Jumbo Magazine - Fall 2021

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INNOVATION ISSUE Standardized Testing: Is it Really Optional? The Power of South Asian Diasporic Aunties Across Place and Time Why Engineering? Three Students Share Their Stories Parker Rule ’23 is Engineering Social Change


These pages were written by Tufts students. Flipping through them should feel like taking a stroll through campus. You’ll meet professors and students; they’ll share with you what excites them. You’ll drop into a class on an unfamiliar topic and leave inspired, dig into some fascinating research, or hang out in a residence hall with potential classmates. Along the way, you might decide that Tufts feels like the right place for you. If that happens, this magazine is also for you—flip to the back where we’ve broken down the basics on applying: deadlines, aid, and our advice. This is Tufts; explore it.




18 | Mental Health at Tufts Check out our existing resources and ways to be involved.

24 | Three Ways to Be an Engineer Engineering is vast, and at Tufts there are many ways to be an engineer.

3 10 14 15 28 32 34 38 39


On the Cover: Committed to advancing purposeful social change, Parker Rule embodies the revered values of the Tufts community. COVER PHOTOS BY KATHLEEN DOOHER (FRONT), ALONSO NICHOLS/TUFTS UNIVERSITY (BACK)



MEET THE STUDENT COMMUNICATIONS GROUP Most of what you’re about to read was written by these Tufts students. Listen for their voices as they introduce you to the Tufts community, page by page.


academic year, and creating novel ways to support athletics, student organizations, and social events. This issue of JUMBO will give you a glimpse of our innovative spirit, and the ways in which this community navigates complex challenges. You will read about Professor Kareem Khubchandani who conducts innovative research into gender and sexuality, performance art and drag, and the South Asian diaspora. You will read about our students, including Parker Rule ’23, a mathematics and computer science double major who creates software that can run redistricting experiments, and Krithi Ram-Junnarkar ’22, a sociology major who looks for ways to create community on a campus full of passionate students from diverse backgrounds. We close this issue by providing some insight into admissions and the experience of applying to Tufts. As a reminder, we are entering our second year of a three-year SAT/ACT test-optional pilot—we are giving you the choice of whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores with your admissions application as we innovate our work in identifying the most talented, most compelling, and most promising students from across the country and around the world to join us on the Hill. If our innovative, entrepreneurial, and collaborative community here at Tufts resonates with you, I look forward to getting to know you better through your application. I wish you all the best with your college search. Best,

JT Duck Dean of Admissions

SIWAAR ABOUHALA ’23 from West Harrison, NY

SUSANNAH MURRAY ’24 from Santa Fe, NM

BLAKE ANDERSON ’24 from Sioux Falls, SD

CHRIS PANELLA ’21 from Hollywood, FL

JOSH COHEN ’24 from Sarasota, FL

VALERIA VELASQUEZ ’23 from Columbia, MO

MARIE KAZIBWE ’24 from Mount Kisco, NY

OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS Tufts University / Bendetson Hall 2 The Green / Medford, MA 02155 617.627.3170 / admissions.tufts.edu

Produced by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Edited by Kella Merlain-Moffatt, Admissions Counselor Design by Hecht/Horton Partners



experience. In fact, our excellence in innovation was recently recognized when Tufts was accepted into the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of America’s leading research universities known for education, research, and innovation. As a Tier 1 research university, Tufts is a national leader in providing opportunities for students to work alongside faculty across disciplines to create new knowledge, to probe, to problem solve, and to innovate. Look no further than the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, a home for entrepreneurial research, workshops, and accelerators that fuel innovative efforts across the curriculum. Or the Joyce Cummings Center, an eight-story academic building rising alongside the new public transit station connecting our Medford/Somerville campus with downtown Boston. The Cummings Center opens in January 2022 and will house computer science, economics, mathematics, and several more programs, allowing for new collaborations and innovative approaches across disciplines. Faculty and staff at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at the School of Engineering are using a grant from the LEGO Foundation to develop the “Tech and Play” initiative—a collaborative initiative with organizations across the globe that will develop tools to support play in engineering, to provide professional development for teachers, and to continue innovating how we educate the next generation of engineers. And, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic required all of us to innovate how we learn, how we teach, and how we build community. At Tufts, that included designing and implementing health and safety protocols that supported an on-campus experience for most of our undergraduates for the 2020–2021

Whether you’re enthusiastic about singing the blues, interested in developments in cultural activities, or fascinated by ethics and responsibility, there are many ways to innovate during your time at Tufts. Here are just a few courses that show how “innovation” is alive on campus.


MUS-0025 History of Blues In this class, students will delve into the origins, development, and regional styles; downhome blues, classic blues, and urban blues; vocal and instrumental traditions and innovations. There will be an emphasis on major figures such as Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King. —Michael Ullman, Senior Lecturer, Department of English and Music ARB-0055 Cultural History of the Modern Middle East In this introductory survey course, students will focus on trends and developments in cultural activities (for example, music, cinema, literature, and the fine arts) across diverse Middle Eastern cultures, with emphasis on the Arab world, Turkey, and Iran, from the nineteenth century to the present day. The course traces a broad trajectory engaging with the formulation of the concepts of the “modern” and the “traditional” in these arts, with a focus on themes such as: innovation and reform, political resistance, revolutionary ideologies, the rural-urban divide, transformations of gender roles, the rise of youth cultures, new religious movements, and reactions to consumerism and globalization. —Kamran Rastegar, Director of Center for Humanities at Tufts, Program Director of the Arabic Program, and Professor of Comparative Literature, Department of International Literacy and Cultural Studies


CVS-0149 / ENT-109 Societal Aspects of Design In this course, students will study the multi-disciplinary perspective of innovative technology-based design process for societal and community influence. The course will explore elements and principles of design from product development process, to thought and emotion, to ethics and responsibility. There will be experiments to explore failure and iteration, and reflection for self-discovery and innovation. Students will experience articulation and expression via written, oral, and pre-recorded audio and video presentations, showing measurable impact of solutions as societal benefits. —Ronald Lasser, Professor of the Practice, Electrical and Computer Engineering





personal lives, as well as on a collective level? How can we kindle the flame of kindness in the world writ large? This line of inquiry will be structured so as to lead the class to both personal and analytical reflection(s) that uncover the importance and necessity of being kind. Under the instruction of Audrey Ledbetter ’22, students will take an in-depth look at how kindness functions in both the personal and public spheres.

BESSIE EVERYONE KNOWS of Jumbo (in fact, this magazine is named after him), but have you heard

of Bessie? Bessie the Rhinoceros is the mascot of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts. Created by Katharine Lane Weems, who attended SMFA in 1918, Bessie is named after Queen Elizabeth I and represents the longstanding legacy that SMFA students leave.

ALUMNI BOOK CLUB TUFTS STUDENTS ARE Jumbos for life—once a Jumbo, always a Jumbo. When you graduate from Tufts, there are a multitude of ways in which you can stay connected with your home on the Hill. For some, this connection means joining the Tufts Alumni Virtual Book Club. With over 600+ members on Goodreads, Tufts alums from all over the world gather to discuss, consider, and analyze books such as Tara Westover’s Educated, J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, Tufts alumna Ariana Neumann’s ’92 memoir When Time Stopped, and many more. Since Tufts teaches its students to think critically with a sensitivity for nuance while reading, it is no wonder that this group is filled with individuals who have great conversations about the most sensational works of literature. This community-based group is a must for all of the Tufts alums who love to read and share with others. So, grab your book and find a cozy place to get lost in the written word.

WELCOME TO THE HILL: DAYNA CUNNINGHAM DAYNA CUNNINGHAM, founder and executive director of the

Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) at MIT and a civil rights attorney who has devoted her career to promoting civic participation, building community partnerships, and advocating for underrepresented communities, has been named the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. Cunningham describes her new role as “a dream job,” and we are excited to see what she will do! 4



AS A FIRST-YEAR, Amma Agyei ’22 started her student government career as a Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senator. The next two years, she served as the Africana Community Senator, and in the spring of 2021, Amma became the first Black female president of TCU, winning 70.97% of the vote. This school year, Amma will be focusing on several goals including: reforming the Tufts Police Department so that all students feel safe on campus, adopting shadow grading, and developing more resources for first-generation, low-income, and undocumented students. Amma has a drive and determination that will take her far as president of the 2021–2022 school year. Now a member of the Black Presidents Club, which includes five alumni who served as president of the TCU Senate during their years at Tufts, Amma has undoubtedly added to the legacy of being a Black Jumbo. In the words of Africana Center Director Katrina Moore, Amma is “simply amazing” and will bring about change.


SUNDAE SUNDAYS YOU SCREAM, I scream—I think we all

scream for ice cream. A Tufts Dining staple has always been their infamous Sundae Sundays, where students get all the ice cream their hear ts desire, stocked complete with a wide array of toppings and condiments (although, caramel sauce and crushed snickers are definitely the best combination). It is cold, it is delicious, it is exactly what you need when visiting Carmichael Dining Hall on a pleasant Sunday evening. Plus, nobody will tell you that you can’t have ice cream for dinner, so go ahead— indulge yourself. When you need a pick-me-up after a long weekend of studying (or need a pick-me-up before a long night of studying yet to come), Sundae Sunday is a day on which you can always rely. Grab a spoon and dig in!

TUFTS TWEET @SMFAATTUFTS A new exhibit entitled “Generations” by Helina Metaferia, MFA15 is coming

to @mfaboston in November, which “centers women of color as protagonists and uses collage, video, and installation to explore how inherited trauma informs present-day experiences.” bit.ly/2RcDFUF


Heather Christle ’04 has just lost a dear friend to suicide and now must reckon with her own depression and the birth of her first child. As she faces her grief and impending parenthood, she decides to research the act of crying: what it is and why people do it, even if they rarely talk about it. Along the way, she discovers an artist who designed a frozen-tearshooting gun and a moth that feeds on the tears of other animals. She researches tear-collecting devices (lachrymatories) and explores the role white women’s tears play in racist violence. 5



Lisa Shin Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology

FROM CLASSROOM TO CONVERSATION When great minds think about psychology, they think about everything. As an explanation to human behavior, the field of psychology teaches us new insights about humanity. Tufts features a wide array of courses and majors in psychology, but don’t just take my word for it. I sat down with Professor Lisa Shin and students Hasan Abdel-Nabi ’22 and Christalie Anor ’23 to talk about life, psych, and everything in between. So, get PSYCH-ed to hear what they had to say. BY BLAKE ANDERSON ’24

How do you all know each other? How did you all meet? Hasan Abdel-Nabi ’22

Lisa Shin: I met Hasan in Psych 1, right, Hasan? I think when you were a first-year, in your first semester. Hasan and his buddy used to sit next to each other. Then, at the end [of class], they would come up to the instructors, Sam Sommers and me, to chat briefly, and I think that’s how we met. And then Hasan started working in the lab—I’ll let you elaborate, Hasan. Hasan Abdel-Nabi: I came [to] Tufts and wanted to be a dentist, but I took Psych 1 and really liked it. Then I was like, “I really like psychology, I would be interested in doing lab work.” Dr. Shin took me into her lab along with Professor Sommers, and then it went from there. I took a few more psychology classes and I thought, “you know, I think psychology is what I want to do,” so that’s how I got into psychology.

Christalie Anor: I first met Professor Shin in Psych 1. I came to Tufts intending to major in cognitive and brain science (CBS), but I’m really interested in biology and psychology, so I realized early on that the biopsych major was a better fit. I needed a major advisor, and since Professor Shin’s research aligned pretty well with my interests, I asked her. Do you feel that Tufts is a good place to do what you want to do with regards to research? LS: Tufts is small enough, so it’s possible to work with faculty, graduate students, and undergrads on research that’s ongoing in the faculty members’ labs. Tufts also supports research through its fellowship-type programs for undergraduates—for example, the Summer Scholars program and the Laidlaw Program. Also, the faculty really enjoy working with undergraduate students in their labs. I’ve seen that across departments at Tufts, but maybe the students have additional thoughts on that.

Christalie Anor ’23


HAN: Like Professor Shin was saying, the Career Center Grant is paying for me to live in Boston and afford housing while still doing research. Something I really like is how encouraging [the Department of Psychology] is and how encouraging the faculty are, too, because they’re always [asking] if anybody needs research or any kind of experience, so that’s very helpful and encouraging. How do you all feel about the specialized psych majors, especially the clinical psych major? Do you think that these are something special that Tufts has to offer? LS: I don’t think that there are many other schools that have a clinical psychology major...Tufts is unique in that regard. The clinical psychology major offers coursework in that field and a year-long senior capstone experience that involves working in local clinical or clinical research settings.



HAN: When I talked to my friends from different universities, nobody had a clinical psychology major. This major is really cool because it’s more focused toward what I want to work with—disorders and psychopathology. A lot of the classes that are offered here are seminars where you learn how to interact with patients and deal with different disorders—which I think is really, really interesting. I’m

not sure a lot of schools have those kinds of classes, either, so it prepares you to be able to take those things on. I love the experience and being out there in the clinical setting. CA: When I was applying to other schools, the closest major I could find to biopsych was behavioral neuroscience. It’s kind of surprising how some other schools will have social psych and general psych as individual majors, but not biopsych, because that is one of the broad divisions in psychology, so I think that having it at Tufts was really cool. The study of psychology is important—why should someone study psychology at Tufts? LS: Psychology is the study of human behavior so it’s really broad. It can focus on what goes on in your brain or on what goes on in your cognition— your memory, your thoughts, your attention. It can focus on how you interact with other people, how you appear to other people, how they appear to you, how organizations work, and how they interact with each other. It’s hard to think of a problem in society and not see how psychology can shed light on it. Students who are interested in psychology should consider coming to Tufts to work closely with our faculty, who are excellent instructors and wellrespected researchers with expertise in cognition, neuroscience, and social psychology. I encourage interested students to read the descriptions of our faculty members’ research on our departmental website. Feel free to contact me with questions about Tufts Psychology! CA: As Professor Shin was saying, it’s such a broad field and it can be applied to basically everything. To study behavior—and to study human behavior, specifically—it’s really important to understand ourselves and to understand the people around us. Understanding it is the first step to being able to apply that knowledge to how we live, in order to live better. I think that’s why psychology is so important. Tufts has faculty members with such diverse areas of expertise within psychology, so students interested in psychology can find more specific interests or new interests that they hadn’t considered before. They can find people working on some of the things they want to work on in the future and they can find opportunities to learn more about not only psychology, but also themselves and the place that they want to carve for themselves within the field of psychology. HAN: Like they just said, psychology is the science of understanding. In order to be able to understand something, you need psychology. Psychology is understanding the unseen, and it can be applied to everyone and everything which makes it very important. Specifically in my area of study, psychology and mental health drive things like behavior and physical health which is important for people’s wellbeing. Being able to study and learn psychology allows us to understand how the brain, our cultures, our experiences, and so much more shape our daily life and the way we interact with the world.




Dear Admissions Committee,


I am really committed and extremely excited to apply to Tufts this year. I am very involved in my school community, have good grades, and want to enrich the Tufts campus environment, if accepted. Also, I did the virtual campus tour and Tufts is such a beautiful campus. I can’t wait to be a Jumbo. I have a couple questions about what is “optional” in the admissions process. Will I be at a disadvantage if I am not offered an interview? Do I need to submit a portfolio? Will my application be seen as “more competitive” if I submit my SAT/ACT test scores? I don’t want you all to think that I am hiding them or slacking off. Thanks! Concerned Student, Future Tufts Class of 2026

Dear Concerned Student,

Thanks for reaching out!


When you hear the word “optional,” do you think it’s too good to be true? Well, let me confirm that at Tufts Admissions, optional really does mean optional. We receive this question often and want to ease your concerns. Check out our advice column to see how we tackle the question, “Is it really optional?”

Your concerns are quite common. Let’s dive into them, shall we? When we say optional, we mean it’s up to your discretion. You will not be penalized if you do not submit an optional material. Interviews: Do not fret! More students ask for interviews than we can accomodate. Therefore, you are not at a disadvantage if you do not receive an interview. Portfolios: If you are applying to a program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), then the Art Portfolio is required. If you are applying to the School of Arts & Sciences or the School of Engineering, you may submit an optional arts or maker portfolio if you’d like to highlight a talent. Please note that there is an additional $12 charge for the submission of your portfolio. Standardized test scores: When it comes to testing, we are test-optional for the next two admission cycles. If you submit test scores, you will not have an advantage and will not be seen as a “more competitive applicant.” And if you don’t submit test scores, you will not be at a disadvantage and will not be seen as a “less competitive applicant.” When I was applying to college, I remember stressing over my testing. I was fortunate to have a community that supported me. I went to tutors and spent summers working on practice problems, but it didn’t feel like enough. Allow me to let you in on a little secret: when I applied to Tufts, the admissions committee didn’t look solely at my testing. They looked at my voice and data holistically. Data takes into account your grades, the rigor of your classes, and your test scores if you send them in. Ultimately, we want to see how you are doing in the context of your school. Voice takes into account your personal statement and two Tufts-specific questions. We look for your authentic voice that tells us your narrative in a direct and genuine way. If you choose to submit your test scores, great! And if you don’t, that’s fine, too! It really is up to you and whether you feel that the admissions committee needs to see your scores. When you’re applying to college, you want to make sure that you are applying to a place where you can see yourself thriving. We ask “Why Tufts?” because we want to know why you want to become a Jumbo. Are you interested in organizing Kids’ Day with the Leonard Carmichael Society? Excited to share your culture at the Parade of Nations show? Do you want to be part of a community that is engaging, kind, and full of people who genuinely care about your success? Use your application to let your life speak. Tell us who you are, what motivates you, what you’ve done, and who you strive to be while at Tufts and beyond. We look forward to reading your application and, hopefully, welcoming you into the Tufts community soon. ’Til next time, Kella Merlain-Moffatt ’20, Admissions Counselor



Before even sitting down to talk to Kareem Khubchandani, I am dazzled by their Instagram and YouTube presence. From vibrant, glamorous looks to humorous yet critical performances exploring the complexity of gender and identity, Dr. Khubchandani’s art and research welcomes viewers in. When I ask Khubchandani how they started a successful and inclusive career in drag, they explain, “When I moved to Chicago, as a way of getting to know people and making friends, I joined an LGBT South Asian organization. We were hosting a fundraiser, so I did drag there for the first time. It turned my world upside down because I started looking for pleasure and joy in South Asian worldmaking.” From that moment on, Dr. Khubchandani’s research interests combined with drag and body art performances. A major source of inspiration for their outfits, dances, and stories is the women who raised them, specifically their mother and older female family friends. According to Khubchandani, aunties such as these women were “excessive, joyful, and dangerous all at once. The aesthetics of excessiveness that you see on my Instagram, in my performances, or in my writing are informed by nightlife but also my own upbringing in these rich diasporic worlds.” Dr. Khubchandani’s research, which takes place both in the U.S. and Bangalore, India, is available to learn from and interact with in a variety of media. In preparation for Khubchandani’s upcoming book project, Auntologies: Queer Aesthetics and South


Asian Aunties, scholars and viewers may begin to explore the role of the auntie in South Asian sex, gender, and sexuality studies through an online asynchronous symposium, Critical Aunty Studies. Aunties are not only dazzling and powerful, but they can be necessary agents for social change, too. Besides the familial and cultural connection to the role of auntie, Khubchandani’s work builds upon generational power and the history of the LGBTQ+ South Asian community. “As an academic, we are taught to think very carefully about the history of ideas, and the way we practice that is through citation,” Khubchandani explains. “Differently, in performance communities, you’re supposed to say, ‘Look, I’m the first, I’m an innovator, I’m new, book me…,’ and what that does is forget that there are generations of artists before you who are doing work to make queer of color performances legible so that others might book you now. As a drag artist, ‘auntie’ is a way of me saying, ‘Look, there was something before,’” Khubchandani notes. As Dr. Khubchandani does research at the intersection of performance art, diasporic lived experiences, and critical gender studies, they offer this unique experience to Tufts students through various courses—from Introduction to Queer Studies to Performance Ethnography to Foundations and Futures in Performance Studies. When asked about their favorite class to teach at Tufts, Dr. Khubchandani points to Critical Drag, noting, “Students held each

other to the highest standard… They would give each other such beautiful feedback that everyone could see each other’s progress.” The final project for the course is a public performance in which the students showcase all they have learned about breaking free of the gender binary and self-expression as a mode of storytelling. As I wrap up my conversation with Dr. Khubchandani, I begin to think about all of the budding scholars, performers, and people interested in exploring gender expression, and how this work— whether research or art—may be intimidating or overwhelming to some. Dr. Khubchandani—as a researcher, performer, and auntie—offers some brilliant advice: (1) “There’s no bad object of research. Something like nightlife feels like it is untouchable or frivolous or so ephemeral that it’s hard to study. There are, in fact, methods to study all of these strange things, whether it’s TikTok or clothing or games, and you can study them from different disciplines.” (2) “If you’re gonna do drag, always know your words for your lip sync—that’s the auntie in me being like, ‘This is the thing you need to do.’” From studying diasporic expressions of gender and sexuality through nightlife to actively contributing as an artist and performer, Dr. Khubchandani invites us to challenge our preconceived notions of gender in non-Western societies and to look around—both in place and time—for the indelible legacies left behind.


“[Drag] turned my world upside down because I started looking for pleasure and joy in South Asian worldmaking.”



STATE OF THE ART Boxed Art Gallery As the pandemic dampened opportunities for artists and heightened the barrier of entry into the art world, Ned Carlson ’23 (a combined degree SMFA student majoring in architecture, environmental science, and fine arts), created Boxed Art Gallery, an online space dedicated to showcasing Tufts students’ artwork. In the spring of 2021, a Boxed Art Gallery contest featured the top three winners on the website and granted monetary prizes. It has now expanded to include members of the Greater Boston community. Alongside its goal of increasing exposure of under­ represented artists, Boxed Art Gallery emphasizes the power wielded when racial and socioeconomic injustice and other important issues are highlighted in art. By presenting student and local artist works, the Boxed Art Gallery feels organic, familiar, inti­ mate, and wields an impressive magnetism that keeps you scrolling. 14

Tufts University Art Galleries The Tufts University Art Galleries, headquartered on the Medford and Fenway campuses, are heavily focused on contemporary topics and work and pro­ vide a dynamic space for artists, students, and intellectuals alike. The Galleries host a variety of programs and community­based initiatives like the Artist Response initiative, a display of projects responding to social crisis in dialogue, and the Visiting Artist Program, where renowned artists are invited to host lectures free to the public and meet with students. Exhibitions in these galleries make audiences ponder and reflect, display intricate stu­ dent projects, and highlight community­based topics and experiences. Go in to discover what Tufts stu­ dents and our community cares about, what they are inspired by, and the fruits of their labor.

Tufts University Permanent Collection When exploring the Tufts University Permanent Collection, you’ll find Chan Chan Earplugs from the pre­Hispanic period, a pair of intricate earrings from Imperial Rome, and various paintings that depict the transformation of Tufts University. Containing approximately 2,400 works, the Tufts University Permanent Collection will engulf you in both the present and the past. It contains a broad collection of more than 200 antiquities that hail from the ancient Mediterranean and Americas, the Near East, and South Asia. Now, it is predominantly focused on 20th and 21st­century works of art and highlighting the work of alumni artists. Explore the collection to appreciate and revere the artistry and histories of many cultures and peoples, all from the Hill!


While the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts formally merged in 2016, the art collaborations between the two run back over half a century. Now, the fusion of the two fosters an environment where Tufts students can not only explore an extensive collection of historic pieces and artifacts, but also learn about Tufts’ many communities—its people, its values, its stories—by immersing themselves in their art. BY VALERIA VELASQUEZ ’23


A BREATH OF FRESH AIR Looking for ways to stay active when coming to Tufts? Worry not, there are tons of indoor and outdoor activities in the area, as well as classmates to join you in experiencing them. Read on for a list of some places you might consider adding to your bucket list. BY SUSANNAH MURRAY ’24



One of the best things about Tufts is the access students have to both the busy city life of Boston and the natural world. About a 30-minute walk from campus sits the Middlesex Fells, roughly 2,200 acres of woods and trails for hiking and mountain biking. The Fells has trails for everyone, with everything from short forays into the woods to more technical, all-afternoon excursions. You can pop in and hike a short trail to Spot Pond, take the longer one around the Winchester Reservoirs, or traverse rocky outcrops to see the Cascade: a 40-foot waterfall located in the southeast corner of the reservation. The Tufts Mountain Club takes trips into the Fells all the time, but they’re also a great option for anyone not in the club looking for a bike or walk in the woods.



A joy of running around the greater Tufts community is the number of exciting routes you can plan. In every direction, there are different areas to explore to keep your runs fresh and interesting. One run that’s particularly fun to take throughout the year leads you into Arlington (the next town over) to see Spy Pond. In the fall there’s amazing foliage, and in the winter the pond is small enough that it’s completely frozen over and you can walk right out onto the ice. As the weather gets warmer, you can watch the lake slowly thaw out, and if you’re there in the evening, you might be able to catch the sunset over the water. Anyone looking for a longer run can go further before looping back to Tufts and keep running to Menotomy Rocks Park, where there’s a smaller pond and paved trails.

MYSTIC RIVER One of the best ways to spend some of the first warm days of spring (and get your steps in) is admiring the world come back to life on the water through a walk along Mystic River. If you start behind Carmichael Hall and walk directly downhill, eventually you’ll hit the river, and paths run along either side where people walk their dogs, run, and bike. You can walk for miles on the edge of the river, and eventually along Mystic Lake, as well. It’s the perfect walk to stretch your legs after a long day of sitting in Tisch Library working on a paper, and an easy way to stay active and moving if you’re not a runner but still want to explore nature right off campus.



Although the options off campus are exciting (and it’s always good to get off campus), anyone seeking an equipment-specific workout should look straight to Tufts’ own facilities. The Tisch Fitness Center has treadmills, weight racks, ellipticals, bikes, and more available to every Tufts student. Hamilton Pool is in the same building, where any student can go to swim laps without having to be on the swim team. Downhill, there’s also an outdoor track and basketball courts open for use any time. A great way to get regular workouts in is to join one of the club teams—you can keep up your high school sport in a low-stakes environment, or try something completely new. Either way, it’s an exciting option to meet a ton of new people and stay fit at the same time. 15

Talking to Krithi Ram-Junnarkar ’22 about her interests and passions is an amazing introduction to the significance of community. She believes that “nobody should settle for a space that they don’t feel welcome in, or that doesn’t feel right for them.” During her time at Tufts, Krithi has greatly impacted the spaces she creates for others, those she occupies herself, and those she endeavors to transform for the better. Krithi is a senior majoring in sociology on the pre-med track. For her, the connection between the two fields of study is obvious. “Medicine doesn’t happen in a vacuum by any means,” she says. “A lot of pre-health students don’t take the time and the energy to unpack their preconceived biases and the ways that we’ve learned information in the past. We have to understand that even our understanding of biology is based on systems of white supremacy and colonialism. If people want to be empathetic and skilled doctors, that involves a lot more than just technical skill. It involves an understanding of the systems we are functioning in and the populations we are serving.” Rather than just treating science as objective truth, Krithi believes in critically viewing the systems that established those truths. Although sociology itself is a flawed field, often structured around whiteness and difficult to navigate as a person of color, it is with this background that Krithi looks to address current health practices.

Beyond the classroom, Krithi is also a member of the Tufts Bhangra Team, a co-director of the South Asian Political Action Community (SAPAC), a Tisch Scholar, and a member of Essence, Tufts’ all-women a cappella group specializing in music from the African Diaspora and tradition. On Essence, she says that “as a non-Black person, I’ve been grateful to have that space shared with me, and I think it definitely is a different space than a lot of the other a cappella groups. The music is special because it’s so meaningful to people and there’s such a rich history.” This care and attention to shared cultural space is also a big part of Krithi’s involvement with SAPAC. The goal of SAPAC is to create a community for South Asian students who are passionate about politics, history, identity, and social issues having to do with South Asia and the diaspora. They work on fundraising, responding to issues that are affecting South Asian communities and other communities they stand in solidarity with, and hosting educational events to foster conversation within the South Asian Community at Tufts. They also have fun together. When I speak with Krithi, she shares that just the previous weekend SAPAC put on a symposium displaying art, academic work, and dance by South Asian Tufts community members. “It just really warmed my heart how people were impacted by it and felt a sense of community they hadn’t felt in a long time.”

As a Tisch Scholar, Krithi has worked with the Cambridge Health Alliance since the beginning of her sophomore year. During her junior year, she worked to combat food insecurity in the surrounding community with the Somerville Food Security Coalition. The year before, she worked in the Community Room, a drop-in space for adults living with mental illnesses to hang out and be around people with similar experiences. Of both her Tisch Scholar work and her extracurricular involvement on campus, she says, “I think recently I’ve been appreciating more and more the importance of making impacts on the community level. I have played a role, I think, in bringing people together and creating spaces where people feel welcomed and held, and I feel like, even though it’s a small impact, it’s important.” Across the board, Krithi Ram-Junnarkar is dedicated to finding and creating meaningful spaces. At Tufts, she says, “there are a lot of spaces that are welcoming and nurturing. Once you’re in those spaces, invest time, energy, and yourself into those spaces, and they will support you in return.” With students like Krithi putting conscious effort into considering the purpose of a space, whether it be physical or as nebulous as an academic field, any student can look forward to finding considerate spaces of their own. —SUSANNAH MURRAY ’24




“Nobody should settle for a space that they don’t feel welcome in, or that doesn’t feel right for them.”



MENTAL HEALTH AT TUFTS By Siwaar Abouhala ’23

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and serves as a welcome reminder to prioritize selfcare, healing, and well-being, especially amid daily and chronic life stressors. While it isn’t May, we find it important to talk about mental health regularly. Here, Siwaar asks the questions you may have about Tufts’ mental health resources and finds the answers you may be looking for.


The fall can often be marked by joy, stress, nostalgia, gratitude, and loneliness—perhaps all at once—for many college students. Whether one is starting college and embarking on a new journey with life-changing friends and faculty, or job searching for a new adventure starting in a couple of months, this time of year can come with many complex emotions and circumstances to navigate. Here at Tufts, various mental health resources exist, both on and off-campus, through clinical services and Tufts Community Union (TCU)-recognized student organizations. I sought after answering some core questions about mental health services at Tufts in preparation for the year ahead: What are the main resources that exist, and can students access them from anywhere and at any time? Can these services be sustained during the summer? How can students get involved in supporting, improving, and strengthening mental health resources at Tufts? My brief research towards answering some of these questions has culminated in an informal, yet potentially helpful, guide to accessing mental health resources and getting involved in this work at Tufts. (1) What is a central source of mental health services through Tufts, both during and beyond the academic year? Tufts Counseling and Mental Health Service (CMHS) is a main source of mental health support through the 120 Curtis Street (Medford campus), 230 The Fenway (SMFA campus), and over-the-phone modalities. In the 2020–2021 academic year, CMHS worked with students virtually in order to both adhere to COVID-19 guidelines and to support students wherever they were. Whether seeking emergency and/or long-term support, students are able to make an appointment with a counselor. CMHS also offers unique resources such as virtual workshops and discussion groups, including Black Well-Being: Resilience in the Margins, Survive and Thrive: Tools for Uncertain Times, Here Together: For Students in COVID Isolation or Quarantine, Coping

with Loss in a Remote World, Connection Matters: Tea-time Conversations with International Students, and Journaling for Self-Care. CMHS is composed of a group of passionate staff members from a wide variety of experiences and perspectives. The CMHS website includes a “Meet Our Staff” page that introduces these staff members, their clinical interests, areas of expertise, their approaches to treatment, and languages spoken. These details may be useful to students who are looking to connect with a counselor who specializes in a specific experience or who speaks a specific language. (2) How can someone seeking counseling and/or mental health services at Tufts maintain their healthcare when transitioning home or away for the summer? In order to connect to a counselor or provider offcampus, Tufts CMHS often recommends using services such as HealthiestYou or referral platforms like Thriving Campus to find support. Another method is to call the number on the back of your health insurance card or use online databases to choose from providers who accept your insurance. The “Off-Campus Referral and Support” page of the CMHS website provides guidance on finding an offcampus therapist or psychiatrist, including phone script options and reminders of what to look out for when finding the right fit. (3) Where do I even get started? This question is complex. It is never too late to get started and to take that step towards feeling comfortable, safe, and confident in seeking out these resources. A potential first step may be scheduling a 15-minute phone call with a CMHS counselor or an appointment with a local provider. If this service is helpful, it may be useful to continue seeking this counseling and/or consulting a certified provider on what their recommendation may be. Everyone’s experience is unique, and the resources at Tufts are there to support undergraduate and graduate students both on and off-campus.

(4) What are the different mental health student organizations at Tufts? How can I get involved? Student-led organizations are excellent resources for people to use to seek out mental health support and become involved in these efforts at Tufts. Active Minds and Ears for Peers are two student-run clubs that have supported students in the Tufts community for many years. Active Minds at Tufts aims to increase mental health awareness through providing educational and helpful resources and serving as advocates for mental health across and beyond campus. Ears for Peers is an anonymous, confidential helpline for all Tufts students that can be accessed from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. EST through phone calls or anonymous web-based messaging. The Ears are trained, in collaboration with staff from CMHS, on how to listen to students who anonymously reach out. They can also provide resources for further support. Another opportunity to get involved in furthering the work of CMHS is Mental Health Reps. Students can apply to become Mental Health Reps and, if given the role, are ultimately trained by CMHS staff and other public health professionals on mental health promotion and advocacy. Students with different perspectives and all levels of experiences are encouraged to apply to this stipend-based position. While more and more resources are always being innovated, created, and expanded at Tufts, I hope that this piece serves as a comprehensive look into what mental health resources exist through Tufts and how to further access them. One’s mental health is important to center and strengthen, especially amid deeply challenging times, and there are a wide variety of opportunities at Tufts to do so. Access CMHS virtual counseling and groups, Mental Health Reps, Active Minds, and Ears for Peers. Whether we are in Mental Health Awareness Month or not, there are many ways to access, support, and advance mental health resources at Tufts.



From a young age, Mark Hempstead ’03 fiddled with his family’s computer. Taking the technology apart and putting it back together allowed him to create endless hours of enjoyment. He learned what parts did what in his dissection, discovering how something so revolutionary could be built so intricately. This fascination led him to numerous degrees in computer engineering, one of which he received from the Tufts School of Engineering. Now, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor Hempstead teaches students about the endless possibilities and exciting futures of computer architecture. During his undergraduate studies at Tufts, Professor Hempstead enjoyed the free-spirited inquisitiveness of a liberal arts institution. Like all Jumbos, he came to Tufts curious. Being from a family of engineers allowed him to have some idea of what his studies may entail, but it could not have prepared him for classes such as Gourmet Engineering, in which the final exam required engineering students to creatively cook a chicken as fast as possible. Fifty percent of the grade was based on actual, practical engineering; however, the other 50% was based on how the chicken tasted. Mark Hempstead was also able to explore his passions in technical theater. He would study the


electrical components of stereo speakers during the day, and then he would operate them for Tufts’ theatre performances at night. Today, Professor Hempstead teaches advancedlevel computer architecture courses and leads groundbreaking research efforts. In his research, Hempstead and his team in the lab seek to improve the ever-changing field of technology in new and exciting ways. “I think about how we build hardware but make it in an energy efficient way. That’s been the theme of my lab going forward: combining hardware and software to build energy-efficient systems.” His novel method of heat-based, thermal investigation allows him to look inside a computer’s “brain” in order to see what’s really going on. Heat can show us which parts of the computer are working, as well as which parts are working the hardest. Professor Hempstead’s research also looks into cybersecurity, opening up the possibility of combating malware via thermal imaging. The United States Department of Energy has also recently enlisted Professor Hempstead’s help in utilizing these new and exciting possibilities. Similarly, this research has also made Hempstead an expert for some big-name companies. “I love to talk about how to make smartphones more energy efficient,” he said. “I spent a year

recently at Facebook, and we published a couple papers looking at how machine learning can be done faster. These are the models that recommend videos to you, they recommend things on your feed, they recommend ads and other things. That required using my tools to analyze which parts of the software [were functioning efficiently].” Students working in Hempstead’s lab get handson experience that adequately sets them up for successful careers. “Of the students that have worked with me over the years, I have one student who designs microprocessors for IBM. Another one is at Intel, another one at AMD,” Hempstead attested. Professor Hempstead believes that computer architecture plays a role in everyone’s life, and technological literacy is infinitely beneficial. “Technology is not magic,” he affirmed, “No different than how we would expect someone to read Shakespeare, these concepts [of technology] are not that hard to convey.” With the speed of technological development, Hempstead cultivates curiosity to improve his field. “Computing is everywhere. It’s in our driverless cars, it’s in our rockets that go into space, and in all the websites and video conferences we are spending all of our time on.” —BLAKE ANDERSON ’24


He has witnessed how technologies have been upgraded and updated rapidly throughout the years––now, he drives the change.




SPRING Parade of Nations March Hosted by the International Center and International Club, this annual spring show has been going on for over three decades. It’s a fun, vibrant, colorful cultural extravaganza filled with live dance and music performances from all over the world. You don’t want to miss it! Opening Day The first week in April If you’re going to college in Massachusetts, the Red Sox are going to become a key element of your life. Whether you are a ride-or-die Red Sox fan or not, the excitement and energy of Opening Day is felt by all as the gates open and excited patrons are welcomed back into Fenway Park. Grab some snacks and cheer on a victory for the Red Sox! Patriot’s Day/Boston Marathon The 3rd Monday in April This Massachusetts-centric holiday is all about capturing “The Spirit of America” in style! Get a group to participate in the Boston Marathon and run through Tufts’ most urban host community. If running isn’t your speed, sit back and relax with some friends on Prez Lawn and enjoy the sights and smells of Tufts’ greenery in the springtime. Jumbo Days April As you weigh your college decision, you have the opportunity to see what being a Jumbo is all about. Now that you’ve been invited to become a unique part of the Tufts community, you have the chance to truly see yourself on the Hill. Meet students, try out the most amazing food from Tufts Dining Services, and—most importantly—learn about all that Tufts has to offer! Spring Fling April Since 1980, Tufts students have come together immediately before final exams on Prez Lawn for the Spring Fling concert. In recent years, the winner of Tufts’ “Battle of the Bands” competition has opened the concert. There are thirty years of bands, big and small! Recent performers have included Kesha, Tinashe, Shaggy, Princess Nokia, Childish Gambino, and Dutch Rebel.


Whether you enjoy spending time on or off campus, there is no shortage of things to do—ever. With vibrant, artistic host communities like Boston, Medford, and Somerville, your weekends will never be boring. Here are a few of the annual events that we patiently await each year!

SUMMER/FALL Apple Picking Late August/Early September With dozens of nearby orchards to choose from, picking apples is a must-do annual event. With the many local and family-owned orchards near Tufts, it is no wonder that this is a favorite New England fall activity. So, grab some friends, grab some reusable tote bags, and get picking! Orientation Week Early September For incoming first-year and transfer students, this week will be a formal yet exciting introduction to life at Tufts. Finding friends, getting free merchandise, and making memories are guaranteed. Homecoming Weekend October Homecoming is the time where alumni and current students come together at the dear ol’ Brown and Blue. Whether you want to jam out at the Homecoming Concert, eat a bunch of free food, or attend the Homecoming game, there is so much to do and see during Homecoming Weekend.

FALL/WINTER The Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker Late November-December A classic story told through dance, the Boston Ballet is sure to delight every audience member with its annual performance of The Nutcracker. Located in the artistic heart of Boston at the Citizens Bank Opera House, the curtain will surely rise on a beautiful production. Boston Science Fiction Film Festival February Located in the heart of Davis Square (a quick, 5-minute walk from downhill), the Somerville Theatre hosts an annual event dedicated to the ever-popular genre of Sci-Fi. If you are a film and media studies major, this annual event is NOT one to be missed!



At Tufts, your journey will be unique. You will change majors, passions, and much more during your time on the Hill. Students in the School of Engineering are no different. Our engineers grow dynamically during their time at Tufts. As the folks who will build the bold and exciting world to come, Tufts’ engineers build their own paths and futures. Selvin Lendos ’22, Sruthi Kocherlakota ’23, and Zharia Akeem ’24 are three great examples of how there is no singular way to be an engineer. Your way can be as unique as you wish. —Blake Anderson ’24



How did you know that you wanted to be an engineer? “Behind my house, there's this piece of land, but nobody uses it. It's just unused city land, and people would just throw away their things there. When I was little, I would go back there and [the litterers] were kind of like my suppliers, because there used to not be anything there. I love building, and so I would just put things together, see things work. I guess I would create things. Even though I didn't think anything of it, I just thought I was having fun. So, when I came to the realization that I actually do want to be an engineer, it just all really made sense.” How did you pick your major? “I major in civil engineering, with a focus in structural engineering. And I do have a minor in engineering management. For structural engineering, you're designing different structures and buildings for everything around you so that, basically, they won't fall down. I think it's really important because we're basically having some impact on whether somebody's livelihood is devastated or not. If the structure doesn't keep up, you know somebody's business might crash, or somebody's home. Everybody takes advantage of structures and buildings and they're very important to us, even though you might not think about it.”


Why Tufts? “Tufts really cultivates the engineer to be someone who is not just technical, but also well-rounded. You know everything that an engineer might actually need in the world…In the situation of a structural engineer, there are many lives on the line...You can’t think about things on the surface level, you have to think about many things, many steps ahead. So, I always really admired those philosophy students who were always one step ahead and thinking about the future—about how things might change and questioning whether that work was right or wrong. At Tufts, there's a lot to learn.” How has your perception of engineering changed over time? “Every time we do anything, it is gonna leave a mark. And so, every time I think about [being] an engineer, I think about the responsibility you hold and the mark that you will have on the world. Know your role as an engineer—you impact everybody.”


ZHARIA AKEEM ’24 What made you apply to Tufts in the first place? “We had a college fair where they brought schools in, and Tufts was one of [them]. I really remembered the [admissions] team being very happy. And it just left a really good impression, so I applied. I had a gut feeling that it was where I was supposed to be—I just really liked the people there, [they] were a really big part of my decision. One of the things I really like about Tufts is how it has engineering and arts classes, so that you just don't burn out as an engineer. I get to take a lot of fun classes and talk to people that are taking a lot of fun classes, and it really makes the experience better and more well-rounded.” How did you pick your major? “I was really rebellious when I was younger because all the people that I knew were engineers, I was like, ‘I don't want to do that’…when I applied to Tufts, I wanted to do computer science within the School of Engineering, and that didn't work out, so I declared biomedical engineering. Currently, I'm doing pre-med [requirements]. I want to do computational biology, so maybe mixing biology and computer science in that aspect, but then I kind of lean more towards the ‘people’ side of it. I’ve always wanted to go to the army. The way I think about it, I think engineering prepares me for the army because it allows me to think on my feet and create solutions to problems that may seem difficult.” What’s your interest in the army? “I’ve always had a lot of respect for the uniform. My brothers are in the military so it’s always been an idea. I want to go to an army medical school after my four years of Tufts are over. I’m still open-minded. I’m a first-generation college student which is also very difficult. I think Tufts has made it as easy as possible, especially going into someplace where I didn’t know what to expect.” How have you found engineering at Tufts to be helpful and accommodating? “Especially in our engineering classes, I got a feel for how much Tufts is trying to make engineering as inclusive as possible. We have a lot of discussions in our classes about equity, how to make sure that everyone's included in engineering, and how to talk and have discussions with people. That's probably one of the things that I've enjoyed this last semester, just having conversations with people about diversity and how to make products and engineering programs work for all different types of people.”



How did you decide on human factors engineering? “I actually applied to most colleges thinking [that] I was going to be a civil engineer, and then, when I got to Tufts, I was like, ‘I'm going to do mechanical engineering just because I did a lot of robotics in high school and I just enjoy the design process.’ I was talking to my advisor and he suggested I look at the human factors program, which is a lot of design work, which I really love. There's a really cool intersection between art and graphic design [that] interested me. And Tufts is one of the only schools that offers a program like that.” What drew you to the School of Engineering? “I know it can be a wild concept to actually enjoy school, but I really enjoyed the group projects that I've done…I think that it kind of makes you take away that fear or that worry that you're ‘competing’ with your peers. I think engineering is inherently very collaborative—and it should be that way. If you think about designing a car, for example, you need all sorts of engineers to do that, and also people who aren't engineers. Tufts really values the interaction between engineering students that are majoring in different things. Because the engineering school at Tufts is super small, they're able to foster that kind of community.”


Why Tufts? “Tufts engineering is very interdisciplinary. I came to Jumbo Days and I went to one of the engineering presentations where some seniors were presenting project-based work. You could tell that they were all really passionate about what they were doing and spoke fondly of their Tufts engineering experiences— which really was attractive for me. Looking back, I guess, especially because I'm majoring in human factors, if I had gone to a different school, I probably wouldn't even be in the engineering school. I really like that I can pursue lots of different avenues as an engineer here. I don't have to only do engineering; I can explore some of the intersections—and do other things that are completely unrelated.” How did you pick your major? “The field has applications in product design and UI/ UX design, which is like user interface or user experience design, so basically how you can design apps or products for humans to use, because a lot of the time people don't realize that there's a psychological component to when people are interacting with technology. [Human factors engineering] is pretty broad in the sense that you take a lot of psych classes, you take a lot of design classes, [and] you take a lot of engineering and technical classes. There are lots of different avenues that people can go into within the field.”



MEANT TO BE ’MATES These five sets of roommates have a love of adventure, napping, and music, but most importantly, they all share strong friendships with each other. We asked them to reflect on their favorite memories together. This is what they had to say! BY EMMA SONNENBLICK ’23





“Though we had an entire common room to ourselves, our double in Haskell was the unofficial common room for our entire suite. Our suite was special because we were nine Black women who got to all live together and create a space of love, joy, and unity in a world that tells us we aren’t allowed to. Because of the fact we were living amongst other Black women, our favorite memories were being able to comfort and provide a space for ourselves as roommates, and our friends to exist. Whether it was to study, a muchneeded dance break, or to vent, our room was the spot. One memory, in particular, was at the beginning of the year, a lot of our suitemates and friends were performing at the O(rientation)-Show. We all walked back together to our room and immediately someone played music. We sang and danced to Beyoncé into the night and set the tone for our room for the year.” —Ashley Gomez and Deborah Royer


“There was one night during finals that Tamara and I were studying pretty intensely across from each other in our room. I was starting to get fatigued around 10:30 p.m., so I half jokingly brought up the idea of a power nap. It was maybe a few minutes later that I heard, “What if we just napped for 10 minutes?” In less than a minute, we were both in our own beds when there’s a, “Wait, can we turn the lights off?” A brief moment passes in darkness when the ultimate gamechanger is proposed: “What if we just go to sleep and wake up early tomorrow?” What began as an anticipated 3-4 hours more of studying turned into a night of simple self care between two naploving enablers. While we had our fair share of late nights talking until 2:00 a.m. or splitting Domino’s pizza to watch Animal Planet on Netflix, that restful night was not only much needed, but also a laugh I’ll always keep in my back pocket.” —Ella Do



“In February of our first year, Lunar New Year was coming up. Usually, we both celebrate with our respective families, but since Ella is from California, she wasn’t able to celebrate as she usually does. I invited her to my Chinese New Year family gathering, and she got along super well with my immediate and extended family! This is one of my favorite memories because I have a huge family and she’s an only child, so I think it meant a lot to her to be able to bond with my family, especially on such a special holiday for us. Plus, we got some bubble tea and yummy leftovers to last us for the next couple of nights!” —Tamara Liang



“My favorite roommate memory was when we decided to take a trip together to New Hampshire!! We had so much fun as roommates, but it was so special to go to New Hampshire for the first time with Emma. And the White Mountains were just so beautiful! One of the nights we actually witnessed a lightning show. It was an unforgettable trip, and I’m so glad I got to experience it with Emma!” —Hannah San Sebastian

“Well, Hannah already captured a fantastic memory, but some other favorite memories are the nights when we stayed together, spilled all of the tea, and watched our favorite show, What We Do in the Shadows. I really appreciated those moments when we could share things, give each other great advice, just be completely comfortable, and have a good time. I love Hannah!” —Emma Downs




“Our favorite memory together was last year when we walked all the way to Cambridge to get free Shake Shack shakes. We all have T-Mobile, and they give weekly freebies, so we got our free shakes. We sat in a park with snow everywhere, freezing, drinking them.” —Aidan Chang, Nicole Garay, Ricki Le





“My favorite memory during the year is when Jeevan and I would listen to new music that came out and we’d listen to the album on speaker together and just vibe out to it.” —Eashan Bagia “My favorite memory with Eashan is when we met in his hometown during quarantine. To make this happen, I had to persistently convince my dad to make a last minute highway detour as we came back from a road trip. Although it was a short visit, I think it made both of our summers better having had that moment to catch up.” —Jeevan Palani





From being a member of Peer Health Exchange to a teaching assistant to a FOCUS coordinator and leader to a Civic Pathways instructor through the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Shannon embodies the Tufts qualities of being humble, an active citizen, and a changemaker. When she’s not working as a treasurer of the Leonard Carmichael Society or tutoring Latin, you can find her enjoying Oath Pizza or a smoothie bowl from Hotung. We know that Shannon gives her all in everything that she does and we hope that you see a glimpse into her world here.


Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, “Why Tufts?” When I originally chose Tufts, I was unenthusiastic, uninterested, and terrified. The first time I remember not feeling terrified was during pre-orientation when my leaders brought out olive oil and parmesan cheese to have with a baguette they’d bought, because I’d mentioned earlier in passing that it was my favorite way to eat bread. My group and I sat on the floor and devoured the baguette. I remember my fears shrinking next to my growing love for my leaders, new friends, and hope for the future. Every day since then, sharing meals with friends has been the best way to laugh, commiserate, and just be together in each other’s company. I would choose Tufts over again in a heartbeat to be with the kind of people who bring you olive oil and cheese with bread to replace a little bit of your fear.

It’s cool to love learning, what excites your intellectual curiosity? My first semester at Tufts, I took Intro to Environmental Studies (ENV 1) with Dr. Ninian Stein, which is still one of my favorite classes I have taken. I had not previously understood that environmental studies is so much more than environmental science. One of the first assignments we completed in the class was related to our understanding of “place.” Dr. Stein pushed us to consider that the things we believe about our relationship to our environments are shaped by the places with which we are familiar. We can use our understanding of one place, our favorite place or the place we know best, to shape how we approach reading and understanding new places. ENV 1 helped me develop my ability to read a place and thoughtfully consider why it is the way it is, how it was in the past, and how it could be in the future. This was transformative for me as a student of environmental studies. Understanding the natural environment, the built environment, and all of the complex factors influencing the environment can seem incredibly daunting, but the task of comprehending a place or a series of places becomes easier when you’ve built a foundation of reading a landscape that you know intimately. Sometimes the best gateway to learning about new things is right in our backyard, literally, and that is very exciting to me.

To see the 2021–22 Tufts short-answer questions, visit http://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/essay-questions 31





The Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), a representative body consisting of two student-athletes from each varsity athletic team, tackles many projects—planning student experience initiatives, discussing NCAA and NESCAC policies, liaising between administration and student-athletes. For Lilly Bolen ’21, it is a meaningful space where she’s “had the opportunity to meet athletes across campus, participate in philanthropy that is incredibly important, and experience the feeling of making a difference and impact in the Tufts community.” Check out what SAAC has accomplished this past year... and where it is headed.

Expanding SAAC Each year, the SAAC Community Engagement and Jumbo Experience Committees work diligently to enhance the experience of student-athletes, advocate for change, and promote community initiatives. During the 2021–2022 school year, SAAC added two committees to achieve these goals. First, to better highlight athletic accomplishments and SAAC’s work, the Marketing Committee and SAAC Instagram were created. Second, the Social Justice Committee was formed to aid educational and community initiatives that better promote racial and social justice, and equality among Tufts Athletics and the greater Tufts community. The appointed head representative leads these initiatives and acts as a liaison between SAAC and the student group Athletes of Color (AOC) which aims to create a community of support for student-athletes of color on campus. Campus Efforts and Events In addition to these organizational changes, SAAC is incredibly proud of the many initiatives and events they’ve sponsored that have made an impact in the community and enhanced the athletic experience at Tufts.

In October of 2021, SAAC will host its fourth annual Play for Pink Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising event which will benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Despite being entirely online in 2020, SAAC raised a record setting $25,000 for the non-profit organization. In February of 2020, SAAC sponsored a mental health week which included sports psychologistled meditation and mindfulness sessions, mental health awareness talks, and journals and journaling prompts, alongside encouraging SAAC representatives to have important conversations with their teammates about mental health. In the months leading up to the 2020 election, Tufts’ SAAC competed with other NESCAC SAACs over which athletic department could drum up the highest levels of student-athlete voter participation. Each team tracked involvement, and SAAC representatives informed athletes on how to get their votes counted. According to the 2020–21 SAAC President Lilly Bolen ’21,“It was a wonderful, and powerful, way to engage in the civic process and with other schools and athletes. At Tufts, we had several teams reach 100% voter participation in the election—a remarkable feat considering that our demographic typically votes at far less than half that rate.”

SAAC ended the spring semester sponsoring “Pride Games’’ for the spring sports teams. Every team was given shirts to show support for LGBTQ+ athletes. Spring sports teams participated in a sponsored game honoring Athlete Ally, an organization supporting and bringing awareness to the challenges of LGBTQ+ athletes. In addition to the games, teams participated in discussions centered on sexual assault and sexuality, led by Green Dot representatives among each team. This year, SAAC hopes to participate in targeted training to educate athletes on LGBTQ+ vocabulary and challenges. Closing Erin Poindexter McHan ’21, a Women’s Basketball representative and Community Relations Head, sums up her experience: “I believe in leaving communities better than I found them. Being a part of SAAC has given me the opportunity to use my voice as well as listen to my fellow athletes and teammates in order to better our collective athletics community. It has also given me ample opportunities for collective action, leadership, and service that has made my Tufts experience whole.”


CAMPUS TREASURE MAP Tufts students like to learn, create, and have fun. From study spaces to eateries, each student has a place they love. Check out some of their favorites!

4. Bendetson Hall Have you ever wondered where your college application goes once you press submit? It goes straight to Bendetson Hall, the Tufts admissions building! While our beautiful, string-lit Bendetson Hall is home base for our admissions officers, our tours usually leave from Dowling Hall, so make sure you head there if you come to visit!

1. Pax et Lox Tufts dining is known for accommodating dietary restrictions, and Pax et Lox, our kosher deli, is a perfect example. Not only is the deli one of many great options for our students who keep kosher, but also the food is all nut-free! Additionally, many Jumbos choose Pax because of its grab-and-go serving style which makes it an easy lunch or dinner between classes.

5. Gantcher Center “Bo, do you workout?” is the question you can ask a current Tufts student (a Jum-bo). If they say “yes,” then they may frequent Gantcher Center, which is attached to our gym on campus. Gantcher has an indoor track, which allows Tufts to hold indoor track and field events, as well as multiple tennis courts. The facility is accessible to all students during certain hours, whether or not they are on a team.


2. Prez Lawn Prez Lawn is a favorite hangout place in any season. On warm, sunny days, groups of students flock to the lawn to study or picnic, and on snowy days, students bring their sleds and skis for some study-break fun. Medford and Somerville community members enjoy the area as well, and every Saturday, locals bring their dogs to play! 3. Goddard Chapel Da-da-da-dum. That is the sound of the organ at Goddard Chapel’s annual Halloween Midnight Organ Concert! The beautiful chapel, dedicated in 1883, also serves our many religious communities at Tufts as a place of worship. Whether one is religious, spiritual, or not affiliated at all, all are welcome to sit, reflect, and even get married at Goddard!

6. SEC The Science and Engineering Complex is a favorite work space for Engineering and Arts and Sciences students alike due to its modern worker spaces, late hours, and proximity to Kindlevan Café, which serves smoothies and other grab-and-go food items. 7. Davis Square Located less than a mile away from Tufts’ campus, Davis Square is a hub of student activity. On weekends, students enjoy movies at the Somerville Theatre, candlepin bowling at Sacco’s Bowl Haven, ice cream at J.P. Licks, and dinner at restaurants like Boston Burger Company, The Painted Burro, and Dakzen. It is also the closest T stop to Tufts, so many students like to go into Davis to take the train into Cambridge and Boston.



At Tufts, it’s not uncommon to engage with other students who overflow with palpable excitement for their intellectual passions. Fascinated by the intersection of mathematics, computer science, advanced algorithms, and social change, Parker Rule ’23 is a testament to the power of a Tufts education. Across all of his interdisciplinary roles, Parker is energized to apply his expertise in scientific computing and operations research to tackle some of the most complex sociopolitical issues of today. Like much of his educational experience, Parker’s high school background was anything but ordinary. As a homeschooled student, much of his education and extracurricular research involvements were largely self-directed. Still, in his college search process, Parker was attracted to Tufts for a well-rounded, research-centered education. He explains, “Even though I’m nominally a math and computer science person, I really wanted to go to a college that had traditional liberal arts requirements and a strong liberal arts faculty.” Parker identified strongly with Tufts’ liberal arts-focused curriculum that also offered the benefits of a Tier 1 research university. With a knack for computer science and a developed interest in applied mathematics, Parker “was attracted to Tufts, where it was easy to work with professors. There was a supportive and welcoming environment for people who don’t necessarily have that much experience.” As one of the smallest and most undergraduatefocused institutions with a Tier 1 status, Tufts attracts professors who are overwhelmingly inclusive of undergraduates in their field-defining work. At Tufts, Parker studies mathematics and computer science with a minor in science, technology,

and society, an interdisciplinary program aimed at incorporating social science approaches to studying technology. Early on in his college experience, Parker was invited by Professor Moon Duchin to the MGGG Redistricting Lab, one of the premier research groups within the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. Naturally, Parker was attracted to the complex phenomena of redistricting. He explains, “If you really want to have a comprehensive, realistic approach to redistricting, you need to understand the law and the social and political science around the issue.” Even further, “You have to understand how power works.” Redistricting efforts can be abused through gerrymandering, which is the process of manipulating the redrawing of electoral districts for political gain. Every ten years, states redraw their legislative lines to determine which people will be represented by politicians, and Parker explains, “It turns out that the way you draw those lines around the same population has an enormous effect on who gets represented and how.” The issue of redistricting has gained the attention of many mathematicians who have attempted to apply their own theoretical methods and techniques to this problem with real, deep social implications. In the MGGG Redistricting Lab at Tufts, Parker and his research associates take on a more comprehensive approach. With an understanding that the redistricting solution involves passing legislation, working with legal professionals, and massive public outreach campaigns, Parker describes the composition of the program as “ a bunch of mathematicians who have made the right connections with civil rights organizers, lawyers, and




people who know how to actually enact change on the ground.” As an undergraduate, Parker is tasked with creating powerful software that can run redistricting experiments and developing algorithms with the ultimate goal of drawing conclusions about realworld phenomena. He reminds me, “To bridge the means and the end, you need software.” This highperformance software can generate millions of redistricting plans, which can be analyzed by the group. In this way, Parker has had the opportunity to apply the concrete principles of his curriculum directly to a meaningful social cause. Beyond his research interests in equitable redistricting, Parker joined the Computational Geometry research group within the Department of Computer Science, where he develops efficient algorithms for manipulating geometric shapes. More recently, Parker was included in the group’s publication about developing an efficient, robot-guided ultraviolet light disinfection process. Reflecting on his Tufts experience, Parker admits that he “had read a lot about math culture, great mathematicians, how they worked, and how many theorems they’ve proved. I felt very intimidated by this entire field.” But at Tufts, he continues, “I’ve gone from seeing this field as something that is unapproachable to something that a bunch of people who are curious and interested do.” Empowered by his research and coursework at Tufts, he has discovered that it is, in fact, possible to create an egalitarian, welcoming environment in which you can do mathematics. Kind, collaborative, and committed to advancing purposeful social change, Parker Rule embodies the revered values of the Tufts community. —JOSH COHEN ’24


“To bridge the means and the end, you need software.”



Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application


Tufts Short-Answer Questions (included in the Common Application and Coalition Application)

3 4 5 6 7 8 +


High School Transcript(s)

Senior Year Grades

Testing (Optional) We accept either the ACT or the SAT; neither is required. Applicants may choose whether they wish to have exam scores considered as one component of their candidacy.

Letters of Recommendation We require one from a school counselor and one from a teacher. You may send us one additional if you’d like.

Art Portfolio Required only for students applying to the Combined Degree (BFA/BA or BFA/BS) and BFA applicants to SMFA at Tufts.

Financial Aid Documents If you are applying for aid, you will need to submit: 1. FAFSA 2. CSS Profile 3. Federal Income Tax Returns For more information, read the next page of this magazine or visit go.tufts.edu/finaidapp

Additional Materials (Optional) • Alumni Interview • Arts or Maker Portfolio: Students applying to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering may submit an optional arts or maker portfolio to highlight talent in studio art, drama, dance, music, or engineering.

APPLICATION DEADLINES AND NOTIFICATION DATES* Early Decision I Application Deadline: November 1 Notification Date: Mid-December Early Decision II Application Deadline: January 4 Notification Date: Early-February Regular Decision Application Deadline: January 4 Notification Date: By April 1 Transfer Admission Application Deadline: March 15 Notification Date: Mid-May *Please visit admissions.tufts.edu/apply for the most up-to-date information on deadlines.

TUFTS CLASS OF 2025 ADMISSIONS PROCESS 31,000+ First-Year Applications 11% Admitted 100% of demonstrated financial need met for all admitted students In the first year of our 3-year SAT/ACT test-optional pilot, half of the applicants did not submit scores. 40% of admitted students did not submit scores. We are SAT/ ACT test-optional for first-year and transfer students applying to enter in the Fall of 2022 and 2023. Please visit our Class of 2025 Profile, available online in September, for more information.

TUFTS UNDERGRADUATE STATISTICS 6,114 4.8 20 28 300+ 44% 45% 36% 76

Undergraduate Enrollment Miles from Boston Average Class Size Varsity Sports Teams Student Groups Women in the School of Engineering of Juniors Study Abroad Need-Based Aid Recipients Countries Represented As of August 2021





Cost of Attendance


Tuition and fees Room and board (meal plan) Books and supplies Personal expenses


Expected Family Contribution Parent contribution Student contribution



Financial Need


Your award may include: Grant aid* Student loan Work study

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount your family is expected to pay for college for the academic year. It is calculated from the information provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), CSS Profile, and your family’s federal tax returns. Your financial need is the difference between the annual cost of attendance and your calculated family contribution. Your financial aid package will make up the difference, for all four years—even if your family’s situation changes. We generally do not include student loans for students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year. All Tufts financial aid is need-based—we do not offer merit-based scholarships or athletic scholarships. *Grants are need-based gift aid that are not paid back.




To estimate the amount of financial aid you might receive if admitted to Tufts:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)* https://fafsa.ed.gov/ Tufts code: 002219 Cost: free *Note: not required of international or undocumented applicants for financial aid

College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/ Tufts code: 3901 Cost: $25 initial fee plus $16 for each additional college. Fee waivers are available for students who qualify for an SAT fee waiver or whose family incomes are below $45,000. Non-Custodial Profile (NCP): if your parents are divorced or separated. The requirement may be waived by the Tufts Financial Aid Office under very specific circumstances.

Federal Income Tax Returns Applicants should submit all documentation to IDOC (idoc.collegeboard.org/idoc), an electronic imaging service of the College Board. Your account will be created at idoc.collegeboard.org once you submit the CSS Profile. Please do not send tax returns directly to Tufts Admissions or Financial Aid.

BY THE DEADLINE: Application Type Early Decision Round I Early Decision Round II Regular Decision

CSS Profile November 15 January 15 February 1

FAFSA November 15 January 15 February 1

Federal Tax Forms Through IDOC December 1 February 1 February 15

If you are applying for financial aid at Tufts and have a Social Security Number, please make sure to include that information in your application for admission so your materials can be properly matched.

MyinTuition http://admissions. tufts.edu/myintuition Tufts Net Price Calculator https://npc.collegeboard. org/student/app/tufts For questions while applying: CSS Profile 305-420-3670 FAFSA 800-433-3243 “Chat With Us” Service IDOC 866-897-9881 (US and Canada) 212-299-0096 (International)

Ready to get started? Go.tufts.edu/FinAidApp 39

PROGRAMS With nearly 150 majors and minors, 30 interdisciplinary programs, and the courses of the ExCollege, Tufts’ offerings require more than a brief skimming, so you can find an expansion of this quick list on our website. But in the meantime, skim away. Just note that Tufts’ undergraduate programs are offered in three schools: Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Students may take classes across schools, and many students do. SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES MAJORS

Africana Studies American Studies Anthropology Applied Environmental Studies Applied Mathematics Applied Physics Arabic Archaeology Architectural Studies Art History Astrophysics Biochemistry Biology Biomedical Sciences* Biopsychology Biotechnology* Chemical Physics Chemistry Child Study and Human Development

German Language and Literature German Studies Greek Greek and Latin History Interdisciplinary Studies International Literary and Visual Studies International Relations Italian Studies Japanese


Biomedical Engineering Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Computer Engineering Computer Science Electrical Engineering Environmental Engineering Mechanical Engineering


Food Systems and Nutrition






Tufts/New England Conservatory: BA or BS and Bachelor of Music

Greek Archaeology

Human Factors Engineering°

Architectural Studies

Africana Studies

Latin American Studies

Data Science




Middle Eastern Studies

Engineering Physics

Applied Computational Science

Music, Sound, and Culture

Engineering Science



Environmental Health

Architectural Engineering


Human Factors Engineering

Architectural Studies

Psychology/Clinical Concentration






Greek Civilization




Arts & Sciences/SMFA Combined Degree: BA or BS and Bachelor of Fine Arts

Judaic Studies

Political Science


Art History Asian American Studies Astrophysics

Hebrew History Italian Japanese Judaic Studies Latin Latin American Studies Latino Studies Leadership Studies Linguistics Mathematics Multimedia Arts Museums, Memory, and Heritage

All BFA students at SMFA at Tufts focus in interdisciplinary art. They may explore many of the following areas of study while pursuing this interdisciplinary art education.

Biotechnology Engineering°

Russian Language and Literature


Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Colonialism Studies


Science, Technology, and Society*


Computer Science






Spanish Cultural Studies

Digital Media


Engineering Psychology

Spanish Literature

Film and Video



Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Graphic Arts



Engineering Education


Engineering Management°






Science, Technology, and Society

Entrepreneurship for Social Impact


Environmental Science and Policy°

Studio Art

Chinese Civic Studies* Classical Studies Cognitive and Brain Sciences Community Health Computer Science

Environmental Geology Environmental Studies* Film and Media Studies French Geological Sciences

Quantitative Economics Religion Russian and East European Studies

Papermaking Performance

*Available only as a co-major


°Available only to students enrolled in the School of Engineering




Chemical Engineering Child Study and Human Development Chinese

Film and Media Studies Finance

Music Music Engineering Native American and Indigenous Studies Peace and Justice Studies Philosophy Physics Political Science Portuguese Religion Roman Archaeology Roman Civilization Russian

Spanish Urban Studies Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

. Y E H



Tufts is a student-centered research university, which means that we like to dig into our passions deeply and figure things out for ourselves—whether that involves using silk to regenerate tissue or spending a fully-funded summer exploring the political implications of Shakespeare’s plays through the Summer Scholars program. Students and professors come together, across disciplines, to ask questions and create meaning.

…in a lot of things. Tufts students don’t limit themselves: they combine biology with philosophy, compete as nationally-ranked DIII athletes, pursue Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in studio art at our School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and solve problems as engineers. They’re part of a community that embraces the unconventional and the uncategorizable.



Jumbos use their skills and ideas to better people’s lives, whether they are teaching engineering in local elementary schools, creating sustainable businesses, or spending a year doing full-time service as a 1+4 Bridge Year Fellow. They understand that they are citizens of a global community, and they embrace that responsibility.

This is a place where students are as excited to debate fan theories as they are to apply mathematical theorems—as intellectually playful as they are powerful. We believe that ideas can have a profound impact on the world, and those ideas can be born around the seminar table but also in the residence hall common room.

Sound about right? Read the stories here to learn more. Also check out our website: admissions.tufts.edu


Non-Discrimination Statement Tufts does not discriminate in admissions, employment, or in any of its educational programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, disability or handicap, sex or gender (including pregnancy, sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct including acts of sexual violence such as rape, sexual assault, stalking, sexual exploitation, sexual exploitation and coercion, relationship/intimate partner violence and domestic violence), gender identity and/or expression (including a transgender identity), sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local law. Retaliation is also prohibited. Tufts will comply with state and federal laws such as M.G.L. c. 151B, Title IX, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment and Rights Act, Executive Order 11246 and other similar laws that prohibit discrimination, all as amended. Tufts is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer. More detailed Tufts policies and procedures on this topic may be found in the OEO Policies and Procedures page. Any member of the Tufts University community has the right to raise concerns or make a complaint regarding discrimination under this policy without fear of retaliation. Any and all inquiries regarding the application of this statement and related policies may be referred to: Jill Zellmer, MSW, Executive Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Title IX and 504 Coordinator, at 617.627.3298 at 196 Boston Avenue, 4th floor, Medford, MA 02155, or at Jill.Zellmer@tufts.edu. Anonymous complaints may also be made by reporting online at: tufts-oeo.ethicspoint.com. As set forth in our policies, individuals may also file complaints with administrative agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”). The contact information for the local office of OCR is 617.289.0111 at Office for Civil Rights, Boston Office U.S. Department of Education, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109-3921. The email address for OCR is OCR.Boston@ed.gov.

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OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS Tufts University Bendetson Hall 2 The Green Medford, MA 02155 -7057 617- 627-3170 admissions.tufts.edu