People Notes August 2017


Megan Amundson, AG04, has joined Arts and Sciences advancement team as an associate director. She comes to Tufts from Women’s Action for New Directions, where she was executive director. She earned a master’s in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts in 2004.

Jabaree Dunham-Carson has joined the Office of Alumni Relations as the assistant director for West Coast regional chapters. He comes to Tufts from SUNY Binghamton, where he worked on graduate program marketing. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, he earned a master’s in communication at the University of Hartford.

Wendy King has joined University Advancement as the new associate director supporting the Friedman School of Nutrition and Science Policy. Previously she was associate director at YouthBuild USA and director of development at North Shore Community College Office of Institutional Advancement at.


Alan Balsam, N88, adjunct associate professor at the Tufts School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health, has been appointed by Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to a new 25-member Cannabis Advisory Board. Balsam was director of Public Health and Human Services in Brookline for 21 years, where he was instrumental in overseeing the creation of a medical cannabis dispensary. He earned a Ph.D. from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in 1988.

Korri Lampedusa, E21, of Miami, and Grant Gebetsberger, A21, of Tulsa, are incoming first-year undergraduates selected as Presidential Scholars. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes outstanding high school seniors from across the country for their academic and artistic achievements. 

Federica Pierro, EG16, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, this summer received the Donna Jung Scholarship Award at the Cryogenic Engineering Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. The graduate scholarship supports “increased interest and participation in fields of cryogenic studies.”

Kareem Roustom, a lecturer in the Department of Music and an Emmy-nominated composer, in July had his symphonic work “Rama” performed at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.  The 12-minute piece, referring to a meter of classical Arabic poetry, was premiered in 2014 by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an Arab-Israeli youth ensemble.  

Richard M. Vogel, research professor and professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). AGU fellows are recognized for their scientific eminence in earth and space sciences.    

Benjamin Wolfe, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, and his research team recently received a grant from the Department of Agriculture. The funds support a project to investigate how plant-herbivore-microbe interactions shape the diversity of cabbage microbiomes. The team will also take a traveling microbiome discovery center to 10 farmers’ markets; their exhibits will highlight kimchi and sauerkraut, edible microbial ecosystems that millions of Americans eat every day. Research and public education are key goals of the Wolfe lab, affiliated with the Tufts University Sensory and Science Center

Ideas and Travel

Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean at the Fletcher School, authored an op-ed for July 16 in The Conversation titled “Is America’s Digital Leadership on the Wane?” The piece reflects findings from his research, conducted with Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi, that investigates the consequences of an “increasingly digital global society.” Their report, Digital Planet 2017: How Competitiveness and Trust in Digital Economies Vary Across the World, asserts that “the U.S. is on the brink of losing its long-held global advantage in digital innovation.” Read more at the Fletcher website.

Kanchan Ganda, J00P, M04P, professor in comprehensive care at the School of Dental Medicine, and Colette Catalino, D99, assistant professor and practice coordinator in comprehensive care, spoke recently with STAT News about their work at Tufts to reach out to domestic violence survivors. Read more here.

Melissa Orkin, program director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, and Stephanie Gottwald, program manager, recently presenting testimony at the Massachusetts State House in favor of legislation that will potentially provide support to families and educators impacted by dyslexia. Their testimony draws on decades of research conducted in part in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development.