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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News
Commencement 2011: Thank you for another successful year

Once again, you did it! A heartfelt thank-you to all CAS faculty and staff members for making this year such a success. Your dedication and professionalism saw us through the academic year and was abundantly evident during Senior Week and Commencement, helping to make our graduates' last days on campus some of their most memorable. Again this year, the program and department convocations were well planned and warmly received, and I was deeply impressed by the number of CAS faculty members who took part in Commencement. Again, thank you. -Dean Sapiro

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Project GO-BU grant for critical-language study renewed

The Project GO-BU grant for critical-language study has been renewed for an additional year. The project received $300,000 in new funding for 2011/12, which brings the total for the full three-year grant to just over $800,000. "Nice to get this vote of confidence," said William Waters, associate professor of German. "The grant officers had very good things to say about our program."

Project GO-BU is an initiative started with a $500,000 renewable grant awarded to BU's Department of Modern Languages & Comparative Literature (MLCL) by the U.S. Department of Defense. The grant's overall aim is to strengthen the abilities of future military officers in five critical world languages. Five of BU's existing language programs are involved in Project GO-BU: Arabic, Chinese, Turkish, and the West African languages Wolof and Hausa (spoken in Senegal and the Niger–Nigeria region respectively).

This summer, GO-BU programs on the Charles River Campus and abroad will enroll 24 students (future military officers) for intensive critical-language study who would not have been able to undertake such study without GO-BU fellowships. Twelve are BU ROTC students and 12 are ROTC students from other universities. According to Waters, GO-BU fellowships have been especially significant in boosting the enrollments of the BU summer-abroad programs in Shanghai, China, and in Rabat, Morocco.

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Physics Department awarded $300,000 for teacher-in-residence program

The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) recently awarded BU's Department of Physics a $300,000 grant ($100,000 per year for the next three years) to fund a teacher-in-residence (TIR) program. The "teacher-in-residence" will be an experienced physics teacher who will work with the Physics Department and the School of Education (SED) on various education projects. Boston University's PhysTEC project is led by Physics Professors Andrew Duffy, Bennett Goldberg, and Manher Jariwala and Professor Peter Garik of SED. At the end of the three years of funding, the Office of the Provost, the Department of Physics, and the School of Education have agreed to jointly fund a TIR for an additional three years.

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CC106 Gives Dean a Load of Useful Substance

The grand finale of Core Curriculum 106 (Biodiversity) featured a panel discussion entitled "What we eat and why it matters," which focused on the consequences of dietary choices for the agricultural industry, for human health, for the climate, and for biodiversity. The panel included CAS Dean Virginia Sapiro, Sabrina Pashtan (Sustainability Coordinator, BU Dining Services), Russell Powell (Director, New England Apple Association), and Tyler Nesbit (BU graduate student and member of Compost-ability) and was moderated by Associate Professor of Geography & Environment Nathan Phillips.

David Eckel, professor of religion and Core Curriculum director, and John Finnerty, associate professor of biology, introduced Dean Sapiro with a video showing her gardening, then presented her with a bag of premium-quality cow manure for her gardens. On accepting this honor, Sapiro said, "Of all the times I have been presented with such a substance from the faculty, this is surely the highest quality and most useful yet, and I am grateful for it."

Professor John Finnerty presents Dean Sapiro with a quantity of useful substance.

2011 European Physical Society Prize to Sheldon Glashow

The 2011 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize for an outstanding contribution to High Energy Physics in experimental, theoretical, or technological area has been awarded to CAS Metcalf Professor Physics Sheldon Glashow, as well as John Iliopoulos and Luciano Maiani. The European Physical Society (EPS) gave them the award "for their crucial contribution to the theory of flavor, presently embedded in the Standard Theory of strong and electroweak interactions." In 1970, the three researchers discovered a compelling argument for the existence of a yet-undiscovered particle— the "charm" quark—to solve a number of problems that particle physicists were facing at the time. Their proposal, now called "GIM mechanism" from the initials of the three authors, was spectacularly confirmed four years later, when particles containing the charm quark were finally discovered.

Glashow is a winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics. The EPS prize recognizes a very important contribution to theoretical particle physics that is distinct from the development of the Standard Model that earned Glashow a share of the 1979 Nobel Prize.

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, CAS 106, on Wednesday, June 8; Tuesday, July 12; and Tuesday, August 9, all from 4 to 5 p.m. These are informal gatherings aimed at faculty who happen to be working on campus during these summer days. As always, they are completely informal times to share a glass, catch up, and schmooze.

Faculty Meetings and Deadlines

Deadline for Final Proposals for Faculty Recruitment, 2011/12.
More Information. If you have questions, please contact Gareth McFeely (garethmc@bu.edu).

Dean's Summer Casuals
Faculty are invited to come catch up with their colleagues.
4–5 p.m., CAS 106

New Chairs/Directors Orientation
Location and time TBD


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's New Directions Fellowships
Nominations due this date in the Dean's office.

New Directions Fellowships assist faculty members in the humanities, broadly understood to include the arts, history, languages, area studies, and zones of such fields as anthropology and geography that bridge the humanities and social sciences, who seek to acquire systematic training outside their own areas of special interest. The program is intended to enable strong scholars in the humanities to work on problems that interest them most, at an appropriately advanced level of sophistication. In addition to facilitating the work of individual faculty members, these awards should benefit humanistic scholarship more generally by encouraging the highest standards in cross-disciplinary research.

For details, visit here

Chairs' Calendar

Lectures and Events

JUNE 10–12
Sustainability in the City
BU's inaugural Alumni College experience
An immersive learning experience for alums with lectures, field trips, lab experiences, and classroom discussions
More info

Full calendar


Biogeoscience Award recipients named
Recipients of this year's Research and Travel Awards in Biogeoscience have been selected following review of proposals by a committee of four biogeoscience faculty members.

Research Award in Biogeoscience ($500 each)
Andrew Reinmann, Department of Biology, Coupled response of above- and below-ground carbon fluxes in a temperate deciduous forest to reduced winter snow pack
Elise Heiss, Department of Earth Sciences, Examining the Effect of Nitrogen Loading and pH on Water Column Nitrification
Preeti Rao, Department of Geography & Environment, Spatial patterns of N-deposition along an urbanization gradient in Boston

Travel Award in Biogeoscience ($500)
Kenneth Takagi, Department of Earth Sciences, 2011 Fall AGU Meeting, Is there a role for calcium oxalate in the terrestrial calcium budget? Using Ca isotopes to constrain sources of streamwater Ca following clear-cutting of a New England watershed.

Please join me in congratulating these students for outstanding work!

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. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the Student Programs Office.

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

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