Frank Keil named new Morse master

Frank Keil has only been at Yale since 1998, but in his time here he has taken on a heavy load — teaching, researching and serving as the director of undergraduate studies for two majors.

In July, Keil will have a much busier schedule when he becomes the new master of Morse College.

Tuesday night Levin announced the appointment of Keil, a professor of psychology and of linguistics, who will replace outgoing Morse Master Stanton Wheeler.

Keil will be one of three new masters next year. In February John Rogers ’84 GRD ’89 was named the new Berkeley College master, and the new master of Davenport College will be announced today.

Keil is director of undergraduate studies for both psychology and cognitive psychology and last semester taught “Developmental Psychology.”

Keil and his wife Kristi Lockhart, also a psychology professor who teaches “Abnormal Psychology” and “Depression,” have three children — Derek, who is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College, Dylan and Martin.

Morse students cheered last night when Wheeler and his wife Marcia Chambers presented Derek Keil with a T-shirt proclaiming Morse’s 2000 Tyng Cup championship in intramurals.

“My family is looking at this like a great adventure,” Frank Keil said. “The kids were all on board.”

Keil graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a master’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University, as well as a doctorate in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Yale he taught at Cornell University. He also was a Guggenheim fellow and co-editor of the “MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science,” which was named the 1999 Outstanding Book in Psychology by the Association of American Publishers.

Members of the Morse community said they were excited about the choice of Keil as the new master.

Junior Rob Jahn, a member of the master search committee, said people he talked to thought Keil would make a great master.

“A lot of people are familiar with the two of them” because they both teach undergraduate courses, Jahn said. “Most everybody [the search committee talked to] thought he would be a positive.”

The committee began with a list of around 30 candidates and had narrowed it down to a final eight to ten.

Jahn said one thing that made Keil and Lockhart stand out was that they had older children. He said it meant they would relate well to Morse students.

“They know where we are in [this stage in] our lives,” Jahn said.

One of Morse’s resident fellows will be leaving, and it will be the new master’s job to choose a replacement, so Keil will have “quite a creative control over the adult situation in the college,” Jahn said. “It will be a whole breath of fresh air.”

The outgoing master and associate master were excited about their successors.

“They seem enthusiastic,” said Chambers, referring to Keil and his wife. “They are like college students.”

Yale President Richard C. Levin announced the appointment of Frank Keil as Morse master during dinner in the college's dining hall Tuesday night.
BARBARA WEXELMAN
Yale President Richard C. Levin announced the appointment of Frank Keil as Morse master during dinner in the college's dining hall Tuesday night.

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