People Notes

People Notes February 2017


Elizabeth Berman has joined Tisch Library as assistant director for research and instruction. She brings to Tufts 10 years of experience at the University of Vermont’s Bailey/Howe Library. She earned a B.A. in anthropology and an M.A. in library and information science at the University of Wisconsin, and an M.S. in food systems at the University of Vermont.

Alvin “Al” Hulbert has joined Tufts Public Safety as a police officer stationed on the Grafton campus. A graduate of the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council Municipal Police Academy, he comes to the university from the Grafton Police Department, where he was a patrol officer.

Kristen Lee has joined Tisch Library as librarian for research data. Lee, who first trained as a geologist, was most recently science and engineering librarian at the University of Saskatchewan; prior to that she was at Yale University.  

While the search for the next Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) at Tufts is underway, Robin Glover, an associate dean of public health and professional degree programs at the School of Medicine, will serve as interim diversity officer for the Boston and Grafton campuses. Ellen Pinderhughes, a professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, will serve as interim CDO for the Medford/Somerville campus.



James Fujimoto, an adjunct professor of ophthalmology at the School of Medicine and the Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, was among a team of researchers to receive the National Academy of Engineering’s Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize for work in optical coherence tomography. The award committee noted that the research demonstrated “creative engineering to invent imaging technology essential for preventing blindness and treating vascular and other diseases.” Fujimoto shares the $500,000 Russ Prize with Eric Swanson of MIT, Adolf F. Fercher and Christoph K. Hitzenberger of the Medical University of Vienna, and David Huang of the Casey Eye Institute.

Robert J.K. Jacob, a professor of computer science in the School of Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery for his contributions to the field of human-computer interaction.

Rich Jankowsky, an associate professor of ethnomusicology in the School of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a national Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for his work on music and religion. He will use the fellowship to complete his book Ambien Sufism: Devotional Plurality and Music as Everyday Mysticism in North Africa. Based on field research in Tunisia, the book explores the centrality of music in the devotional and healing ceremonies of women, Tunisians of sub-Saharan descent, the Jewish community, and Sufis. His first book, Stambeli: Music, Trance and Alterity in Tunisia (University of Chicago, 2010), received awards from academic societies in anthropology, ethnomusicology and North African studies. 

Jessica Knapp, an assistant professor of family medicine at the School of Medicine and director of sports medicine at the Tufts Family Medicine Residency program at the Cambridge Health Alliance, has received a Young Investigator Award from the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. The award will support her research into issues of body image, disordered eating and self-esteem among female high school and college athletes, and will allow her to continue research started as part of her sports medicine fellowship at the University of Connecticut.

Christina Maranci, the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara T. Oztemel Associate Chair in Armenian Art, was awarded the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research’s Dr. Sona Aronian Book Prize for Excellence in Armenian Studies for her monograph Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia (Brepols, 2015). 

Joe Rencic, an associate professor at the School of Medicine, has been awarded the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine Louis N. Pangaro, M.D., Educational Program Development Award in recognition of his work advancing educational program development in clinical reasoning.

Aimee Shen, an assistant professor of molecular biology and microbiology at the School of Medicine, was one of 102 scientists and researchers nationally to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology. Shen’s lab focuses on developmental processes of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that is the world’s leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and gastroenteritis-associated death.  

Tom Vandervelde, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was elected chair of the Optics for Energy Technical Group of the Optical Society of America (OSA). Founded in 1916, the OSA is the leading professional association in optics and photonics.



Jeff Ashe, a research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), traveled to Nepal during the last two weeks of January to revisit some of the savings groups he studied in 2000. He examined how these groups have fared on their own in the face of a Maoist takeover of the region, the collapse of the Nepali government, the 2015 earthquake, and border problems with India.

Neva Goodwin, co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), was referenced by the Italian news outlet Lindro in an article titled “Rex Tillerson, a Secretary of State against the Establishment” on Dec. 23. The article refers to Goodwin’s assertion that the renewable energy industry is a safer economic investment than the fossil fuel industry.

Julie Nelson, a senior research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), traveled to Europe in January to participate in a series of events. On Jan. 12, she led a talk in Brussels on “Economics as If People Mattered.” On Jan. 17, she was at Cambridge University for an event sponsored by the Cambridge Society for Economic Pluralism and the Cambridge Economics Women’s Network. On Jan. 19 and 20, Nelson was in Berlin for the Symposium on Economics, Sustainability and Care that was sponsored by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation.

Timothy A. Wise, G05, a senior research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), was quoted in a New York Times article, “Mexicans are the Nafta Winners? It’s News to Them,” on Jan. 4: “Mexico is seeing exactly the same phenomenon as in the United States. . . . Workers have declining bargaining power on both sides of the border,” he said.



Shawn E. Klein, A95, a lecturer in philosophy at Arizona State University and blogger at, edited Defining Sport: Conceptions and Borderlines (Lexington Books). The book is the first in the Lexington Books series, also edited by Klein, called Studies in the Philosophy of Sport

Tania Anderson Lewis, J89, a political officer with the Department of State, is now assigned to the U.S. embassy in Mauritania after two years in Brussels.