The Class of 2016 is all moved in! Cars and trucks filled with furniture, clothes, and mini fridges made their way through campus and new Jumbos hauled boxes and bags up flights of stairs to meet new roommates and friends. We captured some great photos of the day as well as advice offered by alumni. Take a look!
Less than a year after graduating from Tufts, Rebecca Hornthal, A11, found herself on the hill again. But this time, she was the teacher–to fourteen English Language Learning fourth grade students at Letourneau School. Her students hailed from all over the world, tended to under-perform academically, and oftentimes had behavioral issues.
Despite the daunting task before her, Hornthal broke through to her students by learning their hopes and dreams and showing them the path to achieving them: college. She created an ambitious curriculum with high expectations centered around long-term goals for her kids, and named them the “College Class of 2024.” Soon enough, the class adopted the term and became a model class for the rest of their Fall River peers. In order to keep her students motivated and show them what they were working for, Hornthal brought them to Tufts, where they met Professor Scarlett and even had a meal in Carmichael Dining Center. A student from the Fall River Education Television was there to witness it all:
After a year with Hornthal, her students went from under-performing in math and reading to testing out of their ELL program and being placed into traditional classrooms. Hornthal is one of many Jumbos working with Teach for America, and her success in the classroom will undoubtedly inspire others.
Every year, the Tufts Alumni Association awards accomplished alumni for “their service to their profession, their communities, and to Tufts.” They also award seniors who are “an example for their peers and all alumni by demonstrating service, loyalty, commitment, and leadership to Tufts and/or their community.” With a strong commitment to Tufts, it’s inevitable that theses awarded Jumbos have a thing or two to say about life on the hill. The Tufts Alumni Association has captured their thoughts and memories in two videos, one with the recent graduate winners and another with alumni recipients. Both videos are filled with memories, inspiration and wisdom from what undoubtedly were four extraordinary years at Tufts.
For more Jumbo nostalgia, check out Jumbo Memories On and Off the Hill.
Every Jumbo on the hill since spring 2010 knows and raves about GetchaBooks, a free service created by Jumbos that searches for the books you need for a semester and compares prices to help you purchase the most cost-effective option, all based on your classes! Since its inception that spring, the site has been a runaway hit, earning them recognition in Inc.com and TechCrunch. A year after their success on the hill, GetchaBooks made their way onto more than 1,200 other campuses.
Two years since the fateful launch of the site, two members of the GetchaBooks founding team, Michael White and Ricky Mondello, both A12, graduated from Tufts and moved on to bigger projects that unfortunately leave little time for expanding the site. But fear not, current Jumbos! GetchaBooks will still be around for the Fall 2012 semester and may continue to expand to schools near and far. Mondello and White, along with co-founder and Bard graduate Michael Walker, have chosen to release their code for GetchaBooks so anyone with a knack for coding and love for saving money on textbooks can bring the site to their school. In their own words,
“We want you to take our code and build your own take on GetchaBooks, specifically for your school or region, to help even more students save money. As a bonus, you can make money for yourself through online bookstore affiliate programs, or you can donate the money to charity.
[...] Have fun!”
When Evan Barnathan, A08, M14, became a Boston Schweitzer Fellow, the choice of what to do for his year of service was obvious. As a former member of the Tufts Amalgamates and current music director of his beloved group, he spent the year launching Josiah Quincy Upper School‘s first choral effort: Attuned, an a cappella group that offered students the opportunity to both explore their musical creativity and develop positive self-identity and behaviors. Barnathan worked with students who were “‘unable to sing ‘Happy Birthday’” and through weekly rehearsals, private lessons, and field trips (to see the Bubs!), transformed them “into a formidable a cappella ensemble performing everything from pop to soul with pieces ranging from ‘Unwritten’ by Natasha Bedingfield to ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers.”
Boston Schweitzer Fellows focuses on addressing unmet health needs and is one of thirteen program sites across the US. Their site boasts, “Since the program’s inception, Schweitzer Fellows in Boston—competitively chosen from health-focused graduate student applicants in a variety of fields—have worked tirelessly to address health disparities and the social determinants of health throughout the greater Boston and Worcester areas.” Despite the program’s large scale success, Evan’s personal goals for his project focus on individual students: “I hope that this encourages the students to further engage in music education—and hopefully higher education, including college and beyond.”
For more on The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, be sure to check out their blog.
Every summer, after tiring of the beach and the heat, we flock to movie theaters to delight in the relief of air conditioning and a good flick. This Friday, our summer at the movies can take a break from superheroes, talking teddy bears, and pop stars to bear witness to a truly fascinating story brought to you in part by two Tufts alumni.
In their controversial film Ballplayer: Pelotero, Trevor Martin, A08, and Casey Beck, A07, bring us the story of Miguel Angel and Jean Carlo, two excellent Dominican baseball players. The boys are on the brink of turning 16 (the age in which they can be signed to a Major League Baseball farm), which could lead them to the majors.
Martin and Beck along with their crew, spent two years in the Dominican Republic filming and preparing their movie. The film “sheds light on some of the most pressing issues regarding the export of Dominican baseball players to the US: age and identity fraud, exploitation, and the opaque role Major League Baseball plays in determining the fates of young players and their families. However, at heart, the film is a story about two gifted young men with a shared dream, doing their best to navigate a mercenary world with the hopes, fears and burdens of their entire families riding on their success or failure.”
The documentary has received much criticism from the MLB for its controversial topic–the organization itself did not did not cooperate in the making of the film. Martin explains to the Boston Globe, “We took pains not to have the film come across as a heavy-handed indictment [...] It’s a complex issue. We leave value judgments up to the viewer.”
To make those judgments yourself, check out Ballplayer: Pelotero this Friday, July 13, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. If you’re not in the area, check out the movie’s website for a complete list of showing locations.
Evan Weinberg, E03, discovered his passion for teaching through a resident tutor in math and physics he maintained while at Tufts. The fall after graduation, he began teaching math at the ninth grade level through the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Nine years later, Evan proudly praises one of his first students’ recent graduation from his alma mater, explaining the special connection two Jumbos share across generations:
It isn’t a miracle that he will cross the stage to receive his Tufts diploma today. Far from it – he did the hard work to get where he is, and I can’t take credit for the great things he learned both in my presence and away from it. And his story is far from over – I hope he (like many other students I’ve told this) keeps me in mind if I ever need a job. His story, and those of the rest of his class earning degrees this month, make me incredibly proud to be a teacher.
That said, there is something special about our story. The unique way that Tufts now connects us is unlike any I’ve ever had with others, even with my own Tufts classmates in the class of 2003. I hope that he can look back fondly to his times on campus as I do from time to time. For whatever small part I served in getting him there, I am glad to have helped him out.
Evan currently teaches Advanced Algebra/Algebra 2, Geometry, Calculus AB, Physics, and a robotics elective for both middle and high school students at the Hangzhou International School, currently serving 300 students K-12 from around the world. The excerpt above was taken from his personal blog about teaching, learning and technology.
Yamila Irizarry-Gerould, A11, is recording her time in Cairo, Egypt with her blog, Traveler in an Antique Land. She received a fellowship from the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) to continue her Arabic studies for the next year in Cairo. She says,
As my Arabic improves, Egypt and the Middle East undergo tumultuous changes. This blog is my attempt to chronicle and share the country’s transformations, as well as my own.
She’s written about the recent Egyptian election, offering an inside view on the country during this pivotal time. Check out Traveler in an Antique Land for updates on Yamilia’s time in Cairo.