People Notes“Through her tireless efforts, Sharon has improved the lives of hundreds of area residents, both volunteers and homeless alike. Because of her dedication and commitment to principles of active service, she serves as dramatic proof that one person can indeed make all the difference.” Bruce Markot of the Columbus House
shelter for the homeless in New Haven, CT, speaking about the work of Sharon Anderson ’12 M.Div., who on April 13 was honored with The Rising Star Award from The Greater New Haven Association of Volunteer Administrators.  The award recognizes students and young professionals ages 19-30 working to improve their communities through civic engagement.  While an intern at Columbus House, Anderson had a dramatic impact on expanding the organization’s Abraham’s Tent program, which involves church congregations hosting, in rotation, a group of homeless clients for one week.  Anderson also conducted workshops for the Yale Homeless Action Project and served as a driving force behind YDS’s Day of Caring, which resulted in more than 100 students providing services at nonprofit organizations throughout New Haven.  She also administered Columbus House’s successful Day of Caring event by hosting two dozen homeless clients at New Haven’s Church of St. Paul and St. James.  She is a member of First Presbyterian Church of New Haven and is at the beginning stages of the ordination process in the Presbyterian Church (USA).


ElserThe Jefferson Scholars Foundation has announced that Ashleigh Elser ’11 M.A.R. has received a Jefferson Fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. Elser specializes in the Hebrew Bible and modern Jewish and Christian thought. She received the Fellowship after a rigorous selection process for which 34 nominees representing 18 departments at Virginia competed for Jefferson Fellowships in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from Feb. 17 to Feb. 19, 2011. Elser presented research undertaken at Yale Divinity School under Peter S. Hawkins, professor of religion and literature.  Established in 2001, the Jefferson Fellowship is one of the premier graduate fellowships nationwide. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract the highest caliber Ph.D., M.B.A., and J.D. students to the University of Virginia. The Fellowship provides full tuition remittance, health insurance, research funds up to $7,500, and an annual living stipend of $30,000 for five years.  The Jefferson Fellowship rewards not only academic excellence but also promotes graduate students who have outstanding teaching abilities and a commitment to university leadership.

E. Brooks Holifield '68 B.D., '68 M.A., '70 Ph.D., is one of 15 Yale alumni honored in 2011 with election into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Holifield is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of American Church History at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

The Rev. Dale Peterson, associate dean of student affairs at YDS, was installed April 30 as president of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut (ABCCONN) during the 187th Annual Gathering of ABCCONN, held this year at Iglesia Unida El Cavario in New Haven. The service of installation was conducted by the Rev. Erica Wimber Avena ’88 M.Div., ‘’94 S.T.M., and the Annual Gathering Planning Committee included the Rev. Amy Johnson ’99 M.Div.  In the meeting, special recognition was made of the Rev. Willis McCaw ’08 M.Div. as a new pastor this year in ABCCONN, and special recognition was made of the Rev. Nancy Butler ’07 M.Div. and her Hartford church's financial contributions to ABCCONN this year. Also on the program were YDS alumna the Rev. Sonia Gonzalez ’96 M.Div., who is a staff member of ABCCONN, the Rev. J. P. Morgan ’97 S.T.M., the Rev. Joseph Delahunt ’79 M.Div., ’81 S.T.M., the Rev. Michael Wu ‘’81 M.Div., also a staff member of ABCCONN, and the Rev. Katherine Fagerberg ’86 M.Div.  Both Avena and Delahunt are past presidents of ABCCONN.  There are 120 churches in ABCCONN. In addition to Peterson, other American Baptist faculty clergy at YDS are Emilie Townes, Yolanda Smith, and Frederick Streets.

Margaret “Meg” Greer Nosenzo ’03 M.A.R., 71, of Ridgefield, CT, died March 31 after an eight-year battle with cancer.   She was the wife of Michael Nosenzo.  She was an active member of The First Presbyterian Church of Stamford (CT) for nearly 40 years and contributed in different ways over the years, chairing and serving on various committees within the church as well as serving the Presbytery of Southern New York.  A Memorial service was held Monday, April 4, at The First Presbyterian Church of Stamford. Donations can be made to Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, Maple Street, Norwalk, CT 06856.

Christopher Beeley, the Walter H. Gray Associate Professor of Anglican Studies and Patristics at YDS, has been appointed to the editorship of the North American Patristic Society’s Patristic Monograph Series, effective July 1.  He replaces David Hunter, who served as interim director of the Series for several years.

William L. Martin ’73 M.Div. was recently appointed as priest-in-charge at St. Brigid's Episcopal Church in Nazareth, PA. He was ordained in the Diocese of Rhode Island and previously served churches in Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.,0,1203703.story

“I just affected cheerful abandon and utter confidence in the future that I didn’t always feel,’’ Molly Phinney Baskette ’96 M.Div., April 24, 2011,, in an article about her return to the pulpit at First Church Somerville (MA) UCC after a one-year leave of absence to fight a rare form of cancer.

Martin C. Parkins ’86 M.A.R.. 52, of Newton, MA, died April 4. In addition to his M.A.R. from YDS, he held an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, a Masters in Special Education from Hunter College in New York, and was about to complete his studies at the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College in Newton, MA. He was responsible for many innovative and progressive programs in the area of social work. He spent a great deal of time assisting refugees and immigrants, inner city children, troubled teenage boys, Veterans with disabilities, and other neglected and marginalized people within his reach.  A memorial service was held at Boston College on April 28. Donations may be made in his honor to the Penikese Island School, Inc., P.O. Box 161, 565 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543

On April 16, Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church and The Board of Directors of The Conference of Churches in Hartford, CT held a Service of Grace and Gratitude in honor of Shelley Denise Best’s ’00 M.Div. 20 years in ministry and her 10th year as president and CEO of The Conference of Churches.  The service was held in conjunction with the conferring of a Doctor of Ministry degree on Best by Hartford Seminary.