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Winter 2005
  Sustained Momentum
Sustainability Week events
  Jumbo Tsunami Relief
"Let's lend a jumbo hand"
  Kindness Matters
Senior dinners highlight memories of life’s lessons
  Graduate Remembered for Fearless Commitment to Equality
Cristi Gadue dies in plane crash while working in Afghanistan
  B12 and Bone Health
Vitamin may ward off debilitating osteoporosis
Sustained Momentum

The word “multidisciplinary” gets a lot of currency at Tufts, but one can really see it in full swing during Sustainability Week. The event, held March 28–April 1, mobilizes like-minded folks on three campuses, including those involved with Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE), the Fletcher School, and the Tufts Food Awareness Project. Events covered issues such as sustainable food strategies and environmental justice and included a visit from keynote speaker Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm. “It’s a great way to show how Tufts embraces the concept of sustainability,” says organizer Melissa Bailey, assistant director of the Center for International Environment & Resource Policy at the Fletcher School. “We are showcasing how undergraduates, for instance, are working on a sustainable landscape initiative and how Dining Services have highlighted the virtues of locally grown, organic, and natural foods in the dining halls.” Julie Lampie, R.D., nutrition marketing specialist in Dining Services, explains that Tufts is participating in the nationwide Farm to College Program, a movement in which colleges and universities partner with local farms to purchase their produce. “For us, primarily because of the short growing season in the Northeast, we have targeted foods such as apples and winter squashes in the fall,” she says. “We hope that as we gain ground, we will help show how sustainability is ultimately about being a conscious and responsible consumer. Sustainability Week brings it all together.”

Jumbo Tsunami Relief

Jocelyn Halim, A07, was home in Jakarta, Indonesia, when the tsunami struck on Dec. 26. She emailed her Tufts friends to see what they could do to help and found quick support from the Thai Club, “and from there we just spread the word” to friends, she says. After sharing ideas via email, the students agreed to set up the Jumbo Tsunami Relief Fund, complete with a slogan, “Let’s lend a Jumbo hand,” and a logo for T-shirts and pins. Once back at Tufts, the students wasted no time launching a flurry of events that included a Singaporean Dessert Sale, an Indonesian Food and Items Sale, paper crane folding hosted by the Japanese Culture Club, and a Service Auction. By press time, Halim happily reported that the Relief Fund had exceeded its $10,000 goal by nearly $3,000; all proceeds will be donated to UNICEF. “Tufts students are sympathetic to the countries hit by the tsunami,” says Halim, who last fall founded the Indonesian Club at Tufts. “Because many of us are from those countries, we could really personalize what might seem a distant tragedy. Also, once we got going, even more groups joined us by planning events too, which was really great. Together we have helped remind students that the human suffering is far from over, and we all have to do our part.”

Kindness Matters
Senior dinners highlight memories of life’s lessons

Where did the past four years go?” It’s a question President Lawrence S. Bacow asked more than once this past winter, as he and Adele Fleet Bacow welcomed seniors and alumni hosts to the Senior Dinners in Gifford House. These students arrived on the Hill just as Bacow was settling into Ballou, and time has surely flown for all. The Senior Dinners, though, give seniors a moment to reflect on what the past four years have meant and to share those memories as part of the evening’s informal program. One night the recollections were as varied as discovering a passion for leading Wilderness Orientation to a hilarious college prank involving a student’s fixation on ducks.

“You never know what the students will say—but invariably they remember people,” said Bacow, who also closes each evening by asking students to thank someone who has helped them over the four years. “Kindnesses matter,” said Bacow, “and from the stories we hear, we are encouraged that the students experience them here, and carry them throughout their lives.”

Alumni hosts spoke about life’s unexpected twists and turns after graduation; many stressed the importance of positive relationships and attitudes. John Bello, A68, a self-described “small-town boy” who went on to become a highly successful entrepreneur, said, “Life is what you make it. You are the total of your experiences and the people you meet.”

Lisa Lax, J86, embellished with lessons she learned on the Tufts playing fields. “Tufts was the greatest four years of my life,” said Lax, who played three sports as an undergraduate and went on to work for NBC Sports, and who most recently formed LOOKALIKE Productions with her identical twin sister, Nancy Stern, J86. “The camaraderie I had with my teams I took with me into life, and that has made all the difference.”

Graduate Remembered for
“Fearless Commitment” to Equality

Cristi Gadue dies in plane crash while working in Afghanistan

Cristi Anne Gadue, J00, followed her calling to a country in which few Americans have lived, worked, or even dreamed of visiting: Afghanistan. “She really fell in love with Afghanistan, and when she was offered a two-year post there, it gave her a chance to flex her muscles,” said her father, Michael Gadue, of Burlington, Vermont.

Tragically, Cristi died February 3, when she, along with 103 other passengers, was killed in a plane crash near Kabul. She was 26.

Cristi had been working in Afghanistan as an employee of Management Sciences for Health, Inc. (MSH), a Cambridge, Massachusetts, organization focused on strengthening health programs in developing countries. Co-workers Amy Niebling and Carmen Urdaneta were also on-board when their plane went down in the mountains due
to bad weather.

Michael Gadue recalled lengthy emails his daughter sent home, and how he believed Cristi had “crossed over an imaginary boundary from being an employee to holding a position where she stretched and challenged.” It was perhaps a kind destiny. “Her whole life, she was like a lioness on issues that concerned her,” he said. “She was fearless in her strength and commitment to equality and justice. I take solace from the fact that Cristi was the most fulfilled, satisfied, and happy that she had ever been in her life” [when she died]. Afghanistan is where she was supposed to be, and she knew it with a fervor and strength that was remarkable.”

Peg Hume, director of new business development at MSH, and Cristi’s supervisor, said she was impressed with Cristi’s commitment to her professional development. In only four years with MSH, Cristi rose from an entry-level to a pivotal position in the organization’s biggest field project. “She always wanted to know what stood between her and her next step, she was very passionate,” she said. “What really stays with me is how rigorous she was with herself—she was going to go places.”

A native of Burlington, Vermont, Cristi double majored in history and political science at Tufts, where she was captain of the women’s fencing team. After graduation, she went to work for MSH as a development assistant.

In late 2003, she was awarded the prestigious Paul Alexander Fellowship that took her to Afghanistan for three months. She stayed on in Afghanistan when she accepted a two-year position in the REACH program in Kabul as a reporting and communications officer.

She is survived by her mother, Nancy Murphy, and stepfather, William Anderson; her father, Michael Gadue ,and his partner, Terry Stone; her stepsiblings; and other extended family. The MSH/Gadue/Niebling/Urdaneta Memorial Fund has been established under the auspices of MSH for the purpose of enabling deserving recipients to receive funding for health-related fieldwork in the country of Afghanistan.
B12 and Bone Health
Vitamin may ward off debilitating osteoporosis

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of bone, or so the saying goes. An estimated 40 percent of women and 13 percent of men are at risk for an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. When these fractures occur in older individuals, they can decrease the quality of life, sometimes dramatically.

New research conducted by Katherine Tucker, director of the Dietary Assessment and Epidemiology Research Program at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, has found that vitamin B12 deficiency may be an important risk factor for osteoporosis.

“Osteoporosis is becoming a much greater issue now that people are living so much longer,” said Tucker, also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. “Our study provides support for a way in which people can actively lower their risk of osteoporosis and help to preserve quality of life.”

Tucker and her colleagues measured bone mineral density—a measure of bone quality—and vitamin B12 levels in more than 2,500 men and women participating in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. They found that both men and women with low vitamin B12 levels had on average lower bone mineral densities—putting them at greater risk for osteoporosis—than men and women with higher levels.

“This is the first large-scale study of its kind to show an association between low vitamin B12 and low bone mineral density in men, and it confirms other reports of this association in women,” said Tucker. “It shows that getting enough vitamin B12 from meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products may be important for both men and women in maintaining strong bones. Some individuals, particularly older people, have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from foods, however, and the inclusion of breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin B12 or the use of vitamin B12 supplements offers additional protection.”

The research was published in the January issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.