The BU Academy presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music on May 23 and 24, at 7 p.m., at SFA Studio 104

Vol. IV No. 33   ·   11 May 2001 


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After 20 years of service to BU, including as director of the University Resource Center since its inception in September 1990 and as assistant dean of students for academic support programs in the Office of the Dean of Students, Leila Saad celebrates at her retirement party last month with W. Norman Johnson, vice president and dean of students. Photo by Fred Sway

On the med school front: BUSM news

Jay Coffman, a clinical specialist in peripheral vascular disease, was recognized for his contributions to the medical profession with the establishment of the Jay and Louise Coffman Professorship in Vascular Medicine.

Coffman is a recognized expert in patient-oriented research into the effects of drugs on vascular disease and has published extensively on Raynaud's disease. He has served Boston University Medical Center for nearly 50 years as a member of its house staff, chief medical resident, head of the section of vascular medicine, and associate chief of the department of medicine. His laboratory has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health for more than 30 years.

"The establishment of the Jay and Louise Coffman Professorship in Vascular Medicine sends a very positive message both near and far," says BUSM Dean Aram Chobanian, provost of the BU Medical Campus. "Jay's many years of valuable contributions as a physician and scientist will have lasting significance to the School of Medicine and its research in vascular disease."

Richard Cohen, BUSM professor of medicine, physiology, and pharmacology and experimental therapeutics and head of the vascular biology unit of the department of medicine, has been named the first incumbent of the Jay and Louise Coffman Professorship in Vascular Medicine.

Cohen, a former clinician scientist and established investigator of the American Heart Association, is known for his research on the role of the endothelium in vascular function and the influence upon its function of disease, most notably diabetes. Recently, Cohen's laboratory has investigated the regulation of calcium levels and ion channels and transporters in vascular smooth muscle by the vasodilator nitric oxide, and the interference in the normal actions of nitric oxide in diseased blood vessels by oxygen-derived free radicals.

Mark S. Klempner was recently appointed assistant provost for research at the BU Medical Campus, vice chair for research in the department of medicine at Boston Medical Center, and the Conrad Wesselhoeft Professor of Medicine at BUSM. Klempner will be responsible for developing collaborative research themes and programs across the Medical Campus and closer scientific program relationships with BU's Charles River Campus.

Klempner is an internationally recognized authority on infectious diseases whose research focus is on Lyme disease and on new high-technology methods to identify microorganisms found during space travel. He is the author of more than 250 articles and has received numerous national and international awards for his research. Klempner maintains a clinical practice in both general internal medicine and infectious diseases.

Chemical education discussed at BU

Ten members of the Jungchemikerforum (Young Chemists Group) of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (German Chemical Society) and accompanying faculty mentors visited BU for an International Chemical Education Program from April 27 through May 4. The purpose of the visit was to encourage scientific and personal contacts between young chemists in New England and Germany. The German chemists participated in several events at BU, which were organized by Morton Hoffman, a CAS professor of chemistry and chair-elect of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS), and Amy Tapper (GRS'02), a doctoral student in chemistry and chair of the Younger Chemists Committee of the NESACS.

WBUR wins top national honors for news

The Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) recently awarded WBUR-FM Boston six of seven Edward R. Murrow Awards for outstanding achievement in electronic journalism in large markets in New England.

The Murrow Awards were presented to WBUR in the following categories: continuing coverage ("Big Dig"), feature reporting ("Boswell Sisters"), news series ("Marshall School Series"), sports reporting ("Quiet May"), investigative reporting ("MCI Shirley Prison"), and Web site ( WBUR also captured four regional awards from the Associated Press: enterprise ("The Marshall School Series"), short-form newscast ("Morning Edition"), use of sound ("Chinese New Year"), and news/talk ("Big Dig").

WBUR reporter Jason Beaubien's series on the Marshall School won a total of four awards, including two national honors.

Chelsea High School student awarded in Science Fair

Almir Velagic, a student at Chelsea High School, won third place in the Massachusetts Region IV Science Fair. Velagic's was one of nine projects entered from Chelsea High School and one of two to place in the top 10 out of 200 projects exhibited. He advances to this month's Massachusetts State Science Fair and was chosen as an alternate from Region IV to represent Massachusetts in the International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif. Velagic was awarded a four-year, full-tuition merit scholarship to BU, which is reserved for the strongest applicants from Chelsea High School.

Velagic began work in September 2000 on his project, entitled The Magical World of Fiber Optics: Optimization of Optical Fiber Tip Size and Angle for Coupling Light. He carried out his research under the guidance of graduate student Jen Dobson (ENG'04) in the BU Photonics Center laboratory of Bennett Goldberg, CAS professor of physics, and M. Selim Unlu, ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Farid Hussaini from Chelsea High School received the 10th-place award for his project on the mixing behaviors of granular objects. Hussaini has also been accepted to BU.

Breakers home debut fills Nickerson Field

The Women's United Soccer Association's Boston Breakers kicked off the season with a matchup with the Atlanta Beat at BU's Nickerson field on May 5. The Breakers lost 1-0 before a home field crowd of 11,714.

EPA's Whitman visits DeWolfe Boathouse

  At the Charles River: EPA Administrator Christy Todd Whitman (right) greets Robert Durand, secretary of environmental affairs for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, at the DeWolfe Boathouse on April 28. In the background are Robert Zimmerman, executive director of the Charles River Watershed Association, and Gina McCarthy, assistant secretary for pollution prevention, environmental business, and technology in the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Photo by Albert L'Etoile

EPA Administrator Christy Todd Whitman met at the DeWolfe Boathouse on Saturday, April 28, with members of academic, citizen, and government groups concerned with the environmental health of the Charles River. Representatives from the cities of Cambridge and Boston, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, MIT, Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, and the Charles River Watershed Association, among others, were on hand. During the meeting, Whitman, former Republican governor of New Jersey, said, "The EPA has the ability to address issues [about river cleanups] through enforcement but feels that a collegial approach can be more effective." Thanks to changes in attitudes about environmental issues, Whitman added, she feels "work on cleaning up the Charles River can serve as a national model for the effectiveness of a partnership approach to environmental river cleanups."

SFA Alum Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley get their day

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino proclaimed April 20 Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley Day in appreciation of their support of Boston's budding actors. Lane (SFA'73), a New York City producer, playwright, and director, and his wife, actress Bonnie Comley, recently made a $100,000 endowment gift to the School for the Arts to permanently name and support BU's Senior Actors Showcase in New York City. This is the first endowment the School for the Arts has received for the 20-year-old showcase, which is comprised of monologues, scenes, and songs designed to feature the commercial potential of students in the School for the Arts theatre arts division. Showcase venues were added in Boston in 1998 and in Los Angeles in 1999.


Stewart Lane (SFA'73) and his wife, stage actress Bonnie Comley, display Mayor Thomas Menino's proclamation of April 20 as Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley Day. Photo by Vernon Doucette


For most students in the theatre arts division, the Senior Actors Showcase is their first chance to perform before professionals in the entertainment industry. The showcase fills a crucial gap between the conservatory-style educational environment at SFA and the professional entertainment industry.

"It is imperative for anyone who wants to have a career on stage to have access to New York," says Lane. "I am very happy to fund this showcase. It is so important for seniors to become known to casting directors, theatrical agents, and producers in America's theatrical hub."

Lane has been involved in all aspects of the theater for almost 30 years. If It Was Easy, a show he cowrote, directed, and produced, debuted in July 2000 at the 7 Stages Theatre in Atlanta and was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Award. Lane has won two Tony Awards and produced several off-Broadway shows. Comley has appeared in a number of theater productions, recently starring in If It Was Easy.

Bookworms extraordinaire

  Winners of the 2001 Lawrence G. Blackmon Student Book Collecting Contest are (front row, from left): Sean Morris (CAS'01), Carolyn Leahy (CAS'02), Sharon Hussong (LAW'02), Cecily Dyer (CAS'03), and Nick Montfort (GRS'02). Judges are (back row, from left): Lawrence Thornton Shields, a collector and bibliophile, Katherine Kominis, assistant director of rare books at Special Collections, and Craig Klafter, an assistant to President Westling, bibliophile, and historian. Photo by Steven Black

Winners of the 2001 Lawrence G. Blackmon Student Book Collecting Contest were announced on May 2 at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Libraries of Boston University. First prize of $500 went to Nick Montfort (GRS'02) for a new media collection, second prize of $400 to Sharon Hussong (LAW'02) for a collection of works by and about Sylvia Plath, third prize of $250 to Cecily Dyer (CAS'03) for a collection of Cummington Press books, and fourth prize of $100 to Sean Morris (CAS'01) for a collection of books by and about Immanuel Kant. The emerging collectors prize of $200 was awarded to Carolyn Leahy (CAS'02) for a collection on medieval and modern Catholic women's spirituality, and an essay prize of $200 was won by Nick Montfort for his essay entitled Searching the Web's Past: The Importance of Early Online Records for New Media History.

Since 1967, the Friends of the Libraries has sponsored a book collecting contest open to all BU students in the undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. It was devised to stimulate students "to pursue the gratifying and exhilarating experience of creating a collection of books" and has been endowed by Lawrence G. Blackmon, a bibliophile and private collector, who is president and CEO of Microdot, Inc. Blackmon avidly collects rare books, specializing in 18th-century literature.


11 May 2001
Boston University
Office of University Relations