Adventures in Learning - Giving to Yale

in Learning
student profile
“Yale has given me the opportunity
of a lifetime.”
—Catalina Brennan-Gatica pc ’15
The oldest of five children and a first-generation American growing up in
New Haven, Catalina Brennan-Gatica pc ’15 dreamed of someday attending
Yale. Now a student in Pierson College, Catalina is making the most of an
opportunity she says will change her life.
Catalina has charted an unconventional academic path, planning to major
in English while also completing Yale’s pre-med track. With encouragement
from a freshman counselor who had pursued a similar course—pre-med and
linguistics—Catalina weathered her first year of chemistry problem sets and
is already looking ahead to medical school. “It was great to have someone
backing me up and saying ‘you can do this,’” she said.
Her favorite class so far is one that combines science and the humanities in
a compelling way: Professor Laurie Santos’ Sex, Evolution, and Human
Nature, which focuses on human behavior in an evolutionary context. “The
class related so many fundamental ideas to basic evolutionary theory,” said
Catalina, “from human mating strategies to the biology of warfare to the
evolution of morality. When you reflect on our origins through the lens of
evolution, you see ways we can better ourselves as a species.”
Outside of class, Catalina is busy as a coxswain for the men’s heavyweight
crew team. She also joined the Oye! spoken-word poetry group. “It’s exciting
to perform my own poetry for my friends and the Yale community,” she said.
With four younger sisters also planning for college, Catalina is grateful for
the financial aid that makes all this possible for her. “Yale has given me the
opportunity of a lifetime,” she said.
A robust financial aid program brings exceptional students like Catalina to
Yale, regardless of their financial circumstances. To learn more about ways
to support these students, please visit or call 800.395.7646.
Yale University PO Box 2038 New Haven ct 06521-2038