Yale college

School Notes: Yale College
July/August 2008

Student wins writing contest

The Atlantic Monthly has named Jerry Guo ’09 the winner of the nonfiction division of its prestigious student writing contest. Guo won the prize for a piece he had written in an undergraduate course taught by essayist and reporter Anne Fadiman, who is the Francis Writer in Residence and adjunct professor of English. The essay profiled an unusual subject: the man who owns the world's largest collection of (human) celebrity hair.

Guo credits the prize to his experience in Fadiman's class. Of Fadiman, Guo says, "She spent so much time on this piece with me that I really couldn't have won the Atlantic competition without her. She's definitely the best professor I've had at Yale, and a wonderful person."

When he is not attending classes and working as a research assistant for Ian Ayres ’81, ’86JD, the William K. Townsend Professor of Law, Guo is a freelance writer for the New York Times. This past May, he traveled to Nepal on assignment as a Leitner Fellow, a fellowship administered by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.

In the 11 years since the Atlantic Monthly inaugurated this contest, five of the first prizes have been awarded to Yale students. During the past four years, pieces written in nonfiction courses at Yale have taken three first prizes, and, in the other year, second prize in that contest.

Honors for two faculty members

At their annual dinner, Yale's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa honors one retired faculty member and one active faculty member with the William Clyde DeVane Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Teaching. Akhil Reed Amar, ’80, ’84JD, the Southmayd Professor of Law and Political Science, and Donald Crothers, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and professor emeritus of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, are this year's honorees. Amar's course Constitutional Law is perennially lauded by students, and Crothers was renowned for inspiring students in the sciences during his career. Yale's most prestigious undergraduate teaching honor, the DeVane Award has been conferred by Phi Beta Kappa since 1966. William Clyde DeVane was dean of Yale College from 1938 to 1963 and during his career served as president of both the Yale and United chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.

Alumnus named new master of Ezra Stiles College

Stephen Pitti ’91, professor in the American Studies program and director of the Program in Ethnicity, Race and Migration, has been appointed master of Ezra Stiles College, effective July 1. Pitti lived in Ezra Stiles College as a student at Yale. His wife, who will serve as associate master, is Alicia Schmidt Camacho, the Sarai Ribicoff Associate Professor of American Studies. The couple's twins, first-graders Antonio and Thalia, will also join the Ezra Stiles community.

Pitti earned his MA and PhD at Stanford, returning to Yale in 1998 to become an assistant professor of history and American studies, specializing in Mexican-American studies and immigration reform.

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