School Notes

School Notes

A supplement to the Yale Alumni Magazine from the fourteen schools of Yale.

School of Architecture
Robert A. M. Stern, Dean

Dean awarded highest honor for traditional architecture

Dean Robert A. M. Stern ’65MArch, whose designs have been credited with revitalizing traditional architecture, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture. He will be honored on March 26 at a ceremony in Chicago. Established in 2003 through the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, the Driehaus Prize honors the best practitioners of traditional, classical, and sustainable architecture and urbanism in the modern world. It is the most significant award honoring classicism in the contemporary built environment and comes with a $200,000 prize, which the dean will donate to Yale.

Dean Stern is founder and senior partner of Robert A. M. Stern Architects, whose completed projects include the Greenberg Conference Center at Yale, the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, and the residential tower at 15 Central Park West in Manhattan. Current projects include the design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and two new undergraduate residential colleges in the neo-Gothic style for Yale. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Dean Stern received the AIA New York chapter’s Medal of Honor in 1984 and the chapter’s President’s Award in 2001. Among his other honors are the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal from the Municipal Art Society of New York in 2009 and the Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum in 2008.

Yale acquires Gwathmey archives

The archives of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects have been donated to Yale by Bette-Ann Gwathmey, widow of the firm’s founding partner, Charles Gwathmey ’62MArch, who died in 2009. The donated materials include architectural drawings, photographs, sketches, and correspondence from about 175 projects. The collection will reside in Sterling Memorial Library’s Department of Manuscripts and Archives. Among the projects documented is the award-winning Yale Arts Complex, which includes the renovations to Paul Rudolph Hall and the designs for the Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art and the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library. Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, founded by Gwathmey and Robert Siegel in New York in 1968, has designed a wide range of built residential, commercial, and institutional projects, including libraries, hospitals, hotels, museums, apartments, and office buildings.

Distinguished lectures

Thomas Y. Levin, professor of German at Princeton University and an authority on the philosophy and politics of surveillance,
will present the David W. Roth and Robert H. Symonds Memorial Lecture on March 24.
His talk, “Topographies of Elusion,”
is the keynote address for the student-organized symposium “Fugitive Geographies,” which takes place March 24 and 25. Later this spring, adman Peter Arnell will deliver the Eero Saarinen Lecture, titled “Creating Desire and Appeal in the Age of Branding” (March 28); Peter Eisenman, the
Charles Gwathmey Professor in Practice, will present “Wither Architecture: Architecture vs. Design” (April 7); and John Patkau, the Lord Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor in Architecture, will speak on “Buildings/Projects/Competitions: 2009–2011” (April 14). All lectures are open to the public.


School of Art
Robert Storr, Dean

Faculty member tours India

Just as tenured faculty are allowed a sabbatical at regular intervals, adjunct professors are usually granted a semester off every six years to enrich their profession and recharge. Associate dean Samuel Messer ’81MFA is on a triennial leave this semester with his wife, writer Eleanor Gaver. They are touring India from Mumbai to Jaipur to Pushkar, and will continue on to Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar. From across the world Messer is creating drawings on his iPad of the sights he encounters and then sending them back to the school, where they are being printed and posted on his office walls as a travelogue. Messer is also taking short video clips along the way, and some of these are posted on his faculty web page, Messer, director of the art division of the Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art, will return to campus in time to lead that program.


Yale College
Mary E. Miller, Dean

Alumnus shares the saving power of laughter

At a November presentation and conversation, Yale College students listened intently as Jamie Lachman ’98 described his journey from frustrated physical-theater artist to founder of Clowns Without Borders South Africa, an artist-led humanitarian organization that uses a light-hearted touch—laughter and play—to help children cope with trauma while teaching them crucial information about public health.

During his visit to New Haven, Lachman also conducted a theater workshop to share some of the intervention techniques he employs in communities affected by conflict and HIV/AIDS. The events were organized by Yale Undergraduate Students for UNICEF, with direction from Professor Kaveh Khoshnood ’89MPH; Lachman’s visit was sponsored by the Traphagen Alumni Speakers Series Fund, which connects alumni with current students to share their post-Yale paths and experiences. Information about the Traphagen series can be found at

College renovation strengthens residential college community

After a year and a half of construction, the Morse College community celebrated the college’s renovation with a rededication ceremony in November. During the event, students, fellows, alumni, faculty, and staff enjoyed tours of the renewed space, special musical performances reflecting the spirit and character of Morse, and remarks from Morse master Frank Keil, President Richard C. Levin, and others. Designed to preserve Eero Saarinen’s original architectural design, the renovation—featuring a crescent courtyard and cascading water feature affectionately dubbed the “Morse Beach” by students—offers Morse residents inviting spaces to study, relax, and socialize. As the 11th of the 12 residential colleges to be renovated as part of a comprehensive plan begun in 1996, Morse will be joined next year by its neighbor, Ezra Stiles, where refurbishment currently is under way.

In seminar, freshmen piece together visual clues to the past

Participants in the fall-semester course Studies in Visual Biography, the first Yale College freshman seminar offered by the art department, learned firsthand that research is about “looking at real, tangible objects and artifacts of all kinds,” as teacher Jessica Helfand ’82, ’89MFA, describes it. Thanks to access to items in Yale’s rich collections—from Gertrude Stein’s personal photographs and journals housed in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to videos in the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies—the students had no shortage of resources to explore. Now in its fifth year, the Freshman Seminar program offers a diverse array of interdisciplinary courses and connects first-year students with Yale faculty across a wide range of disciplines—including Helfand, a talented and award-winning graphic designer, lecturer in art, and author. For further information on the program, visit


Divinity School
Harold W. Attridge, Dean

Endowed chair will celebrate religion-environment nexus

A future joint faculty chair at the Divinity School/Berkeley Divinity School and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies promises to substantially enhance the interdisciplinary study of theology and the environment that has taken hold at Yale in recent years. The Porter Chair will honor H. Boone Porter ’45, ’96MES, and his wife, Violet M. Porter, and is funded by a gift pledge of $3 million from the Porters’ children through the Porter Foundation. Boone Porter, who died in 1999, was a scholar, priest, writer, and environmentalist. He also received degrees from Berkeley Divinity School, the Episcopal Church affiliate at YDS. Mary Evelyn Tucker, a leading ecotheologian with joint appointments at Yale in Divinity and Forestry, said, “The field of religion and ecology is growing at a rapid rate. The Porter Chair is a sign of this growth and will be the first such chair in the United States. It is an historic moment and a great contribution, not only to Yale Divinity School but to seminary education across the country and beyond.”

Professor to deliver prestigious Gifford Lectures

YDS theologian Kathryn Tanner ’79, ’85PhD, will join the ranks of those who have given the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland—including such luminaries as Hannah Arendt, A. J. Ayer, Jürgen Moltmann, and Albert Schweitzer—when she delivers her lectures in 2015–16. The Gifford Lectures began in 1888 and, with the exception of 1942–1945, have been delivered continuously since that time. Tanner’s research focuses on how Christian thought might be brought to bear on contemporary issues of theological concern using social, cultural, and feminist theory. In December Tanner was named the Frederick Marquand Professor of Systematic Theology.

Renewal and reflection in 2011

In 2011 Noelle York-Simmons ’03MDiv will be visiting Episcopal churches across the country—she herself is a priest at All Saints’ Episcopal in Atlanta—photographing people’s hands taking the Eucharist and interviewing them about how their hands become the hands of Christ as they go out into the world. Ruth (Mori) Douglas Merriam ’81MDiv of the Church on the Cape (United Methodist) in Kennebunkport, Maine, will travel to theologian John Wesley’s home in England and then to Antarctica, where she will board a National Geographic vessel to explore the frozen world of explorer Ernest Shackleton. Merriam wants to examine how, in facing formidable obstacles, both Wesley and Shackleton were able to inspire their followers. These two latter-day pilgrims are among nine YDS graduates serving congregations in the 2010 class of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Clergy Renewal Program. Under the program, Christian congregations receive grants of up to $50,000 to support extended periods of intentional reflection and renewal for ministers, individually tailored by each congregation.


School of Drama
James Bundy, Dean

Actor/alumnus delivers Mack lecture

Tony Award–winning actor and Yale School of Drama alumnus Liev Schreiber ’92MFA returned to Yale in January to give the Elizabethan Club’s 20th annual Maynard Mack Lecture. The event, moderated by James Bundy ’95MFA, dean of the School of Drama and artistic director of Yale Repertory Theatre, was co-sponsored by the School of Drama.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Elizabethan Club is a private club that maintains a library and serves as a meeting place for conversation and discussion relating to literature and the arts. The club administers the annual Maynard Mack Lecture, which features a distinguished theater practitioner to speak on a topic of his or her choice. The lectureship honors the late Maynard Mack, Sterling Professor of English at Yale, chair of the department, and eminent scholar and critic of Shakespeare, Pope, and other literary figures.

Schreiber’s Broadway credits include the recent production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, Talk Radio, Glengarry Glen Ross (for which he received the Tony Award), andBetrayal. His numerous film and television credits include Salt,Every Day, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Sum of All Fears.

August Wilson’s Piano Lesson returns to Yale Rep

August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play The Piano Lessonreturned to Yale Repertory Theatre this winter in a new production directed by Liesl Tommy, whose production ofEclipsed by Danai Gurira was named Outstanding Production of a Play by the Connecticut Critics Circle in 2010.

The Piano Lesson had its world premiere at Yale Rep in 1987, directed by Lloyd Richards, who was the artistic director of Yale Rep and dean of the School of Drama at the time. It was one of six plays in Wilson’s epic cycle of plays—which chronicle the African American experience in the twentieth century, decade by decade—to have its debut at Yale. The final play, Radio Golf,debuted in the spring of 2005, just months before Wilson’s death.

The new production of The Piano Lesson featured actors who had appeared in the original productions of the cycle plays as well as artists for whom this was the first Wilson show. LeRoy McClain ’04MFA played Boy Willie, who wants to sell the eponymous piano in order to buy the Mississippi land that his ancestors had once worked as slaves. Actress and Pulitzer Prize–nominated playwright Eisa Davis played his sister Berniece, and also composed original music and served as music director. The physical production featured sets by DeDe Ayite ’11MFA, costumes by Jennifer Salim ’11MFA, lighting by Juhnhoon Pi ’11MFA, and sound by Alan C. Edwards ’11MFA.


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

BME and EnvE rank high nationwide

Last September, the National Research Council (NRC) released its newest assessment of research doctorate programs in the United States. The 2010 report followed the widely cited 1982 and 1995 NRC rankings, which were designed to help universities improve the quality of their programs through benchmarking and to provide prospective students with accessible information on doctoral programs nationwide. While Yale Engineering’s rankings were strong overall, biomedical engineering and environmental engineering—the school’s newest departments—ranked in the top 10.

Unlike earlier NRC rankings, the 2010 report provides a series of ranges for two ranking methodologies—survey-based rankings (S rankings) and regression-based rankings (R rankings), also considered reputation-based rankings, for each program. Each ranking method is based on 20 characteristics—falling into the categories of research activity, student support and outcomes, and diversity—determined as factors that contribute most to program quality. While the methodologies are complex and interpretation is far from straightforward, in the simplest terms, the S rankings are based on the importance faculty in each field assigned to the 20 characteristics, while the R rankings are based indirectly on surveys of faculty members’ opinions of specific programs in their field. The R ranking reflects the discrepancies between what characteristics faculty members identified as important (basis for S rankings) and what characteristics they actually give weight to (perhaps unconsciously) when ranking a program. The NRC regards each method as equally valid and, in general, good agreement is found between the two methods. Discrepancies do exist, however, as is evident with Yale’s environmental engineering program, which received an R ranking of 23–91 and S ranking of 1–2, which correlates with its top rank (#1) for research activity.

Perhaps most notable for Yale Engineering in the 2010 report was biomedical engineering’s S ranking of 2–11 and R ranking of 8–20. Not only does this place Yale’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) near the top, but near the top based on its standing in 2005–06 when the data was collected, only seven years after Yale began to offer BME as a degree program and two years after BME became a department. All in all, the rankings are in line with the school’s newly implemented strategic vision, which has raised the status of environmental engineering from program to department and continues to strengthen BME with new faculty hires.


School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Peter Crane, Dean

Addressing the impact of climate change

NBC News, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, Discover magazine, and Yale, held a town hall event on “The Changing Planet: The Impact on Lives and Values” at Kroon Hall in January. Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw moderated a panel discussion on climate change’s impact on economic opportunity and competitiveness, human health, youth, and moral and religious values. The panelists were Rajendra Pachauri, director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute; Katharine Hayhoe, research associate professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas Tech University; Billy Parish, cofounder and president of Solar Mosaic; and Linda Fisher, vice president of safety, health, and environment and chief sustainability officer at DuPont. The audience was surveyed on their attitudes toward climate change by a team led by Tony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

Singaporean, Yale scholars discuss urban development

For the first time in history, more people are living in urban areas than anywhere else. By 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to nearly double to 6.3 billion. This epochal shift in where people live presents significant challenges to the way urban societies are designed and for how natural resources are managed. Dense cities are plagued by air and water pollution, traffic congestion, heat islands, social problems related to overcrowding, inadequate open spaces, and a concentration of public health problems.

Scholars from Yale University and the National University of Singapore (NUS) recently discussed the implications of high-density urban development on environmental sustainability in panel discussions on “Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainability Through High-Density Urban Development” that took place simultaneously at NUS and Yale’s Kroon Hall. NUS School of Design and Environment professors presented new research on high-density development and its effects on a host of issues related to transportation, public spaces, and pollution. Marian Chertow ’81MPPM, ’00PhD, associate professor of industrial environmental management at the environment school, moderated the Yale panel, which included university planner Laura Cruickshank, who is responsible for directing campus planning and the architectural design of capital projects on the central campus; Alan Plattus ’76, professor of architecture and urbanism at the Yale University School of Architecture who also directs the school’s China Studio; and Colleen Murphy-Dunning, director of both the Hixon Center for Urban Ecology and the Urban Resources Initiative at F&ES. At NUS, Karen Seto, associate professor in the urban environment at F&ES, moderated a simultaneous discussion that included distinguished faculty from that university.

College hoops results mirror nature

A college basketball team’s wins and losses bear a remarkable similarity to life and death in the wild, according to environment school researchers in the journal PloS ONE. The researchers treated teams as species and analyzed the win-loss records of the 327 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams from 2004 to 2008 (approximately 20,000 games). They concluded that few teams win a lot of games and most win a few; and similarly, from tropical forests to river floodplains, few species dominate and most species are scarce. The researchers hope that their analysis will deepen understanding of what is happening in natural communities and what society needs to know for managing biodiversity. The paper, “Universal ecological patterns in college basketball communities,” was submitted by F&ES professors Mark Bradford, Oswald Schmitz, and David Skelly and postdoctoral associate Robert Warren.


Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Jon Butler, Dean

Graduate School expands Associates in Teaching program

The Associates in Teaching (AT) program, launched this fall to give advanced PhD students an in-depth, creative teaching experience, will grow in 2011–2012, Dean Thomas Pollard has announced. Associates in Teaching work with a cooperating faculty member to conceptualize a new undergraduate course or redesign, plan, and deliver an existing one. ATs play significant roles in both planning and teaching a course.

During the 2011–2012 academic year, the Graduate School will fund at least 12 new courses for ATs, divided equally among the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Each department was encouraged to propose one applicant, and nominations were due March 1. Successful applicants will be notified during the first week in April.

Doctoral student teaches at UN climate change conference

A delegation of Yale students, staff, and faculty took part in the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP16) in late 2010 in Cancun, Mexico. One member of the group was second-year doctoral student Kristin Pene (FES). Motivated by a strong interest in environmental education, she partnered with the international art organization, “ARTPORT making waves,” to teach local children about the vulnerability of island nations to climate change–induced sea level rise.

During the conference Pene presented a curriculum unit she had created to over 100 students at the International American School of Cancun. She coordinated her educational programming with ARTPORT making waves’s La Isla Hundida (the Drowned Island) project, which aimed to heighten children’s understanding of environmental challenges. After teaching about how thermal expansion and deglaciation are driving the rise in sea level, she helped students craft miniature paper islands which they then sank in clear water containers to symbolize—and vividly demonstrate—the threat of rising sea levels.

Kristin attended COP16 as both a Yale Climate and Energy Institute Fellow and a member of the UN Diplomacy Practicum, working as NGO liaison for the Republic of Maldives.

Alumna named Professor of the Year

Frances Pilch ’71PhD (international relations), professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado and division chief for international relations and national security studies, was named Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Pilch was chosen from more than 300 outstanding educators who were nominated for the honor. A native of West Point, New York, she earned her bachelor’s in political science at the University of Connecticut and her graduate degrees from Yale. She has taught at the academy since 1998 and currently serves as deputy head of the political science department. Her most recent book is Space and Defense Policy (Routledge 2009), coedited with Damon Coletta.


Law School
Robert Post, Dean

CED Clinic helping to find solutions to the national foreclosure crisis

Yale Law School lecturer Robin Golden ’79, ’98JD, codirector of the school’s Ludwig Community and Economic Development Clinic (CED), and clinic student Caroline Novogrod ’12JD recently played key roles in a major collaborative study commissioned to identify the most effective and feasible strategies to address the nation’s mortgage foreclosure crisis and resulting economic distress in communities of color. The six-month study, in which experts from the private and public sectors participated, was organized by the Opportunity Funding Corporation. The resulting Economic Stabilization White Paper was written by Novogrod and former CED student John Rooney ’10MBA and formally presented to members of Congress, the Obama administration, and regulatory agencies on November 30. It advanced ten proposals to stem the foreclosure crisis, create jobs, and begin rebuilding wealth in distressed communities. Congressman Lacy Clay of Missouri thanked the project team for the white paper, describing it as “chock-full of guidance” for Congress; Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland said, “This is the blueprint. Every single one of those recommendations is very, very important.”

Law School mourns the death of professor and librarian emeritus

YLS Professor Emeritus and Librarian Emeritus Morris L. Cohen, who directed several of the world’s most esteemed academic law libraries, passed away December 18 at age 83. Cohen was one of the towering figures of late twentieth-century law libraries and among the foremost legal bibliographers in the United States, as well as a beloved teacher and mentor. He was a professor of law and director of the law library at Yale Law School from 1981 until his retirement in 1991, when he became professor emeritus of law and professorial lecturer in law. Before joining Yale, he served as director of the law libraries at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and SUNY-Buffalo. “Morris was admired throughout the entire community of legal education,” said Yale Law School dean Robert Post ’77JD. “We share with many others a great loss to the world of legal scholarship.”

Law faculty honored

Yale Law professor Judith Resnik has been named a recipient of the 2010 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award. The award recognizes current and former higher education faculty members, mainly in the fields of psychology, medicine, and law, who have inspired their students to make a difference in the community. Resnik was also recently honored by Choicemagazine for her book, Migrations and Mobilities (2009, co-edited with Seyla Benhabib ’77PhD), which Choice named one of the Outstanding Academic Titles of 2010.

Yale Law professors John Langbein and Heather Gerken and visiting lecturer Mark Kravitz were honored for outstanding legal writing by the Green Bag, a quarterly journal dedicated to good writing about the law. Langbein was recognized for his book, History of the Common Law: The Development of Anglo-American Legal Institutions, written with Renee L. Lerner and Bruce P. Smith. Gerken was cited for her February 2, 2010, “Testimony Submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration”; and Kravitz for his article, “Written and Oral Persuasion in the United States Courts: A District Judge’s Perspective on Their History, Function, and Future.”


School of Management
Sharon Oster, Dean

Yale SOM receives largest gift in school history

Construction on the new SOM campus will proceed as planned, thanks to a $50 million gift—the largest gift in the school’s history. Edward P. (Ned) Evans ’64, who passed away on December 31, made the gift pledge just weeks before he died. A private investor before his death, Evans was the chair and CEO of publishing house Macmillan Inc. from 1979 to 1989. He made a significant gift in 1991 to support the renovation and expansion of the Yale University Press building, which was recognized with the naming of the Evans Wing. He has also contributed generously to the renovation of the residential colleges. This new gift to the university will be recognized with the naming of the new SOM facility as Edward P. Evans Hall. (For a Yale Alumni Magazine report on this story, see page 15.)

Two faculty members win research award

Judith Chevalier, William S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics, and Dina Mayzlin, associate professor of marketing, received the 2011 William F. O’Dell Award for their study “The Effect of Word of Mouth on Sales: Online Book Reviews.” The 2011 O’Dell Award honors the Journal of Marketing Researcharticle published in 2006 “that has made the most significant long-term contribution to marketing theory, methodology, and/or practice.” In the study, Chevalier and Mayzlin examined the effect of consumer reviews on book sales at and the Barnes and Noble website and found that this community content does have an impact on what consumers buy. Read the study at

Yale team presents recommendations on foreclosure crisis

On November 30, a group led by several Yale SOM faculty presented a white paper on Capitol Hill aimed at addressing the ongoing foreclosure crisis and the resulting economic distress in minority communities. The event, attended by members of Congress, Obama administration officials, federal regulators, and business and nonprofit leaders, marked the culmination of work begun when Sharon Pratt, former Washington, DC, mayor and president of the Opportunity Funding Corporation, contacted Constance E. Bagley, professor in the practice of law and management at Yale SOM, about pulling together a group to study the issue.

Over six months, Bagley teamed with faculty and students from SOM and Yale Law School to study the causes and effects of the crisis within African American and Hispanic communities and search for strategies to deal with it. The paper makes ten key recommendations, including strengthening oversight of current programs, reforming bankruptcy laws, and increasing regulation on the origination of mortgages. Read the white paper:


School of Medicine
Robert J. Alpern, Dean

Yale’s picks to beat cancer: a pair of aces

On December 13, the university announced that Joseph Schlessinger, a world-renowned scientist with an unparalleled track record of identifying molecular targets for novel anticancer drugs, was named the first director of the university’s new Cancer Biology Institute, one of five major interdisciplinary research initiatives located on Yale’s West Campus. Just a week before, Thomas J. Lynch Jr. ’82, ’86MD, director of the Yale Cancer Center (YCC), broke the news that YCC has appointed Roy S. Herbst ’84, ’84MS, who has also had a distinguished career in the development of new cancer therapies, as chief of medical oncology at Smilow Cancer Hospital and associate director for translational research. Schlessinger, whose appointment is effective immediately, will retain his positions as chair and William H. Prusoff Professor of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine, dividing his time between the medical campus and West Campus. Herbst comes to Yale in March 2011 from MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston, where he is professor of medicine, chief of the section of thoracic medical oncology, and Barnhart Family Distinguished Professor in Targeted Therapies. This appointment marks his return to Yale, where he received his undergraduate and master’s degrees.

Associate dean wins top honor in medical education

Rosemarie L. Fisher, professor of medicine and pediatrics and associate dean for graduate medical education, has received the Dema Daley Founders Award, the highest honor bestowed on medical educators by the Association of Program Directors of Internal Medicine. The award honors a member of the internal medicine community recognized internationally as an educator, innovator, and leader. Fisher has spent 35 years on the School of Medicine faculty, including 12 as director of graduate medical education at Yale–New Haven Hospital (YNHH)—a role in which she oversees all residency programs—and seven as associate dean. She is the former program director for the Department of Internal Medicine’s residency program.

As a member of the YNHH Nutrition Support Team, Fisher has focused her research on the role of nutritional support such as intravenous feeding in gastrointestinal diseases. She received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1971 and completed a residency in internal medicine at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York City. She completed fellowships in gastroenterology at both the Royal Free Hospital in London and at Yale. Fisher is board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine. In 2006, Fisher was one of two people to win the first Parker J. Palmer Courage to Lead Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, which honors excellence in overseeing residency programs.


School of Music
Robert Blocker, Dean

School makes third round of alumniVentures grants

Dean Robert Blocker has announced the 2010–11 alumniVentures awards, the grants that the Yale School of Music offers to its alumni for projects that follow a single criterion: to advance the cause of music. The largest grant this year went to Kelly Dehnert ’86MusM, to support the only university-level band program in Malawi. Funds will be used to build new practice facilities for the band and provide for instrument repair. Another substantial grant went to Dantes Rameau ’07MusM to support the Atlanta Music Project. The year-round, five-day-a-week, after-school youth orchestra program targets at-risk youth from grades 1 through 12, and is modeled on Venezuela’s El Sistema program. Students are provided with instruments, instruction, classes, and performance opportunities. Sarita Kwok ’05MusAM, ’06ArtA, ’09MusAD, was chair of this year’s alumniVentures selection committee, whose other members were David Kurtz ’80MusM, Richard Lalli ’80MusAM, ’86DMA, Emily Payne Veletzos ’99MusM, and Robert Weirich ’76MusM, ’81DMA.

Yale in New York features early music

Early music has been a part of Yale’s musical life since Paul Hindemith founded the country’s first collegium musicum here in the 1940s. In recent years, it has taken on greater prominence, with more courses in performance practice and the establishment of the Yale Baroque Ensemble. The ensemble is a one-year intensive program of study on baroque strings for graduates of the School of Music. Now the Yale Baroque Ensemble, directed by Robert Mealy, will perform in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as part of the Yale in New York series, on Monday, April 25. The program, called Stylus Fantasticus, will feature avant-garde music from seventeenth-century Italy and Germany, including chamber sonatas in the “stilo moderno” by Dario Castello, Biagio Marini, and G. B. Fontana, along with ensemble sonatas by Antonio Bertali, Johann Schmelzer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, and others.


School of Nursing
Margaret Grey, Dean

Professor’s child safety report leads to increased funding

A report co-authored by YSN associate professor Angela Crowley and Yale School of Medicine researcher Marjorie S. Rosenthal ’95MD has led to increased state funding to strengthen safety measures in Connecticut day-care facilities, specifically to address how medications are administered and assess playground hazards. The 2009 study analyzed 1,400 reports of unannounced inspections of licensed day-care facilities by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). “Many centers were giving medicines but not all centers had providers that were trained and not all medicines were always labeled or locked and out of children’s reach,” Crowley explained. “We also found that only 20 percent of family child-care providers were trained to give medicines.” As a result, the state Department of Social Services (DSS) has allocated $200,000 of stimulus money to hire nurse consultants to conduct a medication-administration training program. The report also found that 48 percent of day-care facilities had hazardous playgrounds. In response, DSS has allocated another $775,000 of stimulus money to hire inspectors and provide grants for safety enhancements.

Professor named editor-in-chief of cardiovascular journal

Nancy Redeker, YSN associate dean of scholarly affairs, has accepted the position of editor-in-chief of Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care. She is the journal’s former associate editor and succeeds Kathleen Stone, who served as editor for more than 15 years. For more than 20 years, Redeker has researched symptoms and quality of life for cardiac patients. Her most recent studies include the consequences of sleep disorders among patients with cardiovascular disorders. Professor Redeker is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Heart Association and the president of the Eastern Nursing Research Society.

Director of development focuses on financial aid

Steve Varley, who was appointed director of development and alumnae/i affairs at YSN last fall, has an extensive background in development and alumni relations. As director, Varley supports the engagement of alumnae/i and friends in the work of advancing YSN. “I don’t want any person who could enroll at YSN, and later become a nurse-leader for the next generation, to be deterred by the cost,” stated Varley. “Financial aid is a huge part of the enrollment equation.”


School of Public Health
Paul D. Cleary, Dean

Model estimates traffic-related air pollution

Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health have developed an accurate, economical, and comparatively easy-to-use method for estimating traffic-related air pollution in Connecticut and beyond. Epidemiologists routinely measure air quality in and around residential areas to determine how pollution levels from automobiles and other sources affect the health of people and contribute to conditions such as childhood asthma. But existing methods have drawbacks that limit their effectiveness.

The exposure model, devised by the Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric, and Environmental Epidemiology, avoids the need for more expensive monitoring efforts. It also relies on readily available public information—such as census numbers, land-use records, and traffic data—as the basis for a model that predicts residential nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels. These statistics and other land-use data, elevation readings, wind speed, and population density are all applied to a mathematical model.

Student presents HPV research to Connecticut’s public health community

Vaccinations for human papillomavirus are an important safeguard for women against cervical cancer. But wide and troubling disparities persists in who receives the potentially lifesaving vaccine. A recent analysis of women in New Haven County by a Yale School of Public Health student and others found inequities in vaccine uptake along racial, ethnic, and economic lines and recommended new strategies to reach women who do not receive the vaccination.

Niti Mehta, an MPH candidate involved in the study, represented the School of Public Health at the Connecticut Public Health Association’s annual meeting and presented the findings to some of the state’s top public health officials and practitioners. The meeting convenes health professionals from community health clinics and agencies, schools of public health, municipalities, and the state for a daylong conference.

Infant antibiotic use may increase risk of childhood asthma

Children who receive antibiotics within the first six months of life are at a significantly increased risk of developing asthma and allergy by 6 years of age, according to a Yale study. The YSPH study followed a large cohort of women and collected data throughout their pregnancies and from their children until their sixth birthday. The researchers found that infants exposed to antibiotics during their first six months of life were up to 52 percent more likely than their peers who did not receive antibiotics to develop childhood asthma and allergies.

While previous studies have also found that antibiotic use may increase the risk of asthma in children, those studies may have been biased because antibiotics are used to treat respiratory tract infections that could themselves be early symptoms of asthma. The Yale study sought to eliminate this bias and concluded that antibiotic use increased risk of childhood asthma even in children not having experienced respiratory tract infections and in children whose asthma is first diagnosed after 3 years of age.

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