Yale college

School Notes: Yale College
January/February 2012

Recent graduate wins writing prize

Elisa Gonzalez ’11 has won the Norman Mailer College Writing Award in creative nonfiction for her essay “All the Words I Knew,” a reflection on losing the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The three-year-old Mailer competition has quickly become a premier college writing contest, and Yale writers have been named finalists more often than students from any other college. Gonzalez, however, is the first Yalie to win the overall prize. In addition to a $10,000 cash award, she receives a scholarship to next summer’s Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony, and she was honored at the colony’s national award ceremony in November.

As a student in Anne Fadiman’s seminar Writing About Oneself, Elisa wrote the essay as her capstone assignment. “All the Words I Knew” is listed in the 2011 edition of Best American Essays. The essay also won Yale’s Wright Prize for best undergraduate nonfiction and earned publication in the Harvard Review.

Annual prizes celebrate outstanding junior faculty

In November, Dean Mary Miller conferred three prestigious teaching awards upon 12 junior faculty members. Each prize carries an award of funding to support further writing or research.

The Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research, awarded to junior faculty members in the natural or social sciences, went to André D. Taylor, assistant professor of chemical & environmental engineering; Ebonya Washington, Henry Kohn Associate Professor of Economics; Michael McGovern, assistant professor of anthropology; and Elsa Yan, assistant professor of chemistry. The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research, for junior faculty members in the humanities, was awarded to Barry McCrea, associate professor of comparative literature; Brian Kane, assistant professor of music; Irene Peirano, assistant professor of classics; Paul North, assistant professor of German; and Alan Mikhail, assistant professor of history.

The Poorvu Family Award for Interdisciplinary Teaching provides the means for faculty whose teaching spans disciplines to expand their scholarly efforts through summer research. Recipients for 2011 were GerShun Avilez, assistant professor of African American studies and English; J. D. Connor, assistant professor of history of art; and Paige McGinley, assistant professor of theater studies, American studies, and African American studies.

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