Yale college

School Notes: Yale College
July/August 2007

Crossing boundaries

Yale has a new project underway to promote richer understanding of contemporary issues in the Middle East. The Council on Middle East Studies of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies will bring together three visiting scholars each year, from different disciplines and countries, whose research will focus on regional issues with global implications. Two visiting scholars for 2007-2008 have already been named: Shaul Mishal, professor of political science at Tel Aviv University and an expert on Palestinian politics and Islamic fundamentalism, and Farhad Khosrokhavar, professor of sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

The Iranian studies component, launched in the fall of 2006 with a monthly seminar series led by Yale professor of history and Carnegie scholar Abbas Amanat, will gain momentum with a conference next fall on "Iranian Identity Boundaries and Modern Political Culture." Daryoush Ashouri, a prominent Iranian author, translator, and researcher, will be visiting Yale in 2007, and Arang Keshavarzian, a researcher focusing on Iranian politics, economic development, clergy-state relations, and social movements, will continue as a MacMillan Center research affiliate. The program also includes a Turkish studies component, a public health component, and a program called ERICE (Empowerment and Resilience in Children Everywhere). ERICE is a collaborative project that will support research on childhood disorders in this region of conflict, implement treatment programs, and establish training and degree programs.

Students honor their teachers

An online evaluation system in Yale College has led to an unprecedented percentage of students writing evaluations for each and every course they take, but the winners of the highly regarded teaching prizes are still chosen by traditional methods. At the Phi Beta Kappa banquet in February, the juniors and seniors who had been admitted in the first and second elections (another election was held at Commencement) awarded their teaching prize to Marvin Chun, professor of psychology and the new master of Berkeley, with a citation recalling that he was applauded after every single one of his lectures. At Class Day in May, six teaching prizes were awarded: to Alicia Schmidt-Camacho, assistant professor of American studies, for "uniting her excellent teaching seamlessly with her community and world citizenship"; to William Yu Zhou, senior lector in East Asian languages and literatures, for his "brilliant and devoted teaching of Chinese language"; to Keith Darden, assistant professor of political science, for his "charismatic and captivating lectures and dedicated mentoring"; and to Mark Johnson, Arthur T. Kemp Professor of Chemistry, for the "sizzling chemical reactions" his teaching generates in his classrooms. In addition, students saluted Richard Lalli, associate professor (adjunct) of music, with a chorus of his name set to Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus"; and Robert Farris Thompson, John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art (whose legendary courses on the Black Atlantic visual tradition and New York mambo have riveted generations of students), with a recorded version of his favorite Tito Puente music.

Two athletes enter Yale lore

Every year, Yale honors its most remarkable athletes at Class Day. This year, Ed McCarthy, among the most decorated players in Yale football history, was named the winner of the William Neely Mallory Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior male at Yale. McCarthy, a four-year starter who played every position on the offensive line, was the first offensive lineman in league history to claim a major award: he was the Ancient Eight's rookie of the year in 2003. He was a 2004 second-team All-Ivy choice and made the first team the following two years. A Fairfield, Connecticut, native, McCarthy earned four different (Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, the Sports Network, Walter Camp) All-America honors as Yale's top offensive lineman during the Bulldogs' 2006 Ivy League championship season. He helped Yale's offense rank No. 1 in rushing among Ivy teams with 200.80 yards per game. In addition, he won the Gridiron Club of Boston's Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award for outstanding academic and athletic accomplishments as well as exemplary citizenship. He also was a finalist for the Draddy Award, college football's top academic prize, and was honored by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame as a scholar-athlete. The Bulldog lineman also garnered academic all-district and All-Ivy honors the last two years. A history major, McCarthy graduated with a 3.6 GPA.

Rachel Jeffers, who helped lead the Yale women's crew to a pair of Ivy League titles and this year's NCAA championship, was the recipient of the 2007 Nellie Pratt Elliot Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale. This spring, Jeffers, the team captain, stroked the Yale varsity eight to the Eastern Sprints and Ivy League titles. The Bulldogs were 12-0 in the dual-race season and ranked second in the nation in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/U.S. Rowing poll. Yale has qualified for the NCAA team championships in each of Jeffers's four years. In her freshman season, Jeffers sat in the No. 1 seat as the Bulldogs finished second in the NCAA grand final, less than two seconds behind the national champion. In her sophomore year, the Bulldogs won their first Sprints and Ivy League titles since 1981. Yale captured the bronze medal at Sprints in her junior season. Jeffers, who started rowing in her sophomore year of high school at a club in her hometown of Los Gatos, California, also has international experience. She was part of the U.S. national team that won a silver medal in last year's world championships in Lucerne, Switzerland, and she is a candidate for the U.S. team that will compete at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Also a history major, Jeffers maintained a 3.4 GPA.

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