Robin Ladouceur (PhD 2004, Slavic Languages and Literature) joined the Graduate School this fall as an assistant dean. Working with fellow alumnae Associate Dean Pamela Schirmeister (BA 1980; PhD 1988, English) and Assistant Dean Allegra di Bonaventura (JD 2002; PhD 2008, History), she will help administer the academic programs and fellowships in their portfolios and oversee communications activities for the Graduate School. She will also work closely with the Association of Yale Alumni to maintain links between the school and those who have already earned their degrees.
Ladouceur comes to HGS from the Instructional Technology Group (ITG) at Yale where, for the last four years, she was an instructional designer, partnering with faculty to expand the uses of technology in undergraduate courses. She also served as social media and mobile technology expert for ITG and the Collaborative Learning Center at Bass Library.
"We are thrilled to have Dean Ladouceur at the Graduate School,” says Dean Schirmeister. “She brings an outstanding combination of skills and experience, beginning with her personal connection to the school as a recent PhD recipient and continuing with her work in several units of the University that are closely connected to the Graduate School. Her familiarity with social media, mobile technology, and technologically-assisted learning will be wonderful assets.”
Immediately after completing her PhD, Ladouceur was a lector for Russian language and lecturer for Russian literature at Yale, served as a program officer and grant manager at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, and worked at the Center for Language Study as a foreign language resource specialist.
While a graduate student, Ladouceur held grants from both the American Council of Teachers of Russian and the Fulbright Program. Her research interests are early-20th-century Russian theater and literature, second language acquisition, instructional design, and teaching with technology. Her dissertation, advised by Katerina Clark, was titled “Constructing the ‘revolutionary’ Performer: Democracy and Dictatorship in the Theater of V.E. Meyerhold, 1898-1922.” In it, she sought to establish the connections between theater director V.E. Meyerhold’s social identification with Marxist Socialism and the development of his actor training methodology, known as “Biomechanics.”
“My return to HGS as an assistant dean is quite a thrilling homecoming for me. I lived in the building for three years as a graduate student. My department – Slavic Languages and Literatures – is located here, and many of the people who helped me time and again through the process of being a graduate student, Lisa Brandes, Bill Rando, Yvette Barnard, Jennifer Brinley, among numerous others, are here growing their exciting careers. I am particularly enthusiastic about working at the Graduate School, as both an academic advisor to graduate students and as the communications strategist, given that my new position will allow me to draw upon every aspect of my previous work history, from student advising to collaborating with faculty to working with social media. While at Yale, I have traced several alternative career paths that have been highly satisfying, as each has been firmly entrenched within the lively intellectual setting that Yale provides.”
A native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Ladouceur grew up in Georgia, Texas, and California. Her earliest interests led her to theater. She earned her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley in 1993 with a major in Russian literature and traveled to Russia in 1994 before enrolling in the Graduate School. While working on her dissertation, Ladouceur lived in Moscow for two years and considers that city a second home. Back in New Haven, she lived in East Rock for years, first as a student and later as a staff member, before moving to Westville recently. When not hard at work in the interests of graduate students, she enjoys photography and travel, most recently to Austin, Savannah, Charleston, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she fell in love with snorkeling.