Years later, the ripple effects of philanthropy are very real. A TUSDM resident assists with pediatric oral surgery in India. Story on page 3.
A message from the president: 2
When Tufts College was founded nearly 160 years ago, the hill upon which its light was famously placed had no trees. Some had been chopped down for firewood by Hessian soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The rest went to the building of Medford clipper ships. What was known as Walnut Hill was bare. Today from my window in Ballou Hall I can see elms and beeches and maples, which have turned a riot of orange, red, and yellow in my first autumn on campus. It’s remarkable what a few well-placed seeds will do. The same can be said for philanthropy. I have only been at Tufts a short time but already it is clear to me the impact that generosity has had on this university. This issue of Blueprint seeks to convey the tangible difference that giving makes. Take for example the story of Nicole Cherng, A10, which resonates with me as a research scientist. Nicole got her start as a researcher in biologist Sergei Mirkin’s lab. Her work had potential applications in the treatment of a neurological disorder for which there currently is no cure. She was lead author on a resulting paper that was published in one of the most distinguished of scientific journals—a remarkable achievement for an undergraduate. Now she is going to medical school and eyes a career combining practice as a physician with research. Nicole’s progress illustrates the widening circles of philanthropy’s impact. The generosity of the White family endowed the professorship Sergei Mirkin holds in biology, helping underwrite his teaching and research that is expanding our knowledge while contributing to the betterment of the human condition. Meantime, support from the Russell L. Carpenter Summer Fellowship Program and the Summer Scholars program—both made possible by the generosity of Tufts families and friends—helped Nicole gain the lab experience that has provided the foundation for her future in medicine. Her great works are only beginning. There are many more stories like this at Tufts. This issue of Blueprint contains a few of them. Thank you for all you do to make this university a place where achievements radiate. I look forward to working with you to add new chapters to Tufts’ remarkable story—and to plant some new seeds. Best wishes, Tony Monaco
FOR TUFTS UNIVERSITY Chair, Board of Trustees James A. Stern, E72, A07P
Provost ad Interim Peggy Newell
President Anthony P. Monaco, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for University Advancement Brian K. Lee
University Advancement Tufts University, 80 George Street, 200-3 Medford, MA 02155 USA 617.627.3200 • email@example.com
Aboard the Smile Train
he first thing a visitor notices in the waiting room of the SDM Hospital Craniofacial Unit in Dharwad, India, are all the children waiting for treatment who were born with cleft lip or palate. Their deformities make it hard for them to speak. Some babies are malnourished because it is difficult for them to be fed. “Many have come a long way from remote rural areas for this chance at a normal life,” says Dr. Marcin “Marty” Jarmoc, D07, DG11. As a resident in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine last year, he participated in an exchange program at the SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital with the support of a travel fund established by a generous Tufts donor. “On any given day there are 20 or 30 kids in the unit awaiting surgery or post-operative treatment,” recalls Jarmoc, now an assistant clinical professor at the School of Dental Medicine. “Our role was to assist with the surgeries, and we would do two or three of these a day. “The difference that was made in the children’s appearance, as well as in their quality of life, was tremendous,” he says. “The parents’ faces would light up when you brought the babies from the recovery room.” A travel fund endowed in 2002 by Dr. Roderick Lewin, D57, has enabled Tufts residents in oral and maxillofacial surgery like Dr. Jarmoc to assist at the Indian hospital, gaining valuable surgical and diagnostic training. Dr. Lewin’s generosity “lit the candle” that inspired the exchange program, says Dr. Maria Papageorge, D82, DG86, DG89, A12P, professor and chair of oral and maxillofacial surgery. “Students are transformed by the experience,” she says. The SDM Hospital is the only one in India that provides care for patients
School of Dental Medicine residents return from hospital exchange program with insights, experience
Martin Jarmoc, D07, DG11, gained surgical training in the Craniofacial Unit of SDM Hospital, Dharwad, India.
with cleft lip and palate as well as large tumors and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Upwards of 1,200 patients are treated every year in the hospital’s 50-bed craniofacial unit. “The pace of the work and the advanced stages to which patients’ diseases have progressed—the result of lack of money or access to care—are issues a dentist would not experience in the United States,” Jarmoc says. He adds there are other differences, too: “Because the power goes out as often as once an hour, you have to rely on the window in the operating room
News o f Gi v i ng , Grow th , an d G ratitu de
for light while the back-up generator is kicking in.” Many of the cleft palate surgeries are paid for by Smile Train, an international charity that funds such operations for children in more than 80 countries around the world. Through the exchange program, residents in oral and maxillofacial surgery from India also come to Tufts. Tufts and SDM College have signed an agreement to expand research collaborations, and faculty from both institutions are working together to develop joint research ventures.
News of G ivin g, Growth, and Grati tude
Taking the initiative for global health
Preneta in Haiti, at left, and at Tufts
“The effectiveness of any [public health] project is dependent on the ability to learn and adapt to the local context.”
IN THE JET AGE, his hometown of Farmington, Conn., and the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince are not very far apart, observes Nick Preneta, MG11. “You can get there in a day,” he says. “But it seems like a completely different world.” Preneta, who had worked in Ghana under a travel grant from the School of Medicine’s Global Health Initiative Fund, was in his final semester in the Master of Public Health Program when the earthquake hit Haiti last year. He left school to go to Port-au-Prince, where he helped with the distribution of water, food, and medical supplies. Preneta was returning to Haiti, where he had spent three years before Tufts working with street children in the northern city of Cap-Haitien. “I went because of my close ties to the people of Haiti and my belief that my knowledge of the country and language would be an asset to relief work,” he says.
The first place he lived after the earthquake was next to a camp holding 1,600 people. Built on a soccer field, the camp had no sanitary facilities. Preneta joined members of a local soccer team to build latrines. Now he is involved in a more wide-scale effort to improve sanitation in Haiti. As deputy director of a group called SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods), he works with communities to build composting toilets, converting waste for use in agriculture and reforesting. An experimental garden SOIL has planted shows how compost may be used to grow corn, plantains, and beans. Some of the soccer players from the camp in Port-au-Prince have signed on as staff. His previous Global Health Initiative experience in Africa has been useful to him, Preneta says. The Global Health Initiative at the School of Medicine has benefited during the Beyond Boundaries campaign from
the philanthropic support of donors, including the Harris Berman and Ruth Nemzoff Family Foundation; retired professor James N. Hyde; the late professor Dr. Norman Stearns; and Irma Mann. “During my time in Ghana I quickly learned that the effectiveness of any [public health] project is dependent on the ability to learn and adapt to the local context, and on a willingness to modify your project so as to better meet the needs of the population,” Preneta says. “Too often, as I have seen in Haiti, projects are conceived in agency offices or in foreign countries without the input of local stakeholders. Not surprisingly, these projects are often rife with problems and perform poorly on their original objectives.” He said SOIL is trying to build a household sanitation program in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien. The organization’s compost site in Port-au-Prince is the country’s largest waste-treatment facility, currently
serving 13,000 to 14,000 people out of a population of nine million. Sanitation remains a huge challenge in Haiti. “Before the earthquake, only 17 percent of the households in Haiti had access to improved sanitation,” Preneta says. “It was a disaster before the earthquake. The earthquake exacerbated the problem.” Cholera, transmitted through the consumption of sewage-tainted water and food that has not been washed properly, has claimed the lives of 6,000 people in Haiti since last October, he says. SOIL hopes to develop a business model for decentralized waste-treatment facilities funded both by small fees paid by households and by the sale of resulting nutrient-rich compost. The hope is that the model then would be taken up by the private sector or the government and put in effect around the country. “Our goal is to work ourselves out of a job,” he says.
Discovery and healing
Cherng outside the UMass Medical School
cience is endless possibilities,” says Nicole Cherng, A10, a stellar researcher as an undergraduate in Tufts biologist Sergei Mirkin’s lab, now studying for her M.D. at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “What’s exciting is there’s so much to be found,” she says. “There’s so much to be discovered still, so much to be created, so much that still doesn’t make sense.”
The aspiring doctor from Westford, Mass., is an example of the ripple effect of philanthropy. A series of scholarship awards enabled her to work three years in Professor Mirkin’s laboratory. Meantime, Mirkin’s teaching and research have been supported by the endowed professorship he holds, the White Family Chair in Biology. The generosity of Tufts parents John and Penny White, J97P, A03P, A05P, bene-
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fited the Tufts researcher whose student now paves her own path in science. “As a physician I hope to contribute not only to day-to-day patient care, but also to the research world,” Cherng says. As an undergraduate, she was lead author on a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper described findings of research done in the Mirkin lab with potential applications in the treatment of a particular neurological disorder, spinocerebellar ataxia, for which there currently is no cure. “It is remarkable for an undergraduate student to be lead author on a paper in the Proceedings, one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world,” Mirkin says. “I am sure she will have a bright future—and it was a privilege to see her start her journey here at Tufts.” A biology major, Cherng joined Mirkin’s lab the summer after fresh-
“I hope to contribute not only to day-to-day patient care, but also to the research world.” man year on an eight-week research fellowship under the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program. The experience led her to add a major in biomedical engineering. She continued in the lab with support from a Russell L. Carpenter Summer Fellowship and as a Summer Scholar. A grant to the Mirkin Lab from the National Institutes of Health also provided support. “My three years in Sergei’s lab culminated in my first authored publication and my senior thesis,” she said. “I learned the discipline of independent research. The amount of responsibility Sergei gave me was very high, overwhelming at times, but it pushed me to a higher level of achievement than I might otherwise have achieved as an undergraduate. He really pushed me to learn more.”
Canine research holds promise for humans Dodman’s research has led to numerous collaborations with leading psychiatricand genetic-research organizations, including McLean Hospital, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Nicholas Dodman specializes in behavior issues with dogs.
ONE OUT OF 100 CHILDREN born today is affected by autism. And of the four million dogs surrendered to shelters every year, an estimated 2.2 million are put down. What do these numbers have to do with each other? “Both are staggering,” says Dr. Nicholas Dodman, professor of clinical sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “And both could see a significant drop because of new research.” Over the past few years, Dodman has garnered attention for groundbreaking research into the genetic roots of canine obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) and behavioral problems, work that is aiding treatment of conditions that too often have destroyed relationships between pets and owners and have cost countless dogs their lives.
Now, with funding made possible by two longtime friends of the Cummings School, links are being explored between his research on animals and potential appli cations in the treatment of humans with similar psychiatric disorders.
Imagine the dog genome as a giant map of a dog’s entire genetic makeup. Dodman and his team have been able to pinpoint a region on chromosome seven that helps to confer susceptibility to OCD in Dobermans. “This research found a glitch, the proverbial needle in the haystack,” he says. The discovery, published with University of Massachusetts and Broad Institute collaborators in Molecular Psychiatry magazine, has far-reaching implications. “Dog studies like this one can teach us not only about locating the genetic underpinnings of OCD in humans, but also shed light on other conditions like Tourette’s syndrome and autism,” he says. “We have found a new way of looking at the genetics of psychiatric illness in people.” The research has led to numerous collaborations for Dodman, including an imaging study with McLean Hospital and work with its OCD clinic, as well as a partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute and collaboration with researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Human Genome Research Institute. “We have also discussed
patents that have arisen with Yale psychiatric researchers who have patented similar mechanisms of OCD relevant to treatment,” he says. Dodman has a rescuing bent. At home he has two pets he saved from a shelter, a dog named Rusty and a deaf cat named Griswold. The cat often is startled by people walking up behind him, he says, but otherwise is “living the life of Riley.” Of the hundreds of animals Dodman has treated over the years, it was a cocker spaniel who led to key philanthropic support for his research. Mac Emory and Jan Corning, animal lovers and benefactors of the Cummings School, became convinced of the value of Dodman’s work after many visits to his clinic at the Cummings School for treatment of Emory’s beloved dog. Emorys and Corning’s gifts to the American Foundation created the grants that left Dodman “blinking with delight,” he says, and have since catapulted his research to new heights. The grants have also helped close the gaps between animal and human conditions and convert tragic statistics into real-life cures.
News of G ivin g, Growth, and Grati tude
A Final Report
Nearly 140,000 donors—including half of Tufts’ alumni—contributed $434 million for scholar ships and other support to enhance the student experience. Their philanthropy established more than 630 new endowed and term scholarships. Donors also gave $386 million for faculty recruitment and research and $137 million for new facilities. The remaining funds will be directed to other priorities such as new academic and research programs.
a $1.2-billion effort, is complete.
The largest fundraising campaign in university history,
— Jonathan Tisch, A76, trustee and campaign co-chair
“To be able to garner this kind of support…is not only a good story for Tufts, it’s a great story, period.”
Faculty excellence in teaching and research is the driving force behind the university’s esteemed reputation. Faculty achievements attract the best and brightest students as well as other scholars, and their discoveries are leading to wide-ranging improvements in the well-being of people and animals around the world.
23 Named professorships established university-wide 7 Percentage increase in tenured and tenure-eligible faculty university-wide during the campaign 3 School of Engineering faculty who won early career awards in 2010 from the National Science
plinary graduate program addressing the complexities of managing this vital, and scarce, resource
451 Invention disclosures from across the university during the campaign period 425 Undergraduate/faculty pairs funded to conduct research in all disciplines 52 Tisch College Faculty Fellows who provide leadership in active citizenship teaching and research 32 Faculty from six Tufts schools affiliated with Water: Systems, Science, and Society, an interdisci
80,959 Square footage devoted to new lab space since the start of the campaign
in public service or nonprofit jobs to repay a portion of their educational loans
17 Fulbright Scholars in 2010–11 2 National athletics championships won (lacrosse and tennis) 1 First-of-its-kind university-wide loan repayment assistance program helps alumni working
mer Scholars program
630 Endowed or term scholarships established university-wide 168 Students who have been Tisch Scholars 50 Percentage of undergraduates who received financial aid in 2010–11 43 Percentage of undergraduates engaged in research since the establishment of the Sum-
Tufts strives to give its students the resources they need to achieve their highest potential. Opportunities for exploration and growth shape this positive student experience and set the foundation for a lifelong connection to Tufts. Funding for scholarship and research, cultural activities, and wellness and athletics has attracted exceptionally talented students to each and every school and enriched their Tufts education.
Annual fund gifts impact every aspect of a Tufts education. They support the work of students and faculty inside classrooms and laboratories, on athletic fields and in performance halls, in residence halls and libraries, in community service projects, and in study abroad opportunities. As such, each and every annual fund contribution is an investment in Tufts’ core academic and research mission and improves the Tufts experience for both faculty and students.
Expansion project at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Cummings Veterinary School
Agnes Varis Campus Center, Cummings Veterinary School
Arthur M. Sackler Center for Health Communications, School of Medicine
Master Plan renovations at The Fletcher School, Medford/Somerville
Renovated dance and movement facilities in Jackson Gym, Medford/Somerville
Percent compound annual growth rate in total giving to all the annual funds
Percentage increase in the annual fund over the course of the campaign— annual giving totaled $9.7 million in the year before Beyond Boundaries began, and reached $17 million at its peak
Leadership gifts at the campaign’s peak, contributing a total of $12 million
lumni who gave to the annual fund for the first time ever during Beyond A Boundaries
lumni, parents, friends, students, staff, and others who contributed to the A Tufts Fund during Beyond Boundaries
Agnes Varis Auditorium, Cummings Veterinary School
Ambulatory Service Center, Woodstock, Connecticut, Cummings Veterinary School
The Luke and Lily Lerner Spay/Neuter Clinic, Cummings Veterinary School
Large Animal Isolation Unit, Cummings Veterinary School
Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, School of Medicine
Vertical Expansion Initiative (five additional levels), School of Dental Medicine
New artificial turf field, Bello Field, Medford/Somerville
The William A. Shoemaker Boathouse, Malden River
Carmichael Hall, including a new faculty dining facility and function center, Medford/Somerville
The Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center, including reconfiguration of Cousens Gym to meet NCAA regulations, Medford/Somerville
The Perry and Marty Granoff Music Center, Medford/Somerville
Strategic investments in the capital of the university—new and im proved facilities—have dramatically enhanced the university landscape and strengthened its capacity for world-class teaching, research, and learning, from classrooms, audito riums, clinics and laboratories to ambitious renovations and soaring new construction. These endeavors support students and faculty in and out of the classroom and will benefit generations to come. The Bacow Sailing Pavilion, Mystic Lakes
Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy for promising research on superconducting materials, near infrared spectroscopy, and nanotechnology
7 Percentage increase in tenured and tenure-eligible faculty university-wide during the campaign 3 School of Engineering faculty who won early career awards in 2010 from the National Science
Ten facilities/athletic spaces
in the well-being of people and animals around the world.
Dr. Bernard M. Gordon, H92, Trustee Emeritus
William S. Cummings, A58, J97P, M97P, H06, Trustee Emeritus
Karen M. Pritzker, J83, A12P, A14P, Trustee
Daniel F. Pritzker, A81, A12P, A14P
Honorary Campaign Chairs
Lawrence S. Bacow, President (ex-officio)
Kathryn C. Chenault, Esq., J77, Trustee Emerita
Daniel A. Kraft, A87, Trustee
Dr. Agnes Varis, H03, Trustee Emerita
Martin J. Granoff, A91P, Trustee Emeritus
Joseph E. Neubauer, E63, J90P, Trustee Emeritus
Nathan Gantcher, A62, H04, Trustee Emeritus
Steven B. Epstein, Esq., A65, A96P, A01P, A07P, AG04P, Trustee Emeritus
James A. Stern, E72, A07P, Chair, Board of Trustees
Jonathan M. Tisch, A76, Trustee
Alan D. Solomont, A70, A08P, Trustee Emeritus (2002–2009)
Pierre M. Omidyar, A88, Trustee Emeritus
Pamela K. Omidyar, J89
Other organ izations, 5% $55,965,171 Family founda tions, 12% $141,395,314 Foundations, 15% $173,404,188
Giving by Source, University-wide
Engineering, 16% $188,544,933 Arts and Sciences, 38% $462,604,188
Percent of Total, by School
Current Use, 43% $521,639,367 Endowment, 50% $610,392,486
Campaign Purpose (through June 30, 2011)
Facts and Figures
Alumni, 40% $454,219,665 Parents, 3% $30,038,836 Friends, 4% $49,252,810 Students, <1% $83,283 Other individuals and estates, 16% $181,254,365 Corporations, 5% $62,495,224
Fletcher, 8% $100,484,508 Friedman, 5% $65,725,311 Medicine, 10% $115,280,874 Dental, 4% $47,353,647 Cummings, 11% $130,332,380 University, 3% $38,352,521 Tisch College, 5% $63,378,826
Capital Plant, 6% $77,740,578 Designation Pending, <1% $2,284,752
Compound Annual Growth = 5.8%
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Annual Giving During Campaign
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Cumulative Commitments and Cash
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Fletcher’s Endowed Chair for Diplomatic History a Bully Pulpit for Teaching American Foreign Policy
y country, right or wrong!” John Quincy Adams could never join in the popular patriotic toast, he wrote his father, John, in 1816. “My toast would be, may our country always be successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right.” Minister to Russia, negotiator of the Treaty of Ghent that ended the War of 1812, shaper of the Monroe Doctrine as secretary of state, eloquent foe of slavery as a congressman, and perhaps the only major figure in American history who knew both the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln, John Quincy Adams is largely remembered today only as the younger half of the nation’s first father-son presidential duo. Yet he was, in fact, one of America’s greatest statesmen, whose vision of the young republic and its place in the world is worth recalling today, says Alan Henrikson, the inaugural Lee E. Dirks Professor in Diplomatic History at the Fletcher School. “For many years I have taken my students to the Adams National Historic Park in Quincy to visit the Adams family’s ‘Old House,’” Henrikson says. “I want to give them a sense of a place where great ideas of American foreign policy have been formed.” The Adams connection with his course is longstanding. Henrikson recalls years ago inviting a latter-day member of the illustrious family to speak to his students on the “Adams Tradition in American Diplomacy.” Charles Francis Adams IV was then head of Raytheon and chairman of the Fletcher School’s Board of Visitors. Adams IV described an occasion when he and his father—Charles Francis Adams III, secretary of the Navy in the Hoover administration—were walking together down Tremont Street in Boston. The older Adams was intending to go one way and the younger Adams another. As they parted, the father somewhat
“The importance of ‘integrity’ in diplomacy, as in interpersonal relations, can hardly be overestimated. It is also a definition of character. Countries, too, have character.” —Prof. Alan Henrikson abruptly said to the son, “You have inherited a reputation for integrity. Don’t lose it.” He then turned and walked away. “The importance of ‘integrity’ in diplomacy, as in interpersonal relations, can hardly be overestimated,” says Henrikson. The Adamses understood the concept of integrity as being not just moral but also intellectual, requiring not just rectitude, but consistency, he says. “It is also a definition of character. Countries, too, have character.” In a speech on the Fourth of July in 1821 John Quincy Adams described the United States as “the well-wisher to the freedom
and independence of all,” yet “the champion and vindicator only of her own.” America, he said, “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” This was in keeping with what he saw as the anti-imperial precedent of the first half-century of the young republic. Today, of course, “international circumstances have changed and so has American policy,” says Henrikson. “The power of the United States has greatly increased and U.S. interests have greatly expanded.” Whereas President Thomas Jefferson intervened against the Barbary Pirates to protect only Americans and their interests, the United Nations, of which the United States was a founding member, has affirmed a “responsibility to protect”—an obligation to defend the citizens of other countries when their own governments do not, as in Libya under Qaddafi, Henrikson says. How to find that larger “integrity” in the foreign policy and conduct of the United States over time? This is a challenge facing the historian who sets out to reconcile past and present, Henrikson says. The engagement with U.S. diplomatic history is a long and enduring tradition at the Fletcher School, says Henrikson. He notes the great interest in the field—and in the diplomacy of John Quincy Adams in particular— that is held by Lee Dirks, F57, the benefactor who endowed the professorship he now holds. “For Lee, as for many other Fletcher graduates, the subject of U.S. diplomatic history, like American diplomacy itself, has been a lifelong source of enjoyment as well as a mirror for historical reflection,” Henrikson says. “His generosity in establishing the Lee E. Dirks Professorship in Diplomatic History will make it possible to continue sharing his interest and intellectual engagement with succeeding generations of Fletcher students.”
News of G ivin g, Growth, and Grati tude
Reinventing the family farm
ultivating the next generation of farmers. ” That’s the motto of the Friedman School’s New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, which trains new and immigrant farmers in the business of running a commercial farm while at the same time preserving the regional food system. “It’s an awesome responsibility for these new farmers to be growing food for people, to nourish them,” says project manager Jennifer Hashley. “I think people really find joy in that, as much hard work as it is.”
Left to right, farmers and volunteers package produce for delivery to Bostonarea distribution centers.
The cause is winning the school new friends who may not have a previous connection to Friedman but share a passion for healthy food, a sustainable environment, and creating economic opportunities for farmers. Friedman Fund donor Linda Lee says the farming project incorporates things she and her husband, Charles Lamb, care about, such as social action and open-space conservation, while offering the chance to witness a “veritable United Nations of farming styles.”
With increased demand for fresh food from local sources, New Entry is equipping the next generation of farmers with the skills and business savvy to succeed. Beginning farmers go through a farm business training course and then spend up to three years learning from expert staff members on leased property with full technical assistance. After their graduation, New Entry helps farmers locate land and connects them to direct marketing opportunities. In 2010 alone, more than 300 people participated in New Entry programs—from business planning and marketing assistance to livestock husbandry trainings, among others. For graduates of the project, creating a successful agricultural business is a way to help the community that has welcomed them. “Our farmers want to make food affordable for people in the community, ” Hashley says. The farmers tell her: “Our fields are abundant and we want to share it with people. Why not make it easier for everyone to eat fresh, healthy food?”
THE HERALD NEWS
School’s garden helps grow he THE IDEA FOR A GARDEN at the Watson Elementary School in Fall River, Mass., came about after a first-grade girl said her family didn’t have enough food at home. The school’s principal saw an opportunity to start a garden that would be a teaching tool as well as a community asset. Neighborhood residents took an interest. Some would stop by and offer tips in Portuguese on growing tomatoes. Now the garden at the city’s oldest and smallest school produces tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, beans, squash, and zucchini. It also teaches valuable lessons. “The children learn carrots grow in the ground and potatoes aren’t French
fries,” says Marcia Picard, Fall River school wellness coordinator. The garden at the Watson School was the first of 10 community gardens now planted in the city as a part of the Balance Project, a communitywide initiative led by the Friedman School as part of its Children in Balance program. Children in Balance works to combat and curb the childhood obesity epidemic in this country through community-based research interventions. Over the past 30 years, obesity rates in the United States have doubled among adults and tripled among children. Physical activity levels and fitness have decreased, diets have shifted
Carson Underwood plants parsley at the Samuel Watson Elementary School.
w healthy habits toward less healthy foods, and diseases related to obesity and lack of fitness are driving up health-care costs, threatening to reverse the enormous advances in public health achieved during the last century. A $2.2 million grant from the PepsiCo Foundation for the Balance Project enabled the groundbreaking “Shape Up Somerville” experiment to be replicated in cities in Pennsylvania and Florida as well as in Fall River. So far, progress in Fall River has been very encouraging, Picard says. Training programs have been launched to help community agencies support good nutrition. Community cable TV shows describe the benefits of
PHOTOS BY KELVIN MA
New Entry Sustainable Farming is a comprehensive project that serves local communities as it pursues nutritional, economic, and civic goals. Seeding success fresh local produce, and city schools are t aking part in a statewide project encouraging children to walk to school in supervised groups. These shifts in community culture have played a key role in bringing about important behavior changes on an individual level. For example, this summer 1,600 youngsters took a pledge to give up or cut back on sweetened drinks; at one school, 93 percent of the pupils took the pledge. “The community mindset has changed,” says Picard. “Our aim is to encourage children to serve as change agents, to come home and have an apple instead of a doughnut, and carry a message about healthy living.”
News o f Gi v i ng , Grow th , an d G ratitu de
Fall River, Mass., was one of three cities nationwide chosen to replicate key components of Tufts’ noted Shape Up Somerville model. Shape Up was a citywide childhood obesity research study that was launched by Tufts Associate Professor Christina Economos, N96, holder of the New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and fellow researchers at the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention at the Friedman School. As part of the Shape Up effort, Somerville schools increased the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products at school meals; local restaurants offered low-fat milk and smaller portion sizes; and the city added bike racks and repainted crosswalks to increase opportunities for physical activity, such as walking and biking to school. As a result, Shape Up was the first study of its kind to prevent undesirable weight gain in children. The success of Shape Up Somerville made international headlines and has been hailed by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative as a national model for childhood obesity prevention.
Naiara Souto at Somerville High
Finding a way The York Scholarship gives students at Somerville High a path to Tufts
WHEN DORIS YORK was growing up in Somerville in the 1920s, her father didn’t think girls should go to college. That didn’t stop her. She worked her way to a law degree from the old Portia Law School on Beacon Hill and went on to a career as a bank executive with the United States Trust Co. in Boston.
of scared that the environment is going to be too different from what they’re used to,” she says. “I get that completely, having gone from Brazil to Somerville High to Tufts. College is a whole different world.”
Along the way, she invested in tax-free municipal bonds. When she died in 2004 at 92, York, who never married, left an estate worth roughly $4 million. Nearly half she left to Tufts to endow a full-tuition scholarship for young women graduates of Somerville High, from which she graduated in 1929. Now the first recipient of a Doris W. York Scholarship has graduated from Tufts—and is helping a new generation of students pursue their own college dreams.
Naiara Souto, A10, counseled students at Somerville High as a member of the College Advising Corps at Tisch College. Now she has taken a job in diversity recruitment at Tufts’ Admissions Office. Having emigrated herself from Brazil at the age of seven, Souto holds one issue especially close to her heart: her work with Latino students. “Many don’t want to move away from home or are kind
She recalled her own immigrant story. Breaking through the language barrier “by watching a lot of television,” she applied herself to her studies and managed to reach the top of her high school class. She and her siblings were the first in their family to aspire to college, and tuition promised to be a challenge. The York Scholarship paid her way through Tufts. Now she is lending a hand to the students who have come after her. “When I went back to Somerville High to advise, it was satis fying to have kids just plop down and talk to me about their frustrations and to give them a professional outlet,” she said. “Not everyone at Somerville is on the college path—and the college path, once you get on it, isn’t always the easiest. The members of the class I just worked with are headed for their freshman year at college, and I tried my best to prepare them. “If they have any issues, they have my phone number!”
News of G ivin g, Growth, and Grati tude
News o f Gi v i ng , Grow th , an d G ratitu de
rowing up next to the elevated railway in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aliandro Brathwaite, E14, developed an early fascination with engineering. “I’d always lived next to a subway line, and I was interested in how it was built, how the very heavy trains stay on this elevated track,” he says. Now the kid who grew up next to the El is pursuing his engineering dream at Tufts. He was among eight students in the Class of 2014 who enrolled prior to their first semester in a six-week summer bridge program, created to make engineering a viable option for talented students from diverse backgrounds who would benefit from extra academic preparation. They took two classes for credit, participated in academic and college life workshops, and gained an edge in their math studies. Six of the eight students went on to make Dean’s List in their first year. What is called the BEST (Bridge to Engineering Success at Tufts) program was piloted by the School of Engineering and the Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Diversity, in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. A second group of incoming freshmen participated in the six-
For these undergraduates at the School of Engineering, terms like “first-generation,” “high financial need,” and “underrepresented” describe their circumstances, not their potential.
Crossing bridges week BEST program on campus this past summer. The aim is to attract and retain members of populations underrepresented at the school, focusing on first-generation college-goers with high financial need, says Travis Brown, project manager for the Center for STEM Diversity. Support for the BEST program comes from the Dean’s Discretionary Fund at the School of Engineering—a beneficiary of the Beyond Boundaries campaign. When Corey Mason, E14, from rural West Virginia, learned he would receive an ROTC scholarship to study engineering anywhere he wanted, he wondered what may lie beyond the
“cornfields, cows, and mountains” of Appalachia. “Tufts seemed like a good reach for me,” he says. Yet he wondered if finishing at the top of his high school AP calculus class would be enough. “I was sincerely worried about how well the math program at my high school had actually prepared me,” he said. Mason was in the inaugural BEST group. After what he called the hardest—and best—six weeks of his life, he walked onto campus in September with an ace in his pocket. “I went in feeling a step ahead,” he says. “I don’t think anyone else came in quite as prepared as the BEST Scholars.”
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