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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News: November 2009
CAS Alumni Honored at Alumni Weekend

Arts & Sciences honored four of its graduates at a Distinguished Alumni Awards Reception on October 23, part of Boston University’s Alumni Weekend. The award winners were Captain Shoshana S. Chatfield (CAS’88), Colonel Christopher C. Henes (DGE’70, CAS’73), Larry Nichter (CGS’71, CAS’73, MED’78), and Wayne J. Positan (CAS’70).

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CAS Mock Mediation Team Wins Second Place in Nationals

The CAS Mock Mediation Team placed second in the National Collegiate Mediation Tournament in Chicago, October 26-27, marking the eighth straight year since the team was formed in 2001 that a CAS team has reached the national finals.

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Howard Zinn Teams with Hollywood Stars on History Channel Film

BU Professor Emeritus Howard Zinn visited the Tsai Performance Center on November 5 to promote his new film, The People Speak, a documentary based on his magnum opus A People’s History of the United States.

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Symposium Honors Gender and Sexuality Theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

The BU Humanities Foundation and the College of Arts & Sciences presented the symposium “Honoring Eve: A Symposium Celebrating the Work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick” on October 31.

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New Calendar Provides Key Dates for Chairs and Directors

In an ongoing effort to increase the usefulness of the CAS website, the Dean’s Office has added a calendar specifically for chairs and directors. Located in the right-hand column of the Chairs & Faculty Meetings page and as a shortcut in the dropdown menu for the Faculty and Staff links, the calendar contains meeting dates and deadlines that can be viewed month by month. It also includes a search function. The calendar is updated regularly, so check it often for the latest information.

Chairs' Calendar

Leadership Searches in the CAS Office of the Dean

Following up on the new organizational plan for  CAS administration, Dean Sapiro recently announced the launch of four searches for new associate deans:

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Discoveries Lecture Highlights Threat of Cyber-Terrorism

On November 19, a distinguished group of CAS panelists held court on an emerging security threat: cyber-terrorism. Part of the Discoveries Lecture Series for alumni and the broader university community, the Photonics Center event featured professors Joseph Wippl (International Relations), Arthur Hulnick (International Relations), Leonid Reyzin (Computer Science), and Dr. Robert Popp (CAS’92). The discussion was moderated by Azer Bestavros (Computer Science).

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End-of-Term Reminders for Faculty
As we head into the end of the semester, please take a moment to note the following:

Final exams, whether or not they are cumulative in coverage, must not be administered prior to the final examination period, either during the study period or in one of the regular class meetings near the end of the semester. Respect for the integrity of the study period also dictates that any review sessions scheduled during those two days should be optional and conducted as an alternative to studying alone so that students who are unable to attend are not placed at a disadvantage (e.g., knowing what material will be covered or how the exam will be formatted).

For further information on policies regarding makeup exams and multiple exams on one day, consult the Registrar’s Final Exam Policy.

Because exams end on Monday, December 21, all final grades should be submitted 72 hours later, by Wednesday, December 23. The only grades you may give are letter grades A–F, MG, J, or I. The MG (Missing Grade) is appropriate only when a student never attended class or stopped attending early in the semester.

Incomplete grades should be given only when students have an illness or other personal emergency that justifies “stopping the clock” on a course, to be finished at a later time and under specified conditions, agreed upon by student and professor. Students should not be allowed to resubmit work from earlier in the semester or to sit in on the class again.

The end of the semester is stressful for many students, so please be heedful of signs of distress that require intervention. Resources include:

For help or advice on any issue, please contact Associate Dean Steve Jarvi at 617 353 2401.

Reminder: Procedure for Broadcast E-Mails

We receive many requests to send broadcast e-mails through the CAS Dean’s Office. The BU Office of Information Technology manages all broadcast e-mails. Please follow that office’s procedures.

Bon Voyage and Thank You

Amy Davis, CAS Director of Communications, will be leaving BU early in December. She came to us in the spring of 2008 from George Mason University, and has been responsible for all manner of improvements in CAS’s communications, especially through her work in leading the development of our alumni magazine arts&sciences, the annual report, this newsletter, and through her dedicated efforts as the liaison for development of the new CAS website and refreshed departmental websites. Fare thee well, Amy!


Professor of Computer Science AZER BESTAVROS was awarded the United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award at the November 18 Faculty Assembly.

Assistant Professor of Biology TIM GARDNER recently received a three-year award for $100,000 annually from the Smith Family Awards Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research. The mission of the program is to “launch the careers of outstanding biomedical researchers with the ultimate goal of achieving medical breakthroughs.”

Professor of Biology THOMAS KUNZ was featured in a lengthy article in the November 15 Boston Globe Magazine for his work to find the cause of a mysterious disease that is wiping out North American bat populations. Dubbed “white-nose syndrome,” the disease has killed over 1 million bats in the past three years, and shows no sign of letting up.

Professor of Physics ANTONIO CASTRO NETO, who already serves as divisional associate editor for the Physical Review Letters and colloquium editor for Reviews of Modern Physics, will also be editor for Europhysics Letters as of January 1.

Professor of Physics and Chemistry KEVIN SMITH has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Election to Fellowship in the APS is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership, and it is quite a recognition of outstanding contributions to physics.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Council of Chairs and Directors Meeting
4 p.m., CAS 132

Last Day of Instruction

Study Period

Final Exams


Departmental Events

“Afghan Star” Film Screening and Panel Discussion
On December 1, CAS Director of Women’s Studies and Professor of Anthropology Shahla Haeri and COM Journalism Professor Nick Mills will give a film screening and panel discussion on the film “Afghan Star.” Sponsored by BU Women’s Resource Center and the Health and Human Rights Caucus, the event will take place at 7 p.m. in COM 101. See a trailer for the film.

Chamber Music Society Fall Concert
The CAS Honors program presents the Chamber Music Society Fall Concert in Marsh Chapel on Saturday, December 5, at 1 p.m. Students will be performing works by Bartók, Beethoven, Boccherini, Mozart, Ravel, and Telemann. A reception will follow. For more information, contact the CAS Honors Program, cashonor@bu.edu, 617-353-8330.

AGNI Magazine Launches 70th Issue with Reading, Release Party
On Tuesday, December 8, members of the BU community and the general public are invited to the launch party for AGNI 70, the 70th issue of the nationally acclaimed literary magazine housed at BU. The free event will feature readings from four different authors and will take place at 7 p.m. in the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave. The four authors are Amy Hempel, author of The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel (Scribner); Ravi Shankar, poet and author of the collection Instrumentality; Josh Gidding, author of Failure: An Autobiography; and Holly Pettit, poet and author of For One Who Lives on the Mainland. For further information, contact AGNI Senior Editor William Pierce at agni@bu.edu or (617) 353-7135. Or visit AGNI Online.

Sociology Hosts Seminar with Internationally Renowned Scholars
The Department of Sociology is pleased to announce a new and lively seminar series that will highlight local scholars and also bring prominent visitors to campus. Meeting at noon most Fridays in Room 241 (96 Cummington St.), the series will feature Elizabeth Armstrong of Princeton University on December 4 at noon. She will speak on “The Woman in the Pregnant Body: Metaphor and Image in Obstetrics.” Members of the BU Community are welcome to attend. For more information, visit the Department of Sociology website.

Full calendar Chairs' Calendar

Keep Us in the Loop

Do you have events or activities you want to publicize? Please send them to cascom@bu.edu for inclusion in the e-newsletter.

Keep Students in the Loop

Do you have events or activities you want to publicize specially to students? Please send them to the CAS Weekly Newsletter for students at casevent@bu.edu.

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