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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News: May 2010
NIH Announces $5.9 Million to Renovate Chemistry Facilities

A recently announced $5.9 million award from the National Institute of Health (NIH) will reinforce BU's life science research infrastructure on the Charles River Campus by renovating space on the 4th floor in the East Wing of the Metcalf Science and Engineering Center Department of Chemistry space. Started in April 2010, the one-year effort will renovate 6,700 square feet of laboratory and office space to create four laboratory modules for state-of-the-art research in synthetic organic chemistry and supporting laboratory space for analytical chemistry. The flexible laboratory layout will enable technology-facilitated medicinal chemistry. Complementary faculty and meeting space will be developed to fully support real and virtual conferencing that facilitates engagement and collaboration among research scientists on the Charles River and Medical campuses as well as sites outside of BU. These renovations of four research laboratories will provide the infrastructure for the chemical sciences to realize BU's biomedical research vision. It will bolster BU's leadership position in translational science by providing a robust environment for multidisciplinary research efforts bridging chemistry and biology. This NIH facilities renovation award is the first federally funded renovation grant on the Charles River Campus in BU's history.

BU Receives $1.5M from HHMI for Undergrad Neuroscience Research

Boston University was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to accelerate research for undergraduate neuroscience students. The central goal of the program, which is part of a broader science education initiative funded by an HHMI grant, is to bring students into the lab earlier in their undergraduate years. Most science majors at BU and elsewhere don't undertake research until they are juniors and seniors, according to Assistant Professor Paul Lipton, academic director of BU's undergraduate program in neuroscience.

Learn More Kotlikoff Helps Clergy Plan for Retirement

An upcoming retirement planning seminar for members of the clergy to be delivered by CAS Professor of Economics Laurence Kotlikoff and School of Management Professor Zvi Bodie was featured in the May 24 issue of Business Wire. The article begins, "In recognition of a growing retirement security crisis among members of the clergy, distinguished Boston University professors, Zvi Bodie and Laurence Kotlikoff, are teaming up to provide a full day financial literacy and retirement planning seminar. The event, titled Clergy Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning: Trustworthy Finance for the Faithful, is open to ministers, rabbis, cantors, priests, imams and their spouses, and will be held at Boston University School of Management on Wednesday, June 23, 2010."

Learn MoreBokulich Named Director of Center for Philosophy and History of Science

Boston University's College of Arts & Sciences has named Alisa Bokulich director of the University's Center for Philosophy and History of Science. Bokulich, professor of philosophy in the College's Department of Philosophy, will succeed Alfred I. Tauber, Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine and professor of philosophy.

Learn MoreReturn of the Class of 1970

Forty years later, 226 members of the Class of 1970, including many CAS and CLA alumni, completed a commencement walk that was interrupted by the social turmoil of the Vietnam War era. Visit www.bu.edu/1970commencement/thank-you to see pictures of this memorable occasion and read Dean Sapiro's convocation address.

Learn MoreBU Takes Silver in "Web 2.0 College Olympics"

Boston University took a silver medal in the "Web 2.0 College Olympics" — a ranking of U.S. universities' online presences compiled by the website CollegeSurfing.com. CAS Professor of Religion Stephen Prothero is referenced for his dynamic and informative Twitter feed on religious topics.

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Thousands of CAS seniors took the big step across the podium and into a larger world on Commencement Weekend. Above, BUMP graduate Emily Munday, winner of the 2010 Francis Bacon Award for Writing Excellence in the Natural Sciences, receives her diploma from Associate Professor of Biology John Finnerty.

Commencement 2010:
A Note of Thanks

To all of our dedicated faculty and staff members who worked so hard to make this year's Senior Week and Commencement a resounding success, thank you! From a notably warm and wonderful hooding ceremony to the chaotic fun of Class Day, you helped to give all our graduates yet another great memory of their BU experience. This year's program and department convocations were well planned and warmly received, and I was proudly impressed by the number of CAS faculty members on the platform during Commencement. What a wonderful way to end to a challenging but successful year. Again, thank you. – Dean Sapiro .

Summer Community for Faculty: Dean’s Casuals

cas·u·al  [kazh-oo-uhl] – adjective
Origin: 1325–75; ME < L cāsuālis, equiv. to cāsu(s) case 1 + -ālis -al 1

1. happening by chance; fortuitous.
2. without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing

Once again, Gina Sapiro will be holding three “Dean’s Summer Casuals” in her office this summer, CAS 106, on Wednesday, June 16; Tuesday, July 13, and Wednesday, August 4, all from 4-5 p.m. These are informal gatherings aimed at faculty who work on campus in the summer just to take a little time to get together, catch up with each other, and schmooze.


Professor of English AMY APPLEFORD has been awarded a year-long research fellowship at the Humanities Center, Stanford University, where she will continue work on a book entitled Learning to Die in London, 1350-1530 – the first full-length study of death in English, and specifically London, literary, religious, and civic culture in the late medieval and early Reformation period. Using a range of pastoral, visionary, poetic, bureaucratic, and dramatic texts, she argues that death provided poets and other cultural makers in late-medieval London with an imaginative tool for artistic, psychological or political analysis and expression.
Chair of Romance Studies JAMES IFFLAND and Professor of Spanish CHRISTOPHER MAURER were recently chosen for induction into the "Orden de Isabel la Catolica" ("Order of Isabella the Catholic"). The Spanish civil order is granted in recognition of services benefiting Spain. The order is not exclusive to Spaniards, and many foreigners have been awarded it. Professors Iffland and Maurer join former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and many others inducted this year. The Spanish ambassador will present the awards on Friday, June 18, from 4-6:00 p.m. in the Kenmore Conference Room at One Silber Way.
Associate Professor of English GENE JARRETT has been awarded a yearlong research fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University for 2010-11, where he will work on a definitive biography of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906). Born in Dayton, Ohio, Dunbar was the first African American writer to earn a living from his craft. Yet, privately, Dunbar's stature made him miserable. Publishers pigeonholed him as merely a Negro who penned verse in Negro dialect. Each month, financial trouble forced him to publish and perform so many poems that he could not help but sacrifice their literary quality. Personal misfortune worsened Dunbar's commercial challenges. Alcoholism, violent behavior, mood swings, and recurring sickness strained his marriage and his relationships with family and friends. The biography, tentatively titled Paul Laurence Dunbar: The First African American Poet Laureate, reflects the broader concentration of Jarrett's scholarship on the longstanding struggles of African American writers with racial representation, or the responsibility of portraying race in culturally and politically progressive ways.
Assistant Professor of Political Science DOUGLAS KINER recently completed a study of the socioeconomic inequalities apparent in U.S. casualties of war. He co-authored the study with Francis Shen, a fellow in the MacArthur Foundation Law & Neuroscience Project. Over the last six years, they studied this inequality by collecting and analyzing data on the hometowns of more than 400,000 members of the armed forces who died in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. By integrating these records with census data, they demonstrated unambiguously that, beginning with the Korean War, disadvantaged communities have suffered a disproportionate share of the nation's wartime casualties, while richer communities have been more insulated from the costs of war. Read the L.A. Times article.
Professor of English JOHN MATTHEWS has been awarded a yearlong Fulbright Fellowship to teach American literature in the Department of Anglophone Literatures and Culture at the Charles University in Prague – the most distinguished university in the Czech Republic. His scholarship and teaching has focused on Faulkner, Southern literature, and U.S. fiction, but he looks forward to the opportunity to study European literature of the corresponding periods in greater depth.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry BJOERN REINHARD recently received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early CAREER award. The awards are presented to teacher-scholars who are "most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century." Reinhard received the award for his proposed research on "Frequency Domain Plasmon Fluctuation Spectroscopy For Single Biopolymer Mechanical Sensing." In this work, he plans to develop novel plasmon fluctuation spectroscopy with which to characterize the mechanical properties of individual biopolymers with unlimited observation time. By transitioning from a time to a frequency domain analysis, his plasmon fluctuation spectroscopy will provide insight into the structural properties of short DNAs, RNAs, and their protein complexes on the single molecule level.
Upcoming Meetings and Events

Second Round of Faculty Hiring Priorities Due to deanvs@bu.edu

Dean’s Summer Casual
4-5 p.m., CAS 106

Departmental Annual Reports due to Dean’s Office

Dean’s Summer Casual
4-5 p.m., CAS 106

United Methodist Scholar/Teacher Award Nominations due to Dean’s Office

Peter Paul Career Development Award Nominations due to Dean’s Office

Dean’s Summer Casual
4-5 p.m., CAS 106

CAS Chairs & Directors Orientation: New Chairs & Directors in the AM, All Chairs & Directors in the PM

Keep Us in the Loop

Let us know about news or upcoming events. Please send news items to cascom@bu.edu, or call Patrick Farrell at 617-358-1185. Announcements about upcoming events can also be submitted online.

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Associate Director of Alumni Relations Kirsten Lundeen at 617-358-5525 or Alumni Relations Coordinator Lauren Hall at 617-353-1060.

Boston University

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