December People Notes

Rana Abdul-Aziz, who is completing her M.A.T. at Tufts, has been appointed a lecturer in the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature. Her graduate studies focus on political science and political philosophy, and she has been a lecturer for first-year Arabic classes. She has also worked as a lecturer and graduate intern at Middlebury College’s intensive summer Arabic School. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Center for Arabic Study Abroad, enabling her to study for a year at the American University in Cairo. While in Cairo, she taught creative writing in Arabic to children, engaging them in a pen-pal exchange with students at Charlestown High School.

Frank Ackerman, director of the Research and Policy Program at Tufts’ Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), and GDAE researcher Liz Stanton wrote a new report, “Climate Change: The Costs of Inaction,” which was released in the U.K. on October 13 by Friends of the Earth. The report details the high and mounting costs of allowing climate change to continue, reviewing the full range of recent literature on climate damages and making the case for immediate action. The GDAE report and a companion piece from British researchers on policy options form the basis for a Friends of the Earth campaign calling for immediate, large-scale mitigation measures. The report received considerable press coverage around the world. The report and press coverage can be viewed on the GDAE website at

Julian Agyeman, associate professor of urban and environmental policy and planning, will be the keynote speaker at the Third International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, which will take place at the University of Madras in Chennai, India, January 4-7. He will present the paper, “Towards Just and Sustainable Communities.”

Arthur Brady, a doctoral student in computer science, won the best student paper award at the 20th International Conference on Distributed Computing, held in Stockholm, Sweden, in September. The paper, “Exact Distance Labelings Yield Additive-Stretch Compact Routing Schemes,” was written with Lenore Cowen, associate professor of computer science.

Mattia Chason, A07; Dan Jozwiak, E08; and Greg O’Connell, A08, were voted onto the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Conference Second Team for men’s soccer by the NESCAC coaches. Chason led Tufts in scoring for the second straight year with eight goals and two assists for 18 points. Jozwiak scored seven goals with an assist for 15 points. Tufts finished the season with a 7-6-2 record.

Dr. Scott R. Cooper, assistant clinical professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, was the course director for “Caring for the Aging Recreational Athlete” at the Sports Medicine Conference, co-sponsored with Baystate Medical Center’s Office of Continuing Education. The conference, which took place September 26 in Holyoke, Mass., featured nine speakers from various specialties, including physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedics and cardiology.

Lee Edelman, professor of English, was invited to speak at an international symposium on “Post Porn Politics” held at the Volksbeuhne in Berlin in October. He will also be contributing some thoughts on the topic to a German periodical, Texte Zur Kunst, which is doing an issue related to the symposium. The lecture he presented, “Toward Dehumanization: Pornography and the Queer Event,” is part of his book in progress, Bad Education. He also recently presented part of another chapter of that book at a sponsored lecture at Emory University.

Karyn Esielonis has joined the Arts & Science faculty as a lecturer in art and art history. She earned a Ph.D. in fine arts from Harvard in 1993. Since then, she has worked in a variety of settings in the arts and in academia, including serving as curator of the Boston Public Library’s exhibit, “Sargent in Context;” cataloguing collections for the Boston Public Library and the Museum of Fine Arts; writing for a PBS program on Frank Lloyd Wright and serving as a visiting assistant professor at Brown University. She is the author of Still Life from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For the past three years, she has been a visiting lecturer in art and art history at Tufts, teaching “Theories and Methods of Art History,” “Introduction to 19th-Century Art” and “Picasso to Pollock.”

Ioannis D. Evrigenis, assistant professor of political science, delivered a paper, “Teaching by Example: Plato on Courage and the Fear of Death,” at the Northeastern Political Science Association’s annual meeting.

Martha Furtek, A08, and Annie Benedict, A08, were voted to the 2006 New England Small College Athletic Conference All-Conference teams for women’s soccer. Furtek was voted to the First Team, and Benedict was named to the Second Team. The Jumbos finished the regular season second in NESCAC, with a 6-1-2 record. With three goals and six assists for 12 points this fall, Furtek led Tufts in assists. Benedict, the team’s most consistent defender this fall, helped the Jumbos allow only 18 goals in 1,387 minutes of play.

Kevin Gallagher, senior researcher at Tufts’ Global Development and Environment Institute, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, on October 19-20 to conduct a workshop on the developmental impacts of global trade rules for lead World Trade Organization negotiators from the world’s poorest countries.

Gerald R. Gill, associate professor of history, gave the keynote address on the history of civil rights in Boston at a form titled “Power and Protest: The Civil Rights Movement in Boston, 1960-1968,” which took place November 3-4 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. The forum featured speakers who were activists during the civil rights movement and examined significant issues facing Boston during the 1960s, including housing and equality in the workforce. The event was a collaborative effort of the Kennedy Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Museum of African American History and Primary Source, a Watertown-based resource center for teachers.

Winna Goldman, D08, won a third-place award for her research at the ADA/Dentsply Student Clinician Program during the annual meeting of the American Dental Association in Las Vegas in October. Her research, “Stromal Cross-talk Influences Malignant Progression of E-cadherin-deficient Carcinoma,” could one day help in treating oral cancer patients. The work earned her a top award at the dental school’s annual Bates-Andrews Research Day program last spring. Her mentor is Dr. Jonathan Garlick, director of the Division of Cancer Biology and Tissue Engineering at the School of Dental Medicine.

Neva R. Goodwin, co-director of Tufts’ Global Development and Environment Institute, spoke at a plenary session, “Toward Good Societies: The Policy Agenda,” as part of a conference at Harvard’s Kennedy School on “John Kenneth Galbraith and the Future of Liberalism” on October 15.

Dr. Andrew Greenberg, director of the Obesity Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), co-chaired the 2006 annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity in Boston October 20-24. Greenberg chaired a pre-conference session on “Pharmacology for Obesity: Overview, Approaches and Update, 2006.” Other Tufts faculty who participated in the meeting included Aviva Must, professor of public health and family medicine and director of the MS-Nutrition/MPH dual degree program at the School of Medicine, who chaired the public forum on “Research Translation: Community-based Initiatives to Prevent Obesity.”

Alvar W. Gustafson, associate professor of anatomy and cellular biology, has been named the faculty director of the medical school’s new M.S. program in biomedical sciences. Gustafson is well known within the medical school community as a talented teacher and course director for the medical histology course, the medical pre-matriculation program and dental histology. He also has served as director of the Multimedia Resource Center and was a member of the steering committee that developed the new master’s program, which is geared for students interested in attending medical school who want to strengthen their candidacy.

Kelli Harrison, A07, and junior middle blocker Katie Wysham of the Tufts volleyball team were voted by the coaches in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) as members of the 2006 All-Conference Teams. The Jumbos lost to Connecticut College, 3-2, in the first round of the NESCAC Tournament, finishing their season with a 23-8 record. In addition, Harrison was one of 12 players voted to the 2006 All-New England team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Wysham earned an Honorable Mention selection. Harrison capped her outstanding four-year career by being tabbed as an honorable mention All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Justin Hollander has joined Tufts as an instructor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. Since 2000, he has worked as a community planner with the Public Buildings Service of the U.S. General Services Administration. His work on the reuse of federal properties was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He holds a master’s in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and will be completing his Ph.D. in urban planning and policy development from Rutgers University this fall. His research focuses on changing land-use patterns and associated environmental impacts. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Planning Association and served as GSA representative to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Ronald Lasser has joined Tufts as a professor of the practice in electrical and computer engineering. He returns to academic life after several years in industry, where he has worked as a product development professional and an engineer. At Product Development Consulting Inc., his work included defining strategies for new market opportunities and evaluating market potential. He also was director of engineering at GSI Lumonics Inc., tackling problems in product innovation, new business and product development and operations engineering. Lasser received his master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught courses on fluids, thermodynamics and heat transfer. For the past four years, he has been an adjunct lecturer in electrical and computer engineering at Tufts, twice receiving the Student Impact Award.

Alice Lichtenstein, director of the HNRCA Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, presented a talk on “Diet and Other Lifestyle Factors on CVD Risk Factors in Women” at the 2006 Women’s Cardiac Health Conference last March. Lichtenstein discussed “Food or Supplements: Where Should the Emphasis Be?” at Tufts-New England Medical Center in May. She gave a presentation on “Achieving and Maintaining Optimal Lipoprotein Profiles” at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in Washington, D.C., in June and served as chair of the American Heart Association Trans Fat Conference in Washington, D.C., October 10-11, when she delivered an introductory talk on the “History of Trans Fat in Human Health.”

Lisa M. Lynch, the William L. Clayton Professor of International Economic Affairs at the Fletcher School, will chair Boston’s Federal Reserve Bank in 2007. The Federal Reserve Board, which conducts the nation’s monetary policy, appointed chairs and deputy chairs for its 12 Federal Reserve Banks for next year in mid-November. Henri A. Termeer, CEO of Genzyme Corp. of Cambridge, was selected to be the deputy chair of the Federal Reserve in Boston. Each reserve bank has a nine-member board of directors; the board of governors in Washington, D.C., appoints three of these directors and each year designates one of its appointees as chair and a second as deputy chair.

Nicola McKeown, a scientist in the HNRCA Nutritional Epidemiology Program, was invited to give a presentation on “Whole Grain Consumption, Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Syndrome” at a meeting of the Hellenic Medical Society of Obesity in Thessaloniki, Greece, September 28-30.

Monica E. McTighe has joined Tufts as an assistant professor of art and art history. She received a B.A. from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., and an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Virginia. Her interests include installation art since the 1960s, the history of exhibition spaces and the relationship of time-based media to installation. She is the recipient of a fellowship at the Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen in Austria. For the past two years, she has been a lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History.

Mitch McVey, assistant professor of biology, received a grant from the Critical Thinking Program to revise his molecular biology course in which students develop the necessary analytical skills, including experiment design, data analysis and the construction of arguments based on empirical evidence, to discuss and critique primary research articles. The grants are offered as an incentive for faculty to revise courses or develop new ones to improve undergraduates’ reasoning and analytical skills.

Dr. Mohsen Meydani, director of the HNRCA Vascular Biology Laboratory, discussed “Fat Soluble Needs of the Elderly: Vitamin E” at the Canadian Society for Clinical Nutrition’s fifth annual scientific meeting in Edmonton, Alberta, May 25-27.

Dr. Simin Meydani, associate director and director of the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory at the HNRCA, discussed “Vitamin E and Respiratory Infection in the Elderly” at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation scientific seminar in Marshfield, Wisc., in July. Meydani was invited to participate in a symposium on “Current Research in Probiotics: Novel Approaches/New Uses” at the First International Drug Information Association Conference in Adelphi, Md., on October 16. She presented a seminar titled “Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications of the Age-associated Changes in the Immune Response: Can They Be Modified by Nutritional Interventions?” at the Graduate Seminar for Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kentucky on November 1.

Klaus A. Miczek, the Moses Hunt Professor of Psychology, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his “innovative, courageous and groundbreaking work on the neurobiology and pharmacology of aggression and the link between substance abuse and violent behavior. Miczek was one of 449 AAAS members named fellows this year. The new fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a rosette pin on February 17 during the 2007 AAAS annual meeting in San Francisco.

Juniors Katy O’Brien and Catherine Beck and sophomore Evelyn Sharkey led the women’s cross-country team to its best performance in 19 years at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship race on October 28 at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Conn. O’Brien won the six-kilometer race in a time of 22 minutes, 49 seconds—18 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Beck came in second, crossing the finish line in 23:07, and Sharkey continued to emerge as a force for the Jumbos with her seventh-place finish in a time of 23:25. All three earned 2006 NESCAC First Team honors for placing in the top 10. With three scorers in the top 10, Tufts totaled 69 points to finish just five points behind Amherst College. The second-place finish was the best by the Jumbo team since the women won the NESCAC championship in 1987.

Blaine Pfeifer, assistant professor of chemical engineering, has received a grant from the Critical Thinking program to redesign the Engineering 69 course to incorporate field trips to local chemical and biological engineering companies. The instructor and representatives from the companies will work together to pose engineering problems for the students to consider before their visits to the companies. Students’ analytical skills and teamwork abilities will be honed as they attempt to find solutions that the companies could implement.

C. Andrew Ramsburg has joined the faculty as an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2002. His research interests focus on the interplay between physical-chemical and microbial processes occurring within the contaminated subsurface environment. With a grant from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, he is investigating the delivery of highly reactive nanoscale zero-valent iron particles for treatment of water tainted by liquids that are denser than water and so do not dissolve or mix in easily. He has been an active participant in his research community, presenting his work at numerous conferences and serving as a reviewer for many publications. For the past two years, he has been a research assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tufts.

Patricia Reilly, director of financial aid, has been elected by the College Board membership to serve as a member of the College Scholarship Service National Council.

Judy Ribaya-Mercado, a scientist at the HNRCA, gave an invited lecture on “Stable Isotope Techniques to Assess Body Pools of Vitamin A” at a regional training course in Latin America on the use of isotopic techniques for combating malnutrition. The event was organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nobel Peace Prize Fund Schools in Nutrition and took place October 16-20 at the Instituto de Nutricion de Centro America y Panama in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The attendees were from health ministries, research institutes and universities from 21 Latin America and Caribbean countries.

Heather S. Roscoe, assistant director of institutional research, and Dawn Geronimo Terkla, director of institutional research, presented a paper, “Students and Sensitive Issues: Disclosing Sexual Orientation and Transgenderism,” at the Northeast Association for Institutional Research conference November 4-7 in Philadelphia. Lisa S. O’Leary, senior research analyst, and Terkla gave two other presentations at the conference: a paper on “Connecting Action to Attitudes: Linking Participation to Civic Engagement” and a poster titled “Tufts OpenCourseWare: Higher Education in a Flat World.” Terkla also was an invited speaker for a panel discussion.

Dr. Robert M. Russell, director of the HNRCA, discussed “New Developments in Carotenoids Research from the Boston (Tufts) Human Nutrition Research Center” at the second international symposium of the Human Nutrition and Metabolism Research and Training Center in Graz, Austria, October 8-10. He is a member of the center’s scientific advisory board.

Dr. David J. Schoetz Jr., professor of surgery, has been appointed the inaugural academic dean at the Lahey Clinic, an affiliate of Tufts School of Medicine. Schoetz received his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross, where he graduated with honors, and his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. His postgraduate training in surgery was completed with a residency at Boston University Medical Center and fellowship training in colorectal surgery at the Lahey Clinic. He has been on the faculty of the School of Medicine since 1996. Schoetz has served as the president of American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and on the Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, including service as that group’s president from 1994-95. He has been editor-in-chief of Seminars in Colon and Rectal Surgery and associate editor of the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Schoetz has published more than 140 original articles, reviews and book chapters, and he is a sought-after speaker and visiting professor at institutions in the United States and around the world. His outstanding teaching has been honored with multiple awards.

Allen Taylor, director of the HNRCA Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research, organized a session on “Nutrition and Age-related Eye Diseases” for the 2006 International Congress on Eye Research in Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 29 to November 3. The session featured an international field of speakers who discussed the most recent discoveries in ophthalmic epidemiology research on lutein and carotenoids. Taylor presented a talk on “Carbohydrate Nutrition and Risk for Age-related Eye Diseases.”

Dr. Theoharis Theoharides, professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, is one of seven scientists in the country to receive federal funding to conduct research on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The researchers will work to understand how the diverse symptoms of CFS are related to the interactions between the immune and neurological systems—an important step toward developing treatments for this disabling condition. Theoharides will examine the relationship of human mast cells (molecules released in stress) in the brain, not only in explaining the development of CFS but also in explaining the effects of antidepressants in relieving symptoms in CFS patients. He will examine the cellular changes that explain CFS symptoms using three different classes of antidepressants: tricyclic, serotonin uptake inhibitors and bupropion. Future studies will build on these findings to develop clinical trials of select antidepressants or other molecules that inhibit CFS. The awards were given by the Office of Research on Women’s Health, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Arthritis Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Linda Tickle-Degnen has been appointed an associate professor of occupational therapy in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. She previously was an associate professor of occupational therapy at Boston University. She holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University and master’s degrees in psychology from Harvard and in occupational therapy from University of Southern California. Her bachelor’s degree is in anthropology from Stanford University. In addition to her teaching experience, she has worked as a staff therapist at New England Rehabilitation Hospital and as a research associate at Brandeis University. She has presented her work on occupational therapy and social psychology in journal articles, book chapters and at numerous conferences. Tickle-Degnen is the recipient of several awards for her work in occupational therapy and has received several grants from such agencies as the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Aging. Her research interests focus on cross-cultural nonverbal and verbal behavior, specifically, the consequences of expressive disorders on interpersonal rapport and stigma during daily activities in different cultures.

James Tillotson, professor of food policy and international business at the Friedman School, gave a presentation on “ANALYSIS—Intersectoral Work: Fact or Fiction?” at a symposium titled “Preventing Obesity: Essentials for a Successful Governmental Plan” in October in Montreal.

Katherine L. Tucker, director of the HNRCA Dietary Assessment and Epidemiology Program, was a featured speaker on “Nutrition and Health in Hispanics” in a video-conference between the Friedman School and the University of Puerto Rico. The video-conference was streamed live to the College of Education at the Río Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico on October 17. This activity was offered as a part of the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institution Education Grant, directed by Friedman School alumna Michelle Schelske Santos.

Sabina Vaught has joined Tufts as an assistant professor of education. She completed a joint doctoral program in curriculum and instruction and educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her dissertation, The Peculiar Institution: Racism, Public Schooling and the Entrenchment of Whiteness, examines how racialized policies contribute to the reproduction of the achievement gap in public schools. She has extensive experience teaching at the high school and university levels, and has received an award for excellence in teaching. She also worked as a project assistant for the Office of Educational Academic Services at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, coordinating student-teaching and practicum placements for the School of Education.

Paul Waldau, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Cummings School, presented a paper on species depletion in Africa and chaired the annual panel of scholars in the session on animals and religion at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion November 18-21 in Washington, D.C.

Genevieve S. Walsh has joined the School of Arts & Sciences as an assistant professor of mathematics. She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California at Davis in 2003. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation, working as a postdoctoral instructor at the University of Texas at Austin. She works on the geometric and topological theory of three-manifolds and has made important contributions to the study of knots in the three-dimensional sphere. Walsh has taught a broad range of courses, including number theory, topology and surfaces in three-manifolds.

Dr. Xiang-Dong Wang, a professor at the Friedman School and director of the HNRCA’s Nutrition and Cancer Biology Laboratory, has been appointed an honored visiting professor at the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China. He gave an invited lecture on “Carotenoids, Vitamin A and Cancer Prevention” at the 30th anniversary ceremony of the School of Public Health at Sun Yat-Sen University on November 10. He has also been invited to speak on “Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Biological Activity of Carotenoid Metabolites” at the 2007 Gordon Conference on Carotenoids, which will be held January 7-12 in Ventura, Calif.

Senior midfielder Stacey Watkins, junior forward Ileana Casellas-Katz and freshman forward Michelle Kelly have been named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Conference Teams for field hockey. The 2006 Tufts field hockey team won more games (11-5 record) than any Jumbo squad since 1998. Watkins was selected to the NESCAC First Team, and Casellas-Katz was voted to the Second Team. Kelly was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year. Watkins was also one of 16 players selected to the 2006 National Field Hockey Coaches Association New England West Region First Team.

Timothy A. Wise, deputy director of Tufts’ Global Development and Environment Institute, presented his new paper, “State of Emergency for Mexican Maize: Protecting Agro-biodiversity by Promoting Rural Livelihoods,” at a conference hosted by El Colegio de Michoacan in Michoacan, Mexico, October 25-27. The conference, “All Colors of Maize: An Agenda for the Mexican Countryside,” brought together experts from across Mexico to assess the policy options at Mexico’s disposal to address the NAFTA-induced crisis for its three million maize farmers. Wise also gave a presentation on Mexico’s experience under NAFTA on September 12 in a Washington consultation held by the EcoFair Trade Dialogue, a multi-year international effort to develop new approaches to international agricultural trade rules.

Hyunmin Yi has been appointed an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering in the School of Engineering. He comes to Tufts from the University of Maryland, where he was an assistant research scientist in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He earned his doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland in 2003, and then worked as a research associate at the university’s Center for Biosystems Research. His research involves nanobiotechnology, focusing on biomolecular assembly and biosensing applications. He has published numerous articles on these topics and has several patents for his work.