Putting Talent and Energy to Work for the New Haven Community

At the Yale Day of Service, volunteers worked hard, had fun, and helped the community, says Public Service Fellow Michelle Legaspi.

Close to 200 people took part in this fall’s Yale Day of Service, organized by the McDougal Public Service Fellows Michelle Legaspi (Chemistry) and Ted Schmid (Immunobiology), in coordination with the GPSS and the Office of Graduate Student Life. Volunteers went to 23 local nonprofit agencies, including New Haven Farms, LEAP, the Town Green District, and Edgewood Park. The Yale Day of Service is only one of the many ways that graduate students volunteer in New Haven all through the year.   read more

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Graduate students and others weeded, mulched, and harvested fruits and vegetables at one of New Haven Farms’ seven urban agricultural sites on the Yale Day of Service. Photo: Joanne Wilcox Photography

Mixing It Up with Nobel Laureates at the 63rd Annual Lindau Meeting in Germany


Starting This Month: Career Development Peer Groups for Science Students


Alumnus Joins Startup Company to Develop Cancer-fighting Drugs

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More than 20,000 young researchers compete every year for an invitation to the Lindau Meeting, which brings together Nobel Prize winners and scientists who are just starting their careers. Stafford (Staff) Sheehan (Chemistry) was chosen to attend the gathering, held on an island in Lake Constance.   read more


In November, small groups of science students will begin to meet on a regular basis to explore the career options that align with their interests, values, and skills. The program, developed by Becky Delventhal, will help students think creatively, seriously, and systematically about the kind of job they want.   read more


When Gregg Keaney (PhD 2005, Chemistry) joined a tiny company that aims to discover new cancer drugs, he was the sixth person on the staff. Now, only two years later, H3 Biomedicine has grown to 70 employees, and Keaney is Senior Scientific Investigator, at the head of a team of chemists.   read more

  Student Research   Alumni Spotlight & Other News  
Ashley Bonneau

How Does an Embryo’s DNA Take Control of Development?

What happens when an egg is fertilized by sperm? How does that fusion of genetic material kick-start life? Working with zebrafish in Antonio Giraldez’s lab, Ashley Bonneau (Genetics) is trying to discover the mechanisms that cause a single-celled embryo to develop into a complex, multicellular organism. One puzzle occurs in the earliest stages of development. Initially, the embryo divides according to instructions from the cytoplasm in the egg, but soon after, the embryo’s DNA starts to control the process, combining maternal and paternal genetic material into a unique new life. Ashley uses molecular and genomic techniques to identify factors important in early development.   read more

Hadith logo

Researching the Historical Context of Islamic ‘Proofs of Prophecy’

At the heart of Islam is the belief that the Prophet Muhammad (c. 570-632) received revelations from the one true God which were written down as the Qur’an. Aside from the Qur’an, the most important Muslim scriptures are the hadith: the recorded sayings and deeds of Muhammad. Mareike Koertner (Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations) studies thematic compilations of hadith called Dalā’il al-Nubūwa, or “proofs of prophecy” — texts that offer evidence of the truth of Muhammad’s prophetic mission. They have mostly been overlooked by scholars or considered folklore, but Mareike’s research places them in their historical, methodological, and theological context.   read more

Chaz Firestone tablet experiment

‘The World’s Fastest Psychology Experiment’ Conducted in New York’s Times Square

“The mind is truly exceptional in its ability to find solutions to extremely difficult computational problems. But perhaps even more remarkable is the mind’s ability to hide from us that there are such problems to be solved in the first place,” says Chaz Firestone (Psychology). “Seeing is the most familiar thing we do, and yet the inner workings of our visual system are completely hidden from us,” he says. For an experiment on the interaction of visual perception and cognition, Chaz went to New York City’s Times Square with a computer tablet and came home with “shape skeletons.”   read more


Abigail Dumes (Anthropology), Jennifer Lambe (History), and Sara Protasi (Philosophy) have been awarded Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). In addition, postdoctoral fellow Cecelia Watson (Philosophy) won an ACLS New Faculty Fellowship; history professors Glenda Gilmore and Ben Kiernan received ACLS Fellowships, and Jessica Brantley, associate professor of English, was awarded a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship.   read more

Roman Utkin (Slavic Languages and Literatures) helped edit the recently published Russians Abroad: Literary and Cultural Politics of Diaspora (1919-1939), by Greta Slobin (PhD 1978, Slavic Languages & Literatures). He was one of only three graduate students selected to participate in last summer’s NEH institute, “America’s Russian-Speaking Immigrants and Refugees: Twentieth Century Migration and Memory.”   read more

Ryan Hall (History) won the Agricultural History Society’s 2012 Vernon Carstensen Memorial Award, given each year for the best article to be published in the journal, Agricultural History. He is the only graduate student in recent years to have won the award, which is almost always given to an established scholar.   read more

Fall color reflected by windows

Harris Mylonas

Prize-winning Book Explores Ethnicity and Politics in the Balkans

Political science alumnus Harris Mylonas has won the Peter Katzenstein Book Prize for The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Mylonas uses the Balkans as the model to analyze what causes countries to assimilate, accommodate, exclude, or annihilate the non-core ethnic groups that live within their borders. His book is the first to explain systematically how the politics of ethnicity in the international arena determine how groups are treated by their host states. Mylonas is currently an assistant professor at George Washington University.   read more

Tiffany Briere

Geneticist/Author Wins Writing Award

It’s not often that a PhD geneticist wins an award for creative writing, but alumna Tiffany Briere has done it. She was one of six people chosen to receive the 2013 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, given annually to women who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their writing careers. The prize will allow her to work full time on a novel and collection of essays about science next year. Briere says that writing and genetics are both “a search for core truths, for what informs the human condition.”   read more

Alan J. Abramson

Alumnus Elected President of National Research Association

Political scientist Alan J. Abramson has been elected president of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). ARNOVA is the major national association of university faculty and others who study the nonprofit sector and philanthropy. Abramson will serve as ARNOVA’s president-elect in the coming year, and then as president. A professor of government and politics at George Mason University, Abramson’s areas of expertise include nonprofit-government relations; foundation policy and practice; social enterprise and social entrepreneurship; and the engagement of all three sectors — nonprofit, government, and business — in addressing social problems.   read more

2013 Wilbur Cross Medalists

2013 Wilbur Cross Medalists

Seated, left to right: Wilbur Cross Medalists Fredric Jameson, Annette Thomas, Theodore Lowi, and Alan M. Lambowitz. Standing, Valerie Hotchkiss, chair of the Graduate School Alumni Association; Yale President Peter Salovey, and Graduate School Dean Thomas Pollard.

For further information, see the article from the GSAS News September edition, which appeared in advance of the celebratory dinner on October 15.  read more

Graduate Student Assembly Update

The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) began the 2013-2014 academic year with significant strides in graduate student health and housing advocacy. Three collaborations between GSA and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) came to fruition this fall: dental insurance coverage was expanded to include the partial cost of fillings for participating students; an Advisory Committee on Graduate and Professional Student Housing was created in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for Student Life; and the joint GSA & GPSS Committee on Mental Health released its findings and recommendations on the state of campus mental health services.   read more

Please contact Gila Reinstein with news items.

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