Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Crazy For Crosswords

The New York Times crossword puzzle on May 24 featured TUFTS as the answer to the clue for 49 down. (“University in Medford, Mass.”)

The Times’ crossword blog discussed the puzzle, with at least one alum weighing in with a comment.

Relatedly, did you know that Henry Rathvon, longtime co-creator of the Sunday Boston Globe crossword, is a Tufts graduate (A73, G74)? He and Emily Cox conspired with a hopeful groom to create a crossword wedding proposal to Friedman School student Jennie Bass.

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Apple Dropping Ceremony

Every year, in addition to being hooded and receiving their diploma, graduating physics and astronomy Ph.D. students at Tufts participate in the Isaac Newton-inspired apple-dropping ceremony, conceived by Alexander Vilenkin, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and director of the Tufts Institute of Cosmology.

“The ceremony was my idea, and it probably reflects my weird sense of humor,” said Vilenkin. “One day in 2005, I had a vision of this apple dropping ceremony. It just came out of the blue. But I thought it fits well with our antigravity stone saga and provides much needed comic relief after the serious business of the Ph.D. dissertation defense. I presented the idea to other members of the Cosmology Institute over lunch with some trepidation, but they liked it right away. The rest is history.”

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

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President Bacow: Under the Roof Tribute Video

Tufts President Lawrence Bacow was recently awarded the Under the Roof Leadership award for his work with the Somerville Homeless Coalition. This tribute video, presented by the Homeless Coalition, honors Bacow for his commitment to community service and active citizenship. As both an individual and the leader of the Tufts community, Bacow has taken a personal investment in getting involved in causes like the Homeless Coalition, and his initiative has inspired many others to do the same. Bacow explains the importance of the cause:

One way of measuring the justness of a society is [looking at] how it treats the most vulnerable among us…I think it’s important that we reach out, that we don’t turn a blind eye — that we try and engage, and that we try and help. And I am proud of what the university has been able to do to support the Homeless Coalition.”

Here’s the video honoring Bacow’s contribution:

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The Music of Morocco

Music graduate student Tamara Turner researches the music of Morocco. Check out these photos from her travels.

Of her research, she explains:

I work with a particular group of musicians called the “Gnawa” who are primarily located in Marrakech and Essaouira but there are also groups scattered throughout the country.

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Arab Uprising: The Revolution and Its Aftermath

Last month, Tufts faculty from the departments of Political Science, Economics, Sociology and International Relations joined together for a panel discussion on the history of the Arab Spring. As Tufts IR program director Prof. Drusilla Brown explained:

We can look at the history of revolutions to try to get a better understanding of what is happening now. It may not give us much of an expectation of what will happen, but it will certainly give us some historical perspective on what it means to go through this kind of set of events.”

In this video, Professor Malik Mufti of the Political Science department discusses the connections and differences between current uprisings in the Arab world and the widespread revolt that swept Europe in the late 18th and early-mid 19th centuries.

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Visualizing Research at Tufts Awards

Recently, select Tufts students and faculty participating in research projects were awarded top prizes in the Visualizing Research at Tufts competition. Contestants of the competition, which was divided into categories of “Illustration,” “Photography” and “Non-Interactive Media,” used artistic mediums to capture their research.

The awards ceremony for the competition will showcase winning submissions and take place from 2-4 pm on Friday, April 29 at 51 Winthrop Street on the Medford campus.

A video of winning entries can be viewed here.

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Stress at Tufts

In a recent post from the Tufts Balance Your Life blog, an interview with a staff clinician from the Counseling and Mental Health Services Center offers valuable insight into how to effectively manage stress.

An excerpt from the post reads:

Stress suppression is anything that avoids stress, but doesn’t change our condition. For instance, playing a video game, watching TV, surfing the web, and even working out (if our minds are still churning) can all be stress suppression techniques. These activities put what we are stressed about on the back burner, and we might feel more relaxed. However, we aren’t dealing with the stress, and it will resurface after that activity is over.

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Greening the Curriculum

Tufts graduate student Elizabeth Mahaffy (A’11) and recent alumni Joseph Cutrufo (A’10) created a video called “Greening the Curriculum.” The video, which was produced in partnership with Tufts Institute of the Environment for the Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute, features conversations with students on the Medford/Somerville and Boston campuses about integrating environmental issues into Tufts classes. Both Mahaffy and Cutrufo are of the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program at Tufts.

Here’s the video:

Greening the Curriculum from JD Cutrufo.


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The Boston Tree Party

Lisa Gross (G’11), a graduate student at Tufts in Studio Art, is the Chairman and Founder of the Boston Tree Party, a “collaborative campaign to plant 100 pairs of heirloom apple trees in civic spaces across Greater Boston.” The Chief of Operations of the project, Maura Schorr Beaufait (G’09), is also a Jumbo: she holds a dual-Master’s degree from Tufts in Community Health and Agriculture, Food and Environment. Their Tree Party Inauguration is this weekend at the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

In addition to the Boston Tree Party, Lisa Gross pioneered the Urban Homesteaders’ League, “a community venture dedicated to inspiring and empowering individuals and communities to shift from a lifestyle of passive consumption to one of active participation, creation, and connection.”

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Tufts Graduate School of A&S Photostream

Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (TuftsGSAS) has a Flickr account. The account features images of day-to-day life and special events at the TuftsGSAS.

One series of shots chronicles a Chemistry grad student’s experience doing an educational exchange in Germany. Through the program, young chemists from the US visit the University Erlangen-Nürnberg to learn about the exciting chemistry taking place at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy.


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