October People Notes

Radiclani Clytus has been appointed an assistant professor of English. He recently completed a joint doctoral program in African-American studies and American studies at Yale University. His doctoral dissertation, Envisioning Slavery: American Abolitionism and the Primacy of the Visual, examines the historical privileging of sight in the context of the American Anti-Slavery Society’s reliance on pictorial propaganda. While working on his dissertation, Clytus was a senior analyst with the State University of New York’s Charter Schools Institute, helping to develop the protocol for analyzing and reviewing New York charter school applications. He is a Bernard and Irene Schwartz Postdoctoral Fellow at the New York Historical Society. As part of that fellowship, he has been researching the writing of William J. Wilson, a black Brooklyn abolitionist and journalist. He also taught last year at the New School’s Eugene Lang College.

David Cochrane, professor of biology, presented a poster, “HMC-1 Human Mast Cells Synthesize and Secrete Neurotensin (NT) and Express NT-receptor, NTS-1,” at the 8th World Congress on Inflammation, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in June. The poster co-authors were Dr. Robert Carraway of University of Massachusetts Medical School; Ross Feldberg, associate professor of biology; Richard Scarpa, who received his Ph.D. in biology from Tufts in 2004; Melissa Laudano, A04; Alyssa Lillo, A04; Kimberly Harrington, A07; and David Buzanoski, A07.

Andreea Balan Cohen, who recently completed her doctoral degree in economics at Harvard University, has been appointed an assistant professor of economics. Her research interests are in public economics, health economics and development economics. Her dissertation, Elderly Wealth and Health: Evidence from the Old Age Assistance Program, investigates the role of social programs in improving the health of the elderly. Cohen is the recipient of several honors, grants and fellowships, including the Excellence in Teaching Award given by the economics department at Harvard. Her teaching experience includes courses on health and economics development, health policy in developing economies and econometrics.

Heather Curtis has joined Tufts as an assistant professor of comparative religion. She received her B.A. in political and social thought from the University of Virginia, her M.A. in theology from the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and her doctorate in theology and the history of Christianity from Harvard University. Her research interests include the intersection of religion and the sciences; gender and women’s studies in religion and the study of devotional practice. She comes to Tufts from Harvard Divinity School, where she was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in American religious history. She has taught courses on religion, naturalism and evolution in America; liberalism and orthodoxy in American Protestantism and the religious history of American women.

Richard C. Eichenberg, associate professor of political science, has published three articles on public opinion and foreign policy. His article “War President: The Approval Ratings of George W. Bush” appeared in the December 2006 issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution. An overview of research on “Citizen Opinion on Foreign Policy and World Politics” has just appeared in the Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior, published by Oxford University Press. An article on public opinion in the European Union, “Post-Maastricht Blues,” was published in the journal Acta Politica.

Dr. Michael Forgac, professor of physiology, will present a plenary lecture titled “Structure, Function and Regulation of the Vacuolar ATPases” at the annual meeting of the German Society for General and Applied Microbiology and the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, to be held March 9-12, 2008, in Frankfurt, Germany. The 2008 meeting will combine for the first time the annual meetings of the two largest German societies. As the recipient of the Zucker Family Research Prize from Tufts University, Forgac will also be presenting a seminar on “The Vacuolar ATPases, Nature’s Most Versatile Proton Pumps, in Normal Physiology and Disease” on October 23 at noon in the Behrakis Auditorium of the Jaharis Center on the Boston campus as part of the Sackler Science Frontiers series.

Grant Garven has joined the university as a professor of geology and an adjunct professor in civil and environmental engineering. He came to Tufts as a full professor in July, after having taught at Johns Hopkins University for the past 25 years as a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; he also held joint appointments in Hopkins’ Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering and in the Department of Civil Engineering. Garven is a groundwater geologist who uses mathematical models to understand hydrologic, thermal, chemical and mechanical processes in the Earth’s crust. He has taught courses in groundwater hydrology at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level, and has mentored numerous graduate students. He is the founding North American editor of the journal Geofluids, and has also served as an associate editor of the American Journal of Science since 1990. Garven’s awards and honors include a Wiess Visiting Professorship at Rice University, a Senior Fulbright Award at the University of Tasmania, a visiting professorship at Stanford University and a U.S. Department of Energy award for outstanding contributions in geoscience research. He was also the recipient of a U.S. Presidential Young Investigator Award, and was honored with the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America.

Lisa Gregory has joined the Office of Publications as a communications account manager. She comes to Tufts from the W.E.B. Dubois Institute at Harvard University, where she directed and managed the institute’s brand by creating its first-ever graphic identity, overseeing the design and content of the institute’s websites and writing and producing promotional print materials for a range of events and outreach programs, including the annual report. She has also worked as a creative strategist at the Boston web firm BigBad Inc., where she developed competitive audits, brand assessments and brand and messaging strategies for high-profile clients. While serving as outreach project director at WGBH-TV in Boston, she created and delivered an award-winning national campaign for “Africans in America,” which crossed web, print, radio and television. Gregory has also been a consultant for PBS television programs at ROJA Productions and was outreach director at Blackside/Civil Rights Project Inc., where she worked on the PBS television campaign for “America’s War on Poverty.” She earned a B.A. in French language and literature from the University of Massachusetts and a M.Ed. in media and multicultural education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Andrea Grossman, J97, has joined the Department of Public Relations on the health sciences campus. As a public relations specialist, she supports the strategic public relations initiatives for Tufts’ schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She began her career as a print journalist, writing for the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., and the Milford Daily News in Milford, Mass. After earning a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Maryland, Grossman was hired as a news writer and producer at WJZ, the CBS-owned television station in Baltimore, where she worked on the weekday morning and evening newscasts as well as special projects. In 2004, she returned to Massachusetts to join WBZ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Boston. Most recently, she was a news writer for the evening and weekend newscasts. She earned her B.A. in English from Tufts in 1997.

Charles Hague has joined the School of Arts & Sciences as an assistant professor of mathematics. He recently completed his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include representation theory, algebraic groups, algebraic geometry and combinatorics. His thesis, Generalization of the Brylinski-Kostant Filtration and Cohomology of Cotangent Bundles of Flag Varieties, explores one particular connection between geometry and representation theory. As a senior teaching fellow at the University of North Carolina, Hague mentored first-time graduate student teachers and ran a teaching seminar for these students. He also has experience teaching all levels of undergraduate calculus.

Richard Hall has joined Tufts as a visiting assistant professor of computer science for the 2007-08 academic year. He received his M.S. in computer engineering and his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He comes to Tufts from the Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble in France, where he had been a researcher since 2002. His work there was in the fields of component and service orientation, dynamic assembly of applications and deployment. Hall is also a member of a Java Expert Group, for which he critiques a modularity mechanism for the Java platform, and an invited research member of the OSGi Alliance, a global consortium of technology innovators. He is on leave from his research position at the University of Grenoble.

Dr. Aidee N. Herman, associate clinical professor of periodontology, organized her third humanitarian mission to Ecuador August 11-21. The oral health team, which included Tufts dental students, provided care to 449 children.

Justin Hollander, assistant professor of urban and environmental policy and planning, had his op-ed, “Virtually Improving Real Living,” published in the September 17 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In the piece, he discussed Massively Multiplayer Online Games, which civic entrepreneurs are using “to improve real places in the real world.” You can read the full article at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/332008_secondlife18.html.

Dr. Gretchen Kaufman, assistant professor of environmental and population health at the Cummings School, has received renewed support for the Nepal dog sterilization and rabies control project from the Baker Foundation. This grant supports ongoing community rabies education and a student-centered spay-neuter clinic at the national veterinary school in Nepal.

Kiki Kennedy-Day has been appointed a lecturer in comparative religion. She earned her B.A. from the University of Colorado and her M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. Her research interests include Islamic studies, Islamic philosophy and theology and mysticism. She has taught at Hofstra University in New York, Fatih Universitesi in Istanbul and Rutgers University. Most recently, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Arabic Studies at the American University in Cairo, where she lectured on Islamic philosophy, Sufism and women and the Qur’an.

Tom Keppeler has joined Tufts as the associate director of public relations for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He comes to the university from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, where he was director of communications for Metro Boston, managing media and communications outreach. While at the heart association, Keppler was the account manager for New England Patriots linebacker, and stroke survivor, Tedy Bruschi; scripted former President Bill Clinton’s address at the 2006 Boston Heart Ball and even convinced the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to turn the lights on the Zakim Bridge red for 14 days in support of the association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. He also has worked at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Network, where he managed internal communications and assisted with media relations and publications. Keppler earned a B.S. in journalism from Boston University, where he was a National Merit Scholar. While attending BU, he also worked full-time as the news editor of BU’s independent newspaper, the Daily Free Press.

Sophie (Emi) Knafo, V08, won the Ballard Award for her work in studying disease transmission from domestic livestock to the endangered Grevy’s zebra.

Catherine Kuo has joined the School of Engineering as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering. She completed a joint doctoral program in biomaterials and macromolecular science and engineering at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 2002. Following graduation, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the Cartilage Biology and Orthopedics Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, investigating the effects of gene transfer, signaling biofactors, scaffolds and mechanical stimulation on adult mesenchymal stem cells using 3D tissue engineering models. She has published numerous articles on these topics, and has presented her work at several invited lectures.

Tama Leventhal has joined the School of Arts & Sciences as an assistant professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development. She received her doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Columbia University in 1999. Following graduation, she worked as a research scientist at the National Center for Children and Families. She comes to Tufts from Johns Hopkins University, where she was an associate research scientist at the Institute for Policy Studies and an assistant professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her scholarly work links developmental research with social policy for children, youth and families, particularly low-income families with children. She studies the role of neighborhood contexts in the lives of children, youth and families.

Vincent P. Manno, associate provost and professor of mechanical engineering, and Daniel H. Greisen, E06, G07, presented a paper, “Nodal Topology in Compact Thermal Models,” at the InterPACK ’07 Conference, held in Vancouver, British Columbia, in July.

Daniel Maxwell, research director at the Feinstein International Center, gave the 2007 James D. Ewing World Affairs Lecture at Keene State College in New Hampshire on September 27. His topic was “Why Do Famines Persist? Humanitarian Action in Emergencies in the 21st Century.” The lecture is named in memory of the owner and publisher of the Keene Sentinel from 1954 to 1993.

Jo-Ann Michalak, director of the Tisch Library, has been re-elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of Nelinet Inc., a member-owned, member-governed, nonprofit organization. This consortium of more than 600 academic, public and special libraries in the six New England states promotes the advancement of libraries and facilitates sharing of library and information resources and services. She has also been elected chair of Nelinet’s Finance and Investment Committee and will serve on the executive committee of the board.

Eric Miller has joined the School of Engineering as a professor of electrical and computer engineering. He comes to Tufts from Northeastern University, where he most recently was an associate professor. He received his S.M. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from MIT in 1994. His research focuses on physics and model-based signal and image processing, emphasizing inverse problems arising in such medical and geophysical application areas as landmine ordnance remediation and ultrasonic-based image-guided cancer treatment. Miller has published extensively on these topics in journals, book chapters and technical reports. He is the recipient of several awards and grants, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and a Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program grant. He has been active in his research community, serving as an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing and as presenter and chair for various seminars and conferences.

Monica Ndounou has joined Tufts as an assistant professor of drama and dance. She earned a Ph.D. in theater history, literature and criticism at Ohio State University and a master’s in English at the University of Florida. She was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow (2004-07) and an OSU Presidential Fellow (2006). Her dissertation, The Color of Hollywood, is about the cultural politics controlling the production of African-American original screenplays, stage plays and novels adapted into films from 1980 to 2000. Her most recent publication, “The Paradox of Acting for an African-American Actress,” appeared in Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2006). She has presented her research findings at several international and national conferences, including the 30th annual Comparative Drama Conference in Los Angeles. She has taught courses that explore issues of race, ethnicity, class and gender.

Zbigniew Nitecki, professor of mathematics, gave talks at a workshop on “Dynamical Systems and Ergodic Theory” at the Georg-August University in Goettingen, Germany, and at the first joint meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Polish Mathematical Society in Warsaw, Poland, in late July and early August. He is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the “Dynamical Systems Conference” in honor of Ethan Coven at Wesleyan University in October.

Karen Overbey has been appointed an assistant professor of art and art history. She comes to Tufts from Seattle University, where she was assistant chair and an assistant professor in the Department of Fine Arts. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Her scholarship focuses on the role of objects, especially sacred and cultural objects, in mapping socio-political identities in medieval Europe. She is currently studying the role of visual hagiography in Ireland, England, Wales and Italy during the Norman occupation and colonization. Overbey has taught courses on early medieval art and architecture, theory and method in art history and ritual of dress.

Kent E. Portney, professor of political science, was invited to give a talk on “Local Nonprofit Organizations and the Pursuit of Sustainability in American Cities” at the annual international “Sustainability and Quality of Life” conference of the Royal Geographic Society in London on August 29. The paper on which the talk was based is available online at http://ourgreencities.typepad.com/our_green_cities/files/RGSLondonpaper.807.pdf.

Peter Pruyn, an organizational and development training consultant with Human Resources, is a volunteer with former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Project. Founded with the proceeds from Gore’s Academy Award-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” the Climate Project has trained 1,000 volunteers, including Pruyn, to deliver the PowerPoint presentation that Gore does, live, in the film, in their own communities. On September 10, Pruyn was interviewed on Cambridge Community Television about his experiences as a climate volunteer over the past year.

Kate Risse, lecturer in Romance languages, had her article, “Strategy of a Provincial Nun: Sor María de Agreda’s Response,” published in the July issue of CiberLetras.

Deborah L. Rochman, lecturer in occupational therapy, co-authored an article, “Chronic Pain Management: Approaches and Tools for Occupational Therapy,” which was published in O.T. Practice. The article focuses on practical knowledge and skills for occupational therapy clinicians dealing with persistent pain in their clients and patients.

Linda Ross, J92, has been appointed a lecturer in drama and dance. She received her B.A. in drama from Tufts in 1992 and her M.F.A in costume and lighting design from Brandeis University in 1996. She then moved to New York City to work as an assistant designer. She worked on numerous off-off-Broadway plays and several off-Broadway and dance productions. Most recently, Ross had been living in Seattle, where she designed shows at regional theaters and taught at the North Seattle Community College.

Kim Ruane, associate professor of mathematics, gave an invited one-hour lecture at the workshop on “Introduction to Geometric Group Theory,” sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, Calif., in late August. The workshop introduces graduate students and postdocs to this exciting area of research.

Christine Sanni has joined the University Advancement Division as director of advancement communications and donor relations. For the past three years, she was the executive director of advancement communications and marketing at Boston College, where she directed a team of communications, marketing and special events staff in support of the school’s fund-raising and alumni relations efforts. Before that, she was director of media relations and then director of communications at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Sanni graduated from Tufts in 1989, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in English.

Arlene Silva has joined the School of Arts & Sciences as an assistant professor of education. She recently completed her doctoral degree and her advanced graduate specialist degree in school psychology at the University of Maryland. She is the recipient of a doctoral fellowship from the University of Maryland, and her dissertation is titled A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of Reading and Special Education Outcomes for English Language Learners in Instructional Consultation Teams Schools. As a doctoral intern, she worked as an associate school psychologist, gaining experience in school placements, crisis response and behavioral consultation.

Maria Gove Tringale, director of development and alumni relations for the School of Dental Medicine, has been elected chair of the Development, Alumni Affairs and Public Relations Section of the American Dental Education Association.

Amelio Vázquez-Reina, a graduate student in computer science, received a $2,000 prize as the winner of the best electrical engineering master’s thesis in transportation systems from the Spanish association of electrical engineers, Asociación Oficial Española de Ingenieros de Telecomunicación. Vázquez-Reina designed a computer system that would detect and decipher traffic signs on Spanish highways. Though systems have been designed to recognize regulatory or warning traffic signs, Vázquez-Reina’s system helps translate directional and informational signs, which could sync-up with GPS navigation systems already in existence. The award is sponsored by InfoGLOBAL, a Spanish telecommunication systems company.

Maryanne Wolf, the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service and professor of child development, has been invited to give keynote addresses in neuroscience and dyslexia at conferences this fall in Boston, Vermont, Texas and Japan, where she will present her research on dyslexia intervention to psychologists and teachers throughout the country.

Dr. Jun Xu, an assistant professor in the Reproductive Biology and Neuroscience Section at the Cummings School, attended the 11th annual meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology in Pacific Grove, Calif., in June, when he chaired a session on “Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Sex Matters.”

These notes were published in the October 2007 edition of the Tufts Journal.