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Summer 2003
  New Leaders at the Helm
Engineering and Medical Schools welcome new deans
  VP of University Relations named
Mary J. Jeka joins Tufts
  Changing Spaces
Capen Street facility helps faculty recruitment process
  Boston Underground
Ambitious new project explores Boston landmarks
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.

Dr. Linda Abriola, new dean of
the School of Engineering, and
Dr.Michael Rosenblatt, new
dean of the Tufts Medical
School and the Sackler School
of Graduate Biomedical

“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.

Rosenblatt 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 Tufts,” said 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 playing a major role in stimulating biomedical and biotech research across our entire institution.”

Prior 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, and headed the company’s worldwide university and industry relations department.

He graduated from Harvard Medical School (magna cum laude) in 1973. Most recently, he served as chief of Bone and Mineral Metabolism Research at Beth Israel Deaconess 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 of providing clinical care while simultaneously training the next generation of physicians.


VP 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.

In 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 for communications, government and community relations, and legal affairs.”

Jeka 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 for the 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 Facilities Authority, which is responsible for issuing tax-exempt debt to health organizations, higher education 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.


Changing Spaces

When Tufts this fall opened the Hillside School Apartments, the university did more than 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 area: attracting top faculty to one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.

Wayne Bouchard, executive administrative dean for arts, sciences and engineering, said the facility expands a collaborative effort with Walnut Hill, the real 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 right 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.”


Boston Underground

Boston landmarks such as Quincy Market and the Boston Public Library were built on land brought in from outlying suburbs or scooped from Boston hills. Over the years, ton after ton of fill expanded the small fist-shaped peninsula into a thriving urban center.

This coming year, Tufts students will be looking at these sites and others as part of an ambitious new project that explores Boston’s underground.

The project, winner of the sixth annual Berger Family Technology Transfer Endowment, takes a multi-layered approach to teaching engineering skills and geology. 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 students 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 in Education”—the 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.”