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The Power Of One

Members of the Tufts community shared their plans for making an impact on the world around them in the coming year.

Resolutions With each new year come new resolutions. In 2005, many members of the Tufts community are planning to make a difference - whether on a global level or in their own backyards. Responding to a campus-wide solicitation, Tufts students, faculty and staff shared their plans for making an impact on the world around in the coming year. Their contributions included everything from local involvement to national/international outreach to research and scientific discoveries to personal betterment. This is a collection of their comments.


Local involvement

I plan to volunteer my time at the Walnut Street Center, a service agency for developmentally disabled adults located in Union Square, Somerville.

Ted Schwartzberg, University Relations

I plan to volunteer as a sighted guide for blind sailors. The Massachusetts Sail Blind program is sponsored by the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA with sailing taking place out of the Courageous Sailing Center in Charleston, MA. This will be my seventh year in the program.

Ken Legler, Sailing Coach, Athletics

This spring, I plan to start back volunteering with Operation Frontline, teaching cooking and nutrition classes.

Allison Stevens, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, '06

I've just joined the Board of Directors of MassEquality, an organization dedicated to ensuring that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision on marriage equality is upheld, and that any anti-gay amendment or legislation is defeated. I'll be working hard to help safeguard the civil rights of EVERY citizen in this Commonwealth.

Barbara Grossman, Associate Professor of Drama

I plan to help City Year Boston by providing a workshop for corps members on how to set-up and adapt group activities according to varying needs of members. Hopefully the workshop will help the corps members in their community volunteer work in Boston schools. I love the energy at City Year and the dedication of the corps. This is a win-win for the corps and my desire to serve the greater Boston community. It also allows me to work with high school-aged students and apply my research and the theory I teach at Tufts to community problems.

Sharan Schwartzberg, Professor, Boston School of Occupational Therapy

I chair my local school building committee. I hope to lead a process that will result in approval for a much needed new middle and high school for our school district.

Sarah Creighton, Project Manager, Tufts Institute of the Environment

I plan to continue my volunteer service with the town of Marblehead (my hometown) by serving on its open space study committee to identify, analyze and submit to our Board of Selectmen and open town meeting for approval to purchase open space parcels that can be acquired for conservation, recreation, coastal management and other public municipal purposes. I believe that serving one's hometown as a public official, as I have done for almost twenty years, is part and parcel of good citizenship and am a firm believer in the old adage that to accomplish something think globally but act locally!

Bill Woodfin, Senior Staff Auditor, Audit & Management Advisory Services

I volunteer at the Arlington Street Church, Boston, where I teach Kundalini Yoga once a week. All proceeds go to the church.

Jean Stewart, Research Assistant, Physiology

In 2005, I plan to be a volunteer on the Jingle Bell Holiday Tree and House Tour Festival. The Jingle Bell Festival is held in Medford the first week in December. The festival is held to raise money for The Community Family Alzheimer Day Care Center and for the Greater Medford Visiting Nursing Association. In 2005, the festival will celebrate its 7th year. As a volunteer on this committee I will serve as the Tree Committee Chairperson in charge of obtaining the tree donations. In 2004, 45 pieces were donated to our festival. The decorated pieces consisted of trees, wreaths, mantle swag and a life sized Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Tree donations come from individuals, organizations and businesses. I am happy to include Tufts University as a tree donor to the festival.

Karen Mollung, Receptionist, Health Services

With the start of the New Year I'm looking forward to working with the Sharewood Project. I am excited about being part of community that provides free health care to underserved population in and around Boston.

Aaron Summers, 1st year Student, School of Medicine

Devote a few hours each week to volunteer at my local animal shelter continuing to promote spaying and neutering of our companion animals to eliminate the population of homeless animals.

Melissa Dennison, 1st year Student, School of Dental Medicine

In 2005, I will continue to work with the wonderful Dining Service staff at Tufts to integrate more local produce from New England farmers into Tufts' dining halls! Not only will students learn about the economic importance of supporting local farmers, but we will reduce our collective environmental impact by eating foods closer to home--those with shorter transportation routes and thus, lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Melissa Bailey, Assistant Director, Center for International Environmental and Resource Policy, The Fletcher School / Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, '06

Continue to spread the word about the Giving Camp (www.thegivingcamp.org), a day camp for children & adults with exceptional needs. The very first camp began here at Tufts' Medford campus. Woburn High School has also started a camp.

I hope to continue to be a bridge between various religious groups and traditions, reminding everyone about building up the Common Good.

I should have a new book out in 2005 on the writings of Fr. Josef Fuchs, S.J., on his views of human nature & morality.

Finally, continue to teach in the Comparative Religion Department & guest lecture in Medical & Research Ethics.

To bring peace and light to all.

David O'Leary, University Chaplain

For the past 3 years I have been a volunteer tutor for 3 Sudanese young men. These young men, formerly "Lost Boys," have been lucky enough to find a home in Lincoln, MA, where they are supported by a host of mentors. They are among the most eager and dedicated students I have seen! In 2005, they will be in their final semester of high school. I will continue to work with them as they meet the challenges of literary analysis and writing and exploring the college application process. With luck, I will continue to be part of their support system and their lives for many more years.

Lois Hutchings, Staff Assistant, International Center

I plan on becoming more involved in local politics and events including work with the Salem Historic Architecture Society and our local YMCA. I also plan on checking in on my elderly neighbor by bringing over food and shoveling her sidewalk.

Laura Potter-Walton, Student, Graduate Career Advancement Program

Directing a show called "Talk Sex with Voxy" on TUTV to promote awareness about any issue related to sex, from health to politics.

Nina Lee, College of Liberal Arts, '07

Going out into my community and finding ways to serve those less fortunate. Social cohesion is the basis to having a strong community. I hope to gather a group of friends to join me in trying to make a difference in the lives of those spending this holiday season alone.

Angela Anderson, College of Liberal Arts, '07

As a scholar of the University College of Citizenship and Public Service, I will be establishing and running an after-school photography project at the Josiah Quincy High School in Chinatown. The goal is to teach the elements of photography and inspiring the students to get involved in the arts by having an art show and publication. In addition, the main goal is to have the students look at their community through a different lens and to realize how special it is and how they can help in their community.

Annie Ross, College of Liberal Arts, '07

This coming year I plan on being part of a motivated group of students forming an Urban Debate League in Boston. The Urban Debate League is a program that teaches inner city high school students the intricacies of debate and argumentation. This program will develop student speaking skills to benefit them in their everyday lives. This program has been successful in many cities, and we aim to bring it home to Boston!

John Valentine, College of Liberal Arts, '06

I own my own community CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) training company. One of our primary objectives is training young people in CPR and first aid. We teach Girl/Boy Scouts and adults. We are trying to implement a fund/campaign to purchase defibrillators and provide training for Boston area communities. We'd like to purchase 10 defibrillators in 2005. We are targeting locations such as schools, libraries, athletic facilities and retailers. By doing this we'll save lives in 2005.

Alexei Wagner, College of Liberal Arts, '05

National and international outreach

I am planning to support a lower school in Argentina with books, and used computers.

Cristina Vimo, Senior Development Officer, University Advancement

As part of my son becoming a Bar Mitzvah, my family and I are hosting children's birthday parties at a homeless shelter for Hispanic women and children in Boston. We are also purchasing a large collection of LEGOs, which will be donated to a children's center at a synagogue in Haifa, Israel. Many congregants in this synagogue have been victims of terror in the recent attacks in Israel. It is our hope that the bright colors of the LEGOs and the joy of building will bring some happiness to these troubled families.

Leslie Galton Goldberg, J'84 / Lecturer, Experimental College

We are going to have a fund raiser in January; the three and four year olds in our class are going to make pupusas (a traditional Salvadoran dish), popcorn and have a movie night where we will charge for homemade tickets (that we have been studying). It is to help El Centro Romero in the Universidad de Centro America. They do a lot of work with the campesinos and we will send the money to them. Our students will be learning about El Salvador as we work to help some people there too.

Kerri Klugman, Teacher, Tufts Educational Day Care Center

I am going on a volunteer trip to Ohio where I will be working at a camp with disabled adults. I plan to volunteer more often at the Sharewood Clinic.

Johana Oviedo, College of Liberal Arts, '08

I will conduct research while studying abroad in Senegal to learn how the expansion of Western (read: American) business into Senegal (West Africa) has affected the health of the local population. Much recent debate has centered around the effects of globalization and potential American imperialism. I hope that a case study of the economic aspect of globalization in Senegal will help answer part of this question.

Douglas Glandon, College of Liberal Arts, '06

I have decided to work with youth homeless, children in foster homes, and placement for divorced women, at spring, as a social worker in Ghana, I would like to share my experiences and views with them, and also learn from them as well.

Salome Otami, Student, Arts Sciences and Engineering

Several students helped me raise over $300 and write 100 cards that will be used to buy items for care packages sent to American soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan over the holidays. Hopefully Tufts Salutes the Troops will receive official club recognition next semester to continue sending care packages to the brave men and women of our armed forces and engage in service projects with local veterans.

Kristen Casazza, College of Liberal Arts, '06

I am taking this semester off to go back home (Iran) and work as a volunteer in UNICEF in Tehran. I always liked to work for children to improve their conditions and help them to make a better and peaceful world. I hope to be helpful out there.

Maryam Malekpour, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, '07

Research and scientific discovery

I plan to continue my participation in the Pan-Mass Challenge this summer. The PMC is a two-day ride to benefit the Jimmy Fund, which supports cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Center. Last year, the PMC raised more than $20 million; over its 25 year history, riders have raised over $122 million. Because the ride is almost entirely staffed by volunteers, 97% of the funds contributed to the PMC actually go to benefit the Jimmy Fund.

Martin Oppenheimer, Senior Counsel, University Counsel

With the launch of the Giza Archives Project Web site in early 2005, I hope to provide the scholarly community with the world's first central repository for all archaeological activity at the famous pyramids at Giza, Egypt (2500 BC). The Web site contains 32,000 excavation photos, diary pages, register books of finds, maps, plans, and over 200 books and articles converted to electronic form (PDF).

Peter Manuelian, Lecturer, Classics

I am a PhD student at the CEE department, and I am planning to change the way of testing granular soil and a new man made soil based on a new formula and research data. Also based on my research a new promising soil will be presented for geotechnical use. My advisor, Professor Swan, and I working hard to achieve this difference in 2005.

Assem Elsayed, School of Engineering, '09

Personal betterment

I plan to bring as many people as possible to the stunning realization that, in a very few years, the children in today's preschools will be running our classrooms, our corporations, our charitable organizations and our government. Our investment in them or lack thereof, right now, is making all the difference in who those people turn out to be.

Faith Morgan, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, '07

I will continue to set an example by treating others the way I would want them to treat me, by being reasonable and considering all points of view with objective logic. I will never be stagnant: I will use the mind I was born with to fight the pull of fear, laziness, and shortsightedness, and to push forward the evolution of the human race.

Charlotte McFarland, School of Engineering, '07

Many people make goals at the beginning of the year that prove difficult to fulfill, so I believe I will start small. I intend to listen more to people when in a conversation, instead of just planning on what I am going to say next.

Julie McKay, College of Liberal Arts, '08

Put others before myself

Jonathan Levitt, School of Engineering, '07

My plan to make a difference in 2005 is to strive to see situations through others' eyes. I have a quote on my cube wall from Philo of Alexandria stating, "Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle."

David Bragg, Senior Trainer and Curriculum Specialist, Computer Services

This story originally ran on Dec. 27, 2004