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New Leaders at the Helm
Tufts this summer filled
two key leadership positions. Linda Abriola, one of the
world’s foremost leaders in hydrology and environmental
engineering, joined Tufts on September 1 as new dean
of the School of Engineering. Dr.
Michael Rosenblatt, an internationally recognized researcher
in bone and mineral metabolism, will become dean of the
School of Medicine on November 1. He will also oversee
the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.
Abriola comes to
Tufts from the University of Michigan, where she was the Horace Williams
King Collegiate Professor of Environmental Engineering
and a former
director of the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program.
“Professor Abriola brings
an exciting vision, backed by superb experience,” said
Tufts president Lawrence S. Bacow. “Her appointment underscores our commitment
to recruiting the very best scholars and teachers to Tufts. We are delighted
to welcome her to Tufts, where her strengths in engineering and the environment
will contribute to numerous initiatives.”
Abriola received a Ph.D. and
two master’s degrees in civil engineering
from Princeton University, with a bachelor’s degree with highest honors
in civil engineering from Drexel University. In addition to her position at
the University of Michigan, she has worked as a project engineer for Procter & Gamble
and has held visiting positions in the Department of Geotechnical Engineering
at the Universitat Politecnica de Cataluña in Barcelona, Spain, and
in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
was previously the George R. Minot Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical
School. He has trained numerous research and clinical fellows as well
as both graduate and undergraduate students who have gone on to successful
careers in research and medicine.
“Dr. Rosenblatt brings
impeccable research and scholarly credentials to
Bacow. “He will be a strong academic and intellectual leader who
will work with us to take the medical school to the next level while
in stimulating biomedical and biotech research across our entire institution.”
to joining Harvard, Dr. Rosenblatt co-led Merck’s worldwide development
team for the company’s drug FOSAMAX for osteoporosis and bone
disorders, established major research institutes in Japan and Italy,
worldwide university and industry relations department.
from Harvard Medical School (magna cum laude) in 1973. Most recently,
he served as chief of Bone and Mineral Metabolism Research
Medical Center. Rosenblatt was a founder and the first executive
director of the Carl J. Shapiro Institute for Education
and Research, a unique
academic center at Harvard that addresses the dual demands on a hospital
care while simultaneously training the next generation of physicians.
of University Relations Named
Mary R. Jeka, former principal aide and general counsel
to U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, joined Tufts over
the summer as the new vice president for university
relations. She serves as a member of President Lawrence S. Bacow’s senior
leadership team, is a member of the Academic Council, and reports to the president.
this new position, Jeka oversees government and community relations, legal
affairs, publications, Tufts’ web presence, and public relations.
“She has an extraordinary background,” Bacow
said, “and I
believe she will help us to optimize coordination of our strategies and programs
communications, government and community relations, and legal affairs.”
has extensive government affairs experience in Massachusetts and Washington,
D.C. For eight years she worked with Senator Kennedy on appropriations, educational
matters, and health care within the jurisdiction of the Senate Labor and
Human Resources Committee. She then returned to Massachusetts
and served as general
counsel for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), with primary
responsibility for government relations on Capitol Hill. In this capacity,
she developed the strategy to secure $1 billion in federal appropriations
MWRA to finance the Boston Harbor cleanup.
Jeka knows the higher education
community through her more recent work as general
counsel for the Massachusetts Health and Educational
which is responsible for issuing tax-exempt debt to health organizations,
institutions, and cultural and other nonprofit organizations.
A resident of
Somerville, Massachusetts, Jeka serves on the city’s Zoning
Board of Appeals. She also serves on the boards of Boston’s Women’s
Educational and Industrial Union, the Boston Harbor Association, and the Silent
Spring Institute in Newton. She earned both a law degree and a bachelor’s
degree in political science cum laude from Boston College.
When Tufts this fall opened
the Hillside School Apartments, the university did
breathe new life into a 75-year-old public school.
The complex also gave Tufts an edge in the highly competitive
faculty recruitment process.
The Capen Street facility,
located on the edge of the Medford/Somerville campus,
has been renovated into 12 apartments, nine of which have been set aside
for junior faculty at rents slightly below market
rate. The reduced-rent apartment
complex helps address a concern shared by colleges and universities in the
attracting top faculty to one of the most expensive housing markets in the
Wayne Bouchard, executive administrative
dean for arts, sciences and engineering, said the
expands a collaborative effort with Walnut Hill,
estate arm of the university. “Previously we had a half dozen houses
that we were using for faculty transition housing, and that has been such
a success that when
the school came along, we jumped on it,” said Bouchard. “The
fact that seven apartments are already full is an indicator that it was the
thing to do.”
Tufts worked with the Somerville-based
architectural firm of J. Stewart Roberts
Associates to keep a keen eye on sustainable design, “the responsible way
to design today,” said project manager Karla Johnson. Renovations preserved
as much of the facility as possible, including hardwood floors and chalkboards.
Cloakrooms were converted to storage for coats and shelving for electronic equipment.
Renewable materials included cellulose insulation made from old newspapers. “The
school had been boarded up for 10 years, so it was pretty rough and ready when
we started,” said Johnson. “It was a logical decision to make it
into housing—it’s got a great location and a lot of charm.”
TEACHING & LEARNING
Boston landmarks such as Quincy
Market and the Boston Public Library were built on
land brought in from outlying suburbs or scooped
hills. Over the years, ton after ton of fill expanded
the small fist-shaped peninsula into a thriving urban
This coming year, Tufts students
will be looking at these sites and others as part
of an ambitious
project that explores Boston’s underground.
project, winner of the sixth annual Berger Family
Technology Transfer Endowment, takes a multi-layered
approach to teaching engineering skills
Its scope includes assembling geological data about the city’s subsurface—such
as depth of bedrock and thickness of fill—into a geographical information
system (GIS). Visualization software allows students to study and analyze
the data in 2-D and 3-D in a web interface. Teaching modules will direct
to use the GIS tool to answer questions about subsurface conditions and
how they influenced city growth.
Living up to its hefty title—“Digital
Boston Geotechnical Database for Research, Teaching and Technology Transfer
project also demonstrates digital technology’s potential to bring
together ideas as well as disciplines. It embraces previous initiatives
such as “Boston
Streets,” a collaboration between the Tufts Digital Library Collection
and The Bostonian Society. “Boston Streets” incorporates more
than 1,500 Bostonian Society images of Boston—including maps, photographs
and street indexes—dating from 1844 to the 1950s.
It also builds
on substantial research conducted by Lewis Edgars and Laurie Baise, professors
in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
in the Boston/Cambridge
area, including some 2,000 boring logs from the Central Artery/Tunnel
Project. Geological maps in the Geology Department
will be digitized and included
in the website as well.
Baise, associate professor,
said the project should stimulate greater appreciation
for “what’s underground, and
how much it influences the way a city develops.” That perspective
is important, she said, for aspiring engineers who need to understand foundation
conditions beneath structures and their important
impact on the development of Boston.
“It’s very important to visualize subsurface,” she said. “We’re
fortunate that we have the opportunity at Tufts to develop a local project
of this magnitude, and one that’s already so rich with data and history.
A project like this brings it all together.”