The recent recipient of a 2012 Sloan Research Fellowship for outstanding achievement in ocean sciences, earth scientist Robinson “Wally” Fulweiler studies the tidal flats on the northern Massachusetts coast.
Boston University recognizes the College of Arts & Sciences as the heart of this great institution, and the heart of CAS is its faculty. As of this year—five years into a ten-year time frame for increasing the CAS faculty by 100 positions—the College has reached the halfway point in achieving that goal with a net gain of more than 50 new faculty positions. This year alone, CAS recruited 28 new, full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members across 21 different departments as diverse as Romance Studies, Chemistry, and International Relations.
We are especially proud of how quickly our newest cohort of faculty members, the assistant professors, has demonstrated their superb research and teaching skills by earning national and international recognition and support. Notable among these accomplishments are the following:
- Johannes Schmieder, assistant professor of economics, was named a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. Schmieder was also appointed to a Peter Paul Professional Development Professorship, a University program identifying and supporting the top BU scholars who have been on the faculty no more than two years.
- Margaret Beck, assistant professor of mathematics; Tulika Bose, assistant professor of physics; and Robinson “Wally” Fulweiler, assistant professor of earth & environment and biology, all received Sloan Research Fellowships. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded these two-year, $50,000 fellowships to just 126 researchers nationally in recognition of distinguished performance and their unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Fulweiler is the first scholar to receive this award for oceanography.
- Pamela Templer, assistant professor of biology, and Lucy Hutyra, assistant professor of earth & environment, received prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Awards for their work on winter climate change and the carbon metabolism of urban environments, respectively. These are the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of early career development, and they are intended to “build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education.”
- Brooke Blower, assistant professor of history, won the Chinard Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies for her first book, Becoming Americans in Paris: Transatlantic Politics and Culture Between the World Wars (Oxford University Press, 2011). Arianne Chernock, also an assistant professor of history, won the John Ben Snow Foundation Prize of the North American Conference on British Studies. She was recognized for Men and the Making of Modern British Feminism (Stanford University Press, 2010), her first book, which was judged the best book by a North American scholar in any field of British Studies dealing with the period from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century. (This prize usually goes to more senior authors.)
Senior faculty members in the College of Arts & Sciences have been keeping up their side in terms of honors and awards as well. Examples of scholastic excellence include the following:
- The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded prestigious Guggenheim fellowships to James Winn, the William Fairfield Warren Professor of English, and James McCann, professor of history. Winn will use his fellowship to complete a study of politics and culture in the life and reign of Queen Anne. McCann’s fellowship will allow him to write a book on malaria, an infectious disease like no other, that will “reset our understanding of this deadly disease in human, narrative terms that display a full grasp of human ecology with the science of landscape change and the dynamics of a vector-borne infectious disease.”
- Two CAS historians won important prizes for their work. Associate Professor James H. Johnson won the American Historical Association’s George L. Mosse Award for the year’s outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since the Renaissance. Johnson won the award for Venice Incognito: Masks in the Serene Republic (University of California Press, 2011). Associate Professor of History Jonathan Zatlin won the German Exchange Service (DAAD) Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German and European Studies in the field of economics.
- Many CAS senior science faculty members were chosen for positions reserved only for leaders of their respective fields. Professor of Astronomy Dan Clemens was elected to chair the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. Nancy Kopell, William Fairfield Warren Professor of Mathematics, was elected an honorary member of the London Mathematical Society. Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Eric Kolaczyk was inducted as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Robert L. Devaney, Feld Family Professor of Teaching Excellence and professor of mathematics & statistics, was elected president of the Mathematical Association of America. The U.S. Department of the Interior and NASA presented the 2011 William T. Pecora award to Professor of Earth & Environment Alan H. Strahler for his outstanding achievements in remote sensing. Professor of Psychology Michael Hasselmo became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Professor of Computer Science Mark Crovella was named an IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Fellow.
Annual Report 2011/12
- From the Dean
Thanks to the commitment of CAS faculty and staff, great strides were made during academic year 2011/12 toward achieving the College’s fundamental strategic goals.
- New Structures for Organizing Discovery and Education
Three new programmatic developments have been introduced to leverage the special strengths of the research and educational expertise of the CAS faculty.
- Strengthening the Quality of the Faculty
The College reaches the halfway point in its goal to increase the faculty by 100 new positions, while the latest cohort of faculty members continues to demonstrate superb research and teaching skills.
- Strengthening the Quality of Undergraduate Education
This year, the College focused on making sure CAS undergraduates had the best possible start to their academic careers through the First-Year Experience (FYE).
- Strengthening the Quality of Graduate Education
Work conducted this year to change the structure of funding for PhD programs will have a major impact on the future of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
- Strengthening Our Research and Scholarship
Thanks to strong support from the University and public and private sponsors, BU researchers continue to break new ground—literally and figuratively—at the frontiers of knowledge.
- Finances and Development
In academic year 2011/12, the College of Arts & Sciences effectively managed its fiscal resources to attract and retain the best undergraduate and graduate students, recruit outstanding academics, and support its research initiatives.
- The Class of 2012
After encouraging words from Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences confers more than 2,000 hard-earned diplomas to this year’s graduates.