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UNIVERSITY NEWS

Gift establishes new chair in American history
In a tribute to his father's love of American history, James Stern, E72, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, has created the Arthur Jr. and Lenore Stern Chair in American History, to be held by history professor John L. Brooke.

The chair was celebrated on Dec. 2 with Brooke's lecture, "North America and the North Atlantic World, 1600-1800: Some Thoughts Toward an Environmental Perspective." An expert in early America to the Civil War, Brooke was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997 and has been widely published; his book The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology 1644-1844 was awarded the Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy.

Stern and his wife, Jane, endowed the chair in honor of his parents (Arthur and Lenore), both lovers of history. Arthur was an amateur historian who enjoyed reading American history. The younger Stern received a degree in civil engineering from Tufts in 1972 and an MBA from Harvard in 1974. He is chair of the Cypress Group, a merchant banking firm that he established, and co-chair of the Tufts Tomorrow campaign.

"The increasing level of significant support for Tufts is important if we are to continue the rapid growth in the richness of the university experience," Stern said. "I would just hope that everyone has individual principles of philanthropy in mind and that each person fulfills them in his or her own way."

Brian Lee named VP for Development
Brian Lee Brian K. Lee, director of development, has been appointed vice president for development. Lee and his team have worked with a cadre of Tufts Tomorrow campaign leaders, volunteers and donors who, by December, will exceed the campaign's $400 million goal. At the conclusion of this campaign, Tufts will have raised at least $1 billion over the last 20 years.

When Lee joined Tufts more than 13 years ago, he was key in creating a solid base of financial support for the School of Veterinary Medicine. He played a major role in planning and leading two campaigns that secured $66 million. During his tenure at the Veterinary School, annual giving and restricted gifts from private sources nearly quadrupled.Before Tufts, Lee was executive director at the Crisis Center, Inc., in Worcester, MA, a human services agency. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in English magna cum laude from Assumption College, Lee also was a high-school English teacher and a consultant in grantsmanship and funds management for Worcester State College.

Dean of Fletcher School to step down
After almost five years of serving as dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, John R. Galvin will step down in May.

Calling the decision a difficult one made only after much soul-searching, Galvin said, "Stemming from my experience here [at Fletcher] as an Army Fellow, my attachment to the school and admiration for its mission and its history have grown ever stronger. On top of that, I have enjoyed the many pleasures of returning to New England, to Boston and to hometown friends in Wakefield, all of which makes it hard to contemplate an end to this wonderful experience."

Galvin cited family considerations as a major reason for his decision. "Time is passing, and I'll be 71 when I leave Fletcher. I'm not seeing enough of my five grandchildren and want to get to know them better."

Galvin, who served as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe from 1987 to 1992, also said he wanted to work on a writing project concerning his time at NATO at the end of the Cold War. Galvin had a distinguished 44-year career in the military, beginning as a private in the Massachusetts Army National Guard and rising through the ranks to become the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe. As NATO's top military commander, he played an important role in some of the defining issues of the time. When the Berlin Wall came down, Galvin was in charge of the defense of western Europe. During the Gulf War, he provided combat and logistical support and oversaw the rescue of the Kurds.

University names three new overseers
Tufts has named three new overseers to further assist the president and the Board of Trustees. The appointments and their respective board affiliations are: Dr. Bruce Baum, D71, chief of Gene Therapy and Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Bethesda, MD, Dental; Michael S. Gordon, Partner, Vinik Asset Management, Boston, Arts & Sciences; Jeanne Marie Boylan, Executive Vice President/Treasurer, Boston Sand & Gravel Co., Boston, Dental.

Stephen Hawking lecture inspires audience
For anyone who has studied physics, Stephen Hawking's appearance at Cohen Auditorium on October 12 was an opportunity to hear the world's most famous physicist discuss such topics as determinism, wave function theorem and the concepts of space/time. Even for those who did not fully grasp his subject matter, Hawking's lecture was inspirational, in part because of the clarity and humor of his physics lesson, but also because of the magnitude of his presence.

Hawking, the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, is probably best known for his discovery in 1974 that black holes emit radiation. At Tufts, he spoke on "Predicting the Future: From Astrology to Black Holes," a lecture sponsored by the office of Mel Bernstein, vice president for Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

The event also included a musical tribute composed by John McDonald, associate professor of music. McDonald's work, "Big Crunch."

Now age 57, Hawking was diagnosed with ALS (better known as Lou Gehrig's disease) when he was just 21. He continues to write and lecture and is probably best known as the author of the best-selling book, A Brief History of Time, which describes black holes, space and the universe.

Hawking spoke for about half an hour with the aid of a computer and an electronic synthesizer, equipment donated by Intel. The computer is mounted on the wheelchair, and Hawking can control the system using a hand-held switch. The software highlights various commands on the computer screen, words and characters that Hawking can select by clicking the switch. He chooses from a menu of words, and the resulting sentence is spoken by the synthesizer. The system runs smoothly, but is slow. Hawking's assistant said it takes three or four clicks to say the word "yes" and estimated it took between 30 and 40 hours to prepare the lecture given at Tufts.

Oral Communication Program initiated
As it enters its second year, the Tufts University Writing, Thinking, and Speaking Center has launched a new Oral Communication Program. The new program expands the center's mission to unite students and faculty in academic collaboration by supporting public speaking in the classroom, at conferences, and at other engagements.

The program aims to provide faculty with opportunities to develop and share their skill throughout the teaching community, and to facilitate opportunities across campus and among the student body. Both graduate and undergraduate students can also benefit from the audio/visual equipment, resource materials, and trained consultants. The Oral Communication Program is based at the Writing, Thinking, and Speaking Center office at 72 Professors Row. For more information, contact Director Nadia Medina at (617) 627-5794.

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THE COLLEGE

New lights on the hill
Two graduates making names for themselves in the performing arts returned to campus on November 16 to be honored for their distinguished accomplishments. Actor Hank Azaria, A85, noted for his roles in The Birdcage and Tuesdays with Morrie, and the voices of about 20 characters on The Simpsons, received the Light on the Hill Award. He was joined by Eden White, J92, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter, who was honored with the Rising Light on the Hill Award. Both White and Azaria, who came with his wife, actress Helen Hunt, drew an overflow crowd to Cohen Auditorium, where they shared memories of undergraduate plays and singing with the Jackson Jills, plus words of encouragement for life after college-in short, stick with your passions. With White's effervescence and Azaria's quick wit (including indulging students with spontaneous "Simpsons" voices, to thunderous applause), the guests of honor brought with them laughter and inspiration, as true "lights" will do.

Gill named Teacher of the Year
Professor Gerald Gill Gerald Gill's students are his biggest fans. In course evaluations they write that he "appreciates that his job is to instruct, not indoctrinate. His treatment of American history is uncompromisingly fair. . . he presents both sides of major debates and does not penalize students for holding opinions that contradict his own." However, his accomplishments in the classroom are not a well-kept secret. For the second time in four years, Gill, associate professor of history, has been named Massachusetts Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He received the same award in 1995, and succeeds another Tufts faculty member in the role. Chris Rogers, associate professor of mechanical engineering, was the 1998 Professor of the Year.

"I was more than pleased when I found out," said Gill, who devotes a lot of time to advising students. "If parents and students are investing in a Tufts education, then the student is entitled to the best advising available, not just for classes but for career and educational opportunities after graduation," he said.

Gill has been a faculty member at Tufts for 20 years and is deputy chair of the history department. He teaches courses in American history, African-American history and the American South.

A Growing Tree of Learning
Robyn Gittleman, Jonathan Strong, and students Robyn Gittleman, director of the Experimental College, and Jonathan Strong, chair of the Experimental College Board and English Department member, with Natalie d'Aubermont, J00, Ken La Rose, E99, and Mike Wang, A99, admire a tree depicting the creative influence of Experimental College courses over the program's more than three decades of growth. They were among the many Ex College friends who gathered in Remis Sculpture Court for a reception on November 30 to mark the 35th anniversary of the oldest innovative center of its kind in the country. Since it was founded in 1964, the college has offered thousands of courses that broaden and deepen the offerings in Arts and Sciences with classes such as "Genetics, Ethics and the Law," "Understanding International News," "Race Awareness in American Society," "Business Management," "Writing for the Mass Media," and "Our Bodies, Ourselves." Today the Experimental College offers more than 50 credit-bearing undergraduate electives enrolling more than 1,000 students each year.

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ATHLETICS

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 career receptions.

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."

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PEOPLE

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 heard."

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 work.

"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."

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COMMUNITY

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.

Helping speak the language in crisis
Until recently, diagnosis and nutritional advice for non-English-speaking patients-especially those who speak Chinese and other Asian languages-has been difficult to come by. "Because we are located in the middle of Boston's Chinatown neighborhood, we are aware of language barriers and cuisine differences during food counseling sessions," said Johanna Dwyer, professor of medicine, community health and nutrition at Tufts and director of the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at the New England Medical Center (NEMC). "Here we have translators and Chinese-speaking health professionals, but what if you're in Iowa or Nebraska?"

A new computer software program developed in collaboration with NEMC, Stanford University, New York University and Health Technomics Inc. of Maryland offers Chinese patients a way around the language barrier. They can answer diet-related questions in their own language and at their own pace while seated at a computer terminal.

The software program guides the patient through a series of questions about exactly what he or she has eaten during a specific period of time. The program offers food selections and portions common in Asian cuisines. Questions and directions are in simple and classical Chinese as well as in English. When the patient has finished, clinicians are able to print out a complete report of food intake, including a list of specific foods and portion amounts.

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RESEARCH

Horses saved from red maple leaf toxicosis
In November, veterinarians from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine saved two horses from a life-threatening condition called red maple leaf toxicosis by administering a unique oxygen-carrying fluid used to treat anemia in dogs. This marks the first time Tufts veterinarians have used the fluid, called Oxyglobin, to treat large animals. Although the exact toxin in red maple leaves is unknown, ingestion of these leaves during the fall can cause a condition in horses called heolytic anemia, which prematurely destroys red blood cells. The disorder can cause serious side effects, such as kidney failure, and compromise the body's ability to deliver oxygen to vital tissues, which can lead to organ damage or death.

Replacing the animal's damaged red blood cells through blood transfusion often "fuels the fire," supplying fresh new blood cells for attack. By transfusing Oxyglobin, rather than blood, the veterinarians provided the ailing horses with a temporary "oxygen bridge" that helped prevent tissue damage. After several days, the horses were able to once again regenerate their own red blood cells.

Tufts' small animal veterinarians participated in Oxyglobin's clinical developments for the treatment of anemia in dogs and have since used the product successfully.

Children's health focus of $2.5 million grant
A researcher at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy has received a $2.5 million federal grant to improve the nutrition and exercise habits of first- and second-graders in Massachusetts.

Sixty public schools in 10 Bay State communities will participate in the five-year project, "Beat Osteoporosis: Nourish and Exercise Skeletons," or the "Bones Project." Chris Economos, assistant professor and principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health project said, "This is the first time money has been spent to intervene in childhood to prevent osteoporosis, which is often called a pediatric disease with geriatric outcomes," she said. "We want to determine the impact of establishing healthy habits early in life."

For the next two years during after-school programs, students will learn about good eating habits through food tasting, food preparation and nutrition education sessions.

Helping meet the needs of teen moms
Faculty in the Department of Child Development have teamed up with the state of Massachusetts in a program to help teenage mothers. Ann Easterbrooks, associate professor and department chair, and Fran Jacobs, associate professor of child development and of urban and environmental policy, are coordinating a multiyear contract to evaluate Healthy Families, a program that provides home visits to teen moms.

The program is the largest of its kind in the country and is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Children's Trust Fund. It serves 1,700 teenage mothers, although the need is even greater: The state estimates that between 4,500 and 5,000 women require services each year.

Into Africa
Dr. Michael L. Bennish and his wife are leaving Cambridge and moving to the South African bush for at least the next three years. The associate professor of medicine, pediatrics and family and community health will become the first director of the African Centre for Health and Population Research.

The center, located almost three hours from Durban and 10 miles from Africa's oldest game park in the KwaZulu/Natal Province, will focus on some of Africa's most pressing health issues. Interdisciplinary research will consider HIV infection, sexually transmitted diseases, high fertility and maternal and child mortality in the surrounding area, which has a population of about 70,000.

Funded by an initial $10 million grant from the Wellcome Trust of the United Kingdom, the center represents a consortium of the University of Natal, the University of Durban-Westville and the South African Medical Research Council. Bennish said there should be field research opportunities available for Tufts medical students, especially MD/MPH students.

"I've been feeling anxious and ambivalent at times-very enthusiastic at other times," says Bennish, who has spent much of his professional career working in Asia and Africa, including six years in Bangladesh. "Boston is a nice area. I'm solidly funded. But this is a challenge that is important and worth taking on." Bennish will continue with his research and maintain his Tufts faculty appointments. His wife, Marie Christine Ryckaert, also intends to continue to work long distance as director of executive programs for Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

More good news about blueberries
If you've become prone to forgetting just why you walked into the room and feel unsteady on your feet, even on a flat carpeted surface, you may want to add blueberries to your daily diet.

Tufts nutrition researchers James Joseph and Barbara Shukitt-Hal found that feeding elderly rats the equivalent of at least a half a cup of blueberries each day improved balance, coordination, and short-term memory. Their research was published in the September 15 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

"Nineteen-month-old rats, equivalent to humans in their 60s, were actually able to walk on a narrow rod and negotiate mazes better after two months of the blueberry diet," says Joseph, a neuroscientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) and member of the School of Nutrition, Science and Policy faculty.

In previous studies, HNRCA researchers Ronald L. Prior and Guohua Cao tested 40 fruits and vegetables to determine their antioxidant content. Blueberries came out on top. Antioxidants have been shown to slow the aging process and retard the development of heart disease and cancer, but the Joseph study has shown for the first time that such fruits and vegetables may be of benefit in reducing the effects of aging on the brain. - GA

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