Letter from the Chair

February 1, 2017

Dear Alumni and Friends:

As I write a snowstorm swirls outside. In the middle of winter it is a real boost to have good news. The recent decision of Grace Kao to join Yale is about as good as it gets. Professor Kao is a noted expert on migration, ethnicity and education. She has written extensively on the Asian-American experience and disaggregated this general demographic category to show real diversity in life outcomes. A computer tech worker from India, for example, will likely have a very different trajectory from a refugee from Cambodia. Professor Kao will also bring her skills as a mentor and intellectual leader of graduate students to our department. We are all excited and eagerly anticipate the energy surge that will accompany her arrival.

We also have recent good news when it comes to PhD graduate outcomes. The decision to undertake a PhD is a risky one. After five or six years living on a low income the graduate student has no guarantee of a paying job. Our department has been heartened recently by a series of strong placements in postdocs, tenure track and research positions. In addition our students continue to publish and win awards. These milestones will help them place well in turn. We are confident that as a department we have a rising trajectory here. Details of these achievements can be found on our News pages and I invite you to take a look.

With Best Wishes

Philip Smith (Chair)