The Express!

Friday, December 7: The Last Express of the Semester

Be a part of the ExCollege!

If you have ever wanted to command a classroom, think about joining either the Explorations or Perspectives freshmen seminar programs as a Peer Leader! Our Peer Leaders co-teach a seminar, lead their students through orientation, and act as student advisors during the fall semester. Going abroad in the spring but still want to teach in the fall? Our application is available on our website and can be submitted online! Check out the FAQs about Explorations and Perspectives, and download the application today.

Gearing up for the spring!

Despite the warm weather still months away, we over here at the ExCollege have already set our sights on the upcoming semester. Since the deadline for spring course proposals on October 5, our office has worked to whittle through the pile to bring Tufts students the very best ExCollege offerings for next semester. The ExCollege Board will come together for a daylong meeting next week to finalize what 22 courses will claim both a classroom and room full of Tufts students. A preliminary list of spring classes will be listed on our website on December 14.

Registration for all ExCollege courses begins at 9am on the first day of spring semester classes, Wednesday, January 16. All Wednesday ExCollege courses will begin the night of January 16!

Stay updated on all things ExCollege

Like Facebook, Twitter, and blogging? So do we! Be sure to catch up with us online to stay on top of the latest ExCollege news.

Semester in Review

When the temperature drops and students huddle in Tisch cubicles with caffeine in one hand and a textbook in the other, you know the end of the semester is near. As the ExCollege wraps up another semester, we took the time to reminisce about the past four months. The ExCollege tackled some major milestones this fall:

  • Welcoming in and training 30 new Perspectives and Explorations Leaders
  • Beginning preparation for our 50th Anniversary (April 2014—mark your calendars!)
  • Creating a brand new database to digitize the course proposal reading process
  • Reaching out to Admissions to create ExCollege videos and articles for the Admissions website and magazine
  • Planning and running the Election Night Extravaganza 2012
  • Supporting 23 phenomenal Visiting Lecturer courses
  • Watching Howard Woolf’s film premiere of Marranos
  • Holding the first ever Perspectives Olympics

Phew! This long list certainly kept us busy this semester, and after we take a quick moment to inhale, our office will continue to put together the course offerings for the spring semester. To check out pictures and descriptions of our fall events, head over to our Facebook album!

In the Classroom

Instructor A. David Lewis and his class “Religion and the Graphic Novel” invited artist JT Waldman, who worked with Harvey Pekar on the graphic novel “Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me,” to speak in their last class. Dave opened the discussion to both Tufts students not enrolled in his class and the entire online community! The Sequart Research and Literary Organization broadcasted the talk live, and Dave recently uploaded a full unedited version of JT Waldman’s talk at Tufts to YouTube! Stay tuned for Dave’s edited cut of the class.

Need a study break before diving head first into reading period? Attend the Comedy Night in Hotung, hosted and presented by the students of Steve Kapica’s “Analyzing Stand-up Comedy” class. These comedians will each give a five minute set to the crowd in Hotung. Stop by Hotung on Monday, December 10 to chortle with some friends, cheer on your peers, and celebrate the last day of fall semester classes! The event begins at 8:30pm and will run until 11pm.

And the winner is…

After an intense competition last Friday, the Sidekicks in Film class earned the right to call themselves the first ever champions of Perspectives Olympics! Despite the very close race among teams throughout the scavenger hunt, Scene It trivia game, and talent show, the Sidekicks class ultimately won and put on a great talent show performance with their take on the now classic Napoleon Dynamite dance.

To get a glimpse into the Games, take a look at the Twitter feed for #PerspectivesOlympics and scroll through the @ExCollege page for pictures collected along the scavenger hunt. All teams, Sports Movies (aka Team Denzel), Hollywood’s Army, Films of Genocide (aka Team Didn’t See Us Coming), and Sidekicks showed some great competitive spirit and made the first ever Perspectives Olympics a success!

Did You Know…

The first board of the ExCollege was composed of faculty members representing four different fields: engineering, social science, natural science, and humanities, with one member-at-large. Almost immediately after convening, the board broke from Tufts tradition by including students in the decision-making process of the college. By the spring of 1966, the board unanimously agreed that its four student members be given full voting rights.

Around Campus

Make sure to get your fill of all things Jumbo before heading off of the Hill for winter break! Scroll through full listings of the final events of the semester on both Tufts Events and TuftsLife. Keep reading for two great upcoming programs!

  • Love filmmaking? Watch the final film projects of the ‘Producing Films for Social Change’ class!

The Communications and Media Studies (CMS) Department will be holding this annual screening on Tuesday, December 11 at 7pm in Tisch 304. Support your peers and your friends as three groups of students present their final films! The films include The Receipt of Happiness, a film by Robert Collins, Grace Demyan, Jacob Passy, and Doug Stone, Finding Refuge, by Charmaine Poh, Maya Navon, and Annie Garau, and The Day After Tomorrow, by Ethan Freedman, Yijia Wang, and Gabriela Ros. For more details and insight into these films, head over to the CMS website and join the Facebook group!

  • Enjoy dance? Check out the end of the semester Kiniwe performance!

This year’s Kiniwe performance includes new choreography by director Nani Agbeli. The pieces represent strong connections to the Ewe tradition of Ghana. Follow your feet to the Distler Performance Hall on Sunday, December 9! Kiniwe begins at 8pm and runs until 10pm. Get more Kiniwe details on the Music Department website.

Election Night Recap

The energy on campus and around the country built up greatly this past Tuesday, and on the Hill this election buzz climaxed with our Election Night Extravaganza!

The Campus Center first began to feel the presence of a crowd around 7:30pm. Student groups with diverse interests and enthusiasm for the night’s affairs lined the Commons eatery. Each group decorated their table with flags, food, computers, posters, stickers, and oh so much more. This Information Fair drew in hundreds of students, as Jumbos came together to discuss important issues and contemplated what the night would bring.

Campus media groups settled into the upper level lounge early in the evening. WMFO broadcast live throughout the event, and TUTV, the Daily, and the Observer all covered the election and our event throughout the night. Interviews and pictures abounded, and when President Monaco dropped by he eagerly answered questions posed by the media groups.

As the night wore on, Hotung received more and more visitors until a student, faculty member, or staffer occupied every inch of the space. Our 3 MCs, Clay Grable, Mitch Friedman, and Matt Stofsky kept the masses well informed and entertained, and comedy troupes and faculty members also balanced out the extensive news coverage with fresh insight and humor.

Cheers, clapping, and happy voices emanated from Hotung throughout the Campus Center as polls closed and results were reported. The ExCollege production crew stayed in constant communication with one another in order to make sure Hotung was fed the most up-to-date information. The energy in Hotung exploded right after 11:15pm when Howard Woolf, our Associate Director, announced to a room of over 700 people that President Obama had been re-elected (you can even watch the video & check out pictures).

That night, our Tufts community banded together to celebrate this election and the powerful part that each individual plays in this monumental political event.

Election Night Extravaganza

Mark your calendar for the evening of Tuesday, November 6th. You’ll want to spend it with the ExCollege in the Mayer Campus Center. Trust me. That’s were hundreds and hundreds of students were four years ago as the results of the state and national elections were announced and analyzed. Stuff starts happening at 7:30pm in Hotung Cafe. Don’t miss it.

Our “Researcher in Chief”

Anthony MonacoTufts President Anthony Monaco just presented the latest talk in the A Taste of Tufts series. He discussed two of his most important discoveries, the gene responsible for X-linked Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies and a gene specifically involved in human speech and language. Though many in the crowded classroom were transported back to their biology days, it became clear why Dr. Monaco is a pre-eminent researcher in his field. See Monday’s issue of the Tufts Daily for an article about the presentation, and check our website soon for the video!

Conception of the Taste of Tufts Lecture Series

I was in the bookstore last fall, dodging freshman who don’t know enough to check Amazon first to see how much textbooks are elsewhere, looking for a programming book. On my way towards the engineering section, I stopped to eavesdrop on a pair of students who were talking about the books. I quickly realized that they were not speaking about the authors with an undeserved familiarity, but that their professor had written the book on conflict due to climate change in Sudan that one of them was wildly gesticulating with. Of course, as an engineering student, it’s not unheard of for a professor to write a textbook. But I’d never really stopped to consider the vast amount of what I was missing at Tufts. I haven’t taken a history course since high school. Not because I particularly dislike history, but because I just never had time.
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Drumming, clapping, and singing with Prof. Locke

Over twenty people attended A Taste of Tufts this past Friday and heard about Prof. David Locke’s research. As an ethnomusicologist, Prof. Locke has learned with and from the Dagombe people of Ghana, in particular regarding their culture of drumming. Check out the Tufts Daily article at for more information.

Join us this Friday, February 17th for Prof. Hugh Gallagher’s talk about neutrinos!

ExCollege Social Media!

The ExCollege is now increasing it’s social media presence at Tufts!  With our newly revamped blog, Facebook page and new Twitter account we’re hoping to help provide you with an inside look at how everything works here at 95 Talbot Ave!  Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @ExCollege.  We’ll be having different members of the ExCollege community blogging about the various happenings and events going on here and we look forward to hearing from all of you!

A Taste of Tufts: A Sampling of Faculty Research

The Experimental College invites you to A Taste of Tufts: A Sampling of Faculty Research. This series of Friday noontime presentations showcases research being done by Tufts faculty and administrators. Next in the series is a presentation from David Locke on Friday, February 10th, 12-1pm in the Granoff Music Building, Room 155. A light lunch will be provided following the presentation.

David Locke’s research subject is the heritage of music and dance traditions of Africa. Most of his scholarly publications have been on material from the Ewe and Dagomba peoples of Ghana. He sees his work as a bridge between African musicians and non-African musicians, especially those who would perform the music in new settings. He also likes to think that his work helps sustain valuable human creations in an era of rapid change. He has put substantial amounts of material up on the Internet with the idea that it will be accessible world-wide at modest price. David’s presentation will include visiting these websites, as well as some live demonstration and inter-active “hands-on” learning.

A Date with History

Mark it down…Wednesday, October 19th at 7:30 pm. We’re planning an event to coincide with the inaugural activities leading up to President Monaco’s big day. University Professor Sol Gittleman will be speaking about:


From one building with twelve students, six faculty and little money on Walnut Hill in 19th century Medford, to today’s four-campus university on two continents, Tufts has evolved thanks to the vision of thirteen presidents who had the power to transform an institution. They are more than just portraits in the Coolidge Room.