Peer Liaisons

Lauren Davila (‘18)

Welcome Class of 2021! My name is Lauren Dávila and I am a senior in Hopper College double majoring in Political Science and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. I am a Latina of Puerto Rican descent, born in the Bronx and raised in Rockland County, NY. In addition to my role as Head Peer Liaison, I am a co-founder of Latina Women at Yale (LWAY), an organization that empowers Latina women through academic, social, and professional activities. 

Outside of La Casa, I am interested in human rights, law, and policy. This summer I worked with Lawyers Without Borders on issues related to international human trafficking and wildlife poaching. I also traveled to Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia to work on my senior thesis. 

I am incredibly excited to meet you all and learn about your passions and interests! La Casa has been my home for the past three years and I look forward to welcoming you into the community!

Ale Sofía Padín-Dujon (‘18)

¡Hola, mi gente! My name is Ale Sofía, and I’m an off-campus senior in Davenport College majoring in Math & Philosophy and Modern Middle East Studies. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, I am a proud Afro-Caribbean of mixed Boricua (Puerto Rican) and West Indian descent. When I’m not finishing a last-minute problem set or complaining about French reading I secretly love, I’m TA-ing L1/L2 Arabic classes. I’m also a Human Rights Scholar. Look for me dancing around campus with my earbuds in. I’m never too busy for coffee, lunch or a quick chat!

Clay Bailey (‘20)

Hello everyone! My name is Clay, and I’m a sophomore in Davenport double-majoring in Computing and the Arts (Music) with East Asian Studies. My hometown is Orlando, Florida, where my Dominican mother and white American father settled down shortly before I was born. I love to make noise— my main instrument is bass guitar, and I am trying to learn piano, guitar, singing and ukelele. I play with La Orquesta Tertulia, Yale’s first and only Latin band, as well as in the Yale Gospel Choir. When I’m not practicing music, you can find me studying Japanese (often new words to murmuring to myself). I studied in Tokyo this past summer, and I plan on returning to study more in Japan through the coming year. If you see me around, don’t hesitate to say hi!

Juan “Juanjo” Valencia (‘19)

¡Q’hubo amigos! My name is Juan José Valencia Gonzalez, and I go by Juan or Juanjo; he/him/his pronouns, please. I was born in the beautiful city of Cali, Colombia! Most of my family still lives there, but I grew up in New Jersey, near Newark. I am a junior in Franklin college (previously in Branford) and I’m an Environmental Studies major, hoping to concentrate in biodiversity and conservation. In addition to being a La Casa PL, I was a Cultural Connections counselor this year, and I am also president of ¡Oye! Spoken Word, a multicultural spoken word poetry group affiliated with La Casa, which focuses on elevating the voices of marginalized people and especially people of color. In my personal life, I am a complete media junkie, and am always looking for new recommendations for books, movies, TV shows, and albums! Favorite genres are horror and sci-fi for movies; indie/alternative for music. I’m also low-key obsessed with brujería and other alternative spiritualities, so I’m into tarot card reading, astrology, meditation, etc. Other hobbies of mine include hiking, talking (leftist) politics, practicing joy and love as radical acts, and of course, chisme!

Ale Canales (‘20)

Hey guys! I’m Ale (she/her/hers) and I’m a 2nd year in Berkeley College. I am a prospective Ethnicity, Race, and Migration major and will probably be focusing on post-colonial Latin America/queerness within the Latinx diaspora. I was born and raised in the border city of Laredo, Texas (South Texas HMU) and am a proud Chicana. I am the co-president of ¡Oye! Spoken Word, Yale’s Latinx spoken word poetry group, where you can catch me exposing myself and saying loud words about it. I am also involved with De Colores, Yale’s only Queer-Latinx group, Steppin’ Out, and the Yale Political Art Club, where I sometimes do photography projects. When I’m not sleeping on my couch or ordering a soy iced chai at Book Trader, you can catch me obsessing over sci fi, living by my horoscope (aries sun and moon, cancer rising), spending too much time editing personal essays, or getting really excited about the stars. My favorite music genres are Brazilian funk and indie alternative and my favorite animal is the shark. Please hit me up anytime for good vibes and spicy snacks!

Jonathan Salazar (‘19) 

¿Qué pasa, mi gente? My name is Jonathan Salazar, and I am a junior in Pauli Murray College majoring in Political Science and Ethnicity, Race and Migration, with a concentration in Race, Law and Policy. Currently, I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but Boyle Heights, California will always be my home. I’m proud to be of Mexican decedent (y de ser poblano). At Yale, you’ll probably seeing running around, organizing and planning events as the Co-President and Co-Founder of the Yale Latinx Pre-Law Society. In addition, I also serve on the Student Advisory Board for the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM) and am also a First-Generation Low-Income Student Ambassador for the Yale College Dean’s Office. Please feel free to reach out for whatever and whenever you need me! 

César García López (‘18)

¡Hola! My name is César García López, I’m a rising senior in Ezra Stiles College majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I’m from Watsonville, California (strawberries!) by way of Michoacán, México. On campus I spend a lot of my time in lab where I do amphibian research (ask me about my frogs!) and at the Peabody working on the collections (let me know if you want a behind the scenes tour). When I’m not I’m campus, I’m probably volunteering with the New Haven Science Fair, through which I lead a whole class of first graders on their project on salt marsh ecology. That, or at the Long Wharf taco trucks. Let’s grab some ice cream or go on a hike sometime.

Jocelyn Dicent (‘20)

¡Hola! My name is Jocelyn, and I’m a sophomore in Pauli Murray majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Born and raised in Rockaway Beach, NYC, I am a daughter of Dominican immigrants. When I’m not busy trying to submit my p-sets on time, I’m a proud member and section leader in the Yale Precision Marching Band (YPMB). I am also a Cluster Tech for the Student Tech Collaborative (STC) and a former STARS I / STARS Summer Program participant. I am also a member of the Dominican Students Alliance (DSA). Feel free to reach out if you ever want to grab a meal or just hangout and chat!

Jaden Morales (‘19)

¡Bienvenidos Class of 2021! My name is Jaden Morales, and I am a junior in Pauli Murray College majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and Political Science. I am a Boricua (Puerto Rican) from Perth Amboy, New Jersey and am currently President of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated, Community Outreach and Engagement Chair for the Yale Latinx Pre-Law Society, member of Sabrosura, and community organizer for Planned Parenthood New England. On my downtime, you can catch me taking photos of nature, binge-watching Netflix, dancing salsa across campus, or cracking jokes with my friends. I am always free for sharing stories, midnight snacking, and laughing until the sun rises. 

Emily Almendarez (‘20)

Hello beautiful people! I’m Emily Almendarez (She/her/hers), a rising 2nd year in Silliman College. So the plan is to major in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, with a double major in Environmental Studies… pero let’s see how that goes. I’m from Los Angeles, CA. My dad is from Honduras and my mom is from Guatemala (CENTRAL AMERICA REPRESENTING WHAT WHAT). 95% of the things that come out of my mouth are ways in which the system is straight up dookie and how we can fight back, movie references, or song lyrics. I am a staff editor for DOWN magazine (a super dope publication run by students of color), MEChA’s Community Action Chair (because all political change starts from the ground up), and New Haven coalition building contributor (I dabble with a few organizations in Connecticut revolving around immigrant rights and immigration policies). I am a perpetual doodler (check out my suite’s mural in Silliman’s basement) and a really good Spotify playlist curator (hmu, I will increase your productivity tenfold). If you ever want to talk about the wonders of the universe, conspiracy theories, or bucket lists, while listening to really good music, let me know! 

César Rodríguez (‘20)

What’s good, 2021? My name is César Rodríguez, and I am a sophomore in Pauli Murray College intending to major in Electrical Engineering! Of Mexican and Guatemalan descent, I was born and raised in Houston, TX (H-town hold it down!) and am fond of my Southern Latinx community. I love to spend my days goofing off at La Casa, and my nights studying hard in the CEID with my fellow Engineering majors! At Yale, I am an Hermano of La Unidad Latina Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated and help host events such as our annual Noche Dorada. I am also a dancer in Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Yale, where I work feverishly to put on performances. In my off time, I am also a High school debate coach for Yale Urban Debate League, and a Scholar Board member of EMERGE Fellowship, a college access organization based in Houston. I am super proud of my Latinx community at Yale, and am grateful to serve as your Peer Liaison this year! As you find your place here this year, know that I am rooting for your success, and am always here if you need to reach out to me, study, or just chill and have a laugh. See you around!