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School of Architecture
Forty years of building for the community
Every year since 1967, first-year graduate students in architecture have designed and constructed a building for a community-based client. This hands-on experience has been a unique achievement in American architectural education, and has been a mirror for changes in American society over the past 40 years. A new book, The Yale Building Project: The First Forty Years, is the first comprehensive history of one of the school’s most important initiatives. Written by Richard W. Hayes ’86MArch with contributions from Paul Brouard '61MArch and Ted Whitten '00MArch, the book represents a major archival effort to record these projects and to interview numerous YSOA alumni. Documenting each of the 40 building projects with drawings and photographs, the book also includes essays that situate the program within its historical and educational context. The Yale Building Project: The First Forty Years is published by the School of Architecture and distributed by Yale University Press.
A look at architects in prewar Europe
A book published by Yale University Press in association with the School of Architecture presents the early writings of the architect, designer, and architectural critic George Nelson (1908-1986), who was a 1928 graduate of Yale College and a 1931 graduate of the School of Fine Arts. In 1934, when Nelson was a fellow at the American Academy of Rome, he wrote a series of articles (published in Pencil Points in 1935 and 1936) about European architects and their work during that politically and artistically crucial era. Included in Building a New Europe—Portraits of Modern Architects are 12 essays that Nelson wrote on such architects as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Giuseppe Vaccaro, the Luckhardt Brothers, and Walter Gropius, along with photographs originally published by Pencil Points. Architectural historian Kurt W. Forster, Vincent Scully Visiting Professor at Yale, contributed the introduction.
School of Art
Papageorge photographs on view
The photographs of Professor Tod Papageorge, who has headed the photography department at the School of Art since 1979, are on display at a gallery in New York. “Passing through Eden—Photographs of Central Park” may be viewed at the Pace/MacGill Gallery on 57th Street through May 12. A book of Papageorge’s work is scheduled to be published this spring. During Papageorge’s tenure at the School of Art, the photography department has produced an unusually high proportion of major American photographers, including Lois Conner '81MFA, Gregory Crewdson '88MFA, Tim Davis '01MFA, Philip-Lorca diCorcia '79MFA, and John Pilson '93MFA. For more information on the exhibition, see pacemacgill.com/exhibitions.php.
School website extends its reach
The School of Art continues to develop its wiki website, on which alumni may submit content or link their own pages. (For a Yale Alumni Magazine news item, see Webwatching.) The site may be accessed at yale.edu/art, but in order to link or submit content alumni must request a username by first e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This website changes daily, with individuals sometimes adding information and providing a calendar of events on an hourly basis. With the addition of alumni sites, this should become one of the punchiest places to view contemporary art at Yale University and on the Web.
Open studios welcome visitors
Every May the Yale School of Art opens its individual student spaces in painting, sculpture, graphic design, and photography to the public during its Sunday Open Studios. This year’s open studio event takes place on May 13. This event allows the Yale community and the public to examine student work, installations, and often performance pieces, and see some of the facilities such as the print shop, digital labs, and shops in Hammond Hall (the sculpture building). During this time, the graphic design thesis show will be on view in the Green Hall gallery rooms.
Yale, a place for poets
Elizabeth Alexander '84, professor of African American studies, American studies, and English, received the first annual Jackson Poetry Prize of $50,000 for poets of “exceptional talent” who have not yet received widespread recognition. (For the Yale Alumni Magazine report, see Milestones.) The prize was awarded by Poets & Writers, Inc., and judged by three poets, Lucille Clifton, Stephen Dunn, and Jane Hirshfield. Alexander is the author of four books of poems, including American Sublime (2005), which was one of the American Library Association’s 25 Notable Books of the Year as well as one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She teaches courses on African American poetry, drama, and twentieth-century literature, as well as the survey introduction to African American studies.
Undergraduate musical stars
Yale has no undergraduate conservatory of music, but it has a great range and level of musical talent and accomplishment in the undergraduate population. An annual competition sponsored by the Friends of Music at Yale, an organization supporting undergraduate music on campus, seeks to recognize the outstanding musical talents of Yale College students. The three winners of this year’s Friends of Music at Yale Undergraduate Recital Competition are fine examples of the extraordinary talent that can be found among undergraduates.
Ashley Jackson '08 (Timothy Dwight) is the principal harpist of the Yale Symphony Orchestra (YSO) and a member of the Berkeley Orchestra, Saybrook Orchestra, and Yale Bach Society. A 2003-2004 ARTS Merit Award winner in the music/instrumental category, she received the 2004 New Jersey Governor’s Award in the Arts and was a semifinalist in the 2003 American Harp Society Competition. She was a gold medalist in the NAACP ACT-SO instrumental competition for three consecutive years. She won two principal concerto competitions at the university: the 2005 Berkeley Concerto Competition and the 2005 YSO William Waite Concerto Competition. As winner of the latter award, she was featured in a YSO concert on April 14.
Elizabeth Schurgin '07 (Trumbull), a history major, is enrolled in the Yale College/School of Music BA/MM program. She plays bassoon. This past summer, as a winner of the Lewis Curtis Fellowship for Travel, Schurgin traveled to Turin, Italy, to research the original manuscripts of Antonio Vivaldi’s bassoon concerti. A member of many other musical groups on campus, Schurgin is also on the Yale women’s club water polo team and, as its captain for the 2005-2006 season, led the team to a New England championship title and 13th place in the nationals.
Lauren Libaw '09 (Davenport) is a music and Italian major. In her first year at Yale, she sang the title roles in Poulenc’s Les Marmelles de Tiresias and Handel’s Semele for the Opera Theater of Yale College. A member of Yale Schola Cantorum, she also appeared as a soloist with both the Yale Bach Society and the Yale Undergraduate Musical Theater Company. A native of Pasadena, California, Libaw began singing as a member of the Los Angeles Opera in The Magic Flute, Werther, and Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. She has also sung with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Libaw won first place in the Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center 2005 scholarship competition, and is the 2005 winner of the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award in classical voice. In the summer of 2007, she will create the role of Endymion in the Los Angeles world premiere of Peter Ash’s Keepers of the Night.
Remembering two YDS biblical scholars
Two iconic figures in the pantheon of YDS biblical scholarship died in February, within two days of each other. On February 22, at his home in Guilford, Connecticut, New Testament scholar Paul Sevier Minear '32PhD died at the age of 101; and on February 24 Old Testament scholar B. Davie Napier '39BD, '44PhD, died at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California, at 91 years of age. (For the Yale Alumni Magazine report, see Milestones.) Napier, professor emeritus of Bible and ministry, joined the YDS faculty in 1949 before rising to the rank of associate professor and then becoming the Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation in 1956. He served as master of Calhoun College in 1964-65 and from 1980 to 1984. From 1975 to 1980 he was a fellow of the Yale Corporation. “Davie Napier was a particularly popular lecturer,” said Brevard Childs, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Divinity. “For years, he had the big Old Testament course. … But he was mainly known for his preaching. His preaching was very, very imaginative and charismatic.”
Minear, Winkley Professor Emeritus of Biblical Theology, joined the YDS faculty in 1956, where he taught until he retired in 1971. The author of more than 25 books and a member of the committee that produced the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, his career spanned the better part of the twentieth century and established him as one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars. Society of Biblical Literature executive director Kent Richards marveled at Minear’s sheer stamina as a scholar. “So many people get to whatever the retirement age is and that is the end, … but Paul was deeply engaged for his entire long, wonderful life,” said Richards. “A week before he died, Paul was sending out copies of lectures to people who he thought hadn’t seen them.”
Professor’s hymn sung at National Prayer Breakfast
As the Edward and Ruth Cox Lantz Professor of Christian Communication, Thomas Troeger '67 teaches preaching at Yale Divinity School. But Troeger is also a musician and poet with a love of science, and on February 1 his eclectic interests were on full display at the National Prayer Breakfast, when one of his many hymns was sung. At the breakfast, held in Washington, D.C., about 3,000 people—including the president, first lady, several cabinet secretaries, and many members of Congress—raised their voices in Troeger’s hymn “Praise the Source of Faith and Learning,” a hymn that honors God as the common source for all knowledge and faith.
Troeger, an accomplished flutist, learned that his hymn was being sung from an e-mail sent to him by Francis S. Collins '74PhD, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health and the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast. Collins wrote, “In my remarks on February 1, I will try to explain the ways in which science can be a form of worship of God the creator. But for many of us, words are so much more powerful when coupled with music—and your remarkable lyrics, sung to [the music of] 'Hyfrydol,' would be the perfect summation of what I want to convey.” Said Troeger, “I’m thrilled about that because there are people from all kinds of persuasions there, and I’m very eager for people to see that faith and intellect go together very well. … This is not the first time I’ve had scientists respond to me.”
Inquisitiveness, not inquisition, marks conference
Some of the country’s leading evangelical Christians sat down with their counterparts on the more progressive end of the religious spectrum during a February 11-13 conference at the Divinity School that explored the relationship between religion and politics.
Among the participants in “Voices & Votes: Religious Convictions in the Public Square” were Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition; Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; and conservative writer and publisher Richard Viguerie; as well as Flo McAfee, White House Religious Liaison for President Clinton; and Serene Jones '85MDiv, '91PhD, feminist theologian and Titus Street Professor of Theology at YDS. Addressing such topics as “How Should Theology Shape Politics?” “Candidates Expressing Their Faith—How Much is Too Much?” and “The Political Packaging of Religion,” panelists were urged by Miroslav Volf, the director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, to show “generosity to those on the other side of the aisle” when engaging in potentially volatile discussions. Accordingly, civility and constructive dialogue ruled the day.
School of Drama
Yale Drama Series to support emerging dramatists
A new playwriting competition, the David C. Horn Prize-Yale Drama Series, established by the Yale Repertory Theatre, Yale University Press, and the David Charles Horn Foundation, will support emerging playwrights by encouraging new dramatic works. New, unpublished, full-length plays will be considered for the competition, which carries a cash prize of $10,000, as well as publication of the manuscript by Yale University Press and a staged reading at the Yale Repertory Theatre. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee serves as the first judge of the Yale Drama Series and will announce the winner at a private ceremony at Lincoln Center. The Horn Foundation, which funds the series, was established in 2005 by Mr. Horn’s widow, Francine. Mr. Horn was the publisher and CEO of Here & There, the preeminent international forecasting and reporting publication serving the fashion industry. In keeping with his lifetime commitment to the written word, the foundation seeks to support unpublished writers, particularly in the dramatic arts.
Yale Rep’s Lulu keeps pace with Wedekind revivals
The Yale Repertory Theatre helped raise temperatures this spring with a revival of Frank Wedekind’s notorious Lulu. Directed by YSD faculty member Mark Lamos (who also staged YRT’s 2003 revival of The Taming of the Shrew), the production was a fresh take on this rarely produced classic. Working from translations of Wedekind’s Lulu plays by Carl Mueller, Lamos and production dramaturg Drew Lichtenberg '08MFA created a new adaptation using three extant texts: Pandora’s Box—A Monster Tragedy (Wedekind’s first draft of the play), Erdgeist (Earth Spirit), and Die Buchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box). The Lulu plays have served as the basis of the Alban Berg opera Lulu (first staged in 1937) and the 1929 film Pandora’s Box, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst and starring silent-screen luminary Louise Brooks. With the Yale Rep production of Lulu, the recent Criterion DVD release of the Pabst film, and the hit Broadway production of Wedekind’s Spring Awakening (as musicalized by Duncan Sheik and Steven Slater), the world is taking a moment to reassess the genius of Frank Wedekind, whose work was decades ahead of its time.
Learning the business of theater
Yale School of Drama theater management students have had an exceptional opportunity this year to learn from a man whose name has become synonymous with the Great White Way. Rocco Landesman '65Dra, Broadway producer, president of Jujamcyn Theaters, and winner of more than a dozen Tony awards, shared his invaluable insights on the theater industry with YSD’s students in a five-session module on commercial theater. Edward A. Martenson, adjunct professor of theater management, approached Landesman to teach the class because, he says, commercial theater “is an important subject area and because he’s the perfect person to do it. He’s an alum of our dramaturgy department and a remarkable judge of plays with respect to their cultural and aesthetic importance, he’s trusted by talented artists, and he has a keen business judgment.” As a theater owner-operator and as a producer, Martenson says, Landesman “stands for the idea that art and commerce can be combined.”
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Poll shows more Americans concerned about environment
Yale research has revealed a significant shift in public attitudes toward the environment and global warming. According to the Yale Environmental Poll, conducted in February by the Global Strategy Group, fully 83 percent of Americans think global warming is a “serious” problem, up from 70 percent in 2004. More Americans than ever said they have serious concerns about environmental threats, such as toxic soil and water (92 percent, up from 85 percent in 2004), deforestation (89 percent, up from 78 percent), air pollution (93 percent, up from 87 percent), and the extinction of wildlife (83 percent, up from 72 percent in 2005).
Most dramatically, the survey of 1,000 adults nationwide showed that 63 percent of Americans agree that the United States “is in as much danger from environmental hazards, such as air pollution and global warming, as it is from terrorists.” It revealed growing concern about dependence on Middle Eastern oil, with 96 percent of the public saying this is a serious problem. As a result, the public overwhelmingly supports increasing the use of alternative energy, including solar and wind power, as well as investing more in energy efficiency.
The results also suggested that many Americans want greener products and are ready to spend money to try new technologies that will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Seventy percent of the public indicated a willingness to buy solar panels, and 67 percent would consider buying a hybrid car.
New faculty to explore religion, environmental ethics
Two prominent scholars in the fields of religion, ecology, and environmental ethics have been granted five-year appointments at the School of Forestry, effective July 1. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Bioethics Center environmental ethicist in residence for 2006-07, has been named senior lecturer; and John Grimm, the Institution for Social and Policy Studies scholar-in-residence for 2006-07, has been appointed senior research scholar. In these capacities, Tucker and Grimm will work on developing the field of religion and ecology at F&ES and the university, bringing scholars in these fields to Yale, developing research in the areas of cosmology and ecology of religions, and working with other faculty to explore such topics as environmental values, ethics, and ecodesign. Dean Gus Speth hailed the appointments as “wonderful news,” adding that there is a “significant role for religion, values, and ethics in the response to the environmental crises we humans, as well as the members of all other species, will increasingly face in the years ahead.”
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Celebrating the study of Italian
Nearly 100 graduate alumni of the Italian department returned to campus in late October for a reunion and celebratory conference on the Italian legacy at Yale. Department chair Giuseppe Mazzotta, Sterling Professor of Italian, hosted the event, along with Dean Butler and Professor Millicent Marcus '73PhD. Highlights included an exhibition of rare Italian manuscripts in the Beinecke, the screening of an Italian film, and dinners—complete with arias from Italian operas. Panelists discussed a new philology in Italian, career issues, and the future of the teaching of Italian. The core of the celebration was a laudatio to Thomas Bergin, the late Sterling Professor of Romance Languages, who is widely considered the pioneer of the Italian scholarly heritage at Yale. One attendee, Emanuel L. Paparella '90PhD, found the event extraordinary and wrote the university afterward expressing consensus that Italian studies should continue to be “promoted as an integral part of any interdisciplinary humanistic and/or liberal arts program.”
Reunion marks 133 years of sociology
The Graduate School’s spring alumni reunion gathered sociology graduate alumni from all years to celebrate the 133rd anniversary of Yale’s Department of Sociology. Gala receptions, dinner at the Peabody Museum, a tour of the newly renovated University Art Gallery, and a bus tour of New Haven were on the agenda for the April 13-15 event, but the main focus was discussion of sociology in five scholarly panels: “Sociology and Public Conversations"; “The Histories of Sociology at Yale"; “Sociology and Comparative Perspectives"; “Sociology, Law and Justice” (dedicated to Albert J. Reiss Jr.); and “Sociology beyond the Academy.” Presenters were Yale faculty members and alumni of the program who are now affiliated with prestigious universities around the world.
Dissertation support—from workshops to boot camp
Writing a dissertation isn’t easy, as all veterans of the process know. To help current students, the Graduate School offers a range of programs. This semester, Yale College Writing Center director Alfred Guy held a workshop on “Editing for a Crisper Style” and graduate writing consultant Steve Shoemaker ran a session titled “Dissertation Writing: Getting on a Writing Schedule.” The McDougal Center academic writing fellows, Eben Rose (geology and geophysics) and Alice Ly (MCDB), organized several workshops on choosing a dissertation topic and offered an ongoing peer writing review service. Over the course of two weekends this winter, Rose ran an extraordinarily successful “Dissertation Boot Camp,” during which participants, with their laptops and notes, holed up from morning to night in 119 HGS with plenty of food and no distractions: cell phones, visitors, newspapers, and television were banned. One happy student, Mary Barr (African American studies), said afterward, “I would attend Dissertation Boot Camp every weekend if it were offered. … There’s something to be said for being around other people who are writing too. If everyone else is concentrating hard, you get caught up in your own work. It was an incredibly productive time for me.”
Law School mourns first African American woman graduate
Jane Matilda Bolin, the first African American woman to graduate from Yale Law School and the first in the country to become a judge, died January 8 at age 98. (See Milestones, March/April 2007.) Bolin earned her LLB from Yale Law School in 1931. In 1939, she was sworn in as judge of the Family Court of New York, where she served for 40 years. “Judge Jane Bolin entered new environs fearlessly, exploded old myths, and helped transform American law with her pioneering spirit,” said Dean Harold Hongju Koh. “Yale Law School, and our students whose paths she made possible, will always honor and remember her remarkable grace and courage.” Bolin was presented with the Yale Law School Association’s Medal of Merit in 1994. Her portrait hangs in the Law School.
New clinic plays first major role in a U.S. Supreme Court case
In February, Yale Law School’s Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic tackled its first U.S. Supreme Court case as counsel for one of the named parties. The clinic represented the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the high-profile Establishment Clause case, Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Begun in fall 2006, the clinic allows students to work on real-life legal cases pending before the court. Clinic students filed a merits brief in Hein v. FFRF on February 2. “At first, it seemed like every other brief we have written in law school,” said third-year student Terri-Lei O'Malley. “But the closer it got to the very last minute the brief could be sent to the printer, the more it sank in—this is the big league!”
At issue in the case is whether taxpayers—FFRF’s members—may sue to challenge a White House-sponsored program that is alleged to unconstitutionally aid religious groups with general federal funds, not funds specifically earmarked for the program by Congress. Oral arguments were heard on February 28, and the court was expected to rule by June.
“Legally Female” conference addresses concerns of women in the law
A national conference at YLS, hosted by the campus group Yale Law Women, brought together attorneys, judges, law school professors, and law students to discuss issues that affect women in the law. The goals of the March 31 symposium were to spark cooperation among women working in various practice areas and institutions, and encourage discussion among lawyers in private practice, publicinterest lawyers, law professors, and students. Panels focused on such topics as: women lawyers of color, gender and global engagement, women in legal academia, women attorneys in private industry, and how technology is changing the role of women in the law. Janet Bond Arterton, U.S. district judge for the District of Connecticut, gave the keynote address.
A highlight of the conference was the official launch of the new weblog Ms. JD (ms-jd.org), which aims “to provide a forum for dialogue and networking among women lawyers and aspiring lawyers.” Conference co-chair Julia Simon-Kerr '08JD believes “the new blog will be a global meeting place for women in the profession.”
School of Management
New cases to fit the new curriculum
SOM’s new curriculum is fundamentally altering one of the staples of business education: the case study. (For a report by the Yale Alumni Magazine on the new curriculum, see “Revamping the MBA.”) SOM’s interdisciplinary approach to management requires cases that cover broader topics and ask more complicated questions than the traditional case model. To that end, the school hired veteran case writer Jaan Elias to lead a team of writers in devising cases that are more complex and that can be viewed from a number of perspectives. Elias’s team wrote ten new cases last fall and expects to debut another dozen by the end of the school year. As part of SOM’s ambition to inspire changes in business-school curricula across the country, the school plans to make its distinctive cases available to other institutions by the beginning of 2008. But as Deputy Dean Stan Garstka said, the best reason for producing new cases may be their impact on SOM itself. “[This new kind of case study] engages faculty from different disciplines in conversations and ultimately enriches what goes on in the classroom.”
The debut of Q(n)
A new biannual publication for SOM friends and alumni, launched this spring, will examine important issues at the intersection of business and society that are not easily captured through the conventional business press or academic literature. More than a standard alumni magazine, Q1 (followed by Q2, Q3, etc.) will pose one question and then explore that question with opinions from business leaders and prominent academics from across the nation, including Yale faculty, students, and alumni. Consisting of essays, conversations, roundtables, and short interviews, the magazine is intended to be provocative, both in content and design. For more information see som.yale.edu/Q1.
First MBA-E class graduates
Two years ago SOM welcomed 22 doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals into a new executive MBA program intended to provide healthcare professionals with the tools to manage effectively in an increasingly complex industry. In May, they will earn their MBAs. Over the course of 22 intense months, Yale MBA-E candidates study with faculty from the schools of management, public health, and medicine. The courses are designed to fit into the schedules of busy professionals, meeting on Fridays and Saturdays every other week, plus three weeks of intensive in-residence sessions. A visiting scholar series, intended to deepen and broaden the experience, recently included Susan Dentzer, health correspondent for PBS’s News Hour; Jack Chow, assistant director- general for the World Health Organization; and Robert Glavin, director of global healthcare for General Electric. Randy Johnson, executive director of the MBA-E program, said his aspirations for the program so far have been met or exceeded. “Going forward, we’ll be building on that base, refining the educational design and doubling the number of students in the program.” For more information, see mba.yale.edu/mba-e.
School of Medicine
Hands-on science program for local students
Some of the students working with cadavers in the School of Medicine’s anatomy lab are not enrolled in the medical school; they’re high school students from Hill Regional Career High School, a magnet school close to campus, who are participating in Yale’s Anatomy Teaching Program. Career High attracts students from New Haven and its suburbs who are interested in careers in health, business, or computer technology. Yale’s partnership with the school has enabled these students to take advantage of Yale’s resources. Y
ale students and faculty instruct and mentor Career High pupils in a number of settings. In the medical careers class, Yale public health students come to Career High to speak about medical career options during the first semester, and the high school students complete an internship at Yale in the second semester. The university donated a research-quality electron microscope to the high school to help Career students understand molecular structures; it also recommended the types of equipment that would be most appropriate for a certified nurse’s aide room set up to look like a clinic. Another learning opportunity is offered to advanced biology students who come to Yale twice a month after school to work with medical students who help them with course material.
Chinese herbal remedy works against kidney disease in mice
A compound found in the Chinese herbal medicine Lei Gong Teng has been shown to be effective in the treatment of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a disorder in which genetic mutations lead to the formation of cysts that impair kidney function. The compound, triptolide, binds to a calcium channel that is implicated in PKD. In a study conducted by Craig M. Crews, associate professor of chemistry, pharmacology, and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, and Stefan Somlo, C. N. H. Long Professor of Medicine (nephrology) and professor of genetics, the triptolide reined in the rogue calcium channel in mice and appeared to mitigate the symptoms of PKD. “Our research shows that triptolide … markedly decreases cyst formation in a mouse model of this most common genetic lethal kidney disease,” Crews said. The findings were reported in the March Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Yale researchers cited for top breakthroughs
The work of two Yale faculty members and an alumnus has been noted by the journal Science in its listing of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2006.
The journal cited genomic studies of agerelated macular degeneration (AMD) led by Josephine J. Hoh, associate professor of epidemiology and ophthalmology and visual science, (along with other studies) as representing significant progress against the disease—the most common cause of blindness in people over the age of 50.
Haifan Lin, professor of cell biology and director of the Yale Stem Cell Center, was one of four scientists who contributed to breakthroughs in the understanding of small RNA molecules known as Piwi-interacting RNAs, or piRNAs. Lin’s lab first discovered Piwi/ Argonaute genes, which are essential for the self-renewal of stem cells, in 1998. But it was not understood how these genes play a role in stem cell division until last year, when Lin’s group showed that Piwi/Argonaute proteins bind to piRNAs.
Jonathan Rothberg '91PhD is the founder and chair of the board of 454 Life Sciences, a Branford, Connecticut, company that created technology for the rapid sequencing of genomes. Two of the labs on the top-ten list used this technology, and Stem Cell Center director Lin is using it in his work. Rothberg and collaborators in Europe analyzed DNA from a 38,000-year-old Neanderthal fossil and found that the difference between the human and Neanderthal genome is just one base pair in 2,000.
The virtual patient: simulation in medical education
Training through simulation—whether by “standardized patients,” mannequins, or virtual computer technology—has become an increasingly accepted methodology in medical education. Medical schools, including Yale, are devoting significant resources to expose students to these training opportunities. Standardized patients—actors who play the roles of patients to teach interviewing skills—are integrated into all four years of medical school. Yale now has an array of human patient simulators, or mannequins, for students to “treat,” as well as a simulation laboratory equipped with computers that allow students to practice everything from suturing techniques to performing a colonoscopy.
Instructors say these simulation tools are useful for both teaching and assessment. Students can practice and make mistakes without harming real patients; these tools can simulate unusual cases students wouldn’t often see in practice; and they are ideal for comparative evaluations of clinical skills because each student faces identical patient challenges.
Last June, Leigh Evans, director of healthcare simulation for the section of emergency medicine in the Department of Surgery, launched a program using high-fidelity human patient simulators for third-year medical students during their surgery rotations. The lifelike polymer figures are computerized and programmable, so they can simulate just about any condition that occurs in the human body. The simulators can talk and breathe, their vital signs can change, and they can even “die,” although Evans, an assistant professor, says she’s never made a simulator do that because she worries it would be too traumatic for the students. The major advantage a simulator has over actors is that you can create a medical emergency or practice such procedures as intubation that you wouldn’t perform on a real person.
School of Music
String ensemble wins competition
The Alianza Quartet, formed at the School of Music two years ago and now the fellowship quartet-in-residence, won the Grand Prize at the prestigious 2007 Plowman Chamber Music Competition in Columbia, Missouri. In the semifinals, they competed against 25 other groups from around the country that had been chosen through a tape round; in the finals on April 1 they prevailed over a string quartet and piano trio, both from Juilliard, and wind groups from Northwestern University and the University of Colorado–Boulder. The quartet can be heard on the Web: their performance of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” quartet is the school’s first musical podcast on iTunes. The members of the Alianza Quartet are violinists Sarita Kwok '06AD and Lauren Basney '06AD, violist Ah-Young Sung '05AD, and cellist Dmitri Atapine '06AD.
A collaboration with London’s Royal Academy of Music is the School of Music’s latest international musical partnership. Six student composers—three from Yale and three from the Royal Academy—created new works using Gyorgy Ligeti’s Chamber Concerto as a template. All six compositions, along with the Ligeti concerto, were performed in London on April 24 and in New Haven on May 3. For the April performance, Professor Martin Bresnick and the Yale composers—Matthew Barnson '07MusM, Yoshiaki Onishi '07MusM, and Edward Hearne '08MusM—traveled to London, where Bresnick presented a seminar and the student composers attended the final rehearsals and performance of their works. The three student composers from the Royal Academy came to New Haven for the May 3 concert, along with Simon Bainbridge, head of composition at the Royal Academy. Over the past few years, YSM has engaged in partnerships with such international musical institutions as the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing, China); Korean National University of the Arts-School of Music and Seoul National University-College of Music (Seoul, Korea); Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Russia); and the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music (Budapest, Hungary).
School of Nursing
YSN ranks seventh in U.S. News and World Report rankings
YSN has risen to seventh place in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of graduate schools of nursing. During the previous ranking in 2003, YSN was rated tenth in this review of more than 1,000 nursing graduate schools across the United States.
In addition to its overall ranking, four YSN master’s programs were ranked in the top five. They are the specialties in: pediatric nurse practitioner (ranked first); adult medical-surgical clinician and midwife (third); family nurse practitioner and psychiatric/mental health practitioner (fourth); and adult nurse practitioner (fifth).
Nursing administrator delivers annual Bellos Lecture
Rapidly changing forces in health care—from cutbacks in government funding to the nationwide nursing shortage—are coming together to create a critically important juncture for the profession of nursing. Jane Metzger, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital, addressed these changes and the future of the nursing profession in her talk, “Approaching the Perfect Storm,” which she delivered at YSN on April 18 as the 2007 Sybil Palmer Bellos Lecture. Will nurses view these as creative and innovative opportunities or will these escalating demands be seen as negative and de-energizing? Metzger discussed how nurses might weather this “storm.”
In her position at Rhode Island Hospital, Metzger oversees inpatient, adult, and pediatric emergency nursing services, as well as the surgical, cardiology, infection control, and endoscopy areas at the largest and busiest hospital in Rhode Island. In 2003, she was recognized with two leadership awards: the Rhode Island State Nurses Association’s Nurse Leadership Award, and the New York Times’s Job Market “Tribute to Nurses” award, which honors four nurses from more than 500 nominees nationwide.
YSN student awarded Nightingale Scholarship
Cathryn Imperato '07, a YSN student in the graduate entry prespecialty in nursing (GEPN), was presented a $1,000 scholarship as part of the Nightingale Awards for Excellence by the Visiting Nurses Association of South Central Connecticut, during a ceremony on April 19. The Nightingale Awards, Connecticut’s largest statewide nursing recognition program, celebrate nurses who demonstrate excellence in their profession, a commitment to their community, and a willingness to go “beyond the call.” The scholarship program honors nursing students who display these qualities while still in nursing school. Frank A. Grosso, assistant dean for student affairs, says that Imperato has “demonstrated her commitment to YSN, its students, and the surrounding community” by her involvement in community-service programs and student activities.
Imperato came to nursing almost by accident. “I started as a pre-med undergraduate student, and saw nurse practitioners at work during an internship. Once I saw what they did, I fell in love with nursing,” she said. “From my first rotation at Yale–New Haven Hospital in the HIV/AIDS unit, I really loved working as a nurse. I have felt driven toward this work with HIV patients.”
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