December People Notes

Julian Agyeman, associate professor and chair of urban and environmental policy and planning, was invited to give the keynote lecture at the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia annual conference, Sustaining Culture, in early December in Adelaide, Australia. His talk was titled “Towards ‘Just’ Sustainability.”

Nalini Ambady, professor of psychology, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for innovative and groundbreaking research on person perception and nonverbal communication. The AAAS awarded the distinction to 471 of its members this year. Ambady will receive the award on February 16 during the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

Diana Bailey, associate professor of occupational therapy, is retiring after 21 years as a faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy. She was feted at a retirement celebration on December 3 on the Medford/Somerville campus.

Noit Banai, who received her Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University in May, has joined Tufts as a lecturer in visual and critical studies. Her scholarship focuses on the French neo-avant-garde and the role of aesthetics in the reconstruction of the post-war public sphere. She is a frequent contributor to journals of contemporary art and catalogs of major international exhibitions, including Yves Klein retrospectives at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt in 2004, the Barbican Art Gallery in London in 2005 and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 2006. Banai was a teaching fellow at Columbia, a lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art and served for three years as an assistant editor at Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics.

Rishikesh R. Bhandary, A09, has joined 21 other youth leaders from across the country representing the United States at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Indonesia in December. “It is ultimately our generation that will be dealing with the effects of decisions made today, so youth voices must be represented at the conference,” says Bhandary, who is majoring in quantitative economics. The delegation is part of the internationally recognized SustainUS Agents of Change program, designed to facilitate youth involvement in international policymaking and advocate for a sustainable future. “I am really excited for this incredible opportunity to actively participate,” Bhandary says. “As a team, we hope to build momentum for a strong international agreement on climate change, one that includes the United States.” The conference ran from December 3 to 14.

Jeffrey Blumberg, director of the Antioxidants Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), was co-chair, with Lenore Arab of UCLA, of the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

David Dapice, associate professor of economics, attended a United Nations Development Programme-sponsored conference in Cambodia, where he presented his work on raising rural income. He also consulted with the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Academy of Social Services in Hanoi, Vietnam. In June, Dapice and other academic experts briefed the president of Vietnam and members of the Vietnamese government at a forum on higher education in New York City. The event was covered in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Associated Press, BBC World Service, Voice of America and numerous other media. In July, Dapice taught at the Fulbright School in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), advised central and local government officials and visited other educational institutions in Vietnam.

Rajeev Dehejia, associate professor of economics, recently presented his research at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching in Mexico City, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and the London School of Economics. He has joined the editorial board of the Journal of Human Resources as a co-editor.

Thomas Downes and Jeffrey Zabel, associate professors of economics, have received a contract from MassINC, an independent, nonpartisan research and educational institute, to study the 1993 Education Reform Act of Massachusetts and assess the impact of the reforms on the distribution of education funding and on the level and distribution of student performance. Their report will be released in September 2008.

Joshua Fischman, assistant professor of economics, presented his research on “Decision Making under a Norm of Consensus: A Structural Analysis of Three-Judge Panels” at the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Law and Economics Workshop in July.

Kevin P. Gallagher, senior researcher at the Tufts Global Development and Environment Institute, was invited to Brussels in October to advise the European Commission on new funding directions for globalization and economic development issues over the next five years. On October 10, he and Lyuba Zarsky, senior fellow at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development and a senior research fellow with GDAE’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program, gave a talk on their new book, The Enclave Economy: Foreign Investment and Sustainable Development in Mexico’s Silicon Valley (MIT Press) at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

Neva Goodwin, co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute, will have her four-part article, Changing Climate, Changing Economy: How to Think about Climate Change, published in Opinión Sur, an online publication of Sur Norte Inversión y Desarrollo. A portion of the series has also been reproduced by EMBRAPA, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corp.

Jacqueline (Jacque) Hymes is the new director of the Office of Equal Opportunity. She comes to Tufts with more than a decade of experience working on issues related to equal opportunity, diversity and organizational and workforce development and training. For the last nine years, Hymes was the chief of equal employment opportunity with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in Columbus. Before that, she was the director of equal employment opportunity with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Hymes has also worked as an avionics navigation and communication specialist with the Ohio and Washington, D.C., Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force, and for a brief time, was one of the first female apprentices with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. She received her B.A. in aviation management and economics and her M.A. in labor and human resources from Ohio State University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in workforce development and education, also from Ohio State.

Yannis Ioannides, the Max and Herta Neubauer Professor of Economics, co-organized the 6th Conference in Economic Theory and Econometrics in Naxos, Greece, this past summer, when he also presented his research on “Urban Structure, Intercity Trade and Economic Growth.” He presented his paper, “The Effect of Information and Communication Technologies on Urban Structure,” at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in September.

Rob Jackson, professor of neuroscience, chaired the behavior session at the Drosophila Neurobiology Meeting, an international meeting devoted to the genetic analysis of nervous system development and function, in October at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. At the meeting, Yanmei Huang, a postdoctoral fellow in Jackson’s lab, gave a talk titled, “LARK Controls Different Circadian Output Pathways through Post-transcriptional Regulation of Distinct RNA Target Molecules.” Joowon Suh, a Sackler neuroscience program student in Jackson’s lab, received an honorable mention in the prestigious Elkins Award competition for her work on a glial protein, known as Ebony, and the role of nervous system glia in circadian output.

Dr. Hal Jenson, professor of pediatrics, has been appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers, a national organization dedicated to quality patient care, medical education and research. Jenson is the chief academic officer at Baystate Medical Center and dean of the western campus of the School of Medicine.

Kenneth Kaitin, director of the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, has been appointed to the board of directors of Phase Forward, a provider of data management tools for clinical trials and drug safety. “Dr. Kaitin is a highly regarded expert on the dynamics of the drug development life cycle,” says Bob Weiler, president and CEO of Phase Forward. Kaitin has led the Tufts center since 1998 and is also an associate professor of medicine at the School of Medicine. He is an expert on the factors that contribute to the slow pace and high cost of pharmaceutical research and development and the impact of regulatory and legislative initiatives to speed new drug development and review. He holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Rochester.

Misha Kilmer, professor of mathematics, and Eric Miller, professor of electrical and computer engineering, attended events celebrating the inauguration of the new Schlumberger-Doll Research Center in Cambridge, Mass., in October. Schlumberger is a leading provider of services to the oil and gas community, and the center is the flagship laboratory of Schlumberger’s 23 research and development facilities around the world. Kilmer and Miller, along with Andrew Ramsburg, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Vladimir Druskin of the center, coordinate a joint Schlumberger-Tufts Computational and Applied Math Seminar Series, which is now in its second semester. Kilmer also was named to the inaugural editorial board of a new journal featuring undergraduate research in applied mathematics: the Society for Industrial and Applied Math (SIAM) Undergraduate Research Journal Online. One aim of the editorial board is the quick turnaround of submissions so that quality papers may be published before student authors move on in their careers and lose the focus on their undergraduate research experience. Kilmer is the faculty advisor to the Tufts SIAM student chapter, which promotes interdisciplinary interaction among graduate and undergraduate students with a variety of research interests.

Joanna Wu Kuriyama has been appointed a lecturer in the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literatures. She comes to Tufts from Harvard, where she was preceptor of East Asian languages, teaching courses in Chinese language. She received her doctorate in Chinese literature from Harvard in 1993. For the past 25 years, Kuriyama has taught Chinese at universities in the United States and Japan. Recently, she has focused on designing courses that address the needs of Japanese students who study Chinese. These courses include studying Chinese through proverbs and literary allusions and through the translation of English into Chinese.

Edward Kutsoati and Margaret McMillan, associate professors of economics, have launched the pilot phase of their microfinance research in Ghana. In June, they met with farmers in the Osino region to talk about their credit needs, and worked with Mumuadu Bank to design a loan product that included crop price insurance. The pilot phase of the project was launched on August 1 and includes 200 farmers. As of September, almost 70 percent of the farmers to whom the product was offered have taken a loan. In September, Kutsoati and McMillan, with Hillary Rettig of the International Institute of Boston, gave a Boston Cares-sponsored talk about microcredit. McMillan presented her research on “Profit Sharing between Governments and Multinationals in Natural Resource Extraction” at the Brookings Institution in June. She also presented her work on food aid and poverty at the annual meeting of the American Agricultural Economics Association in Portland, Ore., this summer, and her paper, “Offshoring Jobs? Multinationals and U.S. Manufacturing Employment,” at Yale University’s international trade workshop in September. McMillan’s paper, “My Policies or Yours: How Do Trade-distorting Agricultural Policies Used by Rich Countries Affect Poverty in Developing Countries?”, is featured in the World Bank’s World Development Report 2008.

Alice Lichtenstein, the Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the HNRCA, received the 2007 Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Distinguished Achievement Award at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Fla., on November 4. She also gave a talk on “Dietary Modification to Optimize Plasma Lipids and Lipoprotein Concentrations.”

Lisa M. Lynch, the William L. Clayton Professor of International Economic Affairs at the Fletcher School, has been reappointed as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston board of directors for 2008 by the Federal Reserve Board.

Taylor McNeil joined University Publications in November as editor of the Tufts Journal. Prior to coming to Tufts, he was editor of Bostonia, the alumni magazine at Boston University, and worked in communications at BU for almost 14 years. He received a B.A. from George Washington University and an M.Sc. in public policy from the London School of Economics.

Mitch McVey, assistant professor of biology, received a 2007 National Science Foundation CAREER award, which will fund the research that his lab is doing to discern how different genetic pathways dynamically interact to repair damaged DNA. In addition, the award will be used to develop a mentoring and outreach program within the biology department to encourage students to pursue careers in scientific research.

Gilbert Metcalf, professor of economics, presented his research on the economics of climate change at the ninth annual NBER-CCER Conference on China and the World Economy, held at Peking University in Beijing in June. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) brings U.S. economists to China to interact with Chinese economists and graduate students at the Chinese Center on Economic Research (CCER), the foremost economics graduate program in China. Metcalf also gave a talk on distributional aspects of climate change policy at the Congressional Budget Office’s Director’s Conference on Climate Change, held in Washington, D.C., in November. While in Washington, Metcalf also gave a presentation at an American Meteorological Society conference on climate change and a seminar at the International Monetary Fund. Earlier in the month, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution held an event at which Metcalf’s paper on a proposal for a distributionally neutral carbon tax swap was released.

Bruce Molay has been appointed a lecturer in computer science. He is teaching Introduction to Digital Information, a computer science course for non-majors at Tufts. Molay has been designing, coding and supporting software for educational, medical and administrative projects since 1978. His projects include developing, marketing and supporting Heartbeat, which manages the data and operation of hospital blood donor programs, and developing a system to assign randomized treatments for clinical trials for the Biostatistics Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Molay has taught at the Harvard Extension School since 1975, designing and teaching courses in Unix programming, quantitative reasoning and introductory algebra.

Aviva Must, professor of public health and family medicine, has been appointed dean of academic affairs in the Office of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs at the School of Medicine. She has been a faculty member at the School of Medicine since 1992 and is vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine. The new position was proposed by Dr. Michael Rosenblatt, dean of the School of Medicine, to ensure the continued excellence of the school’s master’s programs, which have seen dramatic growth over the past decade. Under the leadership of Dean Harris A. Berman, the Office of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs offers master’s degrees in public health, health communication, business administration in health management, pain research, education and policy and biomedical sciences. Must is responsible for curriculum design, development and implementation, evaluation and feedback, faculty development and oversight of program faculty.

Jose Ordovas, professor of nutrition and director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at the HNRCA, gave the following presentations in November: “Nutrigenomics and Health” at the XVI Congreso Argentino de Nutrición in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 17; “Genetic Variation, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Heart Disease” at the first congress of the International Society of Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics in Athens, Greece, on November 12; “Genetic Markers in Diabetes: Are They Really Informative?” at a conference on diabetes in Madrid, Spain, on November 8; and “Genes and Diet: The Potential to Influence Cardiovascular Risk” at the 2007 meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Fla., on November 5.

Three assistant professors at the Cummings School have been elected officers of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski, vice president; Dr. Scott Shaw, treasurer; and Dr. Armelle deLaforcade, secretary.

Dr. Robert Russell, director of the HNRCA, gave a presentation on carotenoid research during meetings of Tufts’ International Board of Overseers at Peking University and the CDC of China in September. At the September meeting of the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board Workshop, he lectured on “Development of DRIs, 1994-2004: Lessons Learned and New Challenges.” He gave a presentation on “Human Beta-Carotene Conversion to Vitamin A from Plant Foods” at the Grand Challenges in Global Health: Scientific Progress Meeting of the Gates Foundation conference in Cape Town, South Africa, in October. At the ninth annual meeting of the Brazilian Society for Food and Nutrition in São Paulo, Brazil, Russell gave two talks: “New Perspectives in Carotenoid Research” and “The Changing Nutrition Paradigms of the 21st Century.”

Kenneth Shadlen, senior researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute, had a letter to the editor published in the Financial Times on September 27. The letter outlined the limits of regional trade agreements for developing countries. He gave a seminar on “The Politics of Intellectual Property in Latin America: Patents and Drugs in Brazil and Mexico” on October 19 at the Latin America Centre at Oxford University.

Dr. Patrick Skelly, assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the Cummings School, assumed the presidency of the New England Association of Parasitologists at the association’s annual meeting on October 20 at Boston College.

Diane Souvaine, professor and chair of computer science, is serving as co-chair of the board of advisors to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Vermont. The board’s first meeting took place in late October. Souvaine’s co-chair is John Cohn, an IBM fellow and chief scientist of design automation for IBM in Burlington, Vt.

Enrico Spolaore, professor of economics, presented his research on the diffusion of development at the Central Bank of Colombia in July and at a conference at the University of Warwick in England in September organized by the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation and the European Commission’s GARNET network. This past summer, he also gave a series of lectures on political economy and development at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and joined the scientific committees of the Colombian journals Desarrolo & Sociedad and Revista de Economia Institucional.

Cathy Stanton has joined the Arts & Sciences faculty as a lecturer in anthropology. She completed an interdisciplinary doctoral program in cultural anthropology, history and museum and heritage studies at Tufts in 2004. Her research interests include history and memory, cultural performance, heritage, tourism, and myth and ritual, and she has published extensively on these topics. For the past three years, Stanton has taught courses on socio-cultural anthropology, the history of anthropological thought and the anthropology of tourism at Tufts. She also has been an adjunct faculty member at Vermont College and a consultant to the Northeast Ethnography Program run by the National Park Service.

Paul J. Tringale, A82, F01, director of conferences and summer programs, co-chaired the Global Study Tour of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC). He led a group of 24 conference center professionals from Denmark, Australia and the United Kingdom on a visit to five conference centers in the New York and New Jersey area. The group met with general managers and sales and operations staff, as well as the executive chefs at each location to learn about best practices, conference services and trends in the industry. Following the Global Study Tour, the group attended the IACC annual conference in New Jersey. Paul was also nominated for an Award of Excellence from the IACC.

Tim Wise, deputy director of the Global Development and Environment Institute, and Elanor Starmer, a research assistant at GDAE, had their policy brief on the advantages of cheap feed for major pork and poultry producers reprinted in the September/October 2007 issue of The Columbia Basin Farmer, a farm tabloid. The brief has become one of GDAE’s most downloaded and reprinted items. Wise gave presentations on two panels at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s conference on “Lessons from NAFTA: Building a Fair Trade Agenda” in Minneapolis in October. Those presentations were “State of Emergency for Mexican Maize: Protecting Biodiversity by Promoting Rural Livelihoods” and “Feeding the Factory Farm: Cheap Feed and the Industrialization of North American Livestock Operations.”

Paul Wulfsberg, who recently completed his M.A. in Arab studies at Georgetown University, has joined Tufts as a lecturer in the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literatures. His graduate studies included Arabic dialectology, Arabic short stories and politics. He received a Center for Arabic Study Abroad award, enabling him to study for a year at the American University in Cairo. He has taught Arabic to undergraduates and has also worked as a freelance translator and interpreter and as a copy editor for Al-Ahram Weekly.

Dr. Jun Xu, assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the Cummings School, organized and moderated an invited session on “A Balanced Genome: X-Autosome Dosage Compensation” at the 57th annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in San Diego in October. He also presented a poster, “Changes in Expression and Chromatin Structure of JARID1C Are Associated with Neural Differentiation,” at the meeting. Before returning to the East Coast, he gave a seminar talk on “Sex, Aggression and Histones” at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Adriana Zavala, assistant professor of art and art history, served as guest curator for a new exhibition, “New Art: María Izquierdo’s Contribution,” for the inauguration of the Colección Blaisten at the Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco in Mexico City in November. Since the 1980s, the painter María Izquierdo has been recognized as one of the most important artists of the so-called Mexican School. The exhibition demonstrates Izquierdo’s contribution to the formulation of what was called, at the time, “new art.” This art was characterized as much by an emphasis on the aesthetic experiments of universal modern art as on characteristically Mexican subjects.