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School of Architecture
International exhibition celebrates architect Saarinen
As part of a two-year research, publication, and exhibition project in celebration of Eero Saarinen '34BFA, the School of Architecture is collaborating on the exhibition “Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future,” which opens at the Helsinki Kunsthalle October 6. See “Eero Saarinen’s Turn” for more.
The exhibition, drawn mainly from the Yale library’s Department of Manuscripts and Archives, examines Saarinen’s wide-ranging career from the 1930s through his untimely death in 1961 from a brain tumor. The 7,000-square-foot exhibition will include approximately 90 original drawings; 14 pieces of furniture, plus a prototype model of the Womb Chair; six building models; a full-scale building mock-up; 200 photographs; ephemera such as advertisements, correspondence, and domestic furnishings; and video monitors featuring three vintage films and a television program on the architect. In addition, five flat screens will feature animations of Saarinen buildings by Yale students Marina Dayton '06MArch, Frank Melendez '06MArch, and Ayat Fadaifard, Timothy Newton, Andrew Steffen, and Kathryn Stutts (all '07MArch). The original versions of these projects were completed for the fall 2005 seminar Eero Saarinen Digital Modeling and Animation, taught by Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen '94MED and John Eberhart '98MArch. The exhibition is scheduled to open at Yale in 2010. The project, co-coordinated by Pelkonen, included a symposium at Yale in 2005, and a major book on Saarinen published by Yale University Press.
Architecture alumnus featured at Chicago Art Institute
The first architecture exhibition organized at the Art Institute of Chicago by the new architecture curator, Joseph Rosa, celebrates the work of Douglas Garofalo '87MArch, of Garofalo Architects in Chicago. The show, on display through October 8, focuses on Garofalo’s role in emerging digital representation and fabrication trends in architecture, and features his completed suburban house projects as well as Chicago’s soon-to-be-completed Hyde Park Art Center.
Former NASA engineer joins architecture faculty
Beginning this semester, former NASA engineer Michelle Addington is teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on technology, environmental systems, materials, and design. At NASA, Addington worked on structural analysis for satellites and rockets, and she then worked with chemical processes in various industries. After studying architecture, Addington became interested in ways to integrate environmental systems, such as heat transfer and fluid mechanics, and completed a PhD on the subject, bringing her concepts to the field of architecture. She is also interested in “smart materials” (new materials that respond to the environment) and the ways the environment and materials interact. She has been an associate professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design teaching on these themes for the past ten years. She is not new to Yale; in spring 2004 she was the keynote speaker at the symposium “Numbers Count,” discussing the application of environmental systems analysis in architecture.
School of Art
No ordinary summer school
Another session of the Yale Summer Program of Music and Art has ended at the Ellen Battell Stoeckel estate in Norfolk, Connecticut. Since 1946, when the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Trust was set up, both the School of Music and the School of Art have sent premier faculty, students, and staff to Norfolk in the summer to pursue work in their fields and to teach a limited number of college seniors from schools across the country and abroad.
In recent years, the art program has begun bringing in the local community with a six-week drawing workshop and a two-week children’s workshop for Norfolk families. This past July, School of Art faculty also provided a free digital photography workshop for the local community over the final weekend of the program.
The 26 students in the program—drawn from a pool of more than 250 applicants who are nominated by their schools—receive academic credit for their six-week course. The School of Art curriculum at Norfolk focuses primarily on painting, drawing, printmaking, and photography, and it includes small exhibitions and impromptu site-specific constructions by current Yale MFA sculpture students. Alumni of the Yale Norfolk art program include William Bailey, Eva Hesse, Mark Strand, Nancy Graves, Robert Mangold, Chuck Close, and Brice Marden, among others.
Admissions in the twenty-first century
This past spring, Yale’s admissions rate for college applicants was the lowest in the history of the Ivy League: 8.9 percent of the 21,100 total applications were approved. The entering freshman class this fall numbers 1,315, including students from all 50 states and 44 foreign countries. As of press time the yield (the percentage of admitted students who accept) was not final, but it is expected to be approximately 71 percent.
With new dean Jeffrey Brenzel '75 at the helm, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions moved this past year to convert applications from paper folders to online files. The office also strongly encouraged applicants to file online, and succeeded in moving the number who apply online from 50 percent for the class of 2009 to 76 percent for the class of 2010. Dean Brenzel’s priorities for the coming year include: close attention to the recruitment of top science and engineering students, a strategic review of international admissions, and continued development of Yale’s financial-aid strategies and outreach to low-income students.
The bulldog days of summer
The Yale campus is anything but sleepy during the summer months. Last summer 1,200 students enrolled in summer academic programs, about half of them Yalies, with Yale Summer Session contributing over $500,000 to Yale students for summer tuition assistance, and the Shafer Family Summer Fellowship fully funding seven New Haven public school students. The English Language Institute brought students from partner universities in China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and Mexico to attend courses. The creative writing program packed lecture halls with readings by such writers as Sharon Olds and Pete Hamill. Conference Services hosted programs for more than 3,000 people, including four programs for high school students: the Exploration Senior Program, which offers a wide array of courses; the Junior Statesmen Program, for students interested in politics and leadership; the SCHOLAR program sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the Yale School of Medicine; and the Ivy Scholars Grand Strategy debate and leadership program. At the same time the National Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs met, ringing bells in Harkness from noon to night for five days in June; and the faculty hosted conferences, such as the Mannes Institute for Advanced Study in Music Theory and the International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature. All this activity kept a campus filled with renovations also filled with people.
A new dean for freshmen
Last year Yale College appointed a new assistant dean to focus entirely on freshman affairs. George Levesque, former dean of Berkeley College, assumed the mantle, and has since been providing direction, support, and nurture for students during a challenging transitional year. He also has begun helping faculty, deans, admissions officers, and others to enrich advising opportunities, add adult presence to the Old Campus, create better handbooks and websites, train counselors and advisers, and in general be strong advocates for entering students. He is expanding the Freshman Seminar program, which this year offers 35 small seminars taught by some of Yale’s most distinguished faculty, including: Stem Cells, Science, and Politics; The Court of Louis XIV; An Introduction to Nanoscience; and American Religion, American Life. This last one is taught by Jon Butler, the dean of the Yale Graduate School, who in this seminar is also teaching Yale’s youngest students.
Yale and the world
As Dean Peter Salovey heads to Peking University this month to help inaugurate a joint undergraduate program in which Yale College students and Peking University students will study and live together, Yale welcomes a new appointment in the international area: Jane Edwards has joined Yale as associate dean for international affairs in Yale College. Edwards, formerly the director of the Office of International Programs at Harvard, comes to Yale to coordinate and provide strategic planning for the various offices administering international programs for undergraduates. She joins several other assistant deans who are now devoting a great deal of time to international initiatives in areas such as career services and fellowship programs.
Dean appointed to second five-year term
Harold W. Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament, will begin a second five-year term as dean effective July 1, 2007. In announcing the reappointment, Yale president Richard C. Levin called Attridge “an outstanding leader” and cited his “fairness, sensitivity, and intellectual leadership.” During his first term as dean, Attridge has spearheaded efforts to intensify the engagement of YDS beyond Sterling Divinity Quadrangle through a number of initiatives, including: creation of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, which is organizing a late September conference addressing how Christians can “move beyond offering crumbs to the poor and instead offer them means to gain a chair at the table"; the resurrection, after a nine-year hiatus, of YDS’s journal of religious inquiry and opinion, Reflections, which is fast becoming a popular tool for helping congregations tackle difficult issues such as sex and the church; and the establishment of a summer-term program that offers enrichment opportunities for both clergy and laity.
Yale celebrates life of Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr.
Several hundred persons gathered at Yale’s Battell Chapel on May 27 to honor the life and ministry of William Sloane Coffin Jr. '49, '56BD, the outspoken Yale chaplain who rose to national prominence in the 1960s and 1970s as mentor for a generation of civil-rights and peace activists. Coffin, who served as chaplain from 1958 to 1975, died at his Vermont home on April 12 at the age of 81.
At the service, Rev. Harry B. Adams '47, '51BD, the Horace Bushnell Professor Emeritus of Christian Nurture at Yale Divinity School, recalled, “Bill often described his ministry in this university with the assertion that he had a lover’s quarrel with this place. … He supported the university with passion when he believed it was right, and he challenged it with equal passion when he believed it was wrong.”
Coffin’s family, including his widow, Randy, were in attendance at the service and at the reception following in the Berkeley College common room. Coffin’s son David, a professional musician, performed at the service, as did the alumni of the Yale Russian Chorus under the direction of Harald Hille '66, '70MPhil. A video of the entire service is available at http://www.yale.edu/opa/media/multimedia.html.
In tribute to Coffin, Yale Divinity School has established the William Sloane Coffin Jr. Scholarship Fund, to be awarded to students exemplifying Coffin’s prophetic style of ministry.
Catching some rays atop Fisher Hall
Throughout the fall, winter, and spring, Yale Divinity students living in Fisher Hall might have noticed an unusual amount of movement on their roof. The pounding of feet and the sounds of construction betokened a new YDS collaborative venture with the wider university: the installation of solar energy panels.
Why Fisher Hall? According to Yale University energy manager Tom Downing, Fisher Hall showed the best potential for solar energy of all the buildings in the Yale system because it is in such a sunny, unobstructed spot. Installing the panels was part of the university’s commitment to the Climate Change Action Plan 2005, a Connecticut initiative modeled on the Kyoto Protocol that calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2010 and an additional 10 percent below that by the year 2020. Expectations are that the sunlight collected by the panels will provide for two-thirds of Fisher’s electrical needs.
Tamara Shantz '07MDiv, chair of the newly formed YDS Environmental Concerns Committee, said, “As the YDS community continues to explore what it means to be prophetic Christians, this new development is a wonderful way to demonstrate prophetic leadership in New Haven and in the Yale community.”
New professor of homiletics appointed
Nora Tubbs Tisdale, a longtime Presbyterian pastor and veteran of three seminary faculties, is joining YDS as a professor of homiletics. Beginning this fall, Tisdale will teach the theory and practice of preaching. Tisdale comes to YDS from the pastoral staff of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, a storied congregation in New York City. Aside from preaching at Fifth Avenue, Tisdale also provided theological oversight for the Center for Christian Studies, an innovative lay theological academy offering courses for more than 2,000 people in the greater New York area. Her decision to join the YDS faculty evolved over a series of visits to the campus. “I worshipped in chapel four times during my visits there and I was really drawn to the rich spiritual life,” Tisdale said. “I really liked the students I met, too. They are inquisitive. They’re smart. They’re sharp.”
School of Drama
Getting it published
One-act plays by current School of Drama playwrights Lauren Feldman '08MFA, Dorothy Fortenberry '08MFA, and Jennifer Tuckett '08MFA have been released by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc., under the title In Times of Disaster. The plays were first performed under the same title March 16-18 at the Drama School and on March 19 at the Flea Theater in New York City. The three women, comprising the playwriting class of 2008, began meeting last September for three hours a week, spending an hour discussing the progress of each play. “To write together with other writers—this is something I have rarely been allowed to experience myself,” writes Richard Nelson, chair of the playwriting department, in the anthology’s introduction. “Watching these three talented women create a unified, beautiful evening of theater, without losing their own distinct voices or compromising their interests, made me both envious and proud.”
From playgrounds to playwrights
A month-long collaboration between 12 aspiring playwrights from the Troup Magnet Academy Middle School and current students at the School of Drama culminated in the eleventh annual Dwight/Edgewood Project, taking place at the Off-Broadway Theatre in New Haven June 23 and 24. Modeled after New York City’s 52nd Street Project, the Dwight/Edgewood Project brings mentors and mentees together for four weeks to learn about theater and playwriting. Eleven original short plays (and one video project chronicling this year’s program) were presented over the course of the two evenings, under the title Unlocking Imagination. Ruth M. Feldman, Yale Repertory Theatre’s education manager, administers the project. “The most gratifying aspect of the Dwight/Edgewood Project,” she says, “is seeing the utter joy on the faces of the young playwrights as they watch their words brought to life.”
Pulitzer finalist returns to Yale Rep
Sarah Ruhl—author of Yale Repertory Theatre’s 2004 world premiere of The Clean House, which was subsequently a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama—returns to New Haven this September with Eurydice. The new play re-imagines the Orpheus myth through the eyes of its heroine. The production design features sets by Scott Bradley '86MFA, whose last production at Yale Rep was the world premiere of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone in 1986. Costumes are by Meg Neville '97MFA. In other Ruhl-related news, The Clean House, which has become one of the most-produced new American plays in recent history, will have its New York City premiere at Lincoln Center in October, again directed by Yale Rep associate artist Bill Rauch.
They’re alumni, too
In last issue’s piece about alumni weekend, we neglected to indicate Yale degrees for panelists Robert Brustein '51MFA and David Chambers '71MFA. We regret the omission.
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Power plants and mercury
The amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere in the Northeast is closely linked to the region’s own electric power industry, according to F&ES researchers. In a study to be published this summer in the Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres, Xuhui Lee, professor of meteorology, and Jeffrey Sigler '06PhD report that coal-burning power plants in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and New England account for up to 40 percent of total airborne mercury in these states.
Between 2000 and 2004, airborne mercury totals in the Northeast declined by 20 percent. This decline (and some dramatic annual changes) cannot be fully explained by airflow patterns bringing either clean or polluted air into the region. Instead, researchers found that mild winters in the Northeast, and a corresponding drop in the region’s electricity use, were a large contributing factor.
Mercury, which converts to highly toxic methyl mercury in freshwater bodies, is found in fish. It can cause neurological problems in developing fetuses and dementia and organ failure in adults who ingest it in high amounts and over long periods. The study, “Recent Trends in Anthropogenic Mercury Emission in the Northeast United States,” was conducted at Great Mountain Forest in northwestern Connecticut.
Prestigious Yale prize awarded to recent F&ES graduate
John Tuxill, who received a PhD from F&ES last December, has been awarded Yale’s prestigious John Addison Porter Prize for his dissertation, “Agrarian Change and Crop Diversity in Mayan Milpas of Yucatan, Mexico: Implications for In Situ Conservation.” Tuxill’s dissertation is an analysis of the agricultural diversity of Mayan communities in the Yucatan region of Mexico. His study suggests that changes over time in farmers' goals for agriculture, combined with declines in farmers' knowledge about ecological relationships and ecological interactions, pose the greatest challenge for the conservation of unique crop varieties, agro-habitats, and other elements of biological diversity in traditional farming systems.
“John’s dissertation is simply the best cultural and historical, as well as ecological and economic, in-depth analysis of agrodiversity that I know of,” said Michael Dove, Tuxill’s former advisor and Margaret K. Musser Professor of Social Ecology. “John’s research, by locating the source of crop diversity in the wider social fabric, transcends current thinking and offers a powerful new model for thinking about biogenetic conservation.”
The John Addison Porter Prize is given for a written work of scholarship in any field in which it is possible, through original effort, to gather and relate facts and/or principles and to make the product of general human interest. The award was established in 1872 by the Kingsley Trust Association (the Scroll and Key Society).
Journal of Industrial Ecology celebrates tenth anniversary
Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology (JIE), an international quarterly dealing with industry and the environment, celebrated in May its tenth anniversary and its inclusion in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIExp), an important benchmark in scientific publishing. JIE marked the anniversary with a panel discussion at Yale on the past and future of industrial ecology, which examines local, regional, and global uses and flows of materials and energy in products, processes, industrial sectors, and economies. By its acceptance in SCIExp, which is maintained by Thomson/Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), the journal is now carried by Current Contents, an abstracting and indexing service used by researchers worldwide. Approximately 2,000 new journals are reviewed every year by ISI, and only 10 to 12 percent are accepted for inclusion.
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
New academic offerings
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences introduced three new academic programs this year: a master’s degree in urban education studies, a PhD in nursing, and a combined MBA/PhD with the School of Management. The programs, says Dean Jon Butler, “demonstrate Yale’s connection to society in New Haven, nationally, and globally—and at amazingly different levels.”
Urban education studies, part of Yale’s Teacher Preparation Program, was announced last year, and the first cohort of students enrolled in July. The 14-month program integrates graduate-level academic work with the requirements for a Connecticut secondary teaching certificate. Students receive tuition fellowships and stipends during the length of their enrollment, and make a commitment to teach in New Haven public schools after completion of the program; New Haven Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo has agreed to hire the participants in teaching posts.
This fall, Yale began accepting the first class of PhD nursing students. The full-time program will provide students with teaching and research opportunities as well as access to all the services of the Graduate School. Nursing PhD students will be offered comprehensive tuition funding and stipends for the five years of the program.
The joint MBA/PhD degree—one of the first programs of its kind in the nation—recognizes the increasing relevance of sophisticated management analysis to positions held by many PhD recipients. Students will receive tuition fellowships and stipends during the semesters they are registered in the Graduate School. The program, says Dean Butler, is an effort to “link the PhD to the broader world.”
During the past academic year, the Graduate School expanded its efforts to recruit outstanding students who are members of underrepresented minorities. Each academic department appointed a faculty coordinator for minority recruitment and worked with the Graduate School’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity. The goal was to significantly increase the number of Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Native American/Alaskan Native, and Pacific Islander Americans at the Graduate School, as well as to recruit women (particularly in the physical sciences) and first-generation college graduates and others who bring diverse experiences and perspectives to Yale.
The initiative was successful, producing a 23 percent increase in applications from these groups. Departments made offers of admission to a record number of students from the underrepresented minority groups—a 26 percent increase, the largest number over the past ten years. The result was a 62 percent gain in the number of such students choosing to matriculate in the Yale Graduate School. The total number of applicants to the Graduate School this year was 8,068, of whom 541 matriculated this fall.
Supreme Court justice receives honorary degree
Sandra Day O'Connor, retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the university’s commencement. Speaking on the topic of judicial independence, Justice O'Connor exhorted the graduates to “get out there and … explain the importance of judicial independence to the public and defend its basic preconditions to the other branches of government.”
New Law School faculty
Professors Christine Jolls and Tracey L. Meares join the Law School faculty this year, bringing to five the number of new faculty members at YLS. Professor Jolls, a leading scholar in employment law and law and economics, comes to Yale from Harvard Law School. Professor Meares, who will join the faculty in January 2007, studies criminal procedure and criminal law policy at the University of Chicago. They join latest faculty additions Heather Gerken, Yair Listokin, and Michael Wishnie.
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decided
The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 29 decision on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld was closely watched by faculty and students at the Law School. In a 5-3 vote the court decided that the use of military commissions to try Guantánamo detainees is illegal under both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Convention. Neal Katyal '95JD, a Georgetown law professor and Salim Hamdan’s lawyer (see “A Challenge to Presidential Power”), argued in front of the Supreme Court on March 28 against the use of military commissions. More than 20 Law School students and a number of faculty members assisted Katyal with the case, including Dean Koh and professors Bruce Ackerman '67LLB, Akhil Amar '80, '84JD, William Eskridge '78JD, and Judith Resnik.
YLS professor honored by American Bar Association
Akhil Reed Amar '80, '84JD, Southmayd Professor of Law and Political Science, received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for his book America’s Constitution: A Biography (Random House, 2005). Given annually since 1958, the Silver Gavel Awards recognize works that help foster public understanding of the law and legal system. Amar and former Yale Law School dean Guido Calabresi '53, '58JD, are among a handful of people who have been recognized with a Silver Gavel Award more than once. Amar’s book The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (Yale University Press, 1998) won the award in 1999.
Professor Ian Ayres '81, '86JD, the William K. Townsend Professor of Law, has been voted a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His subject areas include antitrust, business associations, civil rights, contracts, corporate finance, law and economics, and property. Six other Yale Law School alumni—former president Bill Clinton '73JD, Floyd Abrams '59JD, Seth Waxman '77JD, Ben Heineman '71JD, Dick Fallon '80JD, and Larry Lessig '89JD—were also elected this year.
School of Management
Class of 2008 inaugurates new core curriculum
Students of the SOM Class of 2008 are the first to embark on the school’s new MBA core curriculum, which was featured in the July 2006 edition of the Wall Street Journal’s monthly “MBA Track” column. Over the summer, SOM faculty worked diligently to ready the new multidisciplinary courses for the start of classes in late August. For information about the new curriculum and to view the WSJ article, visit http://mba.yale.edu. (See also “SOM Rewrites the Course List.”)
SOM founds new center for corporate governance
The School of Management launched its newest center for interdisciplinary research, the Yale Center for Corporate Governance and Performance (YCCGP), with a conference in June and named corporate governance expert Ira M. Millstein as its director. The center was made possible by $20 million in gifts, including a $10 million gift from David Nierenberg '75, '78JD, and his wife Patricia—the single largest gift in SOM’s history.
The mission of the YCCGP is to explore the role of corporate governance to better enable corporations both to be competitive in their markets and to contribute to society. Its programs emphasize the need for American companies to be more accountable to their stakeholders and more responsive to their shareholders. While based at SOM, the center also draws together scholars from Yale Law School and a variety of disciplines at Yale and other universities, with policymakers and private-sector leaders. This collaboration makes the center unique among corporate governance institutes, which have traditionally focused narrowly on the legalistic aspects of corporate governance.
Ira Millstein, a senior partner at the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges and senior associate dean for corporate governance at SOM, will guide the center’s agenda of collaborative research, policy development, and real-world application. The Financial Times recently called him the “U.S. doyen of corporate governance.”
Corporate governance authorities from around the world attended the inaugural June conference, including leaders from Institutional Shareholder Services, Transparency International, the International Corporate Governance Network, and Deloitte.
PepsiCo names SOM alumna CEO
The board of directors of PepsiCo has elected Indra K. Nooyi '80MBA as its chief executive officer, effective October 1. Nooyi, a fellow of the Yale Corporation, will lead one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, with $33 billion in annual revenues. She is currently president and chief financial officer of PepsiCo. Among U.S. companies led by women, PepsiCo ranks as the largest based on market capitalization and third-largest based on annual revenue. Nooyi will be one of only 11 women at the helm of a Fortune 500 company.
School of Medicine
A better blood test
Last year Yale researchers devised a blood test as a new method for the early detection of ovarian cancer. But the test, which was 95 percent accurate in initial trials, was not ready for widespread use, since 5,000 of every 100,000 women tested would get a false positive. Now a Chinese biopharmaceutical company, the SurExam Life Science & Technology (Shenzhen) Co., has licensed the rights to develop and commercialize the test, which measures levels of four protein hormone markers. Associate professor Gil Mor and colleagues found the four proteins by a process of elimination, starting with 165 cancer-related candidate marker proteins and using protein-chip technology to measure each potential marker in blood samples from nearly 100 women, including newly diagnosed patients and healthy, age-matched controls. SurExam’s CEO is Yale-trained scientist Jiansen Xu; assistant professor of medicine Zhinan Yin is a senior scientific consultant to the company.
Two new faces in education
Richard Belitsky, the longtime director of educational programs in the Department of Psychiatry, and Laura Ment, a preeminent neurologist responsible for landmark findings in studies of premature birth, have been named to top posts in the school’s Office of Education. Belitsky assumed the post of deputy dean for education on July 1, and is known throughout the school as an outstanding educator, clinician, and administrator. Also on July 1, Ment became associate dean for admissions at the school. Ment is a member of the advisory council to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the author of a recent paper in JAMA demonstrating that infants born prematurely largely recover from cognitive deficits by the age of 8 years.
New targets for cancer vaccines
Since at least the 1950s, Yale scientists have been pursuing the links between viruses and some forms of cancer. One of their main targets has been human papillomavirus, or HPV, certain strains of which can instigate cervical cancer. In June the Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil, a vaccine manufactured by Merck that prevents cervical cancer caused by HPV.
Although Yale researchers were not involved in developing the Merck vaccine, they are working on other vaccines that not only treat HPV, but also have implications for cancer treatment. “Once you know that a cancer is caused by a virus, you are far ahead of where you'd be for any other cancer, because you’ve identified the target, you’ve identified the cause, and you have well-established ways to prevent or treat the disease that just don’t exist for spontaneously arising tumors,” said Daniel C. DiMaio, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Genetics and professor of therapeutic radiology, a leading researcher of viral links to cancer.
Science and surgery
A buzz phrase among physicians is “evidence-based medicine,” the integration of personal experience and expertise with the most up-to-date results from large, randomized clinical trials. According to Larry Moss, professor of surgery and chief of surgery at Yale–New Haven Children’s Hospital, pediatric surgery lags behind other specialties in this realm. In 2001, when he and colleagues reviewed more than 80,000 studies published from 1966 to 1999, they found only 16 trials comparing two procedures, and most of these studies were poorly designed. Moss frequently treats an often-fatal intestinal disorder in premature infants, but he was frustrated that the two most commonly used procedures had never been scientifically evaluated, so he launched a rigorous 15-center comparison. As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 25, the procedures had an equal success rate, about 65 percent. Moss believes that, rather than refining these procedures further, surgeons should focus instead on predicting and preventing intestinal failure in these infants. With a $1 million grant from the Gerber Foundation and a hard-headed outlook, Moss has launched a six-center study to do just that.
School of Music
Another alumnus wins the Pulitzer
Yehudi Wyner '50, '52MusB, '53MusM, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his piano concerto Chiavi in Mano. The work was premiered by the Boston Symphony, with Robert Levin as soloist, on February 17, 2005. Wyner taught at Yale for 14 years; he also taught at SUNY Purchase, Cornell, and Brandeis, where he is professor emeritus of composition. He is one of 19 Yale faculty and alumni to have won the Pulitzer for music, a list that includes living alumni Norman Dello Joio '41, Lewis Spratlan '62,'65MusM, and Aaron Jay Kernis '83.
A hundred years of “The Shed”
The 2006 season marked the centennial of the Music Shed on the Ellen Battell Stoeckel estate in Norfolk, Connecticut, home of the Yale Summer School of Music and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Beginning with a gala dinner and concert on June 10 with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the celebration continued with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and a day-long event featuring an all-Mozart faculty recital and a concert band performance followed by fireworks. The festival concluded on August 19 with a work for chorus and orchestra by Joan Panetti '74DMA, commissioned by the festival.
New artist faculty appointed
Hyo Kang, the renowned teacher and artistic director of the International Sejong Soloists, and Ani Kavafian, one of America’s preeminent soloists and chamber musicians, have been appointed to the violin faculty beginning this fall. Stephen Taylor, who performs with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orpheus, and many other first-rank ensembles, will teach oboe. He succeeds Richard Killmer '75DMA, who retired in May.
Conductor Andre Smith receives certificate of merit
At the school’s awards dinner on April 23, Andre Raphel Smith '86MusM, conductor, received the Ian Mininberg '34 Distinguished Service Award. Smith was cited for professional excellence and for his leadership in outreach and arts education. Music director of the Wheeling (West Virginia) Symphony, he previously served as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and St. Louis Symphony.
Preview in New Haven, opening in Milan
For the third consecutive summer, Yale Opera sent its singers and music staff to Italy to perform with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. The artistic director of Yale Opera, Doris Yarick Cross, put together an ambitious program of eight one-act operas to be performed over the course of four evenings. Most of the works had been performed earlier in the season at the Shubert Theater or in Sprague Hall. Before leaving for Milan, the company performed Puccini’s comic masterpiece Gianni Schicchi on the New Haven Green as part of New Haven’s annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas.
School of Nursing
YSN inaugurates PhD program in nursing
A PhD program in nursing will replace the current doctor of nursing science (DNSc) program, beginning this fall. The program will continue to emphasize training for academic and research careers; students will be mentored by YSN faculty as well as through collaborative work with other Yale graduate and professional schools. Dean Margaret Grey called the change a “major accomplishment” for the school and the university: “This will enable us to continue to recruit the best and the brightest students to Yale and to train the next generation of leaders in nursing science.”
New center to address global health issues
The Yale Center for International Nursing Scholarship, new this fall, will expand the school’s tradition of international leadership and collaboration to address today’s global health challenges. Initial projects include professional leadership development for nurses in China and Russia and continued clinical education for YSN students in Africa, Central America, and Asia. The center’s director, Professor Ann Williams, has led research and training in Asia, Europe, and Africa as part of an international response to emerging infections such as HIV. Associate Director Susan Barringer coordinated the startup of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network in Trinidad.
New associate dean for academic affairs
Barbara J. Guthrie, RN, PhD, FAAN, joined the school as associate dean for academic affairs on August 1. Dr. Guthrie comes to Yale from the University of Michigan, where she was associate professor both in the School of Nursing and in women’s studies. She also served as director for undergraduate traditional and nontraditional nursing programs. Her research focuses on health-promotion programs for adolescent females.
Pediatric nurse practitioner named associate dean for clinical and community affairs
Martha K. Swartz, PhD, APRN, CPNP, was appointed associate dean for clinical and community affairs in July. Previously, Dr. Swartz served as assistant dean for academic affairs and director of the pediatric nurse practitioner specialty. Dr. Swartz’s scholarship centers on primary care of newborn and preterm infants, interactions between adolescent parents and their children, and the relationship between family functioning and health-related quality of life in children with asthma.
Note to Readers
The Yale Alumni Magazine carries this supplement in every issue for news from Yale’s graduate and professional schools and Yale College.
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