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School Notes
A supplement to the Yale Alumni Magazine from the fourteen schools of Yale

School of Architecture
Robert A. M. Stern, Dean

Celebrating women in architecture

YSoA will host the first-ever gathering of its alumnae at a reunion conference November 30–December 1 to celebrate the accomplishments of women architects and mark the 30th anniversary of the Sonia Albert Schimberg Award. Sonia Albert ’50MArch was one of only two women to graduate from YSoA in 1950, when the field was still largely dominated by men. Her daughters created the award in her memory to honor an outstanding woman student each year at Commencement. The reunion will explore the legacy of YSoA women graduates, current conditions in architecture, and future trends. Students, faculty, and experts from related disciplines will join alumnae for panel discussions, lectures, and presentations.

Professor wins inaugural prize

Deborah Berke, adjunct professor of design, has been named the first recipient of a $100,000 prize that honors the advancement of women in architecture and recognizes a practitioner or academic who also emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community. The 2012 Berkeley-Rupp Architecture Professorship and Prize, awarded by the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, includes a semester-long professorship, a public lecture, and a gallery exhibition at the school. A founder of the New York City–based architecture firm Deborah Berke Partners, Berke has received awards for the 21c Museum Hotel Louisville and the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.

Exhibition and symposium to focus on influential designer

Coinciding with the exhibition George Nelson: Architect/Writer/Designer/Teacher (November 5 through February 9), the school is hosting a two-day symposium titled George Nelson: Design for Living, American Mid-Century Design and its Legacy Today. The program, November 9–10, will bring together an international group of historians, critics, and designers to examine the extraordinary impact of Yale alumnus George Nelson (1908–1986). Nelson and his contemporaries helped evolve the Bauhaus aesthetic into a more colorful, playful, and versatile idiom that reflected the American lifestyle in the mid-twentieth century. After receiving BA and BArch degrees from Yale and the Rome Prize of the American Academy, Nelson worked as an architect, writer, publicist, lecturer, and curator before becoming director of design for Herman Miller, where, for nearly three decades, he shaped the company’s product line and public image.


School of Art
Robert Storr, Dean

National photography foundation honors professor

Professor Tod Papageorge, former director of graduate studies in photography at the School of Art, was honored recently by the Lucie Foundation as recipient of its 2012 Lucie Award in documentary photography. The Lucie Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose trifold mission is to honor master photographers, to discover and cultivate emerging talent, and to promote the appreciation of photography worldwide. Its annual awards honor the greatest achievements in photography.

Papageorge has been photographing for 50 years. His achievements include two Guggenheim Fellowships and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grants. His photographs have been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and are represented in more than 30 major public collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2009 Papageorge was invited to the American Academy in Rome as a resident in the visual arts, and the following year he was awarded the Rome Commission in Photography.


Yale College
Mary E. Miller, Dean

Two new college deans greet students

This year two new Yale residential college deans have enrolled in “Deans School,” the affectionate nickname for an extensive formal training program for deans in their first year of service. The program was created in 1988 by Joseph W. Gordon, dean of undergraduate education, and is currently led by Mark Schenker, dean of academic affairs. Classes began in August before the students arrived. Mornings were devoted to academic regulations, then a thorough examination of “Blue Book 101,” followed by afternoon field trips to meet key constituents across campus, from the college’s writing tutor and dining hall director to the registrar and the head of health services. In-service training continues with weekly sessions throughout the academic year.

Stepping into new roles as residential college deans are Christine Muller at Saybrook College and Joseph Spooner ’91 at Jonathan Edwards College. Muller earned a BA in history and psychology and an MA in English from Villanova University, and a PhD in American studies from the University of Maryland–College Park. For more than ten years she has held residential positions, first with the Office of Residence Life at Villanova and then as house director of a sorority at Maryland. She served for five years as the assistant director of Villanova’s Honors Program, filling the role of academic adviser for 450 exceptional students from all of the university’s colleges. Dean Muller says she loves good stories and good storytellers, and Saybrugians may benefit from her other passion: taking informal cooking lessons from her father, a retired chef and culinary school dean.

Twenty-one years after earning a bachelor of arts degree in English from Yale College, Dean Spooner happily returns to New Haven. JE master Penelope Laurans said Dean Mary Miller and the search committee chose Spooner not only for his extensive teaching and administrative experience, but also for his enthusiasm and ability to connect with students. Since earning his master’s in American studies at Florida State, he has held teaching and administrative positions at Chipola College, Florida State, Williams College, and the University of Edinburgh. A first-generation college student from a small family farm in northern Florida, he says he has not forgotten how overwhelming and foreign Yale can be, and hopes that his varied experiences in higher education will benefit all of those fortunate enough to call Yale home.


Divinity School
Gregory E. Sterling, Dean

Settling in at YDS: a busy month for the new dean

Gregory E. Sterling began his term as dean of Yale Divinity School at the beginning of August. But the summer heat did little to slow him down, as he filled the month with a flurry of meetings with YDS staff and faculty, alumni leaders, Yale University administrators, emeriti faculty, and students. About the only concession to the heat came near the end of the month, when Sterling and his wife, Adrian, hosted an ice cream social for students two days before classes began.

Sterling had his first experience greeting a new class to Sterling Divinity Quadrangle during orientation week, August 20–24. In remarks to the entering students, he welcomed them to a “robust environment” where they can “debate and argue with one another, and maybe with faculty, and with guest lecturers.” Said Sterling, “It’s a liberal spirit, and that’s what I hope you can embrace.”

At the end of the month, the new dean offered an initial impression: “The most impressive aspect of YDS initially has been the sense of community that exists. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are all keenly aware of the importance of community and work to foster it.”

Class of 1952 write about their faith

In their systematic theology course years ago, members of the YDS Class of 1952 were asked to write a credo, or statement of beliefs. In spring 2012, six decades later, members of the class were given another writing assignment—by the Class’s 60th reunion planning committee: a statement of faith.

Twenty-five members of the class responded, and the result is a lengthy, spiral-bound document called The Faith by which I Live Today, prepared for a gathering at Convocation and Reunions in October. Class Secretary Richard Stazesky ’52BD, ’53STM, ’55MA, who compiled and edited the document, notes the distinction between what was asked of his class as students—a credo—and the recent request. “Beliefs usually refer to doctrines, intellectual assertions,” he said. “Faith is more a matter of the heart, emotions, that which deeply motivates. Faith is what is important.”


School of Drama
James Bundy, Dean

Human struggles are theme of YSD theater season

The school’s 2012–13 drama season features three productions staged by the 2013 directing class that explore the human struggles—vain or victorious, intimate or epic—to become who we believe we are meant to be. The shows, staged and performed by YSD students, are: Iphigenia Among the Stars, a space-age adaptation of Euripides’s Iphigenia at Aulis and Iphigenia Among the Taurians, by Benjamin Fainstein ’13MFA, directed by Jack Tamburri ’13MFA, which played October 30–November 3; Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical theater masterpiece, Sunday in the Park with George, directed by Ethan Heard ’13MFA, December 14–20; and Caryl Churchill’s sexy, sad, and mordantly funny satire, Cloud Nine, directed by Margot Bordelon ’13MFA, January 22–26.


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

Center for Engineering Innovation & Design opens

The school’s new Center for Engineering Innovation & Design opened its doors for the start of the 2012–2013 school year. The CEID is the latest addition in the school’s ongoing efforts to encourage collaborative work not just among engineers, but also with students from all of the schools and programs on Yale’s campus. Offering students the ability to realize their ideas with tools and training from its affiliated faculty and staff, the CEID’s resources reach beyond the traditional wood and machine shops found in design spaces to include equipment for rapid prototyping and, in a unique and progressive move for a design space, a wet lab to support design efforts in medical devices or research in microfluidics. The CEID’s largest area, an open studio space on the ground floor, offers passersby a full view of current center activities and serves as a reminder that the space is open to the Yale community.

Grants support interdisciplinary research

Through a generous gift from Donna Dubinsky ’77, the School of Engineering has created the Dubinsky New Initiative Grants to foster new research efforts aligned with the school’s interdisciplinary research priorities. These priorities leverage talent across the school and all of Yale. Through the new initiative grants, the school has offered funding to two projects in the program’s first year. The first, a collaboration between professors from biomedical and chemical engineering as well as immunobiology, dermatology, anesthesiology, and medicine, proposes to develop a “microvessel-on-a-chip.” Their research has widespread applications in the study of cystic fibrosis, lung damage that leads to multiple organ failure in septic patients, and breast cancer metastasis into the lung. The second, a group representing chemical engineering, materials science, and applied physics, will study clean energy generation by pyro-electric conversion of solar radiation. Specifically, the group hopes to overcome a current limitation that requires time-varying heat fluxes as energy inputs.


School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Peter Crane, Dean

Diseased trees significant source of greenhouse gas

Diseased trees in forests may be a significant new source of methane that causes climate change, according to researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in Geophysical Research Letters. Sixty trees sampled at Yale Myers Forest in northeastern Connecticut contained concentrations of methane that were as high as 80,000 times ambient levels. Normal air concentrations are less than 2 parts per million, but the Yale researchers found average levels of 15,000 ppm inside trees.

“These are flammable concentrations,” said Kristofer Covey, the study’s lead author and a PhD candidate at Yale. “Because the conditions thought to be driving this process are common throughout the world’s forests, we believe we have found a globally significant new source of this potent greenhouse gas.”

Red maple, an abundant species in North America, had the highest methane concentrations, but other common species, including oak, birch, and pine, were also producers of the gas. The rate of methane emissions was 3.1 times higher in the summer, suggesting that higher temperatures may lead to increasing levels of forest methane that, in turn, lead to ever-higher temperatures.

Professor honored for achievements

Paul Anastas, the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment and director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, and a pioneer in the design of environmentally friendly chemicals, has been awarded the 2012 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award for “helping advance the biodiversity of life on planet Earth.” E. O. Wilson, the renowned Harvard professor of entomology and evolutionary biology for whom the honor is named, presented Anastas with the award on October 4.

Trained as a synthetic organic chemist, Anastas has focused his research on the design of safer chemicals, bio-based polymers, and new methodologies of chemical synthesis that are more efficient and less hazardous to the environment. A leading writer on the subjects of sustainability, green chemistry, and green engineering, he has published ten books, including Benign by Design, Designing Safer Polymers, Green Engineering, and his seminal work with coauthor John Warner, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice.


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

Four named Wilbur Cross medalists

The Graduate School Alumni Association recently awarded four alumni the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, the Graduate School’s highest honor.

John Aber ’71, ’73MFS, ’76PhD (forestry and environmental studies), university professor and provost of the University of New Hampshire, is well known for his research on sustainable ecosystem management, climate change, and acid rain. He has authored or coauthored more than 200 scientific papers and the basic text in his field, Terrestrial Ecosystems.

Alfred W. McCoy ’77PhD (history), the J. R. W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is one of the world’s leading historians of Southeast Asia and an expert on underworld crime syndicates, the war against illegal drugs, and international political surveillance. He is also an influential social historian and has made important contributions to the history of gender and family studies.

Jonathan M. Rothberg ’91PhD (biology) combines spectacular achievements in genome science and biotechnology with entrepreneurship, having launched Curagen (to identify and target genes involved in specific diseases), 454 Life Sciences (which sequenced DNA stunningly quickly and at low cost), RainDance Technologies (which creates microfluidics for genomic and pharmaceutical research), and most recently, Ion Torrent Systems, Inc., which innovated an outstandingly successful DNA sequencing system.

Sarah Grey Thomason ’68PhD (linguistics), the William J. Gedney Collegiate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, is a specialist in historical linguistics (the ways languages change over time), contact linguistics (the influences that languages have on one another), and Native American languages of the Northwest.

Grant will broaden humanities studies

Yale has received a four-year grant of $1.95 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to enhance humanities education throughout the university, with several initiatives specific to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will use Mellon funding to introduce a new concentration that will extend coursework from two to three years, enabling students to develop individual programs that extend their understanding of both their primary discipline and the wider intellectual setting in which it resides. In each of the next three years, a team of faculty members will offer a core seminar on a different topic that cuts across disciplinary boundaries, bringing students together from multiple departments. Students will also be able to participate in team-teaching courses that cover sweeping, cross-disciplinary themes at the edges and intersections of traditional fields of study. The Mellon grant will also provide recent PhDs with new opportunities to teach at the undergraduate level and to broaden their teaching portfolios by offering courses that go beyond their specific discipline.


Law School
Robert Post, Dean

Fellowships offer summer work in public interest law

A grant from the Ford Foundation will offer 25 Yale Law students an unprecedented opportunity to work in the field of public interest law next summer. The inaugural Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellowship Program is open to first- and second-year law students from Yale as well as from Harvard, Stanford, and New York University law schools. It will offer the students ten-week placements with Ford Foundation grantee organizations around the world on important social justice issues. The foundation has made an initial commitment of up to $1.75 million for the fellowships for the first year.

Veterans appeals court hears oral arguments at YLS

The US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) was at Yale Law School on October 2 to hear oral argument in the case Copeland v. Shinseki. At issue was whether the CAVC, an Article I Court, has the jurisdiction, and if so the power, to invalidate a statute as unconstitutional. The case involved an appeal by Constance Copeland, surviving spouse of Air Force veteran Donnie Copeland, seeking review of a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision that denied her claim for accrued benefits and her claim for dependency and indemnity compensation for the cause of her husband’s death.

Professor honored by British Academy

Sterling Professor of Law and Legal History John Langbein has been elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Langbein has been a member of the Yale law faculty since 1989 and is a leading authority on legal history, comparative law, and probate and trust law. The British Academy is the United Kingdom’s national body recognizing and supporting excellence in the humanities and social sciences. Each year, in addition to electing several dozen UK-based Fellows who have achieved distinction in the humanities and social sciences, the academy elects a number of Corresponding Fellows from overseas universities. Langbein was one of 15 Corresponding Fellows elected this year.


School of Management
Edward A. Snyder, Dean

Yale SOM welcomes MBA Class of 2014

“The world needs a different kind of leader,” Yale SOM dean Edward A. Snyder told members of the full-time MBA Class of 2014 when he welcomed them to campus on August 8. Snyder described Yale SOM’s approach to business education, saying that the school is working to be the most connected to the advantages and resources of a preeminent home university and the most “distinctly global” among US business schools. He also stressed SOM’s commitment to educating leaders for an increasingly complex world. Yale University president Richard Levin ’74PhD addressed the class the following day, discussed Yale’s history of helping to rejuvenate New Haven, and encouraged students to be a part of the city. “The university has a deep involvement in the economic and cultural development of the city,” Levin said. “What’s still missing in New Haven is more of a culture of innovative start-up companies with Yale graduates at the helm.”

SOM alumni visit Evans Hall

A group of Yale SOM alumni from the Connecticut area recently got a chance to see the rapid progress being made on Edward P. Evans Hall, the new home of the Yale School of Management. The Connecticut chapter of the SOM Alumni Association organized a tour of the building for alumni on August 3. Over the summer workers installed glass panels around the courtyard at the center of Evans Hall and the Beinecke Room, a function space at the back of the building. Steel framing for interior walls is in place, as is drywall in the building’s signature curved classrooms. With these interior structures visible, the visitors were able to get a sense of many of the spaces in the building, including the classrooms, the dining hall, the student lounge just off the courtyard, the Wilbur L. Ross Jr. Library, the Beinecke Room, and the staff and faculty offices that surround an atrium in the building’s south wing.


School of Medicine
Robert J. Alpern, Dean

Alumnus returns to chair pediatrics

George Lister, a 1973 graduate of the School of Medicine and a member of its pediatrics faculty from 1988 to 2003, has returned to campus as chair of the Department of Pediatrics. He will also serve as chief of pediatrics at Yale–New Haven Hospital and physician-in-chief at Yale–New Haven Children’s Hospital. Lister returns to Yale from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, where he served as chair and professor of pediatrics and associate dean of education since leaving Yale in 2003.

RNA biologist receives twin honors

The School of Medicine’s Joan A. Steitz has been awarded two major prizes that recognize outstanding achievements of women scientists. Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, was awarded the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize of Rockefeller University for her more than four decades of research on how messenger RNA is fashioned in order to make proteins from the instructions in DNA, a process crucial to all life. She was also named winner of the 2012 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science, created by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine “to honor and recognize a woman scientist of national reputation who has a stellar record of research accomplishments and is known for her mentorship of women in science.”

Two doctoral students are named HHMI fellows

Two Yale doctoral students have received fellowships through a new initiative of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Sashka Dimitrievska, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Alice Qinhua Zhou, in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, will each receive a $43,000 award, which is given to 50 international graduate students named fellows each year. Dimitrievska, a native of Canada, is working with Laura E. Niklason, professor of anesthesiology and of biomedical engineering, in studying aspects of engineered blood vessels. Zhou, a native of China, is working with Corey S. O’Hern, associate professor of mechanical engineering and of physics, and Lynne J. Regan, professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry and of chemistry, in a study to predict and redesign protein-protein interactions.


School of Music
Robert Blocker, Dean

Tuba player joins YSM faculty

In 2006, the young tuba player Carol Jantsch was planning to begin her master of music degree at the Yale School of Music. But while still a senior at the University of Michigan, she won the position of principal tuba in the Philadelphia Orchestra, thus becoming the first female tuba player in a major symphony orchestra. This fall she finally arrived at Yale, now as the newest member of the School of Music faculty. She performed at the school’s opening convocation on September 6, bringing down the house with her virtuoso performance of Arban’s “The Carnival of Venice.”

Ellington Fellowship celebrates 40th anniversary

In 1972, the Duke Ellington Fellowship was established at Yale, beginning a series of concerts and residencies by jazz legends and rising artists, both on the Yale campus and in the city’s public schools. Kingman Brewster, then the president of Yale, presented the first Ellington medals to 30 jazz greats, including the Duke himself. Since then, a series of extraordinary jazz concerts has featured such luminaries as Eubie Blake, Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Odetta, Joe Williams, Art Blakey, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Greer, Jo Jones, Max Roach, Ray Brown, Charles Mingus, and Dizzy Gillespie, to name just a few. The program’s founder and director, Willie Ruff, has been a member of the YSM faculty since 1971. The 40th anniversary season of the Ellington Fellowship opened this fall with concerts by the Mingus Big Band and the Lou Donaldson Quartet.

Piano students perform in China

Seven piano students travel to Shanghai and Xiamen this November to perform piano sonatas of Sergei Prokofiev. The performances follow the publication of a new performance edition of the sonatas, edited by faculty member Boris Berman and released by Shanghai Music Publishing House in 2011. The students—Melody Quah ’13ArtA, Euntaek Kim ’13ArtA, Larry Weng ’14MusAM, Esther Park ’13MusAM, Scott MacIsaac ’14CMus, and Henry Kramer ’13ArtA—will join with two students from the Shanghai Conservatory to play all nine of Prokofiev’s sonatas. There will be two concerts in Shanghai, on November 20 and 21, and two in Xiamen, on November 23 and 24.


School of Nursing
Margaret Grey, Dean

Students begin DNP program

With the start of the semester, YSN welcomed its first students in the new doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program. Fourteen students from around the world are part of this inaugural class, bringing a myriad of backgrounds, experiences, and accomplishments to this hybrid program (intensive on-campus and online sessions). This class includes the only practicing nurse practitioner in all of Israel, the lifetime chief of the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut, and a veteran of years of serving the very poor with Mother Teresa in the Sishu Bawan (orphanage) and Home for the Dying.

The DNP is a post-master’s program targeting nurses with a master’s degree in nursing or other closely related fields. The program is intended for mid-career nurses who seek to advance in the practice of nursing through leadership, management, and participation in interdisciplinary policy and politics. For more information on the DNP program at Yale and the new class of students, please visit nursing.yale.edu/dnp.

Grant will fund diabetes research

Dean Margaret Grey and YSM professor Stuart Weinzimer are the codirectors of a recently awarded grant funded through the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) to support multidisciplinary research training in the behavioral aspects of type 1 diabetes. YSN is the only nursing school to be granted this one-time-only award, which will support a pre-PhD student and two postdoctoral fellows. The program will bring together scientists from nursing, medicine, and the behavioral sciences who will work with programs such as Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center, the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, and NIDDK-sponsored study groups.

Alumna receives national award

Amy Romano ’04MSN, a certified nurse-midwife from Milford, Connecticut, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Kitty Ernst Award by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). The award was presented at the 57th annual meeting and exposition of the ACNM in Long Beach, California. Romano is best known as a talented writer who has helped translate the value of midwifery care to the public via social media, particularly with her work on Lamaze International’s award-winning blog, Science and Sensibility. 


School of Public Health
Paul D. Cleary, Dean

Health and social networks

To better understand the relationship between social networks and health, researchers at the School of Public Health are turning to modern technology—in the form of smartphones—to monitor the flow of information among dozens of people and discover how this influences health outcomes such as substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases.

The study will focus on existing social networks in three New Haven neighborhoods—consisting of a total of 120 men ranging in age from 18 to 25 years old—and follow their cell phone activity over a period of several months. Each participant’s physical location will be tracked through global positioning, and a computer program that interfaces with the phones will register all incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

Fieldwork for state educators

Ten Connecticut middle- and high-school science teachers slogged through area woodlands and wetlands earlier this year in search of tiny quarry: mosquito larvae. The educators were part of a weeklong summer institute studying insect-borne diseases that are expanding into the United States, including dengue fever, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis, and how their ranges are being affected by climate variables, particularly temperature and precipitation. Drawing upon their experiences in the field and the lab, the teachers are now collaborating on the development of a science curriculum that immerses students in the dynamics of disease transmission and generates interest in the biological sciences. The program, led by YSPH senior research scientist Leonard E. Munstermann, is funded by a five-year National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award.

Low birth weight, discrimination linked

New research from the Yale School of Public Health finds that chronic, everyday instances of discrimination against pregnant, urban women of color may play a significant role in contributing to babies with low birth weight. Twice as many black women give birth to low birth weight babies than white or Latina women in the United States. While the reasons for this disparity remain unclear, initial evidence suggests a link may exist between discrimination experienced while pregnant and the incidence of low birth weight. In addition, experiences of discrimination have also been linked to depression, which causes physiological changes that can have a negative effect on a pregnancy.




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.

This supplement is underwritten by the university and is not produced by the magazine staff but provided by the schools.


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