Yale college

School Notes: Yale College
September/October 2009

State and national honors for students

Among the many Yale College students who received honors in 2008-2009, Rich Tao capped his junior year by representing Yale at the annual College Academic Day at the Connecticut state capitol, and seniors Jarrad Aguirre and Adeola Oni-Orisan were awarded Jack Kent Cooke Foundation graduate scholarships.

Tao (Silliman ’10) was nominated by President Richard C. Levin and Dean Mary Miller for the state event in Hartford. He and other students selected toured the capitol, attended a welcoming reception, and were introduced to members of the state legislature. Each student also received a special citation from the Connecticut General Assembly. Aguirre (Davenport ’09) and Oni-Orisan (Branford ’09) were among the 30 Cooke recipients nationwide -- with Yale the only institution to have two scholarship winners this year. The awards provide funding of up to $50,000 per year to support the scholars' graduate studies. Aguirre, a Rhodes Scholar-elect, will study medical anthropology at the University of Oxford next year before returning to the United States to complete his medical education; Oni-Orisan, who has been actively involved in public health initiatives and advocacy, will use the award to finance her dual-degree program (MD/MPH) at Harvard Medical School.

A new dean for the arts

On August 24, the Yale College dean's office welcomed Susan E. Cahan as its first-ever associate dean for the arts. Formerly associate dean for academic affairs of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Cahan was selected by a search committee headed by Professor Marc Robinson of theater studies; she rose to the top of an outstanding group of candidates based on her evident passion for the arts, her experience as a teacher and a curator, and her dedication to undergraduate arts education.

Throughout her career, Cahan has cultivated relationships with community organizations in contemporary art and has expanded the role of the museums for which she worked to include more education and outreach. At Yale, in coordination with the masters of the residential colleges and the deans of the professional arts schools, she will play a crucial role in developing new programs and initiatives, managing resources, and envisioning the future of the arts in Yale College.

Portrait at Saybrook honors Miller, Kamens . . . and Rainbow

At the end of the spring 2009 semester, a portrait of Dean Mary Miller and Professor Ed Kamens was unveiled at Saybrook College. The painting -- commissioned to honor the couple's decade of service to Saybrook as its master and associate master and Kamens's term as acting master following Miller's appointment to the Yale College deanship -- also features Rainbow the cat, who was a fixture at Saybrook master's teas for a decade.

A committee of Saybrook fellows and current undergraduates, chaired by senior fellow Charles Porter ’62PhD, initiated the project, selecting the painter Christina Spiesel (a senior research scholar at Yale Law School) to create the portrait. More than 150 Saybrugians donated to the project. Following its unveiling, the portrait was installed in the Saybrook dining hall.

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