Christopher Bartley (MD/PhD, Neurobiology), Doug Chung (Management), Kenise Lyons (Italian), and Jedidah Isler (Astronomy) were inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society at the ninth annual Bouchet Leadership Conference on Diversity in Graduate Education, held at Yale in March. Named for the first African American doctoral recipient in the United States, the Bouchet Society recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in graduate education and the professoriate. Students from several other universities were also named Bouchet Scholars.
Christopher studies the molecular basis of neuro-developmental disorders such as mental retardation and autism. His research focuses on the intersection of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Fragile X Syndrome, the two most common forms of monogenetic autism. Using biochemical, molecular, and behavioral methodologies, he explores the consequences of molecular dysfunction on learning, memory, and behavior.
Doug studies incentive compensation and its impact on worker behavior. In his dissertation, he looks at how incentive-based compensation plans affect the performance of sales agents. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies at Yale, Doug served as a commanding officer in the South Korean Special Warfare command. He completed his undergraduate degree at Korea University and is expected to become a faculty member as an assistant professor at Harvard Business School this coming July. Doug’s dissertation advisor is K. Sudhir, the James L. Frank ’32 Professor of Private Enterprise and Management and director of the China India Consumer Insights (CICI) Program.
In her dissertation, titled “The Art of Writing with Light: Photography and Italian Film 1948-1978,” written under the direction of Millicent Marcus, Kenise demonstrates the relevance of still analog photography to the study of post-World War II Italian cultural production through an analysis of the narrative and reflexive meanings born from the medium’s prominent display in the films of Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Ettore Scola. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park (B.A. Political Science, 2001) and the Catholic University of America (M.A. Italian, 2005), she is the recipient of the George W. Darr Memorial Scholarship, the Thomas Goddard Bergin Fellowship, and a scholarship award from the National Italian American Foundation. Kenise has been a Diversity Fellow in the Graduate School’s Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) for three years.
Jedidah studies the formation and evolution of relativistic jets of plasma that emanate from super massive black holes at the centers of galaxies. She is mostly interested in how matter is fed to the black holes and uses temporally resolved, multi-wavelength data to track the relationship between the jet and its main contributor, the accretion disk. In addition to her research, which is advised by Charles Bailyn and Meg Urry, Jedidah gives talks to encourage underrepresented minorities to consider careers in the physical sciences. She was awarded the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship this year, which will take effect next year. Jedidah has been a Diversity Fellow in the ODEO for two years.
Justin Sider (English) has written an article that will be published in Studies in English Literature. The essay, “‘Farewell farewell farewell’: Ruskin’s Valedictory Gestures,” focuses on Ruskin’s “The Mystery of Life and Its Arts,” a lecture delivered in Dublin in 1868 by the writer at a point in his career when he thought his professional life was over. “He had failed, it seemed, to shape the social and aesthetic life of England,” says Justin. “The lecture was thus supposed to be a valedictory address, but instead it produced one his most important (and neglected) reflections on art and society as well as a powerful re-imagining of his own career.” Justin’s article considers “the rhetoric of leave-taking in Ruskin’s lecture and explains its importance to his conception of artistic labor.”
Although this article won't appear in Justin's dissertation, “it was in exploring the valedictory mode in Ruskin’s writing that I started to see the pervasiveness of the mode in Victorian poetry.” His dissertation, “Valedictory Gestures: The Rhetoric of Authority in Victorian Poetry,” demonstrates how several Victorian poets – Alfred Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, and A.C. Swinburne – used the formal language of farewell to explore ideas of “authorship and authority, genre and poetic utterance.” Justin’s advisers are Linda Peterson, Leslie Brisman, and Stefanie Markovits.
Ryan Christensen (Cell Biology) has published a major paper in the journal Development describing his experimental studies using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. His research, in Daniel Colon-Ramos’s lab, revealed a new molecular mechanism important for nerve cell development, which is in turn important for neural circuit formation during brain development. “The research examined how the C. elegans version of a human gene called PTEN was involved in neuronal development,” he says. “I found that when this gene didn't work, the neuron that I was studying failed to grow correctly. I identified the pathway that this gene was acting in, and after collaborating with a group at Harvard, determined that another element of the pathway had a similar effect in rats.” His findings enabled him to identify a previously undiscovered mechanism controlling the growth of neurons.