Current Chair

Incoming WFF Chair

Claire Bowern is Professor of Linguistics. She graduated from the Australian National University with a joint degree in Classics and Linguistics, with Honors and a University Medal in linguistics for a thesis on the historical relationships of a group of Australian Aboriginal languages. Her 2004 PhD from Harvard continued work in historical linguistics and the documentation of endangered languages. After four years as an Assistant Professor at Rice University, she joined Yale’s Linguistics Department in 2008. She is past Chair of the Linguistic Society of America’s Ethics Committee. She is an Associate Editor at Diachronica, Editor of Routledge’s Historical Linguistics monograph series, and a past associate editor at Language. She is a former NSF Career award winner and 2014 winner of the Linguistic Society of America’s Ken Hale Prize for contributions to language documentation. Her research concentrates on the ways in which languages change over time, studied from anthropological/ethnographic and computational perspectives.

Outgoing WFF Chair

Dr. Paula Kavathas is Professor of Laboratory Medicine and of Immunobiology.  Currently she is Chair of the Yale Womens Faculty Forum.  She graduated with a B.A. in American Institutions, from the University of Wisconsin, writing her thesis on the role of science in America in the 1960s. She stayed on to obtain her Ph.D. from the Department of Genetics and then spent six years as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University working with Dr. Leonard Herzenberg and then with Dr. Paul Berg.  During that time she developed a novel approach for cloning genes encoding proteins on the surface of cells. At Yale she has led a research laboratory working in the field of immunology since 1986 and is Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Kavathas is a former Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Association of Immunologists. She regularly serves on review panels for the National Institutes of Health and was a former Chair of the Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Study Section. Dr. Kavathas is Director of the Science Education Outreach Program which she founded in 1995.