People Notes

People Notes January 2020


Ronee Saroff joins Tufts this month as editorial director/executive editor overseeing the editorial team within the Communication and Marketing content group. Previously Saroff led digital content strategy at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and earlier was a content editor at Digitas. She began her career as an assistant editor at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida. She earned her bachelor’s in English from Barnard College.


Natasha Kumar Warikoo this month joins the Department of Sociology as an associate professor. Her most recent book is The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities (University of Chicago Press). She holds a master’s in education and a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard, where she was an associate professor of education in the Graduate School of Education. She is also an in-demand speaker on topics including affirmative action, diversity, race, and ethnicity in education, and immigrant issues.

Keren Ladin has been promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Department of Occupational Therapy, where she teaches courses in health policy, research methods, public health ethics, health disparities, and medical ethics. She received her Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard University and her master’s degree in population and international health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Charles Mace has been promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Department of Chemistry, where his research group applies a multidisciplinary approach to study the properties of interfaces, develop new materials, and solve outstanding problems in global health, work that is also affiliated with the Laboratory for Living Devices. He holds a master’s and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

Jill VanTongeren is a new visiting associate professor in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, where she will teach courses on mineralogy and petrology (the study of igneous and metamorphic rocks). She earned a master’s and Ph.D. from Columbia University and her field work has taken her around the world, from South Africa’s Bushveld Complex and the Dufek Intrusion of Antarctica to the Oman ophiolite (preserved oceanic crust).


Michael Beckley, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, has been recognized by Foreign Affairs magazine, where his article “The United States Should Fear a Faltering China,” was named one of its best pieces of 2019.

John Casey, A80, one of the most respected and successful college baseball coaches in the nation during thirty-seven years as head coach at Tufts, was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame on January 3 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. (Read more about the honor.)

Adam Chin, a vitreoretinal surgery fellow at Tufts Medical Center, recently participated in Alcon’s 2nd Annual Retina Fellows Institute, a competitive program offering mentorship and hands-on education to advance careers in the field of retina surgery.

Maya Erdelyi, a lecturer in animation at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, is one of five to receive the City of Boston’s 2019 Artist Fellowship Award. The award recognizes outstanding artistic work and includes a $10,000 unrestricted grant.

Kerri Greenidge, a lecturer in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, track director of the American Studies program, and co-director of the African American Trail Project, has had her book Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter (Liveright, 2019) named by the New York Times as a top book of 2019. The book recounts the life of William Monroe Trotter, who co-founded and edited the Boston-based black weekly newspaper The Guardian in the early twentieth century.


The Fletcher School’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) was well represented at the recent UN Climate Change Conference in (COP25) in Madrid. Rishikesh Bhandary, a graduate student and CIERP fellow, along with UN strategic advisor Cassie Flynn, released a guidebook, Designing Fit-for-Purpose National Climate Funds. Kelly Sims Gallagher, F00, F03, a professor of energy and environmental policy and co-director of CIERP, with fellows Bhandary and Fang Zhang, released Climate Finance Policy in Practice: A Review of the Evidence. Bhandary and Zhang also organized an event, “Tackling Barriers to Scale Up Renewables,” and served on panels about national climate funds and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in Africa’s least developed countries. Climate expert Bill Moomaw, emeritus professor of international environmental policy and founding director of CIERP, was among leading climate scientists to participate in a “message to governments”—#UniteBehindTheScience—hosted by youth climate activists Greta Thunberg and Luisa Neubauer.

Kelly Sims Gallagher, in other activities, attended the International Energy Agency’s energy technology perspectives workshop on accelerating clean energy technology innovation in Paris, and gave a presentation on how to bring clean energy technology to the market. She also chaired a discussion on ways to accelerate clean energy technology innovation.

Daniel McCusker, a senior lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, participated in Works & Process at the Guggenheim: Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration in November at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Mieke van der Wansem, associate director for educational programs at CIERP, was head of faculty for the negotiation skills for achieving sustainable use and conservation of ecosystems training, a five-day training program organized for professionals working on nature conservation in Africa and Latin America. It is run by the Sustainability Challenge Foundation of the Netherlands, which has trained more than 1,400 participants from around ninety-eight countries around the world. In other news, van der Wansem and Rishikesh Bhandary published a CIERP policy brief titled “Implementing Paris Pledges: Highlights from African LDCs.”


Alexandra Fognani, A19, has been awarded the 2020 Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship, which will provide funding for her master’s degree in public policy and a job in the U.S. Foreign Service. Fognani was praised for being “passionately committed to transforming and uplifting underrepresented communities through public service.” Her experiences included gender-based political research at the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and addressing Massachusetts constituents’ housing, education, and immigration concerns at the state office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).

Cynthia Smith, V99, was recently named a 2019 Red Bull Hero for her pioneering ocean conservation work, particularly her commitment to protecting endangered dolphins, whales, and other marine mammals. Executive director of the National Marine Mammal Foundation, Smith was highlighted for her work as a driving force behind the historic effort to save the vaquita porpoise from extinction through the VaquitaCPR project. The groundbreaking marine conservation effort is featured in the National Geographic documentary Sea of Shadows. Referred to as “the Jane Goodall of the marine world,” Smith appeared with Goodall at the Los Angeles premiere of Sea of Shadows.