June 16, 2010

June 2010 People Notes

Linda M. Abriola, dean of the School of Engineering, has been re-elected to the governing council of the National Academy of Engineering, serving a three-year term that begins July 1. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers.

Kelly Allen, A13, is the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Female Rookie Track Athlete of the Year. She won both the discus (a school record 143 feet, 5 inches) and javelin (a school record 120 feet, 6 inches) throws and took second in the shot put and fifth in the hammer throw at the NESCAC Championships.

Nancy Arbree, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of prosthodontics and operative dentistry at the School of Dental Medicine, has been selected as a fellow to the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. ELAM is the only national program dedicated to preparing senior women faculty for leadership at academic health centers.

Andre Birotte Jr., A87, the inspector general of the Los Angeles Police Department since 2003, has been sworn in as the top federal prosecutor for southern California. Birotte, the son of Haitian immigrants, was nominated by President Barack Obama. He is the first black U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, the nation’s most populous district, and is responsible for all federal litigation in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Elizabeth Canny retired in March as senior assistant provost for faculty administration, and was known for her vast institutional knowledge of Tufts. Canny began her Tufts career in the dean’s office of the Jackson College for Women in 1966; she joined the provost’s office in 1971. During her time at the university, she worked with three deans and five provosts. She was the first staff person to be elected secretary of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, a post she held from 1982 to 1988. Prior to 1982, the provost served as secretary of the Faculty of AS&E. In 1998 Canny was named assistant provost for faculty administration, and was promoted to senior assistant provost in 2004. The Tufts University Alumni Association honored her with a Tufts Service Citation, an award given to members of the community “who have enhanced the reputation or furthered the mission of Tufts University as well as for exceptional contribution and service above and beyond what might be expected.” Upon her retirement on March 30, she was presented with the Provost’s Medal.

John Casey, A80, G83, earned the 500th win of his 27-year career as Tufts University baseball coach when the Jumbos clinched their second New England Small College Athletic Conference title with a 6–1 win over Bowdoin on May 9. Tufts (34–7) went on to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Erin C. Conaton, F95, has been sworn in as undersecretary of the U.S. Air Force. When President Barack Obama nominated her for the post last fall, she had been serving as staff director of the House Armed Services Committee since 2007. The second-highest ranking civilian in the Air Force, Conaton oversees the service’s annual budget of more than $110 billion, and is responsible for the training, equipping and welfare of more than 334,000 men and women on active duty, 176,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve and 170,000 civilians.

Jennifer Daley, M76, is the new executive vice president and chief operating officer of UMass Memorial Medical Center and a faculty member of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dante DeMeo, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering; Sarah Gaither, a graduate student in psychology; and Anne Madden, a graduate in biology, received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships in May. Only 1,600 graduate students in the United States received the award for 2010.

Jim Desmond, V08, is the new director of the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Center, funded by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Along with his wife, Jenny, Desmond will help start up the first Grauer’s Gorilla sanctuary, where they will work as a team to care for the gorillas, manage the sanctuary, raise funds and oversee the progress of the program. The orphan gorillas in their care, whose families were killed by illegal poachers, range in age from one to seven years.

Hanping Feng, a research associate professor at the Cummings School, attended the 13th annual Conference on Vaccine Research, hosted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and gave a talk titled “Development of Vaccines against Clostridium difficile.”

Kevin P. Gallagher, a senior researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), was in Washington, D.C., on May 4 for a panel at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace titled “Can Capital Controls Help Developing Countries Cope with Financial Instability?” That day he also conducted a briefing at the House Trade Working Group on Capitol Hill. Gallagher launched his new report, titled “Policy Space to Prevent and Mitigate Financial Crises in Trade and Investment Treaties ”, at the United Nations in May. His article “What’s Left for Latin America to Do with China?” was published in the May/June 2010 issue of NACLA Report on the Americas, based on his forthcoming book with Roberto Porzecanski, The Dragon in the Room (Stanford University Press).

Neva Goodwin, co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute, is quoted in a U.S. News & World Report article, “Can Exxon Evolve From Oil Giant to Green Company?”, about the push to have Exxon invest more in renewable energy, study the impact of carbon emissions on developing countries and change its corporate structure to allow more internal debate. She was also quoted in a recent Boston Globe opinion piece, “Boil, Baby, Boil,” about the water-pipe rupture that led to boil-water orders for some two million Greater Boston residents.

Carl Junot has been hired as the new head coach of the Tufts men’s soccer program. Junot was assistant coach at Harvard University for the past two seasons. Prior to that, he coached for seven years at the University of New Mexico, first as an assistant coach and then associate head coach. In nine seasons as a Division I collegiate soccer coach, Junot was a part of six conference championship teams. Last fall, he was a member of the Ivy League championship team at Harvard. He replaces Ralph Ferrigno, the all-time leader in coaching victories at Tufts over a 20-year tenure.

Samuel Kounaves, associate professor of chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded $1.1 million from NASA. He will serve as principal investigator in collaboration with Draper Laboratory on a project to research and develop the next-generation wet chemistry lab for use on a potential Mars mission, following up on the Phoenix Mars Lander findings of 2008.

Karen Lawrence, G73, the president of Sarah Lawrence College, was the commencement speaker in late May at the Birch Wathen Lenox School in New York City. Lawrence became the 10th president of Sarah Lawrence in 2007. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Women’s Leadership Network, the American Council of Education’s Commission on Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity and the Presidents’ Leadership Coalition.

Joel Mason, director of the Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) and associate professor at the Friedman School, received the Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) scientific sessions and annual meeting held in conjunction with Experimental Biology 2010 in Anaheim, Calif. The award, jointly presented by ASN and the Council for Responsible Nutrition, is given in recognition of outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health. Mason first began studying how the intake of folate and other 1-carbon nutrients modulate the risk of developing cancer in the 1980s. More recently, he has proposed a dual effect of folate on cancer, hypothesizing that the rise in colorectal cancer rates in North America in the mid-1990s was related to excessive amounts of folic acid in the food stream.

Molly McCanta, an assistant professor of geology in the School of Arts and Sciences, has received a grant from the NASA Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research program. She and colleagues at MIT will use a combination of experiments and modeling to investigate lunar magma ocean differentiation processes, the effects of lunar volatiles on melt crystallization and eruptive mechanisms and the timing of lunar solidification. This research will enhance understanding of water distribution throughout the solar system and help constrain the timing of lunar evolution, results that are applicable to early geologic processes on other planetary bodies.

Julie Nelson, a senior research associate at the Global Development and Environment Institute, traveled to Berlin, Germany, in May to deliver a plenary lecture at the annual conference of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien (the German American Studies Association) on the topic “Gender, Metaphor and American Economies.”

Mark Pokras, an associate professor of environmental and population health at the Cummings School, was elected council member at large for the Wildlife Disease Association. He was also named the U.S. representative to the organizational committee for Taiwan’s first national conference on conservation medicine, to be held this November in Taipei.

Regina Raboin has been promoted from associate librarian to librarian at Tisch Library, effective July 1.

Mark Reach is the new associate director of development at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He will be responsible for developing major gift support for the school, working with existing donors and cultivating new donors. A graduate of Yale University, Reach most recently was senior philanthropic advisor at Boston Ballet, where he developed and launched the ballet’s new planned giving program. Previously he held major giving and planned-giving positions at Yale, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Peabody Essex Museum.

Beth Rohloff has been promoted from assistant librarian to associate librarian at Tisch Library, effective July 1.

Tricia Sheehan, director of technology for undergraduate education, student affairs and student services in the School of Arts and Sciences, was featured in an article in the Education Advisory Board’s Student Leadership Council publication, “The Promise and Perils of Technology: 21st Century Strategies for Enhancing the Student Experience.” The article highlights the portfolio application designed by Sheehan and her team as a resource for professionals in student services. According to the article, “Council research shows that the Student Information Portfolio system has multiple benefits for both students and staff. Students appreciate the personalized service created through the system.” The publication identified this application as one of 23 best practices in higher education technology development.

Chris Strauber has been promoted from assistant librarian to associate librarian at Tisch Library, effective July 1.

Grace Talusan, a lecturer in English in the School of Arts and Sciences, published “The Loneliest Thing on Earth,” an essay on the novel Ilustrado and the state of Filipino novels in the U.S., in The Rumpus; “The Girl in the Red Dress,” flash fiction, in the audio literary magazine The Drum; and a short story, “Alien Hand,” in Solstice Literary Magazine.

Roberto Toscano, G11, a graduate student in music, has won the 2010 Toru Takemitsu Composition Award, a prestigious award in Japan with a prize of one million yen. Toscano is the first Brazilian to earn this major international prize.

David Walt, the Robinson Professor of Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences, gave the commencement address May 15 at Claremont College’s Keck Graduate Institute.

Timothy A. Wise, director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), has been invited by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Connecticut to deliver the annual Robert G. Mead Jr., Endowed Lecture in November. Wise’s post for the Triple Crisis blog, “Going Beyond Immigration Reform,” was also published by the Institute for Policy Studies’ Foreign Policy in Focus on May 5.

Peter Woolcott, F80, F82, F11P, has been appointed Australia’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva and to the Conference on Disarmament and Nuclear Non-Proliferation. Earlier in his career, he was Australia’s ambassador in Rome and permanent representative to the World Food Programme and the Food and Agricultural Organization. His other overseas service includes postings to Jakarta, Honolulu, Manila, Buenos Aires and Kingston, Jamaica.