From the monthly archives: April 2009

For a long period before actually starting their studies, incoming students rely on the Admissions Office for all sorts of services and information.  Gradually, though, the primary contact shifts.  Even before a new student arrives on campus, the best source of information becomes the Registrar’s Office.  While we may know the answer to questions such as, “Will an advisor be assigned to me?”, it is the Registrar’s Office that actually makes the assignment.  Here, our neighbors from across the hall introduce themselves.

Ann Marie Decembrele writes:  I am fortunate to be a member of a four-person office that boasts a combined tenure of over 50 years of service to Fletcher students. With all of that time amassed in the Registrar’s Office, it’s hard to imagine that there could be a question we hadn’t heard before, or a problem we hadn’t faced.  But every year brings new students, new questions, and new challenges, and I guess this is at the heart of what has kept me here all these years.   I enjoy helping students.

In my role as Associate Registrar, I spend much of my time answering questions and advising students on how they can best achieve their academic goals, and meet their degree requirements along the way. Fletcher students tend to be a creative group, so there are always new and different scenarios to ponder and pursue. When I’m not meeting with students, I oversee the administration of the Foreign Language Proficiency requirement; coordinate the work of our Committee on Student Academic Programs; review students’ Academic Plan of Study; and organize written and oral comprehensive exams for our PhD students.  Fortunately, in the course of busy days that tend to fly by without a minute to spare, I also manage to squeeze in a few minutes with the colleagues and friends that I have been so fortunate to work with these past 18 years.

Carol Murphy shares a long tenure with Ann Marie:  I have worked in the Fletcher Registrar’s Office for 17 years, and as the International Student Advisor since 2000.  I have enjoyed working with students over the years, and have particularly enjoyed my work with our international students.  In a few weeks our office will become even busier and more hectic than it is over the rest of the year, due to graduation and, for me, the new international students who will need to process student visas. We feel busy every day of the year, but somehow we manage to pack even more into each day in the spring.

(I should also note here that Ann Marie and Carol are both “Jumbo Parents,” meaning that they each have a child who is a Tufts alum!)

The short-timer for the office is Kelly DiChiara:  I have been working as the Registrar Assistant at Fletcher since July 2007, and I have really enjoyed my time here. I am the first person visitors see when they come into the Registrar’s Office, and I do my best to answer any questions that arise. Graduate school is an important part of a person’s life, and I take pride in helping to make Fletcher a positive experience for our students.

And, finally, the Registrar herself, Nora Moser McMillan writes: I am one of a few folks at The Fletcher School who worked here for a few years, left, and returned.  For me, the motivation for returning was, in large part, because I really believe in the mission of the School and I enjoy working with the students (and staff and faculty).  I had left to figure out what I wanted to do in my career, and found myself for two years in a rural fishing village in Northern Japan, trying to teach English and promote internationalization.  While there, I confirmed that I wanted a career in higher education administration, and headed off to graduate school at the end of my contract. Two years after returning from Japan, a position opened up at Fletcher.  I jumped at the opportunity and have never looked back.  Working at Fletcher has broadened my view of the world, and it certainly encourages me to see more of the world than I may have, if I had worked someplace else.  Understanding different cultures is now a theme at my home as my husband and I have recently returned from Vietnam, where we adopted our son.


Bright lights and microphones were set up in the Hall of Flags last week, when a reporter from New England Cable News visited to ask Fletcher students their reaction to the G-20 meeting in London.  You can watch the report on the NECN web site, with the student interviews starting at about two minutes to-go in the segment.  Featured students were Alvaro Gimenez-Gil, Saori Imaizumi, and Jean-Louis Romanet Perroux.

New England Cable News is also the home of a graduate of our mid-career master’s program.  R.D. Sahl, who is described on NECN’s “team bios” page, attended some time ago, but I can still picture him sitting in Mugar Café during his sabbatical year.


Fletcher has LOTS of visitors coming through this spring.  Admitted applicants, those on the wait list, and even those who haven’t started the application process are turning up at the School.  We certainly don’t want our guests to go hungry, so I’ve asked my admissions pals to add to their 2008 picks and provide even more ideas for where you can have a good lunch or dinner while you’re in the area.

Long-term blog readers are already aware that Admissions staff members share an interest in cooking, exploration of different cuisines, and, well, eating.  So the one blog contribution request that I can count on to generate discussion in the office is when I ask for restaurant recommendations.  And here goes:

Kristen writes:  One of my favorite local restaurants is less a restaurant and more of a destination. Porter Exchange is a collection of (mostly) Japanese restaurants and food stalls in a lovely art deco building from the 1920’s that originally was Sears & Roebuck store. It now houses a motley collection of commercial and educational establishments, including Lesley University and a gym. If you’re having a hard time imagining this place, you’re not alone. The first time I stumbled upon it, I felt like I had fallen into an alternate universe. But now I know, it’s just once of those quirky places that a city like Boston fosters. AND, it’s the best place for fast, inexpensive, delicious Japanese (and more) food in the area. Ramen, sushi, mochi, udon noodles … it’s all there, along with divine Japanese-inspired cream puffs.

Coincidentally, Roxana covers the “and more” to which Kristen refers with her choice, which is located in the same building.  She says: Tavern in the Square is a great restaurant and bar located in Porter Square. Its menu ranges from distinctively good all-American comfort food like burgers, wings and country chicken pot pie, to a few surprises like sirloin au poivre, walnut-encrusted salmon, and white truffle mac & cheese that add flare for the “foodie” in your group. I like Tavern in the Square not only for the food but also because it’s easy to get to, great for watching sporting events like the World Cup, Red Sox games, or the Super Bowl, and it has an energetic atmosphere.  There’s also a Tavern in the Square located in Central Square if you’d like to venture a little further away from campus. Highly recommended to relax after exam week.

Sticking to the same geographic theme, Peter suggests:  In Porter Square (one stop from Davis Sq. on the T), directly across Mass Ave. from the T station, you’ll find two of my favorite Cambridge hangouts: Toad & Christopher’s.  Sparsely decorated with only a few ceramic toads behind the bar and a small, purple neon “toad” sign marking the entrance, Toad is a small pub, with a tiny stage, offering live music seven nights a week.  While the music tends toward roots and Americana (a friend likes to joke that the descriptions of most of the bands invariably use the adjective “swampy”), there are occasional forays into funk, jazz, and rock — and there is never a cover charge.  The bands are mostly local, with some smaller, touring bands passing through, and the occasional unannounced visit from a well-known musician (Eddie Vedder dropped in to play a few songs once).  Right next door, and owned by the same people, Christopher’s is a local pub/restaurant that’s been around for over 25 years.  With tasty and somewhat unique pub fare, a great selection of beer on tap, and a cozy atmosphere with a fireplace and local artwork decorating the walls, it’s a great place for brunch, or to grab a drink and a bite before heading next door to catch a band.

Kate declined to be limited to a single restaurant, and gives us a regional burrito round-up: Since moving to Boston five years ago, burritos have become a staple in my diet, and there are many casual dining spots around the Somerville/Medford/Cambridge area where I can pick one up.   It seems whenever I am craving something filling, fast, and inexpensive, I end up in one of these places. I am not alone in having burritos as my go-to food, as many Bostonians will be able to recommend their favorite burrito place.  One Boston burrito fan has taken his fascination with burritos to the extreme and writes a blog about his experiences at local restaurants. While I have not eaten as many burritos as that guy, I have eaten at all the places near Tufts.  If you are looking for something beyond a traditional burrito, I would recommend Boloco.  Boloco is close to campus on Boston Ave, and it offers a variety of options.  As a vegetarian, I love that I can add tofu to my wraps. My favorite burrito spot is Anna’s Taqueria which is a local chain throughout Boston.  I frequent the Davis Square location and enjoy the way they manage to mix their ingredients together so that in every bite I get a little cheese, rice, beans, guacamole, and sour cream — yum!  If you are a loyal Chipotle fan you will be happy to know that there is one in Davis Square.  While a Chipotle burrito satisfies my cravings when I am out of town, in Boston you’ll always find me at one of the local joints instead.

Personally, I had a number of local restaurants in mind, but I’ve decided to go in a different direction with my own pick:  Mugar Café.  Admittedly, it’s not the ultimate Boston-area destination, but it’s super-local (i.e. within our building), cheerful, and filled with Fletcher students.  An added bonus is the lovely staff.  Just the other day, students were emailing out the news that it was the birthday of Giovanna, one of the Café’s long-time staff members, who greets everyone in a melodious blend of English and Italian.  In their notes, the students called on their peers to “Give a little lovin’ to the one who makes you feel like the FAVORITE grandchild every day!” Another noted “the warmth of this adorable Italian mamma.  I am sure that she will be moved to be wished ‘auguri’ by all of us.”  So I recommend that you join Fletcher students and their favorite adopted grandmother for lunch at the Café.  You can always head to Porter or on a burrito search for dinner.

That’s this year’s round-up!  Whether you venture to Davis or Porter Square, or just stay within the welcoming walls of The Fletcher School, we hope our recommendations will keep you from wondering where to pick up a good meal during your visit!


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