Page 1

Patron of arts & letters Fung gift strengthens the humanities program, page 2


Smile like never before Grant cuts costs for new advanced dental surgery, page 5

Doctor’s orders

Independent thinking New Tufts admissions initiative supported by family’s pledge, page 9

Rooftop gardening


The time to support the medical school is now, says donor, page 8

Student uses scholarship to pursue a creative way of energy conservation, page 10

Racing green Student-designed hybrid shifts into overdrive, page 11

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Winter 2009

A message from President Bacow:

“The current economic circumstances are not of our making, but we will rightly be judged by how we act BLUEPRINT

during this time.”

Over the last six months, we have witnessed unprecedented economic turbulence. As I have said elsewhere, while Tufts is in a strong position because of prudent fiscal management, we are not immune to the current conditions. We face many challenges. We must respond to our students’ increasing financial need and continue to invest in our faculty and core academic programs. At the same time, like all institutions, we confront losses in our endowment. Carrying out our fundamental mission unquestionably becomes more challenging in difficult times. Yet, we cannot lose sight of what makes us a great university: our people. Continuing to sustain our faculty and students with the resources they require for success is more important now than ever. The current economic circumstances are not of our making, but we will rightly be judged by how we act during this time. The achievements of the faculty and students featured in this issue of Blueprint are one measure of that response. The continued support of our alumni, parents, and friends like you is another measure, and I remain grateful for all you do for Tufts. Sincerely, Lawrence S. Bacow, President




which houses the Center for the Humanities, and establish the E.M. Fung Humanities Fellows, a fund that will support Tufts’ ability to recruit top-flight doctoral candidates to disciplines such as drama, English, and history. The gift from the chairman of JP Morgan Private Bank, Asia, is one of the largest ever received from a Tufts alumnus in Asia. Fung House will be named in honor of Fung’s parents, William and Cynthia. “Graduate students in the humanities are our future teachers, scholars, and artists,” says Lynne Pepall, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “They’re at the core of any liberal arts curriculum

and an integral part of our intellectual community on the Medford campus. “The dissertation writing stage is the time when a graduate student needs the financial and intellectual support of the humanities center. When our graduate students finish their Ph.D.s and take jobs at universities across the country, and indeed the world, they are letting their colleagues in the academic world know what Tufts is all about,” Pepall says. Fung says his own intellectual and professional journey inspired his interest in the humanities. He initially enrolled at Tufts with plans to be a dentist, but after two years majoring in chemistry, switched to economics. “At Tufts, there is such depth in a variety of fields that, whatever

Overseer alleviates pressure on current students and families

Cochary Gross

The new fund can increase financial aid awards to admitted students who face the prospect of deferring enrollment.

HUMANITIES major you choose, you will get a high-quality education,” he says. He and his wife, Rose, have encouraged their daughter Sarah, A12, to sample a variety of courses in the arts and sciences before settling on a major. Traveling extensively as head of Asian business development and growth strategy for JP Morgan, Fung is passionate about sharing career advice with young people, whom he

urges to follow their hearts. “Being a doctor, lawyer, or banker isn’t right for everyone,” he says. His gift to Tufts allowed him to “raise appreciation of the humanities” while also recognizing the “dynamism, leadership, and confidence” of Tufts students. “In my mind,” says Fung, “those are the defining qualities of Tufts students and graduates around the world.” From left: Michael Fung, Provost Jamshed Bharucha, Sarah Fung, Center for the Humanties Director Jonathan Wilson, Rose Fung, and President Lawrence Bacow

Winter 2009

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s the former director of admissions at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Elizabeth Cochary Gross, N82, NG88, now a Friedman Overseer, understands the plight of an accepted student who is forced to defer admission because of insufficient funds. Dr. Cochary Gross knows that these students may ultimately never come to Friedman at all. She has come up with a creative way to help. She and her husband, Phillip Gross, have given $200,000 to establish the Friedman School Deferral Recovery Fund to assist admitted students who show they need a little extra financial help if they hope to attend. The idea was developed last spring as the economic future became less clear and education loans less available. The fund gives the Friedman School flexibility to increase financial aid awards to admitted students who otherwise would have to defer enrollment due to unforeseen financial challenges. The fund will be available for two years on a case-by-case basis. This year the fund made it possible for several students to attend, including the top-ranked candidates in the master’s programs in Humanitarian Assistance and Nutritional Epidemiology. “I remember when I was director of admissions, some students would call asking to defer their admission because they didn’t have enough money,” says Dr. Cochary Gross. “Sometimes it was only a couple of thousand dollars. And, when a student defers, you’re less likely to get them, as they may not come. I thought it would be great to have a pool of money where an admissions person could figure out how much it would take to have a student stay.” In addition to the Deferral Recovery Fund, the Grosses have recently committed to setting up an endowed scholarship named for the founding dean, Dr. Stanley Gershoff. Dr. Cochary Gross has longstanding ties to Friedman as a graduate of its Ph.D. program, founder of its alumni association, former researcher, and current adjunct faculty member. “The school matters to me,” she says. “I’ve spent so much of my life there. I really care about the students, love hearing their stories, and want them to succeed.” As the Friedman School’s vice chair for the Beyond Boundaries campaign, she says, “I hope to be able to help other donors come up with creative ideas for giving. It is enormously satisfying as a donor to fill in a gap that wouldn’t otherwise be addressed.”

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Winter 2009

Walking the walk: Leadership by example “Anything I can do to

Although he considers

help make my profession and my school better



benefits everybody.�



Dr. Robert Amato, Volunteer Interested in helping to make a difference for Tufts? Please contact Tufts University Advancement at 617.627.3200 or


himself a pretty accomplished golfer, Dr. Robert Amato wasn’t at all troubled when his team lost in the Tufts School of Dental Medicine’s 26th Annual Golf and Tennis Tournament this past fall. In fact, he was celebrating. A 10-year co-chair for the event, he had volunteered his time organizing it and rounding up participants. The Boston native, who graduated from TUSDM in 1980 and completed a residency in endodontics at the school in 1983, was pleased with the result: The tournament raised more than $15,000 for the TUSDM Student Loan Fund. Amato, an inveterate volunteer, didn’t stop to celebrate for long. Instead, he turned back to his ongoing efforts to raise money from his residency classmates for the naming of a treatment room in TUSDM’s new endodontic clinic. Before he embarked on that project, he served for a year as president of the school’s alumni association, after a decade-long stint as a member of the board of directors. He also served as co-chair of his 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th class reunions, with his efforts focused on fundraising. Incidentally, his class has an extraordinary track record when it comes to reunions. As Maria Gove Tringale, senior director of development and alumni relations, puts it, “At our school, reunions are as much about attendance as fundraising, and chairs like Bob Amato rally their classmates on both fronts. Bob’s D80 class is

especially successful each time they come together—they raise funds and they have a blast doing so.� For the past 27 years, Amato has also served as an instructor at the School of Dental Medicine. For a day and a half each week, he tears himself away from his specialty practice—a practice he loves because of “the work, the patients, and [his] partners�—and shares his knowledge as a clinical professor of endodontics. “Every day, my students teach me through their enthusiasm and energy,� he says. “They inspire me to be a better practitioner.� Why does he give his time and energy on so many fronts? “I believe that anything I can do to help make my profession and my school better benefits everybody,� he says. “It’s important to me to support Tufts in any way possible.� He considers himself fortunate to have had three role models, Dr. Van Zissi, Dr. Thomas Winkler, and the late Dr. Cyril Gaum. These members of the Tufts Dental community had also shared their time as Tufts instructors and, in turn, inspired Amato with their passion for helping others. One of his goals is to spread that inspiration, to show both his former classmates and a new generation of dentists how satisfying volunteering can be. “I like to remind everyone about the connection between being social and volunteering,� he says. “To put it simply, giving back to a place you love can be just plain fun.�


Chair, Board of Trustees James A. Stern, E72, A07P President Lawrence S. Bacow, Ph.D. Provost Jamshed J. Bharucha, Ph.D.

Campaign Chairs Pamela K. Omidyar, J89 Pierre M. Omidyar, A88 Alan D. Solomont, A70, A08P Jonathan M. Tisch, A76

Honorary Chairs William S. Cummings, A58, M97P, J97P Dr. Bernard M. Gordon, H92 Daniel F. Pritzker, A81 Karen M. Pritzker, J83

Executive Committee Kathryn C. Chenault, Esq., J77 Steven B. Epstein, Esq., A65, A96P, A01P, A07P, AG04P Nathan Gantcher, A62, H04 Martin J. Granoff, A91P Daniel A. Kraft, A87 Joseph E. Neubauer, E63, J90P Agnes Varis, H03

University Advancement Tufts University 80 George Street Medford, MA 02155 617.627.3200


Step UP Dental brings Tufts talent to Boston schools After reading, math, and science, Boston elementaryschool pupils are learning to brush, floss, and eat healthy, with help from Tufts dentists and nutritionists.

Grant from Nobel Biocare aids ongoing study of innovative implant procedure LEAH MCCARTHY NEEDS LITTLE PROMPTING TO SING THE PRAISES OF DR. MARIA PAPAGEORGE, the Tufts Dental Clinic surgeon who recently guided her through an experimental dental implant procedure available at only a few centers in the United States. “My treatment plan was complicated and a little intimidating,” McCarthy says. “I had all the confidence in the world in Dr. Papageorge. In addition to being the best at what she does, she is such a compassionate person.” The procedure, made possible by a grant from Tufts corporate partner Nobel Biocare, is called a zygomatic implant, and involves anchoring implants in the cheek bone. The approach is useful in cases of patients who have inadequate bone for conventional implants. “Leah had gone through a great deal before coming to Tufts,” says Papageorge, professor and chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. “She had dentures in her twenties, followed by failed implants Winter 2009

and bone grafts. When we talked about options, she told me, ‘I cannot leave the clinic without teeth.’” The procedure was performed as part of a five-year study on the implants in which Tufts is participating. Surgery was carried out in steps at Tufts Medical Center and then by a prosthetic team at the School of Dental Medicine led by Dr. Robert Chapman, chair of Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry. The average cost for such a procedure is $45,000. “Not many patients could afford that,” says Papageorge. “With the grant from Nobel Biocare and our decision to waive all professional and surgical fees, the cost for each of the 10 to 12 patients we expect to enroll in this study will be about a quarter of that.” McCarthy, who works at a Boston investment firm, says, “I definitely didn’t want to have dentures for the rest of my life. Now my teeth look natural, and I can eat anything—except maybe peanut brittle! I would do it all over in a heartbeat.” Says Papageorge, “It’s so gratifying to have such an outcome. It’s why we do what we do.”

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Gifts to the Beyond Boundaries campaign have supported the effort. A $5 million gift from the state’s largest provider of dental benefits endowed the Delta Dental professorship held by Hayes, chair of the school’s Department of Public Health and Community Service. A grant from the State Street Foundation supports Tufts’ involvement in Step UP. The year-old program administered by the City of Boston draws on resources and expertise from five area universities to provide comprehensive services to urban schools. Tufts’ participation includes Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy initiatives in healthy eating and physical activity, along with dental health education, prevention, and restorative services provided by the team from the dental school. Tufts’ Step UP team is composed of four hygienists, two public health dentists, and a rotating roster of thirdyear dental students. They arrive at Boston schools with 450 pounds of portable equipment—including a dental chair, compressor, and lights—and stay from a week to a month, providing cleanings, fluoride, and routine restorative care. “The number of children who have never seen a dentist is astounding,” says Karen Daniels, executive director of Step UP. Professor Catherine Hayes, second from left, and Tufts’ Step UP Dental team at the Josiah Quincy School in Boston



Papageorge and McCarthy

“Across the nation, dental problems are a leading cause of absenteeism at school,” says Dr. Catherine Hayes, who as the Delta Dental of Massachusetts Professor of Public Health and Community Service coordinates Tufts’ involvement in Boston’s Step UP partnership serving city schools. “Our goal for Step UP Dental is to address any urgent care issues and instill lifelong healthy dental habits in school children and their families,” she says.

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Winter 2009




Provost Bharucha


“Tufts has three principal missions that go hand in hand: education, research, and service to the world,” says Jamshed Bharucha, the university’s chief academic officer. In this edition of Blueprint we focus on the research leg of the troika. Broadly stated, Tufts’ research mission involves expanding our knowledge and understanding of the world. Roughly a third of the Beyond Boundaries campaign’s $1.2 billion total is earmarked to bolstering the research enterprise at Tufts. “It is important that we have professors who are at the cutting edge of their fields and who can challenge our students to push the boundaries of knowledge,” Provost Bharucha says. “When students learn by discovery, rather than merely reading in books about what other people have discovered, the learning is much more robust.” Key to this mission, he says, is the generosity of Tufts’ friends. “We rely on philanthropy to help us establish the most enlightened environment in which students and faculty can learn.”

CHARLOTTE KUPERWASSER Research: Breast cancer Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, School of Medicine; Investigator, Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center

MICHAEL LEVIN Research: Morphological and behavioral information processing in living systems Professor and Director of Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology

CLAY BENNETT Research: Carbohydrate chemistry, carbohydrate chemical biology, synthetic methodology development Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Three faculty members who personify Tufts’ growing reputation as a world-class research university speak here about their work. Charlotte Kuperwasser’s field, cancer research, is an area of growing strength at the School of Medicine that the Beyond Boundaries campaign has sought to bolster. Michael Levin’s research in biology has been supported by the Presidential Initiatives Fund established by a gift from Susan and Richard Smith, J82P. Chemist Clay Bennett has benefited from a faculty development fund created by a gift from the Knez Family Charitable Foundation.

Charlotte Kuperwasser We look at three aspects of breast cancer. One question is the relationship of breast stem cells with cancer and cancer-related stem cells. Another project is trying to understand the cells and the micro-environment involvement in tumor progression and metastasis. The last area is the role of the stroma, noncancer host cells, in the progression of the disease. Annually, roughly 200,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed. There are 40,000–45,000 deaths annually. It is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the country. Potential applications of our research are quite varied and might give us insights into the origins of breast cancer that will aid in early intervention and prevention. For those already coping with late-stage metastatic cancer, these insights might provide better therapies for late-stage cancer that currently don’t exist. I’m really excited by the discovery of what I think would impact patient care. Finding these nontraditional new ways of addressing and understanding cancer excites me. This goes beyond simply advancing knowledge to having a real and important impact on health care.

Our lab’s work centers around one major theme: How do biological systems—cells, organs, tissues, organisms—store and process information? Using a variety of frog, chick, zebra fish, and flatworm systems, we study the natural bioelectric signals that cells use to communicate in determining the pattern of their shape. We combine molecular genetics, biophysics, physiology, and mathematical and computer modeling to try to understand the bioelectrical language spoken by cells and learn to artificially modulate it to rationally control shape. This work will give rise to novel applications in cancer biology, such as early detection of tumors; the detection, prevention, and repair of

Clay Bennett


Winter 2009

Complex carbohydrates, or sugars, possess an enormous promise as a source of new therapeutics. Carbohydrates found on bacteria, viruses, and diseased cells, such as cancer, differ significantly from those found on normal, healthy cells, which has increased interest in the use of carbohydrates for new vaccines. We’re looking at new chemical and enzymatic processes to streamline carbohydrate synthesis so these molecules can be routinely prepared in a short period of time, from hours to days. The ability to rapidly

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Bennett prepare complex carbohydrates will prove useful in a number of different biomedical applications. For example, the appearance of unusual carbohydrates on the cell surface is one indication of cancer. A “chip” employing complex sugars could be used to detect the presence in a patient’s blood serum of antibodies against these molecules, providing an early method for cancer detection. We’re developing methods that may greatly reduce the time and cost associated with the production of these tests. I’m lucky to be in the academic setting, because it allows me to combine teaching and research. When students carry out research, they have the opportunity to apply the science they learned in the classroom to making new discoveries that have the potential to have a real-world impact. Seeing students get excited as they make new discoveries is the most rewarding aspect of teaching. In a similar vein, the opportunity to make new discoveries still is the most exciting aspect of research for me.


Michael Levin

birth defects; and the regeneration of complex organs and appendages damaged by injury or aging. Our approaches focus in particular on adult, terminally differentiated cells, rather than embryonic stem cells. Our lab also studies memory stored outside of the brain—yes, there is such a thing!—to try to understand how this memory is stored and communicated. This work will give rise to new prosthetic sensory devices, as well as to the discovery of pharmaceuticals that increase intelligence, improve memory, and counteract neurotoxins and addiction. My favorite part of research is the discovery of completely new biological mechanisms: We purposely mine areas that very few other people are addressing and are discovering some incredibly interesting things. The ability to move some of this work toward biomedical applications that will help real people is also extremely exciting. Tufts has a superb critical mass of researchers in areas of interest to us, such as cognitive science, biology, biomedical engineering, physics, and computer science. I have found Tufts to be a very collaborative place.


Tufts is extremely supportive, with a very collegial atmosphere. Everyone’s very friendly and the students are top-notch. Tufts has been very nurturing, one of the reasons I’ve been successful out on my own.

Bruce and Joyce Pastor have responded to the Jaharis challenge for the Sackler Center.

Three wishes: Granted “Now is the right time to give, especially in this challenging economic




School of Medicine alum steps forward once again On a recent visit to the School of Medicine’s urban campus, gastroenterologist Bruce Pastor, M68, J95P, hardly recognized his alma mater. “My classmates and I flourished not because of the space around us, but in spite of it,” he said. The renovated Sackler Center at the medical school represents “a quantum leap in improvement since I was a student.” Dr. Pastor and his wife, Joyce Field Pastor, J67, J95P, pledged $100,000 to name the eighth-floor conference room in the refurbished campus center. Thanks to a challenge by the Jaharis Family Foundation, the impact of their gift has been doubled. Through their family foundation, Overseers Steven Jaharis, M87, and Michael Jaharis contributed $15 million toward the renovation of the Sackler Center, the creation of a new Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, and financial aid. The project is already transforming medical education and the quality of life among medical students at Tufts. The clinical skills center and three floors of the Sackler building are open and in use by students. Under the Jaharis challenge, Tufts agreed to raise an additional $7.5 million to

release a portion of the Jaharis gift for scholarships once the construction projects are complete. The Pastors are among the first to step forward in response to the Jaharis challenge. “Now is the right time to give, especially in this challenging economic environment,” says Dr. Pastor, founder of a sevenphysician practice in Boston that is affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It’s an opportunity to help provide scholarship funds while showing support for the new campus center.”

Pet lovers delighted to empower faculty clinicians at the Cummings School


t was through the treatment of Belle and Dusty, two beloved corgis, that Anne Engen met Scott Shaw, V98, Mary Labato, V83, and John Rush, D.V.M. From their experiences, she and her husband, Travis, took away an indelible impression of three gifted, dedicated, and compassionate veterinarians and were determined to find a way to honor them. “I started thinking: I’ll bet they’ve all got a wish list,” she recalls. The Engens’ gift of $515,000 granted to each clinician some wishes that benefit both research and patient care. Dr. Rush can now maintain a supply of stents for dogs of all sizes for tracheal and other uses, their cost making that impossible until now. “We’d anesthetize a dog to confirm that it was a candidate for the stent,” he says. “If we didn’t have the right size, we’d wake the dog, order a stent, then re-anesthetize the dog 48 hours later to place it.” Now surgeons are likely to have the right size ready to deploy, avoiding delay and re-anesthesia. The Engens’ gift will also sponsor a half-time cardiologist, allowing Dr. Rush to focus more time on

A former president and reunion chair of the medical school’s alumni association, Dr. Pastor made up his mind during his 40th reunion to make this gift. “My reunion gave me a chance then to reflect on how much I owe to Tufts,” he says. “The institution launched my career and gave me extraordinary opportunities, life-changing relationships—I met my wife there—and professors who became invaluable mentors. “I’ve always known that I would one day want to give a significant gift to the school. I was waiting for the right occasion.” From left: Dr. John Rush, Anne Engen, Dr. Mary


Labato, Dr. Scott Shaw, and Travis Engen Winter 2009

DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES ROBERT J. STERNBERG’S NEW VISION OF COLLEGE ADMISSIONS IS STARTING TO COME TRUE, HELPED BY THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE SCHUSTER FAMILY. 9 The Schusters—A&S Overseer Mark, A78, A08P; Audrey, A08P; Todd, A82; and Lauren, J82—made a $350,000 gift to support Project Kaleidoscope, Dean Sternberg’s innovative admissions initiative that values “out-of-the-box” thinking while reappraising how students learn and teachers teach. “I’m pleased and grateful that the Schusters share a vision for changing fundamental processes of admissions and teaching,” says Sternberg. “Tufts is uniquely positioned and qualified to change the way students are educated and prepared for leadership roles. This generous funding helps us make important progress.” Sternberg is a cognitive psychologist whose decades of research suggest that traditional measurements—such as grades and test scores—tell only part of the story of a person’s ability. He is working with Lee Coffin, dean of undergraduate admissions and enrollment management, on measures to identify students with diverse learning and thinking styles who are most likely to be tomorrow’s leaders.

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“Research shows that leaders are not just ‘book’ smart,” Sternberg says. “Rather, they synthesize wisdom, intelligence, and creativity.” The Schuster family has given generously to Tufts over the years. Mark Schuster is founder and president of a national commercial real estate firm, Bluestone/ Wingate Holdings, in Newton, Mass., and an overseer for the School of Arts and Sciences. Mark’s wife, Audrey, is a graduate of Simmons College and has served in a leadership position in a number of philanthropies. She serves on the Women’s Studies Research Center Board at Brandeis University and is active in the Jewish Children and Family Services Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Todd Schuster is founder and CEO of CW Capital, a national commercial real estate finance and investment management firm based in New York City. Todd’s wife, Lauren, is actively involved with the Tufts Alumni Admissions Program, serving as chair for the California Central Coast region. (continued on page 11)


interventional radiology, a less invasive alternative to traditional surgery. “The Engens’ gift came at the perfect time for us to add a renal resident with an interest in urinary tract issues,” says Dr. Labato. This will enable the department to conduct more clinical studies. It will also purchase a new CRRT (continuous renal replacement therapy) machine for dialysis on tiny or critically ill animals. At the upcoming American Society of Nephrology annual meeting, department members will shop for new equipment. “But instead of thinking ‘someday,’ this year it’s ‘which piece do we want to bring back with us?’” she says. Dr. Shaw, too, has bought equipment. A new thromboelastograph will offer new information on blood clots to aid research on anti-platelet drugs used to treat diseases. Dr. Shaw is now seeking grants to research the drugs’ effect on coagulation. A new, more traditional coagulation analyzer will support in-house testing at a cost of about $20 per sample instead of sending samples out to be tested at $250 each. “With this equipment, any funding we obtain to run the assays will go much further,” he says. Anne Engen speaks with delight of the opportunity to make a difference in the work of these three faculty clinicians, adding that Belle’s and Dusty’s treatments helped her see an important crossover between human and veterinary medicine. “My fundamental belief is that you look around and ask, what draws me to help?” she says. “And you choose a worthy object that touches your heart.”

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Winter 2009

Blakeley fellowship supports NGO experience Every year during the rainy season, dengue fever plagues the shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro. Between January and April last year, the virus infected more than 50,000 and killed more than 60 people, many of them children, in Brazil’s second-largest city. A Blakeley Fellowship enabled Yanina Seltzer, F09, to spend this past summer in Brazil helping in the fight against dengue fever. As an intern with a company called Mobile Metrix, founded by Melanie Edwards, F89, Seltzer trained young people to act as “mobile agents” to help stop the disease from spreading in their communities. Removing trash and standing water can protect against the mosquitoborne virus that causes high fever, headaches, and joint pain, and for which there is no vaccine. Seltzer is drawing on the experience in writing her master’s thesis. “I couldn’t 10

have done this without the Blakeley Fellowship,” says Seltzer, of San José, Costa Rica. Gerald and Lucy Blakeley of Lincoln, Mass., established the Blakeley Term Fellowship Fund in 2007 to support Fletcher School students seeking funding for unpaid internships in the nongovernmental organization (NGO) sector. In its inaugural year, the fund provided 10 awards of $5,000 to students on unpaid, overseas internships, with an NGO focused on international development. Says Gerald W. Blakeley III, F04P, president of the Gerald W. Blakeley Charitable Foundation, “This has been a great ‘social investment’ for our family, since the impact that these students have made will pay dividends for years to come.” The Blakeleys have multiple strong ties to Fletcher. Gerald III, former president and owner of Extech Instruments Corporation in Waltham, Mass., and his wife, Lucy, are longtime friends of the school. Their son Kipper, F04, of the Swiss social investment firm Blatter + Frick, serves as a member of the Fletcher European Advisory Group. Gerald III is the son of longtime Fletcher Overseer Gerald Blakeley Jr., the real-estate developer, and Dr. Tenley Albright Blakeley, the surgeon and former Olympic gold medalist in figure skating.

Granddaughter inspires scholarship Kathryn Bond, A10, aims for the heights. As a double major in biology and environmental studies, the St. Petersburg, Fla., native is advancing the science of rooftop gardening and promoting energy conservation and urban ecology by turning the tops of cities green. And as vice president of the Tufts Mountain Club she regularly leads climbing assaults on New Hampshire cliff faces—though she officially has “no knowledge” of who perches a pumpkin atop the Carmichael Hall cupola each Halloween. Bond is the inaugural holder of the Ellen R. Gordon Scholarship, created by Joseph and Sheila Rosenblatt of New York City in honor of their granddaughter Ellen Gordon, A08. “I knew Ellen through the Tufts Mountain Club,” Bond says. “Having a scholarship named for a friend is kind of cool.” Gordon, the scholarship’s namesake, is heading to the African country of Lesotho with the Peace Corps, and had asked her family to take any money planned as a graduation gift and put it, instead, to a good cause. “My grandparents just went to the next level of generosity and meaningfulness to me,” Gordon says. “They knew how much I enjoyed my Tufts education and what a special place Tufts is for me.” She is especially happy to see the award go to a friend: “I know her very well, so this is exciting!” Joseph Rosenblatt says, “We wanted to give our granddaughter a graduation present, but there was nothing she needed.” So after considering other options, he and his wife decided to endow a scholarship for its enduring impact on Tufts. “Ellen was very pleased for us

to do this in her name,” he says. “This keeps her name and an Ellen Gordon student connected with Tufts for at least the next century, I hope.” This past summer Bond received National Science Foundation funding for a research project on plants that grow on “green roofs” such as the Tisch Library’s. A green roof is beneficial, she says, because it creates a layer of insulation that lowers heating and cooling costs while reducing storm runoff; it also is aesthetically pleasing, and creates habitat space for migratory birds. Bond’s college career has not been spent behind a desk. Last fall she was a Wilderness Orientation Leader guiding eight freshmen on a camping trip in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Over winter break, she worked at an organic farm in the south of Spain. Postgraduation, Bond would like to enroll in the Friedman School’s Agriculture, Food, and Environment program or pursue a master’s in public health. She appreciates the scholarship that has helped make it all possible. “I am extremely grateful and thankful to the Rosenblatts for their generosity,” she says.

Belmont and Liberatore with the makings of their hybrid vehicle.

Project Kaleidoscope (cont.)

Clockwise from top left: Audrey, Mark, Laurie, and Todd Schuster

When Matthew Liberatore, E09, started a hybridcar racing team at the School of Engineering two years ago, he had no environmentalist ambitions whatsoever. He just liked to go fast.

“After doing some research we started to see the bigger picture and the implications of providing energy-efficient alternatives,” Liberatore says. “This is the way car design is going.”

An avid motorcycle racing fan, Liberatore got the idea when he came across an advertisement for an international racing competition for student-designed cars. “I knew we had to have a student team at Tufts,” says the mechanical engineering major. “But I was not thinking hybrids. I was thinking race cars with regular combustion engines.”

Now the team has grown to more than a dozen students and, with support from the Peter and Denise Wittich Family Fund for Alternative Energy Research, plans to compete in the Formula Hybrid International Student Competition this coming May at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Inspired, he hung posters around campus looking for like-minded motor enthusiasts. He was soon joined by graduate student Erica Belmont, E04, EG08, a longtime car hobbyist who had done some amateur racing and was excited about the prospect of designing a fast car. They were skeptical when Richard Wlezien, professor and chair of mechanical engineering, suggested they build a hybrid car for competition. Enticed by an offer of lab space and some startup funds, the two reluctantly decided to give hybrid design a try. It was not long before their enthusiasm for the emerging technology shifted into high gear.

Winter 2009

At the competition, their car must accelerate quickly from zero to 60 mph, navigate a short course of sharp turns, and complete a 13mile road race. Their design will be judged not on speed but on performance and efficiency. Belmont says she is optimistic all their design deliberations will pay off in New Hampshire. Liberatore, who recently completed an internship at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center, where he helped develop fuel-efficiency standards, says he’s sticking with hybrid design for the long haul. “Tufts Hybrid Racing has had a big impact on me,” he says. “My plan is to build my career around more efficient fuel systems and the team is what sent me in this direction.”

News of t he Beyond Boundaries C am p ai g n

Together, they pledged $350,000 to support the Tufts admissions initiative that reaches beyond the wellknown Common Application (used by Tufts and nearly 300 other colleges and universities) by adding Tufts-specific admissions questions. Essays that tease out creative, analytical, practical, and wisdom-based thinking skills are now part of the Tufts undergraduate admissions application. “Tufts is its student body, and what we love about this program is the comprehensive and thoughtful approach being applied to the admissions process,” Todd Schuster says. “The tangible result is that Tufts gets a better look at more prospective students and that’s healthy for the university. There is more to an applicant than just the numbers.” Mark Schuster says, “That out-ofthe-box thinking will recruit students as people—not simply as applicants with outstanding board scores and GPA, and a well-rounded resume. It’s very exciting that our university wants to know more about the person. That’s what we’re all about: We’re recruiting people. From my vantage point, the more Tufts can know about a student the better.”


Alternative energy research fund helps drive innovators


University Advancement 80 George Street, Medford, MA 02155

Donor profile: Bess Dopkeen, A04

She credits Tufts with fueling her drive to lead an active life. “Tufts was more than I could have hoped for,” says the political science graduate. “In one day, I could go hear the Saudi Arabian ambassador speak, head to crew practice, spend hours in the library, and the next morning go hiking with the

mountain club. I had life-changing professors and countless opportunities. I absolutely thrived there.” For that reason, Dopkeen says, she joined the Packard Society at the Ivory Tusk level, annually giving $100 multiplied by each year that has passed since her graduation. This year, with her fifth reunion approaching in May, her gift is $500. “It’s a little painful every year, but I keep in mind that what Tufts gave me far outlasts whatever I may be giving Tufts,” says Dopkeen, who also volunteers to help Tisch College students find summer internships in D.C. “Tufts gave me so much.”

Annual Gifts. Daily Impact. Annual gifts go to work immediately, enhancing daily life at the university: > supporting financial aid that makes a Tufts education possible for bright and deserving students > helping the university recruit and retain exceptional faculty > funding library acquisitions and improved technology > sponsoring student research initiatives, athletics, and student activities

onors 70½ or older may make a charitable gift to Tufts directly from an IRA without paying federal income tax on the withdrawal. Congress has passed legislation allowing direct distributions to charity up to $100,000 per person. These gifts will not be included in the donor’s taxable income and can be counted toward the minimum required distribution (MRD). To qualify:


s Gifts must be outright and finalized

by December 31, 2009. s Transfers must be made from a

traditional or Roth IRA. s Plan providers must issue the check

in the name of the university. For more information, contact the Gift Planning Office at 888-748-8387, email, or visit Distributions from 401(k), 403(b), and other non-IRA retirement plans do not qualify. There is no charitable deduction available for the transfer. Transfers to donor-advised funds or charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities do not qualify. There may be state tax consequences resulting from charitable rollover gifts. This information is not intended as legal or tax advice; please consult your advisor if you are considering this type of gift.

To learn more about making a gift to your school’s annual fund, please contact us at or 800.326.4001. 09-253


She’s up with the birds: A coxswain with Alexandria (Va.) Community Rowing, Bess is at the boathouse on the Potomac River by 5:30 every morning and on the water before the sun rises. After practice she changes into a suit and by 8:30 is at her desk at the Pentagon, where she is a cost analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Approved for 2009: IRA Charitable Rollover presents significant tax benefit

Tufts Blueprint Winter 2009  

Independent thinking Racing green Student uses scholarship to pursue a creative way of energy conservation, page 10 Smile like never before...

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