School Notes

School notes

News about your Yale school.

School of Architecture
Robert A. M. Stern, Dean

Roche papers come to Yale

Architect Kevin Roche, of the firm Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, is transferring his archives and drawings to Sterling Library. Roche, an award-winning architect (recipient of the 1982 Pritzker Prize, among others), worked very closely with Eero Saarinen ’34BArch in the 1950s; after Saarinen's death in 1961, Roche completed 12 of Saarinen's major projects, including the St. Louis Gateway Arch, the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport, and CBS headquarters in New York City. In New Haven, Roche is perhaps best known for designing the Richard C. Lee High School (now the Yale School of Nursing), the Knights of Columbus tower, and the New Haven Coliseum (which was demolished in 2007). Assistant Professor Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen is teaching seminars and organizing a symposium around Roche's archive, which will culminate in an exhibition in 2011.

Scholars discuss university architecture

A symposium jointly sponsored by the School of Architecture and the College's history of art department brought together academicians, architectural historians, and practicing architects to consider university architecture from a variety of perspectives. "Building the Future: The University as Architectural Patron" took place at the University Art Gallery, January 25 and 26. Among the topics discussed were "What is a great university building?" "What is the university's role as a patron of architecture?" "How do university buildings contribute to the production of knowledge?" and "How does great university architecture get made?" Speakers included the deans of several schools of architecture and the chairs of several history of art departments; the keynote speaker was David Brownlee, Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor and chair of the history of art department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Book series will focus on Kahn professors

A series of books published by the School of Architecture features the work of young practicing architects who have come to the school for a semester as Louis I. Kahn assistant visiting professors. The Kahn assistant professorships program began in 2005 to provide an opportunity for emerging leaders in the field to teach an advanced studio and seminar of their choice. The first book in the series, Layered Urbanisms, features three Kahn professors -- Gregg Pasquarelli, Mario Gooden, and Galia Solomonoff -- and includes interviews, highlights of their work, and a look at the design projects and research carried out in the Yale studio. It became available in April.


School of Art
Robert Storr, Dean

Sculpture building returning to art school

Art students in the sculpture program will be able to enjoy the new sculpture building beginning this fall. The building, located on Howe Street, was completed last year but was immediately occupied by the architecture school while the A&A Building was refurbished.

Under the direction of Professor Jessica Stockholder and the architecture firm of Kieran Timberlake Associates, the sculpture building will be refitted for occupancy by the sculpture students this summer, when the architecture school moves out. Sculpture courses, studios, and faculty offices will be housed in the new building, along with a new component of video courses, equipment, and studios. During the next academic year, the school will hold several video weekend seminars, bringing the field more concretely into the MFA academic program.

Admissions overview

Admissions juries have completed work for the students entering in September 2008. From a pool of 1,131 applicants, 56 were offered admission to the School of Art. By department, there were 579 applicants in painting/printmaking for 21 places; 135 in graphic design for 16 places, including 6 in the preliminary-year program; 206 applicants in photography for 9 places; and 211 applicants in sculpture for 10 places.

Student works on display

The annual Open Studios at the School of Art affords the MFA students the opportunity to exhibit their work to the public. Students in painting/printmaking, graphic design, and photography will exhibit in 1156 Chapel Street and 353 Crown Street; sculpture students will have their work on display in Hammond Hall. This year's Open Studios takes place on Sunday afternoon, May 18. Visit the school's website for details.


Yale College
Peter Salovey, Dean

New master named for Jonathan Edwards College

Music professor Richard Lalli ’80MusAM, ’86MusAD, will become the master of Jonathan Edwards College in January 2009, when current master Gary L. Haller steps down after 11 years of service. (For the Yale Alumni Magazine report, see page 20.) Lalli's partner, Michael Rigsby ’88MD, medical director of the Yale University Health Services, will become associate master. "Richard and Michael have served as freshman advisers in JE College for many years," said Peter Salovey, dean of Yale College, "and they have well-deserved reputations as great supporters of student creativity and initiative."

Professor Lalli has taught in the Department of Music since 1982. He has recently been named artistic director of the Yale Baroque Opera Project, which introduces undergraduates to aesthetic, stylistic, and performance aspects of seventeenth-century Italian opera.  For the past six years he conducted the Yale Collegium Musicum, an ensemble devoted to early music and started by Paul Hindemith in the 1940s; the Collegium regularly performs works from manuscript at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Lalli also teaches courses related to vocal performance, oversees the instruction of Fundamentals of Music, and coordinates the Shen Musical Theater Curriculum.

College honors young faculty

Yale College has recently honored the work of five young professors with prizes that recognize the contributions and achievements of faculty early in their careers.

The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research by Junior Faculty Members in the Humanities is given in recognition of work that has made a significant contribution to scholarship in the particular field of endeavor of a junior member of the faculty in the humanities. The Heyman Prize was awarded this year to Assistant Professor Ian Quinn of the music department and Assistant Professor Stefanie Markovits of the English department. Professor Quinn was honored for his two-part article, "General Equal-Tempered Harmony," published in the journal Perspectives of New Music; Professor Markovits was recognized for her first book, The Crisis of Action in Nineteenth-Century English Literature, an analysis of action/inaction and character in the era's prose and poetry.

The Poorvu Family Prize for Interdisciplinary Teaching recognizes outstanding members of the junior faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching in interdisciplinary programs in the liberal arts. This year's Poorvu prize honors Corinne Pache, associate professor of classics, whose research and teaching interests involve Greek archaic poetry, Greek religion and myth, and the modern reception of ancient epic; Vivek Sharma, assistant professor of political science, who studies the relationship between social institutions and political order, including alliances, warfare, and violence; and Erin Lavik, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, whose research centers on developing new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of spinal cord injury and retinal degeneration.

Environmental studies graduate breaks new ground

This May, the first environmental studies major to concentrate in the field of sustainable food and agriculture will receive a diploma. This concentration, formalized in the fall of 2007, allows students to spend their four years at Yale exploring issues of food, agriculture, and the environment through an academic lens. There are currently two environmental studies majors concentrating in sustainable food and agriculture, with one graduating this spring. The concentration was developed in partnership with the Yale Sustainable Food Project; the partnership allows concentrators to take full advantage of the Sustainable Food Project's resources, including the Yale Farm.


Divinity School
Harold W. Attridge, Dean

Theology professor to head Union Theological Seminary

Serene Jones ’85MDiv, ’91PhD, the Titus Street Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, is leaving YDS to assume the presidency of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Union, one of the most prominent mainline Protestant schools, has a long history of ties to YDS. Jones succeeds Joseph Hough ’59BD, ’65PhD, who led a successful fundraising campaign that brought relative financial stability to Union after years of budgetary unrest. Her appointment takes effect on July 1.

YDS dean Harold Attridge remarked, "Serene has been an active participant in day-to-day life on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, and she has been one of the primary links between YDS and Yale's professional schools, particularly the Law School, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences," adding that she will be "greatly missed" at the Divinity School and across the campus.

Conference brings together religion, the environment, and hope

If an interdisciplinary conference at Yale Divinity School is any gauge, "religious environmentalism" has not only taken root but is blossoming and is on the verge of maturity. The four-day gathering February 28 to March 2 was booked well in advance, and the mood of the conference -- even amid dire reports of widespread environmental degradation -- was palpably one of hope and celebration, reflecting the conference theme, Renewing Hope: Pathways of Religious Environmentalism. Almost 300 people from diverse walks of life came to partake.

Mary Evelyn Tucker, one of the primary organizers of the conference, who has joint faculty appointments at both the divinity and environment schools, spoke in her opening remarks of "a sense of renewed hope regarding the emerging alliance of religion and ecology," noting, "We cannot do this work alone, but together new synergies will arise of reformation and renaissance." The conference was yet another manifestation of the increasing collaboration between the divinity school and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, which jointly sponsored the conference along with several other groups.

Divinity School mourns loss of professor emeritus

R. Lansing Hicks, professor emeritus of Old Testament and former associate dean of academic affairs at Yale Divinity School, died January 14 at the age of 86. Hicks joined the faculty of YDS in 1971, following the affiliation between YDS and Berkeley Divinity School, and retired in 1990. He had been appointed to the BDS faculty in 1954 and named full professor in 1958.

An Episcopal priest with roots in the South, Professor Hicks will be remembered for his charm, his sense of humor, and for the care he afforded students both in and out of class. Hicks's primary focus was on teaching rather than on writing books, but he authored a number of encyclopedia articles, journal articles, and book reviews, and in 1968 he delivered the Winslow Lectures at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, published in monograph form as Forms of Christ in the Old Testament: The Problem of The Christological Unity of the Bible. Hicks was known widely as a person of high personal and academic integrity. That sense of integrity was apparent early in his career when, as a young scholar in 1953, he was among a group of faculty at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, who resigned their positions to protest the school's reluctance to desegregate.


School of Drama
James Bundy, Dean

New plays at Yale -- and beyond

Three plays by female playwrights will be featured in the 2008 Carlotta Festival of New Plays, which runs May 9-18 at the drama school. This year's line-up: Grace, or the Art of Climbing by Lauren Feldman ’08; Good Egg by Dorothy Fortenberry ’08; and I Am a Superhero by Jennifer Tuckett ’08. The annual Carlotta Festival of New Plays honors Carlotta Monterey, the widow of Eugene O'Neill, who donated to Yale the proceeds of the publication of O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night. The festival presents work by current playwriting students at the school in fully mounted productions, a rare and valuable opportunity for playwrights who are just starting out.

Plays by two Carlotta Festival alumni are currently being featured beyond Yale. McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey, will present the Brother/Sister Plays by Tarell Alvin McCraney ’07MFA as part of their 2008-09 season. The three plays -- In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size, and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet -- were developed while McCraney was a student at Yale School of Drama. In the Red and Brown Water and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet were produced at the school as part of the Carlotta Festival of New Plays in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

Amy Herzog ’00, ’07MFAD, author of The Wendy Play (also presented at last year's Carlotta Festival), recently participated in Manhattan Theatre Club's 7@7 series with a reading of her play Willing.

Alumni on stage

Allen E. Read ’05MFA recently starred in the world premiere of the new musical Mask (based on the film of the same name) in the role of Rocky, at Pasadena Playhouse.

Kathryn Hahn ’01MFAD, who appeared for many seasons on the TV series Crossing Jordan, made her Broadway debut this spring in the comedy Boeing Boeing, opposite Christine Baranski, Mark Rylance, Bradley Whitford, Gina Gershon, and Mary McCormack.

At the Yale Rep

James Bundy ’95MFAD recently directed A Woman of No Importance, Oscar Wilde's rarely seen comedy of serializing seducers, moralizing monogamists, secret pasts, and simmering heartbreak, at Yale Repertory Theatre. The company included several Yale School of Drama alumni: Rene Augesen ’93CDR, John Little ’84MFAD, and Beinecke Fellow Kate Forbes; as well as current acting students: Will Connolly ’10, John Doherty ’10, Bryce Pinkham ’08, Erica Sullivan ’09, and Liz Wisan ’10. In addition, the production featured sets by Lauren Rockman ’08, costumes by Anya Klepikov ’08, lighting by Ola Braten ’08, and sound by Jana Hoglund ’08.


School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
James Gustave Speth, Dean

Study offers new paradigm on ecosystem ecology

Predators have considerably more influence than plants over how an ecosystem functions, according to a study that was published in February in Science. The findings, according to the author, Oswald Schmitz, Oastler Professor of Population and Community Ecology at the environment school, are a "revolutionary" shift in thinking on the subject. Ecosystem ecologists have long held that plants and their interaction with the soil determine the type and abundance of herbivores and carnivores in an ecosystem. Schmitz's paper, "Effects of Predator Hunting Mode on Grassland Ecosystem Function," shows that the opposite is true.

"Most ecosystem ecologists think that the supply of nutrients in plants determines who can live up in higher trophic (feeding) levels," said Schmitz. "This study shows that it's the top trophic levels determining how the plants interact with the soil."

In the three-year-long experiment, conducted at the Yale-Myers Forest, scientists observed different spiders hunting prey and noted the effects of that activity on the surrounding ecosystems. "What's really cool here is that different spiders have different hunting modes, and it's those modes that cause grasshoppers to behave differently, which then carries down the chains of the community structure of the plants," said Schmitz. Spiders that searched for prey, instead of lying in wait, induced the grasshoppers to shelter in -- and eat -- the dominant plant species, promoting plant diversity. Added Schmitz, "Plants, ecosystem ecologists say, have an indirect effect on carnivores. My research shows that carnivores have an indirect effect on plants." Funding for the study was provided by the National Science Foundation's ecological biology program.

Website calculates economic impact of emissions reduction

A national policy to cut carbon emissions by as much as 40 percent over the next 20 years could still result in increased economic growth, according to an interactive website reviewing 25 of the leading economic models being used to predict the economic impacts of reducing emissions.

Robert Repetto, professor in the practice of economics and sustainable development and creator of the site, said, "As Congress prepares to debate new legislation to address the threat of climate change, opponents claim that the costs of adopting the leading proposals would be ruinous to the U.S. economy. The world's leading economists who have studied the issue say that's wrong. And you can find out for yourself."

The interactive website,, synthesized thousands of policy analyses in order to identify the seven key assumptions accounting for most of the differences in the models' predictions. The site allows visitors to choose which assumptions they feel are most realistic and then view the predictions of the economic models on the basis of the chosen assumptions. "The website shows that even under the most unfavorable assumptions regarding costs, the U.S. economy is predicted to continue growing robustly as carbon emissions are reduced," said Repetto. "Under favorable assumptions, the economy would grow more rapidly if emissions are reduced through national policy measures than if they are allowed to increase as in the past."


Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Jon Butler, Dean

Celebrating Diversity

Nearly 150 scholars and students from campuses across the nation attended the fifth annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity in Graduate Education, which took place March 28-29. The conference was hosted by the Graduate School's Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO), and is named for Edward A. Bouchet (Yale College Class of 1874), the first African American to earn a PhD degree in the United States (in physics in 1876 from Yale). The keynote speaker of the conference was Yale College alumnus Kurt Schmoke ’71, former mayor of the city of Baltimore and current dean of the Howard University School of Law. Dean Schmoke was a member of the Yale Corporation (the university's board of trustees) from 1989 to 2002.

The Graduate School established ODEO seven years ago in order to further its commitment to attracting, retaining, supporting, and mentoring a highly diverse student body. In addition to running the Bouchet Conference, the staff and ten Diversity Fellows coordinate a mentoring program that matches graduate students with Yale College students of color, women, and other traditionally underrepresented students who are interested in pursuing graduate study. The Fellows run a "Survivor Series" that offers practical tips on how to thrive in the academic world, and they host the Bouchet Seminars, at which graduate students present their research to one another. They also host speakers and panels on a wide range of diversity-related issues.

Graduate applications continue to rise

Applications to Yale's graduate programs have nearly doubled in the past ten years. Approximately 7,800 people applied for the 480 available slots in PhD programs at the Graduate School this year, and an additional 920 people applied to master's degree programs, for a grand total of about 8,720 in the applicant pool. This represents an increase of 2 percent over last year, which was the second most competitive year ever. Only ten years ago, the grand total of applicants was 4,698.

Some programs were especially competitive. History had over 380 applicants for 24 slots; English had more than 310 for 10 openings; and philosophy, more than 260 for 5 places. In the sciences, over 590 people competed for 40 seats in engineering and applied science; in physics, approximately 270 applicants vied for 18 slots; and the combined programs in biological and biomedical sciences received over 880 applications for 80 openings. The social sciences had more than 710 hopefuls vying for 23 slots in economics; about 550 competed for 18 seats in political science; and almost 590 students were eager to enroll in the psychology department, which has room for only 20.

Yale students mentor science fair participants

One day a week, Daniel Santavicca, graduate student in applied physics, sets aside his dissertation research on the high-frequency electrical and electrothermal properties of nanoscale devices to coach a Hillhouse High School senior who is working on a project for the 14th annual City-Wide Science Fair at Yale. The City-Wide Science Fair is a big event in New Haven: more than 8,000 public school students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade participated in preliminary competitions, with the winners of those contests invited to exhibit at the City-Wide Fair (taking place May 13-15 in Woolsey Hall).

Yale is a strong supporter of the science fair, with faculty and students volunteering as mentors and judges. Last year, 40 of the 65 mentors were from Yale, including 25 graduate students, three undergraduates, five postdoctoral fellows, five faculty members, and two research scientists. Of the 120 judges who evaluated projects at the fair itself, 48 were Yale faculty or students.


Law School
Harold Hongju Koh, Dean

Balkinization blog celebrates fifth anniversary

Balkinization, a legal blog founded and maintained by Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment Jack Balkin, celebrated its fifth anniversary earlier this year. Unlike other blogs that provide entertaining commentary and gossip, Balkinization offers academic views about law and politics. It began as a solo effort by Professor Balkin and soon became a group blog "with a group of writers," said Balkin, "who I think are second to none in the legal blogosphere" -- including several YLS alums and faculty. Since it went online in 2003, the site has enjoyed tremendous success, racking up more than 3 million visitors and 4.5 million page views. To read Balkinization, visit

Panel discussion launches new law and media program

An award-winning panel of experts in journalism, noted for having broken such stories as the Mark Foley/congressional page scandal and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, appeared in April at the inaugural event of the Law School's new Law and Media Program. "Covering Scandals: Investigative Reporters, Their Lawyers, and the Process of Breaking Controversial News," which took place on April 1, examined the process of investigating, editing, vetting, and reporting high-profile stories. The panelists -- Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent for ABC News; John Zucker, senior vice president of law and regulation for ABC News; Jeff Leen, investigations editor at the Washington Post; and Eric Lieberman, vice president and general counsel at the Washington Post -- discussed the intersection of law and journalism, ethical and legal obligations, and the roles attorneys and reporters play in reporting controversial news. The Yale Law School Law and Media Program was created in 2007 as the result of a $2.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The program offers opportunities for students, journalists, and scholars to interact through classes, writing workshops, internships, and events that explore the intersection of law and media.

Environmental law scholar joins Yale Law School faculty

An environmental law scholar, whom Dean Harold Hongju Koh calls "the most exciting new voice in domestic and international environmental law," has joined the Yale Law School faculty as a professor of law. Douglas Kysar, who was a visiting professor at Yale in 2005, comes to YLS from UCLA School of Law, where he taught torts as a visiting professor. He was a member of the faculty at Cornell's law school since 2001. Kysar's scholarship focuses mainly on the areas of environmental law and products liability, combining conventional legal economic analysis with ideas from other disciplines, such as cognitive and social psychology, moral and political philosophy, ecology, and anthropology. Prior to teaching, Kysar practiced with Foley, Hoag, & Eliot in Boston. He earned his JD from Harvard in 1998 and a BA from Indiana University in 1995. He is the author of several books, including the forthcoming Environmental Policy and Law, written with Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy Daniel Esty ’86JD.


School of Management
Joel Podolny, Dean

SOM's integrated curriculum draws industry interest

Deans and top business school administrators flew in from India, China, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and other nations in February to get a closer look at the Yale Management Integrated Curriculum. Over the course of a two-day symposium at Yale, SOM faculty walked the visitors through every aspect of the new curriculum, including the eight "Organizational Perspectives" that form the heart of the core curriculum; the key elements that make up a business-school case study at SOM; the "Leadership Development Program" and "International Experience"; and the "Integrated Leadership Perspective," which brings together all the elements of the core curriculum at the end of the first year.

Two other groups interested in Yale's integrated MBA curriculum are the MBA Roundtable, which this spring published a white paper on Yale's curriculum reform process; and the Harvard Business School, which last year sent a team of case-study writers to interview Yale SOM faculty, students, and staff on the new curriculum. The resulting HBS case on the Yale SOM MBA curriculum was discussed in detail at an HBS Centennial faculty colloquium on the Future of MBA Education in March. Dean Joel Podolny and Deputy Dean Stan Garstka were presenters at the colloquium, which also featured deans and faculty from Stanford, Chicago, and INSEAD.

Prize-winning student develops case on child slavery

The plight of thousands of child slaves toiling on cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast became a national sensation in 2001, largely as a result of a series of stories co-authored by Sumana Chatterjee ’08MBA. As a reporter for the Washington, DC, bureau of Knight-Ridder, Chatterjee and a colleague spent several months chronicling the exploitation of children as young as nine on the plantations that produce more than 40 percent of the cocoa beans for the American chocolate market. The series won the prestigious George Polk Award for International Reporting.

Now a second-year SOM student, Chatterjee wanted to see if the industry had kept promises to end child slavery. Working with the school's case writing team, Chatterjee traveled to London to meet with chocolate executives. The case study she wrote focuses on corporate governance issues for an industry whose natural resource comes from an impoverished, unstable country with little central government control. The case will formally debut in the fall in an SOM course focusing on corporate governance.

Students offered international study

A new exchange program will allow second-year students to spend their fall semester studying abroad at one of four exchange partner schools: the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK; IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain; the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India; and Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, Beijing, China. The program reflects a broader effort by SOM to expand its international programs, which now include faculty-led trips known as the "International Experience," required for every student. The host institutions were chosen on the basis of academic standing and prior history of international exchange involvement; the interests of SOM students, administration, and faculty were also gauged during the selection process. The international exchange is intended to offer SOM students a true study-abroad experience, both academically and culturally, and to offer the student body general exposure to a wider range of international students from the exchange partner schools. "After graduating, our students are involved in business transactions all over the world, and this program will be another way of increasing awareness of the global marketplace, cultural diversities, and international business norms, and of developing a firsthand understanding of today's world," said Deputy Dean Stan Garstka.


School of Medicine
Robert J. Alpern, Dean

Cartoonist honored for mental illness advocacy

Garry Trudeau ’70, ’73MFA, creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoon Doonesbury, received this year's Mental Health Research Advocacy Award from the Yale Department of Psychiatry. The honor is presented to someone who, through advocacy, has made an important contribution in advancing research designed to improve the lives of people with mental illness. Trudeau received the award for his portrayal of the readjustment issues faced by soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In his cartoon strip and subsequent book, The Long Road Home, Trudeau chronicled his character BD's slow physical and emotional recovery from the loss of his leg in the Iraq war. (For a Yale Alumni Magazine report, see Light & Verity.)

A Yale test is highly accurate in detecting the "silent killer"

School of Medicine researchers have developed a blood test that can detect early-stage ovarian cancer with 99 percent accuracy. (See the alumni magazine report, March/April 2008, page 33.) The results expand on work done by the same Yale group in 2005 showing 95 percent effectiveness of a blood test. Adding two more biomarkers to the four used in the first trial, the latest clinical trial, led by Gil Mor, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, tested 500 patients -- 350 healthy controls and 150 ovarian cancer patients. The results were published in the February 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research. Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer deaths in the United States and is three times more lethal than breast cancer. It is called the silent killer because usually it isn't diagnosed until its advanced stages. A third evaluation, testing close to 2,000 patients, has begun. Meanwhile, Yale has licensed the test to three companies.

Yale lab engineers a virus that can kill deadly brain tumors

A laboratory-engineered virus that can find its way through the vascular system and kill deadly brain tumors has been developed by Yale School of Medicine researchers. Anthony van den Pol, professor of neurosurgery, and his team transplanted tumor tissue from human or mouse brains into the brains of mice. Then they inoculated the mice with a lab-created vesicular stomatitis virus. Three days later, the tumors were completely or almost completely infected with the virus and the tumor cells were dying or dead. Normal mouse brain cells and normal human brain cells transplanted into mice were spared. "This underlines the virus's potential therapeutic value against multiple types of brain cancers," van den Pol said. About 200,000 people a year in the United States are diagnosed with brain tumors.

Simple steps reduce errors in obstetrical care

New patient-safety measures developed by researchers at the School of Medicine and implemented at Yale-New Haven Hospital are paying off. The interventions -- designed to reduce errors and improve the staff's impression of the safety climate -- include communication training, standardizing the interpretation of fetal monitoring, and the creation of the new staff position of patient-safety nurse.

Two and a half years after the new measures went into effect, the rate of adverse events such as medical errors and patient injury had decreased by about 60 percent, and positive perceptions of the hospital's safety climate had increased by 30 percent among staff members. Edmund F. Funai, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, said the main cause of adverse events is a breakdown in communication, usually involving failure to recognize the severity of a situation or condition that affects a newborn's status.


School of Music
Robert Blocker, Dean

YSM cosponsors event in Beijing

The Yale School of Music and China's Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) are teaming up to sponsor a historic cultural event in Beijing prior to the Olympic Games. Ten of the world's leading conservatories will participate in a 17-day "musicathlon," in which each institution will present a series of programs in different concert venues in the city. Taking part in the event July 8-24 are the Shanghai Conservatory, Salzburg Mozarteum, Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), Royal Academy of Music (London), Liszt Academy (Budapest), the Korean National University of the Arts, Sydney Conservatorium, Beethoven Institute at the University of Music and Performing Arts (Vienna), and the Juilliard School (New York).

The finale of the "musicathlon" will be a performance of Mahler's Second Symphony ("Resurrection") by musicians from Yale and the CCOM. This concert will be held in the new National Centre for the Performing Arts. The Yale Philharmonia will be joined on stage by the CCOM orchestra and chorus, with two Yale opera alumni, soprano Jennifer Black ’05ArtA and mezzo Mary Phillips ’93MusM, as soloists. Yongyan Hu, artistic director of the Eos Orchestra Academy at CCOM and a former School of Music student, will conduct.

The concert on July 24 is part of the Philharmonia's first tour abroad in over 30 years. The orchestra will also perform in Beijing's Forbidden City Concert Hall, in Shanghai, and in Seoul. Soloists will be current student violinists Angie Cheng ’08 and Sun-Mi Chang ’09 and renowned cello alumnus Jian Wang ’88CMus.

Happy Birthday, Boris

The School of Music presented "The Twenty-first Century Pianist," a symposium that included performances, presentations, and discussions by YSM faculty and alumni, from April 3 to 5. The event honored Professor Boris Berman, chair of Yale's piano department and a faculty member since 1984, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. Events took place in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall, except for the concluding recital on April 5, which was held in Steinway Hall in New York City. Among the performers and presenters were several current students, the school's entire piano faculty, and two dozen piano alumni. Keynote speaker was Anthony Tommasini, chief music critic of the New York Times, who was introduced by Professor Emeritus Donald Currier. For a complete schedule, photos from the presentations and concerts, and biographies, visit

Another first prize at the Met

Baritone Edward Parks, a second-year student of Richard Cross, won first prize in the finals of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions on February 14 in New York City. According to the New York Times, Edward "showed a robust, earthy voice in arias by Bizet and Korngold." Past Met audition winners from the Yale opera program have included Barbara Kilduff ’84MusM and Christian van Horn ’03ArtA.


School of Nursing
Margaret Grey, Dean

NIH funds study of exercise intervention for women with cancer

A Yale researcher has been awarded $2.2 million by the National Cancer Institute to devise new ways of making a woman's post-cancer years healthy and fulfilling. M. Tish Knobf, a professor and lecturer in the nursing school and a member of Yale Cancer Center, is the principal investigator for an exercise intervention trial aimed at improving physiologic health outcomes in an at-risk early post-menopausal cancer survivor population. "Cancer survivors face persistent physical symptoms as well as psychological distress when treatment ends," said Professor Knobf. And for long-term survivors, she added, there are "additional concerns related to cancer therapy, such as bone loss."

The intervention is designed to preserve bone mass and body composition, to improve metabolic risk profile, and to improve functional status. Weight gain, changes in body composition, decreased physical functioning, bone loss, and menopause (induced or natural) in women treated for cancer may increase risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. With an estimated 64 percent of cancer survivors now living longer than five years, interventions are needed to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, secondary cancers, and health risks for other chronic illnesses.

YSN professor leads teen pregnancy program for Health Week

Alison Moriarty Daley ’94MSN, associate professor at YSN, recently led an intensive and interactive teen pregnancy program for ninth-graders at New Haven's High School in the Community. This program, part of New Haven's "Health Week," was the kick-off event for the mayor's Task Force on Teen Pregnancy Prevention, which Moriarty Daley co-chairs. The task force implemented "Health Week" as a way to educate city students. Topics included reproductive anatomy, sexually transmitted infections, birth control, and decision-making. Moriarty Daley used an interactive Jeopardy! PowerPoint game to engage the students with questions and discussions having to do with sexuality and issues facing ninth-graders.

YSN's new center hosts first convocation

The School of Nursing's new Center for Enhancing Outcomes of Vulnerable Populations hosted its first convocation on April 3. This initial convocation served as a transition whereby the former Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care and the Center for Health Policy were integrated into the new center, which has a broader mission. The mission of the new center is to "promote the creation of knowledge that will lead to the understanding, development and testing, and dissemination of interventions to promote health in vulnerable populations . . . through nursing research, care, and education." Vulnerable populations are individuals, families, and communities who are potentially at risk for developing health problems by virtue of their age, gender, chronic illness, low socioeconomic or minority status, cultural barriers, or poor utilization of or lack of equal access to care.

The comment period has expired.