October People Notes

Daniel Abramson, associate professor of art history, has received a one-year fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, the pre-eminent representative of humanities scholarship in the United States. Building on his long-term interest in modern architecture’s relation to capitalism, Abramson’s project, “Obsolescence in Modern Architecture,” will look back into the 19th century for the first awareness of obsolescence and follow it through the 1960s, when it reached a peak of interest internationally. Abramson hopes his work will “correct the neglect of the subject in architectural history and make connections between architecture, economics and consumer culture.” Abramson also has a Tufts Senior Faculty Leave award and a fellowship from the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard this year.

Julian Agyeman, assistant professor of urban and environmental policy and planning, and Seth Tuler of Clark University’s George Perkins Marsh Institute have been awarded a $49,954 grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop methods to identify and characterize vulnerable populations in Northeast marine fishery communities.

Bruce M. Boghosian, professor of mathematics and adjunct professor of computer science, gave three invited presentations this summer. The first was at the 2nd RealityGrid Workshop on Grid Computing, held at the Royal Society in London, England, June 15-16. The second was at the 31st workshop of the International School of Solid State Physics on Complexity, Metastability and Nonextensivity, held at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture in Erice, Sicily, July 20-26, and the third was at the International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences in Madeira, Portugal, July 26-29. Boghosian has been awarded two three-year research grants, one from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for his work, “Entropic Lattice Boltzmann Models and Quantum Computation,” and the other from the Army Research Office for his project, “Quantum Computing for Fundamental Physical Processes.”

Dr. Daniel B. Carr, professor of anesthesiology at the School of Medicine, vice chairman of research in Tufts-New England Medical Center’s department of anesthesia and co-director of medical school’s M.S. degree program in pain research, education and policy, was honored by the Eastern Pain Association in September with its 26th annual John J. Bonica Award and Lecture. Named after the man many call the “father of pain,” the award is given to individuals who have had a significant impact in the field of pain medicine. Carr gave the Bonica Lecture, discussing the process, issues and challenges involved in transferring clinical research into practice for the management of pain.

Dr. Henry Childers, assistant clinical professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine, has been elected by the 70,000-member American Veterinary Medical Association as its 2004-05 president-elect and as president for 2005-06. Among his many professional positions, Childers twice has served as president of the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association, received the American Animal Hospital Association’s Northeast Region Practitioner of the Year Award in 1991 and 1992 and received that association’s highest honor, the Charles E. Bild Award, as the national practitioner of the year.

Claire Conceison has joined the School of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor of drama and dance. She comes to Tufts from the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Michigan, where she taught undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on Asian and Asian-American theater and film, intercultural theater and performance studies. She earned her Ph.D. in theater studies from Cornell University in 2000, and also holds a master’s degree in regional studies (East Asia) from Harvard University. She is the author of a new book, Significant Other: Staging the American in China, and of many articles on contemporary Chinese spoken drama. She has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, a Humanities Fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council and an Individual Artist Grant from the Cornell Council for the Arts.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, professor of clinical sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, has been commissioned by Life magazine to write weekly columns about pets. The columns will appear in newspapers across the country on Fridays, and it is estimated that they will be read by 26 million people each week.

Sarah Frisken has joined Tufts as a professor of computer science. She was a senior research scientist at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory, and her research interests are in computer graphics, volume visualization and physically based modeling. She has led a team of researchers and students to build a knee arthroscopy simulator that incorporates high-quality rendering, haptic feedback and physical modeling to simulate interactions between surgical tools and a computer model of the knee derived from MRI data. Her current work is with adaptively sampled distance fields, a general representation of shape for computer graphics, which provides intuitive manipulation and editing of organic surfaces with fine detail. Applications include digital sculpting, computer-aided design, 2D font representation and rendering, volumetric rendering effects, path planning for CNC milling and rapid prototyping. Frisken received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and engineering from Queens University in Canada, an M.S. in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Eleni Gagari has been promoted to associate professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology at the School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Jonathan Garlick has been appointed professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology at the dental school.

Irene Georgakoudi has joined the School of Engineering as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering. She most recently worked as an assistant in physics at Massachusetts General Hospital and as an instructor at Harvard Medical School. She completed her doctoral studies in biophysics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, with a specialization in photodynamic therapy of cancer. Following her doctoral studies, she completed an NIH training fellowship in biomedical spectroscopy and cancer diagnostics at MIT’s Laser Biomedical Research Center. Her research interests center on spectroscopic imaging for the characterization of biochemical and morphological biomarkers of neoplasia, spectroscopic characterization of cells involved in immune responses and in vivo flow cytometry. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics and has several patents for her work. She is a founding member of the University of Rochester Women in Science mentoring program.

Evan Haefeli, assistant professor of history, had his book, Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield (University of Massachusetts Press, 2004), named winner of the 2004 New England Historical Association (NEHA) Book Award. NEHA is a professional association of more than 800 historians who live and work in New England. The award is given annually to an outstanding book on any historical topic written by a New England author or authors and will be presented during the NEHA fall conference October 16 in Rutland, Vt.

Boris Hasselblatt, professor of mathematics, has been named an editor of the prestigious Electronic Research Announcements of the American Mathematical Society. This past spring, he was a guest professor at the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg. Some of the most prominent contributors to the theory of foliations held positions in the mathematics department of this university, and during his visit, Hasselblatt presented a talk in French in the “Seminaire GT3.” He published a paper on “Dimension Product Structure of Hyperbolic Sets” with Jörg Schmeling; the results were also published in Electronic Research Announcements. Hasselblatt’s book, Modern Dynamical Systems and Applications, edited with M. Brin and Y. Pesin, will be published by Cambridge University Press in October. It presents a wide cross-section of current research in the theory of dynamical systems and contains articles by leading researchers, including several Fields medalists (the Fields Medal is known as the “Nobel Prize in Mathematics”). Hasselblatt was commissioned to co-edit another volume of the Handbook of Dynamical Systems, to be published by Elsevier. He published one volume in 2003 and will publish a second one in 2005. The third volume is expected to appear in 2006.

Kerri Klugman, a teacher at the Tufts Educational Day Care Center, collaborated on an article for Play, Policy and Practice about using state standards to support play. She reports that she drove from El Salvador to start her job at the day care center.

Kenneth Lang, professor of astronomy, had his book, The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System, published less than a year ago, “recommended without hesitation” in the education supplement to the London Times. Reviewer Patrick Moore called Lang’s glossy guide to astronomy “exceptionally good…a welcome addition to any astronomical library.” Edward Stone, former director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said Lang’s book “presents a richly illustrated and remarkably thorough guide to the new view of the solar system that has emerged, a view that beckons us on further journeys of discovery.”

Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, will present a talk this month on “Thriving and Civic Engagement among America’s Youth: Current Finding from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development” at the Positive Psychology Summit in Washington, D.C. The presentation was prepared in collaboration with Erin Phelps, Jason Almerigi, Pamela M. Anderson and other colleagues at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development. Lerner is also participating in the first in a series of conferences on positive development at the University of Jena in Germany.

Gary Leupp, professor of history, had his 1995 book, Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan, cited as one of the world’s top 100 most important non-fiction books on gay and lesbian culture by the Publishing Triangle, an association of lesbians and gay men in publishing. The book, which examines male homosexuality in early modern Japan, ranks number 66 on the list. The Tufts historian is in good company, with Plato, Michel Foucault, Gertrude Stein, Sigmund Freud and Oscar Wilde among the other authors on the list. Leupp is the author of two other books, Servants, Shophands and Laborers in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900.

George McNinch, assistant professor of mathematics, gave an invited talk on “Representations of Algebraic Groups, Quantum Groups and Lie Algebras” at the American Math Society’s Joint Summer Research Conference in Snowbird, Utah, July 11-15. His three-year National Science Foundation grant was funded jointly by the Mathematical Science programs in Algebra/Number Theory/Combinatorics and in Analysis. His paper, “Nilpotent Orbits over Ground Fields of Good Characteristic,” was published in May in the journal Mathematische Annalen.

Monica McTighe has joined the School of Arts and Sciences as a lecturer in art and art history. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, specializing in contemporary art and theory. Her work centers on the history and theory of 20th-century art, particularly installation and site-specific work. Her doctoral dissertation, ‘Epic Forgetting’: Mapping Memory Practices in Installation Art of the 1980s and 1990s, examines the theme of memory in the work of four contemporary installation artists. She has held internships at the Museum for Fine Arts in Santa Fe, N.M., and with the curator of 20th-century art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Bruce Metz, vice president for information technology for the past seven years, left Tufts on September 30. Rich Papazian will serve as acting executive director of Tufts Computing and Communications Services and have overall responsibility for TCCS as well as continuing in his current role as director of administrative computing. With assistance from an executive search firm, the university will conduct a national search for the next vice president for information technology.

Jo-Ann Michalak, director of the Tisch Library, has been invited by the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University to become a member of that institution’s advisory board for the university libraries to provide advice on future directions, strategic objectives and self-assessment.

Julie A. Nelson, senior research associate at the Global Development and Environment Institute, received a Fulbright Senior Specialists Grant from the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars. The grant enabled her to teach a short course on “Feminism and Economics” at the University of the Republic in Montevideo, Uruguay, in early August.

Blaine Pfeifer has joined the School of Engineering as an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering. He comes to Tufts from MIT, where he had been working as a postdoctoral fellow in the chemical engineering department. In this position, he researched targeted drug and gene delivery for cancer therapy. He earned his doctoral degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University, where he examined metabolic engineering for complex natural product biosynthesis. He has also worked as a bioprocess engineer at KOSAN Biosciences and as a process engineer at Roche Colorado Corp. He has been a mentor to undergraduate and first-year graduate research assistants and for the NSF Research Experience for Teachers Program. He is the recipient of an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, an NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship and an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Graduate Fellowship.

Vincent Pollina, associate professor in the Department of Romance Languages, presented a paper titled “Named in Song” in a session on troubadour onomastics at the 39th International Congress on Medieval Studies, held in May at the University of Western Michigan. He also was elected to a two-year term as vice president of the Société Guilhem IX, the North American association for research on the Old Provençal lyric. In that capacity, he will organize two sponsored sessions annually at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the major interdisciplinary meeting of medievalists in the United States and Canada.

Kent Portney, professor of political science, delivered the closing plenary address on “Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: An Update” at the 2004 BELL Conference, “Building a Sustainable City through Sustainable Enterprise,” on July 23 in Chicago. The conference was co-sponsored by the World Resources Institute and the Stuart Graduate School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology in collaboration with the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy at University of Illinois at Chicago and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Portney also delivered the keynote address on “Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: Some New Findings” at a conference on “Milwaukee’s Urban Environment: Cultivating the Ecological City,” sponsored by the City of Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee’s Center for Urban Initiatives and Research on May 26.

Peter Probst, who served as deputy director of the Iwalewa House, Center for African Art at Bayreuth University in Germany the past six years, as been appointed associate professor of art and art history in the School of Arts and Sciences. Probst also worked as an assistant curator of the Ethnological Museum in Berlin and as an assistant professor of anthropology at the Free University of Berlin. The focus of his research has been on the debate on African modernity, particularly the evolution of African art and aesthetic principles. He is also interested in issues of memory and cultural heritage, visual culture and media. He has received several grants from the German Research Council and has taught undergraduate and graduate students since 1983.

Todd Quinto, professor of mathematics, did research on algorithms for electron microscopy with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in June. The work was supported by the U.S. and the Swedish National Science Foundations. In July, he gave a principal talk at the German Research Center for Environment and Health conference on “Special Functions in Harmonic Analysis and Applications.” He has been appointed editor of the mathematics journal Documenta Mathematica.

Lecia Rosenthal, assistant professor of English, received the Outstanding Screenwriting Award for co-writing the script for the film “Poster Boy” at this year’s Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The festival is an annual showcase of the gay and lesbian film industry’s most talented and pioneering members. The film, which Variety magazine describes as an “absorbing drama,” tells the story of a conservative U.S. Senate candidate up for re-election and his homosexual son, who is forced to act as the “poster boy” for the campaign. When the senator discovers his son is “out of the closet,” his political agenda is at stake. Rosenthal is also an associate producer of “Be Here to Love Me: A Film about Townes Van Zandt.” Directed by Margaret Brown, the film had its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Laurence Senelick, Fletcher Professor of Drama and Oratory and America’s leading expert on Anton Chekhov’s drama, has been in demand on this, the centennial of Chekhov’s death. He has edited and translated the new Norton Critical Edition of Chekhov’s select plays, which will appear in November. At a meeting of the International Federation for Theatre Research in St. Petersburg, Russia, in May, he delivered a keynote address on “Chekhov and the Director” and a working-session paper on money in Chekhov’s plays. This fall, he will be delivering keynote speeches at Chekhov conferences at Mansfield College, Oxford University, and Colby College. Senelick published “Stanislavsky’s Second Thoughts on The Seagull” in the May issue of New Theatre Quarterly. He also spoke on symbolist theater at the Directors’ Seminar at Lincoln Center in New York City in July.

Allen Taylor, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), is a recipient of the 2004 Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Award for setting new directions in science and technology. His research focuses on protein quality control mechanisms in the etiology of eye diseases such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration and on nutritional means to delay these age-related debilities. Last spring he traveled to Israel to work as a consultant on the planning committee for the National Institute of Biotechnology in the Negev at Ben Gurion University. He recently presented results from HNRCA-derived research at the U.S.-Japan Meeting: Cooperative Cataract Research Group in Kona, Hawaii, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Cell Cycle Meeting in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Boston and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Saxtons River, Vt. The Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research has received two gifts that will be used to continue investigations into the etiology of and dietary ways to delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration and cataract, two of the major causes of blindness in the elderly.

Dawn Geronimo Terkla, executive director of institutional research, and Heather Roscoe, senior research analyst, presented a paper, “International Student Experiences: A Global Perspective,” with colleagues from the University of Amsterdam, RMIT University (Australia), George Washington University and Northeastern University at the most recent forum of the European Association of Institutional Research in Barcelona, Spain.

Vo Van Toi, associate professor of biomedical engineering, recently spent a month in Vietnam, where he is helping to develop the country’s biomedical engineering programs. He met with academic and government officials, including those at Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) University of Technology, its counterpart in Hanoi, the Vietnam National University at HCMC, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program. Vo will help organize and chair the first-ever international biomedical engineering conference for academic, governmental and industrial leaders in Vietnam, scheduled to be held in July 2005.

Alexander Vilenkin, professor of physics, who has been at the forefront of particle cosmology research for the last 25 years, has been awarded a five-year, $620,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue his research on the connection between fundamental high-energy physics and observational cosmology (the study of the structure and dynamics of the universe). He will focus his work on a number of new developments in the field, including eternal inflation and dark energy physics. Vilenkin directs the Tufts Institute of Cosmology, and as one NSF grant reviewer commented, he is one of the “top four theoretical cosmologists in the United States.”

Richard Vogel, professor of civil and environmental engineering; Paul Kirshen, research professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Steve Chapra, professor of civil and environmental engineering, have received the 2004 Best Practice-Oriented Journal Paper award for their paper, “A Decision Support Model for Adaptive Water Supply Management,” which appeared in The Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, volume 129, no. 3, 2003. The first author of the paper is Kirk Westphal, who received his master’s degree from Tufts in 2003 and is a water resource systems engineer at Camp, Dresser & McKee in Boston.

Bill Waller, associate professor of physics, served as local organizing committee chair for a conference on astronomy education, “Cosmos in the Classroom,” held at Tufts July 15-18. The conference, which featured plenary talks, hands-on workshops and panel discussions about the effective teaching of astronomy, was geared toward college and high school faculty who teach introductory astronomy, specifically those from community colleges and small four-year colleges. “Of all the scientific disciplines,” Waller said, “astronomy is a key gateway for students wishing to become engaged in the scientific process.”

Todd Wheeler, senior programming analyst in the Advancement Division, left Tufts on September 3 to spend some time at home raising his daughter as his wife resumes her career. He had been with the university for six years.

Arthur Winston, director of the Gordon Institute, is also serving as president of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional society. He and the IEEE have been in the news regarding their efforts to remove the federal government’s ban on editing manuscripts from nations that are subject to U.S. trade embargos. Last spring, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the Department of Treasury ruled that the peer review, editing and publication of manuscripts submitted to the IEEE by authors living in U.S.-embargoed countries (Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan, etc) can be conducted free of U.S. government restrictions. Although the ruling from the treasury department referred specifically to publishing by the IEEE, Winston, speaking as IEEE president, has been quoted as stating that he believes the ruling will be a “relief for nearly everyone in the scholarly publishing community. The OFAC ruling has cleared the way for publishers to follow their standard procedures in editing and publishing papers from anywhere in the world.”

Maryanne Wolf, professor of child development, is one of 13 academic leaders selected as a mentor for an intensive postdoctoral fellowship training program to boost research on the application of psychological science to education. Wolf, the director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, will be paired with Sasha Yampolsky, a research teacher at the center. The pair was chosen for the inaugural year of the program, which is sponsored by the American Psychological Association through a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. Wolf delivered a series of keynote lectures in Italy and Australia over the summer about her work on dyslexia and its intervention. She was one of 15 neuroscientists and educators invited to address the Vatican’s Academy of Science for its 400th anniversary on the topic of “Mind, Brain and Education.” Her lecture, “A Triptych of the Reading Brain: Insights from Evolution, Development, Pathology and Intervention,” will be published in an upcoming book by Cambridge University Press. Her most recent article, co-authored with two recent Tufts Ph.D. graduates in psychology and child development, Maya Misra and Tami Katzir, is a brain-imaging study in a special issue on neurosciences and reading in Scientific Studies of Reading.