Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead announced the appointment of Laura King as Trumbull College’s new dean yesterday afternoon at the college’s dining hall.
King, a former resident fellow at Trumbull and an English professor at the University of Vermont, will replace departing dean Peter Novak.
Trumbull Master Janet Henrich knew King as a resident fellow of the college.
“[King] is going to make a wonderful, very strong dean,” Henrich said. Henrich added that King is a “creative and accomplished scholar.”
King was not available for comment last night.
Brodhead, who knew King as a fellow professor in the English department when she was at Yale, called her appointment a “particularly happy development.”
“She’s a person with a very wide range of interests — and an unusual range of experience,” Brodhead said. “The committee was most impressed by her and spoke of her great wisdom,” he added.
Following her departure from Yale two years ago, King joined the faculty at the University of Vermont.
As an assistant professor at Yale from 1992 to 1998, King taught expository writing as well as medieval and early modern literature. In 1998, the University honored King’s teaching skills, naming her Sarai K. Ribicoff Assistant Professor of English. King also served as the director of undergraduate studies for the humanities major and for Renaissance studies at various points in her Yale career.
King, a graduate of the University of Maryland, received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley.
During her years as a graduate student, King earned numerous distinctions including the Kurtz Prize for best graduate essay and the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award.
King previously served Branford College as coordinator of its Mellon Senior Forum. A novelist who has just finished her first book, she also acted as a faculty judge for the Yale Daily News Magazine’s Wallace Prize competition for undergraduate writing.
Trumbull junior Jessica Block met all of the candidates for the post, but she said King was her favorite.
“She seemed accessible — she had it together,” Block said.
Block also said King’s previous experience with Yale will make the transition easier, both for the new dean and for the students she will oversee.
“She seemed very in touch and attuned to students lives, and she’s definitely really familiar with Trumbull and the workings of the Yale administration,” Block said.