McNair Program GSR Instructors

Photo of DJ Worley

Lynette Haberman was raised both in Southern Oregon and on the Yurok Reservation in Northern California. She graduated summa cum lade from Southern Oregon University and received a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Certificate in Native American Studies (NAS). She is currently a third-year Ph.D. Student in NAS at the University of California, Davis. Lynette’s interests include the legal and ethnohistory of northwestern coastal California native communities. Focusing specifically on archival work and oral interviews of Yurok and Hupa people she looks at the intersection of government policy, legal cases, land, and native-owned businesses in the twentieth century. She is currently working on a documentary film about the life of her late uncle Harry Delmar “Timm” Williams also known as Stanford University’s Indian Mascot Prince Lightfoot, and his influential role in Indian country. Additionally, Lynette is dedicated to the revitalization of her language. She co-created a RPG game using a fate based system in Yurok which is tailored specifically to accessible language learning, and the promotion of inter-generational speakers.


Deedee Chao

Deedee Chao is a first-year master's student in Community Development at UC Davis. She earned her B.A. in Environment, Economics, and Politics from Claremont McKenna College. During her time as an undergraduate, she became interested in social justice, sustainable urban development, and environmental justice, leading to her current areas of focus: how to use urban planning and community development practices to achieve various environmental and social justice goals. Currently, Deedee wants to look into how various socialist countries have engaged in urban planning to achieve their political, environmental, and economic goals, and how doing so ties into social equity and sustainability. She hopes to become an interdisciplinary scholar and activist who can inform her work through Marxist theory and praxis, critical race theory, and socio-environmental knowledge.

Jean-Yves Merilus GSR Instructor

Jean-Yves Merilus is a native from Haiti and moved to the United States in 1999 to join his family in New York. He began his college career at Nassau Community College and earned his Bachelor of Arts in History, with a focus in Latin American, from Hofstra University in 2007. Jean-Yves receives his Master degree in Geography at Miami University in Ohio in 2010. While pursuing his master degree at Miami, his research focused on Haitian migration and development relationship in the Caribbean. He taught as an adjunct faculty at Nassau Community College in New York and has been teaching at Sonoma State University since 2015. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of California, Davis. His dissertation research focuses on international development and the extractive industry in Haiti. After Haiti was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010, Jean-Yves decided to bring attention to his homeland where he lost relatives to the earthquake and cholera. Jean-Yves gave interviews to both the Ohio News Network and News 9 in Cincinnati Ohio, discussing issues of humanitarian aid, recovery efforts, and the relationship between neoliberal economic policies and poverty in Haiti.