YaleWomen Connecticut Visits the Peabody Museum

Sarah Wakefield Adhya ’03 MEM shares her experience

On Sunday, November 10th, nearly 30 YaleWomen ​Connecticut alums, family and friends visited the ​Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. The visit included stops at the “Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks” exhibit, the entomology archives ​with Nicole Palffy-Muhoray '16 PhD (who is Assistant Director of Student Programs at the Museum), the Ladies First exhibit, which was mounted in conjunction with 50WomenAtYale150 to showcase women in STEM, and the Great Hall. We spoke with Sarah Wakefield Adhya '03 MEM, who joined the tour with her husband, Nilanjan Adhya '05 MBA, and their two children, aged 6 and 9.

(Yale Peabody Museum will soon undergo a comprehensive renovation. The Fossil Halls will close December 31, 2019 and the Museum will be closed to the public beginning July 1, 2020. Plan your visit soon!)

Tell us about yourself—your Yale affiliation, what you do, where you live. 

I’m a writer/editor who’s worked for organizations like the Nature Conservancy, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Climate Central. I graduated from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 2003 and live in Fairfield, CT. 

What draws you to YaleWomen events? 

The first event I attended was part of the YaleWomen Connecticut’s Curiosity & Conversations series. I liked the idea of getting together with a group of smart, interesting women and sharing stories and insights. 

The Peabody tour was my second event. Being able to bring my family along was a plus. Weekends and vacations are typically family affairs for us. Our kids have now seen natural history museums in cities around the world—from Vancouver to Kolkata to Oxford ​to New York. 


In the Mesopotamia exhibit, my six-year-old sat beneath a cuneiform tablet bearing text from the Epic of Gilgamesh to sketch a large, eagle-headed figure in the next display. My bug-timid nine-year-old leaned into a thrilling game of “spot the butterflies amongst the moths” in the entomology archives.​ In the Great Hall, we admired the skeleton of the first Brontosaurus ever unearthed and envisioned how it would look once it was arranged in a more accurate stance (no tail dragging​!) post-renovation. 

Did the event meet your expectations? What were your overall impressions?

The tour covered a lot of ground. Insights from Peabody staff helped us connect to present-day work at Yale. There wasn’t much time to reflect and discuss with each other, but it was great to see some familiar faces and be among alum​s from Yale’s many schools and classes.


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