People Notes March 2021


Erin Coughlin de Perez has been appointed associate professor and inaugural recipient of the Dignitas Professorship at the Friedman School Nutrition Science and Policy, as announced by the Feinstein International Center. Previously manager of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, she will retain a part-time role as a senior advisor with the Centre.

Richard Shultz, director of the International Security Studies Program at The Fletcher School, was recently named the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies.

Joel Trachtman, professor of international law and executive director of the LL.M. program at The Fletcher School, has been appointed the Henry J. Braker Professor of Law.


Tama Leventhal, professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, is quoted in a New York Times article “How to Move In With Your Parents (and, Eventually, Move Out).” She offers the reminder that “thinking about the future beyond the virus is good for everyone’s health and the family’s well-being.” Leventhal and Eliot-Pearson doctoral program alumna Elizabeth Shuey published a chapter titled “Neighborhood Experiences of Immigrant Families with Young children in the United States,” in Conceptual and Methodological Approaches to Navigating Immigrant Ecologies.

Christine McWayne, professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Sunah Hyun, AG19, and doctoral candidate Lok-Wah Li published a paper in the Early Childhood Education Journal titled “Incorporating Emic Perspectives in Defining Social Competence: Validation of parental assessment of peer play interactions at home for low-income Chinese-heritage children.

Professors of Political Science Deborah Schildkraut, Jeffrey Berry, and James Glaser, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, have published two co-authored articles. Their piece “Charge and Retreat: Asymmetric Patterns of Political Engagement among Liberals and Conservatives” is a chapter of the book Dynamics of American Democracy: Partisan Polarization, Political Competition, and Government Performance (University Press of Kansas, 2020). Their article “Education and the Curious Case of Conservative Compromise,” which examines the relationship between the level of education and the amount of support for political compromise was published in the Political Research Quarterly.


Brittni Foster, A21, a double major in Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations, has been awarded a 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship following a competitive nationwide selection process. Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University, the Rangel Fellowship supports exceptional individuals who want to pursue careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. The fellowship will support Foster pursuing a master’s degree and will provide professional development opportunities including internships, mentorship, and skills training. She hopes to focus her graduate studies on international law, development, and energy. As part of the Rangel Fellowship, Foster will also intern with a Member of Congress on issues related to international affairs in summer 2021. In summer 2022, she will intern with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas to get hands-on experience working in the Foreign Service. 

Mimi Kao, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, has co-authored a paper titled “Variable but not random: temporal pattern coding in a songbird brain area necessary for song modification” in the Journal of Neurophysiology. Kao was recently featured on the journal’s podcast to discuss the article and her research.

Keith Maddox, associate professor of psychology and director of the Social Cognition Lab, has been named a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APD). APS fellows are “part of a distinguished group of peers whose work has influenced the field of psychological science in important and lasting ways,” according to the APS.

Myisha Majumder, E21, has been named one of “10 New Faces of 2021” (collegiate edition) by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Criteria for the honor include demonstrated leadership in student organizations, as well as community service, communication skills, academic excellence, and involvement in the engineering industry. A double major in civil engineering and quantitative economics, Majumder has particular interest in the intersection of the environment, equity, and energy. She has worked at the Applied Economics Clinic as a communications assistant and research assistant and her extracurricular activities include serving as editor of the Tufts Observer and an executive board member for the student-run think tank SYNS, organized through Tisch College of Civic Life. 

Ayanna Thomas, professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Psychology, has been inducted into the Memory Disorders Research Society. She was also recently included on Cell Mentor’s list of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists in America.

Natasha Warikoo, a professor in the Department of Sociology, has published an article in the American Journal of Sociology titled “Addressing Emotional Health while Protecting Status: Asian American and White Parents in Suburban America.”

Adriana Zavala, an associate professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora, has been named a Phi Beta Kappa 2021-2022 Visiting Scholar.


Meg Guliford, F19, has been recognized as a 2021 INSA Achievement Award honoree, a program run by the Intelligence National Security Alliance to recognize  new leaders in intelligence and national security. In winning the Sidney D. Drell Academic Award, Guildford was lauded for her service as a defense analyst for the U.S. government and for her research, which investigates how external intervention impacts the victimization of civilians in civil wars, worked that earned her a multi-year fellowship at Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Mary Morris, J69, is the guest of Tisch Library this month when she presents a virtual conversation on March 24 at 3 p.m.; register here. Author of novels, story collections, and several acclaimed memoirs, including All the Way to the Tigers, Morris, recently interviewed for Tufts Now’s Bookish series, will share her insights on writing.

Manan Shah, A07, has used his medical degree as a springboard to found a customized allergy startup, Wyndly, now receiving Y Combinator support. Wyndly patients are shipped prescription drops that train their immune system to ignore allergy triggers, like pollen, freeing them from chronic antihistamine use.