November 26, 2019

One of the most remarked-upon sessions at the YAA Assembly this year, organized as a presentation interlaced with interactive segments, was entitled "Permission To Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions," led by Marc Brackett. Brackett, who recently published a book under the same title, serves as Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor at the Yale Child Study Center.

Brackett is a lively, humorous speaker, yet the content of his talk evinced substantial scientific and sociological merit. Dr. Brackett suggested that roughly 80% of success in the modern world can be attributed to skills related to emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, Brackett explained, includes abilities such as self- and other-awareness and self- and othe...

November 25, 2019

Cultivating Leadership was the theme of this year's Yale Alumni Association Assembly, held on campus last Thursday and Friday, November 21-22, and attended by approximately 550 Yale alumni leaders, delegates, and guests. In his opening address on Thursday, President Salovey defined a leader as one who encourages and uplifts others, citing as exemplars Levi Jackson (Yale's first African-American football player and team captain) and US Navy Rear Admiral and computer scientist Grace Hopper (after whom Hopper College is named). 

Salovey's introduction was followed by a panel discussion ("Yale's Leaders on Leadership: Dean's Panel") featuring the Deans of: Yale College; the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and the Indra K....

September 9, 2019

The Great "Operation Varsity Blues" Scandal of 2019 is still reverberating through the corridors of academe, down school hallways, and around the dinner tables of families of college-bound students everywhere, damaging the prestige of the institutions implicated (which unfortunately included Yale) and casting doubt on selective private universities' claims concerning the fairness of their admissions processes. In the midst of the noise and confusion, Yale.NYC hosted a special panel on May 22, featuring four prominent NYC testing, admissions, and private school specialists, moderated by YC alum Hafeez Lakhani (pictured) of Lakhani Coaching, a private student coaching and college counseling service.

The panelists' presentations, and Q & A period which followed, grappl...

March 19, 2019

In late January, Yale University President Peter Salovey and six University professors, including Fellow for Global Affairs John Kerry, attended the world’s most high-powered annual gathering, the World Economic Forum at Davos. Yet one of the key subjects of the Yale contingent’s presentations there involved a matter not particularly associated with Davos or economics or high-powered gatherings of world leaders—namely, happiness.

Neuroscience has gained considerable ground at Yale in recent years as a leading funding priority, and Yale-sponsored research in the field has produced fascinating discoveries about the nature of human happiness—and its opposite. (Hint: Kill your phone.)

At Davos, at Yale Assembly, and at the Yale Explores NYC event last November, Yale Psychology faculty research o...

November 19, 2018

Craig Crews, Lewis B. Cullman Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry; Executive Director, Yale Center for Molecular Discovery gave a talk at the 2018 Yale Assembly titled “Curing Cancer”. He started by discussing the balance that exists in our bodies of synthesizing and later degrading proteins. If one blocks the degradation of certain proteins, mutations in the genome would increase, which can lead to cancer formation. To combat this, physicians have been using drugs that block this protein buildup, like epoxomicin, however, these drugs often have serious side effects that can harm patients.

To better target chemotherapeutic drugs, Professor Crews has been exploring ways to deliver

drugs specifically to the tumor cells. To that end he has desig...

November 16, 2018

On the Friday of Assembly, there was a presentation on shared identity and interest groups at Yale. The groups that presented include Yale International Alliance, Yale Jewish Alumni Association, and Society of Orpheus and Bacchus Alumni Association. 

Yale International Alliance (YIA) initiative was introduced with objectives such as: creating international ambassadors that function as “connectors” regarding “strategy, programming, and outreach” locally and regionally to better serve the Yale community at large.  Some initiatives involve connecting with other Yalies internationally online, using a Yale Global Map to connect with other Yalies while traveling internationally, with the goal of “building a supportive community around you wherever you are or go” *. The organization is presen...

November 16, 2018

William L. Harkness Hall

Speakers: Molly Crockett and Nicholas Turk-Browne ’09 PhD

“How do we balance selfish interests against moral values? How do we make decisions about what to do? How do we perceive, learn, and remember what happens in our lives?” *

The professors listed gave an engaging presentation with effective interactive examples that illustrated how “brain imaging”, and “computational tools” can be used to diagram interrelations among various parts of the brain to give us a “snapshot” of how we process information and which parts of the brain are stimulated in the process, giving us a potential understanding of what “moral” decisions visually look like in our consciousness, based on brain imaging.

*Quotes taken from AYA Assembly promotional materials and pertinent websites

November 16, 2018

Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale

Speakers: Jeff Brock ’92, John Lafferty, and Daniel Spielman ’92

“The world is currently undergoing a data revolution: we face societal and technological changes comparable to the industrial revolution in their potential impact.  The advent of new tools from machine learning and artificial intelligence are transforming how we process and assimilate information and data in science and society and in our culture more broadly.  And yet the uncanny power of these tools lacks a clear mathematical foundation, and guarantees of fair and ethical application of their power are still elusive.” *

The professors listed gave an excellent overview of this concept and the benefit of Yale’s new initiative and AYA Assembly theme “Science at Yale Shaping the Fu...

This information session was packed with presentations by leaders of various clubs doing great things to connect and provide networking opportunities for alumni around their region. Nory Babbitt moderated. EJ Crawford gave a broad overview presentation about the new iModules and its aim to connect people and create a broad platform for alumni to share their stories. He encouraged the alumni community to send in their stories. Nory Babbitt gave a short introduction to creating clubs and SIGS in Meeting Alumni Where They Are. The Yale Club of Oregon president, Xiaoyan Huang shared about their accomplishments, what technical tools they use to set-up their events (Eventbrite, Google Doc, Website for landing purposes, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Zoom for online meeting, SurveyMonkey for post-eve...

November 14, 2018


Kathryn Lofton

Professor of Religious Studies, American Studies, History, and Religious Studies—ethnographer

Thomas Easley

Assistant Dean of Community and Inclusion at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Richard Bribiescas

Deputy Provost for Faculty Development & Diversity, Professor of Anthropology; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

I am writing this blog post from the back of my sister’s precept classroom at Princeton (she’s teaching the class!). A woman of color, she was a Computer Science major at Yale, has worked as a programmer at the most important companies in the industry and in government, and now she’s completing her Master’s in Computer Science at Princeton. I may be a professional performer and actor, but I know first-hand the value of representation in any...

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