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
"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 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
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.,
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.
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
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,"
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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