Peer Liaisons

La Casa is one of the campus spaces that has Peer Liaisons (PLs), upper-level students at Yale College who help connect first-years to the wealth of support and programming based in our center, as well as in collaboration with other offices. Each PL program is structured a little differently, but all are designed to help first-years feel supported and integrated into the Yale College community. You can learn more about Yale College’s Peer Liaisons program by clicking here.

2021-2022 Team:

Ivan Mangal (Pauli Murray ‘23)

Head Peer Liaison

(Pronouns: He/Him/His)

Hey class of 2025! My name is Ivan Mangal (he/him/él) and I’m a junior in Pauli Murray. I’ve lived in Vietnam, the Philippines, and most recently in Houston, TX, but my family is from Puerto Rico, Guyana, and Denmark—in short, Yale is my home. I took Directed Studies my first-year and now I am a History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health major fulfilling pre-med requirements. On campus I spend my time working with Despierta Boricua (the PR student organization), playing piano with La Orquesta Tertulia, and volunteering with the HAVEN Free Clinic. I am also a part of the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars (STARS) community for underrepresented minorities in STEM and I am currently involved with research on campus—ask me about it! My favorite thing about Yale is ~citrus week~ (you’ll all soon discover the glory). Outside of Yale, I’m always down for a game of pick-up football or badminton and the most recent book I’ve read for pleasure is “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler. I don’t like walking to classes so much, so you’ll probably see me scooting everywhere haha. Anyways… soon we’ll be together on campus and I’m super excited to meet everyone!

Elena Castro (Branford ‘23)

Head Peer Liaison

(Pronouns: She/they)

Hey y’all! My name is Elena (she/they) and I am a Junior in Branford college, majoring in Architecture with a concentration in Design. I am originally from Greenville, SC, but really consider home to be wherever my avocado plant is. My family is from a town called Rio Hondo in Zacapa, Guatemala, which is really more desert and cacti than anything. This year (aside from being your Co-Head PL), I am serving as an Academic Strategies Peer Mentor and am a third year member of WORD: Performance Poetry at Yale. I am also currently serving as an assistant to the Yale Dura-Europos Archive (YDEA), where I work to create geospatial maps of the ancient Dura-Europos city and its buildings. Outside of Yale, I run a small crochet/handmade goods business and am passionate about urban planning, green infrastructure, and art of all kinds. I would love to chat about anything and everything (especially music, poetry, and the outdoors), so please feel free to reach out!

Jack Fresquez (Berkeley ‘21)

Pronouns: (He/Him/His)

Hi friends! My name is Jack Frésquez (he/him/él), and I’m a (super!) senior in Berkeley College. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, but my family has lived in what was part of Northern Mexico (now New Mexico) for many generations, long before the territory was annexed by the U.S. in 1848. Suffice to say, the New England winters were, and continue to be, a shock to my system which is accustomed to the warm, dry heat of the Sonoran desert. I’m a student in the Ethnicity, Race & Migration program with a wide range of academic interests, spanning from the history of queer liberation in Cuba (where I studied abroad in the spring of 2020), to health polices and carcerality, to Critical Race Theory and LatCrit Theory. Many of my on-campus involvements, which include De Colores, Rotaract, and the Yale Prison Education Initiative (YPEI), attempt to bridge gaps between Yale and greater New Haven communities. In my gap year, I worked doing social media and research at a news outlet called “The Appeal” and volunteering at APNH, helping to develop a program that expands access to PrEP (the life-saving HIV prevention drug) for Black and Latinx MSM in New Haven. In the years I’ve spent in New Haven, I’ve really enjoyed taking long walks, getting boba with friends, and watching Netflix (truly the most eclectic mix of shows from F1 racing to Casa de las Flores to Selling Sunset). If you ever want to have a leisurely conversation over coffee or tea to chat about anything I’ve mentioned or really anything at all, please let me know!

Hannah Foley (Trumbull ‘24)

Pronouns: (She/Her/ella)

Hi everyone!! My name is Hannah (she/her/hers) and I’m a rising sophomore in Trumbull College from Los Angeles, with roots in Guadalajara, Mexico. I haven’t declared a major yet, but I’m interested in history, art, economics, and American studies. I am originally from the Class of 2023, but I took a gap year last year and spent my time working with the Urban Resources Initiative as both an outreach coordinator for the New Haven Botanical Garden of Healing Dedicated to Victims of Gun Violence and a GreenSkills Supervisor supporting New Haven high-school students pursuing environmental justice projects in the city. During the school year, you can usually find me chasing a shuttle bus to the intramural fields, bopping to early 2000s pop music with friends, walking around New Haven, or volunteering at HAVEN Free Clinic. I love hiking, skateboarding, watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, playing and watching soccer, and adding hot sauce to pretty much anything I eat. While I can’t parallel park, I can talk for hours about anything from music recs (love The Strokes, Outkast, Los Retros, Nelly, Mac Demarco) to why a hot dog is a sandwich. I am so so excited to meet all of you, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Paloma Ortega (Silliman ‘22)

Pronouns: (She/Her/Ella)

Paloma Ortega (she/ella and Silliman ’21+1). Paloma is a senior studying American Studies. She comes from from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and could probably talk about her love for the Southwest all day. Outside of classes, she works as a Communication and Consent Educator and sings with Whim n’ Rhythm, one of Yale’s all-senior singing groups! On campus, you can find her sipping tea in the Silliman Acorn (the BEST study spot). In her free time she’s been reading graphic novels, watching way too much RuPaul’s Drag Race, and baking. Talk to her about reality television and your favorite places to grab coffee on campus. Reach out at paloma.ortega@yale.edu!

 Lexa Pulido(Trumbull ‘24)

¡Hola Amigxs! Lexa (she/her) is a sophomore in Trumbull College studying Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. She was raised in Guadalajara, MX but moved to McAllen, TX in 7th grade. At Yale, she is involved in Sabrosura: Yale’s Premier Latin Dance Team, A Different Drum Dance Company, and she is Co-President of ¡Oye! Spoken Word. She is also a Spanish translator for New Haven Legal Aid and a part of the Migration Justice Initiative! Lexa loves trying new types of food, existential conversations, podcasts, tea and avocados. Lexa is always down for a run, hike, or walk. She is so excited to meet all of you and help you in any way she can!

Jordi Bertran (Pierson ‘22)

Pronouns (He/They)

¡Hola amigxs! My name is Jordi Bertrán Ramírez (he/they), and I am a sophomore in Trumbull College double majoring in Environmental Studies & Theater Studies. I identify as Mexican-American and call San Diego home. Originally from the class of 2023, I took a gap year to work on Jon Ossoff’s Senate campaign, developed and taught free acting and theater design workshops for New Haven high school students with the Yale Dramatic Association, and found a deep love for pole dancing! This fall, you’ll find me running around (yes, literally) as the Health and Safety Director of the Yale College Council, a dancer with Yale’s hip-hop dance team Rhythmic Blue, an organizer with the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition, and a tour guide for the Yale Admissions Office. In my free time, I love geeking out about the MCU, yoga, thrift shopping, and having a good cry to SZA. Email me at jordi.bertran@yale.edu with any questions.

Leila Jackson (Saybrook ‘22)

Pronouns: (They/she)

Hey y’all! My name is Leila (they/she). I’m a senior in Saybrook - though I’m living in Pauli Murray - majoring in Psychology. I’m from Queens, New York. On campus, I’m a Research Assistant for the Affective Science and Culture Lab. I also write for Broad Recognition (rush broads!) and try to involve myself in other community service efforts in New Haven. In my free time I love hanging out with my sister, reading and writing, and rewatching my comfort shows (currently Bojack Horseman for the 4th time). I love talking so please feel free to reach out about music, writing, and everything else!