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June 8, 2021

A Message from Dean Cooley

Copied to: Chairs, DGSs, registrars
In this message: Gratitude for our community’s support of graduate students during the pandemic.

As we transition from a very challenging academic year to summer research and vacations, I have been reflecting on how much we have been through during the last 15 months, and also on how much we have accomplished. From the time COVID surfaced, Yale responded quickly to protect our community from the virus itself, as well as the psychological, social, and financial impacts it levied on us all. I am deeply grateful to the faculty, staff, scientists, administrators, medical professionals, and all of you for the collective effort of bringing us to this brighter time. We all benefited from the extensive COVID testing and contact tracing infrastructure built from scratch by Drs. Maddie Wilson and Linda Niccolai, respectively, frequent helpful updates about COVID from Dr. Stephanie Spangler, freely available masks and cleaning supplies and an amazingly efficient vaccine center.

Because of our combined commitment to the health of our community and the world beyond it, we were able to continue teaching and research using innovative pedagogical and remote access approaches, and we even found ways to celebrate Commencement in person.

I am particularly grateful to the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) and their contributions to our community during the last 15 months. The GSA was key to addressing a number of important issues while foregrounding the interests of graduate students, including restarting research, campus safety, and teaching and trainee accommodations. Your GSA representatives worked with my office and others across the university to ensure graduate students’ interests were reflected in the vaccination program, the community compact, childcare access, and access to student resources, among other initiatives. I look forward to working with next year’s officers to enhance the experience of graduate students at Yale and ensure their ongoing health and success.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we are now able to look forward to a more typical on-campus experience for Fall 2021. I wish every one of you a restorative summer, with time to reflect on renewed purpose and direction. I am grateful for your resilience, patience and flexibility during the past year, and I look forward to seeing you on campus in the fall.

Lynn Cooley

Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics
Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology