People Notes June 2020


The following faculty and staff faculty from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering marked their retirement from Tufts this spring: Carol Baffi-Dugan, associate dean of undergraduate advising; Harry Bernheim, biology; Steven Chapra, civil and environmental engineering; Jim Dow, SMFA—photography; Mary Glaser, mathematics; Karen Overbey, history of art and architecture; Douglas Preis, electrical and computer engineering; Laura Rogers, education; Rosalind Shaw, anthropology; Linda Tickle-Degnen, occupational therapy; Peter Winn, history; and Jean Wu, studies in race, colonialism, and diaspora.


Jennifer Allen, professor, and Adolfo Cuevas, assistant professor, both in the Department of Community Health, along with Keren Ladin, associate professor, Department of Community Health and Department of Occupational Therapy, are co-authors of a new study titled “Preparing African American Men to Make Informed Prostate Cancer Screening Decisions: Development and Pilot Testing of an Interactive Online Decision Aid.”

Kathleen Fisher, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, has been appointed to the Computing Community Consortium Council by the Computing Research Association, in consultation with the National Science Foundation.

Leila T. Fawaz, the Issam M. Fares Professor of Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts, has been honored by the Harvard Alumni Association with its 2020 Harvard Medal for extraordinary service to her alma mater. She received an A.M. in 1972 and a Ph.D. in 1979 from Harvard, after which she joined the Tufts faculty. In 1994, she became chair of the history department, and from 1996 to 2001, she was the dean of arts and humanities and associate dean of faculty. As a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers from 1996 to 2012—including a term as president—she served on its executive committee, chaired the social sciences committee, and lead the subcommittee on visitation. A former Carnegie Scholar, Fawaz was also a member of visiting committees at Harvard College, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. From 2009 to 2016, Fawaz also was an overseer member of the Harvard Alumni Association Committee to Nominate Overseers and Elected Directors, chairing the committee in 2016. In 2014, the Harvard Arab Alumni Association presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes alumni who have made “distinctive achievements in promoting cultural, scientific, social, economic, or political development in the Arab region.” Born in Sudan to Greek-Orthodox Lebanese parents and raised in Lebanon, Fawaz studied history as an undergraduate at the American University of Beirut. She is the author of, most recently, A Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War, and has also been named a chevalier in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor.

Congratulations to the following faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering who have been recognized for outstanding teaching and research this year.

  • Sergei Mirkin, biology: Faculty Research Awards Committee Distinguished Scholar Award
  • Jason Rife, mechanical engineering: Lillian and Joseph Leibner Award
  • Ron Lasser, electrical and computer engineering: Henry and Madeline Fischer Award
  • Kristen Wendell, mechanical engineering: Henry and Madeline Fischer Award
  • Mitch McVey, biology: Lerman-Neubauer Prize
  • Elizabeth Race, psychology: Recognition of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award.
  • Katrina Moore, Africana Center: Faculty/Staff Multicultural Service Award
  • Mary Glaser, mathematics: A&S Seymour Simches Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising

Richard M. Vogel, professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the world’s largest engineering professional society. Vogel has made significant contributions to stochastic hydrology and its novel applications.    

Timothy A. Wise, G05, senior research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), is joining the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy as a senior advisor on issues related to the securing the future of food. Wise will build on four years leading Small Planet Institute’s Land and Food Rights Program to focus on climate change, Africa’s food future, Mexico under NAFTA, agricultural subsidies, and factory farming. He continues an agenda put forth by his 2019 book, Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food. 


Madina Agénor, Gerald R. Gill Assistant Professor of Race, Culture, and Society in the Department of Community Health, has published a new piece in the American Journal of Public Health titled “Future Directions for Incorporating Intersectionality into Quantitative Population Health.”

Alex Blanchette, assistant professor of anthropology, has published Porkopolis: American Animality, Standardized Life, and the Factory Farm (Duke University). Blanchette explores how the daily lives of residents of a Midwestern town that is home to a massive pork complex were reorganized around the life and death cycles of pigs, while presenting the factory farm as a way to detail and frame contemporary American industrial capitalism. 

Andrew Kemp, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, is co-author of a new article with the results of a collaborative study titled “Estimating global mean sea-level rise and its uncertainties by 2100 and 2300 from an expert survey” in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Science

Richard Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, has published an article in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence along with colleagues from the Pontifical Academy for Life. The article, “Contributions for the Catholic Church to Ethical Reflections in the Digital Era” focuses on work associated with a major initiative of Pope Francis that strives to ensure that digital technology and innovation is applied ethically and in service of the greater good. 

Alecia McGregor, assistant professor in the Department of Community Health, has co-authored a new article titled “Changes in community mental health services availability and suicide mortality in the US: A retrospective study” along with colleagues from the University of South Carolina and Yale University.


Environmental reporters Rosanna Xia, A11, and Terry Castleman, E16, of the Los Angeles Times, were named Pulitzer Prize finalists for explanatory reporting that brought attention to coastal erosion in California; their innovative approach included an interactive online game “The Sea is Rising.” Xia, who holds a degree in quantitative economics from Tufts, is recognized for her explanatory reporting on issues related to climate change, including on sea level rise on the California coast. Castleman, who graduated with degrees in economics and engineering, develops news applications at the Los Angeles Times. He previously worked at the New York Times.