Jasmina Besirevic Regan joined the Graduate School in 2016, and serves as Associate Dean. She is responsible for designing and implementing strategic projects aimed at strengthening and supporting our graduate programs. Working with the Graduate School’s Graduate Program Review team, she also helps to identify areas of growth and opportunity within our graduate programs. She works closely with the academic affairs team and with graduate programs across the divisions to provide review and support at the programmatic level. She advises graduate programs on curricular and structural issues, the development and implementation of school and program policies, student exchanges and international initiatives, and the admissions process for degree-granting programs.
Dean Besirevic’s academic training is in the sociology of genocide. Her teaching and research interests also include ethnic conflict, identity, nationalism, human rights, and refugee resettlement. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale having also earned the Master’s degrees there. She has taught courses in Yale College in Sociology, Global Affairs, and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. She has presented papers on the sociology of genocide at a number of professional meetings, and has been invited to speak at international conferences both at Yale and abroad. Before joining the Graduate School academic affairs team, she served as the Dean of Trumbull College, one of fourteen residential colleges at Yale, for twelve years.
Assistant Dean & Director, McDougal GSL, GSAS & VPSL
Lisa Brandes joined the staff of the Graduate School in 1996 upon the founding of the McDougal Graduate Student Center. She has worked with graduate student fellows and staff to develop a wide range of social and cultural events and foster a greater sense of community among students and postdoctoral fellows. She oversees orientation and various events sponsored by the Graduate School, including coordination of Commencement activities.
Raised in Louisiana, Dean Brandes received her B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She earned her M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D. in Political Science at Yale, with a specialization in international relations. Lisa held faculty positions at Tufts and Wesleyan Universities, and her research focused on the domestic sources of foreign policy, particularly the impact of gender on public attitudes toward war and peace issues. Brandes has served as an officer within regional and national political science associations and women’s groups. More recently, she has been a leader in graduate student services associations and active in graduate education issues, writing articles, consulting, and making conference presentations on graduate student life and mental health.
Lynn Cooley is the C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics, professor of cell biology and of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. She has served as the director of the Combined Program in the Biological & Biomedical Sciences since 2001.
She received her B.A. from Connecticut College in 1976, and her earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 1984 for research carried out with Sterling Professor Dieter Söll in Yale’s Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Science where she established new methods using transposable elements for genetic and molecular analysis of genes in the fruit fly Drosophila model system.
Her research focuses on the development of female gametes, or eggs, in Drosophila, especially on two key aspects of egg development during oogenesis: the role of intercellular bridges called ring canals in developing egg chambers, and the regulation of oocyte growth. Cellular mechanisms used to control oocyte development in Drosophila are directly relevant to female fertility in other animals, including humans.
Cooley is currently serving on the board of directors of the Genetics Society of America and as a council delegate for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has been recognized with a Pew Scholar Award from the Pew Charitable Trusts, is a member of the Connecticut Academy for Science and Engineering, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has published numerous scientific articles in the journals of several different scientific fields.
Brian joined the Office of Career Strategy in summer of 2013 and currently serves as Senior Associate Director, working with students in Yale's Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and postdoctoral fellows and associates. Prior to joining Yale, Brian worked in career services at Wesleyan University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he oversaw their Field Experience program. Brian is a member of NACE and the CCEIA. In addition to working in career services, Brian has also served as an adjunct instructor at the University of New Haven and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Brian lives in the New Haven area and is an avid fan of skiing and hiking.
<p>Ann Gaylin joined the Graduate School in 2017 and serves as Associate Dean for Graduate Education. She leads the academic affairs team and works closely with graduate programs across the divisions to offer guidance and support at the programmatic level. She advises graduate programs on curricular and structural issues, the development and implementation of school and program policies, and the admissions process for degree-granting programs. Dean Gaylin’s academic training is in nineteenth- and twentieth-century English and French literature. Her teaching and research interests explore topics in romantic, Victorian, and modern fiction. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brandeis University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. Prior to joining the Graduate School, Dean Gaylin was a faculty member and DUS in the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale. She has also worked at the American Council of Learned Societies, at Brown University, and most recently at Harvard University, where she served as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education for Academic Support. At Brown, Dean Gaylin taught in the Comparative Literature Department and collaborated with faculty to produce, revise, and enhance undergraduate academic programs. At Harvard, she provided leadership to align and integrate academic support services and other programs in the College and GSAS.</p>
Robert Harper-Mangels has served as assistant dean of the Graduate School since 2006. He earned his B.A. in Music and Psychology at Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Behavior at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before coming to Yale, he served as Assistant Director of the Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience.
Assistant Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Teaching Development
Elena Kallestinova joined the Graduate School in 2008 to design and implement graduate writing programs and coordinate the work of the graduate writing advisors and fellows. She provides individual and group consultations to graduate students at all stages of their student career and works with faculty members to design group programs for students in their departments.
Dr. Kallestinova received her Ph.D. in Linguistics and M.A. in TESOL from the University of Iowa and her B.A. and M.A. in Theoretical and Computational Linguistics from Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia. She has been teaching academic writing, linguistic and ESL classes since the mid-1990s.
Michelle Nearon joined the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in July 2008, where she works closely with students, members of the faculty and administration, and the McDougal Center Offices, to proactively recruit, retain, and assist in the professional development of graduate students from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, political, cultural, and lifestyle backgrounds.
Dean Nearon received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brooklyn Polytechnic University, respectively. After completing her master’s degree she devoted approximately ten years to both the aerospace and automotive industries, beginning as a research engineer and ultimately becoming a general manager. She then completed a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stony Brook University in May 2000. Nearon subsequently served on the faculty at Stony Brook University as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and as director of recruitment and diversification in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences until coming to Yale.
Leah Phinney joined the Graduate School in 2017. Leah graduated with a B.A. from Yale College and received an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining the Graduate School, Leah worked for nearly ten years in undergraduate admissions in Yale, where she served as Associate Director of Admission and an admissions committee chair. While in undergraduate admissions, she developed expertise in international admissions, project management, and technology implementation. Leah has also worked in admissions at Wesleyan University. In collaboration with academic programs and the deans of the Graduate School, Leah and her colleagues in the admissions office oversee the processing of all degree and non-degree applications to the Graduate School.
Pamela Schirmeister joined the Graduate School in 1999, and serves as Sr. Associate Dean and Dean of Strategic Initiatives for The Graduate School, and the FAS Dean’s office and as Dean of Undergraduate Education at Yale College. She works on academic and administrative initiatives at the intersection of the College, the Graduate School and the FAS and on undergraduate curricular issues.
Dean Schirmeister’s academic training is in nineteenth-century American literature. Her research interests also include the relation between philosophy and literature, psychoanalytic theory, and biography, and she has published several books and many articles in these areas. She received from Yale both her B.A. (BK) and Ph.D. in English and has taught courses in Yale College in English, Comparative Literature and the Humanities. Before returning to Yale, Schirmeister worked as a reporter for Time magazine and taught at Middlebury, NYU and at University of Konstanz, where she is also a member of the International Advisory Board.
Since October 2015, Hyun Ja has been dedicated to supporting graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and postdoctoral fellows engaged in the exploration of careers outside the academy. After completing her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Ph.D in economics from Yale, she joined Charles River Associates as an economic consultant specializing in antitrust matters. She later transitioned to higher education, serving as a lead administrator for the Becker-Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago. Most recently at Yale, she acted as Associate Director of Business Initiatives at Yale Conferences & Events and as a business analyst in the Finance and Business Operations division, prior to joining the Office of Career Strategy. Hyun Ja lives in New Haven with her husband, daughter, and occasionally her son, currently an undergraduate at Yale.
Associate Dean for Graduate Student Advising and Academic Support
Richard Sleight joined the Graduate School as an associate dean in September 1996, having served for ten years as a tenured faculty member at the medical school of the University of Cincinnati. His portfolio includes responsibility for the progress of individual students across all divisions and student advising. He has research expertise in lipid biochemistry and the intracellular transport of lipid molecules.
Dean Sleight has served as President of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools and as a board member for the Council of Graduate Schools. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Southern California and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Purdue University.
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Development & Diversity
Office for Graduate Student Development & Diversity
Denzil was born in Morvant, Trinidad and Tobago, and moved to the USA to pursue a college education. He graduated from St Francis College, Brooklyn, NY with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Economics. Having worked as a paralegal for several years in New York, NY, he earned a Masters of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Columbia University, having attended Teachers College, Columbia University. Denzil’s PhD is in Comparative and International Education, with a specialization in the Economics of Education. At Teachers College, Columbia University, Denzil served as Contracts Administrator in the Office of the General Counsel, and most recently worked as a Teaching Post Doctoral Research Fellow at Syracuse University’s School of Education where he specialized in teaching qualitative research methods. As part of his leadership in qualitative research methods at Syracuse University, Denzil served as Qualitative Consultant for the interdisciplinary “FitFamilies Research Project” examining ways families can maximize adapted physical activity for children with disabilities. His research interests include access and equity in higher education; the ‘Free College/University Movement’; minoritized males in education; and Caribbean education policy.
Suzanne Young is the Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Teaching Development. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Virginia. She has taught literature and composition for over 20 years, including a course on “Paris in the ‘20s” that focuses on transatlantic modernist artists. Her research interests include composition, modernist literature, digital humanities, and online learning. At the CTL, she works with graduate students and faculty on course design, teaching innovation, technology-enhanced teaching, and student engagement.