Yale Bulletin and Calendar

September 13, 2002|Volume 31, Number 2














As part of their introduction to Yale, new students at the Graduate School were invited to an Information Fair in the school's courtyard.

Graduate students begin Yale chapter
of their 'love story'

In ceremonies on Aug. 28, the 536 new students at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences were welcomed into the community of Yale, which, Dean Susan Hockfield told the newcomers, is "at once a tradition, a company of scholars and a society of friends."

Hockfield, President Richard C. Levin, and faculty members and officers of the University were on hand for the academic ceremony in Battell Chapel that formally marked the students' matriculation. In addition to Hockfield's welcome, Maria Rosa Menocal, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, delivered the matriculation address.

Noting that their graduate-school years will be "some of the most demanding and yet exhilarating years" of their lives, Menocal told the new students that the main reason they have found themselves on the Yale campus to undertake graduate study is love.

"Like most love stories there would be ways of telling it rationally, even cynically, and no doubt more than one of you in the audience has felt obliged to assure an anxious parent that a Ph.D. in some subject that sounds impractical beyond the telling of it is instead practical beyond anything they can imagine; in fact, experts claim that your subject is about to be the next boom field.

"But we all know, I think, I hope, that the more honest accounts of why we end up studying what we do -- especially when such study requires the intense devotion and years of certain kinds of hardship that a Ph.D. is guaranteed to require -- are almost always those romantic accounts that admit up front the uncanniness and the unaccountability of the affair we have, or we dream we can have, with some culture or language or period or with the idea of helping to define those elegant configurations of stars or numbers or crystals, or the neurons in the human brain," she continued.

The entering students join some 1,660 students who are currently enrolled in the Graduate School. The class is comprised almost equally of men and women, and about one-third of the students come from outside the United States. They represent 301 undergraduate institutions, with 440 here to pursue doctoral degrees and 96 to pursue master's degrees.

Matriculation was followed by a reception at Levin's house and lunch in the Hall of Graduate Studies courtyard. An Information Fair later that day in the courtyard introduced many of the organizations and services that Yale and New Haven offer.

These orientation activities, now in their fourth year, serve to welcome incoming students to graduate education at Yale and to life in New Haven. Many of the events, such as a Teaching at Yale Day and the McDougal Center open house during the first week of the students' arrival, are designed for all entering students and provide information about important components of graduate student life.

In addition to its open house, the McDougal Center offers an International Student Host Program, designed to "ease the transition of a new international student to Yale and New Haven," says graduate student Elizabeth Addonizo (political science), who was last year's coordinator of the program. "We try to match hosts and new students based on field of study or common interests." Returning students, both international and American, serve as hosts. This year's coordinator is Michael Seringhaus (molecular biophysics and biochemistry), who also serves as a host.

Jatin Shah, a computer science student who came to Yale last year from India, benefited so much from the program that he is now helping new student Madiha Afzal, an economics student from Pakistan, learn the ropes.

"There are so many things about America that I have come to know," Shah explains.

This year's international students come from 39 countries, with the majority (53) coming from China. Other countries with the largest contingents of students here are Canada (17), Singapore (11), Korea (8) and India (8).

In this year's entering class, 143 students are pursuing degrees in the humanities. Among these, the most popular field is history, with 24 students working toward their Ph.D.s in that subject. A total of 233 students are pursuing degrees in the natural sciences, and the largest programs in this area are biological and biomedical sciences (29 students) and chemistry (28).

Of the 162 students pursuing degrees in the social sciences, the highest number are in political science (22) and economics (21).

Hockfield urged the new graduate students to make "vigorous use" of Yale's resources during their time here, from its libraries and museums to its special lectures and collections.

"Most important," she said, "engage your faculty and fellow students in your education. As you nourish your intellectual curiosity, practice the intellectual generosity that has made Yale one of the preeminent institutions of research, learning and teaching.

"From its founding right up to today, the Yale Graduate School has been a place that carries the traditions of learning from one generation to the next; a place that nurtures new members of our company of scholars, and makes this place also a society of friends," Hockfield added. "In the years to come, these traditions will become your traditions."


Yale to honor life of Edward Bouchet

Law School authors featured on 'Today Show'

Researchers win grants supporting women in the sciences

University Information

Famed poets to give readings and discuss their craft


Yale Library taking lead on project to establish international database . . .

Three classics are woven into one in Rep's first offering

Painter and former art school dean Andrew Forge dies

Conference looks at conflict in Central Asia, Caucasus

Program will explore recent accomplishments and trends . . .

Film Fest showcases works by independent filmmakers

The art of wood turning is focus of symposium

Panel to explore the future of the environment

Coming to America: Program brings the world to New Haven

Traditions of French, American revolutions explored in weekend conference

President Richard C. Levin's Freshman Address

Yale College Dean Richard H. Brodhead's Freshman Address

Graduate students begin Yale chapter of their 'love story'

They're here! Photos of the arrival of the Class of 2006

While You Were Away: The Summer's Top Stories Revisited

Interns dedicated themselves to a summer of service

Sports and music were on the agenda in groups' trips abroad

Sports Spotlight

Yale Books in Brief

Campus Notes

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