2008/2009 Annual Report
Around the College
A sampling of other noteworthy achievements in Arts & Sciences during the year.
The African Studies Center revitalized the African Language Program, with a new institutional partnership with the Université Gaston Berger de St. Louis in Senegal and the introduction of Ajami Arabic script in Wolof, Pulaar, and Hausa classes.
The Anthropology Department continued to build the biological anthropology program into one with nationally important strengths. Toward this goal, it made two important appointments—Matthew Cartmill and Cheryl Knott—which gave it senior leadership, excellent teaching, and an inflow of grants. The department conducted a successful search for another junior biological anthropologist, Jeremy DeSilva. Cheryl Knott was able to reopen her orangutan research station in Borneo. As worked out with Dean Sapiro and Provost Campbell over the last few years, the department continues to build the program up to five lines from the current three. An early sign of success is that enrollments in biological anthropology were 24% higher than in 2007–08.
The BU Marine Program continued to expand academic partnerships with three leading New England marine research institutions: the New England Aquarium, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA), and the Sea Education Association. This included the successful development of two new courses in the fall 2008 Marine Semester that were co-taught with the Sea Education Association: ES 545 (Tropical Oceanography of the Caribbean Sea) and ES 546 (Tropical Oceanography of the Caribbean Sea: Applications and Research).
The BU Mock Mediation Team had the top overall score out of 32 teams at the American Mock Trial Association’s annual National Mediation Tournament in November. Mentored by CAS Assistant Dean for Pre-Law Advising Edward Stern, BU team members also placed second and fourth in Final Round Advocacy and third in Final Round Mediation.
The Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations launched an intensive Arabic study abroad program in Morocco for undergraduate students. Launched in the spring 2009 semester, the program was an immediate success. Fifteen students (the target number) were sent to Rabat where students experienced home stays with local Moroccan families and had the opportunity to go on guided cultural excursions while taking courses. Interested students take 8 credits of intensive Arabic study (both Fus’ha and Darija) and two, 4-credit elective courses.
The Women’s Studies Program created the Boston University Faculty Network for Women’s Studies, Gender, and Sexuality by reaching out to all faculty on the Charles River and Medical Campuses who have research and teaching interests in women’s studies, including work on gender and/or sexuality. More than 150 BU faculty members joined the network, and more than 50 attended the network’s inaugural “meet and greet” in December. With the success of this Faculty Network, a Graduate Student Network on Women’s Studies, Gender, and Sexuality was formed. The first gathering was held in April 2009.