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Boston University Arts & Sciences
CAS News April 22, 2014
The Clothesline Project: the BU community was invited to decorate t-shirts to raise awareness about violence against women, at an annual event hosted by the BU Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center on March 26. Samantha Baum (CAS’14) was among the participants. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
Adil Najam Named Dean of Pardee School of Global Studies
The new Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies took a major step forward last week with the appointment of Adil Najam as inaugural dean. The School, whose core mission is the improvement of the human condition around the globe, will open in the fall. Najam, professor of international relations and earth and environment, is a well-known expert in international diplomacy and development. He was director of BU’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future from 2007 through 2011. The Pardee dean will report to the dean of Arts & Sciences, and the Pardee School will be housed within CAS/GRS. Read more.
CAS Study Shows Milder Winters Will Harm Ecosystems
A new study by CAS Associate Professor of Biology Pamela Templer shows that milder winters can have a negative impact both on trees and on the water quality of nearby aquatic ecosystems, far into the warm growing season.

In a paper in the journal Global Change Biology, Templer and her coauthors show that soil freezing due to diminishing snowpack damages the roots of sugar maple trees and limits their ability to absorb essential nitrogen and other nutrients in the spring. This leads to greater runoff of nitrogen into groundwater and nearby streams, which could deteriorate water quality and trigger widespread harmful consequences to humans and the environment. Read more.
How CAS Stacks Up: Three Disciplines Ranked in the World’s Top 50
After reviewing 90,000 survey responses, 11,000 programs in 30 individual subjects, and 200 top universities around the world, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranked three CAS programs in the world’s top 50 of their kind. The results were published in the 2014 QS World University Rankings® by Subject Report. The Department of Economics received the same ranking as last year at 47th, the Department of Philosophy climbed from 40th to 31st, and the Departments of Physics and Astronomy rose to 41st (up from 51–100). The annual QS rankings are based on a program’s academic reputation, student employability after graduation, and research citations. Read more.
Ten CAS Faculty Promoted to Professor
Thirteen Charles River Campus faculty members were promoted to the rank of professor this year, ten of them from CAS. Congratulations and well done to: Bruce Anderson, Department of Earth & Environment; John Byers, Department of Computer Science; Julian Go, Department of Sociology; Glen Hall, Department of Mathematics & Statistics; Deborah Kelemen, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences; George Kollios, Department of Computer Science; Maurice Lee, Department of English; Christopher Martin, Department of English; Jianjun Miao, Department of Economics; and Michele Rucci, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Read more.
First Annual BRAIN Day Spreads Awareness of Neuroscience to Boston Schoolchildren
In the past two years alone, brain research has taken some big steps forward. Neuroscientists have determined new methods to deliver drugs through the blood-brain barrier to treat brain tumors and neurological diseases, found new ways to combat the progression of Alzheimer’s, and revealed the timing of expression of “autism susceptibility genes.” These advances will improve the well-being of millions of people. Paul Lipton, director of the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience, wanted to bring greater awareness of the benefits of this research to BU and to schoolchildren in the Boston area, and did so by participating in Brain Awareness Week.

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign led by the Dana Foundation that aims to increase public support and awareness of brain research. To celebrate, the CAS Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience and the Mind and Brain Society (MBS) organized BU’s first Bringing Recognition and Interest to Neuroscience Day, or BRAIN Day. Read more.
Teachable Moments in Gator Country
Over the course of a weeklong trip, students in CAS’s first herpetology class traveled to more than six ecological sites in the mid-to-south Florida area—all the way down to the Everglades—looking for specimens and observing them in their natural habitat. They were met in fields and swamps by working biologists who shared their research, and they spent sultry afternoons swimming in a lake formed by a sinkhole and sticky evenings searching for frogs. By trip’s end, the group had seen adult and baby alligators, American crocodiles, Southern black racer snakes, green anoles, banded water snakes, green tree frogs, several species of birds, and manatees. Not only did CAS students learn about the species in the classroom, they received firsthand field experience that helped them truly understand ecology and animals. Read more.
Celebrating 60 Years of African Studies
The African Studies Center concluded its celebrations of its 60th anniversary (1953–2013) by hosting an alumni banquet and a symposium on March 21–22. The theme of the events questioned, appropriately, the role of African studies in the twenty-first century. The Friday banquet featured a keynote by James Pritchett, director of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University and past director of BU’s center. Pritchett was affiliated with the African Studies Center and Department of Anthropology at BU for nearly 20 years, directing the center from 2004 to 2008. He spoke eloquently, cautioning the audience not to limit their appreciation of the history of African studies to the last 60 years (the Cold War era), but to include the Post-Reconstruction efforts of historically black college and university faculties and American-trained African theologians, among others.

Among those in attendance were two of the first African Studies Center faculty members, Adelaide Cromwell and Norman Bennett, as well as a number of alumni and former faculty and staff of the center, ranging from the 1950s to 2010s. The Saturday symposium brought together six distinguished alumni and current core faculty members in two panels to explore the value and accuracy of the current shibboleth of many economists, “Africa rising.”
Dr. Paul Lipton Appointed as Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
This past winter, CAS launched a University-wide search for the next director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), which helps facilitate participation by BU undergraduates in faculty-mentored research. Dr. Paul Lipton, director of the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience at CAS, was selected to head UROP, effective August 2014. Read more.
BU Faculty Council Nominations Due April 23
The BU Faculty Council is seeking CAS faculty nominations and self-nominations to stand in the upcoming election for the CAS representatives and alternates to the council. The Faculty Council has representatives from each school and college who serve for a term of two years, or until their successors are installed, and are involved in formulating University policies. The council meets monthly from September through May, on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Members are expected to attend these meetings and convey the views of colleagues in their schools or colleges. In order to nominate a faculty member, please send your nomination to CAS’s current continuing Faculty Council representatives, Walter D. Hopp (hopp@bu.edu), Gisela Hoecherl-Alden (galden@bu.edu), and Leonid A. Levin (lnd@bu.edu), by April 23, 2014. All CAS departments are required to nominate at least one of their members.
Professor Emeritus Standish C. Hartman Dies at 83 (1931–2014)
Stan Hartman, professor of chemistry emeritus, passed away on March 24, 2014, from pancreatic cancer. A well-respected and well-liked faculty member, Hartman was instrumental in the development of the Department of Chemistry, enabling many of the programmatic structures currently in place at the interface of chemistry and biology.

“Stan was universally loved and respected in the Department of Chemistry, particularly for his calm, thoughtful wisdom that always defined his influence on department matters at all levels,” said Lawrence Zeigler, professor of chemistry. “He really touched us all."

Hartman joined the BU faculty in 1968 as an associate professor of chemistry, and retired in 2005. Read more.
Professor Emeritus Robert B. Seidman Dies at 94 (1920–2014)
Bob Seidman, professor of law and political science emeritus, passed away on April 3, 2014, at his home in Milton. He earned a BA at Harvard University and an LLB at Columbia University School of Law, and served as professor of law and political science at BU from 1972 to 2013. Over the course of his career, he also taught at the University of Wisconsin Law School, as well as law schools in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Beijing. With his wife Ann Seidman, an economist, he taught short courses in law and development and legislative drafting around the world, from Bhutan to South Africa, and contributed to constitutional drafting in Namibia, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In recent years, he and his wife led a project at the Law School on drafting democratic legislation for African legislatures. His presence will be greatly missed.
more news
Lectures & Events
On Memory and Democracy: Skeletons in the Turkish Closet
Legacy of the Cold War: Perspectives on Security, Cooperation, and Conflict
Higher Education and Innovation in Emerging Economies: From Local Development to Global Engagement
European Voices: A Reading and Conversation with Spanish Author Andrés Neuman
American Visual Culture in Context: A Symposium in Honor of Professor Patricia Hills
Faculty/Grad Student Luncheon with a Lecture by Thomas Meyer
Annual Pardee Distinguished Lecture: Rosina Bierbaum
Geddes Japanese Movie Series: Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)
View Calendar
Faculty Meetings & Deadlines
Search Priorities Due from Departments Doing Faculty Recruiting
Search Priorities Due from Interdisciplinary Programs Doing Faculty Recruitment
BU Faculty Council Nominations Due
Full-Time Reappointment or Non-Reappointment Papers
Search Priorities List Circulated
Humanities CCD Meeting
Tenure & Promotion: Websites, Hardcopy Materials Due
CAS CCD Meeting
Course List Deadline: 2014/2015 Bulletin
CAS Faculty Meeting
chairs/faculty calendar
Faculty Meetings
Faculty News and Notes

Ethan Baxter, an associate professor in the Department of Earth & Environment, was a guest editor of the December 2013 issue of Elements magazine, an international magazine on mineralogy, geochemistry, and petrology, on the topic of garnet. Professor Baxter also cowrote the introductory article, “Garnet: Common Mineral, Uncommonly Useful,” which discusses the many ways garnet is useful in geoscientific inquiry.

Professor of Sociology Julian Go was awarded the 2013 Francesco Guiccardini Prize for the Best Book in Historical International Relations by the International Studies Association for his book, Patterns of Empire: The British and American Empires, 1688 to the Present. The Francesco Guiccardini Prize is awarded annually to those books that conduct careful historical analysis while producing significant insights into ongoing concerns in international studies. Patterns of Empire is a timely book that uses a comparative study of the American and British empires to argue against notions of American exceptionalism.

In the United States, we now take our ability to pay with plastic for granted. Yet, building credit card markets requires solutions to difficult puzzles. In countries without a history of economic stability, how can banks learn to select reliable cardholders? How do markets convince people to pay with cards and make card acceptance appealing to retailers? Alya Guseva, associate professor of sociology, tells the story of how banks overcame these and other quandaries as they constructed markets for credit cards in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, China, and Vietnam in the two decades following the fall of Communism in her new book, Plastic Money: Constructing Markets for Credit Cards in Eight Postcommunist Countries. Read more.

The Digital Learning Initiative (DLI) awarded its first grants to fund BU faculty-led innovation in focused strategic areas. The EdTech grant helps fulfill faculty’s visions for nontraditional education methods that expand academic flexibility for University students, leverage assets unique to BU, and support or extend BU’s global signature. Gisela Hoecherl-Alden, CAS professor of the practice of German and assistant dean and director of language instruction, will head one of the three projects that received EdTech funding. Her goal is to reimagine how languages can be taught online by identifying software that facilitates oral and written instruction in a virtual classroom, allowing more students from around Boston—and the world—to access the University’s language courses. Read more.

Gene Jarrett, professor of English and African American studies and chair of the Department of English, received a fellowship for full professors from the American Council of Learned Societies. The ACLS Fellowship is granted to professors in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences with the goal of developing a major piece of scholarly work, allowing them to devote 6 to 12 continuous months to full-time research and writing. Professor Jarrett will complete writing a definitive biography of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906), the first African American author born after slavery to gain international recognition. He will also conduct research and writing about the early stages of Dunbar’s professional career in the 1890s. He will take this fellowship in the fall, between the completion of his term as chair of the Department of English and the beginning of his term as associate dean of the faculty for the humanities at CAS in January 2015.

How much does the size of an animal’s nervous system constrain cognitive ability? Probably less than generally assumed, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow Mario Muscedere and Professor of Biology James Traniello. Their paper, a comparative study of brain structure in social insects, will be featured in an upcoming edition of the scholarly journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In it they make the argument that even species with very small brains can evolve neural substrates necessary to support complex behaviors.

Pierre Perron, a professor of economics and the department’s director of graduate studies, received an honorary doctorate from Peru’s Pontificia Universidad Católica. The award was “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of economics in the international academic community.” Perron is considered to be a world leader in econometrics. He specializes in theoretical and empirical analysis of time series, structural change, nonstationarity, and financial econometrics.

In his meticulous notes on the natural history of Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau records the first open flowers of highbush blueberry on May 11, 1853. If he were to look for the first blueberry flowers in Concord today, mid-May would be too late. The climate around Thoreau’s beloved Walden Pond is changing, with visible ecological consequences. In CAS Professor of Biology Richard Primack’s new book, Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods, he uses Thoreau and Walden, icons for the conservation movement, to track the effects of a warming climate on Concord’s plants and animals. Read more.

this month's accolades
Staff News

Joel Sparks, laboratory manager in CAS’s Department of Earth & Environment, is one of three BU staff members who won the 2014 John S. Perkins Award for Distinguished Service. “The Perkins” is awarded annually to those non-faculty members of the University community who serve BU with great distinction. The Perkins Awards will be presented at a special ceremony and reception in the Trustee Ballroom, One Silber Way, 9th Floor, on Tuesday, May 6, at 5 p.m.

Student News

Coup d’Etat, BU’s newest student literary journal, released its inaugural issue this past January and features poetry and prose from 22 writers from across the nation. Fully run by undergraduate students who are part of the Boston University Literary Society, Coup is “committed to fostering literary talent that is unusual, unexpected, and exceptional.” Submissions are accepted nationally, and the journal also offers weekly Writer’s Workshops for BU students to bring their creative writing for discussion and critique. New issues will be published every winter and summer and will be available both in print and online.

In an effort to educate budding scientists in policymaking and advocacy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science held their first ever Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) program this spring. Benjamin Carr, a biology PhD student, traveled to Washington, DC, from March 31 to April 2, with fellow BU student Jason Keller, who is earning his PhD in Biomedical Engineering, for the CASE training and Capitol Hill events. During CASE, elected students from science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines learned about the structure and organization of Congress, the federal budget and appropriations process, and tools for effective science communication. Carr and Keller, along with two peers from MIT, also met with the Massachusetts Congressional offices.

“Music in human culture is a great mystery,” says Kameron Clayton, an undergrad majoring in both music and neuroscience. “It elicits deep emotions, it has the power to change one’s moods. After traumatic head injuries or a stroke, people can learn how to sing before learning to speak.” Clayton’s passion for science and love of music sparked his idea to organize a symposium on the subject, the 2014 Boston University Music and Brain Symposium, held on March 28, 2014. The event showcased the growing research on music and its interaction with the brain, and where the science is headed. Three of the world’s leading neuroscientists spoke at the event. Read more.

A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story, a memoir written by creative writing graduate student Qais Akbar Omar, has received rave reviews from the largest newspapers across the country, was featured as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month, and was even endorsed by Oprah, who said, “If you read only one book this summer, make it this one.” Now, a year after its publishing, Omar has found his book on the nonfiction “must-read” list for the Massachusetts Book Awards (meaning, of course, that he was also nominated). The MA Book Awards highlight the work of the state’s contemporary writing community that will “bring writers and readers together in libraries for meaningful conversation.” Read more.

Keep us in the loop
Let us know about news or upcoming events. Announcements about upcoming events, new faculty book publications, and news items can also be submitted online. If you prefer, you can send news items to cascom@bu.edu, or call Jeremy Schwab at 617-358-1056. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the Student Programs Office.

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Associate Director of Development & Alumni Relations Jeffrey Murphy at 617-353-5881.

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