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 the Gordon Grand Fellowship Lecture. 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 has served on several community boards, including New Haven Reads and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Fund for Women and Girls. She is a fellow in Ezra Stiles College.

203.432.7891 FAX
Elizabeth Conklin, J.D. , Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity, Accessibility, and Belonging

Elizabeth Conklin joined Yale University in the inaugural role of Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity, Access, and Belonging in September 2020. In this role, Elizabeth provides leadership for Yale’s institutional equity, access, and belonging strategy and initiatives. This includes overseeing the Office of Institutional Equity and Access, Student Accessibility Services, and the Office of LGBTQ Resources. Elizabeth’s work also focuses on ensuring training for university community members on responding to discrimination and harassment and creating a culture of belonging to prevent such behaviors.

Prior to joining Yale, Elizabeth served for nearly nine years as UConn’s Associate Vice President for the Office of Institutional Equity, Title IX Coordinator and ADA Coordinator. Before her time in higher education administration, Elizabeth was an associate attorney with a midsize Hartford law firm practicing labor and employment law.

Elizabeth earned her law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, and she is a cum laude graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree with an independent double major in Political Science and Peace Studies.

Ryan Croteau, Program Coordinator

Ryan Croteau joined the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life in March 2017. In her role she supports various communications initiatives, including website development and social media; major University events, and manages the Baccalaureate Ceremonies. Ryan has been at the university since 2011, and previously served in various administrative and communications roles at the Office of the Vice President for West Campus and Human Resources.

Andrew Forsyth, Strategic Advisor, University Life

Andrew Forsyth joined the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life in August 2017, and is a senior advisor to Secretary Kimberly Goff-Crews on university life.  This work includes: Belonging at Yale (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and student life. Andrew’s ongoing duties include support for the Secretary’s advisory committees, Woodbridge Fellowship, Terry Lectures, Porter & Field Prizes, and trustees’ engagement with students.

A 2017 Yale Ph.D. graduate, Andrew previously studied in his native Scotland, at Harvard as a Fulbright scholar, and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He has taught courses on law, morality, and religion in Yale College and Yale Divinity School, and is a fellow of Saybrook College. His first book was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.

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

Kimberly Goff-Crews is secretary and vice president for university life at Yale. She is responsible for the university’s work to further diversity, equity, and inclusion in service of the university’s mission, and ensures the alignment of policies and procedures to maximize support for all students. She also oversees the university chaplaincy and the conduct of official university functions, including Commencement.  Read more

203.432.7307 FAX
Burgwell Howard, Senior Associate Dean of Yale College, Associate Vice President of Student Life

Dean Burgwell “Burgie” Howard joined the Yale College Deans Office in August 2015, and serves 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. He loves dogs, lacrosse, tennis, skiing and meeting, and helping students. He never ceases to be amazed at the creativity and capacity of students. He enjoys exploring and contributing to the Yale community.

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.

Gena McGuire, Senior Administrative Assistant

Gena McGuire joined the Office of the Secretary as Senior Administrative Assistant in February 2018.

In this role she supports the Secretary and Vice President for University Life while working on special projects as needed.  Before joining the Office of the Secretary Gena spent over a decade in New York City enjoying a successful career in hospitality management.

Gena is a professional musician and enjoys spending time with her husband, three sons, and dog.

Kimberly McKeown, Director of Student Accessibility Services

Kim joined Yale as SAS’s director in 2021.  Previously, she was part of the University of Connecticut’s Center for Students with Disabilities team, where—in addition to her own caseload—she supervised regional campus coordinators and the accommodations and assistive technology teams, and oversaw center outreach activities.  Kim has also led projects and programs for state government, education, and healthcare, and taught high school special education.  Kim received her M.A. from Chapman University and B.A. from Biola University. When not working, she enjoys time on the water boating with her family and spends time on high school sidelines watching her daughters play sports.

Blake Thorkelson, Program Manager

Blake Thorkelson joined the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life in June 2018.  He manages programs and communications for Belonging at Yale and supports the Secretary’s coordination of university-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, working with students, faculty, and staff.  Blake holds a B.A. with distinction in political science from Yale College (1999), an M.A. in Religion from Yale Divinity School (2018), and an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.  In fifteen years at the U.S. Department of State, he served in political, economic, and public affairs roles related to Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and North America, and on temporary assignments at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and several posts overseas, including Paris and Kabul.  Before returning to Yale Divinity School in 2016, Blake led the projects and communications team under Vanderbilt University’s first Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer.

Maria Trumpler, Director, Office of LGBTQ Resources

Maria Trumpler is the founding Director of the Office of LGBTQ Resources which has recently moved into new space in Founders Hall at 135 Prospect St. The Office of LGBTQ Resources provides education, outreach, and advocacy around issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.  Maria came to Yale in 1983 as a graduate student, and after receiving her PhD in 1992 in History of Medicine and Life Science, was an assistant professor in the History of Medicine.  After a few years making artisanal cheese in Vermont, she returned to Yale  in 2005 and also serves as Senior Lecturer in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, teaching the courses “Women, Food and Culture” and “History of Sexuality.”