Category: Faculty News
In her academic work, Dr. Madhu Dutta-Koehler explores the realities of climate change adaptation in urban settings and the need for practical solutions to the coming challenges. Green spaces need to be preserved, the director of the MET City Planning & Urban Affairs programs and associate professor of the practice says, and she was invited to speak on the topic last month at the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library. Held on Thursday, August 23, the forum was entitled, “Parks for All: How City Parks Address Inequity,” and was attended by roughly 200 people.
Boston’s parks, which she called “ribbons of green” against the city’s urban landscape during her lecture, must be accessible to all walks of the populace to be effective for the greater community.
Watch the discussion at the WGBH Forum Network.
More Segregation Leads to Greater Likelihood of Gun Death for Racial Minorities, MET Prof’s Study Finds
MET Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Shea Cronin has co-authored a study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association that finds a correlating link between racial segregation in housing and gun-violence homicide rates. The School of Public Health-led research—which controlled for such factors as economic standing, education, and employment status—used a metric that scores neighborhood integration on a 100-point scale and concluded that “[f]or every 10-point increase in the index of dissimilarity, the …ratio of black to white firearm homicide fatality rates increased by 39 percent.”
Read more here.
A generous gift of $10,000 from Mary Ann Esposito and the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation means a new scholarship has been cooked up for students of the culinary arts at Boston University.
Named for the dedicated founder and longtime administrator of BU’s Culinary Arts and Gastronomy programs, the Rebecca Alssid Award honors Ms. Alssid’s legacy of leadership in the appreciation of food and food culture.
To qualify for the award, candidates, who must have completed the Culinary Arts Certificate Program, study key regions of Italy to assess their notable delicacies. They then are asked to submit a 10-page scholarly work dedicated to the history, agriculture, traditions, and recipes of their chosen Italian region. In addition, they are to develop and present a four-course meal representing their findings, paired with wine. The winner, or winners, will be decided by the Programs in Food & Wine director in consultation with the award committee. As victors, they will receive a certificate and an award of up to $1,000.
It is sponsored by the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation, which supports culinary scholarships in programs that provide students with a rich and grounded understanding of food history, culture, and function.
The social and personal benefits of a collegiate education on incarcerated men have long been academically proven, but a new paper authored by a MET Criminal Justice master’s program alum in conjunction with faculty brings new light to the positive impact an education can have on women serving prison time.
“Doing Time Wisely: The Social and Personal Benefits of Higher Education in Prison” was written by Jillian Baranger (MET’16) along with Dr. Mary Ellen Mastrorilli, associate chair and associate professor of the practice of Applied Social Sciences, and Dr. Danielle Rousseau, a MET assistant professor and expert on issues related to gender, mental health, and trauma among the incarcerated. The paper finds that providing imprisoned individuals with the chance to pursue an education can “help to facilitate resilience in taking on the systemic challenges of reentering communities” and build feelings of personal development, resilience, and empowerment. Published in The Prison Journal, their research also found evidence “that engagement in prison higher education can support the development of coping skills and foster transformative self-inquiry and personal development.”
Read the paper here.
MET Associate Professor of the Practice of Administrative Sciences John Maleyeff was awarded the Best Presentation Certificate for a dialogue he led at the 2018 International Conference in Healthcare Service Management. Held at Japan’s University of Tsukuba, June 8–10, the gathering assembled healthcare management and medical informatics practitioners and academics to explore the innovations, practical challenges, possibilities, and pitfalls faced by those in the field. Dr. Maleyeff’s winning “Biomedical Data Mining” presentation was based on his paper, “Cancer Screening Decision Making Models Based on Health Status Utilities,” co-authored by Master of Science in Actuarial Science student and graduate assistant Danrong Chen. It focused on the study’s design, methodology, and preliminary findings.
Dr. Guanglan Zhang has been promoted from assistant to associate professor of computer science. She is a lead researcher in MET’s Health Informatics Research Lab, a part of the Master of Science in Computer Information Systems concentration in Health Informatics and the Health Informatics Graduate Certificate offered at MET. Co-inventor on two patents and a key participant on two currently active grants, Dr. Zhang has published 51 articles in biomedical and bioinformatics journals and seven book chapters, in addition to developing more than 15 online computational systems. Her health informatics studies focus specifically on the development of computational algorithms in biomedical and health sciences.
Read an in-depth interview with Dr. Zhang here.
Director of Gastronomy Megan Elias contributed to “Cooking the Books with Yotam and Nigella,” an episode of the podcast Gastropod. Cohosted by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, Gastropod looks at food through the lens of science and history. During the episode, Dr. Elias—who recently authored Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture—discusses different ways that cookbooks reflected historical shifts in class, culture, and technology.
Listen to the full podcast here.
Dr. Danielle Rousseau has long dedicated herself to the comprehensive rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals, with focus on issues related to gender, mental health, and trauma. To advance these aims, the assistant professor in the MET Criminal Justice master’s program will lead a new BU study dedicated to assessing the impact of trauma-informed yoga instruction on the detained, conducted in partnership with the nonprofit Yoga 4 Change.
Awarded a $50,000 grant by the Chartrand Family Foundation, the Yoga 4 Change study will compare three groups of incarcerated individuals—a set of volunteers who have opted into the yoga-based correctional program, a set that has been designated to participate via sentencing, and a control group that does not participate—and evaluate whether the intellectual and physical practices can aid in the emotional growth of participants and better prime them for healthy re-entry into society. The study will be based in Jacksonville, Florida, and the grant affords 50 days of study for Rousseau and a team of BU faculty and graduate students, to assess Yoga 4 Change’s viability and possible expansion.
“I have seen that embodied mindfulness programming can help to ameliorate mental health symptoms, improve physical well-being and create positive coping strategies,” said Dr. Rousseau, who is also a licensed therapist and certified yoga teacher. “Yoga can help with impulse control, bring greater awareness, and allow the practitioner to more effectively maintain sobriety and to manage trauma symptoms by staying present.”
Read more, including a Q&A with Dr. Rousseau, at Yoga 4 Change.
As a recognized Master of Wine, William Nesto is one of the world’s foremost experts on wine appreciation and history. An instructor in the Wine Studies certificate program offered by MET’s Programs in Food & Wine, Nesto and his wife Frances Di Savino co-authored Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, which charts the couple’s journey to Italy in pursuit of learning everything they can about the storied wine region and its beloved Chianti variety.
Nesto and Di Savino were recently invited to the Harvard Museum of Natural History to lead a discussion regarding their historical and cultural findings. Watch a video of the lecture here.
Jeannette Guillemin and Wendy Swart Grossman—who co-designed MET AR 789 Cultural Entrepreneurship, an elective in the MET Master of Science in Arts Administration program—have authored an article that explores the role corporate and university resources can play in creating social impact-minded art. In the December 2017 volume of Social Innovations Journal, the College of Fine Arts faculty members and MET instructors explain that business, collegiate, and artistic institutions can flourish through collaboration, and the way they have seen that potential realized here at Boston University.
“Arts and culture will continue to serve as a valuable strategic partner in Boston,” Swart Grossman and Guillemin, an alum of the Arts Administration master’s program, write. “And universities can lead the way of linking disparate partners to work together toward positive social change.”
Read more in Social Innovations Journal.