Meet Yale’s 23rd President: GSAS Alumnus Peter Salovey


On Sunday, October 13, Yale University will formally install its new president, Peter Salovey (PhD 1989, Psychology).

When it came time to choose a replacement for retiring Yale President Richard C. Levin (PhD 1974, Economics), the University turned, once again, to an alumnus of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences — one who, like Levin, had served as Dean of the Graduate School.

Peter Salovey, Yale’s 23rd president, took office on July 1. His official inauguration will take place on October 13, and celebrations throughout that week will include events open to students, faculty and staff, alumni, the New Haven community, and friends across the world.   read more

President Salovey
Yale President Peter Salovey, speaking at this year's Matriculation ceremony.  Photo: Harold Shapiro

Students Welcomed to a New Academic Year at the Graduate School


Four Alumni to Join the Distinguished Ranks of Wilbur Cross Medalists


Promoting Science Literacy through Yale’s ‘Brain Education Day’

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The Graduate School welcomed 595 incoming and 2,136 returning students to campus at the start of the academic year with a host of programs that included orientation sessions, a scavenger hunt, tours of Sterling Memorial Library, “Teaching at Yale Day,” receptions, and much more. The crowning event was the formal Matriculation Ceremony, where new students were greeted by President Peter Salovey and Dean Thomas Pollard.   read more


On October 15, the Graduate School will accord its highest honor, the Wilbur Cross Medal, on four extraordinary alumni: cultural critic Fredric Jameson (PhD 1959, French), biologist Alan M. Lambowitz (PhD 1972, Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry), political theorist Theodore Lowi (PhD 1961, Political Science), and editor/ publisher Annette Thomas (PhD 1993, Biology), CEO of Macmillan Publishing Company.   read more


In the lab, Mitra Miri (Neuroscience) studies brain cells and how they interact to inhibit seizures. Outside the lab, she works to make that information available to the public in and around New Haven. Brain Education Day is one of her projects. Every year this day-long event brings about 100 local public school students to campus, where they visit labs and interact with Yale students and faculty.   read more

  Student Research   Alumni Spotlight & Other News  
Shai Dromi

Communal Responses to Human Suffering: the Sociology of Morality

Shai Dromi (Sociology) studies how society shapes ethical behavior, particularly in response to the suffering of people who are distant “either socially, because of class differences, or geographically.” He asks, how do communal norms provide “ways to maintain a personal sense of morality, of being a good person, despite the fact that we cannot feasibly donate to every cause and help every poor person we come across?” His research into the establishment of the Red Cross shows that religious and nationalist movements specific to mid-19th century Europe fostered the idea that humanitarian organizations ought to provide assistance across borders. But his first foray into the topic was a study of panhandlers in New Haven.   read more

Lesley Suejean Park

Figuring Out Who Will Get Liver Cancer

In the years since combination anti-retroviral therapy became available, people with AIDS have been living longer — long enough to develop heart disease and the kinds of cancer found in the general population. Lesley Suejean Park (MPH), a PhD candidate in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology and a fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale, studies liver cancer in the HIV/AIDS population. Supported by a grant from the NCI, she is trying to figure out who, among that group, is most likely to develop liver cancer and how to prevent it.   read more

Sam Fallon

Approaching Literary Problems in New Ways, Including Scientific

Sam Fallon (English) is writing a dissertation on an unusual literary motif that appeared in England in the late 16th century: fiction purportedly sent from beyond the grave by writers who had died, created to serve as alter-egos for living authors. In a separate endeavor, he and his adviser are doing some detective work on two book fragments that were recently acquired by the Beinecke: one is the only existing copy of a work referred to in other books, and the other appears to contain two never-before seen poems by Philip Sidney, one of the greatest writers of the English Renaissance.   read more


Lang Chen (Religious Studies) and Meredith Gamer (History of Art) have won 2013 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s most prestigious award for PhD candidates in the humanities and social sciences whose dissertations address questions of ethical and/or religious values.   read more

Michael Amico (American Studies) is co-author of “You Can Tell Just By Looking”: And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People, to be published by Beacon Press in October. The book analyzes popular beliefs about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people, taking a critical, interdisciplinary approach to this controversial subject.   read more

Kyle Dugdale (Architecture) has been accepted into the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography, which aims to enable emerging scholars in the humanities to bring bibliographic expertise to bear on their individual disciplines. Kyle’s research is focused on an enigmatic volume recently acquired by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.   read more

Logan Mardhani-Bayne (History) has won a Trudeau Scholarship, the most respected award of its kind in Canada, to study how political recognition of indigenous groups has challenged existing models of governance and changed the ways municipal governments interact with these largely urban communities.   read more

Christy Thomas (Music) has won a Fulbright fellowship to study the links between the operas of Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) and the early years of the Italian cinema. Puccini’s operas (Tosca, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, etc.) were regarded as “cinematic” during his lifetime. Christy will consult sources in Milan, Turin, Florence, Rome, Lucca, and Parma that are unavailable outside Italy.   read more

Photo: Harold Shapiro

Allegra di Bonaventura

Master and Slave in Colonial New England

Assistant Dean Allegra di Bonaventura’s recently published book, For Adam’s Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England, based on her 2008 dissertation, has won high praise from critics and scholars. The Wall Street Journal describes it as “incomparably vivid... as enthralling a portrait of family life [in early New England] as we are likely to have.” Historian William S. McFeely says, “In For Adam’s Sake, Allegra di Bonaventura has painted a rich canvas of the eighteenth-century town of New London, Connecticut. In the foreground are Adam Jackson, a slave, and Joshua Hempstead, his owner... The book is a great story; great history.”   read more

Matthew R. Auer

Auer Joins Bates College as Chief Academic Officer

Matthew R. Auer (PhD 1996, Forestry & Environ- mental Studies), former dean of the Hutton Honors College at Indiana University and professor of Public and Environmental Affairs, became vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Bates College in July. His portfolio includes all academic departments and programs as well as faculty recruitment and development. An expert in environmental policy and international environmental aid programs, Auer is author or co-author of more than 50 refereed articles and book chapters. His research focuses on comparative industrial environmental politics, international forest policy, and the politics of foreign aid.   read more

Scott E. Casper

American Studies Alumnus Named Dean at UMBC

Scott E. Casper (PhD 1992, American Studies) became dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), in July. The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences has more than 270 full-time faculty members, 4,500 undergraduates, and 1,300 graduate students. A historian of 19th-century America, Casper is author, co-author, editor or co-editor of nine books, most recently The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History (Oxford University Press, 2013). He joined UMBC from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he was on the faculty from 1992 to 2013.   read more

Graduate Student Assembly Update

The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) works to improve the graduate school experience for Yale students. Last spring’s elections brought new leadership to the GSA along with new departmental representatives. Brian Dunican (Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry) became the GSA chair, and Brian Vlastakis (Physics) administers the Conference Travel Fellowships.

In 2012-2013, the Assembly improved bicycle safety on and around campus, located study space for students without offices, arranged for extended hours at the gym and library, expanded the Common Grounds program, and initiated a collaboration with the New Haven Bar Association to provide legal services to graduate students. This year, the GSA plans to work on establishing financial aid for sixth-year students, increasing teaching opportunities, enhancing housing options, improving access to mental health services, strengthening career services, and advocating for a University-wide student center.   read more

Please contact Gila Reinstein with news items.

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