Mobile Health Design Course

Lisa Gualtieri, Assistant Professor in the Health Communication Program at Tufts School of Medicine, taught an online course on “Mobile Health Design” this summer. The course covered trends in health-related apps for smartphones, as well as techniques for developing, designing, and evaluating new health apps. In the video below, Gualtieri speaks with Samantha Noderer, a Health Communications student who learned a lot of useful information in the course. She particularly enjoyed the group project for the course, which asked students to design a new app for weight loss management.

Watch the video here:


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Bauer Featured in WGBH Interview

Nancy Bauer, Tufts’ Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences, was recently quoted in a story about women in the upcoming elections that aired on WGBH. In addition to her role as a Dean, Bauer is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, where she has focused much of her teaching and research efforts on the intersection of philosophy and feminist ideals. She frequently teaches a course on Feminist Philosophy for undergraduates, and published a book on Simone de Beauvoir and Feminism in 2001.

The WGBH piece, entitled “Before the US Senate Debate: Tactics and Threats,” featured quotes from Bauer about the nature of women in politics and the double standards they face. She explained: “Men have a literal uniform that they can wear no matter what their profession is. However, women have no such uniform to wear when they are not literally wearing a uniform required for a job. So anything women wear seems to say something about who they are, what they value, what kind of person they are, and there’s just no way around it.”

Listen to the full interview here:


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How Engineers Make a World of Difference

The Tufts chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers recently released a video entitled “How Engineers Make a World of Difference.” The short clip introduces several Tufts students who study everything from environmental engineering to human factors and ergonomics. They talk about what attracted them to engineering, why they love the programs that Tufts offers, and what kind of research interests them most. Check it out!

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Student Research Trip to Burma

This summer, a few students from the Institute for Global Leadership’s program for Narrative and Documentary Practice traveled to Burma for 10 days. There, they worked with photojournalists Gary Knight and Philip Blenkinsop to put their learning and research into practice.

In this Tufts Daily video, you’ll meet a group of ambitious undergraduates who used the opportunity to interact closely with the Burmese people and carry out unique research projects. They also share some stunning photographs of the city, daily interactions, rituals, food, and nightlife they encountered throughout their travels.

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Summer Reading

In addition to these great reads brought to you by the Tufts community via Facebook and TuftsNow, The Fletcher School suggests a fun and different alternative to your summer reading: student blogs. In a recent blog post, they highlight seven blogs worth a read from students working and researching in places as far and wide as Uganda and Guatemala. They also included a note from a Elia, a student interning in Libya, who is witnessing history while abroad this summer:

In this moment of jubilation in Tripoli, let me wish all of you the chance to experience — either directly for your own country, or indirectly through friends — a peoples’ first opportunity at political self-determination.

No matter the likely political troubles ahead, no matter democracy’s many flaws, no matter how much of a transitional government this new government in Libya will still be, the weight of today’s simple exercise is source of immeasurable joy in its own for millions of Libyans. You just can’t put it in words.

Witnessing fellow human beings go through something like this is truly extraordinary.

–A European who never had to fight with guns for the right to vote for his leaders.

For more on the Fletcher School and their extraordinary students, check out their blog, follow them on Twitter, or like them on Facebook.


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A Community of Minds

A very unique aspect of the Tufts community centers on everyone’s ability to learn from one another. Though in some institutions of higher education the learning is most often top-down – transferred from a professor to a student – at Tufts, it’s sometimes a circle. Interactions in the classroom can sometimes be as thought-provoking and intellectually compelling for professors as they are for students.

In one of Tufts Admissionss videos about the eccentricities of life on the hill, John Lurz describes this special occurrence from his own experiences as an assistant English professor reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Check out this video:

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Ghanaian Ewe Agbadza on a drumset

Graduate ethnomusicology student Christiana Usenza, A13, took the result of her studies to YouTube when she created this video demonstrating how she has adapted Ewe Agbadza rhythms to the drumset. Ewe drumming is the style of drumming used by the Ewe people of West Africa, specifically Ghana and Togo. Agbadza refers to the traditional rhythm. In this video, Usenza breaks down two Ewe Agbadza pieces into a series of rhythms and carefully explains how she has translated each rhythm on to a part of the drumset. You can watch the unique musical result below.

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Graduate Student Research Abroad

Tufts’ Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) blog is a wealth of information and advice for students currently enrolled in graduate school. Their most recent pearls of wisdom discuss the topic of going abroad for research. The blog post goes into detail about staying focused on your project, absorbing culture, and reaching out to colleagues and friends who have visited the area before. The post highlights short quotes from other students and professors who have experience with abroad research, such as student Philip Mallon’s, E17, who stressed the importance of time:

For about a week after I arrived, I traveled around the area, settled my housing, and got to know the transit system. Taking the time to become comfortable with the area made a big difference.

You can check out their recent post here.

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Sam Sommers Theme Song at TEDxSomerville

Sam Sommers appeared as one of the speakers this past week at TEDxSomerville, a nonprofit dedicated to the spread of new and riveting ideas, and had the pleasure of being accompanied by his very own theme song.  Performers from Do Not Forsake My Darling, which includes Tufts librarian Sophia Cacciola, were hired to be the house band for TEDxSomerville, and created mini theme songs for each of the speakers.

The lyrics to his song reflect the theme of Sam Sommer’s book Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms your World:

Hang around with the right crowd
Hang around in the right town
You are what you eat, you are who you meet
says Sam Sommers, context is everything
says Sam Sommers, context is everything

You can listen to Sam Sommer’s demo of the talk below.

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Digging for Answers

Tufts Geology Professor Grant Garven doesn’t want to just teach out of books. Instead, he wanted his students to have a hands-on experience of studying water under the Earth’s surface. Just for this purpose has created an outdoor labroratory, complete with a series of very deep and narrow holes in the ground on campus. Have you seen them? There is one behind the Olin Center at the highest elevation on Tufts’ campus and two more near the Campus Center and Powderhouse Circle! Each borehole reaches about 120 to 200 feet into the Earth. To check out the drilling process for a new well near Eaton Hall, check out this video!

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