People Notes

People Notes June 2018


Tom O’Conner has joined Tufts Dining as manager of staffing and training, coming from Boston College. He started out in food services working at his family-owned catering business and went on to graduate from Johnson & Wales University. His career spans private club management at the Carnegie Abbey Club, the University Club of Boston, and the Philadelphia Cricket Club. He also holds a graduate certificate in human resources from Boston College Woods College of Advancing Studies and an M.B.A. from the Boston College Carroll School of Management.

Courtney Rodland has joined the Office of Communications and Marketing as an email production manager. Most recently, in addition to being a project assistant at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she was membership and communications coordinator at Club Passim in Cambridge.


Georgia Koumoundouros has been promoted to director of development in the Fletcher School Office of Development and Alumni Relations, where she has worked for seven years. Before coming to Fletcher, she was associate director of Individual Giving at Anatolia College’s U.S. office.

Thanks and best wishes were extended in May to Arts, Sciences and Engineering (AS&E) faculty who are retiring. They are: Gloria Ascher, International Literary and Cultural Studies; Anselm Blumer, Computer Science; David Harder, Psychology; Fran Jacobs, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning and Child Study and Human Development; Kenneth Lang, Physics and Astronomy; and Jeanne Penvenne, History.


Jennifer Allen, professor and chair of community health, has been invited to serve on the U.S. Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee.

Seven engineering students calling themselves the Anonymous Elephants placed second out of fifteen teams that took part this spring in an embedded capture-the-flag competition (e-CTF) sponsored by Mitre, the Bedford, Massachusetts, based organization that operates federally funded research and development centers. The team, which was second only to Virginia Tech’s Hokie Hackers, was advised by Ming Chow, E02, E04, senior lecturer in computer science, and Mark Hempstead, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, reported the Tufts Daily.

Dan Carr, professor of public health and community medicine and professor of anesthesiology and medicine at the School of Medicine, recently was appointed one of only eight honorary members of the International Association for the Study of Pain. He is the founding director of the Tufts Program on Pain Research, Education and Policy, the first and only multidisciplinary postgraduate pain curriculum of its kind in the U.S.

Alain Chaoui, clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the School of Medicine, has been named the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. He is president of Peabody-based Congenial Healthcare, a private practice group on the North Shore.   

Sebastian Coates, E20, a sophomore studying computer science at the School of Engineering, recently won the Code Suisse Challenge, a hackathon hosted by Credit Suisse. He shared the prize with a student from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Fifteen sophomores from universities across the United States participated in the May hackathon in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Adolfo Cuevas, an assistant professor of community health, has been selected as one of the National Minority Quality Forum’s 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health. Cuevas was recently interviewed on NPR discussing Afro-Latino health as part of a piece about reality TV show star and singer Amara La Negra. He also published an opinion piece in the Huffington Post entitled “It’s Time We Stop Ignoring Afro-Latino Health Disparities in the U.S.

Scott Gilbert, a professor at the University School of Medicine and fellowship director for Tufts Medical Center’s Division of Nephrology, was honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society as with the Grant V. Rodkey Award for outstanding contributions to medical education and medical students. Gilbert was nominated by medical students, who praised his “willingness to engage and excite.”

Jeff Hopwood, a professor in electrical and computer engineering, has been named a fellow of the AVS, a society advancing the science and technology of materials, interfaces, and technology, for his seminal contributions to the understanding, development, and applications of microplasmas.

Elena Naumova, a professor and chair of the Division of Nutrition Data Science at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by Novosibirsk State Technical University in Russia, where she received her master’s and doctoral degrees in statistics and applied math. The award is given to distinguished leaders for outstanding contributions to the development of scientific, educational, and cultural collaborations with Russian and foreign partners.

Kurt Ralkse, a professor of the practice at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, organized “Art, Race, and Politics in America,” presented at the Granoff Music Center on April 5. It included a musical performance by well-known free jazz musicians Daniel Carter, William Parker, and Matthew Shipp. Ralske went on to produce, mix, and write the liner notes for a recording of the event that is now available on AUM Fidelity as Seraphic Light [Live at Tufts University]. The CD won rave reviews, most recently from the New York Times and the blog, The Free Jazz Collective, which called it “one of the best albums of the year, if not one of the best free jazz albums ever.”

Rajesh K. Reddy, A12, M19, a third-year joint medical/public health degree candidate at the School of Medicine, won a $1,000 award for Massachusetts Medical Society’s 2018 Annual Medical Student History Essay Contest. His paper “Little City Halls: Columbia Point and the Community Health Center Movement in Boston” focused on the pioneering work of H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, who established the nation’s first community health center at Columbia Point in 1965.

Kristen Bethke Wendell, the McDonnell Family Professor in Engineering Education and an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been included by the American Society for Engineering Education on their “20 Under 40 Young Pacesetters” list for her work in engineering education. The feature was published in Prism, the organization’s monthly magazine. Chris Rogers, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, calls Wendell “one of the visionaries” in her field, and cites her work as the catalyst for changes in thinking and curriculum development in the department.


Jeff Ashe, a research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), traveled to the Dominican Republic in May to research a breakthrough approach to cash transfer programs. He also presented a talk at Brandeis University as part of its Critical Agrarian Transformation Working Group Lecture Series.

Ann-Marie Codur, a research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), and Josephine Watson, A18, published the GDAE climate policy brief  “Climate smart or regenerative agriculture? Defining climate policies based on soil health” [PDF].

Barbara Kates-Garnick, Kevin Knobloch, Stefan Koester David Foster, and Coralie Harmache, all affiliated with the Fletcher School’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, share key insights that can help shape clean energy policy in their recent report “Clean Energy Policy and Expanding Markets: Insights from Corporate, Labor and Investor Leaders” [PDF]. Based on interviews with fifty-three economic leaders across the U.S., the authors discuss what’s needed to drive a transition to a low-carbon economy and spur company growth, profits, job creation, shareholder value, and investor returns.

William Moomaw, co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), appeared in several major news outlets in May. He published op-eds in The New York Times and The Conversation; the op-ed featured in The Conversation was reprinted by SalonIdaho Press Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle. He was also quoted in both Mashable and The Wire.

Julie Nelson, a senior research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), was chosen to receive the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the University of Massachusetts Boston.


Amy Spitalnick, A08, press secretary at Office of the New York State Attorney General, is included in a Cosmopolitan magazine article on Barbara Underwood, New York’s first female attorney general, called “Meet the Women Taking Over for Eric Schneiderman.”