Josiah H. Brown is the inaugural executive director of the statewide Connecticut CASA organization, part of the national CASA movement for children who have experienced abuse or neglect and are in need of court-appointed special advocates. Prior, he was the first associate director of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. He worked with New Leaders for a summer during its start-up and was responsible for researching prospective partner cities.
Below he shares how his involvement with Dwight Hall and his affinity for Yale and New Haven helped shape his life.
The residential colleges, faculty attention to undergraduate teaching, and Yale's location in an urban setting with a community scale all appealed to me.
What is your most enduring memory of your time at Yale?
As a history major, I was grateful to learn from Professor David Brion Davis in a seminar (where fellow students happened to include Rhiannon Patterson, daughter of renowned Harvard Professor Orlando Patterson, one of whose books we read in that seminar). It was also memorable to be in Professor David Montgomery's own discussion section, as well as in his larger course on labor history.
If you could relive your time at Yale, what would you do differently?
I might have made a greater effort to meet students outside of my classes and residential college (Morse). Subsequent reunions have provided an occasion to meet classmates I would have welcomed getting to know earlier.
What would you do exactly the same?
I would participate again in Directed Studies, which offered not only an intense academic experience but also a way to meet students across Yale College through that shared experience. Several of them remain friends today.
What is your favorite place in New Haven, past or present?
I proposed to my wife on the top of East Rock, a dozen years after I graduated and two years after returning to New Haven.