People Notes

People Notes September 2017

ARTS, SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING PROMOTIONS, TENURE, AND NAMED PROFESSORSHIPS

Rana Abdul-Aziz has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies.

Shuchin Aeron has been awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

David Art has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Political Science.

Tim Atherton has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Joseph Auner has been awarded a named professorship, the Austin Fletcher Professor of Music.

Hugo Beauchemin has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Gary Bedell has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Maria Juliana Berte has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Romance Languages.

Maria Lagunas Davis has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Romance Languages.

Cedric de Leon has been promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Sociology.

Silke Forbes has been promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Economics.

Irene Georgakoudi has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Hedda Harari-Spencer has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies.

Jessica Harney has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Eitan Hersh has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Political Science.

Usman Khan has been awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Daniele Lantagne has been awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Paul Lehrman has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Music.

Penn Loh has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

John Lurz has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of English.

Nimah Mazaheri has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Political Science.

Mitch McVey has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Biology.

Christy McWayne has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Child Study and Human Development.

Amy Millay has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Romance Languages.

Jayanthi Mistry has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Child Study and Human Development.

Noe Montez has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Drama and Dance.

Anne de Laire Mulgrew has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Romance Languages.

Susan Napier has been named Goldthwaite Professor of Rhetoric in the Department of International Literary and Cultural Studies.

Barbara Parmenter has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

Sarah Pinto has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Anthropology.

Ann Rappaport has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

Anne-Christine Rice has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Romance Languages.

James Rice has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of History and awarded a named professorship, the Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and American History.

Cynthia Robinson has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Education.

Anna Sajina has been awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Christina Sharpe has been promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of English.

Joel Smith has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Music.

Vickie Sullivan has been named Cornelia M. Jackson Professor in Political Science in the Department of Political Science.

Helen Suh, a professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been awarded tenure.

Jonathan Witten has been promoted to senior lecturer in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

NEW FACULTY IN ARTS, SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING 

Danielle Abrams has joined Tufts as professor of the practice in 3D and Performance at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts, where she has taught since 2014. Previously she taught at Goddard College, the College of NY Staten Island, York College, and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She received her B.F.A. from Queens College and her M.F.A. from UC Irvine. She most recently presented at the College Art Association in Washington, D.C. on “The Feminist Art Project, Performing Identity as Intersectional,” and has exhibited her work at the Grand Central Art Center in located at Cal State Fullerton, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Westbeth Gallery in New York.

Silvia Bottinelli joins Tufts as a lecturer in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts.  A member of the SMFA visual and critical studies department since 2009, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pisa. Her research focuses on art and domesticity in post-fascist Italy. Her most recent book, SeleArte, An Open Window to the World (Lucca, Italy: Fondazione Ragghianti 2010), analyzes public intellectuals’ contributions to art and art history in the construction of a strong post-war Italian identity.

Adolfo Cuevas has joined Tufts as assistant professor in the Department of Community Health. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard’s School of Public Health and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in applied psychology from Portland State University. Focused on the social determinants of health for racial and ethnic minorities, he is currently studying the relationship between perceived discrimination and health in the Dominican community. Cuevas has published in multiple academic journals and been awarded grants from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Cedric de Leon is a new associate professor in the Department of Sociology; next year he also will head the American Studies Program. Formerly a professor at Providence College, he holds an M.Phil. in social and political sciences from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. His scholarship encompasses labor, politics, social theory, and race and ethnic relations. He is author of The Origins of Right to Work: Antilabor Democracy in Nineteenth-Century Chicago (ILR Press, 2015) and Party and Society: Reconstructing a Sociology of Democratic Party Politics (Cornell University Press, 2015) and co-edited Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society (Stanford University Press, 2015).

Silke Forbes has joined Tufts as associate professor of economics. She received her M.A. from the University of Manheim and her Ph.D. from MIT. She previously taught at Case Western Reserve University and UC San Diego. With research interests spanning industrial economics, entrepreneurship, innovation, and market structure, she has published in American Economic Journal – Microeconomics; the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization; and the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Recognition includes the Mather Spotlight Prize for Women’s Scholarship from Case Western and a National Science Foundation grant for Strategic Response to Public Disclosure Programs: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry.

Jessica Harney has been named a senior lecturer in occupational therapy, where she has taught since 2013. She will also direct the entry-level master’s program and spearhead a new entry-level clinical occupational therapy doctoral program. President of New England Disabled Sports since 2015, Harney has also worked as the International Paralympics Medical Classifier for Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding and as the head of US Paralympics Medical Classification for Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding. She holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Boston University and a doctor of physical therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Nate Harrison joins Tufts as a professor of the practice in the Media Arts department of the SMFA, where he began teaching sound art in 2009.  He earned his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts and his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. An artist and writer working at the intersection of intellectual property, cultural production, and the formation of creative processes in electronic media, he has produced projects and exhibited for the American Museum of Natural History, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Pompidou, the Kunstverein in Hamburg, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others. He has lectured at a variety of institutions including the University of Glasgow, Experience Music Project in Seattle, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York. He co-directed the L.A. project space Esthetics as a Second Language.

Alexandru Hening joins Tufts as assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. He previously taught at Imperial College London and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. He received his B.S. from Jacobs University Bremen in Germany and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Hening has published in multiple academic journals; his interests include stochastic processes and partial differential equations and their applications to mathematical ecology, physics, and mathematical finance. 

Elana Jefferson-Tatum has joined Tufts as the Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor for Religion, Race, and Colonialism. She comes to the university from Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she was a visiting assistant professor. She received her M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School and her Ph.D. from Emory University. Her areas of interest include the history of religion, African religious studies, material culture, and African gender studies. A member of the editorial board for the Journal of Africana Religions, she is working on “The World is a Marketplace (Ayé lojà): Towards an Indigenous Theory of Religious Pluralism,” for the Journal of Religion.

Jonathan Lamontagne joins Tufts as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He received a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire and his M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental water resources systems analysis from Cornell University. His graduate studies focused on flood frequency analysis and the incorporation of uncertainty in hydropower systems planning, which included close collaboration with researchers and engineers in various federal agencies. As a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell, he studied uncertainty and robustness issues for models of the integrated human-climate system.

Susan Landau is a new Bridge Professor at Tufts, dividing her time between the Department of Computer Science and the Fletcher School. She received her B.A. from Princeton University, her M.S. from Cornell University, and her Ph.D. from MIT. She has been a visiting professor in the Department of Computer Science at University College London, with prior experience at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Google, Harvard, and SunMicrosystems Laboratories. She serves on the National Academies’ Forum on Cyber Resilience and is an editor for the Journal of Cybersecurity and Lawfare. Landau has also written or co-written several books, including Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies and Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption.

Liping Liu joins Tufts as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, where he was a visiting assistant professor in 2016. Most recently he was a postdoctoral associate at Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State University and is interested in probabilistic modeling, classification, and clustering within machine learning. He also worked on commercial data analysis for IBM T.J. Watson Research. He is a reviewer for several conferences and journals on machine learning and serves as a member of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Diana Martinez has joined Tufts as assistant professor of art and art history and as director of architectural studies. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she earned both a Ph.D. and a master’s at Columbia University. She has practiced as an architect in San Francisco, Manila, and New York and has taught design, history, and theory courses at Columbia University, Cornell University, Barnard College, and the Pratt Institute. Her teaching interests center on the problems and possibilities of a global architectural history. She is working a book, Concrete Colonialism: Architecture, Infrastructure, Urbanism and the American Colonization of the Philippines.

Megan Monroe is a new lecturer in the Department of Computer Science. She comes to Tufts from IBM Research, where she designed and developed visual analytics tools for a wide range of Watson technologies, including client-facing interfaces. Her doctoral work at the University of Maryland focused on the analysis of temporal, event-based records, such as electronic health records and transaction logs. She developed the EventFlow visualization tool that has been used by Washington D.C. Children’s Hospital and the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, among many others. 

Tasha Oren joins Tufts as a visiting associate professor in the Department of Drama and Dance and in the Department of Film and Media Studies. She comes to Tufts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she was associate professor and director of film studies and head of the cinema, media and digital studies program. She received her B.F.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, her M.A. from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focus is on U.S. and global media history and theory. The author of Demon in the Box: Jews, Arabs, Politics and Culture in the Making of Israeli Television (Rutgers University Press, 2004), she has edited several books including Global Television Formats: Understanding Television Across Borders (Routledge), which won the 2013 Best Edited Collection prize from the Society for Cinema. Her newest project is a history of food media and a co-edited volume on contemporary feminism, both under contract with Routledge Press. Oren also serves on the editorial board for Television and New Media, and is a member of the Media Across Borders scholars' consortium and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Annie Pfeifer has joined Tufts as assistant professor of international literary and cultural studies. A specialist in modern German and comparative literature, she previously taught at Rutgers University and the University of Bern. She received her M.A. from the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale University. Her research and teaching interests include literary and political theory, aesthetics, visual and material culture, ecocriticism and discard studies, and museum studies. She is currently at work on a book, To the Collector Belong the Spoils, which examines the relationship between the techniques of literary modernism and 20th-century practices of collecting objects, focusing on Walter Benjamin, Carl Einstein and Henry James. She has several articles forthcoming on Benjamin, hoarding and queer theory, and Iran’s role in Germany’s leftist discourse that will appear in journals like New German Critique and critical anthologies such as Que(e)rying Consent and Iran and the West. She is the recipient of a DAAD postdoctoral fellowship and is currently a fellow at the Robert Walser Center in Switzerland.

Amy Pickering has joined Tufts as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She received her B.S. from Cornell University, M.S. from UC Berkeley, and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Previously she was a senior fellow at the Stanford University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health, as well as a research scientist in civil and environmental engineering. She also has worked as an environmental engineer in the Office of Water for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., participated in tsunami relief in Sri Lanka, and directed project development for a nonprofit organization in La Paz, Mexico. Her research combines tools from multiple disciplines to study the sustainability and child health impacts of water, hygiene, and sanitation interventions in low-income settings. She is also interested in the links between climate change, water access, and infectious disease.

Anthony Romero joins Tufts as a professor of the practice in 3D and Performance at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. He received his B.A. in art history from Texas State University and M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has taught at Temple University, Moore College of Art and Design, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His recent performances include “Broadcast from a serpent-headed spaceship” in Chicago, “Please don’t bury me alive!” in New York, and “6 Collaborations” in Philadelphia. Romero also was an artist-in-residence at Harold Washington College, the Luminary in St. Louis, and Antioch College.

Jivko Sinapov joins Tufts as assistant professor of computer science. He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University, where he developed novel methods for behavioral object exploration and multi-modal perception. He was a clinical assistant professor with the Texas Institute for Discovery, Education, and Science at the University of Texas at Austin and a postdoctoral associate at the Artificial Intelligence Lab there. His research interests include developmental robotics, computational perception, autonomous manipulation, and human-robot interaction.

John Schulz has joined Tufts as a professor of the practice in the print and graphic arts department of the SMFA, where he has been teaching since 1995. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin, did graduate work in drawing and painting at the University of Texas, and received an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. He has exhibited at the Edinburgh College of Art, the Southern Graphics Council International Conference, the Virginia Arts of the Book Center, and the Academie Beeldende Kunsten in Belgium. His most recent lecture focused on a printmaking project for drawing and painting students at Edinburgh College of Art.

David Smyth joins Tufts as assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. He comes to Tufts from the Australian National University, Canberra. He received his M.A.S. in mathematics from Cambridge University and Ph.D. from Harvard. Smyth’s area of research and teaching is in algebraic geometry, with an emphasis on the geometry of moduli spaces of curves, algebraic stacks, and singularities. He has written or co-written articles for the Journal of Algebraic Geometry, Compositio Mathematica, and Inventiones Mathematicae. Recent publications include “Second Flip of the Hassett-Keel Program: Existence of Good Moduli Spaces.” 

Michelle Stransky has joined Tufts as a lecturer in the Department of Community Health. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of New Hampshire. Her work focuses on access to health care and health-care utilization among underserved populations, specifically people with disabilities and complex health issues, across the lifespan. Currently she is examining these outcomes among adults with communication disabilities with a team of scholars from the fields of medicine and speech and language therapy. She has contributed projects funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and published in the Disability and Health Journal, Medical Care, and the Public Health Reports. She also serves on the Academy Health Disability Research Interest Group.

Floor van de Velde has joined Tufts as a professor of the practice in 3D and Performance art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, where she has taught since 2014. She received her B.F.A in sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and her M.S. in art, culture and technology from MIT. Her research interests include sculpture, digital fabrication, sound, video, photography, and graphic design. Her solo exhibitions include Field of Prayers in San Francisco and A Curious Symphony in Boston, as well as group shows in London, Boston, San Francisco, and Athens.

Norah Warchola is a new lecturer in the Department of Biology, where she has been a part-time lecturer since 2016. She received her B.S. in biology and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from Stony Brook University. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research associate at Harvard and at Tufts, studying Fender’s blue butterfly and Bartram’s Scrub-Hairstreak butterfly. A member of the Ecological Society of America, she has published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and the Journal of Insect Conservation.

Taritree Wongjirad has joined Tufts as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He comes to Tufts from MIT, where he was Pappalardo Fellow in Physics. He received his B.S. in physics and B.A. in philosophy from Yale University and his Ph.D. in physics from Duke University.  He is an expert in hardware development of next-generation particle detectors, as well as in the analysis techniques, such as deep learning, required to extract maximal information from them.

WELCOME

Rachel Brown joins the Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) as administrative coordinator, joining others new to TIE. Led by Professor Linda Abriola, former dean of the School of Engineering and now director of TIE and a University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, TIE’s team includes Nitsan Shakked, associate director, and Jill Parlee, assistant director of programs. Brown brings her experience of Tufts’ systems from her previous job at the Fletcher School as well as her environmental knowledge gained from her M.A. from Tufts in urban and environmental policy and planning.

Mary Ann Hunt has joined the Office of Alumni Relations as associate director, responsible for the university’s Travel-Learn program. She takes over a program initiated and cultivated for the past 17 years by Usha Sellers, J56, G57, who will be transitioning to the role of Faculty Liaison for the Travel-Learn Program. Hunt comes to Tufts from a 17-year career at Dartmouth College, where she most recently served in the Office of Lifelong Learning. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Frady Medrano has joined Tufts Dining as a manager for the Commons Marketplace and Hotung Cafe. Most recently he was a general manager at Wendy’s. He holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Salem State University and an associate’s degree in nutritional science and diet technology.

ON THE MOVE

Wayne Altman is now chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the School of Medicine. He has received 17 teaching awards during his 19 years at Tufts, including the Milton and Natalie Zucker Prize for Teaching Innovation, the Special Faculty Recognition Award, the Dean’s Outstanding Mentorship Award, the Outstanding Teaching in the Clinical Sciences Award, and the Dr. Jack Mitus Special Faculty Recognition Award.

Daniel Volchok has been named associate dean at the Sackler School. Volchok joins Tufts from Northeastern University, where he was the dissertation chair of the doctoral research committee and assistant dean of graduate student life and global connections.

KUDOS

Laura Blacklow, lecturer at the SMFA, is working on the fifth edition of New Dimensions in Photo Processes: A Step-by-Step Manual for Alternative Techniques (Focal Press). It will be available in November in book stores, on line, and as an ebook through Taylor & Francis Publishing Co.

Adrian Dannis, V20, is one of three students to win a Compassionate Care Scholarship, sponsored by the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. Emily McCobb, clinical associate professor of anesthesiology and director of the Shelter Medicine Program, says Dannis’ work at the Luke and Lily Lerner Spay Neuter Clinic “has been one example of how she continues to engage with her passion to help shelter animals.”

Julie S Graham, part-time lecturer at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts in painting, will be having a solo show, “Incidental Matters” at the Kingston Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston,  October 4-29.      

Justin Hollander, A96, an associate professor of urban and environmental policy and planning, was elected to serve a two-year term as the Northeast representative on the governing board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the national organization for academic urban planning programs in the U.S.

Richard M. Vogel, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering in the School of Engineering, has been appointed this year’s Arthur Maass-Gilbert White Fellow by the Institute for Water Resources, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Field Operating Activity.

ALUMNI

Anne A. Madden, G14, a postdoctoral research fellow at North Carolina State University, presented “Meet The Microscopic Life In Your Home—And On Your Face” in April at the TED international conference in Vancouver called “The Future You.” Her TED talk has been viewed more than 750,000 times. Madden, a microbial strategist, discovered a new fungus species living inside wasp nests and cataloged the diversity of microscopic and macroscopic life in our homes by investigating the DNA in household dust. More can be found on her website.

Janella Mele, Tufts/SMFA 17, just graduated but is already making a name for herself on the Cambridge art scene. She recently held a solo installation, Reclaimed Voice, at Gallery 263 in Cambridge, where she also conducted an art-making workshop, “Unpack it Later: An Idea Binder Session,” to inspire others to explore art as therapy.  Find out more at her website.