June People Notes

Benjamin Babst, a graduate student in biology who works in the laboratory of Colin Orians, associate professor of biology, received a prestigious National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant for his work quantifying the dynamic responses of plants to herbivory. The work integrates physiological, chemical and short-lived radioisotope imaging techniques to examine whether plants can reallocate resources to boost their ability to survive a herbivore attack.

Lawrence S. Bacow, president of Tufts, gave the graduation address at Hebrew College’s 79th commencement on June 6. Hebrew College President David Gordis also awarded Bacow, a trustee of the college since 1999, an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Edith Balbach, senior lecturer in community health, received the Lerman-Neubauer Prize for outstanding teaching and advising at the Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty meeting on May 19.

Jennifer Baldwin, a junior art history and environmental studies major, is one of just 80 undergraduates nationwide to receive a 2004 Morris K. Udall Scholarship. Baldwin received the $5,000 merit award for her scholarship and excellence in national and environmental policy. In addition, sophomore Jennifer Cantelmi, a philosophy and environmental policy major, was one of only 50 students in the country to receive an honorable mention. This summer, Cantelmi is working as an intern at an organic farm in New Mexico with Teague Channing, A01.

Tom Cahill, senior director of University Advancement, left Tufts in May to pursue a more senior role in higher education. Marianne Haggerty, a project manager in Advancement, will fill the job on an interim basis while a search is undertaken for a permanent successor.

Dr. Daniel B. Carr, co-director of the medical school’s master’s degree program in Pain Research, Education and Policy and the Saltonstall Professor of Pain Research in the Department of Anesthesia and Medicine at Tufts-New England Medical Center, received the Distinguished Service Award at the second joint scientific meeting of the American Pain Society and the Canadian Pain Society. At that meeting, Carr also moderated a session on “Disparities in Pain Treatment across Medical Settings,” in which he helped review data suggesting that racial and ethnic disparities exist in pain medicine.

Eva Christensen, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry, is the recipient of this year’s $500 Norman and Susan Krinsky Excellence in Teaching Award. Receiving honorable mention were Lauren Logsdon and Robert Shivers, both microbiology students. Student travel awards for $500 were also presented at the awards reception April 14 to Shaida Andrabi and Mireia Guerau de Arellano (biochemistry); Joan Miguel, Balada Llasat and Anna Tischler (microbiology); Maryann Giel, Kevin Sloan and Liza Konnikova (physiology); and Jyoti Mathur, Inka Pawlitzky and Caleb Lee (immunology).

Consuelo Cruz, assistant professor of political science, and Margaret McMillan, assistant professor of economics, received the Undergraduate Initiative in Teaching (UNITE) Award at the Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty meeting on May 19.

Dr. Bess Dawson-Hughes, director of the Calcium and Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), and Dr. John B. Wong, professor of medicine, are authors of a study that found that older adults can reduce their risk of falling by more than 20 percent simply by getting enough vitamin D. The meta-analysis, published in April in The Journal of the American Medical Association, notes that while vitamin D generally has been considered protective of bone in terms of reducing fracture risk, “vitamin D may also improve muscle strength, thereby reducing fracture risk through fall prevention.” The journal reports that falls are the single largest cause of injury mortality for the elderly and lead to 40 percent of all nursing home admissions. “Our results are sufficiently compelling to consider vitamin D supplementation for elderly individuals,” the authors wrote. Dawson-Hughes has been named to the board of the International Osteoporosis Foundation. She currently serves as president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Lewis Edgers, professor of civil and environmental engineering, received the Madeline and Henry Fischer Best Engineering Teacher Award at the Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty meeting on May 19. He was nominated for the award by engineering students.

Mary Evenson and Mary Alicia Barnes, fieldwork coordinators for the Boston School of Occupational Therapy, led a day-long workshop at Tufts on student supervision and evaluating student performance for a group of area occupational therapy practitioners on May 6. At the 84th annual conference and expo of the American Occupational Therapy Association on May 23 in Minneapolis, Minn., Evenson and Barnes gave a panel presentation, “Working Smart: Collaboration to Optimize Application of Evidence to Administration and Practice.” The presentation was developed with colleagues from the University of Southern California and Cedars Sinai Hospital in California.

Sol Gittleman, the Nathan and Alice Gantcher Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies and professor of German, has been selected as the 2003-04 recipient of the Seymour Simches Award in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding teaching and advising. The award is named in honor of the late Seymour Simches, the John Wade Professor of Romance Languages, who shared his passion for French literature with generations of Tufts undergraduates. Gittleman will receive the award at the Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty meeting on September 1.

Dr. Marc J. Homer, professor of radiology at the School of Medicine and chief of the mammography section at Tufts-New England Medical Center, was an invited lecturer at the 31st National Breast Cancer Conference. He also was a visiting professor at the University of Connecticut.

David Krumme, associate professor of computer science and a faculty member for 27 years, was honored at a retirement party May 13 in Anderson Hall. Krumme came to Tufts when computer science was not yet a subject of study at most colleges. He worked tirelessly to develop the computer science major for undergraduates and to produce computer science graduates who can solve real-world programming problems. He served as chair of computer science from 1986 to 1994.

Dr. Nora Laver, assistant professor of pathology, is the recipient of the School of Medicine’s 2004 Milton O., M30, and Natalie V. Zucker Clinical Teaching Prize in Innovation.

Dr. Joann Lindenmayer, V85, an epidemiologist with the Rhode Island Department of Public Health’s Division of Disease Prevention and Control, has been appointed to the Board of Overseers to Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine.

Kathleen Merrigan, assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director of the school’s Agriculture, Food and Environment Program and its Center for Agriculture, Food and Environment, was the keynote speaker at the first World Congress on Organic Food in March. Merrigan was formerly the administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service and was the staff author of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which mandated national organic standards and a program of federal accreditation. Organic foods are grown, processed and distributed differently than conventional foods, and the conference addressed the production and safety of organic food as well as the risks of conventional versus organic foods.

Jo-Ann Michalak, director of the Tisch Library, has been invited by Carnegie Mellon University to join its Advisory Board on the University Libraries, which advises the university librarian on strategic issues.

Dr. Lawrence “Lockie” Milner, associate professor of pediatrics, is the recipient of the School of Medicine’s 2004 Milton O., M30, and Natalie V. Zucker Clinical Teaching Prize in Accomplishment.

Martin Oppenheimer has joined the University Counsel’s office as senior counsel for business and corporate affairs, with responsibility for corporate, tax, governance and real estate matters. He comes to Tufts from FleetBoston Financial Corp., where he served as senior counsel on financial and real estate transactions. Prior to FleetBoston, Oppenheimer was employed at Lehman Brothers and at the law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton and Garrison in New York. He graduated from Cornell University and Yale Law School.

Dr. Jean Poulson joined the School of Veterinary Medicine on June 1 as a faculty member in radiation oncology. She is a 1992 graduate of Colorado State University’s veterinary school. Following graduation, she entered an NIH training fellowship in the radiation oncology program at Colorado State. She was involved in the study of radiation volume and dose tolerance relationships in canine lung cancer and received her Ph.D. for this work in 2001. In 1996, she entered a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke University Medical Center and was involved in research on the use of combined hyperthermia and radiation in dogs with naturally occurring tumors. Since 2000, she has been a research assistant professor in the same program, responsible for overall coordination of several concurrent hyperthermia/radiation studies in human and veterinary patients.

Sharon Ray, assistant professor at the Boston School of Occupational Therapy, was the May inductee into Tufts’ Hall of Diversity. Through her coordination of the diversity workshop, “Respectful Practice: Providing Occupational Therapy Services to Diverse Populations” and in various outside activities, including the Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Child Education Commission and Primera Iglesia Bautista, Ray has worked hard to promote diversity within the university and beyond. The Hall of Diversity is an initiative of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action to recognize individuals, departments and committees in the Tufts community that work to promote diversity within the university.

Dr. Irwin H. Rosenberg, dean of the Friedman School, chronicled the history and accomplishments of the Interdepartmental Committee for Nutrition for National Defense during the Experimental Biology Meeting, attended by thousands of nutrition scientists in Washington, D.C., in April. The committee was established to monitor nutrition among the military and later civilian population in countries allied with the United States during the Cold War. Early in his career, Rosenberg participated in the committee’s nutrition survey of Bangladesh. Out of this Cold War effort, a number of important scientific achievements were realized, including the development of a manual on nutrition surveys still considered by many to be the gold standard. Legislation based in part on these surveys established the USDA’s school breakfast programs, nutrition programs for the elderly and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

Ben Sands, E54, led his 50-year reunion class in raising more than $10,000 for the Medford Public Schools to purchase books for the district’s libraries. Sands, an active Tufts alumnus, former men’s hockey coach, president of the Jumbo Club, class reunion committee leader and vice president of the Tufts University Alumni Association, presented a check and books to the schools on May 21 at Medford’s new Brooks Elementary School.

Paulette Anne Smith, assistant professor of French, received the Gerald R. Gill Distinguished Service Award at the Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty meeting on May 19. The award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the Tufts community, is named for Gill, associate professor of history at Tufts.

Dr. Ana Soto, professor of anatomy and cellular biology, received the Breast Cancer Fund’s annual Heroes Award for her work on xenoestrogens and breast cancer at an awards ceremony May 26 in San Francisco.

Jeff Taliaferro, assistant professor of political science, has had his book, Balancing Risks: Great Power Intervention in the Periphery, published by Cornell University Press. His article, “Power Politics and the Balance of Risks: Hypotheses on Great Power Intervention in the Periphery,” appeared in April in the journal Political Psychology as part of a special issue on prospect theory and international relations.

Vo Van Toi, associate professor of biomedical engineering, has been selected as the 2004 recipient of the Lillian and Joseph Leibner Award for excellence in teaching and advising. The award was established by the late Max Tishler, professor of chemistry at Wesleyan University and a trustee emeritus of Tufts. Each year, faculty in Arts, Sciences and Engineering nominate one of their colleagues for the award, which Toi received at the Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty meeting on May 19. In June, President Bush will appoint Toi to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation, created by the United States to encourage closer relations and educational partnerships between this country and Vietnam. The appointment is given in recognition of this country’s most talented and highly accomplished Vietnamese experts in science and technology. “The opportunity to help further academic ties between these two nations is an auspicious honor and a task I plan to fully dedicate myself to,” Toi said.

Paul Waldau, lecturer in environmental and population health at the veterinary school’s Center for Animals and Public Policy, presided on February 29 as chief judge in the finals of Harvard Law School’s moot court competition on animal law. Waldau presented papers in April on “The World’s Religions and Animals” and “Great Apes under International Law” at a conference on “Animals and the Global Community: Integrating Animal Welfare into the Legal Systems of the World,” which took place in San Diego, Calif.

Jean Wu, a lecturer in American studies and a University College of Citizenship and Public Service Faculty Fellow, was named Professor of the Year by the Tufts Community Union Senate, the undergraduate student governing body. Wu teaches a course on “Building Bridges,” which combines classroom study with volunteer work in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood.