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Boston University Arts & Sciences
CAS News May 9, 2014
Commencement is Almost Here
BU Commencement is fast approaching, and it’s time to honor our graduating students for their hard work and perseverance in pursuit of their degrees! CAS Class Day, where we recognize and honor our undergraduates who have earned special honors and distinctions, will take place on Friday, May 16, at 2 p.m. in the George Sherman Union’s Metcalf Hall. The GRS Doctoral Hooding Ceremony is Friday, May 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the GSU Metcalf Hall. For a full list of departmental convocations, visit the Commencement ceremonies page and click on College & Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. The All-University Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 18, at 1 p.m. at Nickerson Field.
Author Ha Jin Opens Up About His Life and Work
CAS Creative Writing Professor Ha Jin didn’t plan on being a fiction writer. He moved to the United States from China in 1985 to study American Literature. He always intended to return to China and didn’t give a writing career much thought. However, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre forced a change of plans. Since then, he has become a successful contemporary poet, novelist, and short story writer whose work has earned him the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Hemingway Prize, and, most recently, an invitation to join the prestigious Academy of Arts and Letters.

In a recent interview with CAS News, the decorated poet discussed how his experiences during the Cultural Revolution in China and his subsequent years in the United States have influenced his work and career. Read more.
Biology Alum Teams with Former Mentor Finzi on Pathbreaking Climate Change Research
Colin Averill has been blazing trails in climate research since his time at BU. As a CAS Biology student, he researched nitrogen composition in soil through BU’s UROP initiative. Now earning a PhD through UT Austin’s Ecology Evolution and Behavior program, Averill is conducting research that could revolutionize our understanding of climate change, and maybe even help us fight it. Read more.
Physics Faculty Win Inaugural Gitner Award
Department of Physics faculty members Andrew Duffy, Manher Jariwala, Bennett Goldberg, and Pankaj Mehta received the first annual Gerald and Deanne Gitner Family Innovation in Teaching with Technology Award. The Gitner Award recognizes the BU faculty member or team that best exemplifies innovation in teaching by use, development, or adaptation of technology that results in positive learning outcomes for undergrads and is recognized or adopted by colleagues within or outside BU.

The physics team developed a program, Transforming Physics Teaching and Learning Through Technology, that employs a set of interwoven, evidence-based technologies that enhance student learning in large introductory physics courses. The program creates an environment in which students learn physics supported by technology, space, classmates, and the instructors, graduate students, and undergrads that make up the instructional team. The fabric technologies draw students into material, peer discussions, hands-on discovery, and high-engagement classrooms.
Professor of Astronomy Dan Clemens recently took his class to visit the Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona. BU helped fund the telescope, guaranteeing students and faculty observing time at this world-class facility.
Harlem Blast Makes a Sad Prophet of BU Researcher
A gas leak (and subsequent explosion) in March that left at least seven dead and dozens injured in Harlem has given Nathan Phillips’ research a tragically prophetic hue. For years, the College of Arts & Sciences professor of earth & environment has crisscrossed the road grids of major American cities, documenting thousands of leaks in the country’s aging gas lines (3,300 in Boston alone). Read more.
PEN/Hemingway Finalist Honored
Anthony Wallace plugged away for ten years at what became the title story of his first published short story collection, The Old Priest. After a string of rejections, it was published online in 2011 by Keith Botsford, a College of Communication professor emeritus and former Bostonia editor who founded the literary magazine Republic of Letters with the late Saul Bellow (Hon.’04). It then won, in swift succession, a Pushcart Prize and the Drue Heinz Literature Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press, the collection’s publisher. Once out of the gate the book drew critical praise, and Wallace, a senior lecturer in the CAS Writing Program, was named one of three 2014 finalists for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Read more.
BU Center for the Humanities Announces Winners of Graduate Dissertation Fellowships
Four outstanding graduate students from the BU Center for the Humanities were recently awarded the first-ever Graduate Dissertation Fellowships for the 2014/15 academic year. The recipients include Dustin Dixon, Department of Classical Studies; Erin Salius, Department of English; Melissa Schoenberger, Department of English; and Kristen Stern, Department of Romance Studies. Each will hold their fellowships for one semester—two in the fall and two in the spring. They will also have office space at the center and will attend the Fellows’ Seminars along with the faculty Fellows chosen last fall.
NEH Research Grant Opportunities and Submission Tips
Dr. Daniel Sack, a senior program officer with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), held a workshop on the NEH grant process at Boston University earlier this year. Sponsored by the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research, the workshop offered an overview of NEH research opportunities and advice for submitting a successful grant application. Dr. Sack also held a series of one-on-one meetings with more than a dozen faculty from BU and surrounding institutions. If you missed the presentation, you can download the PowerPoints here
more news
Lectures & Events
European Voices in Translation
Vincent Who? A Special Screening Followed by Discussion with Writer/Producer Curtis Chin
16 - 18
View Calendar
Faculty Meetings & Deadlines
Course List Deadline: 2014/15 Bulletin
CAS Faculty Meeting
Lecture Consolidation Proposals Due
Final Faculty Recruitment Proposals Due
Promotion-Only Review Reports Due
chairs/faculty calendar
Faculty Meetings
Faculty News

Associate Professor of History Arianne Chernock received a Fulbright—King’s College London Scholar Award to pursue research in the UK in 2015. Each year, one award is offered to a US citizen in support of research and/or teaching in any subject in any of King’s College London’s research-active departments. Professor Chernock will be working on her book, The Right to Rule and the Rights of Women in Victorian Britain. Her research focuses on modern British and European history, with an emphasis on gender, culture, politics, and the monarchy.

The American Physical Society’s Forum on Education newsletter recently published an article about CAS’s Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC), a grant-based program aimed at increasing the number of high school physics teachers graduating from BU, to address a national shortage. The article reports on factors that BU PhysTEC members have found to be necessary and important to building a program that supports students who want to become physics teachers. PhysTEC is headed by the CAS Physics Department’s Andrew Duffey, Bennet Goldberg, and Manher Jariwala, among other Physics Teachers-in-Residence, and the School of Education’s Peter Garik.

The Bay State Banner recently featured Gene Jarrett, professor of English and African American studies and Department of English chair, highlighting his success in academia after receiving a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship at Princeton University. The fellowship was designed to increase the number of college professors from underrepresented groups. In the 25 years since the Mellon Foundation launched the program, it has made a significant contribution toward that goal. Read more.

Professor of History James Johnson has been awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for the Humanities, as well as the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship, for his research on masks and modern consciousness. During his ACLS and Guggenheim Fellowship terms, Johnson will continue writing Means of Concealment: French Identity and the Self, the follow-up book to Venice Incognito: Masks in the Serene Republic, published in 2011. Both works examine the meaning of masks, both physical and figurative, and together will trace evolving ideas of the self and the rise of modern individualism through modes of concealment and its penetration.

Rebecca Martin, assistant professor of Greek art, won an NEH Summer Stipend to help her complete “Artists and Patrons of the Middle Ground,” chapter five of her forthcoming book, The Art of Contact: Comparative Approaches to the Eastern Mediterranean of the First Millennium B.C.E. The stipend will cover travel and housing costs for a research trip to visit museums in Beruit, Istanbul, and Athens in May and June 2014.

Professor of Biology Kim McCall has accepted an invitation from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to serve as a member of the Cellular Mechanism in Aging and Development (CMAD) Study Section, Center for Scientific Review. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other signification scientific activities, achievements, and honors. Professor McCall is currently researching the mechanisms of programmed cell death and cell clearance, focusing on cell death that occurs in the ovary and brain.

this month's accolades
Student News

Ariel Hyre, a first-year graduate student in chemistry, and Dharati Joshi, a senior chemistry student, both received a 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Program Fellowship. The NSF Fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. Hyre is a member of the Doerrer Group, which specializes in synthetic inorganic chemistry. She is deeply committed to materials research that will contribute to environmentally sustainable energy. Joshi is currently doing honors research with Professor Ramesh Jasti, and will pursue her graduate studies at UC Berkeley. Her research goal is to create useful compounds and materials that have applications in medicine, materials, and environmental research problems.

History of Art & Architecture graduate student and third-year Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow Anjuli Lebowitz has been awarded the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellowship. The fellowship allows students to undertake study and research projects, either at the Museum or abroad, for up to a year and includes a travel stipend. Lebowitz also received a J. Getty Museum Library Research Grant, as did fellow graduate student Erin Nolan. The grant provides partial, short-term support for costs relating to travel and living expenses to scholars whose research requires use of specific collections housed in the Getty Research Institute.

Alumni News

BU alum and Mexican economist Santiago Levy (CAS’76, ’78, ‘80) is the recipient of the Department of Economics’ first Distinguished Alumni Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in any area by graduates of one of the department’s degree programs. As one of the fathers of Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT), Levy played a crucial role in the development of one of the leading antipoverty programs in the world. He first introduced and oversaw the implementation of PROGRESA (later renamed Oportunidades) when he was Deputy Finance Minister of Mexico. Since then, CCT programs have spread to dozens of countries around the world. He also served as a faculty member in the department from 1983 to 1993, and served as the first director of the department’s Institute for Economic Development (1989–1990). He is currently Vice President at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

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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