Faculty Highlights - Academic Year 2019-2020
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Sam Thomas, academic dean for Arts and Sciences and associate professor of chemistry, has published a new paper in the journal Chemistry of Materials titled "Side Chain Regioisomers that Dictate Optical Properties and Mechanofluorochromism through Crystal Packing."
Alex Vilenkin, Leonard and Jane Holmes Bernstein Professor in Evolutionary Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Members are elected "in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research." Elected membership is considered one of the highest possible honors for scientists. There are currently approximately 2,400 NAS members and 500 international members.
Helen Marrow, associate professor, Department of Sociology, is chair-elect of the American Sociological Association’s International Migration section.
Jennifer Allen, Adolfo Cuevas, Keren Ladin
Jennifer Allen, professor, and Adolfo Cuevas, assistant professor, both in the Department of Community Health, along with Keren Ladin, associate professor, Department of Community Health and Department of Occupational Therapy, are co-authors of a new study titled "Preparing African American Men to Make Informed Prostate Cancer Screening Decisions: Development and Pilot Testing of an Interactive Online Decision Aid."
Andrew Kemp, assistant professor, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, is co-author of a new article with the results of a collaborative study titled "Estimating global mean sea-level rise and its uncertainties by 2100 and 2300 from an expert survey" in Climate and Atmospheric Science, one of Nature's partner journals.
Richard Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, has published an article in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence along with colleagues from the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV). Titled “Contributions for the Catholic Church to ethical reflections in the digital era,” the article focuses on work associated with a major initiative of Pope Francis which strives to ensure that digital technology and innovation is studied and applied ethically and in service of the greater good.
Alecia McGregor, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health, has published a new article titled "Changes in community mental health services availability and suicide mortality in the US: A retrospective study" in the journal BMC Psychiatry along with colleagues from the University of South Carolina and Yale University.
Madina Agénor, Gerald R. Gill Assistant Professor of Race, Culture, and Society in the Department of Community Health has published a new piece in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). The article is titled “Future Directions for Incorporating Intersectionality into Quantitative Population Health.”
Zeina Hakim, associate professor of French, Department of Romance Studies, has been named to the editorial advisory board of the journal Eighteenth-Century Studies, the official publication of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies.
Andrew Kemp, assistant professor, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, is the recipient of a CAREER grant award from the National Science Foundation for his research project “Dynamic Sea-Level Trends During the Last Two Millennia.”
Justin Hollander, A96, professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning will be inducted into the American Institute of Certified Planner’s College of Fellows. The American Institute of Certified Planners is the professional institute of the American Planning Association and it elects Fellows every two years. Hollander’s selection followed his nomination from the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association. Induction as a Fellow is the highest honor an urban planner in the U.S. can receive.
Associate Professor of Political Science Jeffrey Taliaferro's new book Defending Frenemies: Alliance Politics and Nuclear Nonproliferation in U.S. Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press, 2019) has been included in Oxford University Press' collection of titles and chapters exploring different topics on foreign policy, terrorism, military and war for the 2020 Primary Elections. The book explores the historical and political implications of the United States' complex relationships with some of the nations with which it holds defense ties.
The Council of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) has appointed Boris Hasselblatt, professor, Department of Mathematics, as its secretary. He will begin his initial two year term on February 1, 2021. As secretary, Hasselblatt’s responsibilities will include organizing and coordinating the Council and its committees and jointly overseeing, in conjunction with AMS’ Associate Secretaries, the scientific program of all AMS meetings.
Justin Hollander, A96, professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, received a grant from the U.S. Department of State to run a lecture series with Kevin Paquette, program director of the Tufts Office of International Programs and Partnerships, over the course of the past six months at Kanazawa University in Japan. He delivered the fourth lecture in the series in January, which focused on interdisciplinary college-level teaching. While in Japan, Hollander was also invited to deliver two public lectures on his research: "Data and Analytics for Neighborhood Development: Smart Shrinkage Decision Modeling in Baltimore, Maryland" at University Tsukuba on January 8 and "Threats and Opportunities in Community Engagement." at Kanazawa University on January 9.
Madina Agénor, Gerald R. Gill Assistant Professor of Race, Culture, and Society in the Department of Community Health, has published a paper in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health titled "Contraceptive Beliefs, Decision Making and Care Experiences Among Transmasculine Young Adults: A Qualitative Analysis."
Anthony Romero, professor of the practice, performance, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, contributed to the exhibit When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art at the ICA Boston. His contribution, entitled …first in thought, then in action, was commissioned by the ICA to be part of the exhibition, which is on view through January 26, 2020. Romero will be in conversation with City Counselor Lydia Edwards and East Boston community organizers on Thursday, January 16, to discuss how displacement and gentrification are affecting Boston’s immigrant communities.
Ioannis Evrigenis, professor in the Department of Political Science, has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The award will support Evrigenis’ work on a new edition of French political philosopher Jean Bodin’s The Six Bookes of a Commonweale.
Foreign Affairs magazine has selected the article “The United States Should Fear a Faltering China” by Michael Beckley, associate professor, Department of Political Science, as one of its best pieces of 2019.
Pearl Robinson, associate professor, Department of Political Science, is the winner of the 2019 Distinguished Africanist Award from the African Studies Association (ASA). The award recognizes “lifetime distinguished contributions to African studies.” She was presented with the award at the Association’s annual meeting in Boston in November.
The New York Times has selected Lecturer and Director of the American Studies program Kerri Greenidge's book Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter (Liveright, 2019) as one of its critics' top books of 2019. Greenidge's book recounts the life of Trotter, who co-founded and edited the Boston-based black weekly newspaper The Guardian in the early 20th century. The New York Times review states that Greenidge "opens up a rich seam of inquiry that persists to this day, about the tug-of-war between reformers and radicals, and whether victories that seem purely symbolic at first can ripple out into real-world effects later on." It was recently positively reviewed in The New Yorker as well.
Maya Erdelyi, lecturer in animation at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, is one of five recipients of the City of Boston's 2019 Artist Fellowship Award. Announced by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, the award recognizes outstanding artistic work and includes a $10,000 unrestricted grant to help artists advance their careers. Mayor Walsh said of the awardees, "The artists selected in this round of the Artist Fellowship Awards are a reflection of Boston's extremely diverse creative sector. Boston is proud to be home to so many talented individuals, and we're excited to recognize their contributions to our city in this way."
Daniel McCusker, senior lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, participated in Works & Process at the Guggenheim: Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration on November 24 and 25 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The event was curated by Dylan Crossman, a former Cunningham Company member, and also featured a discussion with former Cunningham dancers, Gus Solomons Jr. and Kimberly Bartosik.
Melinda Latour, Rumsey Family Assistant Professor in the Humanities and Arts, Department of Music, has received the Ruth A. Solie Award at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society for the book she co-edited titled The Relentless Pursuit of Tone: Timbre in Popular Music (Oxford University Press, 2018). At the award ceremony, the committee said of the book, “The chapters in the volume are all well researched, the writing and editing are consistently good, the level of attention to the technological engineering and social meaning, remarkable. This volume will certainly be highly influential, even field-changing.”
Kelly Greenhill, associate professor, Department of Political Science, has been awarded a 2020/21 Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship. The position is designed to enable “outstandingly distinguished academics based in overseas universities to spend an extended period of time at a UK higher education institution.” Greenhill will be hosted primarily by SOAS University of London and will be giving a series of scholarly and public “Leverhulme Lectures” during her time abroad.
Bruce Boghosian, professor, Department of Mathematics, has published an article in the magazine Scientific American titled “Is Inequality Inevitable?”. The piece discusses the growth of wealth inequality in many countries and Boghosian’s research on the issue, which uses models of wealth distribution to demonstrate how wealth inequality will continue to grow in a range of countries.
Samuel Thomas, Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences and professor of chemistry, has published a paper in Langmuir, the American Chemical Society’s journal of fundamental interface science. Titled “Combining Top-Down and Bottom-Up with Photodegradable Layer-by-Layer Films,” the article was co-authored with Tufts Chemistry Ph.D. student Matthew Feeney. The article was also featured on the journal’s cover.
Sarah Sobieraj, associate professor, Department of Sociology, is a member of the project advisory board and was involved in the creation of MediaWell, a newly launched project of the Social Science Research Council’s (SSRC) Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative. It is an online resource for scholars, policy makers, and students concerned about issues of information integrity and democratic health. The site features accessible, continuously updated literature reviews synthesizing the emerging scholarship on key issues related to disinformation, expert reflections, a searchable database of nearly 1000 publications related to disinformation studies, related news, and more. Sobieraj’s own research on Disinformation, Democracy, and the Costs of Identity-Based Attacks Online is featured as part of the site’s expert reflections.
Zeina Hakim, associate professor of French, Department of Romance Studies, has been awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity. She was nominated by students in the Eta Psi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta at Tufts. The selective award is given to ten recipients from across the United States and Canada.
Maurice Parent, professor of the practice, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, has directed SpeakEasy Stage's production of Choir Boy, taking place at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. The production began September 13 and was extended an additional week through October 19. Watch an interview with Parent talking about directing Choir Boy.
Brian Hatcher, Packard Professor of Theology, Department of Religion, gave the invited keynote address at the International Seminar on Probing Social Reform in India in the Nineteenth Century: Vidyasagar's Legacy in the Long Run which took place September 26-27, 2019 in Kolkata, India. The event was sponsored by the Asiatic Society in Kolkata and honors the 200th anniversary of Pandit Ishvarchandra Vidyasagar, a major cultural icon in India and Bangladesh. While in Kolkata, he also gave a second lecture at the Victoria Memorial Hall.
Marina Umaschi Bers
Marina Umaschi Bers, professor and chair, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, has been awarded a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education for her project "Coding as Another Language: The Development and Implementation of a Computational Thinking Curriculum and Sustainable Professional Development Model in K-2." The grant involves a partnership between Bers' DevTech research group and Norfolk Public Schools in Virginia to develop, implement, and study a developmentally appropriate computer science curriculum for students in grades K-2. Virginia is the first state in the country to mandate the teaching of computer science.
On October 1, Heather Nathans, Nathan and Alice Gantcher Professor of Judaic Studies and Chair of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, gave a talk on her award-winning book Hideous Characters and Beautiful Pagans: Performing Jewish Identity on the Antebellum American Stage (University of Michigan Press, 2017) at the American Library in Paris.
Enrico Spolaore, Seth Merrin Professor, Department of Economics, has been awarded the Primio Due Torri d’Oro prize from his hometown of Rovigo, Italy. Named after the town’s two medieval towers, the prize is given every three years to an internationally well-known native of the town or its province. As part of the award ceremony, Spolaore gave a talk at the 16th-century Academia dei Concordi.
Mary Jane Shultz
Mary Jane Shultz, professor, Department of Chemistry, has received a $1M grant from the Department of Energy to investigate the potential of ultra-nano particles to address pressing energy issues. The goal of the research will be to understand, and ultimately to control, chemistry and dynamics at complex interfaces using three targeted processes: removing CO from feedstock via gas-shift or oxidation; transforming CO2 into high-value products; and leveraging combined stability of Li0.55TiO2.27 with ultra-nano particles in Lithium-ion batteries.
Madina Agénor, Gerald R. Gill Assistant Professor of Race, Culture, and Society in the Department of Community Health, was appointed to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in the United States. The purpose of the Committee is to examine the scientific literature on the burden, causes, prevention, and control of STIs in the United States and provide direction for future public health programs, policies, and research on STI prevention and control.
Mimi Kao, Ani Patel
Mimi Kao, assistant professor, Department of Biology, and Ani Patel, professor, Department of Psychology, have been awarded a major grant from the National Institutes of Health as part of the Sound Health Initiative, an NIH-Kennedy Center partnership in association with the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant will support Kao and Patel's research studying rhythm perception in songbirds.
Michael Beckley, associate professor, Department of Political Science, has been awarded the best article of the year in the field of international security from the American Political Science Association for his article "The Power of Nations: Measuring What Matters," which was published in the journal International Security.
Sarah Luna, Kathryn A. McCarthy, J45, AG46, Assistant Professor in Women’s Studies, Department of Anthropology, was awarded the 2019 Cultural Horizons Prize from the Society for Cultural Anthropology for her article “Affective Atmospheres of Terror on the Mexico-U.S. Border.” The prize is awarded by a jury of anthropology doctoral students for the best article appearing in the previous year of the journal Cultural Anthropology. Luna’s article investigates the effects of rumors of violence within the Mexican and U.S. governments’ war on drugs.
Marina Umaschi Bers
Marina Umaschi Bers, professor and chair, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, and her DevTech research group received the 2019 Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award, which recognizes successful partnerships and projects that ultimately benefit military-connected children, for their exemplary community partnership with the Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) in the “Breaking the Code” project to bring computer science to elementary schools with high presence of military families.