Wednesday, January 17, 2018

October 2010 People Notes


Mary Eisenberg joined the Department of Child Development in the School of Arts and Sciences as a lecturer in September. She received an M.S. in education from Bank Street College of Education in 1979 and a Ph.D. from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development in 2004. She has been director of the Evelyn G. Pitcher Curriculum Resource Library at Tufts since 2004, and has taught classes and supervised numerous teacher education students, as well as created an arts outreach program. Eisenberg’s expertise is in teacher education, professional development and curriculum for young children.

Rabab El Nady is a new lecturer in Arabic in the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literatures in the School of Arts and Sciences. She earned a B.A. in English from Zagazig University in Egypt and a master’s degree in TESOL, K-12, from New York University. She also holds a certificate in teaching English as a foreign language from the American University in Cairo. El Nady comes to Tufts after teaching Arabic in the Department of Classics at the University of Notre Dame. She received a Fulbright assistantship in 2006, and used it to go to Saint Xavier University, where she taught Arabic and designed curriculum and assessment tools.

Karam Dana is a new lecturer in history in the School of Arts and Sciences. Dana received an M.A. in international studies in 2003 and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Near and Middle Eastern Studies in 2009 from the University of Washington. His dissertation, Before Their Nakba: Palestinian Society and Politics, 1920–1940, is currently under revision for publication. He recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University.  Prior to that, Dana served as co-principal investigator on the Muslim American Public Opinion Survey at the University of Washington. Currently he is writing a book with Matt Barreto titled Political Incorporation and Isolation of Muslims in America: The Role of Religiosity in Islam. His research interests include the politics and cultures of the Middle East, Muslims in non-Muslim societies and race and ethnicity in American politics.

Brian Hatcher joined the School of Arts and Sciences as a professor of religion in September. He comes to Tufts from Illinois Wesleyan University, where he began his academic career in 1992 and where he was most recently the McFee Professor of Religion and chair of the department. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in the comparative study of religion. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is Bourgeois Hinduism, or the Faith of the Modern Vedantists: Rare Discourses from Early Colonial Bengal (Oxford, 2008). Brian’s other publications include studies of Sanskrit pandits in colonial Bengal, reflections on the historiography of modern Bengal and selected topics in the development of modern Hinduism. He recently completed work on a book titled Hindu Widow Marriage: An Epochal Work on Social Reform from Colonial India (Columbia, in press).

Thomas Höft is a new Norbert Wiener Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics. He received an M.S. in 2002 and a Ph.D. in 2005 in applied and industrial mathematics from the University of Minnesota. In 2005, he received a Citation of Excellence in Teaching for his work as a teaching assistant. He has spent the last five years as a senior research scientist at Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies, where he conducted image analysis and modeling for laser RADAR systems. Höft’s research interests include inverse problems in images, mathematical modeling of physical and biological systems and optimization and optimal control.

Sang-hyun Kim joined the mathematics department in the School of Arts and Sciences this fall as a Norbert Wiener Assistant Professor. He comes to Tufts from the University of Texas at Austin, where he has been the R.H. Bing Instructor since 2008. He graduated from Yale in 2007 with a Ph.D. in mathematics; his dissertation was titled Surface Subgroups of Graph Products of Groups and Right-Angled Artin Groups. Upon graduation, he was a postdoctoral fellow in geometric group theory at the Mathematics Sciences Research Institute. He has published an article in Algebraic and Geometric Topology and serves as a referee for The Bulletin of the London Mathematics Society.  His fields of interest include geometric and combinatorial group theory and low-dimensional topology.

Jamie Kirsch joined the Department of Music in the School of Arts and Sciences this fall as a lecturer. He received a doctorate in choral conducting from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and his master’s in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music.  He is currently director of children’s choruses at New England Conservatory and music director of the 120-voice Cambridge Community Chorus. From 2006 to 2008, Kirsch served on the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where he led three choirs and was interim director of choral activities. He has taught courses in conducting and popular music, and has served as musical director for numerous theater productions.

Helen Marrow joined the Sociology Department in the School of Arts and Sciences this fall as an assistant professor. She received an M.A. in 2003 and Ph.D. in sociology and social policy in 2007 from Harvard University. Her dissertation won the American Sociological Association’s 2008 Best Dissertation Award and will be published as New Destination Dreaming: Immigration, Race, and Legal Status in the Rural American South by Stanford University Press in April. Most recently she was a Robert Wood Johnson postdoctoral scholar in health policy at UC-Berkeley and UC-San Francisco. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation and serves as a reviewer for academic journals, including the American Journal of Sociology. Marrow’s teaching interests include immigration, health and social policy, inequality, Latinos and Asian Americans, race and ethnicity and research methods and design.

Christiana Olfert is a new assistant professor of philosophy in the School of Arts and Sciences. She received her M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University.  As a graduate student, she received several fellowships, including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant and a Newcombe Fellowship, which provided support as she wrote her dissertation, Building the Soul: Aristotle’s Constitutive View of Virtue. Her primary research interests include ancient philosophy, with a focus on ancient ethical theories (especially Aristotle’s), the history of skepticism, the history of ethics, early modern philosophy and contemporary moral psychology. Currently, Olfert is working on projects about the role of truth in Aristotle’s ethical theory and his psychological views about pleasure. She will teach classes related to ancient philosophy, early modern philosophy and ethics.

Anna Sajina joined the department of physics and astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences as an assistant professor in September. She comes to Tufts from Haverford College, where she worked as a postdoc, primarily on the Planck satellite mission. She has also recently served as a visitor in astronomy at the California Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in astronomy in 2006 from the University of British Columbia, where she also received her B.S. and M.S. Sajina’s research interests are in the formation and evolution of galaxies, especially those containing actively accreting supermassive black holes. She works primarily in the infrared and radio regimes and has used a variety of facilities, such as NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, as well as the Very Large Array in New Mexico, the MERLIN radio telescope in the U.K. and ESA’s Planck satellite.

Carlota Schechter joined the Department of Child Development in the School of Arts and Sciences as a coordinator/lecturer in September. She earned a master’s degree from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development in 1975 and a doctorate in education and development of young children from Harvard in 1986. She has been a senior associate at the Connecticut Department of Higher Education, both in licensing and accreditation and in early childhood education, and worked on the Connecticut Governor’s Early Childhood Research and Policy Council. Schechter taught most recently as an assistant professor in the Department of Child Study, Education and Special Education at St. Joseph College. She has a three-year research grant from the National Institute for Early Education Research to study the impact of socioeconomic integration of preschools on children’s language development.

Matthias Scheutz came to Tufts in September as an associate professor of computer science in the School of Engineering. He received degrees in philosophy (M.A. 1989, Ph.D. 1995) and formal logic (M.S. 1993) from the University of Vienna and in computer engineering (M.S. 1993) from the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. He also received a Ph.D. in cognitive science and computer science from Indiana University in 1999. Before coming to Tufts, Scheutz was at Indiana University, Bloomington, serving as associate professor of informatics and computer science in the School of Informatics, associate professor of cognitive science and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on artificial intelligence, artificial life, agent-based computing, natural language processing, cognitive modeling, robotics, human-robot interaction and the foundations of cognitive science. His current research and teaching interests include multi-scale agent-based models of social behavior and complex cognitive affective robots with natural language capabilities for natural human-robot interaction. Scheutz will also be co-director for computer science in the new interdisciplinary Tufts program in cognitive and brain science.

Alex Stanković joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as the first Alvin H. Howell Professor in Electrical Engineering in September. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 1992; he earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. Stanković’s research interests include analytical and experimental work involving modeling, control and estimation in electric energy processing for power electronics, power systems and electric drives. His work uses electronics to efficiently condition energy sources for practical uses. Stanković was named a distinguished research fellow at Northeastern University in 2004 and a fellow of the IEEE in 2005, and in 2006 he was made a distinguished professor at Northeastern. He is the author of more than 200 refereed journal and conference papers, and holds seven patents.


Harris Berman, dean ad interim of the School of Medicine, gave a lecture at Taipei Medical University in September on the evolution of the U.S. health system. At the end of the presentation, he accepted an invitation from the president of the university to become a visiting professor.

Sasha Chanoff, N04, F04, was named a winner of the 2010 Charles Bronfman Prize, a $100,000 award given annually to young Jewish humanitarian leaders. The award recognizes the efforts of his Cambridge-based nonprofit, Mapendo International, which has helped evacuate more than 10,000 refugees from Sudan, Kenya, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo over the last five years. The Boston Globe recently wrote about his work, too.

Pamela Corrado has been promoted to assistant director of dental research affairs at the School of Dental Medicine.

Katie Dunn has been promoted to department administrator in the Department of Research Administration at the School of Dental Medicine.

Lauren Fagone has been promoted to research coordinator in the School of Dental Medicine.

Kevin P. Gallagher, a senior researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), was mentioned in a Financial Times article “World Economy: The China Cycle” regarding research he conducted with Roberto Porzecanski on China and Latin America. He and Kenneth Shadlen, a senior research fellow at GDAE, are among the initial signatories and framers of a public statement on the need to reform the international investment regime. The signatories state that they “have a shared concern for the harm done to the public welfare by the international investment regime, as currently structured, especially its hampering of the ability of governments to act for their people in response to the concerns of human development and environmental sustainability.” To view the full statement and signatories, go to

Jose Garcia-Lopez has been promoted to associate professor of clinical sciences at the Cummings School. In addition to teaching, he runs a busy surgical service in the Hospital for Large Animals, with special interests in orthopedics and upper airway diseases. Garcia-Lopez received the Large Animal Clinician Award from Cummings students in 2007 and he is a founding member and current president of the Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners, an organization dedicated to providing continuing education to equine veterinarians, technicians and farriers.

Matthew Hast has been promoted to director of admissions for the Friedman School.

Stacey Herman is now associate dean for student affairs for the Friedman School.

Justin Hollander, assistant professor of urban and environmental policy and planning, recently published a new book, Principles of Brownfield Regeneration (Island Press), co-authored with Julia Gold, G10, and Niall Kirkwood, professor of landscape architecture and technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. It presents the first clear and concise statement of the essential principles of reusing and redeveloping contaminated, derelict land. As more businesses abandon buildings and leave scarred lands, the book provides answers about what to do with these devastated properties, offering a simple set of principles that can be followed to turn crises into opportunities.

Paul D. Lehrman, lecturer in music and multimedia and coordinator of music technology in the Department of Music, was awarded a Ph.D. through Tufts Interdisciplinary Doctoral (IDOC) program in June. Lehrman’s thesis, The History and Technology of Ballet Mécanique, is a synthesis of 12 years of research he has done into one of the most revolutionary pieces of music ever written, George Antheil’s 1925 magnum opus for multiple player pianos, percussion, bells, siren and airplane propellers, as well as the landmark abstract film of the same name by Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy that Antheil’s music was supposed to accompany, but never did. His thesis advisors were John McDonald, professor of music; Judith Wechsler, professor of art and art history; Karen Panetta, professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Teresa Marrin Nakra, associate professor of music at the College of New Jersey. Lehrman is currently consulting on an upcoming Hollywood film about the relationship between Antheil and film star Hedy Lamarr, and a 1941 invention of theirs that led to the development of modern wireless communication.

Alice Lichtenstein, the Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy and director of the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, will receive the 2010 Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award from the American Public Health Association in November.

Carmen Lowe has been named to the newly established position of interim dean of undergraduate studies for the Schools of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. In her new role, Lowe will oversee the advising system and programs abroad, while continuing to direct the Academic Resource Center, which she has led since 2005. On a day-to-day basis, she will be working closely with both students and faculty to ensure successful and smooth semesters.

Susan Macdonald has been promoted to senior research coordinator in the School of Dental Medicine.

Gilbert Metcalf, professor of economics in the School of Arts and Sciences, was recently on Marketplace Morning Report on public radio. The interview was extracted from a longer interview for a story that was planned for September on federal energy subsidies.

Lynne Pepall, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, has been named to the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) board. She is one of just 16 graduate school deans from across the United States chosen to join the board. During her four-year term, Pepall will help oversee GRE tests, services and research in consultation with the board’s committees.

Ken Shadlen, a senior research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), gave two lectures at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, in September. The first was “La política de propiedad intelectual y desarrollo: Conocimiento, patentes, y comercio en perspectiva histórica” (The Politics of Intellectual Property and Development: Knowledge, Patents and Trade in Historical Perspective); the second was “Patentes, industrias farmacéuticas, y políticas de salud e innovación en América Latina” (Patents, Pharmaceutical Industries and Health and Innovation Policies in Latin America). Shadlen was hosted by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Development (CIDER) at the Universidad de los Andes. Abstracts of the talks in Spanish are available at

Christina Sharpe, associate professor of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, recently had her new book, Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects, published by Duke University Press. Arguing that the fundamental, familiar sexual violence of slavery and racialized subjugation have continued to shape black and white subjectivities into the present, Sharpe interprets African Diasporic and Black Atlantic visual and literary texts that address those “monstrous intimacies” and their repetition as constitutive of post-slavery subjectivity.

Elizabeth Tzavaras has been promoted to senior research coordinator in the School of Dental Medicine.

Xiang-Dong Wang, professor of nutrition and director of the Nutrition and Cancer Biology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, gave the first Charles Lieber Memorial Lecture at the 2010 European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism Congress meeting in Germany in September. Wang’s lecture was titled “Alcohol, Vitamin A and Liver Damage: What We learned from Charles S. Lieber.”

Posted October 04, 2010