Monday, November 26, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Three months after receiving a $1.95 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Graduate School is using some of the funds to create a new concentration for Ph.D. students.
“Technologies of Knowledge,” the new concentration, will bring together 12 third-year Ph.D. students from various disciplines to partake in a two-semester interdisciplinary seminar on the technologies involved in disseminating knowledge. Participating students will begin the program this spring and receive an additional year of funding to pursue interdisciplinary research. Yale College Dean Mary Miller said the concentration will broaden students’ research horizons and enrich their academic work, which she said she hopes will give students a competitive edge in the job market for professors.
“This will be the systematic process of bringing students together from different disciplines to work with a team of faculty, who themselves come from different disciplines,” Miller said. “We were looking at what would be a topic that would allow for emergence of new questions and new knowledge.”
As part of the grant’s aim to enhance humanities education at Yale, students in the new seminar will discuss the transmission of knowledge across cultures and civilizations, examining topics such as university education, writing systems, libraries, film and digital media. The class will be co-taught by classics professor Emily Greenwood, philosophy and psychology professor Tamar Gendler ’87 and film and humanities professor Francesco Casetti.
For the full story, click below.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Yale Alumni Service Corps
2013 First Domestic Service Trip to West Virginia
June 26th-June 30th, 2013
College Summit sessions with volunteer coaches and studentsYASC will partner with College Summit, an organization founded by Yale alumni J.B. Schramm '86, which has established relationships with local schools in underserved areas of the Unites States to provide coaching and mentoring for students with the goal of increased enrollment rates at institutions of higher education. College Summit has been established in West Virginia since 2001 when they did their first test pilot program and since then they have touched the lives of over eight thousand students from twenty seven high schools. While working in a college setting, College Summit provides both college counseling and coaching in writing college essays along with activities in workshops that fosters student-leaders.
Coal transport train and river used for coal transport barges & power
Monday, November 19, 2012
When the five buses roll into the Ghanaian town of Yamoransa, hundreds of children are waiting on the red dirt plaza in front of a low-slung concrete-block school building. The children bob and shout as 160 Yale volunteers climb off the buses and cautiously skirt the steep open sewer that separates the highway from the plaza. For five days in late July and early August, in this impoverished town on Africa’s Atlantic coast, this scene will repeat itself every morning: the volunteers plowing through the throng, the Ghanaian children reaching out for handshakes, saluting the visitors with high fives, and sometimes crowding around two ten-year-old volunteers to touch their long hair. (The Ghanaian schoolchildren have buzz cuts, boys and girls alike.)* * *
After a month back home in California, Darcy Troy Pollack ’87 remembers the trip as exhausting. “It was not a vacation. It was a life experience,” says Troy Pollack, a member of the AYA board of governors. “In the middle of the trip, if you’d asked me, would I go back, I’d say no way.” Now, she says, she’s already planning what kind of protein bars to pack for next summer.
Yale Alumni Magazine: Far From Home, Briefly (Nov/Dec 2012)
Sunday, November 18, 2012
What were your expectations for the partnership between ONE and YASC in Ghana?
Our hope was that by bringing ONE representatives on the trip with us, we could tap into the engagement our volunteers felt while in Ghana and encourage them to bring that passion home in way that could continue to have impact, specifically via advocacy. It is great when you are there, on the ground, and can actively help… but how do you continue to help when you get home? That’s where ONE comes in. The ONE Campaign is an advocacy network. They are not a fundraising organization; they are a “voice raising” organization. ONE sent four staffers on the trip with us: the U.S. Field Director, a regional Field Director, a policy expert and a trip logistics specialist. The idea was that they would (1) take us on local site visits so that we could see for ourselves programs that are having an impact on the ground, and (2) teach us about advocacy – what it means to advocate and how one does that. Our hope was that our volunteers would choose to continue their service by becoming members of ONE and advocating on behalf of the programs we saw on the ground -- programs that are changing people’s lives.
What were the highlights – what was your favourite activity/project?
As soon as I start to say one site visit or another was a highlight, I change my mind… they were all amazing! Perhaps most moving was meeting the cocoa farmers who are being advised by an NGO called Technoserv. Technoserv has helped them to navigate complex trade laws and certification requirements (like “Fair Trade” and “organic”), as well as provided them with much needed advice on fertilizers, pesticides and farming best practices. We saw one farm that was being helped by Technoserv, and it was so clean and prosperous. The farm across the road was not so lucky… they were not being aided by Technoserv, and it looked like a wild jungle. But the real difference? The farmers with Technoserv are making enough money to send their children to school… a first!
Was there a moment of illumination on the trip? Is there one big insight you gained from your experience?
When we went to see a couple of the local fishing villages, it became apparent to me for the first time just how very complex the issues are that are facing these communities. This one village we visited had had six homes washed into the sea last year due to coastal erosion. And their fish stocks are being devastated by pollution and overfishing. You can’t just “solve” problems like these. It will truly take a global village to figure this out. That’s why we all need to be aware of how important U.S. funding is to programs like the Coastal Resources Center, which we saw doing phenomenal work in this village. That’s why we all need to be advocates!
How would you define sustainability?
Work that has a lasting impact.
How can this partnership be strengthened next year? What do you hope to achieve?
We hope that ONE will choose to join us again for our YASC trip to Ghana next summer… and that we can take even more people on these incredible site visits that they organize! There is no question in my mind… once you have seen these programs with your own eyes, you can’t help but work on their behalf. It is that powerful. My goal for next year? To encourage all our volunteers to become story tellers… to bear witness to the incredible work these programs do and in that way to advocate on their behalf!
Tannis Arnett A graduate of Yale’s Master of Religion in the Arts program, Tannis has worked as a Marketing and Communications professional at TVO, Ontario’s public broadcaster, for over ten years. The trip to Ghana was her fourth service tour with YASC. She is currently the Chair of YASC’s Communications Committee.
Monday, November 12, 2012
November 5, 2012
Delegates gather in Commons at a previous AYA Assembly. (Photo by Michael Marsland)
Hundreds of Yale alumni leaders will gather in New Haven Nov. 8–10 for the Association of Yale Alumni Assembly LXXII.
“The University is delighted to be welcoming back over 400 dedicated volunteers and assembly guests,” says Vice President Linda K. Lorimer ’77 J.D. “These individuals do so much to contribute to Yale and to the vibrancy of programs and initiatives by and for our graduates.”
The assembly is the main annual gathering of the alumni association. Delegates represent Yale College classes, the graduate and professional schools, alumni shared-interest groups, and the local alumni clubs in many American cities, regions, and states, as well as countries overseas.
Beyond focusing on organizational business, each assembly highlights an important facet of the University and alumni life. This year, the theme is “Answering the call to service: alumni volunteers in the global community.” The program will feature speakers who discuss why alumni community service is important to Yale and who will showcase the service-enabling programs now supported by the AYA, most of which did not exist five years ago.
The call to community service by alumni, in their home communities and globally, has been a priority for the AYA, and its first-ever strategic plan, titled “Ambassadors for Yale,” was adopted in 2007 after listening sessions with alumni across the world.
“Alumni are increasingly coming together for service to their home communities,” said Mark Dollhopf ’77, executive director of the AYA. “They are being called upon to not only give dollars to their alma mater, but to give of themselves in volunteer service.”
During the assembly, six alumni will also be honored for their service to Yale with the awarding of the Yale Medal, the highest award presented by the AYA, which is conferred solely to recognize and honor outstanding individual service to the University. Since its inception, the Yale Medal has been presented to 287 individuals. This year’s recipients are Edward J. Greenberg '59, Richard J. Franke '53, Ellen Gibson McGinnis '82, Nancy A. Stratford '77, Robert E. Steele '71 M.P.H., '75 Ph.D., and David Swensen '80 Ph.D. Readers can learn more about the honorees in this YaleNews story.
The inaugural Yale-Jefferson Award for Public Service will also be presented during the assembly. The first recipient of the to J.B. Schramm ’86, founder of College Summit, a program that identifies college-capable students in low-income areas and prepares them for the college admissions process. See the related YaleNews story.YaleNews | Annual alumni association assembly focuses on service
Checkout the new Yale app for iPhone and Android. Looks cool!
The official Yale University iPhone app is now available. See below for a list of features, contact info and links to other Yale-related iPhone apps. Check back for information about an Android release date.
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Sunday, November 11, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Paul Doiron made a big splash with his Edgar Award-nominated first novel, “The Poacher’s Son,” which introduced Maine game warden Mike Bowditch and his extraordinary talent for tracking animals and people through the worst weather that Maine can dish up. When he’s reassigned to the eponymous “Bad Little Falls,” a remote town near the Canadian border where drug abuse, unemployment, poverty, violence, and poaching are rampant, his reputation for disregarding orders precedes him and it looks as if his career has dead-ended. To him, it’s the equivalent of “being exiled to Siberia.”
When he’s called upon to examine the carcass of a zebra, frozen to death in a wild animal hunting park, he immediately makes a dangerous enemy of the park’s owner, a yahoo whose only concern is luring customers who will pay big bucks so they can mount animal heads over their fireplaces. Lonely and far from friends, Bowditch develops an unhealthy attachment to lovely Jamie Sewall, a former drug addict who manages a McDonald’s. Her son is troubled, and her brother and ex-boyfriend sell drugs that may have recently killed a college student. When Jamie’s ex is murdered, Bowditch struggles to rein in his need to protect her.
Three recent mystery titles - Books - The Boston Globe
The story has a strong sense of place and makes palpable the raw power that weather and water can wield. The plot is driven by the elusive possibility that this time Bowditch can redeem his career while saving Jamie and her son. Shelve this book beside the works of Steve Hamilton and William Kent Kruger, stories of strong but not macho men living in godforsaken places, bruised by past relationships, and trying to get it right this time.
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Mark your calendars for the next Yale Day of Service, May 11, 2013. http://bit.ly/KGBYmZ
The Yale Alumni Service Corps has its next trip to to León, Nicaragua on March 16 - 23, 2013.
Join us as we inspire change and help a Central American community in need!!!
Have you ever wanted to travel with a purpose and really get to know locals? Would you like to be part of a volunteer team that makes a difference in the lives of others? You can! This March, the Yale Alumni Service Corps, in partnership with the Yale School of Nursing, will connect a group of alumni, students, and friends of Yale with the community of Trohilo in León, Nicaragua. In this small marginal community, surrounded by sugar cane fields, our medical team will address acute care needs, conduct comprehensive visits for women and children, counsel for mental health & domestic violence, as well as promote health education. We also hope to make connections with children and leave lasting benefits by using our talents and energy to teach arts, computers, English, math and sports. Our construction team will work to build important amenities for the community including a library, school tables and goal posts as well as potentially renovating public buildings. No matter what your background or skill sets, if you have a passion for people and service, we have a need for you.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Nine and a half years ago, my life was threatened in childbirth. I clearly remember thinking between contractions, “I guess maybe this is my time to go.” The atmosphere in the hospital room was tense, as doctors spoke with each other in hushed groups, trying to figure out exactly what was wrong and what to do about it. My husband fed me ice chips, saying things like “C’mon Rena, stay strong, you gotta get through this. We need you,” referring to himself and our two young daughters, then aged two and four.
When you come face to face with your own mortality, you involuntarily look back over your life and assess whether or not you lived this gift called life full out with passion, intention, and love. I wasn’t scared, angry, or worried about me as I contemplated my potential demise – I knew I had lived a full, wonderful life with many amazing opportunities, people, and love. I had no regrets looking back (which is a gift in and of itself).
But I wanted to be there in the future to help raise my daughters. I wanted to be there to love them, guide them, teach them, learn from them. I wanted to watch them grow and blossom. I wanted to have a positive impact on their lives.
The good news is that I made it through that scary ordeal and am here today. The bad news is that our precious baby girl, Liza Longstreth Hedeman, passed away a few hours after she was born, a result of a massive infection that had suddenly and unexpectedly mushroomed inside of me. Even only knowing her for a few hours, I “knew” Liza for so much longer than that, as any mother who has carried a baby can understand. I knew her kicks, her habits, her sleep patterns, her little personality.
When you lose a child, you lose a part of yourSELF. And although time, prayer, psychotherapy, and still more time help heal the pain, it never really goes away. I miss Liza, my dear sweet innocent baby girl, and all the unrealized dreams and smiles and love her future represented. I still talk to her in my dreams, hug her in my mind, and love her intensely in my heart. And even though this happened more than nine years ago, I sometimes still cry for her in the dark.
Intellectually I know her loss wasn’t my fault. But as a female, a woman feels this innate biological responsibility to create life, to bring it into the world, nurture it, help it grow and get stronger. That’s a woman’s special gift to the world. And although I don’t blame myself, part of my intense sadness comes from knowing that my body failed her. I was unable to nurture her and keep her safe.
But I made a vow that day – to Liza and to myself – that from that day on I would make every day matter. No more living on autopilot! No more waiting for “someday” to follow my dreams! No more wishing life away by thinking “can’t wait for the weekend” or “can’t wait ‘til the kids are a bit older and more independent”! No!
When you look death in the face, you realize that life is right here. Life is right now. And life itself is such an amazing gift! Even the struggles, even the pain. For it’s the pain that enables us to be reborn as a stronger, wiser, more loving, more self-aware, more appreciative, more giving, more present individual.
But we don’t have to come face-to-face with death or have tragedy befall us personally to grow and become stronger. The stories and photos this past week of the devastation and destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy are enough to make even the toughest among us get teary and shake our heads in utter dismay.
Why me? we may ask when it happens to us or someone we love. How do I handle this? Where do I go from here? How can I go on?
When tragedy causes us to crumble, to drop to our knees in complete vulnerability, and to surrender, that’s when we begin to find our strength. It’s the rebuilding of our lives hour by hour, day by day, brick by brick, that transforms us into a new person with new eyes, new ways of seeing things, new ways of living and being.
It’s the two steps forward and one step back that we experience along our journey as we pick up the pieces and begin to create a new life. And it’s the outpouring of compassion, love and generosity from friends, family, and complete strangers that nourishes our soul and strengthens our resolve to get back on our feet.
As human beings, that’s our greatest gift and our greatest source of strength – whether we’re the one in pain or the onlooker – it’s the compassion, love, kindness, and generosity.
So my plea to you right now, wherever you are, is to reach out. Whether you’re suffering or witnessing others in pain, lend a hand, listen, ask how you can help, spread some love, be of value. Life’s greatest challenges and heartbreaks can turn into life’s most enduring and strengthening gifts.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Sir Winston Churchill
“Find yourself and express yourself in your own particular way. Express your love openly. Life is nothing but a dream, and if you create your life with love, your dream becomes a masterpiece of art.” – don Miguel Ruiz
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
The AYA and the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications look forward to seeing hundreds of friends on campus this week for Assembly LXVII. Whether you will be attending or not, we want to make sure you know some ways you can connect and communicate about AYA, Yale, and the Assembly.
As we hope you've noticed, AYA, OPAC, and Yale have increased our efforts throughout 2012 to tell the stories of Yale faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Teamwork plus great stories equal strong results: YaleNews has had over half a million unique visitors this year, engagement with Yale's Facebook page has grown nearly 600%, our Twitter has doubled in reach, and we've established a vibrant Tumblr presence. Yale’s digital storytelling has been noticed beyond campus: TrackSocial Blog and Mashable both ranked Yale among the top universities on social media, ahead of Ivy peers.
With so many alums using social media, smartphones, and tablets, we want to make sure more connect and share the good news about Yale and the AYA with classmates and friends. Some useful information for Assembly:
The official Yale app is available, for free, via the App Store for iPhones and iPads and the Google Play store for Android. It includes an AYA Assembly 2012 button, quickly linking you to the online information about Assembly, including the schedule. Use it – and help cut down on our paper use to keep Assembly sustainable!
If you Tweet, please use hashtag #YaleAlumni for Assembly Tweets – and follow along with others using the #YaleAlumni hashtag.
If you are on Facebook, please tag Yale University on your Assembly posts.
YaleNews has stories about Assembly online now – read and share with friends.
We hope you will follow and engage with our alma mater via YaleNews, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and the Yale app - and encourage all in our extended Yale family to do the same!
Robert Bonds '71
Assistant Director for Club and Association Relations, AYA
Michael Morand '87 '93 MDiv
Deputy Chief Communications Officer, Yale OPAC