School Notes

School Notes

School of Architecture
Robert A. M. Stern, Dean

Architecture students blog about their travels

It’s tradition for architecture students to take a grand tour during the summer months to visit sites that they may only have studied in books. Often these tours are the result of travel fellowships. This summer, four students in their final years at the Yale School of Architecture—recipients of various travel fellowships—wrote travel blogs for the website Archinect.

Marija Brdarski, a native of Serbia, traveled to former Yugoslav republics to investigate the architecture that grew out of social modernism in that region during the 1960s and 1970s. She is a recipient of the 2010 George Nelson Scholarship, along with Emmett Zeifman. Emmett is researching the diverse positions of architecture within Francoist Spain (1939–1975). His plans were to travel throughout the Iberian Peninsula, as well as parts of Italy and London.

Brian Butterfield, the 2010 Takenaka Fellowship recipient, spent this past summer in Japan training with the Takenaka Corporation, Japan’s oldest architecture, engineering, and construction firm, which traces its history back more than 400 years. Mark Talbot, the recipient of the David M. Schwarz Fellowship, traveled to Turkey to investigate the intermingling of cultures—and, consequently, architectures—that has occurred at this crossroads of the Middle East and Europe. TheArchinect travel blogs can be found


School of Art
Robert Storr, Dean

Faculty inducted into design Hall of Fame

Two senior critics at the School of Art, along with a senior faculty fellow from the School of Management, are among the 2010 inductees into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Typographer Matthew Carter joins Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel, partners in the design studio Winterhouse, on the list of ADC Hall of Fame laureates.

Matthew Carter has been a type designer for some 50 years, and has been involved in the design of numerous well-known typefaces, including Snell Roundhand, ITC Galliard, Helvetica Compressed, and Shelley Script. He is a principal of Carter & Cone Type, Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company that produced the typeface Yale, which was designed for use in the university’s print and web publications. He has been a senior critic at Yale since 1976.

Jessica Helfand ’82, ’89MFA, was appointed to the School of Art faculty in 1994 and is currently senior critic in graphic design; she also teaches a freshman art seminar in Yale College. She was a 2010 recipient of the Henry Wolf Residency in graphic design at the American Academy in Rome. Helfand is a partner with William Drenttel in Winterhouse; together they are founding editors of Design Observer, the largest online forum for design criticism and commentary. Drenttel, editorial director of Design Observer and director of the Winterhouse Institute, is a senior fellow at the School of Management.


Yale College
Mary E. Miller, Dean

Student journalists take internships in the field

Eight students received funding from the Yale Journalism Initiative (YJI) this past summer to pursue internships in locations around the country. Established in 2006, YJI prepares Yalies for careers in journalism. Students apply to become Yale Journalism Scholars after completing an advanced seminar in journalism taught by a renowned professional journalist. Past instructors have included Steven Brill ’72, ’75JD, the founder of Court TV and the American Lawyer magazine, and Jill Abramson, managing editor of the New York Times. In addition to the seminar, Yale Journalism Scholars complete a summer internship, write for campus publications, and take additional related courses. Yale Journalism Scholars receive career counseling, attend lectures by visiting journalists, and gain access to a network of Yale alumni in the field. Six other undergraduates received Block Fellowships for summer work at newspapers in Pittsburgh or Toledo. For further information, visit


Yalies give back to the New Haven community

The President’s Public Service Fellowship (PPSF) program awarded fellowships to 36 students for internships in New Haven this summer. President Richard C. Levin founded the PPSF in 1994 to strengthen Yale’s ties to New Haven and encourage students to seek service internships in the community. Each year, participants pursue 8- to 11-week internships that support community priorities: revitalizing the downtown area and neighborhoods, renovating public schools, promoting youth programs, fostering economic development, and more. Students begin the summer with a one-week orientation and submit a final report based on their work. Since the program’s inception, more than 500 Yalies have contributed in excess of 200,000 hours to 50-plus New Haven organizations and city agencies.

This summer, two PPSF participants, Lynda Blancato ’11 and Erica Irving ’11, received fellowship support from the Courture Family Fund, which encourages Yale students to explore careers in early childhood education. Blancato interned at Footebridge, a collaboration between Foote School and the New Haven Public Schools that combines a summer program for kindergartners and first-graders with teacher training in curriculum development, classroom management, and literacy instruction. Irving worked on major projects in school reform in the New Haven Public Schools system. More information on the PPSF program is online at


Students’ summer projects span the globe

This summer, 485 students traveled with help from the International Summer Award (ISA) program, which guarantees that all Yale College students with demonstrated financial need get support to pursue a summer experience abroad. Each year, ISAs enable the global adventures of hundreds of Yalies in programs including Yale Summer Session courses abroad, Yale-in-London, International Bulldogs internships, global science research, and independent projects. Just over one-third of this year’s awards were made possible through donor-endowed funds. France and the United Kingdom, perennial favorite destinations, had 79 and 55 students respectively, while Cambodia, Slovenia, and Syria had one ISA recipient apiece. Yale Summer Session programs ranged from the “Age of Cathedrals” in France to Arabic language in Jordan; International Bulldogs students took internships in Buenos Aires, Beijing, and everywhere in between; and research projects examined bicycling in urban Europe, rainforest management, and molecular biology, just to name a few. The Center for International Experience, which administers the ISA program, is online at


Divinity School
Harold W. Attridge, Dean

Three women newly appointed as senior faculty

Kathryn Tanner ’79, ’85PhD, the Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor of Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School, has been appointed professor of systematic theology, joining two other women newly appointed as senior faculty at YDS effective July 1. A proponent of “constructive theology,” Tanner studies how Christian thought might be brought to bear on contemporary issues of theological concern using social, cultural, and feminist theory. Harold Attridge, the Rev. Henry L. Slack Dean of Yale Divinity School, noted that the hiring of the three women is particularly significant at a time when YDS is formally celebrating eight decades of women on campus. Tanner’s hiring follows the appointments of Mary Clark Moschella, a professor of pastoral theology from Wesley Theological Seminary, and Jennifer Herdt, an ethicist from the University of Notre Dame.


School creates first endowed scholarship for Catholic students

A scholarship in honor of the late Henri Nouwen, who taught at Yale Divinity School for a decade beginning in 1971, has been established through a gift of $300,000 from a university benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. The Henri Nouwen Scholarship will be awarded annually to a deserving YDS student, with preference given to Roman Catholics—the first such scholarship to be created at YDS. For most of the past two decades, Roman Catholics have represented the second-largest denominational grouping at YDS, after Episcopalians.


YDS commitment to inclusivity put in writing

Yale Divinity School has adopted an “inclusivity statement” that formally articulates the school’s intention to embrace “a wide range of Christian traditions” and to welcome “people of various religious and nonreligious traditions.” The statement, which is included in the 2010–11 YDS Bulletin, grew out of the school’s participation in a study sponsored by the Westport, Connecticut–based Religious Institute. “We celebrate the fullness of race and color; denominational, political, theological, and cultural difference; the range of expressions of sexual and gender identity; and the varied voices that come with age, life experience, national and community service, and socioeconomic status,” the statement says.  “In ecumenical conversation and in the space created that crosses traditionally entrenched positions, profound educational value is gained and diverse perspectives are presented.” The statement concludes, “We value the worth and dignity of every member of the Divinity School community, as we build an environment where inclusivity and diversity are central and consistently affirmed.”


Women’s reunion

A number of special events are planned for Convocation and Reunions 2010 in October, aimed at celebrating the contributions of women to life on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle—Honoring the Past, Challenging the Future: Celebrating Eight Decades of Women at Yale Divinity School. Among the activities will be an opening event with Professor Emerita Margaret Farley, a panel about YDS women, special worship services, a community meal, and a musical presentation hosted by the Institute of Sacred Music.


School of Drama
James Bundy, Dean

Grants support Center for New Theatre

Yale Repertory Theatre has received $950,000 from the Robina Foundation and $1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the activities of the Yale Center for New Theatre, an integrated, artist-driven initiative to support the creation of new plays and musicals for the American stage through residencies, readings, workshops, and full productions. The Yale Center for New Theatre also facilitates playwrights’ and composers’ residencies as lecturers at the School of Drama.

The center was established in 2008 through a gift from the Robina Foundation. To date, the center has supported the work of more than two dozen commissioned artists, including Adam Bock and Todd Almond, authors of the musical We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which will have its world premiere at Yale Rep in September. Other Yale Rep world premieres supported by the center include Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground (2009), adapted by Bill Camp and Robert Woodruff; the musical POP! (2009) by Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K. Jacobs; Rinne Groff’s play Compulsion (2010), a co-production with the Public Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre; as well as Bossa Nova by Kirsten Greenidge later this season.

Additionally, the center administers a production fund as support to other not-for-profit theatres producing world premiere, second, or third productions of plays commissioned by Yale. Productions supported to date include On the Levee by Marcus Gardley, Todd Almond, and Lear deBessonet, which premiered at Lincoln Center Theater’s LCT3 in July; and Notes from Underground,  which will be seen at both California’s La Jolla Playhouse and New York’s Theatre for a New Audience in association with Baryshnikov Arts Center this fall.


Student receives Princess Grace Award

Charlotte Brathwaite ’11MFA, a student in the directing department at Yale School of Drama, has been named a recipient of the 2010 Princess Grace Award. Administered by the Princess Grace Foundation–USA, the awards for theater, dance and choreography, and film continue the legacy of Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco, who anonymously helped emerging artists pursue their artistic goals during her lifetime. The award winners exemplify both classical and experimental artistic disciplines and, while still considered emerging talent, already show exceptional promise in their areas of expertise. The foundation’s support assists their theater and dance studies, helps pay their artistic fees at nonprofit theater and dance companies, and helps support their thesis film projects. The awards will be distributed at a black-tie gala in New York in November.


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

Scientists create 3-D models of whole intact mouse organs

Combining an imaging technique called multiphoton microscopy with “optical clearing,” Yale researchers are the first to create 3-D images of whole intact mouse organs, including the brain. With traditional microscopy, researchers are only able to image tissues up to depths of about three times the thickness of a human hair. In that process, tissue samples are cut into thin slices, stained with dyes to highlight different structures and cell types, individually imaged, then stacked back together to create 3-D models. By contrast, the Yale team was able to avoid slicing or staining the organs by relying on natural fluorescence generated from the tissue itself.

“The intrinsic fluorescence is just as effective as conventional staining techniques,” said Michael Levene, associate professor of biomedical engineering. “It’s like creating a virtual 3-D biopsy that can be manipulated at will. And you have the added benefit that the tissue remains intact even after it’s been imaged.” He added, “The range of applications of this technique is immense, including everything from improved evaluation of patient tissue biopsies to fundamental studies of how the brain is wired.”


Engineering lungs

A team of Yale researchers, led by professor of anesthesiology and biomedical engineering Laura Niklason, has successfully engineered partly functioning rat lungs. As reported in the journal Science, the process involved stripping down the lungs of a dead adult rat to its basic infrastructure—airways, vascular system, and matrix—then repopulating it with lab-grown cells. Within days, cells that had repopulated the matrix formed the highly complex branching structure typical of a lung. More significantly, when transplanted into live rats, the engineered organ successfully exchanged oxygen and carbon dioxide, just as lungs do. While it will be a long time before this work can be translated to human studies, it is another remarkable success for the field of regenerative medicine.


Colors of butterfly wings yield clues to light-altering structures

The multidisciplinary team that showed the brilliant blues of some bird feathers was a result of light scattering off of tiny nanostructures has now reported on three-dimensional curving structures, called gyroids, that give butterflies their vivid colors. The Yale team investigated how a cell could sculpt itself into the extraordinary crystal nanostructure form, which resembles a network of three-bladed boomerangs.

Photonic engineers are using gyroid shapes to try to create more efficient solar cells and, by mimicking nature, may be able to produce more efficient optical devices as well, said biology professor Richard Prum, who led the Yale team, which included engineering professors Chinedum Osuji and Eric Dufresne ’96. (For a photo illustration of a network of gyroids, see “Local Color.”)


School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Peter Crane, Dean

Professor questions health of “green buildings”

Standards used to certify buildings as environmentally friendly are insufficient to protect human health, according to a report authored by John Wargo ’81For, ’84PhD, professor of risk analysis and environmental policy at the environment school. Wargo, in the report funded by the nonprofit Environment and Human Health Inc. (EHHI), said that although the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program has been effective in encouraging energy efficiency, well-insulated buildings often concentrate chemicals released from building materials, cleaning supplies, fuel combustion, pesticides, and other hazardous substances.

“The underlying problem is that thousands of different chemicals, many of them well recognized to be hazardous, are allowed by the federal government to become components of building materials. Very few of these chemicals have been tested for their toxicity, environmental fate, or the danger they pose to human health,” he said. “Although the primary stated purposes of the Green Building Council are to promote both energy efficiency and human health, even the council’s most prestigious platinum award does little to ensure that hazardous chemicals are kept out of certified buildings.”


Three students awarded Switzer fellowships

Three environment school students, Stephen Blackmer, Kyra Busch, and Michelle Lewis, were among 21 environmental scholars selected as Switzer Environmental Fellows by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. They have been awarded $15,000 toward the completion of their degrees. The Switzer Fellowship is one of the nation’s most prestigious academic awards for environmental leaders.

Steve Blackmer has spent over 25 years in forest conservation and forest-based community development. He is interested in the role of religion in social change movements, how faith communities can broaden and renew the environmental movement, and how the environmental movement can deepen itself by renewing its own sense of the Earth as sacred. He is pursuing a joint master’s degree in religion and environmental management.

Kyra Busch focuses on environmental justice, community development, and sustainable food systems. This summer her research has taken her to Panama, where she is learning about successful models of bicultural and place-based education and the connections between food sovereignty and the transfer of environmental knowledge. In New Haven, she is developing a farm-based education curriculum and training environmental educators in her role as the public schools program coordinator for the Yale Sustainable Food Project.

Michelle Lewis is pursuing a joint master’s degree with the Divinity School. She is concentrating on connecting underserved urban populations, including at-risk youth and juvenile offenders, to the environment through their religions and popular culture. Prior to Yale, Michelle spent 12 years as a U.S. park ranger.


Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Jon Butler, Dean

Newest crop of graduate students arrives on campus

President Richard C. Levin and Dean Thomas Pollard, along with senior administrators and members of the faculty, welcomed the Graduate School’s newest students to Yale with a formal matriculation ceremony in Sprague Hall on August 26.

Admission to this year’s entering class was extraordinarily competitive, with 10,494 hopefuls vying for fewer than 550 places. The new students hail from 41 different countries. Most (318) come from the United States, and the second largest contingent (62) comes from China; 23 students are from Canada; 18 from the U.K.; 15 from India; and 12 from South Korea. They earned their undergraduate degrees at 268 different colleges and universities, including Yale.


Wilbur Cross medalists announced

The Wilbur Cross Medal, the Graduate School’s highest honor, will be awarded on October 5 to four alumni and former dean Jon Butler. The alumni are Stephen Greenblatt ’64, ’69PhD (English), Fred I. Greenstein ’60PhD (political science), Timothy J. Richmond ’75PhD (molecular biophysics and biochemistry), and Paul Wender ’73PhD (chemistry). Each medalist will give a public lecture, meet with current students and faculty, and attend a festive dinner hosted by Dean Thomas Pollard and the Graduate School Alumni Association.

Greenblatt is the Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. One of the world’s leading literary scholar-critics in the “New Historicism,” he is author of 13 books, including Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, which has been translated into many languages. Greenblatt is general editor of The Norton Shakespeare and The Norton Anthology of English Literature, eighth edition, and former president of the Modern Language Association.

Greenstein, professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University, has been a leader in the field of political psychology. His books include Leadership in the Modern Presidencyand the eight-volume Handbook of Political Science (with Nelson W. Polsby). He was president of the International Society for Political Psychology.

Richmond is professor at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Molecular Biology and Biophysics. His research in molecular biology explores the atomic structure of large macromolecular assemblies, using both X-ray crystallographic and biochemical approaches. His many honors include membership in the Academia Europae and the National Academy of Sciences.

Wender is the Francis W. Bergstrom Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and a leader in the field of “Green Chemistry”—environmentally responsible chemistry. He is a preeminent architect of complex molecule assembly, used to produce taxol and other molecules with medical applications. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has also won teaching prizes at Stanford.

Butler, who served as dean of the Graduate School for six years, is the Howard R. Lamar Professor of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies at Yale. He is currently on a one-year leave to work on God in Gotham, a history of religion in Manhattan from the Civil War to the election of John F. Kennedy.


Law School
Robert Post, Dean

Law students win religious freedom case

Students in the Complex Federal Litigation Clinic at Yale Law School successfully represented a Sunni Muslim woman who filed a lawsuit in federal district court challenging routine pat searches by male corrections officers at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, where she is incarcerated. Beverly Forde said the pat search policy violated her rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The case, originally filed in 2004, went to trial last December, and in June, senior U.S. district judge Ellen Bree Burns ruled in favor of Forde, ordering the prison to exempt her from non-emergency pat searches by male officers. On the trial team were Megan Quattlebaum ’10JD, Robbie Silverman ’10JD, Avi Springer ’10JD, and Adrienna Wong ’10JD. They were supervised at trial by clinical professor and supervising attorney Brett Dignam, who directed the clinic, as well as clinical lecturers Sarah Russell ’02JD and Scott Shuchart ’03JD.


Center director named White House Fellow

Jeffrey Prescott ’97JD, deputy director of the China Law Center and senior research scholar and lecturer in law at Yale Law School, has been named a White House Fellow, one of the country’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Jeff is one of 13 individuals named to the 2010–2011 class. He will spend a year working as a full-time, paid fellow to a senior White House staff member or other top-ranking government official. Prescott earned his BA, magna cum laude,from Boston University and his JD from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and served in the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, for which he was awarded the C. LaRue Munson Prize. He will be on leave from Yale Law School during his fellowship year, which began at the end of August.


Expert in regulatory law appointed to named position

George L. Priest ’69 has been named the Edward J. Phelps Professor of Law and Economics at Yale Law School. Professor Priest is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of antitrust and regulation whose research over the past two decades has focused on the determinants of economic growth. He joined Yale Law School in 1981 and is codirector of the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Public Policy, which facilitates the scholarly work of the Yale law and economics faculty and supports student interest and research in the field. In March, Priest was named the Kauffman Distinguished Research Scholar in Law, Economics, and Entrepreneurship, as part of a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Kauffman grant will support Professor Priest’s work reenergizing the field of law and economics by focusing on how legal institutions can promote entrepreneurship and economic growth. Priest earned a BA from Yale and a JD from the University of Chicago.


School of Management
Sharon Oster, Dean

Yale SOM joins healthcare management alliance

Yale SOM has joined the Business School Alliance for Healthcare Management, a collaborative organization committed to improving health care by fostering management education in the health sector. The alliance is focused on raising public awareness of the ways in which its member schools can help bring about solutions to the pressing management and leadership issues in today’s health-care sector through research, service, teaching, and robust health-care management educational offerings. The goals of the alliance correspond closely with the purpose of SOM’s distinctive MBA for Executives: Leadership in Healthcare program, which combines elements of the school’s integrated MBA curriculum with in-depth exploration of the human, economic, political, and technological issues unique to the health-care industry, and draws teaching resources from across Yale’s academic departments and from the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health. For more on the program go to


Professor cited for best article of 2009

The Financial Analysts Journal chose an article coauthored by William Goetzmann, the Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management and director of the International Center for Finance at Yale SOM, for its annual Graham and Dodd Award for Best Article, the journal’s highest honor. In the article, “Estimating Operational Risk for Hedge Funds: The ?-Score,” Goetzmann and his coauthors develop a statistical rating, called the ?-score, to assess the operational performance of hedge funds. The ?-score uses such readily available info-rmation as fund performance, volatility, size, age, and fee structures. The study demonstrates that operational risk is more significant than financial risk in explaining fund failure and that a significant and positive interaction exists between operational risk and financial risk. Goetzmann wrote the article, which appeared in the January/February 2009 issue, with Stephen Brown (New York University), Bing Liang (University of Massachusetts), and Christopher Schwarz (University of California, Irvine). Read the


Students set out to make SOM sustainable

Five SOM students spent the spring coming up with a long-term plan to reduce the school’s consumption of resources and the waste it produces. A grant from the Rocky Mountain Institute to the Yale Office of Sustainability provided the spark, but most of the students in the group had already been thinking of ways for the school to become greener. The students worked first to get an accurate baseline for SOM consumption and waste (which included meeting with ten school departments) and then put together a series of short- and long-term recommendations that they presented to Dean Sharon Oster. They focused on four areas—energy, transportation, procurement, and waste—and their suggestions fit into three broad categories: finding ways to accurately manage and measure intake and waste; aligning incentives so faculty, students, and staff will devise and adapt new ways to conserve; and urging the creation of educational materials to help stakeholders better understand their role in making SOM more sustainable. Read more on this


School of Medicine
Robert J. Alpern, Dean

Innate immunity innovator joins National Academy

In April, Yale immunobiologist Ruslan Medzhitov received one of the highest honors bestowed on American scientists when he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Medzhitov, the David W. Wallace Professor of Immunobiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has pioneered research on the innate immune system, a physiological system that launches first-line defenses against bacteria and viruses. As a doctoral student at Moscow State University, Medzhitov was fascinated by a new theory—put forth by the late School of Medicine immunobiologist Charles A. Janeway Jr.—that the innate immune system provides guidance to the slower but more fine-tuned responses of the adaptive immune system. In 1994, Medzhitov came to Yale as a postdoctoral fellow in Janeway’s laboratory, and the two made the groundbreaking discovery that receptors in the innate immune system, known as Toll-like receptors, indeed provide the adaptive system with the necessary information to create custom-made B and T cells that target specific bacterial or viral invaders. Since then, Toll-like receptors have become the subject of intense research activity in laboratories around the world.


New sort of stem cell is aimed at Parkinson’s

Yale researchers led by Hugh Taylor ’83, professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, have explored the potential of cells from the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease, which degenerates speech and motor function, is a result of the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. In experiments reported online in the April issue of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, transplanted endometrial cells migrated to damaged brain tissue in Parkinson’s mice and differentiated into dopamine-producing brain cells, significantly raising dopamine levels.

“Endometrial tissue is probably the safest, most easily attainable source of stem cells currently available,” Taylor says. “I think this is just the tip of the iceberg for what we will be able to do with these cells.”


Combined glucose monitor and insulin pump helps kids control diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to control blood sugar, is extremely difficult to manage with current methods of self–glucose testing and multiple daily insulin injections, especially for children. Continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pumps have each proven to better control blood sugar in adults, but not necessarily in children.

In a year-long, multi-center trial known as STAR 3, led at the School of Medicine by William V. Tamborlane, professor of pediatrics and chief of the section of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes, sensor-augmented insulin pumps, which combine insulin infusion with continuous glucose monitoring, better controlled blood sugar in type 1 diabetics of all ages. The study, published June 29 in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to show consistent results in children.


School of Music
Robert Blocker, Dean

YSM students perform at the Kennedy Center

The Yale Percussion Group performed on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage on March 1 as part of the “Performing Arts for Everyone” initiative at the center in Washington, DC. The YPG, directed by Robert van Sice, performed music of Thierry de Mey, James Wood, Astor Piazzolla, and Mauricio Kagel. Percussionists Yun-Chu Candy Chiu ’11, John Corkill ’11, Leonardo Gorosito ’11, and Michael Zell ’09MusM, ’10ArtA, were joined by flutist Dariya Nikolenko ’11. View video of the YPG’s performance at

In May, student bassoonist Scott Switzer ’10MusM represented the School of Music in the Conservatory Project Chamber Ensemble’s performance of John Adams’s Chamber Symphony. The National Symphony Orchestra invited a student from each of the 15 Conservatory Project institutions to be a part of John Adams: Perspectives, the Kennedy Center’s residency with the composer. Adams himself conducted the May 17 performance. View video of this concert at


Yale quartets share first prize in competition

The Amphion String Quartet and the Linden String Quartet were jointly awarded first place in the 2010 Hugo Kauder Competition, held at Sprague Hall on June 11. The members of the Amphion String Quartet are three YSM alumni—Katie Hyun ’09ArtA, violin; Mihai Marica ’04CertPF, ’08ArtA, cello; and David Southorn ’09MusM, ’10ArtA, violin—as well as violist Wei-Yang Andy Lin, a DMA candidate at Stony Brook University. The Linden String Quartet is the incoming fellowship quartet-in-residence at the School of Music. The members of the ensemble are Sarah McElravy and Catherine Cosbey, violins; Eric Wong, viola; and Felix Umansky, cello (all ’12ArtA).

The outgoing fellowship quartet-in-residence, the Jasper String Quartet, has moved on to Oberlin Conservatory, where its members (J Freivogel and Sae Niwa, violin; Samuel Quintal, viola; and Rachel Henderson, cello, all ’10ArtA) will perform and coach chamber ensembles. The quartet was also invited by the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts for an unprecedented second year as the Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence.


Morse summer music academy

The Morse Summer Music Academy, a new program to encourage and develop talented young musicians from New Haven public schools, made its debut from July 26 to August 20. Funded by Enid and Lester Morse ’51, the academy provides comprehensive music instruction to accomplished scholar-musicians in grades 6–10, and requires involvement from their parents or guardians. “We are hoping these kids’ musical lives will be changed,” says associate dean Michael Yaffe. “The program is for students who are really talented and committed but who can’t afford to participate in special summer music programs.” With the Music in Schools Initiative in place during the academic year, the summer academy provides year-round activities for these young musicians. The Morses were especially excited about a program that relied on the critical element of parental involvement for its success. “After all,” says Dean Blocker, “the key to the development of a young musician is support at home for what they do.”


School of Nursing
Margaret Grey, Dean

Health videos feature casts from local high schools

A new online obesity prevention program from YSN, to be delivered in New Haven high schools this fall, incorporates video vignettes of teen challenges to healthy eating and physical activity. YSN investigators Dean Margaret Grey and Robin Whittemore have been funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop and test the innovative program.

The casts for the video vignettes were selected from two local arts high schools, Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet and ACES: Educational Center for the Arts. The Yale research team working on the project collaborated with the Department of Interactive Communications at Quinnipiac University on the production.


Yale-Howard Scholars program celebrates tenth year

This summer marked the tenth year of the Josiah Macy’s Yale-Howard Interdisciplinary Health Scholars Program, a partnership that brings together undergraduate students and research mentors in a six-week intensive program at Yale School of Nursing. Seven students from three universities were invited to participate this year in research teams that studied health inequities in various contexts. The students also had the opportunity to shadow clinicians at Yale–New Haven Hospital, gaining experience for future graduate study in nursing, medicine, or public health.

Since its inception in 2000, more than 60 students have benefited from the Yale-Howard program. Many students have published with their faculty mentors, and the majority have gone on to pursue graduate studies. The program is led by Barbara Guthrie, associate professor and associate dean for academic affairs at YSN, and her collaborator, Dr. Forrester Lee, professor of medicine and assistant dean for multicultural affairs at the Yale School of Medicine.


Delivering diabetes prevention close to home

An innovative diabetes prevention program will be delivered in an eastern Connecticut community through a partnership between the School of Nursing and VNA East of Mansfield, Connecticut. The research study will recruit 25 participants in each of four neighborhoods in Willimantic, Connecticut, to take part in the program, in which visiting nurses will provide in-home support to adults at risk for diabetes. The study’s success will be measured by clinical outcomes such as weight loss, blood pressure, and levels of insulin resistance, as well as behavioral changes such as exercise and eating habits. The program is funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


School of Public Health
Paul D. Cleary, Dean

NIH grant funds brain tumor study

A new meningioma study funded by the National Institutes of Health will seek to identify genes associated with meningioma, now the most frequently reported primary intracranial tumor in the United States. Under the leadership of Elizabeth B. Claus ’88PhD, ’94MD, a biostatistics professor and an attending neurosurgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the study will enroll thousands of people in an attempt to pinpoint the genetic origins of the disease. “This is the first effort to perform a genome-wide association study of meningioma,” said Claus. “As these studies require extremely large numbers of persons to achieve statistical power, we will be opening our enrollment to patients beyond our ongoing population-based meningioma studies, allowing us to include meningioma patients worldwide.”

Meningioma tumors afflict thousands of people in just the United States each year. They can cause seizures, loss of vision, or weakness in an arm or leg.


Sweeping changes recommended to nation’s diet

In the face of soaring obesity rates in the United States, a national dietary advisory committee that includes a School of Public Health professor is recommending sweeping changes to the American diet: a reduction in overall calorie consumption, drastically reducing the intake of sodium and added sugars, and shifting diets to more seafood and plant-based foods. Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, a professor at the division of chronic disease epidemiology, is among the 13 national experts who worked for the past two years on the comprehensive evaluation and review of existing federal nutrition guidelines and put forth the proposed changes. If followed, the recommendations could have a significant effect on the health and waistlines of Americans, he said.

The report will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will become the foundation for updated federal guidelines on nutrition, diet, and health. The recommendations also could influence existing food assistance programs such as school lunches and food stamp and industry regulation.


Lyme app developed for iPhones

The popular iPhone now features a Lyme disease “app” that allows users to better protect themselves against the most prevalent insect-borne disease in the United States. Faculty and students at the School of Public Health combined research data with creativity to build the new application. It includes information on the abundance of infected ticks at the location of the user (within the United States) as determined by GPS. If ticks are determined to be present, the user is given a list of precautions to avoid tick bites. A tick identification chart is also provided with life-size photos of black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks) so that each life stage can be determined, since some stages cannot transmit Lyme disease. If the user has been bitten, instructions on how to properly remove a tick are provided along with a narrated video. “This is the first health application for smartphones that could have an immediate impact on a major disease,” said Durland Fish, a professor who oversaw the application’s development.


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