Morse College Teas

What is a Morse College Tea?

College Teas provide an opportunity for a relatively intimate group of students – as well as Yale community members and members of the public – to interact with distinguished visitors from the worlds of politics, the arts, academia, social movements, business, and media in an informal setting in the living room of the Head of College House. Teas are casual affairs during which the guest speaks to students, and takes questions, about lifelong passions and experiences. Casual, but indelible: some of our students’ best memories come from Teas that they have enjoyed and wisdom that they have carried with them into the world!

Dr. Larry Bradley with his autographed poster. He shared his science, expertise, and inspiring approach to fossil protection across Sioux traditional and reservation lands.

(April 2023).

Tea with Kim Weston, whose work Layers of the Soul takes permanent residence in the Morse College common room (January 2019)

Tea with Jessica Spector, who shared both the history of cocktails and her favorite cocktails - and mocktail - for attendants to try  (September 20203)

Past Tea Guests


Rebecca Shaw & Ben Kronengold Rebecca Shaw and Ben Kronengold were Yale Class of 2018 and, upon graduating, wrote for two years on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Their debut book, Naked in the Rideshare, which Will Ferrell called “daring and ahead of the curve” and Mindy Kaling called “brilliant”, is out from HarperCollins. Since leaving the Tonight Show, Rebecca and Ben have written shows and movies for Netflix, Amazon, and Apple. Their first series, executive produced by Nick Kroll, is shooting this spring for FX and their second series with Will Ferrell is in the works at Peacock.  
Maiani da Silva & Viet Coung
Maiani da Silva is a contemporary violinist, performer, arranger, and educator.  She is a member of the four-time Grammy-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird, founder of Brouhaha, and Lecturer at Yale’s Department of Music, and a Trotter Distinguished Visiting Professor at University of Oregon (2023). She has premiered concertos with the Cincinnati Symphony and the U.S. Navy Band, premiered staged works by David Lang/Anne Bogart, and has also collaborated with Bang On a Can All-Stars, Electric Earth Concerts, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Wild Up, Louis Andriessen, Viet Cuong, Ted Hearne, Nina Shekhar, Childish Gambino, George Lewis, Taylor Mac, Julianna Barwick, Joe Hisaishi, and more. 
Viet Cuong is the California Symphony’s Young American Composer-in-Residence, the Pacific Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence, and serves as Assistant Professor of Music Composition at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has been performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, Eighth Blackbird, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sō Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, Atlanta Symphony, Sandbox Percussion, Albany Symphony, PRISM Quartet, and Dallas Winds, among many others. Cuong’s music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, and his works for wind ensemble have amassed several hundreds of performances worldwide. Passionate about bringing these different facets of the contemporary music community together, his recent projects include a concerto for Eighth Blackbird with the United States Navy Band. 
Abdouramane Diallo
Abdouramane Diallo is Head of Targeted Interventions at the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), an affiliate of the Islamic Development Bank Group. He oversees ITFC’s efforts to strengthen intra-African exchanges, allowing 27 countries to expand trade with one another while affording vulnerable communities access to basic goods. In his role, he leads program delivery, manages cross-institutional expert teams, and forges alliances with key development partners. Devoted to reducing economic inequalities, he believes that entrepreneurial freedom allows for the greatest social impact. To this end, he co-founded Agrobiotech in 2016 and Paygas in 2017. Agrobiotech specializes in plant cloning in Mali and exports low-cost plantlets in Africa. Paygas utilizes proprietary technology to distribute clean cooking fuel to low-income families in South Africa. Abdouramane sits on the boards of both companies and supports their partnerships, strategy, and business growth.
Shamil Ibragimov Shamil Ibragimov is a highly experienced professional with over 17 years of expertise in the fields of social development, local governance, and media development.  Ibragimov is also the author and initiator of the Civic City Dashboard, a virtual platform that visualizes urban data and promotes data-driven civic engagement. As a thought leader in the fields of governance and civic engagement, Shamil is a regular contributor to Project Syndicate and Medium. He is also the co-author of the acclaimed “Income Generation Handbook,” published in 2010. Prior to his role at the Open Society Foundation, Ibragimov served as the Executive Director of the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia, a leading project management organization in the region. Shamil is also an Edward S. Mason Fellow, recipient of the Mary and David Boies scholarship, and a Fulbright Fellow. Shamil is Advisor to the Minister of Education of the Kyrgyz Republic and sits on the board of several organizations, including the Kyrgyz E-commerce Association, the Creative Industry Park, and the Teach for Kyrgyzstan Foundation.
Jessica Spector Jessica Spector is a cultural historian and former philosophy professor who founded the consultancy firm The Academy Drinks, and runs the experimental agroforestry farm Green Robin Farms. She is interested in the way story shapes identity, and societal taboos around alcohol, sex, and place. She holds an MA and PhD from The University of Chicago, as well as certifications and diplomas from several Scottish Whisky Academies and WSET. She is a member of the American Distilling Institute and the American Craft Spirits Association, and Director of Drink History and Culture at the Museum of Distilled Spirits. Her publications include work on philosophy, the sex industry, and cultural history. For the past several years, she has been teaching about drink culture and ethics in Yale College’s Residential Seminar program.


Steve Sandberg Steve Sandberg is an eclectic musician with a lifetime of experience in many worlds of music. He is a three-time Emmy-nominated composer whose scoring, songwriting and musical direction for “Dora the Explorer”, “Go, Diego, Go!” and “Dora and Friends” helped make these shows the landmarks they are in children’s television worldwide. He has written music for the theater, film, HBO, and MTV as well. 
Dr. Larry Bradley “My research looked at how American paleontology was built and founded on the dispossession of paleontological resources from lands belonging to Native Americans of the Great Plains from the 1840s to modern times,” he said. “It was the first body of work that had physical evidence to substantiate the who, what, when, and where voluminous amounts of fossils were dispossessed from Native Americans.”

Babatunde Omilola

Babatunde Omilola managed the African Development Bank’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, served as Head of Development Planning with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and co-chaired the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Task Force on Global Food and Nutrition Security Technical Team. Babatunde was UNDP’s Regional Practice Leader for poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa and UNDP’s Chief Economist and Head of Policy and Strategy in South Africa. He was also the Africa-wide Coordinator with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 
Alison Tatlock Alison Tatlock (BK ‘89) is a writer and producer of four award-winning shows: In Treatment, Halt and Catch Fire, Better Call Saul, and Stranger Things. Before writing television, Alison worked for the Los Angeles nonprofit organization Street Poets, Inc., bringing poetry workshops into juvenile detention centers and underserved schools.
Kyriacos Koupparis Kyriacos Koupparis is the Head of Frontier Innovations at the United Nations World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator. He leads a team that explores the impact of emerging technologies — such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotics — with humanitarian assistance and food security. For the last 15 years, he spent his time working as a biomedical researcher developing drugs for neglected tropical diseases and later as a director assisting programs to improve communities in emerging markets through science, technology, innovation, and partnerships. 


Ashley Edwards Ashley Edwards (MC’12) is a Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur and her thought leadership in mental health innovation led Forbes to name her one of the top Healers set to influence the next century. She is the founder and CEO of MindRight Health.


Eugene Richardson Infectious disease physician and critical medical anthropologist at Harvard University
Idrees Kahloon US policy correspondent for The Economist
Major Richard Ojeda Retired Army Major and politician who passed the legalization of cannabis in West Virginia and ran a brief campaign for President of the United States in 2020.
Elena Grewal Yale Alumna and former head of data science at AirBnB


John Cariani Actor and playwright of Almost, Maine
Madeleine Albright Professor, author, diplomat, and businesswoman; first female U.S. Secretary of State
Casey Gerald Author of There Will Be No Miracles Here, cofounder of the Yale Black Men’s Union, MC ‘09
Rosanne Cash Grammy award winning singer-songwriter, author, and activist
Kim Weston Creator of Layers of the Soul, a permanent art installation in the Morse College common room
Josh Singer Actor and playwright; former Morsel
Lauren Gallo Head of Talent Marketing at Snapchat
Aylon Steinhart Business Innovation Specialist at the Good Food Institute
Ibrahima Niang                        World Fellow and Social Activist
Robert S. Ford 
World Fellow and Former US Ambassador to Syria


Kevin Adkisson                                         Eero Saarinen expert and Morse Class of 2012
Alf Bilkberg Team Leader at the United Nations
David Swensen Yale’s Chief Investment Officer and Endowment Manager
Amy Jin                                           Inspirational speaker and coach
Nicholas Payton Grammy-award winning musician and writer
Roberta Gatti     Chief Economist of the Human Development Practice Group in the World Bank


Kevin Olusola Musician and member of Pentatonix, Morse Class of 2011
Ted Kaptchuk Author and Director of the Harvard Wide Program in Placebo Studies & the Therapeutic Encounter
Gary Barker International director and founder of Promundo
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka UN Under-secretary General & External Director of UN Women
Severine Autesserre Author and Associate Professor of Political Science at Barnard College
Alex Aleinikoff Former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees
Alice Chen Executive Director Doctors for America, Morse Class of 2001
Christian Murck Chair of Board of Trustees of the Yale-China Association
Christopher Michel Speech Writer for George W. Bush
Philip Thigo Young People, Technology & Spaces: A New Political Imaginary
Beth Kobliner Personal Finance Commentator and Journalist
Jonathan Lynn Head of Communications and Media Relations at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Rajita Sinha Foundatoins Fund Professor in Psychiatry, Neurobiology and Child Study at Yale school of Medicine


Alexis Carra - Actress
Jeff Conine - Professional Baseball Player
Donna Dubinsky - Yale Corporation Fellow
Aminatta Forna - Writer
Duncan Goodall - Owner of Koffee?
Jake Halpern - Author
Marya Hornbacher - Author
Francis Lam - Top Chef
Barry Nalebuff - Founder of Honest Tea
Unni Karunakara - Former International President of Doctors without Borders
Peter van Agtmael - Photojournalist
Bill Deresiewicz - Author


David Baldacci - Author
Sue Grafton - Author
Alice Hoffman - Author
Scott Turow - Author
Chris Ware - Cartoonist
David Mitchell - Author
Elinor Hoover - Vice Chairman of Citi Corp & Investment Bank/Hoover and Yale Graduate
Eric Holt-Gimenez - Executive Director, Food First
Eric Davis - Author and Journalist
James Ponsoldt - Director and Morse Class of 2001
Mark Leibovich - Chief National Correspondent for the New York Times
Samin Nosrat - Best Seller and Food Writer
Ted Conover - Journalist and Author
Donna Dubinsky - Palm Pilot Pioneer and Yale Corporation Fellow
Leslie Jamison & Paul Bloom - Authors
Jonny Steinberg - Writer and Scholar
Terry Teachout - Critic for the Wall Street Journal


Charles Duhigg - Staff Reporter for the New York Times
DT Maxx - Staff Writer for The New Yorker
Glenn Kelman - CEO of Redfin, the Greylock & DFJ
Tamar Hoffs & Andrew Davis - Film Directors
Jodi Picoult - Author
Jamaica Kincaid - Author
Mirror Visions - Musicians and Poets
Susan Orlean - Staff Writer for The New Yorker
Sanbonmatsu - Scientist
Sandor Katz - Author & Fermentation Revivalist
Robert Smith - NPR Correspondent

Fran Kranz - Actor (and former Morsel)
Gretchen Morgenson - Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, writes Market Watch column for the New York Times
James Stoller - Physician, Cleveland Clinic
Uta Werner - Chief Strategy Officer and VP of Xerox
Jonathan Silverman - Biographer of Johnny Cash
Carl Zimmer - Award-winning author on the topics of science, evolution, and parasites
Steven Brill - Author of “Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools”
Nicholas Christakis - Physician and social scientist, author of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives
David Dobbs -Author on the topics of science, medicine, and culture
David Litt - Speech, op-ed, and joke writer for Barack Obama and senior White House staff 
Susumu Ito - World War II Veteran, biologist, & Harvard Medical School Professor
Klaus Kleinfeld – CEO Of Alcoa Inc.
Martina Gmur - Director of the Network of Global Agenda Councils, World Economic Forum
Marina Belica and Julie Flanders - Musicians, October Project

Biz Stone - Co-founder of Twitter
Mia Farrow - Actress and former fashion model, UNICEF ambassador
John Paul DeJoria - Co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Spirits Company
Michael Specter - Staff writer at The New Yorker
Christopher Michel - Key speechwriter for George W. Bush
Robert Boorstin - Google’s Director of Corporate and Policy Communications
T. Boone Pickens - Business magnate and financier
Betty Tisdale - Founded HALO, a non-profit dedicated to helping the world’s underprivileged chilren
Paula Butturini - Author of Keeping the Feast
William Ury - Award-winning author on negotiation and conflict resolution
Seth Mrooksin

Louise Story - Journalist (and former Morsel)
Ben Carson - Neurosurgeon 
Ken Adams - Professional poker player
Matt Matros - Professional poker player
Sherron Watkins - Former VP of Corporate Development at Enron, helped uncover Enron scandal
Jerry Speyer - Real estate tycoon, owner of the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center
Rebecca Skloot - Writer and editor at Popular Science magazine
Peter Byck - Film director, directed Carbon Nation
Antonio Lucio - Chief marketing officer for Visa Inc.
John Hendra - UN Women Deputy Director 
Art Garfunkel - American singer/songwriter, member of folk duo Simon & Garfunkel 
Jodi Picoult - Award-winning author
Emily Bazelon - Journalist, editor at Slate magazine

Douglas Hofstadter - Pulitzer Prize-winning author and academic
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld - Professor at the Yale School of Management, founder of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute
Cloud Cult - Indie rock band
Kamala Lopez - Actress, director, and political activist (I Heart Huckabees)
Buzz Bissinger - Journalist and author of Friday Night Lights
Jack Robinson
Alison Tepper Singer - Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation
John Haffner - Business executive, consultant, and writer engaged in clean energy projects
Brian Williams - Anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News
Ken Davenport - Broadway and off-Broadway theater producer
Steve Rushin - Journalist and novelist
Philippa Gregory - Writer of historical novels (The Other Boleyn Girl)
Dan Yergin - Pulitzer Prize-winning author, speaker, and economic researcher

Mark Penn
Dong Qian
Mark Moffett
Rami Sidi
Walter Shapiro
Jake Halpern
John Mackey
Lisa Sanders
Chandra Prasad
Stephen Carter
Robert Lopez

Christopher Buckley
Ben Karlin
Gibert Tuhabonye
Joe Kane
James Thomson
Malcolm Gladwell
Alan Poul
William McDonough
William Canales Clariond

Robert Brustein
Peter Kramer
Patrick Keefe
Chris Berman
Mirta Ojito
Bruce Bartless
Lindsay Moran
Gino Strada
Scott Simon
John Rennie
Jack El-Hai
Jaime Aparicio Otero
Paul Thomas

Al Franken
Marc Horowitz
Allen Heinberg - Actor
Sam Weisman - Producer
Douglas Farah - Journalist
Paco Underhill - Founder and Managing Director of Envirosell Inc.
Jack Greenberg - Professor of law
James Mann - Author
Sonia Waisman - Litigator and pioneer in animal law
John Dinges - Author, reporter
Dana Milbank - White House reporter for The Washington Post
Christ Kentis - Writer, director, and producer of Open Water
Laura Lau - Writer, director, and producer of Open Water
Christiane Amanpour - Reporter
David Katz - Doctor at Yale’s Prevention Research Center
Jonathan Weiner - Pulitzer Prize winner
Robert Whitaker - Author/journalist
Elizabeth Wurtzel - Author
Alice Flaherty - Neurologist at Harvard Medical School

Alexander Payne
David Lubin
Kenneth Silverman
Preston King
Jane Roberts
Inez Okrent
Steve Bergman
Marya Hornbacher
Helen Gurley Glover
David Eggers

Larry Kramer
Mike Caren
John Balaban - Author
John Kerry
Tommy Lasorda
Katha Pollit
Rick Levin
Paul Goldberger - Architecture Critic
Roger Angell
Evan Thomas
Ina May Gaskin
Arnold Newman - Portrait Photographer
David Brown
Kay Jameson
James Bamford
Helen Gurley Brown
James O’Brien
Maria Vullo
Wendy Wasserstein

Wang Ying Fan - US Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China
Gloria Feldt - President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Sinen Unel - Playwright 
Philip Reeker
Paul Stookey - Of Peter, Paul & Mary
Elaben Bhatt - Founder, SEWA
Ramon Morales - Ambassador of Panama to the United Nations
David Barash
Ron Sider
Frank Oz
Paul Weiss
Willem DaFoe - Actor
Frank Gehry
Steve Forbes
Jonathan Schell
Bob Schieffer