Graduate Assistants

Heaven Berhane
Graduate Assistant, Wellness Initiatives & Events

My name is Heaven Berhane and I am a second year Divinity Student. I’m currently pursing my Master in Divinity. Prior to attending Yale, I obtained my Bachelors in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Masters in Social Work from Howard University. I was born in Sudan, however my family and I are from Eritrea. Both my mom, dad and sister immigrated to America as refugees. I have three sisters and one brother.

I have worked in the field of social work for four years. During my time as a licensed social worker, I have worked for various non profits that have focused on marginalized communities, in particular those from the Diaspora. I have found the work to be both rewarding and inspiring. My hope is to combine my passion for social work, ministry, and social justice to advocate and help those in the Black community.

I love the House for many reasons, one being that it is a place for students from the Diaspora to come and feel loved and safe. It’s a space where we can celebrate black culture and black excellence. 

N’Kosi Oates
Graduate Assistant, Social Justice Programming

My name is N’Kosi Oates, and I am a second-year MA student in Religion at Yale Divinity School. I also serve as a Graduate Affiliate at Davenport College and a Junior Fellow for the Initiative on Religion, Politics, and Society at the MacMillan Center. I earned his BA with distinction in Political Science and Communications at the University of Delaware. 

Haywood Perry
Graduate Assistant, Student Success Programs

My first year pursuing my Masters of Divinity at Yale Divinity School (YDS) is in response to a calling to connect people to their purpose, while bridging institutions with resources to the communities most in need. As the Graduate Assistant for Student Success Programs at the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, I actively support members of the House as they discern and explore potential professional pathways.

Prior to matriculating at Yale, I served as a Graduate Fellow & Program Associate supporting the Youth & Engagement division of the Aspen Institute; as an intern in the White House Office of Social Innovation & Civic Participation; and as an analyst in the Global Philanthropy division of JPMorgan Chase. My work and research in social enterprises, community building & youth development has taken me on extended stints to Cape Town & Johannesburg, South Africa and Bangalore & Chennai, India. I earned my B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Gerald Sheffield
Graduate Assistant & Art Gallery Manager

I am a second year Master of Fine Arts candidate studying Painting/ Printmaking at the Yale School of Art. In 2017, I will be the first in my family to have earned an undergraduate and graduate degree. I am an African American male, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prior to Yale, I studied Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I am also a United States Army Veteran - I enlisted in the United States Army immediately after high school and served eight years where I completed a 15-month tour in Iraq in 2008. While painting is my primary medium of visual expression, I also enjoy working with people across many diverse backgrounds and cultures. I hope to complete a Fulbright research/study program in Namibia once I graduate.

I love the House because it provides a space where I can relax and distress. Spending time at the House allows me to meet and socialize with other students of color on campus who I would otherwise not see throughout my busy course schedule. 

Paige Tucker
Graduate Assistant, Civic Engagement Initiatives

I received a BA in Political Science with a minor in Afro-American Studies from UCLA. Go Bruins! In 2017, I will receive a Masters of Arts in Black Religion in the African Diaspora from the Divinity School.

I previously held the position of Social Justice Coordinator at the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale. I am the youngest of a family of five with 2 older sisters and 1 Rottweiler. I love sports, specifically football and basketball. You can always find me rooting for the Lakers! I enjoy dancing, music concerts, juggling, and cooking Mexican food. Although I don’t have a passport, I hope to become more well-traveled and visit Greece.

What I love about the House is the history, the culture, and most importantly the people!