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Impact x2 Qais

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Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Dean Announces 2013 Templeton Advising Awards

Earlier this month, Dean Sapiro announced the three winners of the 2013 Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising. Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Earth and Environment Paul Hall; Professor of Economics Randy Ellis; and Assistant Professor of Psychology Amanda Turullo. These faculty members received strong praise from their advisees for their advice, encouragement, and willingness to go above and beyond to make themselves available to students.

Paul Hall
Paul Hall is an Assistant Professor in Earth and Environment. Paul’s nominators spoke passionately about his commitment to teaching and advising. They mentioned his enthusiasm for field and his ability to impart that enthusiasm to his students through in the classroom and in the field. One student in particular captured the spirit of Paul’s nominations when he said that, “As a direct result of dialogue with Professor Hall I felt compelled to declare (a major) in Geophysics and Planetary Sciences. His willingness and ability to engage students was central to helping me realize how I could contribute to the field and how the field could satisfy my intense academic curiosity.”

Randy Ellis
Randy Ellis is a Professor of Economics. Randy’s nominators mentioned his willingness to be a mentor as well as an advisor. One student in particular raved about Randy’s’ help with her career planning. He encouraged her to apply to certain positions, put her in touch with former students and colleagues at potential employers and even helped her sort though job offers. She said, “Professor Ellis’s encouragement that I join him in attending Boston Health Seminars, his enthusiasm for Economics and Healthcare, and his career advice has been the best part of my four years here at BU. It is to Professor Ellis’s credit that I am comfortable graduating in a few weeks and starting the next chapter of my life.”

Amanda Turullo
Amanda Turullo is an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Her recommenders praised her desire to make her students be “the best that they can be” while managing to be both encouraging and critical. They mentioned that she was patient and generous with her time despite the demands on her time as an assistant professor with a young family. One of her recommenders expressed this in a way that only a student could do: “She was never too busy to assist either myself or her other advisees, even while getting her own research project up and running, teaching, and raising a two year old with another one on the way. With all of this going on, I would have expected any normal human being to be irritable and unpleasant… But she is not a normal human being. She is extraordinary… I feel so lucky—no, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have her as a mentor… She is everything a professor, advisor, and mentor should be.”