The Yale Alumni Magazine is owned and operated by Yale Alumni Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation independent of Yale University.
The content of the magazine and its website is the responsibility of the editors and does not necessarily reflect the views of Yale or its officers.
In November, the University announced simultaneously four new initiatives to strengthen Yale’s role as an international institution: a Center for the Study of Globalization, to be headed by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott '68; a World Fellows program to bring emerging foreign leaders to Yale; a need-blind admission policy for international students applying to Yale College; and three new professorships in international studies.
The initiatives build on an increasing emphasis on global issues during the Presidency of Richard Levin, an emphasis that has manifested itself in the growth of the cross-disciplinary Center for International and Area Studies, in high-profile decanal appointments in the professional schools, and in the increase in the number of foreign students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Talbott, who was a journalist for Time magazine and a scholar of U.S.-Soviet relations before joining the State Department in 1994, says the Center for the Study of Globalization will strive to answer two questions: “What is globalization, and what does it mean for us?” Using international experts on the Yale faculty and distinguished visitors, the Center will host conferences and seminars on aspects of globalization. The Center will also sponsor private diplomatic efforts to resolve international conflicts, bringing together non-governmental institutions to discuss areas of conflict--a system known as “Track II diplomacy.” The historic Davies Mansion on Prospect Hill, which is currently being restored, will house the Center.
The Office of the President will sponsor the World Fellows program, which will identify mid-career international leaders in business, politics, and culture and invite them to spend a semester at Yale studying global problems. Brooke Shearer, who directed the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships for four years and has since worked at the Department of the Interior (and who is married to Talbott), will direct the program’s operations, while forestry professor Dan Esty will serve as faculty director. Esty says the program will bring about a dozen fellows a year to Yale beginning in the fall of 2002. While here, they will participate in a seminar on global topics and develop individual programs involving Yale courses and independent study. “We want to build a network of Yale people making a difference across the planet,” says Esty. Shearer adds that the program will build on “Yale’s already rich network of international connections.”
Yale’s move to need-blind admissions for international students comes after recent increases in the financial aid budget for those students. Up to now, however, an international student’s ability to pay has been a consideration in admissions decisions. Dean of admissions and financial aid Richard Shaw says the new policy will make it possible for Yale to recruit international students from more diverse backgrounds. Yale will join Harvard and MIT as the only major universities with such a policy.
The new professorships will be overseen by the Center for International and Area Studies, which will support the goal of hiring professors with an interdisciplinary approach to international issues. “The solutions to many of our most important global problems require knowledge that spans two or more disciplines,” said Levin.
Drama’s Double-Barreled Party
Cole Porter '13 surely would have thought it de-lovely: an all-star company—half in New York, half in Los Angeles—performing his song “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” with the help of satellite technology. The song was one of four Porter tunes on the program in “I Get a Kick Out of Blue,” a show in New York and Los Angeles on November 13 celebrating the centennial of the Yale Dramat and the 75th anniversary of the School of Drama.
The show, which featured alumni of the Dramat and the School offering songs and dramatic excerpts from works by other alumni, was performed before audiences at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York and the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Video screens and a satellite feed allowed the performers on each stage to interact—most intricately in the choreographed 12-man Porter performance. An audience at the University Theater on campus was able to see the action on both stages live on video.
Actors Sam Waterston ’62 in New York and Harry Hamlin ’74 in Los Angeles were masters of ceremonies for the event, which included performances by Stacy Keach ’66MFA, Ken Howard ’69MFA, Dick Cavett ’58, Jane Kaczmarek ’82MFA, Christopher Durang ’74MFA, Sigourney Weaver ’74MFA, and Charles Dutton ’83MFA, among many others. They performed works by Yale playwrights and composers, including Richard Maltby ’59, David Shire ’59, John Guare ’63MFA, and Jeffrey Stock ’88. The show closed with a song from the Yale Dramat’s current production of Merrily We Roll Along, with alumni joining the Dramat cast members.
For Three, Yale Leads to Rhodes
While new international connections are being forged, Yale students are also faring well in the competition for the most venerable of international fellowships. Three Yale seniors were awarded Rhodes Scholarships in December, the most of any American university.
The awardees are Luke Bronin, a double major in history and philosophy from Greenwich, Connecticut, who founded a tutoring program at the New Haven Correctional Center; Josh Chafetz of Houston, Texas, a double major in philosophy and ethics, politics, and economics who is also editor-in-chief of the Yale Political Quarterly; and Brian Mullin of Milton, Massachusetts, a double major in literature and theater studies who has been an active director and actor at Yale.
This is the third straight year that Yale has had three Rhodes winners. In the summer of 1999, the College created a new office solely to counsel students about international fellowships and study abroad. While Yale’s “winning streak” began before the International Education and Fellowships Program was established, observers both inside and outside the University have suggested that increased support for applicants may have improved the process.
Major Discovery of a Minor Planet
Late last winter, Yale physicist Charles Baltay and his colleagues decided to take a break from a sky survey they were conducting at the Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia observatory in the Andes Mountains in Venezuela. The researchers had been using an ultrasensitive instrument Baltay designed to search for evidence about the age of the universe, but when they turned their telescope closer to home on the nights of March 14 and 15, they found something unexpected: a new planet.
“The idea that a fairly major component of our solar system had not yet been discovered is remarkable,” says Baltay, who announced the finding last November and will publish a detailed account of the discovery in the journal Astronomical Research Letters.
Scientists have dubbed the object, which is about 400 miles in diameter, a “plutino,” and it is by far the biggest member of a family of so-called minor planets beyond Neptune that orbit the sun. Far too small and distant to support life, 2000 EB173—the plutino’s official designation—is intriguing for other reasons, says Baltay. “We believe it’s made of the primordial material that dates from the origin of the solar system,” he explains.
In addition to shedding light on the chemistry that prevailed in the beginning, the object also reignites an argument that has raged among astronomers since the enigmatic object called Pluto was discovered in 1930. “This may cost Pluto its planethood,” says Baltay, explaining that 2000 EB173, which is about one-fourth the size of the ninth planet, “adds ammunition” to those who see Pluto as simply the largest of the group of Trans-Neptunian objects and hence not worthy of its current status.
Baltay and his colleagues plan to return to Venezuela next month to continue their search, but in the meantime, he is not thinking too hard about a perk of his finding. By tradition, an object’s discoverer gets to choose its name—but only after the body has completed two solar orbits. Baltay’s plutino takes 243 years to travel once around the sun.
The Risks of Early Arrivals
Doctors are becoming increasingly skilled at saving the lives of ever-more-premature infants, but a recent Yale study has shown that such success can sometimes carry a high developmental cost: a significant and perhaps permanent reduction in the size of the brain.
Using a noninvasive technique called magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, researchers scanned the brains of 26 8-year-olds who had been born prematurely and compared the images with scans taken from 39 children who were matched in such categories as age, sex, and maternal education. “The differences in brain volume on average were dramatic in all regions, with reductions ranging from 11 percent to 35 percent,” said Dr. Bradley Peterson, the House Jameson Associate Professor in Child Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center, and the lead author of a study that appeared in the October 18 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The reductions were most pronounced in the areas involved with language, and, Peterson noted, they were strongly correlated with gestational age. The children in the study who had been born prematurely were between 14 and seven weeks early (normal gestation is 40 weeks) and the research showed that “the younger they were born, the greater the degree of abnormality,” said Peterson.
Nor did a significant number of them catch up with their peers. “Half of the preterm 8-year-olds in the study were receiving special help in school, and 20 percent had repeated a grade,” said pediatric neurologist Laura Ment, one of the paper’s co-authors.
This finding, coupled with earlier work that links increasingly early births with an ever-higher risk of disability, poses “a moral dilemma” for parents, physicians, and neonatal units, says Ment. “There’s no easy answer.”
Artists Emerge at Media Center
Last summer, 830 musicians from 30 groups—including Native American drummers, a gospel choir, marching bands, and a Javanese gamelan—came together to perform an unwieldy composition on the New Haven Green. If you missed it, don’t worry: Elihu Rubin '99 and Elena Oxman '99 caught it on video.
Rubin and Oxman spent last year in residence at the University’s Digital Media Center for the Arts as the Center’s first Emerging Artist Fellows. During that time, they completed a documentary on the old family-owned businesses of New Haven’s Broadway retail area that was shown on public television. For their next project, they followed composer and Wesleyan University professor Neely Bruce as he prepared for the premiere of his Convergence at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Their film, titled Convergence and Other Rituals of the New Haven Green, imparts some of the history of the Green while documenting the cacophonous premiere of Neely’s work.
The two documentaries represent the beginning of American Beat, a production company that Rubin and Oxman founded to take advantage of the possibilities of digital video. The pair has set up a studio in New Haven to pursue new projects—most having something to do with the history or nature of special places. “We’re most interested in American culture and the American landscape,” says Oxman. “History has a growing appeal among younger people, and we want to establish a voice that will speak to that.”
Dean Masters College System
In recent years, educators from all over the country have come to New Haven to learn more about Yale’s residential college system with an eye toward adapting it for their own colleges. And now the appeal of the system has been recognized south of the border. Since 1996, the Universidad de Las Americas in Puebla, Mexico, has been building a college system of its own, with Yale acting as padrino, or godfather, for the project.
UDLA’s rector, economist Enrique Cardenas Sanchez, earned his PhD at Yale in 1982. Cardenas has led the effort that has seen the creation of four colegios, with two more under way and more anticipated in the future. One of those colegios is led by Mark Ryan '74PhD, who was dean of Jonathan Edwards College for 20 years. (Ryan, a historian, is the author of A Collegiate Way of Living, a book on the college system that is soon to be published by the University.) As regente—or master—of Colegio Jose Gaos, and as president of the university’s council of regentes, Ryan has overseen details ranging from architecture to the role of fellowships, and from heraldry to intramurals.
Mexican universities typically do not have any dormitories—with 25 percent of its students on campus, UDLA is more residential than most—and are geared less toward liberal education and more toward careers. But Ryan says UDLA wants to use the college system to do some of the work of a liberal education, to “strengthen the notion that personal development is an essential part of the education. That concept is not so well established in Mexico.”
So far, though, students are taking to the new system, Ryan says. “At Yale, within a week people are convinced they’ve been assigned to the best college,” he says. “We’re seeing something like that here.”
It once seemed safe to say that a certain flamboyant theatricality was part of the job description for the leader of the Yale Precision Marching Band. But Betsy Golden '01, who is just finishing a year at the helm of the band, is not the typical YPMB leader. Besides being only the second woman in the post (the first was Jennifer Roberts '81), she brings a different style to shepherding the unruly band: a calm but intense professionalism. Golden stands at the front of a band that has tempered its longstanding irreverence with a passion for the Yale teams it accompanies. “We really see ourselves as a partner of athletics now,” says Golden.
A native of Meriden who attended Cheshire Academy, Golden was a pianist before she saw the YPMB in action and said, “I want to do that.” She first played the cymbals in the band, then taught herself snare drum and worked her way up to leader of the band’s percussion section. Last year, she was chosen by a band committee to be the drum major after a conducting audition and written application. “I found out I’d been chosen on the day of a hockey game,” she says. “They called and said ‘Congratulations. You’ve got a game in an hour.’”
Being a woman at the helm of a band that has sometimes been dominated by a particularly male brand of humor has not fazed Golden, whose 5'-3” frame is topped by a mop of red hair. “There’s definitely a novelty factor, being this small woman in front of the band,” she says. “And being the first woman to do this in 20 years has got to mean something. But I don’t think it’s something to dwell on. I’ve got a job to do.”
Over the past 30 years, the YPMB has managed to offend scores of fans with its topical and sometimes risque humor. Director of bands Thomas Duffy keeps a thick file of letters of complaint in his office. But during Duffy’s 18-year tenure, the band has cleaned up its act to the point where it’s possible to wonder if it’s lost its edge. Golden puts such talk to rest. “We are as irreverent and offensive as we’ve ever been,” says Golden, pointing to a few recent uninvited appearances: in Harvard Yard at midnight the night before finals, or at a band member’s master’s thesis presentation in molecular biophysics and biochemistry.
But Golden herself seems like a decidedly unironic leader for what was once the first post-modern marching band. A history major, she is writing her senior essay on St. Teresa of Avila, a Spanish saint noted for her work to reform monastic orders. “Today she would be a CEO,” says Golden admiringly. But could she lead the YPMB?
New to the Luce Hall lawn is a sculpture by French artist Bernar Venet. Titled Indeterminate Line, the rolled-steel coil was given by Marion J. Lebworth '48 in honor of Henry Luce III '45W.
From the Collections
This Renaissance woodcut titled “Lesson in Dissection” comes from a late-15th-century collection of medical treatises titled Fasciculus Medicinae. The School of Medicine’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Historical Library has the only known color edition of the work.
The $500-million mall project planned for New Haven’s Long Wharf was abruptly canceled in December after one of the anchor tenants backed out of the deal. Originally scheduled to open this year, the mall was delayed by opposition from competing mall owners and downtown New Haven merchants. New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said that the mall was “not right for the city right now” and that Yale-related biotech industry offers a surer economic development path.
Yale’s undergraduate admissions office announced in December that it would begin accepting the Common Application, a single form that students can use to apply to as many as 212 colleges, for the Class of 2006. President Levin said the form would help Yale attract applicants from areas outside its traditional strongholds. Those applicants will have a harder time getting in, though: In an effort to ease crowded conditions in campus housing, the College will admit 50 to 100 fewer students to future classes.
A private developer will take over New Haven’s Science Park and sink $200 million into the site over the next 10 to 15 years. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Lyme Properties, which has developed biotechnology complexes in Cambridge, will try to turn around the struggling business incubator by building new lab space and by attracting light-industry tenants to provide jobs for neighborhood residents.
Timothy Dwight College will be the next residential college to undergo a year-long renovation; work will begin this summer. TD’s Rosenfeld Hall annex is also slated for refurbishing. In the following year, the University plans to renovate Vanderbilt Hall instead of a residential college. It has not been decided where Vanderbilt’s freshmen will be housed during that year.
The men’s hockey team ended 2000 with a 6–6 record, but the season started out better: The Elis opened with victories on the road against two of the nation’s top three teams: New Hampshire and Boston College. The women’s team posted a 1–11 record before the holiday break.
The men’s heavyweight crew was suspended by Yale’s athletics department for the month of December after two intoxicated freshmen team members were brought to Undergraduate Health Services after a crew social event. After an investigation, athletics director Tom Beckett said the crew had not engaged in hazing.
Yale’s five-year-old sports project for New Haven youth has been recognized by the National Youth Sports Program for “outstanding project performance.” Last summer, Yale’s program brought 340 children and teenagers to campus for sports instruction, free meals, and other social services.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams had trouble with their tough pre-holiday, non-conference schedule. The women were 4–8 at the beginning of the spring semester, while the men were 3–9.
©1992–2012, Yale Alumni Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Yale Alumni Magazine, P.O. Box 1905, New Haven, CT 06509-1905, USA. email@example.com