Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Tufts Research Questions False Memory Creation

Assistant Professor Ayanna Thomas, Ph.D., recently published her paper entitled, “Reducing the Burden of Stereotype Threat Eliminates Age Differences in Memory Distortion” in Psychological Science. Thomas, using her work from The Cognitive Aging and Memory Lab at Tufts, provides evidence that if the elderly are primed to think of themselves as old, they are more likely to create false memories than those who are not. Thomas explains,

Older adults are more likely to falsely recall these unrepresented words than younger adults. We investigated whether we could reduce this age-difference in false memory susceptibility by reducing the influence of negative stereotypes of aging

Stacy Dubois, a former Tufts  graduate student, co-authored the paper as well.

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Tufts Students Dramatically take on the Blogosphere

Those who pursue a Ph.D. in Drama at Tufts thankfully do not keep their musings contained to the stage or to publications.

Danielle Rosvally, a current Ph.D. student, frequently discusses her intense interest in Shakespeare on her blog Daniprose. In her latest post, she discusses the upcoming movie Anonymous, which takes into account the rumor that Shakespeare did not actually write any of his plays. Rosvally responds…

Here’s my brief opinion of the authorship debate: why are we wasting our time?  No matter how we slice it, Shakespeare (either the man from Stratford or the great playwright – whether these two are the same person or not) is dead.  Shakespeare the man from Stratford existed.  Shakespeare the playwright wrote amazing, transcendent works of literature which continue to touch upon the human soul hundreds of years after his death.  Everything else is a fairy tale.

Meron Langsner, who currently holds a Ph.D. in Drama from Tufts and has  taught at the university in the past, has started a new blog entitled Taking Note and Taking Notes. He comments on a vast array of topics, from theatrical pieces and his involvement to performance and fight directing. For example, on the topic of cooperative writing, Langsner notes…

Only twice before had I co-authored anything, and both times it was with someone who was already a close friend coming into the process.  The experience of co-writing in a supportive environment with the people that I shared the retreat with where everyone was filling in everyone else’s blanks is incredibly affirming.

Be sure to check out Rosvally and Langsner on Twitter too!


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Gearing Up for National Coming Out Day

Time to dust off your rainbow flags, National Coming Out Day is right around the corner! On the hill, the LGBT Center has planned a number of events leading up to National Coming Out Day like the week of flags, painting the cannon “in a glorious rainbow (THERE WILL BE HELLA GLITTER),” and a feature in the Tufts Daily where “Out and Proud” community members “out themselves.”

Tufts has a rich tradition of supporting the LGBT community — both professors and students rally in support of LGBT students. This love and support is perfectly portrayed in the following “It Gets Better” video by the Fletcher GLBT club and their allies:

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TV and Films and Students, Oh My!

With the option of Tufts admissions videos for prospective students and the enhancement in one’s ability to watch whatever they want, whenever they want, it shouldn’t be surprising that we have some entertainment gurus on campus.

Ben Phelps, A’11, and a current Masters student for Educational Studies, writes about and critiques dozens of television shows on his blog BP on TV. From predictions about the 63rd Emmy Award Show to his five most anticipated fall season shows, Phelps journeys through an eclectic television landscape.

Acting as the other side of the same coin, so to speak,  Erik Leupp, A’12 shows off his cinematic knowledge on FilmBuffet, a blog dedicated to movie reviews. In predicting this to be the most epic movie season ever, Leupp writes,

All of this pales in comparison though to this upcoming fall and winter movie season. This one might be one for the record books. Never before have I seen a film season packing this much of a Hollywood punch. Many of the biggest directors are releasing films and many of the most prominent and talented actors of our time have films coming out. There is the very real potential that this year’s Oscar telecast will be the most star-studded in recent memory. Everyone from Meryl Streep to Brad Pitt to Tilda Swinton to Ryan Gosling to Kate Winslet to Leonardo DiCaprio to Sandra Bullock to Viggo Mortenson have a chance of being nominated

Be sure to follow Phelps on Twitter and like FilmBuffet on Facebook.

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The Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences boasts a vibrant community that supports and enriches all aspects of life at Tufts. The community is constantly building its members up and creating networks and advice blogs to support graduate student life. Recently, they tweeted a blog post from Danielle Rosvally, G16, praising a furry friend who helps her finish her work. She delightedly replied

@TuftsGSAS thanks for all the rts! Really appreciate the support from my school!

Want to get additional GSAS perspective? Follow Dean Lynne Pepall on Twitter.

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The Future of Environmental Leadership

Julian Agyeman, professor and chair in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning at Tufts, recently blogged about scaling up inclusion and diversity in environmental organizations:

How should conservation organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere respond to the demographic and cultural shifts that are unfolding and will gain pace? What strategies for the inclusion of a more diverse base should be developed now that this is not only a moral question, but one of organizational effectiveness and even survival?

Agyeman is a member of the Stewardship Council of the Masschusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

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Eliot-Pearson Alumni Stories

Have you ever wondered what the Tufts departments were like in the past and how they’ve changed over the years? The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development has started a blog dedicated to aggregating stories from alumni and others who have been influenced by the program. The blog currently has stories from the 1950s and ’60s relating to student life and academics, but the hope is that the entire history of the program will eventually be covered.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent post by Dorene Lees Lengyel, Class of ’57:

In my freshman and sophomore years, we observed in many nursery and kindergarten classrooms, both private and public, to get a feel for the many differences in teaching styles and curricula. Fortunately I had a car so could drive myself and others to various schools. In our junior and senior years we had a different student teacher assignment for each semester, five days a week. This was absolutely invaluable!

Read the rest of the stories right here

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Music Box Stop Motion

Christina Zagarino, a student of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, posted her first experiment with stop motion animation video on her blog iGeneration earlier this week.

Check it out:

Happy Birthday Stop Motion from ChrissyZags on Vimeo.

Projects like this remind us of Tufts’ involvement in the film industry

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Speech by M.A.T. Grad Adam Weldai

Adam Weldai, G11, a graduate of the M.A.T. program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Education, delivered this speech at the department’s graduation ceremony on May 22, 2011.

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