Staff Contacts and Bios
As a team made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, please know the we are dedicated to engaging with and recruiting individuals with multi-faceted perspectives and experiences to aid in the cultivation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community who also strive to create a sustainable future for all people and the planet. We do hope to have the opportunity to connect with you as you begin your journey to learn more about the programs and community here at YSE.
Dr. Wendi Hicks
Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid
Greetings! I am so excited to be a part of the YSE community and the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid team. As an African American woman growing up in rural South Georgia—the agricultural Sunbelt—the importance of environmental health and awareness and the countless effects that people, policies, and many other factors have upon it have always been a passion for me. I possess a true passion for higher education and the academic empowerment of students across all backgrounds. I also have a Doctorate in Public Administration, with a dual concentration in Higher Education Leadership and Public Policy. While our team is dedicated to recruiting individuals with multi-faceted perspectives and experiences to aid in the cultivation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we still have a lot of work to do to continue creating and increasing an inclusive environment. I am committed to that work. I enjoy dancing, eating pizza, and walking with my close friends and their dogs in my free time!
Associate Director of Financial Aid
Hello from New Haven County! I am excited to be part of the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. The environmental health of the earth is at a critical apex, and as the associate director of Financial Aid at YSE, I am thrilled to be able to help students work towards a more sustainable future. Helping students navigate the tricky world of financial aid is my priority. I have more than a decade of experience working in colleges helping students with financial aid, including integrating new financial aid platforms and working with a diverse array of students. I consider myself a student for life, I have a master’s degree in accounting and an MBA in Digital Entrepreneurship, and I am always seeking out new courses.
I enjoy outdoor adventures whenever possible. Whether it is ziplining down the Great Smokey Mountains or kayaking with alligators in the Everglades. I am an avid kayaker and enjoy a nice hike in the woods with my pup, Jackson. I look forward to helping you navigate financial aid throughout your YSE journey!
Associate Director of International Admissions & Student Success
Энэ өдрийн мэнд (Good Day): As someone with an international background — I was born in Mongolia and raised in Ireland —I am your international friend and colleague. I grew up in an area where I experienced environmental issues, such as air pollution, firsthand and it is a privilege to be part of an academic community working on solutions.
I have worked in higher education since 2015, both abroad and in the states, assisting international students in admissions and student affairs. It is my belief that respecting and understanding our differences regardless of our backgrounds is an essential component of supporting students.
When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling with my family and exploring new places we haven’t been before, making eye-opening discoveries and life-long memories.
It is my honor to be part of YSE where the possibilities of making an impact are endless.
Assistant Director of Admissions, Events & Recruitment
Hello! As someone who believes that fighting for more love, more connection, and more justice means fighting for our collective humanity and a better world, I am delighted to join the YSE community. One of the most pressing issues facing us today is our environmental crisis, and I am excited to, in small part, support the researchers, activists, creative problem-solvers, and great thinkers shaping the future of our planet.
I am a Korean-born, New York-raised transracial adoptee, educator, and advocate for social change. I began my career as an English teacher in public schools then transitioned to K-12 independent schools as an administrator supporting community building, programming, and institutional change. I focused on global education, equity and diversity, and student life at several institutions throughout Connecticut. I hold a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction concentrating on multicultural and inclusive educational practices in my graduate work. I enjoy meeting new people, exploring this vast and complex world, and supporting others in their journey to their best selves; I look forward to engaging in all of this and more on the Admissions Team.
Quetcy Rivas Maldonado
Masters Program Coordinator
Hola from New Haven!! The environmental challenge the world faces was one of the reasons why I came to YSE. Not the least important of which are the perils bearing down on Puerto Rico with the brief stints of relief between earthquakes and hurricanes that rocked the island in the not so distant past. One of my hopes is that students of YSE set their sights toward my beautiful isle of Puerto Rico and undertake the initiatives to reconstruct the affected areas and develop long term solutions. What does a Puerto Rican do to relax after replying to an inundated inbox? I am a DIY enthusiast which reinforces my efforts to reuse and recycle. I am helped by my loving family, of whom my only child is getting an M.F.A in writing and our energetic German Shepherd (Luna-nicknamed Lunatic) graciously volunteers to reduce the items that end up in the trash. To destress from a long workday, I turn to a good mystery whether on screen or in the comfort of a bedside book.
Senior Administrative Assistant/Admissions
Bonjour! I was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as Zaire. I moved to the United States and have lived in New Haven since the early 2000s. Coming from a developing country, I know the importance of the environment. I have experienced at first hand the negative impact of a lack of environmental stewardship. I believe in education as the basis for creating a more sustainable planet for us and for generations to come. That is why I am proud to be part of the YSE Admissions Team. As someone who speaks five languages, I am a strong supporter of cultural diversity. Outside of my professional work here at YSE, I have a particular interest in Refugee Resettlement, Immigrants’ Rights and Affordable Housing. I volunteer with many organizations whose missions are near and dear to my heart. I enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends, especially sharing a good meal at one of New Haven’s many restaurants. I am a lover of life and all things fun. I never pass up the opportunity to dance!