Staff

Lisa Brandes, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director of Graduate Student Life

A Graduate School alumna, Lisa Brandes now serves as Director of the McDougal Center and Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She received her B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and earned her M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale, specializing in international relations.

Since 1996, Lisa has worked with graduate student fellows, student leaders, administrators, and staff to develop a wide range of social and cultural events that enhance graduate student life. She provides recruitment assistance to departments and programs, oversees New Student Information and Orientation Week, plans school-wide dean’s events, and helps coordinate Commencement activities. Lisa also serves on working groups and projects to enhance student services and coordinates the graduate affiliate program with the residential colleges.

Lisa has served as an officer within regional and national political science associations and women’s groups. More recently, she has been active in graduate education issues and graduate student services networks within NASPA & NODA, writing articles, conducting research, and making conference presentations on graduate student life, especially student services, mental health, parenting, and orientation.

Lisa lives in the Westville neighborhood of New Haven with husband Scott McLean, son Charlie, and one elderly cat. She is active in local political, church, and community groups and enjoys gardening, baking, arts and scifi. Read more

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Barbara Botti, Assistant to the University Secretary

Barbara Botti came to Yale in 2006 and joined the Office of the Secretary in 2014 as Assistant to the Secretary. She provides oversight for the diploma process and diploma-related inquiries. In addition, she coordinates inaugurations and provides support for the Associate Secretary and Director of Corporation Affairs. She worked previously for the Yale School of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine. Prior to joining Yale, Barbara was employed as an Administrative Assistant to the Director of a Pharmacology Research Institute at Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

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Heather Samson Calabrese, Director of Communications and Director of University Events

Heather Samson Calabrese joined the Office of the Secretary in October 2013. She oversees communications initiatives within the Office of the Secretary; major university events including Commencement; and university lectures including the Grand and Terry lectures. Prior to joining Yale, Heather was an independent nonprofit consultant and the chief operating officer of United Way of Greater New Haven. She is active in Greater New Haven civic efforts and serves on several community boards, including Elm Shakespeare, New Haven Reads and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Fund for Women and Girls.

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Niamh Emerson, Assistant Secretary for Corporation Affairs

Niamh Emerson has been at Yale University since 2006 and joined the Office of the Secretary in August 2014. She was appointed to her present position of Assistant Secretary for Corporation Affairs in July 2016. Previously she served as Program Manager of the Principal Gifts team in the Office of Development, and prior to that she worked at Yale University Press in the Marketing and Acquisitions departments. She is responsible for the logistics of all aspects of Corporation and University Council meetings and is the staff liaison for the Honorary Degree Committee. Ms. Emerson earned a B.A. in English and journalism from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. in English from Yale University.

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Amanda Stephanie R. Farrell, Woodbridge Fellow

Amanda Stephanie R. Farrell joined the Office of the Secretary in July 2016. She supports Yale’s efforts to foster a vibrant campus culture that is centered on wellness and mutual support. Her work includes publicizing The Wellness Project, advising the Committee on Art in Public Spaces, and supporting other student life endeavors across the university. She also supports the Yale student leadership and facilitates the production of certain university events such as the Dwight H. Terry Lectures. As an undergraduate, Amanda was a researcher in the Valerie Horsley lab. She also served as the Head Freshman Counselor for Calhoun College, was a member of the Teeth Slam Poets, and worked in the Calhoun Trolley Stop. Amanda graduated from Yale in May 2016 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

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Kimberly M. Goff-Crews, Secretary & Vice President for Student Life

Kimberly M. Goff-Crews reports directly to the president and provides vision and management for three facets of the Yale experience – institutional governance, university traditions and events, and student life.  She was appointed to her position in August 2012. Read more

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Burgwell Howard, Senior Associate Dean of Yale College, Associate Vice President of Student Life

Dean Burgwell “Burgie” Howard joined the Yale College Deans Office this August, and will be serving as the Dean of Student Engagement within Yale College and Associate Vice President of Student Life at the University.

Dean Howard has made a career supporting students at colleges and universities, including those at Bowdoin College, Colgate University, Santa Clara University, Dartmouth College and, most recently, Northwestern University where he served as Asst. Vice President and Dean of Students.

He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford University, and is beginning his first year, here at Yale. He loves dogs, lacrosse, tennis, skiing and meeting and helping students, and he never ceases to be amazed at the creativity and capacity of students. He is looking forward to exploring and contributing to the Yale community.

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Sharon Kugler, University Chaplain

Sharon M.K. Kugler became the seventh University Chaplain to Yale in July of 2007. She came to New Haven from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she had served as the University Chaplain since 1993.  Sharon has over two decades of experience in ministry in higher education, interfaith collaboration, pastoral and social ministry. Her main focus at Yale is to further cultivate a chaplaincy for students, faculty and staff which defines itself by serving the needs of the richly diverse religious and spiritual traditions on campus allowing for deeper dialogue, increased accessibility, personal growth, creative educational opportunities and pastoral leadership.  Sharon holds the appointment of Lecturer of Inter-Religious Engagement and Chaplaincy at the Yale Divinity School and is a contributing author to the recently published College & University Chaplaincy in the 21st Century: A Multifaith Look at the Practice of Ministry on Campuses across America.  She is the first woman, first lay-person and first Roman Catholic to hold this position at Yale.

Sharon is the past president of both the National Association of College and University Chaplains (NACUC) and the Association of College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA).  She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chaplains in Higher Education (IACHE).  In June of 2012 she hosted the Global Conference of Chaplains in Higher Education at Yale University welcoming over 450 participants from 25 countries and 11 religious traditions.  Sharon received her Masters degree from Georgetown University and is a member of the Theta Alpha Kappa National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology. Her masters thesis, “The Limits and Possibilities of Building a Religiously Plural Community” was used by the United States Department of Defense Office of the Chief of Chaplains as a training tool for new chaplains in the military. Sharon has received honorary doctorates from St. Joseph University in West Hartford, CT, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA and Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. She is married to Duane Isabella, has two daughters and four grandchildren.

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Elizabeth Quercia, Assistant Secretary for Governance

Liz Quercia joined the Office of the Secretary in June 2013. In her current role, which she assumed in December 2016, she supports the work of the Yale Corporation and the University Council. Previously she served as Communications Associate, speech writing and developing student-centered websites  in addition to supporting other communications activities of the office and division. In this role, she also helped manage various university events in support of the Director of University Events and staffed student life initiatives, including pilot programs of The Wellness Project. Prior to working at Yale, Liz was a writing tutor at Ithaca College, served as a mentor to high school students, and worked in various capacities at several non-profit arts organizations. She received a B.A. in English from Ithaca College in 2012.

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Kristine Rubano, Senior Administrative Assistant

Kristine joined the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for Student Life in March 2016. Photo and bio coming soon. 

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Martha Schall, Deputy Secretary and Senior Director of Corporation Affairs

Martha Schall joined the Office of the Secretary in February 2015. In her role, she supports the Secretary and Vice President for Student Life in the areas of institutional governance, and university traditions and events. Martha leads the teams that support the work of the Yale Corporation, the University Council and University-wide events. 

Prior to joining the Office of the Secretary, Martha was President of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation. Previously, Martha served in a variety of roles in the Yale Office of Development, including as an Associate Vice President for Development and as the Managing Director of the Yale Alumni Fund. She earned a B.A. in History from Yale University, and an M.B.A. in Finance and Management from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

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Kyle Sevel, Woodbridge Fellow

Kyle Sevel joined the Office of the Secretary in July 2016. He provides leadership for university events and supports the office’s communications initiatives. Kyle assists with the planning and execution of Founders Day, Commencement, and other ceremonies and events throughout the year. He also maintains the Student Life page and other office websites, helps with branding and marketing of wellness initiatives, and works on other special communications projects. As an undergraduate, Kyle held various leadership positions in his a cappella group, Magevet, and was an editor for Spoon University, Yale’s online publication covering food-related content. He also conducted research at the Yale School of Management Behavioral Lab and was a Community Health Educator. Kyle graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Yale College in May 2016.

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Maria Trumpler, Director, Office of LGBTQ Resources

Maria Trumpler received her PhD from Yale in History of Medicine and Life Science in 1992. Her interests include gender and science, feminist critiques of science, scientific studies of sexuality, and food studies. She has taught at Yale, Middlebury and Harvard, and currently teaches a lecture course on “Women, Food and Culture” and a first year seminar on “History of Sexuality.” She also serves as Director of Yale’s new Office of LGBTQ Resources.

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Judy York, Director of the Resource Office on Disabilities

Judy York joined Yale in 2000 working as the Director of the Resource Office on Disabilities. In her capacity, she manages an office that is responsible for coordinating services for all students with disabilities at Yale. The Office partners with others throughout the University to ensure that guests with disabilities have the accommodations needed for a safe and robust experience while visiting on campus. Previous to Yale, Judy had worked for over 25 years as a consultant with Bio/Nexus and as a Vice-President of the New England Association of Business, Industry and Rehabilitation. Her work typically involved program management and consultation with and for students and adults with disabilities. She specialized in researching and applying special support technology persons would need to use in school or employment.

Judy has a MS in Industrial Relations and a BS in Education and Special Education.  She is a member of state and national chapters of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). She has been a Board Member of the National Rehabilitation Association and the NorthEast Rehabilitation Association and served as the President of the Connecticut Rehabilitation Association. She is an active member of the University’s Provost Committee on Resources for Employees and Students with Disabilities; the Emergency Management Planning Committee; the University Wellness Committee and the University Classroom Committee.

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