NIGERIAN HONOR AKINWANDE BOLAJI AKINYEMI, F65, F66, the former external affairs minister of Nigeria, received one of the country’s top honors, Commander of the Federal Republic, on November 15, 2011. He also was appointed by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London to observe the presidential elections in Gambia on November 24.
NEW OVERSEERS ERIC J. BEYER, president and chief executive officer of Tufts Medical Center; VIVIAN W. PINN, H93, the first director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health and former assistant dean for student affairs and associate professor of pathology at Tufts School of Medicine; and DEBORAH E. POWELL, M65, dean emeritus of the University of Minnesota Medical School, have been appointed to the Board of Overseers to the School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. LESLIE PUTH, F11, is a new overseer to the Fletcher School. ROBERT S. GATOF, A81, chairman of Northland Investment Corporation, has been named to the Board of Overseers to the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. ROBERT STRICKER, E69, director of Horace Mann Educators Corporation, is serving as an overseer to the School of Engineering. ROBERT F. CROCE, senior vice president of Anchor Capital Advisors in Boston, and DOUGLAS D. PAYNE, a senior surgeon at Tufts Medical Center and professor of surgery at Tufts School of Medicine, have joined the Board of Overseers to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. WILLIAM B. CHAN, D75A, DG82, D10P, DG13P, the owner of William B. Chan & Associates in Cumberland, Rhode Island; JOHN FICARELLI, D73, D10P, DG12P, a principal of Pediatric Dental Associates of Brookline; and BARBARA NORDQUIST, vice president of academic and professional relations for Danaher Corporation’s Kavo Group in Washington, D.C., have been named to the Board of Overseers to the dental school.
UP-AND-COMING RESEARCHER TAD BRUNYÉ, G04, G07, a member of the Cognitive Science Team at the U.S. Army Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts, was one of ninety-four researchers honored by President Barack Obama with Presidential Early Career Awards, the highest government honor for young scientists. Brunyé says much of his work “is centered around this notion that a lot of the decisions we make, particularly in our spatial environments, are guided by various sorts of subconscious, implicit processes.” The research has implications for what happens on the battlefield, because “soldiers have to plan routes, plan operational duties,” he says. “The mystery of how the mind works makes it very likely that this type of research will remain the focus for several centuries to come.”
HEALTH-CARE LEADER LAURO F. CAVAZOS, the former U.S. secretary of education and a professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts, was a recipient of a 2011 VIDA (Vision, Innovation, Dedication, and Advocacy) Award in recognition of his work to ensure “the best health outcomes for all,” said Jane L. Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. Cavazos, a former dean of Tufts School of Medicine, was the first Hispanic American to serve in the Cabinet.
SCI/TECH MENTORS President Barack Obama recognized PEGGY CEBE, a professor of physics, and KAREN PANETTA, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, in November 2011. They were among nine individuals and eight organizations cited for their work in teaching and guiding students of all ages in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), particularly students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in those fields. Cebe works with undergraduates who are deaf or hard of hearing, teaching them how to collect and interpret scientific data and write and present research results at scientific conferences. Panetta challenges the often negative stereotypes of women engineers and scientists and is the founder of the Nerd Girls program (nerdgirls.org). She also created and is editor-in-chief of the award-winning IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine, sent free to guidance counselors nationwide.
DEFENSE SCHOLAR SARAH CHARLTON, F12, was one of six women in the country to receive a Horizons Scholarship from the Women in Defense affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association. The scholarships encourage women to pursue careers related to U.S. national security and defense.
RESEARCH PIONEER SHERWOOD GORBACH, M62, who has done pioneering work in infectious diseases for nearly fifty years, was honored by the Peggy Lillis Memorial Foundation in October 2011 for his research on treatments for Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection in the lining of the gut that can cause severe diarrhea and inflammation of the colon. Gorbach, a professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts, and his colleagues were the first to identify C. difficile as the culprit in an outbreak of severe gastrointestinal illness in New Zealand in 1973.
CELEBRATED IN BUCHAREST
RAY JACKENDOFF, the Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy and codirector of the Center for Cognitive Studies, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the National University of Music in Bucharest on October 17, 2011, in recognition of his achievements in linguistics, semiology, and musicology.
MARCH OF DIMES SCHOLAR A new approach to studying tissue development has earned CATHERINE K. KUO, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Tufts, the Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award from the March of Dimes Foundation. Her research could yield insight into factors that contribute in utero to orthopedic birth defects such as clubfoot. In her experiments, Kuo uses engineered embryonic tendon tissue to study how muscle movement by a fetus—kicking, for example—might influence abnormal musculoskeletal tissue development. “Currently, we don’t know the extent to which muscle activity contributes to birth defects,” says Kuo.
CHAMPION OF SCIENCE IOANNIS N. MIAOULIS, E83, G86, G87, E12P, E15P, president of Boston’s Museum of Science, was awarded the Ralph Coats Roe Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his work in elevating the role of engineers in contemporary society. A former dean of Tufts School of Engineering, Miaoulis championed the introduction of engineering into Massachusetts public schools in 2001, making the Commonwealth the first in the nation to develop statewide frameworks and assessments for technology and engineering in kindergarten through grade twelve. At the Museum of Science, he is working with representatives from government, industry, and education to advance the goal of a scientifically and technologically literate citizenry. He is a trustee of Tufts University.
NATIONAL SCIENCE FELLOW MARY JANE SHULTZ, a professor of chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences, was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Shultz, principal investigator of Tufts’ Laboratory for Water and Surface Analysis, is a leader in the development and application of spectroscopic methods for understanding how molecules interact and arrange themselves near aqueous surfaces.
LGBT ADVOCATE Professor Emeritus HOWARD M. SOLOMON, who has spent decades advocating for LGBT communities, was the recipient of the 2011 Catalyst for Change Award from the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity at the University of Southern Maine. The annual award recognizes an individual who has been in the forefront of change regarding diversity, equality, and human and civil rights in Maine. At Tufts, Solomon worked to incorporate gender and sexuality into the curriculum.