Muhammad Yunus at Tufts

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Renewing Our Democracy

On Wednesday, April 4 panelists Simon Rosenberg, Dean Glaser, Peter Levine, Pam Wilmot, and Leslie Ogden came together to offer insights and information on new voting restrictions, campaign rules, electoral college reform, and Senate inequality.


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Distinguished Writer’s Series: Gary Shteyngart

The Distinguished Writer’s Series at Tufts brings world-renowned authors to the university to share insight into their works and experiences as writers. On Friday, March 30, Gary Shteyngart visited Tufts as part of this series.

Shteyngart, who teaches writing at Columbia University and Princeton University, is the author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (2002), Absurdistan (2006), and Super Sad True Love Story (2010). His writing has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Slate. He is the winner of the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the Book-of-the-Month Club First Fiction Award.


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Alan Shapiro Entrepreneurial Lecture featuring Charles Sennott

Charles Sennott is a “reluctant entrepreneur” who took his friend’s advice to “go out and change the world.” On Monday, March 26, he shared his story of co-founding GlobalPost at the Alan Shapiro Entrepreneurial Lecture.

This Lecture Series brings guests to Tufts to share their journeys as entrepreneurial leaders. Alan’s sons, Jacob A08, and Caleb A11, describe their father as “an entrepreneur who embraced change” and hope that the Alan Shapiro Entrepreneurial Lectures inspire students and alumni to explore the world of entrepreneurship.

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Lyon & Bendheim Lecture, featuring Robert Sterne (E73, AG75)

On Mar. 8, the Lyon & Bendheim Alumni Lecture series hosted Robert Sterne, E73, AG75, director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, one of the leading patent attorneys in the United States in patent reexamination and concurrent patent litigation.

The Lyon & Bendheim Alumni Lecture series was established by JB Lyon, A85, and Tom Bendheim, A85, and chooses lectures that are leaders in their respective fields and have repeatedly proven themselves with tremendous achievements at the highest levels. The series mission is to bring prominent and successful alumni to campus to share their wisdom and experience with students.

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TIE Talks: Mary Davis

Since its founding in 1998, the Tufts Institute of Environment (TIE) has created many opportunities to promote environmental issues. The TIE Talks are a lecture series designed to be a causal, comfortable setting for faculty, staff, students and alumni to learn and share.

On Mar. 7,  speaker Mary Davis, assistant professor in the department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, will present on her research involving the relationship between economics and public health. When asked about her inspiration for this connection, Davis responded:

“I started working on a large epidemiologic study at Harvard investigating the connection between exposure to diesel exhaust and lung cancer. Since cancer takes a long time to develop, we needed to understand what exposures looked like in the past before environmental monitoring data were available. So I started looking into filling in the gaps with economic data, with the hypothesis that greater levels of economic activity generate air pollution.”

The theme of this semesters TIE Talks is Environmental Justice. Davis offered her own perspective on this semesters theme:

“For me, the term environmental justice broadly encompasses any group that is disproportionately exposed to environmental harm, especially those without the political clout to effect change.”

Moreover, the TIE Talks create another arena for environment-related discussion. Davis commented on the significance of the TIE Talks:

“I think that the TIE Talks provide an excellent opportunity to bring visibility to environmental issues on campus.”

TIE was started as a result of a growing need for more environmental programs and activities at Tufts. Since then, it has supported numerous research projects and events.Today, TIE continues to build more awareness and attention for environmental research, teaching and leadership.

Mary Davis’ lecture will be held Wednesday Mar. 7, 4:30 to 6:30pm, TIE Conference Room, Miller Hall.

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A Taste of Tufts: A Sampling of Faculty Research

Every year the Experimental College at Tufts provides students with a number of unique classes meant to enrich their undergraduate experience. This year, with their new lecture series, A Taste of Tufts, proposed by senior Sara Harari, E12, students have the opportunity to expand their studies beyond their individual disciplines.

Each Friday, in room 155 in the Granoff Music Building, a professor or administrator from one of Tufts varying disciplines presents their work, giving students a special opportunity to learn about research that may not have otherwise been able to experience.

Now in it’s fifth week, President Anthony Monaco will be stepping up to the podium to discuss his research experience, which spans from his days as a doctoral candidate at Harvard to his work as senior scientist and head of the Human Genetics Laboratory at Oxford. President Monaco was kind enough to answer some questions about his upcoming appearance.

Why is it important for you to give the students at Tufts a chance to see you as a researcher in addition to being the university’s president?

I have spent the past 30 years of my career being an active researcher in the field of human genetics and neuroscience. It is only in the last five years that I have pursued my interests in university administration, in addition to my research. Therefore, it is important for students to understand that their president has made significant contributions to the field of human genetics and understands the importance of interdisciplinary research in trying to find solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

Can you discuss how you decided on your research concentration that led to the two discoveries you are presenting on?

The first major discovery was the identification of the gene for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) during my Ph.D. studies in 1986. I was enrolled in Harvard Medical School’s program in neuroscience, which offered projects and faculty supervisors from all the Harvard departments and affiliated hospitals. It was through this program that I was introduced to Louis Kunkel at Children’s Hospital where he proposed to identify the gene for DMD and I immediately wanted to work with him. Several years later we were successful and many insights into the disease followed from this discovery. The second major discovery was the identification of the gene, FOXP2, in 2001 as mutated in severe speech and language disorders. This interest stemmed from my neuroscience background together with my expertise in human genetics. The identification of the FOXP2 gene was the first evidence for the involvement of genes in human speech and provided insights into the evolution and function of genes in language development.

Why do you think interdisciplinary research at Tufts is important for the university?

Many of the world’s greatest challenges will not be sufficiently addressed through the research of single disciplines. In most cases, breakthroughs in solving societies biggest problems will come at the cross-roads between disciplines and when researchers from different disciplines collaborate. Therefore, I think Tufts is well placed to leverage its disciplinary strengths across its various schools and campuses to better integrate our activities to provide innovative and more complete solutions.

President Monaco’s lecture will be held Friday March 2, Noon to 1pm, Room 155 in the Granoff Music Building. A light lunch will be  provided after the presentation.

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Tufts Faculty Progressive Caucus American Democracy in Crisis Series Presents Dr. Cornel West

On Feb. 22 Tufts presented well-known scholar and civil-rights activist Dr. Cornel West as part of the Tufts Faculty Progressive Caucus American Democracy in Crisis Series.

West, whose work focuses on the role of race, gender and class in American society, discussed his perspective on the upcoming presidential election.

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Ninth Annual Climate Change Debate: The Everett-Moomaw Showdown

Feburary 8, 2012 marked the ninth year of climate change debates between Professor William Moomaw, CIERP Director, and Bruce Everett, adjunct associate professor of international business. The debate lasted a rousing ninety minutes during which the two discussed some of today’s most important energy issues. The debate was broken in to four rounds: opening remarks, “20 Years after Rio,” “Unconventional Energy Sources: Problems and Perspectives,” and a Q&A with students.

In a blog post recapping the event, Fletcher student Elia Boggia, F13, notes:

“As the two debaters initially made their way to the stage – wearing boxing gloves and capes – and throughout the duration of the debate, the auditorium was buzzing with vivacity, creating an atmosphere akin to an orderly sports arena. Students in the audience cheered, held signs expressing their views on energy issues and live tweeted from the event using the hash tags #campmoomaw and #campeverett.” (Ella Boggia)

Boggia, was joined by Mohannad Al-Suwaidan, F12, and Kartikeya Singh, Ph.D anticipated in 2015, in live-tweeting the event.

[View the story “The Ninth Annual Everett-Moomaw Debate on Climate Change, Energy & the Environment” on Storify]

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LeVar Burton Recieves Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children’s Media

On February 3rd, Tufts University’s sixth Eliot-Pearson Awards for Excellence in Children’s Media was held. This year’s award recipient was actor, entertainer and the host and executive producer of the PBS children’s television series “Reading Rainbow,” LeVar Burton.

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