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GSAA sponsors “A Conversation with the Deans"

October 1, 2020

(left to right): Dean Lynn Cooley; Sr. Assoc. Dean Michelle Nearon; and GSAA Chair James ShulmanHundreds of Graduate School alumni participated in a live “Conversation with the Deans” yesterday via Zoom. The event, hosted by the Graduate School Alumni Association (GSAA), included an introduction by GSAA Chair James Shulman ’87, ’93 PhD and featured Lynn Cooley, Dean of the Graduate School and Michelle Nearon, Senior Associate Dean of the Graduate School and the Director of the Office of Graduate Student Development and Diversity. You can view the entire session (58 min). Highlights include:

Dean Cooley sharing her top three goals for the future of the school

Michelle Nearon outlining the programs and initiatives well underway at the school to build a more diverse and more inclusive study body

How the Graduate School has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic to support its students, both near and far:

A mix of people are attending remotely and in residence. Of ~630 new students, 135 are listed as learning remotely.

New international students were allowed to arrive as late as September 30 for the Fall term, to allow for delays in visa processing.

Thanks to the efforts of the GSAS Financial Aid Office, PhD students enrolled remotely can receive their stipends wherever they reside.

Science labs have created shifts to allow for reduced occupancy and all students have received PPE.

Metrics on the school’s Progress creating a more inclusive and diverse community of students:

GSAS has a post-bac program called ESI PREP, from which 90% of participants have gone on to graduate programs, with 81% of those in PhD programs.

Applications from underrepresented minorities have increased by 61%, with the number of offers up 30%.

Response to both short- and long-term placement challenges, especially for students in the humanities:

GSAS is expanding curricula to include application preparation, job talks, and mock interviews.

The GSAS dean’s office, in conjunction with Yale’s FAS dean’s office, created a new Alumni Fellowship in response to short-term hiring freezes as a result of Covid-19 that impacted many of our graduating PhD students in May 2020.

The GSAS dean’s office worked with departments to give one-year extensions with funding for humanities and social science students, and to help bridge grants for science students.

The GSAA is planning additional opportunities for members of the Yale community to learn more about what is happening at the Graduate School today. Contact information for leadership of the GSAA can be found here.

Town Hall “Conversation with the Deans”