Posts Tagged active citizenship

Alumni Musician Testifies for Change

Many of you may recall Adam Gardner, front man of the Tufts-born band Guster, from his recent performance at Spring Fling. But the Class of ’95 singer is doing more for music than putting on great shows. On May 8, Gardner spoke at the National Resource Committee Hearing in regards to 1981 amendments to the Lacey Act, demonstrating the value of active citizenship that Tufts promotes. In his speech, Gardner called for harsher punishments to those who partake in illegal logging practices. Specifically, he spoke of rosewood – a material typically used to make guitars. You can learn more about the proposal and the negative effects of illegal logging from the video of Gardner’s speech below:

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Engineers Make a World of Difference

Members of the Tufts chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) strive to inspire a new generation of engineers and make them realize that they too can make an impact on the world. In line with this effort to inspire, they created this video for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) “How Engineers Make a World of Difference” scholarship competition.

The competition tasks students “to create the most effective two-minute video clips reinforcing in a personal profile — for an 11-to-13-year-old “tweener” audience — how engineers improve the world.”

Watch and be inspired!

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

You can follow them on Twitter @tuftsnsbe.

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Text Your Teacher?

Imagine if, in high school, you had the option of communicating with your teachers through text messages. Though the idea may raise some questions, Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE and research director of the Tisch College of Citizenship, spent some time with OneVille, a community research and action project in Somerville, Massachusetts, discussing tools to foster communication between high school students and their community. Together they went over the pros and cons of the application of this idea in an alternative school for students who had been expelled from, or opted out of, the main public school:

They  used Google Voice as the texting service, which meant that the messages were archived. Having an archive creates advantages for the students and teachers (they can go back and see what they wrote), and it enables research. It may also have some disadvantages. Among other things, it creates a record that may have to be disclosed to parents under certain circumstances.

We reviewed anonymized transcripts of teachers texting students to wake them up; students disclosing health problems and depression to teachers (and explicitly preferring to communicate by text as opposed to voice); and a traditionally angry teenager thanking his teacher by text. Clearly, the medium affected relationships and power hierarchies, although not necessarily in a uniform way. Whether the changes were educationally beneficial is one big question. Another question is what would happen if the experiment moved from a small, alternative school to a regular high school in which each teacher briefly meets more than 100 kids every day?

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Continuing Active Citizenship: Tufts GlobeMed

One of the newest student groups on campus seeks to continue our tradition of active citizenship by strengthening the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of the impoverished around the world. Founded in June 2011 at Tufts by Kanu Tewari, A13, Tufts GlobeMed is part of a network of 46 colleges and universities around the country. The chapter focuses on improving the health of people in Nepal by assisting Nyaya Health, an international non-governmental organization (INGO) focused on providing free community-based healthcare in rural Nepal to strengthen the public sector, and developing and disseminating effective strategies of health delivery in resource-poor settings throughout the world.

The excitement of the young group is palpable:

So motivated after “Our Chapter, Our Partner” tonight at #tufts! We can’t wait to welcome new staff members to the @GlobeMed family 🙂


As we solidify and develop our chapter, we at Tufts aim to help Nyaya Health expand its current programs to decrease deaths from unnecessary health burdens in Achham. This includes preventative and curative treatment, ambulance rides, and using community health workers to spread awareness about decreasing rates of disease in the region. Amazingly, all services that Nyaya Health provides are free. We are committed to strengthening our partner organization and are eagerly looking forward to helping them continue their impressive development!

For more, check them out on Facebook.


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Vote for STOMP!

The Center for Engineering Education and Outreach‘s Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP) program has been nominated for the Partnering for Excellence Innovations in Science + Technology + Engineering + Math (STEM) Education competition. STOMP seeks to create an engineering curriculum that reaches across all disciplines, piques K-12 student’s interest in engineering, and improves the student’s problem solving skills while preparing Tufts undergrads in the School of Engineering, as well as k-12 teachers, with the necessary tools to become educational change agents.

Want to help them take the “People’s Choice” title? You have until Oct. 26 to cast your vote. You can also vote via Facebook. Good luck, Jumbos!

Check out a video of the 2009 STOMP fellows in action:

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