Hundreds of graduate and professional students flocked to the Yale School of Management on Wednesday night to hear a selection of Yale’s most inspiring professors speak about their respective areas of expertise.
The third-annual “Inspiring Yale” event was organized by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate and showcased the work of 12 Yale professors, who delivered short presentations on topics ranging from architecture to national debt to pharmacology. Students from each school were asked to nominate one professor whom they believed was the most interesting and inspirational faculty member at their school.
“I think everyone loved getting together and talking together and seeing the different works across campus,” said Etienne Greenlee GRD ’19, the chair of Inspiring Yale and the public relations committee chair for the GPSS. “I also think faculty really appreciated the students who were impacted by them and selected them to represent their school.”
Greenlee said he viewed the event as a source of inspiration and unity among the graduate and professional schools. He added that although the event was free and did not require tickets, roughly 500 students had RSVP’d by the day of the event.
For each talk, a faculty speaker gave a brief overview of their academic work in a way that was accessible to students from across disciplines.
Yale Law professor Jean Koh Peters began the evening with a look into the habits of cross-cultural lawyering, which helps attorneys combat their personal biases when representing clients. Economics professor John Geanakoplos ’75 discussed his work during the American and Greek debt crises of 2007 and 2008, during which he advocated for a debt-forgiveness solution.
Yale School of Architecture professor Trattie Davies ’94 ARC ’04 explored the personal significance her profession holds for her.
“I see you and I see the people next to you, just here with these chairs, the light and the height above your head,” Davis said. “Our discrete space is a primordial soup — we are here, we are mixed up in this thing together.”
Other speakers included SOM associate dean Anjani Jain, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies professor Inderpal Grewal and a keynote address from Stephen Coan, president and chief executive officer of Sea Research Foundation.
Students in attendance said the event was a unique opportunity to hear from faculty across disciplines.
“It was interesting to see how people from other schools think,” Kevin Park SOM ’17 said.
Kaitlin Erickson NUR ’19 said she enjoyed the presentations and felt that the event fostered a sense of unity between Yale’s schools.
“I felt a sense of camaraderie that we don’t get a lot — especially since the School of Nursing is off campus,” Erickson said.