Celebrating Students, Mentors, and Distinguished Honorees at Commencement 2014


This year the Graduate School marked Commencement with two days of ceremonies, music, processionals, and receptions.

Graduation celebrations began on May 18 in the HGS courtyard with a Convocation honoring students for academic achievement, research, and public service and faculty members for outstanding mentorship. Under sunny blue skies, University Commencement was held on May 19 on Old Campus, followed by the awarding of diplomas in Woolsey Hall and Luce Hall. Two unusually mature graduates received their diplomas that day — one because he didn’t participate back in 1967 when he finished his program; the other, because he resumed his dissertation work in 2011, after a gap of close to 40 years.   read more

GSAS Convocation:
Photos  Program

GSAS Diploma Ceremony:
Photos   Program   Video

See also: Yale Commencement 2014: Stories, Videos and More

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Gathered on Cross Campus, delighted graduate students prepare to march to the University Commencement ceremony on Old Campus, where they were granted their degrees by President Peter Salovey. Photos: Harold Shapiro

How to Launch a Successful Career, with a Diploma —
and Guidance — from Yale


New Initiative Takes an Interdisciplinary Approach
to Studying Antiquity


Extraordinary Alumnus to Lead the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is very serious and very successful in preparing students for careers. “I have accepted a full-time job” is what the overwhelming majority of respondents selected on a recent informal survey conducted by Graduate Career Services.   read more


Faculty, curators, and graduate students from several departments and schools have launched the Yale Initiative for the Study of Antiquity and the Premodern (YISAP) world. Graduate students can earn a formal “qualification” by participating in the program’s workshops and seminars.   read more


On July 1, Jonathan Fanton (BA 1965, PhD 1978, History) will become president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). Over the years, he has been president of the MacArthur Foundation, Human Rights Watch, and The New School for Social Research.   read more

  Research and Honors at GSAS   Alumni Spotlight & Other News  
Holly Lauridsen

Cutting-edge Research, Graduate Leadership, and an Otherwise Full Life

Holly Lauridsen (Biomedical Engineering) is a very busy person. In the lab, she studies the human vascular system and creates experimental models using polymer scaffolds and human cells to better understand the role of small blood vessels in inflammation. In addition to her research, she is the Coordinating Fellow for Student Life at the McDougal Center, a speaker for “Science in the News,” a member of the Advanced Graduate Leadership Program, graduate affiliate of Ezra Stiles College, GSA representative for her department, and a member of STAY (Students and Alumni at Yale). She also has a life.   read more

Fabrizio Fenghi

Politics, Performance, and Protests in Putin’s Russia

Fabrizio Fenghi (Slavic Languages & Literatures) was
in Moscow during the
2011-12 political protests and saw first-hand “a sudden and unexpected politicization (or re-politicization) of contemporary Russian culture and society,” he says. He decided to immerse himself in exploring the roots of this phenomenon. His dissertation will be a groundbreaking study of how mass culture, the arts, and the media influence, and are influenced by, politics in Russia under Vladimir Putin. And yes, that includes Pussy Riot along with many lesser-known dissenters as well as supporters of the government who use creative expression to make political statements.   read more

Angie Johnston

What Can Dogs Teach Us about Teaching?

To help expand our under-
standing of how people evaluate and use information, Angie Johnston (Psychology) studies the way dogs solve problems. This approach is “particularly exciting since dogs are simultaneously very similar to humans socially, but very different from humans cognitively,” she says. Working in Yale’s new Canine Cognition Center, Angie is testing whether or not “natural pedagogy” — a communication system for efficiently transmitting knowledge — is specific to human beings. In the lab, she presents dogs of all kinds with problem-solving tasks and watches what they do on their own and when given hints.   read more


Alice Baumgartner (History) was awarded the 2014 Louis Pelzer Memorial Award from the Organization of American Historians for her article, “The Line of Positive Safety: Borders, Boundaries, and Nations in the Rio Grande Valley, 1848-1880.” The prize is given for the best essay in American history by a graduate student.   read more

Leslie Jamison (English) has published articles and been written up in The New York Times recently, both in the Sunday Book Review and in the midweek Arts section. Her recently published book, The Empathy Exams, was reviewed twice in the Times: by Dwight Garner in March and by Olivia Laing in April.   read more

Max Fraser (History) has won the Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award for his article, “Hands Off the Machine: Workers’ Hands and Revolutionary Symbolism in the Visual Culture of 1930s America.” The Frost Prize recognizes the year’s most distinguished contribution to American Art, the scholarly journal of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.   read more

Please contact Gila Reinstein with news items.

Peter B. Dervan

Alumnus Appointed to Serve on Yale Corporation

Peter B. Dervan (PhD 1972, Chemistry) was appointed a successor trustee to the Yale Corporation, the University’s governing body, by Yale President Peter Salovey. Dervan, who is currently completing his sixth year as an alumni fellow of the Corporation, will assume the new position on July 1. A prominent organic chemist, he is the Bren Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, where he has been on the faculty since 1973. In 2006 Dervan was awarded the country’s highest scientific honor, the National Medal of Science, and in 2005, the Graduate School named him a Wilbur L. Cross Medalist.   read more

Geraldo L. Cadava

First Book Wins Organization of American Historians Award

Geraldo L. Cadava (PhD 2008, History) has won the 2014 Frederick Jackson Turner Award for Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland. The award, given by the Organization of American Historians, singles out the year’s best first book by a scholar of American history. Standing on Common Ground was the selection committee’s unanimous choice. Cadava is an assistant professor in the Department of History and the Program in Latina and Latino Studies at Northwestern University, where he teaches courses on American and Latino history and culture, the American West, immigration, and race and ethnicity.   read more

Amy Savage

Teaching Scientific Literacy

Amy Savage (PhD 2010, Epidemiology and Public Health) is director of the Citizen Science Program at Bard College, where she leads a team of faculty members and teaching fellows who, in turn, immerse first-year students in the scientific method. The program focuses on infectious diseases — the subject of Savage’s dissertation. “Being a McDougal Fellow as a graduate student made the difference in my ability to get the position and succeed in the role,” she says. Savage also teaches upper level biology courses and a laboratory course for non-majors, “The Science of Creativity,” based on a Yale College Seminar she taught.   read more

Graduate Student Assembly Update

The GSA has recently made progress in three major areas of focus: Graduate Student Housing, GSA Strategic Planning, and a future Student Center at Yale.

The Advisory Committee on Graduate and Professional Student Housing, headed by Associate Vice President for Administration Janet Lindner, has created a new website that allows students to write and view reviews of landlords and properties. The committee has also presented plans and initial renderings of a new graduate student residence which were approved by the Yale Corporation at its spring meeting.

The recently drafted GSA 2014 Strategic Plan outlines current and ongoing concerns of the graduate student body and identifies short-, medium-, and long-term goals for the Assembly.

All three bodies of student government — GSA, GPSS, and YCC — have recommended the creation of a centrally located campus-wide student center.    read more

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