School Notes

School notes

News from your Yale school.

School of Architecture
Robert A. M. Stern, Dean

Yale at the Venice Biennale

Dean Robert A. M. Stern is chair of the international jury for this year’s Venice Biennale, which began August 29 and continues through November 25. Also at the Biennale, Peter Eisenman, the Charles Gwathmey Professor in Practice at Yale, and his seminar students are exhibiting a project based on work by eighteenth-century engraver, mapmaker, and architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi. With access to Piranesi’s original folio of six etchings, housed in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Eisenman’s students “reinvented” Rome as a gilded 3-D–printed model—the first representation of Piranesi’s fanciful, time-bending rendition of the Eternal City. The model, accompanied by explanatory text, is on display in the Biennale’s Central Pavilion.

Symposium on architecture and sound

Architecture can create silent places and eddies of noise, deeply affecting how people experience the built environment and facilitating or frustrating communication. Recently developed design tools help architects shape the soundscapes of their buildings, and new audio technologies afford access to previously undetected sonic environments. The J. Irwin Miller Symposium, “The Sound of Architecture,” October 4–6, will bring together architects, acoustical engineers, composers, and artists, as well as scholars in archaeology, media studies, musicology, philosophy, and the history of technology, to explore architecture as an auditory environment.

Panel discusses Eisenman Collection

The Peter Eisenman Collection at Yale consists of over 2,500 items covering the development of modernist aesthetics in Europe during the first half of the twentieth century, including rare art and architecture publications, manifestos, original prints, signed and dedicated journals, and handwritten letters from such architects and artists as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. In conjunction with a fall exhibition at the Beinecke Library, Eisenman and colleagues from CUNY, NYU, and MIT will participate in a panel discussion, “The Eisenman Collection: An Analysis,” at YSoA November 1.


School of Art
Robert Storr, Dean

Directors appointed

The School of Art has appointed new directors for its sculpture and photography departments.

Associate professor Gregory Crewdson ’88MFA succeeds Tod Papageorge as director of graduate studies in photography. Crewdson was appointed to the Yale faculty in 1993. He has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, and his work is represented in such collections as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has received numerous awards, and several books of his photographs have been published over the last ten years.

Martin Kersels, who earned both undergraduate and graduate art degrees at UCLA, takes over as director of graduate studies in sculpture, following the departure of Jessica Stockholder for the University of Chicago. His projects have been exhibited at museums in the United States and abroad, and at both the 1997 and the 2010 Whitney Biennial of American Art. Before joining the faculty at Yale, Kersels was a faculty member and codirector of the art program at the California Institute of the Arts.


Yale College
Mary E. Miller, Dean

Musicologist directs Whitney Center

In July, Gary Tomlinson, professor of music and humanities, began a new role as director of the Whitney Humanities Center. Tomlinson, who earned his BA from Dartmouth College in 1973 and his PhD in musicology from the University of California–Berkeley in 1979, arrived at Yale in 2010 as a visiting professor. For more than 20 years, he served on the music faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. His teaching covers such topics as the history of opera, early-modern European musical thought and practice, the musical cultures of indigenous American societies, jazz and popular music, and the philosophy of history and critical theory. He has been a fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center for two years and organized and taught the 2012 Shulman Seminar, given every year on a topic that bridges the humanities and sciences. His topic was “Music and Human Evolution.” To learn more about the Whitney Humanities Center, visit

Fall break provides travel and study opportunities

This year, Yale College adopts a new academic calendar that includes a five-day fall break for students. University officers approved the new calendar in January 2011. The new break will be held in mid-October, Wednesday to Sunday, and will offer undergraduates an opportunity to participate in faculty-led or self-guided field trips designed to enhance course curriculum and stimulate student interest in a particular area of study. The break’s five days could allow for trips ranging from local excursions in New Haven to extended travel within the United States, or possibly even abroad. Professors will now have the opportunity to make site visits with students: geology and geophysics classes could take trips to study geological formations at local quarries and road cuts, or members of the architecture and urbanism and American studies major could visit historic sites around Connecticut and Massachusetts and participate in architectural competitions. While many classes offer field trips during the spring break in March, the new vacation may allow for additional trips through which students can engage firsthand with course material outside of the classroom.


Divinity School
Gregory E. Sterling, Dean

Jonathan Edwards Center seeks volunteers

The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale has created the Global Accelerated Sermon Editing Project ( and invites scholars, pastors, graduate students, and others worldwide to help edit some 750 sermons by Edwards, best known for his iconic “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The project combines work on transcripts of sermons that are close to 300 years old with some of the latest digital editing technology. Within three weeks of the center’s June 6 announcement of the project, more than 150 people from 12 countries had volunteered to participate as editors. Said Kenneth Minkema, executive director of the center, “The end result will be more sermons, more texts, available to the reading public at a quicker rate.”

Attridge delivers final address as dean

On Monday, May 21, 2012, Dean Harold Attridge delivered his final public address to the Yale Divinity School community during his decade as dean—his annual “charge” to the graduating class at commencement exercises. “You have learned lots, and perhaps have been transformed or reinforced in the process,” Attridge told graduates. “Don’t claim to be wiser than you are, but remain open to new learning, new insight, further growth and transformation.” Following a yearlong sabbatical in Australia, he will return to full-time teaching at YDS in 2013–14 as Sterling Professor of Divinity.

Two YDS grads join faculty

The Yale Divinity School faculty has added two new full-time professors to its ranks in 2012–13, both YDS graduates: Melanie Ross ’04MAR, ’07MDiv, assistant professor of liturgical studies, and Linn Marie Tonstad ’03MAR, ’09PhD, assistant professor of systematic theology. Ross joined the faculty after teaching at the University of Notre Dame, Saint John’s School of Theology, and Huntington University. Her research lies at the intersection of ecumenical liturgical theology, North American evangelism, and the worship practices of contemporary congregations. In 2011–12, Tonstad taught at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, where she also served as a member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies. Her teaching interests include systematic theology, feminist and queer theology, philosophy of religion, and theological method.


School of Drama
James Bundy, Dean

New leadership for design department

Alumnus and Yale Rep resident set designer Michael Yeargan ’73MFA has taken on a new role at the drama school as cochair of the design department, alongside current cochair Stephen Strawbridge ’83MFA. He succeeds Donald M. Oenslager Professor Ming Cho Lee, who will continue to teach full-time in the design department, which he chaired or cochaired for more than four decades. Yeargan will also serve as set design adviser for Yale Repertory Theatre, in addition to his current position as resident set designer.

Dean James Bundy ’95MFA credits Ming Cho Lee with keeping the school and its graduates “at the absolute forefront of the field” of design and adds that Yeargan’s “extraordinary sophistication… deeply resourceful creativity, and… most generous collaborative spirit” make him “uniquely positioned” to help provide “the next generation of leadership to the design department.” Michael Yeargan has taught at the drama school since 1973. He is internationally known for his work in opera, having designed many productions in the United States, Great Britain, and Europe. Yeargan is also a two-time Tony Award winner; his Broadway credits include The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.

School of Engineering & Applied Science
T. Kyle Vanderlick, Dean

Engineers rewarded for excellence

Two members of the Yale Engineering community were recently honored for their excellence in teaching and mentorship. Menachem Elimelech, the Roberto C. Goizueta Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, was awarded the 2012 Yale University Postdoctoral Mentoring Prize. Candidates for the prize, which is awarded annually to the Yale faculty member who is judged to best exemplify the role of a mentor to his or her postdoctoral trainees, are nominated by the postdoctoral fellows and associates themselves. Elimelech was recognized for having a contagious excitement about science, for helping postdoctoral trainees to build professional networks both within the Yale community and beyond, and for helping postdocs to situate their work in questions of larger scientific interest. Separately, Matthew Herdiech, a chemical engineering doctoral candidate working with Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering Eric Altman, was awarded a Prize Teaching Fellowship for 2012–2013. Established by Yale College in 1980, the fellowships are considered among the most important honors bestowed upon graduate students by the university. They are awarded based on nominations from undergraduate students and supervising faculty.

Students complete water resource project

After five years and repeated trips, the Yale chapter of Engineers Without Borders has completed its work on gravity-fed water distribution and sanitation systems in Kikoo, Cameroon. Over the course of the project, the students located freshwater springs, tested water quality, performed health surveys in the village, and led sanitation classes, in addition to ultimately building distribution and sanitation systems. Returning to the village this past May, the students monitored the status of their work, for which they were honored with the Engineers Without Borders–USA Premier Project Award last year. After bringing the award to Cameroon to take photographs with the Kikoo residents, the students were also presented with a hand-carved wooden clock from the Kikoo community as thanks for their work. Now, they’ve begun work in the nearby village of Rohvitangitaa, where they will be completing another water distribution project over the next five years.


School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Peter Crane, Dean

Preserved frogs hold clues to deadly pathogen

A Yale graduate student has developed a novel means for charting the history of a pathogen deadly to amphibians worldwide. Katy Richards-Hrdlicka, a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, examined 164 preserved amphibians for the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd, an infectious pathogen driving many species to extinction. The specimens dated to 1963 and were preserved in formalin at the Peabody Museum of Natural History. Bd is found on every continent inhabited by amphibians and in more than 200 species, and causes chytridiomycosis, which is one of the most devastating infectious diseases to vertebrate wildlife. By charting the time and locations of infected amphibians, Richards-Hrdlicka’s work will enable researchers to look to the past for additional insight into the pathogen’s impact.

Bangladeshi women choose traditional stoves despite risks

Women in rural Bangladesh prefer inexpensive, traditional stoves for cooking instead of modern ones, despite the significant health risks associated with their use, according to a Yale study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In most rural homes, where there is no electricity, food is cooked over an open fire using wood, agricultural residue, and animal dung, known together as “biomass.” This practice results in 50,000 deaths in Bangladesh a year and over 2 million worldwide, due to the production of toxic indoor smoke.

A 2008 survey of 2,280 Bangladeshi households revealed that 98 percent of that country’s 131 million people cook with biomass using traditional indoor stoves, and 92 percent of respondents had never even seen a nontraditional cook stove. A large majority of respondents—94 percent—believed that indoor smoke from the traditional stoves is harmful, but less so than polluted water (76 percent) and spoiled food (66 percent). Still, when offered a hypothetical choice, Bangladeshi women opted to keep their traditional cook stoves and spend money on other basic needs.


Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Thomas D. Pollard, Dean

Celebrating a new academic year

The Graduate School welcomed nearly 640 new students this fall, selected from an extraordinarily competitive pool of approximately 11,300 applicants. Incoming students hail from colleges and universities across America and around the world. About 360 are from the United States, but new students have joined the Graduate School from as far away as New Zealand and Singapore, with the largest international cohort—numbering 102—from the People’s Republic of China. Orientation included a formal matriculation ceremony in Sprague Hall and, for the first time, small group training sessions for all entering students on topics related to professional ethics, such as academic integrity and sexual misconduct. Graduate student leaders and the academic deans facilitated the sessions.

Alumna named provost of the University of Washington

Ana Mari Cauce ’84PhD (psychology) has become provost and executive vice president of the University of Washington, where she served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2008 to 2011. Cauce holds faculty appointments in American ethnic studies; Latin American studies; gender, women, and sexuality studies; and in the School of Education. She maintains an active research program, focusing on adolescent development with a special emphasis on “at-risk” youth. As provost she is the university’s chief academic officer, overseeing the educational, research, and service missions of all UW’s schools and academic units. She also works closely with the president on strategic planning and long-term decision-making.

Studying the unintended consequences of “remittances”

Susanna Fioratta ’09MPhil (anthropology) studies remittances, money sent home by migrant workers to provide their families with economic security. Her fieldwork took her to two small African towns in Guinea and to the city of Dakar, Senegal, which is both a transit point for migrants and a destination for many Guineans. In all three settings, she immersed herself in the life of her subjects, doing what anthropologists call “participant observation.” To her surprise, she found that sometimes the remittance safety net has become a source of conflict over diverging understandings of Islam, pitting Guineans who remain at home against those who travel abroad.


Law School
Robert Post, Dean

Law School introduces PhD in law

Yale Law School has introduced a new PhD in law and will begin accepting applications in fall 2012. The PhD in law will prepare students for a career in law teaching and legal scholarship. It is open to those who have earned a JD degree from an American law school. Yale will continue to offer its JSD and LLM law teaching degrees, which are designed primarily for students who received their initial legal education outside the US. PhD students will be entitled to a waiver of the cost of tuition and will receive a stipend to cover their living expenses. The first class of PhD students will begin their studies in the fall of 2013. (For a Yale Alumni Magazine report, see page 20.)

YLS faculty adds two professors

Fiona Doherty ’99JD has joined the Yale Law faculty as a clinical associate professor of law. She teaches the Criminal Defense Project, Veterans Legal Services Clinic, and Liman Public Interest Workshop. She previously served as an assistant federal defender with the Federal Defenders of New York, and before that, she was senior counsel at Human Rights First in New York City.

Gideon Yaffe comes to the YLS faculty as a professor of law and professor of philosophy. He previously served as a professor of philosophy and law at the University of Southern California. His research interests include the philosophy of law, particularly criminal law; the study of metaphysics including causation, free will, and personal identity; and the study of intention and the theory of action.


School of Management
Edward A. Snyder, Dean

Pre-MBA program expands global reach

Yale SOM’s annual Pre-MBA Leadership Program increased its global reach this summer. The program, a highly selective event for college sophomores, juniors, seniors, and recent graduates from populations underrepresented in management education, expanded to include students from universities that are part of the new Global Network for Advanced Management. Students from Brazil, China, Ghana, Indonesia, Mexico, and Singapore joined their US peers from June 10 to June 23 to learn about the fundamentals of management education and career path possibilities. Students attended classes based on SOM’s integrated MBA curriculum model. The event also included a keynote address by Mark Walton ’79MPPM, executive vice president for sponsorship and corporate development at the Africa Channel, and an alumni panel where alumni shared their experiences at SOM and in the work world.

Two named senior associate dean

Two accomplished business education leaders are joining Yale SOM as the school rolls out a new degree program and greatly increases its global engagement. Anjani Jain joined Yale SOM as senior associate dean for the full-time MBA program on July 1. David Bach ’98 will join the school as senior associate dean for executive MBA and global programs on September 1. Jain is assuming lead responsibility for admissions, career development, and student and academic services in the full-time MBA program; he will also serve as a senior lecturer. Over the course of two decades, Jain held a number of senior leadership positions at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Bach will assume lead responsibility for the executive MBA program, the new master of advanced management degree program, and global opportunities, including spearheading SOM’s involvement with the Global Network for Advanced Management. Bach will also teach courses in global business. Bach was most recently dean of programs and professor of strategy and economic environment at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.


School of Medicine
Robert J. Alpern, Dean

Pioneer in protein folding wins Shaw Prize

In May, Arthur L. Horwich, Sterling Professor of Genetics and professor of pediatrics, was named a winner of the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, along with his longtime scientific collaborator Franz-Ulrich Hartl of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany. Horwich has devoted his career to understanding protein folding—how chains of amino acids are formed into three-dimensional, functional structures. Misfolded proteins have been implicated in many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Shaw Prizes carry a monetary award of $1 million (US) and are given by the Hong Kong–based Shaw Prize Foundation for achievement in the life sciences, astronomy, and mathematics.

Endowment supports student research on heart surgery

In the 1960s, when cardiac surgery was still a young field, Horace C. Stansel Jr. was already making his mark at Yale School of Medicine as a skillful, innovative pediatric heart surgeon. A member of the YSM faculty until his death in 1994, Stansel built a reputation as a consummate physician, researcher, educator, and mentor. To carry on Stansel’s legacy, the Stansel family recently established an endowment that will provide support to Yale medical students conducting research in cardiac surgery. Known as the Horace C. Stansel Jr. Research Fund, the endowment will provide one- and two-year fellowships to students with financial need, allowing them to pursue research projects in both laboratory and clinical settings. The new fund provides important backing for the unique “Yale System” of medical education, which places great emphasis on original research by students.

Two inducted into American Academy

Two Yale scientists have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Richard P. Lifton, chair and Sterling Professor of Genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and John R. Carlson, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, were named fellows of the academy in April and will be formally inducted at an October ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The academy was founded in 1780 during the American Revolution. Today it is an international society whose 4,600 fellows and 600 foreign honorary members are drawn from multiple disciplines.


School of Music
Robert Blocker, Dean

Diverse summer at Norfolk Festival

The 2012 season at Norfolk opened with a gala cabaret concert featuring guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli. All proceeds went toward the Music Shed Restoration Fund; earlier this year, the Festival received $1 million in 2:1 matching funds to support the restoration of the 106-year-old Music Shed. The festival also featured all of Beethoven’s string quartets, performed by the Artis, Keller, Tokyo, and Vistula Quartets. The Hungarian percussion ensemble Amadinda gave the opening concert of the New Music Workshop, which focused on music for percussion and piano. The summer concluded with the choral conducting workshop, led by Simon Carrington.

College alumnus named deputy dean

Melvin Chen ’91 has been appointed associate professor of piano (adjunct) and deputy dean at the Yale School of Music. Since graduating from Yale in 1991, Chen has served on the University Council Committee on Music and currently serves on the university’s Honorary Degrees Committee. Dean Blocker commented: “Melvin Chen’s longstanding relationship with Yale College and the School of Music, his international profile as an artist, and his successful tenure as associate dean at Bard College make him ideally suited for his work as the new deputy dean in the School of Music.”

Yale in New York brings alumni together

The critically acclaimed Yale in New York concert series continues with four concerts in 2012–13. In October, the series toasts the Tokyo String Quartet’s long residence at Yale. The quartet will perform with faculty colleague Ettore Causa, viola, and the Jasper String Quartet, which was the school’s graduate quartet-in-residence from 2008 to 2010. Alumni and students will perform alongside faculty in music for string orchestra, including a world premiere by Matthew Barnson ’12MusAD. A Mozart celebration will include the string trio Mozart en Route by faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis ’83Mus. The season closes with a tribute to composer Paul Hindemith, who served on the School of Music faculty from 1940 to 1953. Yale in New York concerts bring together alumni, faculty, and students while providing a focal point for New York–area alumni to reconnect with their peers.


School of Nursing
Margaret Grey, Dean

Grants help students change careers

Yale School of Nursing is one of 55 nursing schools to take part in the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) scholarship program for the 2012–13 academic year. Schools receiving grants through NCIN provide $10,000 scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Scholarship recipients have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field and are making a career switch to nursing through accelerated nursing programs. YSN has five NCIN scholars this year. The NCIN program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dean Grey to receive national award

YSN dean Margaret Grey ’76MSN has been selected to receive the 2012 Pathfinder Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR). This prestigious award is given annually to a nurse researcher whose work demonstrates a long program of scientific contributions in a field that advances understanding of human health and health care. Dean Grey’s research was recognized among nurse scientists whose work epitomizes commitment to inquiry in a variety of domains relevant to the discipline and practice of nursing.


School of Public Health
Paul D. Cleary, Dean

Professors named YSPH teacher and mentor of the year

For the third time, students selected Robert Dubrow, an associate professor in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, as the School of Public Health’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. “Dr. Dubrow’s commitment to teaching and passion for the subject is evident in each lecture he gives, as he gently guided each of us and carefully considered the input of each student,” one student wrote in support of his nomination. Dubrow’s research in cancer epidemiology focuses on glioma (the main form of brain cancer), as well as on HIV-related malignancies.

Dubrow’s colleague at the School of Public Health, Andrew DeWan, an assistant professor in the same department, received the 2012 Distinguished Student Mentor award, an honor that was established in 2009 to recognize excellence in student mentoring among faculty. The award affirms the recipient as a leader in shaping the next generation of public health professionals, serving as a role model for students while encouraging them to grow and achieve their full potential.

Komen CEO delivers commencement address

When Nancy Brinker’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1970s, she promised her that she would do everything to battle a disease that was then largely untalked about, carried an element of stigma, and for which there was little, if any, in the way of resources or support. Today, Brinker remains committed to the pledge that she made to her sister, for whom she created the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.

Breast cancer turned out to be a much tougher adversary than she originally imagined, Brinker told the YSPH Class of 2012 during her commencement address inside Battell Chapel. The disease remains a scourge, claiming the lives of tens of thousands of women each year in the United States alone. But there has been impressive and encouraging progress, she said, with more women surviving breast cancer and large amounts of money being spent on research, education, screening, and treatment. “The path you are starting down is a noble one. Thank you.”


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