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Boston University Arts & Sciences

CAS News: June 2010
Former Religion Prof Elected to Prestigious Poetry Post at Oxford

In June, former CAS Professor of Literature and Religion Geoffrey Hill was elected professor of poetry at Oxford. The prestigious post has previously been held by W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, and BU’s own Christopher Ricks, who completed his five-year term in 2009. This marks most likely the first time that the distinction has been held for two succeeding five-year terms by professors from the same university, other than Oxford. Last month, Hill also received an honorary doctorate of letters at both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

Red-Eyed Tree Frog Research Garners National Attention

Associate Professor of Biology Karen Warkentin and recent biology PhD graduate Michael Caldwell have received national attention for their research on the vibration behavior of the red-eyed tree frog. Caldwell conducted his dissertation work on the red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) in Warkentin’s lab and studied how frogs use vibrational information for predator avoidance and communication. Their research was recently highlighted in National Geographic, Science Now, Discover Magazine, Live Science, The New York Times, and NPR’s Science Fridays. Additionally, their research was featured on the cover of the June 2010 edition of Current Biology.

The Hidden Cost of Strawberries

At the height of the summer produce season, strawberries are ubiquitous and relatively cheap. But Edward Loechler would like the public to know that such abundance comes with a potentially devastating price tag.

A new pesticide called methyl iodide will soon be approved for use by strawberry growers in California at a level that Loechler, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of biology, believes may cause cancer in field workers. Loechler, a researcher of carcinogens, was one of nine scientists who studied methyl iodide as part of a California Department of Pesticide Regulation scientific review committee formed in spring 2008. After finding the chemical to be highly toxic, he and his colleagues recommended a safe exposure level of 0.8 parts per billion for strawberry field workers.

“That’s the only sensible option,” he says. “You can’t kill and maim workers to make strawberries cheaper.”

California regulators disagreed, and issued their own number: 96 parts per billion, or 120 times the level of exposure Loechler believes is safe.

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Spanish Consul to the United States Jorge Dezcaller (center) bestowed the Cruz de Oficial (Officer¹s Cross) of the Order of Isabel la Católica upon Professors of Spanish James Iffland (right) and Christopher Maurer (left).

Spanish Ambassador Bestows High Honor on Spanish Professors

On June 18, during a well-attended ceremony in the Kenmore Conference Room at One Silber Way, Spanish Consul to the United States Jorge Dezcaller bestowed on behalf of his majesty King Juan Carlos I the Cruz de Oficial (Officer’s Cross) of the Order of Isabel la Católica upon Professors of Spanish James Iffland and Christopher Maurer. The ordered was bestowed “for Mr. Iffland’s extraordinary leadership in the study of the Golden Age of Spanish literature in the United States.” The order was bestowed on Maurer for his “extraordinary leadership in the study of Spanish literature in the United States. Both were also recognized for their “outstanding and tireless work to promote Spanish culture in the US academic field.”

The Order of Isabel la Católica was created in 1815 and is today the main knighthood by which his majesty the King of Spain recognizes the extraordinary merit of those individuals who significantly promote the values of Spanish arts, culture and sciences in the Americas.

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Upcoming Meetings and Events

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 and directors in the a.m., all chairs and directors in the p.m.

Time TBA

Ice Cream Welcome for First Year Students (freshmen and faculty only)
3:30-5 p.m., Marsh Plaza

CAS Café, reading to be announced (freshmen and faculty only)
4-6 p.m., Trustee Ballroom

Full calendar


Professors of Computer Science MARK CROVELLA and AZER BESTAVROS have won the SIGMETRICS “Test of Time” award for their landmark paper titled “Self-Similarity in World Wide Web Traffic: Evidence and Possible Causes,” SIGMETRICS, 1996. This is the first year that SIGMETRICS has given this award. Crovella and Bestavros were chosen to receive one of the three inaugural Test of Time Awards, representing papers from the first 25 years of the ACM SIGMETRICS conference series. The awards were presented June 16 at the ACM SIGMETRICS 2010 Conference in New York City. SIGMETRICS is a special interest group for the computer systems performance evaluation industry.
Professor of Political Science, Sociology, and Anthropology and Director of the Institute for the Advancement of the Social Sciences LIAH GREENFELD was recently appointed Distinguished Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at Lingnan University, Hong Kong for a term of five years, starting May 2011. During yearly month-long stays, she will deliver public lectures and faculty/graduate seminars, and chair weekly research discussions with colleagues of the department.
Professor of International Relations and Political Science and Interim Director of Latin American Studies SCOTT PALMER has been named the Federico Gil Chair at the Interamerican Institute of the University of Salamanca, Spain, during his spring 2011 sabbatical semester.
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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Arts & Sciences
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Boston, MA 02215