, take time to discern your own opinions. Try to challenge preconceived notions and extend empathy as you do so. Many well-meaning folks whom you may respect and admire, from older students to your suite mates, will have specific feelings about professors, majors, administrators, peers, extracurriculars, causes, etc. Hear them out, but also trust your own intuition and rationale, even and especially when it’s different from what others are saying. Remember that not everyone or everything clicks with all, so I would caution against writing off experiences or people, or even sticking with something that doesn’t feel right, based on hearsay or what others’ think. Be your own person. You will make your own mistakes because you’re beautifully human, but what counts is facing these moments as those of learning and growth, with courage and humility.