Our Team

Nakia Hamlett

Co-Principal Investigator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Dr. Hamlett is the William Meredith Assistant Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College.  She previously served as an Instructor and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine.  She completed her pre- and post-doctoral fellowships in that same department. Her clinical and research interests include child, adolescent, and young adult mental health, complex trauma, race-based traumatic stress, personality, and psychological assessment. 

For nearly two decades, beginning with a career in special education, Dr. Hamlett has worked with youth and families struggling with educational and cultural marginalization as well as related mental health and psychosocial challenges. In addition to her academic work and research, Dr. Hamlett works as an independent psychological evaluator and consultant.

Jefferson A. Singer

Co-Principal Investigator

Pronouns: he/him/his

Jefferson A. Singer is the Faulk Foundation Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College. He has authored six books: The Proper Pirate; Robert Louis Stevenson’s Quest for Identity (Oxford University Press); Positive Couple Therapy: Using We-Stories to Enhance Resilience (with Karen Skerrett; Routledge); Personality and Psychotherapy; Treating the Whole Person (Guilford Press); Memories that Matter (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger); Message in a Bottle (The Free Press); and The Remembered Self: Emotion and Memory in Personality (with Peter Salovey, The Free Press).

He has published over 100 articles and chapters in the fields of memory, personality, and clinical psychology. Dean Singer is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and past recipient of the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award. ​

Nicole Broadus

District Wellness Manager

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Nicole Broadus currently works as the District Wellness Manager for New London Public Schools where she provides support for students and families in the areas of social emotional learning and restorative practices. Nicole also works with the District Equity Leadership team to ensure that all practices within the school system are equitable and culturally responsive. Before working for the school system, she conducted outreach to schools on social emotional development and violence prevention as a Prevention Educator with Safe Futures, a domestic violence and sexual assault dual agency. Nicole sits on the boards of Safe Futures and the Shiloh Development Corporation.  She also directs the Shiloh Baptist Church’s children’s choir. Nicole is dedicated to educating, encouraging and empowering our young people to make wise choices and to have tough conversations on race, gender, and emotional intelligence, as well as educating adults on how to continue these conversations for future generations.

Jerry Fisher

Community Fellow

Pronouns: he/him/his

Jerry Fischer holds a B.A. from City College of New York and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Hunter College, CUNY and in Musicology from Harvard. At Harvard, he conducted graduate studies in folklore and anthropology, specializing in French folk music in Nova Scotia and a Steel Drum band in Dorchester.  After serving in various roles in Jewish Community Centers, he became the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut in 1984, retiring from that position in 2019.  During his tenure he developed influential programs on holocaust education and African American experiences in Eastern CT and substantially expanded adult Jewish education.  He also led over 25 educational trips to Israel. He  is an accomplished documentary filmmaker, focusing on New London County’s ethnic groups.  He is currently working on the documentary, “Henny and Hannover” for CPTV, depicting the story of a Holocaust  survivor who settled in Colchester, CT.

Clare Peyton

Research Assistant

Pronouns: she/they

Clare graduated summa cum laude from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After being an undergraduate student of and research assistant to Dr. Nakia Hamlett, Clare has collaborated with the principal researchers for the past year as the Just Futures project has developed. In addition to their undergraduate studies in Psychology, Clare conducted a Senior Integrative Project on Theatre Education for Social Change. Clare’s most recent work focused on capacity building and the creation of sustainable structures within higher education to support youth in New London. Clare is a co-author of “Disrupting the Pedagogy of Hypocrisy: How Do We Move Beyond Teaching Students How to Survive White Supremacy?” published in Advances in Social Work in 2021. Clare is committed to inspiring others and working herself to fight against existing systems of oppression. Clare extends immense gratitude to mentors, teachers, family, and friends, who have guided Clare in her commitment to social action, justice, and change-making.

Clayton Potter

Community Liaison

Pronouns: he/him/his

Clayton Potter holds a dual position between the Holleran Center for Community Action and the Division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion at Connecticut College. As a Community Learning Coordinator and New London native, he is uniquely equipped to help facilitate many collaborative projects between the College and New London community members and organizations. He has a background in education, restorative justice, nonprofit administration, grassroots fundraising and organizing. 

Clayton is the founder of the Re-Creation Center, a board member for the South Eastern Connecticut Community Land Trust, and active member of the New London community. He received his Bachelors in English Literature from Columbia University in 2018 and will receive his Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the University of New Haven in January 2022. 

Antonio Vargas

Community Fellow

Pronouns: he/him/his

Antonio Vargas Jr. is a native of New London, serving as Pastor of his home faith community, Church of the City’s English Ministries. His commitment to children and youth advocacy, education, justice, and worship embodies his approach for the local church: providing spaces where people are known and loved for holistic health and transformation.

Antonio received his undergraduate degree from Gordon College, Mass., studying Religion and Culture, and Business Administration.  While at Gordon, Antonio served in various capacities – from working directly under the President of the College, to co-founding a multilingual and multi-ethnic worship team. He was awarded Collegian of the Year, and was named by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship as one of “25 Young Adults to Know.”

The child of two Puerto-Rican migrants, he brings his love for cooking “Carne Guisado”, a Hispanic-stlyed beef stew, and his life-long goal of learning about ‘untold stories’ to the Just Futures project. 

Alana Reiss

Alana Profile
Student Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Alana is a senior at Connecticut College double majoring in Human Development and Education with a minor in Psychology. She is planning to pursue a Master’s in Education and a Multiple-Subject Teaching Certification with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. Previously, Alana has been a Breakthrough Collaborative Teaching Fellow and taught at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School. She is a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. 

Linh Nguyen

Student Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Linh Nguyen is an international student from Vietnam. She is currently a sophomore at Connecticut College, majoring in Computer Science. She has experience with web development and she aspires to be a Software Engineer.