September 2008

September People Notes


Robyn Alders has joined the faculty of the Department of Environmental and Population Health at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine as an associate professor in the international veterinary medicine section. She was born and raised on a small beef and fat lamb property in New South Wales, Australia. Alders received a veterinary degree from the University of Sydney and a Ph.D. in veterinary immunology from the Australian National University. For the past 17 years, Alders has worked closely with smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia as a veterinarian, researcher and colleague. Since 2004, she has been involved with avian influenza preparedness in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Laos, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Thailand and Timor.

Naila Baloch is Tufts' new Muslim chaplain. She received her master's in theological studies in religion, politics and ethics from Harvard Divinity School. Her undergraduate degree is from Williams College in comparative religion and astrophysics. This past year, Baloch led one of the Tufts Chaplain's Tables on women in Islam. She has also given lectures on Islam at Boston College.

Joshua Butts is the new executive assistant to the dean of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining Tufts, he was a fundraiser at the University of Chicago, where he managed reunion fundraising campaigns and worked with donors in both the Chicago and Washington, D.C., areas. He received his Ed.M., with a focus on higher education, from Harvard University in 2008, and received his B.A. in English and history in 2001 from Illinois Wesleyan University, where he is currently on the alumni executive board. Butts will manage a range of projects in the dean's office, including several faculty development programs, ad hoc task forces and communications initiatives, and will serve as a liaison to department chairs, program directors, faculty, staff and administrators within the School of Arts and Sciences.

Lynn Cooper, A02, is the new Catholic chaplain at Tufts. She's no stranger to the university: she graduated with a B.A. in comparative religion and English, and was a chaplaincy intern here in 2006-07 while working on her master's at Harvard Divinity School. She was also captain of the women's soccer team for the 2001-02 season.

Caleb Davis is the new assistant to Arts and Sciences Dean Robert Sternberg. Davis ran his own business in Boston and is also an artist, having collaborated for several years with his daughter, who teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He earned a B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Anne Fishman joined Tufts in May as director of communications for the School of Arts and Sciences. In this new position, Fishman is responsible for creating communications strategies for publications, public relations and electronic media. With more than 20 years' experience in higher education, she has been director of communications at Mount Holyoke College and editorial director of publications at Northeastern University. As a member of senior leadership teams, she advised colleagues on the ways in which communications support institutional programs, policies and priorities. Most recently, she was principal of .edu Integrated Marketing, where she focused on developing and implementing integrated marketing communications plans.

Steph Gauchel is the new director of the Women's Center. She comes to Tufts from Harvard University's Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality, where she served as the program manager. Gauchel has a long history working on issues of women and gender, both in her research and teaching, which has focused on identity construction and its intersections. She has a master's degree from Lesley University.

Joe Golia is the new director of the Office for Campus Life, which was formerly called the Office of Student Activities. He had been at Assumption College in Worcester for 15 years, most recently as associate dean for campus life and director of student activities. Golia's primary areas of experience and interest include first-year student orientation, student leadership, training and development and event management.

Catherine O'Neill Grace joined Tufts Publications on August 4 as editor of Tufts Veterinary Medicine, the magazine of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Catherine is based on the Grafton campus on the third floor of the Administration Building, and works two and a half days a week (Monday, Tuesday and the top half of Wednesday). When she's not at Tufts, she is the editor of Creative Living magazine, a lifestyle and personal finance quarterly published by Northwestern Mutual. In her many and varied previous professional lives, she worked as a columnist for the Washington Post, as director of publications for the Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., and the National Association of Independent Schools and as a reporter for USA Today, the National Geographic Society's World Magazine and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She earned her undergraduate degree in English literature from Middlebury College and a master's in English literature from Georgetown University.

Jodi Hanelt, J95, F04, is the new assistant director of the International Center. She had been the director of the Tufts English Language Programs since 1999, and has had professional affiliations with the U.S. Department of State, the Medford Public Schools and Harvard University.

Katrina Moore is the new director of the Africana Center. Before joining Tufts, she worked at INROADS in Boston, where she developed programs for mentoring and advising minority college students on achieving success in the corporate work environment. Moore is also an accomplished strategic planner and project management professional with extensive experience at IBM and Lotus. She has been recognized as a Boston Black Achiever by the YMCA.

Chris Strauber has joined Tisch Library as a humanities reference librarian, a role he previously served in at Wofford College. Strauber has an M.S. in library science from Kent State University and an M.A. in ancient history from the University of Cincinnati.

Karen Vagts has joined Tisch Library as the engineering and business reference librarian. Prior to coming to Tufts, she worked in several major architectural firms. She has an M.S. in library science from Simmons College and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.


Frank Ackerman, director of the research and policy program at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), released his new book, Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution (Island Press), a collection of 12 articles and studies done by Ackerman and his co-workers at GDAE over the last few years. Topics include critiques of cost-benefit analysis, arguments for precaution, examination of toxic chemicals policy issues in the U.S. and analyses of REACH, the new European chemicals policy. Ackerman was quoted in a June 3 New York Times article and a June 2 Associated Press article about the current debate in Congress over legislation mandating reductions in carbon emissions. The articles can be found at: He also spoke before the Massachusetts House and Senate on July 22 on behalf of all 145 state endorsers of "U.S. Scientists and Economists Calling for Swift and Deep Cuts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions."

Astier Almedom, director of the Institute for Global Leadership's International Resilience Research and Policy/Practice (IRP) initiative, led a resilience seminar at the University of Warwick's Institute of Health on July 3. Also participating in the meeting was Evelyn Brensinger, a Fletcher School M.A.L.D. candidate and a research associate of the IGL-IRP.

Bela Asztalos, a scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), received the Robert M. Russell Scientific Impact Award for the most frequently cited paper published during the past year.

Jeffrey Berry, the Skuse Professor of Political Science, has been elected chair of the board of directors of the Alzheimer's Association of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Suzanne Bremer, social science coordinator at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), presented GDAE's Social Science Library Project at the poster session of the World Library and Information Congress: 74th International Federation of Library Associations General Conference and Council in Quebec City, Canada. Details about the Social Science Library Project can be found at

Ramón Bueno, a research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE); Cornelia Herzfeld, a research assistant at GDAE; Elizabeth A. Stanton, a research fellow at GDAE, and Frank Ackerman, director of the research and policy program, released a study titled "The Caribbean and Climate Change: The Costs of Inaction," commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund. It analyzes the potential economic effects of continued climate change for the Caribbean region.

Alva Couch, professor of computer science, and Ph.D. student Marc Chiarini received the best paper award at the 2008 Autonomous Infrastructure, Management and Security (AIMS) conference at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. The paper is titled "Dynamic Consistency Analysis of Convergent Operators."

Holly Elwell and Ryan Fattman, both graduate students in urban and environmental policy and planning, were among the 12 local graduate students who received 2008 Rappaport Summer Public Policy Fellowships, awarded by Harvard's Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. The fellowship, which provides paid public-sector internships in greater Boston, allowed Elwell to help the U.S. EPA's Region I office examine the land-use impacts that global climate change may have on coastal areas in the region. Fattman worked at Mass Housing, the state's affordable housing bank, researching aspects of the foreclosure crisis. Fattman is a member of the Sutton (Mass.) Board of Selectmen and has worked as an analyst at MassHousing.

Kevin P. Gallagher, a senior researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), is now a monthly columnist on globalization and sustainable development for The Guardian in London. Gallagher was also quoted extensively in a June 27 feature article in the Washington Post titled "A Plan B for Deepening Economic Ties in the Americas." Gallagher, Roberto Porzecanski, a pre-doctoral research fellow at GDAE, and Lyuba Zarsky, a senior research fellow with GDAE's Globalization and Sustainable Development Program, released GDAE's new report, "Foreign Investment and Sustainable Development: Lessons from the Americas," at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., in June.

Grant Garven, professor of geology and adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering, was the U.S. recipient of a 2008 Fulbright Alumni Initiatives Grant from the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. He spent five weeks this summer at the University of Tasmania Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits, studying the geohydrology of gold mineralization in southeastern Australia. He and his Tasmanian colleagues developed mathematical models to simulate the processes by which gold is initially deposited in organic-rich marine sediments, and then concentrated and remobilized by groundwater migration during crustal deformation and faulting. Garven was a senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tasmania in 1998, working on the geohydrology of zinc deposits in northern Australia.

Sherwood L. Gorbach, professor of public health and family medicine, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anaerobe Society of the Americas for his contributions to the study of anaerobic microbiology. Gorbach was one of the lead authors of a seminal paper that first identified Clostridium difficile as the cause of antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis.

Susan Harris, a senior scientist in the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and an adjunct associate professor at the Friedman School, received a three-year, $455,000 grant from the American Diabetes Association to study vitamin D, glucose control and insulin sensitivity in African Americans.

Pamela Harvey, a graduate student in neuroscience at the Sackler School, received an award for excellent research at the National Neurotrauma Society Symposium in Orlando, Fla. Her research identifies agents that may promote sensory axon regeneration in a model of spinal cord injury. Prior to the Neurotrauma Society meeting, her abstract was ranked among the top 16 student/postdoctoral fellow submissions, and she was selected to present her research in an open communication session. After participating in the poster competition, Pam placed in the top three and won the Women in Neurotrauma Research Award for the second consecutive year.

Sheila Hoffstedt, associate director of financial aid for Arts and Sciences, was honored by the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA) as the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for 2007-08 in recognition of her work in organizing the MASFAA Graduate and Professional School Symposium.

Justin Hollander, assistant professor of urban and environmental policy and planning, was a speaker at the fifth annual Games for Change Festival in June in New York. Hollander spoke about his experimental use of the 3D, web-based computer game Second Life in a class he taught last year at Tufts called "Physical Planning and Design." For more information about the class, check out

Ray Kudej has been promoted to associate professor in small animal soft tissue surgery at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. His research focuses on the pathophysiology of cardiac ischemia following coronary artery stenosis. Kudej is a fellow of the American Heart Association, and has received both its Young Investigator Award (1998) and its New Investigator Award (1999). He is also director of the small animal surgical residency program at the veterinary school.

Brian Lee, vice president for university advancement, has been elected to the board of trustees of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in London and Singapore, CASE is one of the world's largest nonprofit education associations, with a membership of nearly 3,400 colleges, universities and independent elementary and secondary schools.

Alice Lichtenstein, the Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy at the Friedman School, was invited to present "Health Claims in the USA" at the University of Turku in Finland on May 29. She also gave a presentation titled "Glycemic Index Values-To Use or Not to Use" at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York on June 13.

Joann Lindenmayer, V85, associate professor of environmental and population health at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, has been appointed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to a one-year term on the Toxics Use Reduction Science Advisory Board.

Zhenhua Liu, a scientist in the Vitamins and Carcinogen Laboratory at the HNRCA, received a two-year grant from the Prevent Cancer Foundation to study how inadequate folate and other 1-carbon nutrients increases Wnt-signaling in the colons of mice. Liu also received the HNRCA's Hamish Munro Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research for his work on nutrition and cancer.

Nicola McKeown, a scientist in the HNRCA Nutritional Epidemiology Program, was promoted to scientist II. She presented "Whole-Grain Intake, Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes Risk" at "Semer le bon grain," a General Mills-sponsored conference for media dietitians on June 3 in Montreal.

Simin Meydani, associate director of the HNRCA and director of its Nutritional Immunology Laboratory, gave a presentation on "Probiotics, Immune Function and Intestinal Diseases in the Aging" at the American Geriatrics Society meeting last spring in Washington, D.C. She also gave a talk on "Immune Function as a Biological Marker to Assess Micronutrient Status" at the Gates Foundation Micronutrients Assessment Meeting in August. She and Mohsen Meydani, director of the Vascular Biology Lab, were invited to give presentations at the First International Congress on Nutrition and Cancer in May in Antalya, Turkey.

Mohsen Meydani, a professor at the Friedman School and director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the HNRCA, gave presentations on "Evolving Understanding of Nutrient Requirements for Older Persons: Anti-inflammatory Implications" at the Food and Nutrition Board Meeting of the Institute of Medicine in Woods Hole, Mass., and "Anti-inflammatory and Anti-atherosclerostic Properties of Oats Avenanthramides" at the 8th International Oat Conference in Minneapolis in June.

Monica White Ndounou, assistant professor of drama, published the essay "The Nice-Nasty Politics of Fragmenting August Wilson's Legacy" in the New England Theatre Journal's special issue, "August Wilson Celebrated."

Dave Nuscher, director of editorial and creative services for Advancement Communications, has begun a term on the CASE District I board that runs through spring 2010. Nuscher joined Tufts in 2007 after more than 12 years in higher education administration at Boston College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

José M. Ordovas, professor of nutrition and director of the HNRCA Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory, was unanimously elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Sciences of Zaragoza (Spain). He also received the AACC Nutrition Division Garry Labbe Award. He has been appointed to the science advisory board of the National Center for Toxicological Research of the FDA for his expertise in nutrition and genetics. He also received the 15th Carles Martí Hennebergh Award to the Scientific Trajectory from the Dannon Institute.

Mark Pokras, associate professor of wildlife medicine, was one of the meeting organizers and gave the keynote address at a Tufts Center for Conservation Medicine co-sponsored meeting in Boise, Idaho, in July on "Ingestion of Spent Lead from Ammunition: Implications for Wildlife and Humans." It was the first international meeting to bring together experts in human and animal health to examine lead toxicosis across species lines.

Maribel Rios, assistant professor of neuroscience, has received a $400,000 Klarman Family Foundation grant to support her research on eating disorders over the next two years. She is working to discover how deficient levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor contribute to the onset of eating disorders. Rios will collaborate with Emmanuel Pothos, an assistant professor of pharmacology at Tufts.

Sharan L. Schwartzberg, professor of occupational therapy and adjunct professor of psychiatry, and Mary A. Barnes, fieldwork coordinator in the Department of Occupational Therapy, conducted a workshop on "When Traditional Models of Group Treatment Just Aren't Realistic: Creative Approaches to Group Leadership" at the Northeast Society for Group Psychotherapy annual conference at Wellesley College on June 14.

Jacob Selhub, a professor at the Friedman School and director of the Vitamin Metabolism Laboratory at the HNRCA, will receive the American College of Nutrition Award, which recognizes lifetime achievement in the field of nutrition. The award will be presented at the organization's annual meeting in October, when he will lecture on folic acid intake and the exacerbation of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Scott Shikora, professor of surgery at the School of Medicine and director of Tufts Medical Center's Obesity Consult Center, has been named president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Betsy Stearns, director of the Tufts Fund for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, was elected president of the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals (AVAP) at the organization's annual meeting on July 21 in New Orleans. Stearns has been a member of AVAP since 2003, most recently serving a one-year term as vice president. The organization of development, public relations and alumni relations professionals works to promote the success of veterinary medical education through the professional development of its members.

Grace Talusan, lecturer in English, published an essay, "The Myth of Filipino Magnetism," in The Kartika Review, an Asian-American literary journal.

Dawn Geronimo Terkla, associate provost for institutional research, assessment and evaluation, edited Institutional Research: More than Just Data, part of the Jossey-Bass New Directions in Higher Education series. She was also an invited panelist at the Association of Institutional Research Forum in Seattle, for the Presidential Symposium on "Effective IR Offices: A View from the Trenches." In June she was an invited panelist at the Chronicle Executive Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., and an invited speaker at the International Symposium on Quality Insurance in Higher Education: Between Requirements and Reality.

Paul Waldau, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy, gave presentations on "Animal Ethics" at Michigan State University on July 7 and at Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics on July 17. He published "Humans and Other Animals" in Sightings, a biweekly electronic journal from the Martin Marty Center, the institute for the advanced study of religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Waldau also delivered opening remarks on the state of "animal law" at the inaugural gathering of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Animal Law Practice Group in Boston on April 10.

Laura Walters has been promoted to associate director for research and teaching at Tisch Library.

Richard Weiss, the William Walker Professor of Mathematics, will give a lecture on his work in the theory of "buildings" as part of the Kuwait Foundation Lecture Series at the University of Cambridge in November. The first in this lecture series on algebra and number theory was given nine years ago by Andrew Wiles, the mathematician who gave the first proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.

Robert F. Willson, research associate professor of astronomy and senior lecturer in anatomy and cellular biology, presented a paper titled "VLA, SOHO and RHESSI Observations of Evolving Type I Noise Storms, Evolving Coronal Loops and Coronal Mass Ejections" at the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. This research involved observations of the sun using the world's largest radio telescope, the Very Large Array Telescope in New Mexico, and NASA orbiting solar satellites. A paper based on this research was recently published in Solar Physics and co-authored by Tyler Groff, E07.

Timothy Wise, deputy director at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), was in Washington in late July for events and meetings associated with the launch of his new Working Group report, "The Promises and Perils of Agricultural Trade Liberalization: Lessons from the Americas." The product of a three-year collaboration, the report is being co-published with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). In addition to a standing-room-only briefing at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, there was a briefing for the House Subcommittee on Trade, a high-level luncheon with policymakers at WOLA, and individual meetings with influential congressional offices. The Carnegie Endowment has put up a web page on Wise's report launch event, which includes audio of the event. Wise was in New York in June for meetings at the Ford Foundation hosted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy on the topic "Toward a New Global Social Contract: Integrating Human Rights and the Environment in Food and Agriculture."

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