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GSAS Staff Updates

June 18, 2021

A Message from Dean Cooley

Copied to: Registrars
In this message: GSAS staff announcements: new Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Life Matthew Tanico, promotions for Jennifer Mendelsohn to Director of the McDougal Graduate Student Center and Robert Harper-Mangels to Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Support, and the start of John Alvaro’s role as the new Associate Dean for BBS

Dear faculty and students,

I am pleased to announce four exciting updates to our GSAS staff. Each of these people will play key roles in enhancing our effort to recruit and support the outstanding graduate students at Yale.

Matthew Tanico, GRD ’17, currently serving as the Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM), will succeed Lisa Brandes as the new Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Life as of July 6, 2021. At RITM, Matthew works to advance innovative teaching and research on key topics of historical and contemporary importance. He began his career as an Academic Administration Fellow in the Graduate School Dean’s office in 2017 while completing his doctoral degree. After graduating, he taught in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at New York University and worked in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean’s office as a Project Specialist to build the inaugural “Scholars as Leaders; Scholars as Learners” suite of faculty development opportunities. Matthew earned a B.A. in Spanish and Italian from New York University and holds a Ph.D. in Spanish and Renaissance Studies from GSAS, where his academic research focused on Golden Age Spanish literature and its relation to material culture and technology.

Jennifer Mendelsohn was promoted to Director of the McDougal Graduate Student Center, where she has been working in a key role since January 2009. Before she came to Yale, Jennifer was the Assistant Director for Residential Life at Quinnipiac University and Community Director at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis with a focus on higher education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a bachelor’s degree in Music from Skidmore College. Jennifer is also a certified Koru Mindfulness instructor and has been offering the course to students in the graduate school for the last five years. She looks forward to providing more wellness programming as soon as the McDougal Center reopens, as well as offering in-person events for students to meet, learn a new skill, or take a break from their research. Jennifer will work closely with Matthew to enhance our support network for graduate students.

Effective July 1, Assistant Dean Robert Harper-Mangels will become Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Support. In this new position, Rob will continue to support the Graduate Program Reviews, conduct data analyses, and work with departments on admissions. He will have a greater role in overseeing STEM program funding and will act as liaison to other offices to align decisions about programs with university priorities. In addition, he will assume primary responsibility for overseeing student fellowships and external funding applications. Rob has a bachelor’s degree in music and psychology from Wesleyan University, and a PhD in Neuroscience and Behavior from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He looks forward to the challenges ahead and is eager to continue working with DGSs, Registrars, students, and administrative colleagues in this new capacity.

Finally, as announced earlier, John Alvaro assumed the new role of Associate Dean for the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) Program as of June 1. In this role he will support students, faculty, and staff in the doctoral programs affiliated with the Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences. In addition, he will develop systems to assist in securing grant and fellowship funding. John completed an undergraduate degree in biology at Johns Hopkins, a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Yale, and a postdoc at the Yale School of Medicine.

Please join me in congratulating these talented administrators on their new roles.

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