Dwight Hall Students Win Rhodes Scholarships

Alondra, Brian, and Jackson gained leadership experience through service with Dwight Hall student-led member groups and community partners. In winning prestigious Rhodes Scholarships, these three Yalies have distinguished themselves and committed to making a positive impact in the world. 

Alondra Vázquez López ’21, is majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and is a resident of Grace Hopper College. Working with Dwight Hall student-led organizations and community partners, Alondra has been closely involved in JUNTA for Progressive Action and Apostle Immigrant Services resource workshops. She also served with the Yale Interpretation Network, Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, RISE: Refugee and Immigrant Student Education, and MEChA de Yale. Alondra’s senior thesis, which includes an exhibition of her own art, explores modern illicit migration corridorsin the Americas. She is also a founding member and president of an undergraduate chapter of the Estamos Unidos Asylum Project and is an advocate for undocumented migrants. From the San Francisco Bay Area, Vázquez López worked directly for asylum clients in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, and studied Arabic in Morocco. At Oxford, she will pursue Master of Science degrees in migration studies and in refugee and forced migration studies.

Brian Reyes ’21, of Berkeley College, majors in History. He is a first-generation college student from New York. Brian’s Dwight Hall involvement has included service with Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, MEChA de Yale, and in New Haven Legal Assistance Association’s school-based clinics. He has also served as a longtime staff member at La Casa Cultural, Yale’s Cultural Center for Latinx students, and is the Co-President of the Dominican Students Association. Brian has been an organizer for Connecticut Students for a Dream — a statewide organization of immigrant youth, their families, and allies — which campaigns to make state financial aid available without regard to immigration status. He plans to work on policy and legal issues at the intersection of economic and racial justice. Brian previously pursued that interest as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and an intern at Prosperity Now. At Oxford, he will study for a Master of Philosophy degree in comparative social policy.

Jackson Willis ’20 is from St. Petersburg, Florida. He was a resident of Berkeley College and earned his undergraduate degree in Humanities and Economics. As a Dwight Hall student, Jackson’s service focused on the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project, for which he was executive director and chair of the board. YHHAP is one of Dwight Hall at Yale’s largest community outreach programs, and it thrived under Jackson’s leadership. He also served as a student member of the Dwight Hall Board of Directors. While earning his Yale degree, Jackson took a year’s leave to participate in the Peace Corps Response program in Guinea, West Africa, where he worked to improve youth employment. He has painted St. Petersburg landmarks as a public art muralist and enjoys long-distance running. At Oxford, Jackson will pursue an M.Sc. in Economics for Development and an M.Sc. in Global Governance and Diplomacy.

Jackson reflected on volunteer service, “I am inspired by my peers who enliven Dwight Hall with their diverse perspectives and dedication. Now is the time to recommit ourselves to Dwight Hall’s goals of social change, social justice, and service.” 

Dwight Hall congratulates Alondra, Brian, and Jackson for earning Rhodes Scholarships and for thriving as social change leaders!

About the Author

Lydia Burleson

Lydia Burleson served as the Communications and Alumni Engagement Associate for Dwight Hall at Yale, Center for Public Service and Social Justice from June 2021-June 2022. A first-generation low-income student from rural Texas, Lydia graduated from Yale cum laude in 2021 with a degree in English and a nonfiction creative writing concentration. During her college years, Lydia increased awareness of marginalized voices with the public writing she did for The Yale Daily News and the Yale Admissions office. Her Dwight Hall experiences included free college advising with student-led member groups REACH and Matriculate. Dwight Hall empowered Lydia to uplift other disadvantaged students and to increase access to education for people who might not have otherwise received these resources. She is currently completing an English PhD at Stanford University with a Knight-Hennessy Fellowship.