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Admissions Corner: Joining a Global Community

On the shores of the Sea of Oman

Привет! Olá! مرحبا Hola! 안녕하세요! Hello!—These are just a few of the languages spoken here at SOM and like the SOM community of faculty, students and staff, they represent a linguistic, cultural and experiential diversity that spans six continents. Having just recently joined this vibrant community of world citizens, I feel right at home!

Although I am new to the Admissions Office, I have called Yale "home" for quite some time. I first came here in 2000 as a PhD student in the Department of Art History with an immense interest in Renaissance economics—specifically in the material, cultural, and intellectual exchanges that took place between the East and the West. My initial exploration of two seemingly disparate worlds led me to a more focused study of the perception and reception of the Arab civilization in Medieval and Renaissance Italy, motivated by the Europeans' fear of and fascination with the Islamic world.

The interdisciplinary nature of my academic pursuits spurred an interest in instructional technology, motivated by the desire to create digital materials that would encourage students to think beyond disciplinary boundaries. This eventually led to my engagement with Open Yale Courses—to date one of the most rewarding collaborative projects I have ever taken on! Like Lorenzetti's revolutionary painting in Siena—"Good Government"—it shows the transformatively positive effects of democratizing education and making high-quality educational resources available to all those who wouldn't otherwise have access to them.

As a dear friend observed last night at dinner after the Annual Dante Lecture, hosted by the Department of Italian Language and Literature, the Yale experience is "life-altering." Inevitably, for everyone at Yale that transformation would mean something different. For me, it translated into a world of opportunities that allowed me to undertake interdisciplinary research in North America, Europe and Africa; study Arabic in Cairo; travel along the ancient Silk Road; teach Italian language and culture to young Qatari women in the Persian Gulf and more. The unifying constant in all these experiences has been the empowering force of education—and the most gratifying aspect being a part of an intellectual community that is driven by a constant curiosity to connect ideas across cultures.

And so, I find myself here at SOM, inspired by the same ideals that sustained my academic and professional pursuits before coming here. I am especially inspired by the School's mission to become the most global business school in the world. I see its unique integrated curriculum as seminal to that vision. It is already offering students infinite opportunities for academic and professional pursuits that have the potential to impact our world in transformatively positive ways we cannot even imagine yet.