People Notes April 2017


Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty committee appointments were announced on March 29. The committees and faculty elections are: Budget and Priorities Social Sciences Representative: Ann Easterbrooks, Child Study and Human Development; Budget and Priorities Math and Natural Sciences Representatives: Hugo Beauchemin, Physics and Astronomy, and Kelly McLaughlin, Biology. Committee on Committees: Lenore Cowen, Computer Science, and Matthew Panzer, Chemical and Biological Engineering. Executive: Harry Bernheim, Biology; Vida Johnson, International Literary and Cultural Studies; and David Proctor, History. Faculty Advisory Board: Jeanne Penvenne, History. Grievance Panel: Sarah Pinto, Anthropology; Peter Probst, Art and Art History; and George Smith, Philosophy. Tenure and Promotion: Yannis Ioannides, Economics, Kim Ruane, Mathematics; and Hosea Hirata, International Literary and Cultural Studies.


Lindsay Hammes has joined the Fletcher School’s Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing as a public relations and communications specialist. Hammes previously worked at the marketing agency Fleishman-Hillard in Brussels. Most recently, she was on a senior management team for a political campaign in Maine. A graduate of Stonehill College, she earned a master’s from the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Kevin Knobloch, former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Energy and a former president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, has joined the Fletcher School’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy as a senior research associate. As a member of the Climate Policy Lab, he will develop and lead an initiative on the private sector’s role in energy innovation.


Jackie Dejean has been named assistant dean of research for the School of Arts and Sciences. Since joining Tufts in 2007, Dejean has assumed increasing responsibility for supporting research efforts, first as a research administrator and most recently as director of research affairs. 

Marielena Gamboa-Ruiz, D14, assistant director of predoctoral endodontics at the School of Dental Medicine, has been named director of the program.

Bruce Panilaitis, E01, senior research administrator for the School of Engineering, has been named director of the Science and Engineering Complex, set to open this summer on the Medford/Somerville campus. Panilaitis previously was coordinator for the Tufts Tissue Engineering Resource Center and a research assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Jessica Sharkness, senior associate director of the Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation, has been appointed director. Sharkness, who has been at Tufts for six years, received a Ph.D. in higher education and organizational studies from UCLA, where she also earned a master’s in social research methodology. Sharkness succeeds Dawn Geronimo Terkla, an associate provost who now oversees projects that directly affect students.

Barbara Stein, director of capital programs, has been named interim vice president of operations, taking over a role filled by Linda Snyder, who is leaving Tufts this summer. Stein joined Tufts in 2013, bringing experience as a senior project manager at the Massachusetts State College Building Authority, as a senior project manager at Harvard, and as a consultant to Dartmouth College and other institutions.


Pilar Alcaide, an associate professor of integrative physiology and pathobiology at the School of Medicine, has received the Cotran Early Career Investigator Award from the Society of Investigative Pathology. The award supports pioneering work in immunology.

Jennifer Burton, a professor of the practice in the Department of Drama and Dance, has been in the news with the launch of her documentary Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens (Five Sisters Productions), which shares the stories of eight performers in the thriving drag scene in Columbus, Ohio.

John Coffin, the American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology at the School of Medicine, has received the National Cancer Institute’s Outstanding Investigator Award, which provides funding of up to $600,000 annually for seven years. Coffin’s research seeks a better understanding of the interaction of retroviruses with host cells and organisms. 

Sarah Crain, V17, a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical sciences at Cummings School, has been appointed to the Education and Research Committee of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 

Daniel Dennett, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and University Professor, will give the commencement address at Trinity College on May 21. The co-director of Tufts’ Center for Cognitive Studies, Dennett is the author of bestselling books, including Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. He was featured recently in the New Yorker article “Daniel Dennett’s Science of the Soul.”

Boris Hasselblatt, professor of mathematics, and Michael Shapiro, a visiting scholar in the mathematics department, along with Ebenezer Tolman, an anesthesia technician at Tufts Medical Center, were finalists in the second annual Boston Scientific Connected Patient Challenge, which supports innovations that meet health-care challenges. The Tufts entry, one of six finalists out of 46 submissions from around the world, uses analyses of electrocardiogram signals to support clinical diagnosis by mapping the rhythm of the heartbeat.

Bonnie An Henderson, a clinical professor at the School of Medicine and an internationally recognized expert in cataract and refractive surgery, has been named president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Henderson, a partner at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, has published five textbooks on cataract and refractive surgery. 

James Kenealy, a clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at the MetroWest Medical Center, a teaching affiliate of Tufts School of Medicine, is the recipient of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Special Award for Excellence in Medical Service.  

Michael Levin, A92, the Vannevar Bush Professor of Biology and director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts, has been named an associate faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. Levin, who is also director of the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, and David Kaplan, the Stern Family Professor of Engineering and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, were included in a chapter on regenerative medicine in The Body Builder: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human, by Adam Piore (HarperCollins, 2017).

Rachel Madenjian, V17, and Kristy Meadows, V18, have been awarded scholarships from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and Merck Animal Health. They were among 20 students selected from a pool of 1,100 applicants based on academic excellence, involvement in university and non-university related activities, and leadership. Nine other veterinary students at Cummings School—Justina Bartling, Cindy Cesar, Alexandria Hicks-Nelson, Melissa Icaza, Colin McCrory, Makoto Sakamoto, Krystle Schultz, Kenneth Siu and Jacqueline Webb—were selected to receive scholarships awarded by Zoetis and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. They were among 315 students selected from a pool of more than 1,700 applications.

Ethan Murrow, a professor of the practice at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, won the Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Artist Prize from the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. The prize recognizes the work of emerging artists who are changing perceptions about contemporary art. Morrow creates large-scale drawings with photorealistic details.

Beatrice Lorge Rogers, a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Carole Ann Palmer, G69, a professor at the School of Dental Medicine, are the recipients of scientific achievement awards from the American Society for Nutrition. Rogers received a Kellogg International Prize in Nutrition Lectureship, supported by Kellogg Company, and Palmer received the Roland L. Weinsier Award for Excellence in Medical or Dental Nutrition Education, supported by the Dannon Institute. They will be recognized at the society’s scientific sessions at Experimental Biology April 22-26 in Chicago.

Allen Rutberg, a research assistant professor of biomedical sciences at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, received funding from the Humane Society of the United States to support his work on developing contraception for wild deer and horses.

Anthony Schlaff, a professor of public health and community medicine and director of Public Health Programs at the School of Medicine, has received the Duncan Clark Award from the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. The honor recognizes lifetime achievement in teaching, research and advocacy in public health and preventive medicine.  

Richard Vogel, professor emeritus and research professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been named an Arthur Maass-Gilbert White Fellow by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Vogel, credited with substantial contributions that have advanced hydrology, water resource engineering, and natural hazards and environmental statistics, is a former director of Tufts’ interdisciplinary program in Water: Systems, Science and Society.

Pamela Yelick, G89, a professor of oral pathology at the School of Dental Medicine, has received the Distinguished Scientist Isaac Schour Memorial Award from the International Association for Dental Research in recognition of her contributions to oral health research.


Hellen Amuguni, assistant professor, and Diafuka Saila-Ngita, research assistant professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at Cummings School, traveled to Kampala, Uganda, in February to participate in regional training on the One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Resource Toolkit, training that strengthens preparedness and response to infectious diseases.

Neva Goodwin, co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), wrote “Meaningful Work: A Radical Proposal,” which was featured on the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s digital platforms on International Women’s Day on March 8. The piece reflects on the relevance of Goodwin’s recent paper “Core Support for the New Economy” [PDF], addressing issues such as income insecurity and gender inequality and published in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies.

Justin B. Hollander, A96, an associate professor of urban and environmental policy and planning, and Andrew Wiley, G15; Cara Foster-Karim, G15; and Dibyendu Das, E15, co-authored the recently published Urban Social Listening (Palgrave MacMillan), an analysis of new software tools and social media data that can be used to explore the attitudes of urban dwellers. The topic has received media coverage, including by WHYY Newsworks in Philadelphia and the Guardian. Hollander’s op-ed “Can Ben Carson Use the Power of HUD to Make America Happier?” for The Conversation was picked up by the Boston Business Journal, and other outlets.

Shafiqul Islam, professor of civil and environmental engineering, has co-edited the book Water Diplomacy in Action: Contingent Approaches to Managing Complex Water Problems (Anthem Environment and Sustainability).

William Moomaw, co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), was highlighted in the AlterNet article, “Why the Climate Crisis Won’t Be Solved Without a Massive Increase in Forest Protection,” about the release of a new report, “The Great American Stand: U.S. Forests and the Climate Emergency” [PDF], which Moomaw co-authored with Dogwood Alliance’s executive director, Danna Smith. The report calls for prioritizing increased forest protection in the fight against climate change. On Feb. 24, Moomaw was quoted in the Mashable article “Europe’s Enthusiasm for Bioenergy Risks Climate Goals.”

Lindsay Philips, a lecturer in Cummings School’s Department of Environmental and Population Health, and Sawkat Anwer, professor and associate dean of biomedical sciences at the school, recently visited Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Bangladesh, where they gave presentations on pregnancy diagnosis. Anwer also spoke at Dhaka University and visited the Food and Agriculture Organization to discuss a proposal to help implement an accreditation system in Bangladeshi veterinary schools.


Sung Choi, F08, M08, has received the Resident International Anesthesia Scholarship awarded by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Global Humanitarian Outreach. It allows him to spend a month in a CURE Hospital in Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi or Kenya or a Global Health Observatory-affiliated site in Rwanda or Guyana. 

Evelyn Farkas, F95, F99, will receive an honorary degree from Franklin & Marshall College, her alma mater. The former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, she is now a national security analyst for the NBC/MSNBC news network. 

Hilary Wheeler, V98, was named Veterinarian of the Year at the Petplan Veterinary Awards gala in February in Orlando, Florida. Wheeler runs a private practice, Whole Pet Vet Hospital & Wellness Center, in Los Gatos, California, where her integrated holistic approach to pet health includes acupuncture and chiropractic care.