Millionth book is banner event
20 bright banners suddenly appeared on a bleak, snowless hill early
in the winter, the Tufts blue never looked more cheerful. Circling
the library and up the Hill-where they were later undaunted by winter
snow and ice-the banners proclaimed a colorful point about a historic
milestone: the acquisition of Tufts libraries' millionth volume.
Appropriately, the book selected for that honor is itself one to
attract attention: Love Canal, the Story Continues (New Society
Publishers) by Lois Gibbs. In 1978, Gibbs was a 27-year-old housewife
who organized her neighbors into the Love Canal Homeowners Association
after learning that her child's elementary school was built on top
of a chemical waste dump in Niagara Falls, NY. She is now founder
and executive director of the Center For Health, Environment and
Justice, which selected Tufts Archives as the repository for its
records in 1988. On April 6, Gibbs spoke at Tufts, bringing the
Love Canal story up to date and discussing the ongoing issues of
grassroots environmental organizations.
Her visit came together with other events aimed at raising environmental
awareness and the pressing need for citizens to play a role in preserving
a safe habitat. On April 7, the Tisch Library Media Center hosted
an Environmental Film Festival, and on April 8, the Tufts Institute
for the Environment (TIE) sponsored a conference, "Restoring
the Mystic River Watershed."
Jo-Ann Michalak, director of the Tisch Library, said the landmark
book was selected not only by the Tisch Library, but also by the
Health Sciences Library, the Webster Library at the School of Veterinary
Medicine and the Edward Ginn Library at the Fletcher School of Law
and Diplomacy. "We easily agreed on the title because all the
libraries collect environmental material, and because it reflects
Tufts' leadership in environmental affairs and citizen participation,"
In other related events, the Tisch Library created the exhibition
"Tufts University and the Environment: from Academics to Activism"
and cosponsored a lecture by Dr. Adolfo Roitman, curator of the
Dead Sea Scrolls. The library also exhibited "5,000 Years of
Recorded History from the Archives Collection."
Michalak said the millionth-volume milestone deserves recognition;
it is one that only a small number of metropolitan and university
libraries have reached. "As Tufts has grown, so have its libraries
and the demands on their services.Tisch in particular has grown
dramatically over the past eight years. Thanks to the support of
the University Libraries Board of Overseers and Mel Bernstein, vice
president for arts, sciences and engineering, Tisch's budget was
significantly increased. While we used to add about 10,000 books
a year, we now purchase about 20,000 to 25,000 books annually. As
we enter the new millennium, the libraries will continue to act
as a gateway to knowledge, both within and outside their physical
for more information.
University names three new overseers
Tufts has appointed three new overseers to further assist the president
and the Board of Trustees. The appointments and their respective
board affiliations are: Irma S. Mann, chair and founder,
Irma S. Mann Strategic Marketing, Boston, International; Wendy
Selib-Prieb, J82, President & CEO, Milwaukee Brewers Baseball
Club, Athletics; and A. Dana Callow, Jr., A74, managing general
partner, Boston Millennia Partners, Medical.
Humanitarianism and War Project moves to Tufts
The leading US publisher of articles on humanitarianism in conflict
situations will move from Brown University to Tufts this September.
The Humanitarianism and War Project, created in 1991, will relocate
from the Watson Institute at Brown to the Alan Shawn Feinstein International
Famine Center at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy. It
has published on topics such as the humanitarian impact of economic
sanctions, human rights law, the news media in civil wars, the synergy
between relief and development, and on specific areas, including
Liberia, Haiti, Rwanda, Chechnya and Kosovo.
Multicultural 'ambassadors' honored
On January 27, a group of people who shared a quiet but keen interest
in multicultural education gathered in the Mayer Campus Center.
The occasion: the dedication of a plaque to eight Arts and Sciences
faculty and staff who have made significant efforts over and above
their normal responsibilities to define Tufts as a multicultural
environment "in which race, ethnicity, religion, class, gender
and sexual orientation are not barriers to the full enjoyment of
community membership." Each had received the Faculty/Staff
Multicultural Service Award, established in 1995 by the Arts &
Sciences Equal Educational Opportunity Committee.
Winners to date are: Peggy Barrett, director of the Women's Center;
Francie Chew, professor of biology; Elizabeth Ammons, Harriet H.
Fay Professor of Literature and professor of English; Gerald R.
Gill, associate professor of history; Dolores J. Harris, retired
longtime employee of Dining Services; Saul A. Slapikoff, associate
professor of biology and of American studies emeritus; Jonathan
Strong, lecturer in English; and Denise Phillips, staff assistant
for the African American Center.
Forging new links with engineering
An interdisciplinary field linking engineering with biomedical and
clinical sciences has been established with the creation of the
Tufts Bioengineering Center. Located at the Science and Technology
Center on the Medford/Somerville campus, the new offices are the
hub of a range of disciplines, all linked by engineering.
"Bioengineering is an emerging discipline that builds on advances
in engineering, biology and clinical sciences," said David
Kaplan, the director of the center and professor of chemical engineering.
"Tufts is in a unique position to take advantage of the interdisciplinary
nature of the field because of its College of Engineering, health
sciences programs, and strong programs in Arts and Sciences."
Among the programs offered by the center are a five-year degree
program offering a B.S. and M.S. in biomedical engineering and two
nine-year programs offering B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering
with a medical or dental degree.
Six honored for distinguished service
Six alumni have been chosen by the Tufts Alumni Council to receive
the Tufts University Alumni Association's highest honor, the Distinguished
Service Award, at a special dinner on Saturday, April 15.
The awardees follow below, with a longer story to appear in the
Dr. Peter Ackerman, F69, Washington, D.C., managing director of
Rockport Capital, Inc., which funds corporate ventures. He is also
chair of the Board of Visitors of the Fletcher School of Law and
Marvin Birger, A49, Palm Beach, FL, president of the Palm Beach
Tufts Alliance and retired president of his own company. Active
in his reunions, his major gift led to his Class of 1949 achieving
the largest gift total for a 50th reunion class.
Nancy Jones Cicia, J59, Wakefield, MA, active in reunions and in
many Alumni Council committees. She is a former member of the Executive
Committee, and a community volunteer in Wakefield, MA and Narragansett,
Ethel Jafarian Duffett, J37, Orlando, FL, involved in promoting
awareness of Armenian issues at Tufts for many years. She also was
the donor of a chair in Armenian history, two scholarship funds,
and a class in Armenian language.
Rick Hauck, A62, Potomac, MD, president and CEO of INTEC, and former
astronaut. A Tufts trustee, he is chair of the Board of Overseers
for Arts & Sciences and recipient of the Tufts Presidential
Edward H. Schluntz, A50, G51, Waban, MA, retired high school football
coach, past president of Massachusetts High School Football Coaches
Association and Massachusetts State Coaches Association, Council
and Jumbo Club member.
Inouye named to new dean post
Charles Inouye, associate professor in the Department of German,
Russian and Asian Languages, has been named Dean of the Colleges
for Undergraduate Education. He replaces Walter Swap, who stepped
down as Dean of the Colleges after nine years to return to full-time
teaching in the psychology department.
The post has been changed to half time. In addition, the name and
duties of the job have changed. The position, now called Dean of
the Colleges for Undergraduate Education, focuses on undergraduate
Inouye will supervise several programs, including Writing Across
the Curriculum, the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Writing,
Teaching and Speaking Center. He will remain codirector of the International
Letters and Visual Studies Program.
Inouye served as chair of the Educational Policy Committee (EPC),
which recently proposed changes to the undergraduate curriculum
to the Committee on Curricula.
Inouye came to Tufts in 1991 after earning an undergraduate degree
at Stanford and a PhD from Harvard. At Tufts his accomplishments
include helping establish a Japanese major, the international letters
and visual studies major and the Tufts-in-Japan Study Abroad program.
Pride of the Hill endows student prize
on the Hill Foundation, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
(LGBT) alumni association, along with university officials, faculty,
staff and students, recently celebrated a newly endowed student
award to honor outstanding undergraduate written work, community
service, artistic expression or scientific research, leadership,
or academic work.
The award was recognized on February 1 with the presentation of
a check for $11,000 to President John DiBiaggio. What will now be
called the Pride on the Hill Award applauds exemplary undergraduate
work that has contributed to a greater understanding of LGBT identities
and that increases knowledge about and visibility of the LGBT community.
Peter Clothier, A89, treasurer of Pride on the Hill Foundation,
was on hand with Jamie Weinberg, A90, secretary, to help mark the
milestone. "I'm convinced that when the seeding of this award
is made known to the alumni community at Tufts, dollars will follow,"
Weinberg noted that "the award would pave the way for some
alumni who might otherwise feel disenfranchised from the university
to reestablish ties with and renew interest in Tufts."
Clothier said he began developing the idea for the award his senior
year at Tufts after noticing a void in LGBT representation at the
annual spring student awards ceremony. A few years later, he proposed
the idea of the award to his fellow alumni, who had just formed
the Pride on the Hill Foundation. For the past two years, benefit
dinners, a theatre event, and generous donations of many Tufts alumni
helped the group reach its minimum goal of $11,000 to endow the
prize, although fund-raising efforts continue to increase the size
of the endowment.
Judith Brown, director of the LGBT center at Tufts, said "the
work of alumni promises to make a tremendous difference on campus
and continues Tufts leadership in recognizing the value of its LGBT
President John DiBiaggio, on receiving the endowment on behalf
of the university, thanked the group for their commitment to enhancing
a greater appreciation for a diverse society at Tufts. "Ignorance
can only be addressed through education," he said. "[This
gift] will allow us to better inform society and allow us here at
Tufts to reach out more vigorously to everyone in our community."
Founded in 1992, the Pride on the Hill Foundation contributes to
the Tufts LGBT Center, sponsors guest lecturers, and funds various
campus events. Pride on the Hill is also a social organization that
offers community to LGBT alumni and gives current students the opportunity
to meet graduates.
Seniors set two sports records
Matt Adler of the men's soccer team and Jon Troy of the football
team have broken several long-standing records at Tufts. Tri-captain
Adler, the soccer program's all-time leader in goals and points
this season, surpassed both marks set 26 years ago by current Tufts
athletic director Bill Gehling. Through five games, Troy has had
a spectacular season for the football team. In the season opener
at Hamilton, he became the team's career receiving yards leader,
breaking Rich Gia- chetti's mark of 1,716 yards established in 1967-69.
At Williams, on October 23, he surpassed Giachetti's mark of 159
A Jumbo tradition
Jumbo, the Tufts mascot, starred as Jumbo, the main attraction of
the Barnum & Bailey Circus in the late 1800s. When he was struck
and killed by a train, Phineas T. Barnum, an original trustee of
Tufts College, requested that Jumbo be stuffed and displayed at
the Barnum Museum. When fire gutted the building in 1975, Jumbo
might have been lost forever but for the foresight of Phyllis Byrne,
assistant to Athletic Director Rocky Carzo, who gathered up Jumbo's
ashes. Since then they have resided in a peanut butter jar in Carzo's
office, (Jumbo's tail, the only extant remnant of the indomitable
pachyderm, is preserved in the more formal setting of library archives.)
This past October, on the eve of Homecoming Weekend, the enduring
Jumbo spirit was amply evident when the Athletic Department added
a special ceremony to its traditional awards presentations. Carzo,
who retired last July after 26 years at Tufts, symbolically passed
the jar of ashes on to new athletic director Bill Gehling, A74.
"I feel very strongly that the 'spirit' of Jumbo and the strength
of his commitment is an important model for our students,"
said Carzo. "The opportunity to pass the curatorship of Jumbo's
ashes onto my successor is essential to maintain this tradition
for future generations."
Lisa Coleman attended a small, predominantly white college in Ohio,
where she was often the only black person in class.
"I understand," she said, "what it means to be in
a position where people expect you to speak for a particular constituency
and what it's like when you're not sure your concerns are being
Coleman is the new director of the African American Center at Capen
House at 8 Professor's Row. Since the academic year 1999-2000 marks
the center's 30th anniversary, she plans to bring alumni back to
campus to participate in special events and programs. Coleman takes
over after a period of uncertainty during which the previous director
resigned and students expressed their frustration. A march on Ballou
Hall last winter by the Pan-African Alliance summed up the discontent
of many black students, who said they were dissatisfied with the
numbers of non-white students and faculty on campus and expressed
concern about issues such as curriculum content.
Although the administration had already established a Task Force
on Race and created the Arts & Sciences Office of Diversity
Education and Development, last spring it also sponsored a series
of discussions on topics such as the recruitment of minority faculty.
This year, the undergraduate freshman class included 97 black students,
the largest number of incoming black students in Tufts history.
"All the recent events have coalesced to provide openings for
discussion and action," Coleman said. "Right now there's
a commitment on the part of many members of the administration,
faculty and staff to make things work."
Coleman said that while black students have been concerned about
attracting more students of color to Tufts, they're also concerned
about the quality of their lives on campus.
"Students talk about 'surviving Tufts' because they have had
such a difficult experience," she said. "We want to create
an environment in which that is not true." The African American
Center has strong links to the academic community, but it is also
a service center, and Coleman said she was attracted to the position
because it reflects her own background.
Coleman earned her undergraduate degree from Dennison University
in Granville, Ohio, and has master's degrees in women's studies
and black studies, both from Ohio State. She is currently working
toward a Ph.D. in American studies at New York University.
During college she was involved in student government and later
worked in shelters for the homeless and for battered women. "I
have worked with cross-racial populations and in hands-on service
programs," she said. "These experiences have informed
how I think about my career. Even in academia, I've chosen interdisciplinary
"What brought me to Tufts is that this position is one in
which you have connections to academic components and to student
resources. It's my job to do the most I can to help students take
advantage of the resources here. "When I think of diversity,
it's not just about the experience of students of color, it's about
everyone's experience. A diverse curriculum is about enriching all
students' experience. If we're trying to educate students holistically,
we have to show how we all work together."
A lesson in giving back: Bilingual dental career fairs
In the past, becoming a dental hygienist may not have been the first-or
even last-career option for a young Hispanic student in Boston.
That is changing thanks to the efforts of Dr. Aidee Nieto-Herman,
a Tufts dental faculty member and past president of the National
Hispanic Dental Association.
For the last five years, Nieto-Herman has organized bilingual dental
career fairs in middle schools and high schools throughout the Boston
area. "The highest drop-out rates in this country are Hispanics
and African Americans. I want to give students some exciting career
options before they lose interest and drop out. And we need more
minorities in the dental profession," says Nieto-Herman, assistant
clinical professor of periodontology. Nieto-Herman and members of
the Tufts Student Hispanic Dental Association visit about five area
schools. She also has started a mentoring program at Madison Park
Technical-Vocational High School in Boston.
The Paradox of Hunger
Despite a robust economy, hunger continues to be such a serious
problem in America that many working parents depend on soup kitchens
and food banks to feed their families, according to a new Tufts
Nearly 70 percent of those who ask for food assistance in this
country are employed adults, says the study, released in January
by the Tufts Center on Hunger and Poverty. In Massachusetts, a half-million
people, many with jobs, depended on regular assistance to put food
on the table in 1998-a 22 percent increase since 1994.
The Tufts report, "Paradox of Our Times: Hunger in a Strong
Economy," is the most comprehensive analysis of domestic hunger
since the welfare system was overhauled in 1996. It examines federal
and state data on hunger as well as statistics from food banks and
shelters and concludes that government efforts to get people off
welfare mean that many families are unable to afford food.
"For the first time in modern history, the prevalence of hunger
seems stubbornly impervious to economic growth," said J. Larry
Brown, director of the Center on Hunger. "At the peak of the
longest economic boom in our history, more than 30 million people
live in households that experience hunger and food insecurity [not
knowing where their next meal will come from]-about the same number
as four years ago."
US Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., agrees that the government
needs to step in. He and US Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., have coauthored
a bill aimed at expanding the food stamp program and restructuring
the formulas the government uses to determine who qualifies for
While the country is in the midst of the longest economic expansion
since the Vietnam War-the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent
is the lowest in 30 years-that prosperity does not translate into
improved social welfare, according to the study. The report found
that nearly one in six children lives in a household where the next
meal is a daily concern. In addition to stricter welfare guidelines,
some experts say the rising cost of housing in America has left
many families with the hard choice of paying the rent or buying
food. Also, people who have left the welfare rolls assume they are
no longer eligible for food stamps-which is not always the case.
The Tufts study urges Congress to take several steps, including:
ensure that those eligible for food stamps receive them; increase
the allowable assets for food stamp eligibility so, for example,
a family can own a car and still get assistance; and promote economic
security among the working poor by building household assets through
savings and home ownership, much the way that federal policies have
benefited the middle class in recent decades.