Dwight Hall Staff

Staff members work closely with the student Executive Committee, inspired by the mission of the Hall, to preserve institutional memory and manage the non-profit organization. They serve as advisors to students in all the various aspects of the work of Dwight Hall, including program development, education and training, program management, Yale and community partnerships, public relations, finances, or fundraising.

Executive Director and General Secretary
Peter Crumlish


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director and General Secretary leads Dwight Hall’s activities to accomplish its core mission and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Dwight Hall. The Executive Director, leading a professional full-time staff, is charged with providing managerial oversight and strategic leadership, supporting and complementing the student leadership team that changes annually. The Executive Director is also responsible for coordinating program development, education and training, program and financial management, Yale and community relations, and institutional advancement.  

Available by appointment in Room 106 and by email

Director of ProgramMing & Evaluation
Mark Fopeano


Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Programming and Evaluation coordinates the implementation of all programming at Dwight Hall at Yale. In this role Mark directs a portfolio of programs and supports the implementation of others. He is also responsible for developing and overseeing the evaluation processes that track and measure the success of all programs within the organization.  Additionally, Mark identifies, develops, and oversees processes and tools that support the success of programs, including building new tools and processes as appropriate.

Available during normal business hours in Room 104, by email, and using this Calendly link.

Advocates in Residence

As connectors between public service and higher education, the Advocates in Residence  advise current Dwight Hall students and other Yale students on current campaign engagement opportunities post-graduate social justice careers, and grassroots organizing, explicitly introducing students to local community needs.

The advocates:

  • guide the community organizing and campaign work of individual students, and advise student groups focused on community engagement;
  • serve as an advisor for tangible community engaged learning projects by mentoring students on local politics, community dynamics, criminal justice reform, grassroots organizing, and advocacy in Hartford;
  • connect students with career opportunities in social justice and advocacy; and
  • enhance scholar-activism linkages among local campaigns, students, Dwight Hall, and the university.
Joseph Gaylin

Joseph Gaylin currently serves on the Steering Committee of Stop Solitary CT, where he works on issues related to accountability in Connecticut state prisons and jails. He recently graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor’s in Ethnicity, Race, & Migration. In undergrad, he worked closely with New Haven-based reentry organizations and the Yale Prison Education Initiative. He also co-founded Yale Students for Prison Divestment.

James Jeter

James Jeter recently worked as the Tow Foundation Fellow with the Yale Prison Education Initiative. He is a New Haven native who spent 20 years incarcerated at Cheshire Correctional Institution, where he completed 20 credited college courses with Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education. James is currently enrolled at Trinity College and is the co-director of the Full Citizen’s Coalition to Unlock the Vote.

Communications & alumni engagement associate
Lydia Burleson

The Communications and Alumni Engagement Associate creates marketing and communications content, furthers relationships with key constituents, plans and executes virtual and in-person events, manages the web site and social media presence, and advances the organization’s fundraising and program goals. In this role, Jami collaborates with Dwight Hall staff, Board members, alumni, current and prospective supporters, vendors, and others to inspire students as leaders of social change and to work toward a more just and equitable world.

Education Advisor
Claudia MersoN


The Education Advisor, who also serves as the Director of Public School Partnerships for the Office of New Haven and State Affairs with Yale University, works closely with students and programs interested in serving as educators, mentors, and volunteers with New Haven Public Schools.  Leading the Education Network within Dwight Hall, the Education Advisor acts as a key resource in developing strong programs that meet the education needs of local students.

Administrative Assistant
Jenny Pengsavath


The Administrative Assistant serves as a gatekeeper to students and community members who wish to access Dwight Hall at Yale resources.  Often acting as an initial point of contact, this position coordinates the calendars of Dwight Hall at Yale’s fleet of cars and room reservations, gathers and compiles administrative records, and acts as a principal liaison between the Board of Directors and day-to-day operations.

Available during normal business hours in Main Office.

director of yale prison education initiative
zelda roland


The Director oversees and manages Dwight Hall’s Yale Prison Education Initiative, and as such, is responsible for its development and execution.  In addition to directing programming, this position is responsible for collaboration and consultation with the program’s various partners, and for reporting on outcomes to Dwight Hall’s management, Board of Directors, and funders.

ASsistant Director of Yale Prison Education Initiative 
Vanessa EStime´


The Assistant Director is responsible for day-to-day operations, student and course record management, and is based primarily on the university campus and program facilities. Additional responsibilities include managing and supervising undergraduate and graduate volunteers and fellows, coordinating course materials and supplies procurement and budgeting in coordination with faculty.

Director of Community outreach & Engagement
Johnny Scafidi


The Director of Community Outreach & Engagement leads the planning and execution of engagement and outreach actions and activities with community organizations, friends and allies, and partner organizations.  The position aims to expand community programming while more effectively engaging with and meeting the needs of local community partners.  Additionally, this position also creates programs or supports initiatives that advance community-wide social justice and public service opportunities through the Hall.  Available by appointment in Room 208 and by email.

director of Philanthropy
David Wilkins

The Director of Philanthropy is responsible for the fundraising, grant-writing, and resource development strategies within Dwight Hall at Yale.  The position plays a key role in establishing the visibility of Dwight Hall in communities outside of Yale University, and ensures that its funding is sustained, from a multitude of sources, and accomplishes organizational goals.  The position also works closely with students creating development and communication strategies, particularly the Development Coordinator and PR Coordinator of the Student Executive Committee.  Last, this position also serves as a liaison between grant-funded programs and its funders, ensuring strong and sustained relationships.

Available by appointment in Room 210 and by email.

director, Muslim Leadership LAB
ABDUl-Rehman Malik 


Abdul-Rehman serves as Director of the Muslim Leadership Lab, an innovative student leadership program being incubated at the Dwight Hall Center of Social Justice at Yale. The first of its kind at an Ivy League school, the Muslim Leadership Lab gives students an opportunity to engage with ideas, tools and practical training that will allow them – as young changemakers and leaders – to more fully engage with other like-minded, diverse emerging leaders to create lasting change for social, political and economic justice.

Graduate Service fellow
Morgan Pierce & Brianna Olatunji &

The Dwight Hall Graduate Service Fellow serves to promote and support community engagement among students in the graduate and professional schools at Yale. The fellow works closely with the professional staff of Dwight Hall, leaders from the Dwight Hall Student Cabinet and Executive Committee, and graduate and professional students and staff responsible for community service and engagement efforts originating in their schools. The Fellow assists and encourages the development of sustainable service projects and activities led by graduate and professional school students and staff in collaboration with community partners around New Haven.

Magee Fellow
demar lewis
The Rev. John G Magee ‘06 Fellowshipas established in 1987 to maintain the religious roots upon which Dwight Hall was founded. The Fellow, a graduate or professional student at Yale, works closely with the professional staff of Dwight Hall, leaders from the Dwight Hall Student Cabinet and Executive Committee, coordinators of the Social Justice Network, Education Network, Public Health Coalition, International Network, and Dwight Hall’s institutional programs, and the Yale Chaplain’s Office through Yale Religious Ministries. 

The Magee Fellow will serve as an Advisor to each of the networks of Dwight Hall at Yale, by helping student volunteers and leaders develop the skills necessary to achieve social change. Dwight Hall Networks are comprised of Dwight Hall member organizations, community-based affiliates, and Yale associate organizations. The Magee Fellow will also support the work of the Dwight Hall Student Executive Committee as it pertains to interfaith outreach and/or graduate/professional student outreach.