Yale Bulletin and Calendar

November 22-December 6, 1999Volume 28, Number 14













Pulitzer Prize-winning author will be featured in two events

Tracy Kidder, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his nonfiction writing, will visit the campus Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, as the academic term's second John-Christophe Schlesinger Visiting Writer.

Kidder will be the guest at a master's tea at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, in the Saybrook College master's house, 90 High St. On Wednesday, Dec. 1, he will give a public talk titled "The Work of a Non-Fiction Writer" at 4 p.m. in Rm. 102 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St. Both events are free and open to the public.

Kidder's non-fiction books comprise a series of microcosmic portrayals of American lives. His most recent book, "Home Town," portrays the urban life of Northhampton, Massachusetts, largely through the eyes of Tommy O'Connor, a local police officer and native of the town. His other books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Soul of a New Machine," about a team of computer engineers; "House," which narrated the struggles of various workers while building a family's new home; "Among Schoolchildren," which followed a year in the career of an elementary school teacher; and "Old Friends," which depicted the day-to-day lives of a group of nursing home residents.

The New York Times recently described Kidder's distinctive reportorial method by saying, "Kidder shows up and hangs around. Then he hangs around some more. He has the stamina and the faith to stay put almost endlessly, waiting for patterns, moments, characters, stories to emerge."

The John-Christophe Schlesinger Visiting Writer Endowment Fund was established this year by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Schlesinger of Pound Ridge, New York, in order to enrich the experience of student writers in Yale College by supporting annual visits to campus by distinguished or emerging authors. The permanently endowed fund is named in memory of their son.

Ashoka president to discuss 'social entrepreneurship'

"Social Entrepreneurship: Ending the Squalor of the Social Sector" is the title of the Law School's 1999/2000 Preiskel Silverman Lecture, which will be delivered on Tuesday, Nov. 30, by William Drayton LAW '70, founder and president of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public.

Drayton's lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Rm. 127 of the Law School, 127 Wall St. The event is free and open to the public.

Drayton founded Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in 1980. The organization, headquartered in Virginia, has supported some 1,000 people across the globe who are working to create social change in their country by advancing education, environmental protection, rural development, human rights, health care, and care for the disabled and children at risk, among others. Ashoka selects these "social entrepreneurs" as Ashoka Fellows, and provides financial and professional support to help fellows' implement their ideas in their home countries.

Drayton served during the Carter administration as an assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and later was president of Save EPA, an association of environmental managers that fought President Ronald Reagan's reforms of the EPA. Drayton currently serves as chair of Environmental Safety, which monitors environmental performance and works with government leaders to promote protection of the environment. He is also chair of Youth Venture, a support network for young people seeking to bring change to their schools or communities.

Drayton has earned international attention for supporting efforts to improve the lives of others across the globe, and was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 1984. In 1987, he received the Yale School of Management's Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

Author will discuss his new book about Holocaust survivor

New York University professor Jared Stark '89 will discuss his new book "No Common Place," which chronicles the story of a Holocaust survivor, on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, 80 Wall St.

The public is invited to attend the free talk.

"No Common Place" tells the story of Alina Bacall-Zwirn, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and four Nazi concentration camps. The book also describes Bacall-Zwirn's effort to leave a legacy of memory to future generations. In his talk, Stark will speak about the process of preserving Holocaust narratives and will explore how to authentically record these experiences.

U.N. official to talk at master's tea

Nancy E. Soderberg, alternate United States representative for special political affairs for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, will be the guest at a tea on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. in the master's house of Jonathan Edwards College, 70 High St. The event is free and open to the public.

As the alternate U.S. representative for special political affairs -- a post which holds the rank of ambassador -- Soderberg represents the United States in the Security Council and assists with the formulation and implementation of the U.S. position on designated Security Council issues. Her primary responsibility is U.N. peacekeeping operations and serving as alternate U.S. representative to the U.N. Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

Prior to her appointment to the U.S. Mission to the U.N. in 1997, Soderberg served for two years as a deputy assistant to the President for national security affairs. Her responsibilities included conflict resolution, promotion of democracy abroad, trade policy, arms control and security policy. As the third ranking official on the National Security Council, she was responsible for day-to-day crisis management, briefing the President and coordinating U.S. national security policy with high-level executive branch officials, members of Congress and the press. She is the youngest deputy and highest-ranking woman to ever serve at the National Security Council.

Soderberg also served as special assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and staff director of the National Security Council from 1993 to 1995. She was the foreign policy director for the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1992. Before joining the Clinton campaign, Soderberg worked as the senior foreign policy advisor to Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Renowned pianist to present talk on Schubert's music

Internationally known pianist Balint Vazsonyi, who also is director of the Center for the American Founding, will discuss "Suffering in a Major Key: The Strange Case of Franz Schubert" on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. in the Beaumont Room of the Sterling Hall of Medicine, 333 Cedar St.

The event, sponsored by the Program for Humanities in Medicine, is free and open to the public.

Vazsonyi will discuss how Schubert, who was deprived of recognition during his brief life, broke with the tradition of using major keys to express happy emotions and minor keys to convey sadness. Vazsonyi will also demonstrate his thesis on piano.

Vazsonyi, who was born in Hungary, has performed as a concert pianist for five decades. He fled his native country in 1956 and moved to the United States, where he studied with the renowned Hungarian pianist Dohnányl in Florida. He has performed with major orchestras around the world, and made performance history by playing chronological cycles of 32 Beethoven piano sonatas as a continuous experience in New York, Boston and London.

Vazsonyi has published and lectured extensively on musical, cultural and political subjects, and he has been a frequent guest on national television and radio shows. The author of the best-selling book "America's 30 Years War: Who is Winning?", he writes biweekly columns for The Washington Times and Indianapolis Star, and also writes for the National Review. He was appointed director of the Center of American Founding in 1996. The center proposes the application of America's founding principles to current national debates.

Princeton philosopher to present Blanksteen Lecture

Philosopher Peter Singer, who was recently appointed as the DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University's Center for Human Values, will deliver this year's second David and Goldie Blanksteen Lecture in Jewish Ethics on Thursday, Dec. 2.

His talk, titled "On Valuing Human Life," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Levinson Auditorium of the Law School, 127 Wall St. A reception will follow at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, 80 Wall St. Both events are free and open to the public.

Singer is the author of the best seller "Animal Liberation" and has drawn controversy for his assertion that animals have rights which humans must honor. He has issued a call for shaping a new ethic, one which pushes beyond the "rhetoric" of the "sanctity of life."

For further information, call the Slifka Center at (203) 432-1134 .

Connecticut's child advocate to speak in Bush Center series

Linda Pearce Prestley, Connecticut's child advocate, will discuss "Child Welfare and Current Issues Impacting Children" on Friday, Dec. 3, as part of the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy lectures series.

Her talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Rm. 211 of the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York St.

Prestley, an attorney, was appointed as the state's child advocate by Governor John G. Rowland in 1997. Since assuming her post, she has established a comprehensive children's ombudsman office for the state, which provides a safety net for children who may need assistance in obtaining resources from agencies and alerts state agencies about children who may be in peril. Prestley and her staff take legal action on behalf of children, investigate cases of concern, and provide technical and direct support to attorneys in juvenile matters.

Prestley's role as child advocate has also included serving as chair of the Child Fatality Review Panel, which conducts reviews of child deaths and recommends improvements to systems designed to protect children. Many of these recommendations, in areas such as the use of physical restraint, have been implemented by policy reform and by statute.

Prestley previously served for 12 years as an assistant attorney general, responsible for child protection cases.

For further information, call the Bush Center at (203) 432-9935.


Yale unveils new TV studio

National Building Museum pays double tribute to Scully

YSN students to learn about life with few resources

Media's quest for truth vital to U.S. society, says Thomas

Endowed Professorships

Ex-senator to discuss search for security in a 'fragmented century'

Yale Rep offers up 'A Cup of Coffee' by noted filmmaker

Peabody's mobile BioAction Lab inspires young 'scientists'

Holiday gift ideas galore available at campus shops

Symposium honors work of pioneering Yale researcher

Series to focus on compassionate patient care

DNA technology may help pinpoint causes of cancer

Center joins effort to create tests for early signs of cancer

Whiffenpoofs celebrate 90th anniversary

New technique for recording activity inside cells may offer insights into diseases . . .

Yale team is first to turn carbon dioxide into gel form

Astronomy sponsors its first reunion

Donaghue grants to support studies on women's health

Scientists' work may lead to creation of smaller, less costly computers

Student is now big Elm City fan, thanks to internship

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck and his quartet to perform

Miracle play reveals medieval views about St. Nicholas

Harshav to be honored

Two Yale scholars are honored with book prizes from the American Studies Association

Morgan's work featured in annual crafts show

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