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ISSUE 24 / SUMMER 2019


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 residential 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.



FEATURES 24 | Art That’s Louder Than Words At SMFA at Tufts, studio artists work towards social impact, while embracing play in the process.

30 | Near & Far: Inspiring Global Leaders How can a university cultivate global leaders—and are passports and plane tickets always required?

3 8 16 20 21 22 36 38 39


On the Cover: As a philosophy major with a budding interest in business, Will Youman believes that carving a college path is all about asking the right questions. COVER PHOTO BY KATHLEEN DOOHER (FRONT), ALONSO NICHOLS/TUFTS UNIVERSITY (BACK)


FROM THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE I HAVE a confession to make. I never opened this magazine when it arrived on

my doorstep as a prospective student seven years ago. Pamphlets and brochures sent by colleges felt glossy and insincere. I assumed this one would be no different (spoiler: I was wrong, but read on). When I arrived on campus as a first-year student, the first job I got was writing for this magazine. I learned then that the voice behind JUMBO didn’t belong to some former English major hired to represent the admissions office. It belonged to current students. As admissions officers, we use the word “voice” often. We say that voice is one of the most important factors in our process (and it is). We say that we want to hear your voice (and we do). We say that voice is something you have control over long after other pieces of your application—like senior year schedules and extracurricular records—are set in stone (and you do). But voice is so much more than a piece of information in the college admissions process. Voice is the power you bring to bear on the world around you, and voice is something that will come with you onto whichever college campus you choose. A voice develops because of people who are willing to listen to that voice—and not just listen, but support, challenge, and expand it. I came to Tufts as a smalltown Nebraskan whose parents had never visited the East Coast, with a copy of Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet tucked into my suitcase and vague ideas about the usage of public transportation. Coming to Tufts had been a huge deal to me, the culmination of work and dreams, but I hadn’t thought very far beyond that—to what I would do once I got here. When I arrived on the Hill, I found people who told me that I had a voice and could use it to engage with ideas and the world. One of them was the admissions officer who had read my application. She became my manager when I worked as a student writer for JUMBO. She became my colleague when I joined the admissions team after graduation. She still has my “Why Tufts?” application essay saved in a folder on her computer.

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.


I hope, in reading, that you’ll discover a community where your own voice could belong. Best,

Abigail McFee Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Editor-in-Chief of JUMBO Magazine

JACOB SHAW ’21 from Glencoe, IL

CHRIS PANELLA ’21 from Hollywood, FL

ISABEL DAVIS ’22 from Livingston, MT

JOHN MATTSON ’22 from Manhattan, NY

HASAN KHAN ’22 from Sharon, MA

MARINA RUEDA GARCIA ’21 from Granada, Spain

SHAAN MERCHANT ’19 from Nashville, TN

KEESHA PATRON ’21 from San Bruno, CA

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

Produced by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Edited by Abigail McFee, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Design by Hecht/Horton Partners



For every person in this office (I mean that—I went around and asked), the best part of the job is getting to know the students whose applications we read. That human element, voice, grows even more substantial outside the walls of the admissions building. Fittingly, voice is the theme of this issue. You’ll read about students who are using their art to create social change, meet an engineering professor who uplifts the voices of her students, and find advice on writing powerful application essays.



On sunny days, Tufts students, faculty, and canines all flock to the Prez Lawn (short for President’s Lawn), where activities abound. See how many you can spot in the illustration above.

∙ President Monaco BBQing (don’t forget the ketchup) ∙ Students studying on a blanket ∙ A hammock nap ∙ A boombox blaring ∙ A Tufts Mountain Club member slacklining between trees

∙ The oldest building on the Tufts campus, Ballou Hall (notable for its pillars) ∙ Five Frisbees flying ∙ An intense game of Spikeball ∙ Three Tufts dogs (some spotted) ∙ One very large mascot




LIMINAL SPACE LIMINAL SPACE —a term describing the transition between past and future. In an exciting exhibi-

tion this past May, thirteen undergraduates from SMFA at Tufts presented their senior thesis work. As emerging artists, they have explored distinct concepts and media, racked up studio time, and asked difficult questions of themselves and their world—culminating in an exhibition that was equally honest and complex.

DINING HALL HACK: NUTELLA ICE CREAM SANDWICH THIS IDEAL summer treat requires the simplest of ingredients:

dining hall cookies and ice cream—everyone’s two favorite things! Select any cookie, place it in a bowl, and soft-serve some ice cream on top. Next, spread Nutella on a second cookie to top everything off. It’s a tasty treat and perfect for the summer heat!

WHAT WE’RE READING SINCE their introduction in the late 1990s, GMOs have been

the subject of many controversies, ranging from health and safety to environmental concerns and implications for world hunger. To make matters more confusing, the scientific community has yet to reach a consensus. In GMOs Decoded, Tufts professor Sheldon Krimsky explores the varying viewpoints of GMO critics, scientists, and nongovernmental organizations, decoding GMOs’ purpose and potential risk.


DOGSPOTTING OF ALL the Facebook pages repre-

senting students’ interests, perhaps the most lovable is the famous “Tufts Dogspotting.” Complete with the disclaimer “Important note: dogs don’t have to be spotted; they may also be patched or solid in color,” the group serves as an open community for Tufts students to share pictures and locations of friendly canines they encounter throughout campus and Davis Square. As Tufts shifts into full bloom in the spring and summer, the group is more active than ever, ensuring that students can plan their routes to and from final exams to maximize canine encounters.

EXCOLLEGE: ACCUSED: THE GAP BETWEEN LAW AND JUSTICE WHAT IS JUSTICE? And what kind of justice are we entitled to?


These questions are both academic and personal in nature. The creator of this course, Sonja Spears ’86, served for twelve years as an elected judge in New Orleans. Just as she prepared to retire from the bench, she became the target of a two-year federal criminal investigation before ultimately being cleared of all charges. Spears was forced by the experience to ask: What does it mean to be marked “criminal”? In this course, she uses drama, film, case studies, and media analysis to examine, alongside her students, how systems of justice impact us personally and societally.

DO YOU HAVE short stories, poems, or a comedy set to

share? Open mic nights on campus can become the highlight of a slow week or even semester—the Spoken Word Alliance at Tufts (SWAT) specializes in hosting spoken word events, but they’re not the only group. Whether connecting and being vulnerable with other people of faith at the Interfaith Center, reading a new poem at the student-run café, or sharing downright hilarious and embarrassing stories, community and an open ear can be found wherever there’s an open stage.



INCREASINGLY, illicit marketplaces have arisen online—allow-

ing for the sale and purchase of goods, services, and even human beings. Traditional technologies have proven insufficient for combating these inhumane activities. In a talk hosted by Women in Computer Science, students explored the potential of machine learning as a powerful tool that law enforcement can use to fight human trafficking.

GLASSES FOR GOOD GOOD BUSINESS doesn’t have to be separate from social

impact. Neil Blumenthal ’02 returned to campus to speak with current students about the creation of his company Warby Parker. Selling designer eyewear for $95 a pair, Warby has garnered wild success over the past nine years—while becoming a leader in social entrepreneurship, distributing a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need for each pair sold.

TUFTS TWEET @MONACOANTHONY: It was wonderful to celebrate the graduation of first-generation students @TuftsUniversity yesterday. It was an honor to recognize their achievements during their time at Tufts with the caring and supportive community of the FIRST Resource Center. 5


One weekend in early April, Anne Hall’s mom comes to town. This is a big weekend for Anne, who is presenting her thesis research at a conference on Friday and receiving a Tufts Senior Award on Saturday. On Friday evening, a handful of Anne’s close friends, myself included, gather to meet her mother, Vien, and laugh over chocolate cake. We all share some of our best embarrassing Anne stories, Vien taking the cake, figuratively. We are able to unabashedly bash Anne and know she will laugh with us; her joy deflects our gentle jabs. The next month, I sit down to interview Anne for this profile. Having known Anne throughout our four years at Tufts, I’m aware of the plethora of honors and awards she has earned—including the prestigious Truman Scholarship, for which Anne represents South Dakota—and the impact she’s had on the Tufts community, but this interview gives me a chance to delve deeper. Anne’s journey to the Hill began on the flat plains of suburban Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she was born and raised. “Growing up in a white, homogeneous, conservative community, I only learned one thing, heard one side of the story,” Anne explains. “And that point of view isn’t bad; I just think it’s important to see more than one perspective. Coming to Tufts let me look through different lenses.” For the first time, she gave the kaleidoscope through which she had been looking a spin. “I think to truly learn, you have to put your guard down and admit what you don’t know,” she explains. Anne knew she had a passion for medicine and was drawn to Tufts because of its commitment to engagement and activism, but it was not until a

community health class she took during her first year that she honed in on a specific focus. She describes learning about Black maternal health and the inequities that exist in the health world. “I found that really jarring,” she says, “and because of what I grew up learning, I was skeptical. I thought, ‘No, that can’t be.’” But Anne listened, read, and reflected and since then has devoted a lot of her intellectual energy to critically examining the inequities in the field of women’s health. For her policy proposal as a Truman Scholar applicant, Anne put forward policy to increase reproductive health services and sexual violence awareness for Native women. “And [during the interview] I talked a little bit about my time as a rape crisis counselor and leadership on the First Gen Council,” Anne throws in casually, referencing some of the remarkable ways she has served as a resource to others, including her vital role in forming and leading Tufts’ council for first-generation college students like herself. When I ask Anne about her thesis, she responds, “You were at my defense; you cried,” sending a playful jab my way for how moved I was by her work. For Anne’s senior honors thesis, she recognized that a prime example of the inequities in health, about which she is so passionate, existed in her own backyard. Growing up, she did not know, hear, or talk much about the Native people in South Dakota, but after coming to Tufts and looking through new lenses, Anne found herself spending two summers of her Tufts career living on the reservation with the Lakota people in South Dakota. She made friends, heard stories, and confronted




the unpleasant realities of the inequitable health care they face. “Initially I thought I wanted to plan a mental health workshop for Native youth on the rez, because of the disparities in mental health. But once I got there, I realized there was a lot I didn’t know… I thought it would be better to listen to their stories and try to figure out how [the Lakota women] navigate their identities and experiences that most shape them. That project allowed me to understand the sacredness and power of narratives and use that to decolonize social science research.” The project that came out of her time there left many in the room of her defense teary-eyed, and earned her Highest Honors. In many ways, Anne’s time at Tufts was about unlearning what her upbringing had taught her. But the place where her kaleidoscope has rested feels close to home for Anne. As the child of an immigrant, a first-generation college student, and a woman of color from Middle America, so much of what Anne has devoted her time to—both personally and academically—is being a light and mentor for others, while highlighting inequities and fighting for change. Having declined a position at the Harvard Divinity School, Anne will head to D.C. as an employee at the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, where she will work to find the cracks in our system and repair them with her grace, joy, and fierce commitment. —SHAAN MERCHANT ’19


Anne’s journey through Tufts led her back home, where she has explored marginalized narratives with new eyes.


A bowling alley and wood-fired pizza joint in one? Grab a pepperoni and mushroom flatbread—made with organic handcrafted cauldron tomato sauce—and hang out in one of ten lanes devoted to traditional New England candlepin bowling. You don’t have to be good at bowling to enjoy some time here (trust us).


With live music every night of the week, The Burren is renowned not only locally but nationally, earning its ranking as one of the best Irish pubs in America. Enjoy an ample menu, dancing, and a celebrity sighting if you’re lucky—Neil Young has made a few surprise appearances over the years.

From wild wall art to the best BBQ around, stop by Redbones to fill up on comfort food classics, including some crazy cornbread that we could literally eat all day. It’s a great place to take your family or enjoy a Saturday night dinner with friends.


Special film festivals, intimate concerts, and the latest feature can all be found at the historic Somerville Theatre. If you arrive early for a show, grab some fresh popcorn and explore the tuckedaway art gallery in the theatre’s basement, the famous Museum of Bad Art.

Think about the best things in the world—homemade pasta, sandwiches, cheese, and chocolate—and it becomes pretty easy to understand why Dave’s is a Tufts favorite. Try the prosciutto and fig sandwich—you’ll thank us later.


DAVIS SQUARE Stop by Davis’ own comic book store to grab the latest Batgirl or Alexandria OcasioCortez comic—or peruse a full collection of longstanding favorites. This eccentric shop hosts gaming events, sci-fi book club meetings, and author panels, too.

Rosebud is a laid-back diner with a reliable brunch, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in culinary punch. You’ll find food packed with plenty of exciting flavors—the hush puppies with pineapple and chili chutney are killer—and pie to top everything off.

Davis Square is a quick 15-minute walk—or, in case of cold weather or temporary laziness, a five-minute free shuttle ride—from the Tufts campus. A vibrant destination for food, shopping, and live music, Davis is also a stop on the Red Line, the T (subway) line that takes passengers right into downtown Boston. But you’ll find you don’t really need to go further than Davis for a delicious meal, a coffee shop study session, or an evening of entertainment.

For some of the best tortas in town—the campechana is practically too good to not swallow whole—and fresh ingredients all around, look no further than Tenoch. As a nice bonus, the food truck comes to campus for special occasions; you can spot it by the long line.


Nestled into Professor Ichiro Takayoshi’s office in East Hall, I reevaluate my relationship with a subject many do not willingly engage with after high school: English. Of course, books and writing have not fled my life or most Tufts students’ lives, but Professor Takayoshi encourages me to delve deeper—not into the wall of literature gilding the majority of his office space—but into my own feelings about the American literary tradition. Professor Takayoshi explains his focus and fascination with modern American literature—works produced during a brief, 60- to 70-year literary time frame, from around the 1890s to the 1950s. If you went to high school in the US, you probably encountered such novels as The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Perhaps you were assigned to write essays on them, analyzing seemingly banal aspects of the works like how animals function as symbols within the texts. Professor Takayoshi wants to challenge that. Rather than buckle down and narrow the lens to such confined limits, he describes his research on modern American literature as “panoramic,” opening a door into more authentic class discussions and lively essays that seem to gush from students’ fingertips: “It’s magic, it’s an alchemy of words, and I then have to go into their heads and find out how this magic happens.” Of course, he admits, there are certain writers and texts that must be taught in order to fully appreciate the canon in its historical context, but within a new space of inviting students to be more personal than solely objective about their readings of the works, Takayoshi remarks, “[My students] do say amazing things. They open my eyes to certain characters, details, [and] plot points in the book that I thought were insignificant.” And to that end, Takayoshi qualifies how Tufts students especially bring an emotional maturity to the classroom that pushes back the walls of limitation even further. They aren’t afraid to dive deeply into the exploration of human experiences, ranging from shame to adultery to divorce to friendship. In trying to communicate one’s experience, Professor Takayoshi believes, you learn more about yourself than you would just by sitting alone, coming up with “half-baked, ill-formed, not easily communicable ideas that only make sense to yourself.” The discussion of key questions in an honest space allows the teacher and students to understand more clearly what it means to be human. What is mercy? What is justice? What is friendship? What is betrayal? What is anxiety? What is God? What are sexual double standards? What does it feel like to be a person of this race in this particular context?

To these possibilities, Takayoshi tells me, “Literature is a great teacher that not only makes you understand these facts but also feel these facts.” Teaching how to “feel these facts” leads to a type of scholarship far beyond memorization and regurgitation. In addition to courses in the English Department, Professor Takayoshi recommends psychology, art history, philosophy, and film classes as spaces at Tufts where feeling the facts deepens scholarship, invites more voices into the discussion, and teaches us how to live together with help from the past. To illustrate this point, he asks me point-blank whether people would have cared about the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral without an appreciation of the humanities. “Is it essential to have this skill of appreciation?” he poses. “No, but you only live once. You have the fullest spectrum of all experience when you have [appreciation], so you better take courses that equip [you] with these life-enriching skills.” The view from our Hill is made even more open by the unbounded circles of inquiry Takayoshi guides. As I glance out his window at budding spring trees, feeling a renewed sense of appreciation, he lends me one last piece of advice. “Tufts is a place where you can ultimately block out other anxieties and focus on learning the therapeutic effects of books and how you can make sense of the world through the humanities,” he says. “These departments have a function—they’re not an appendage. You learn their importance by taking a course in just one of them.” —HASAN KHAN ’22



Professor Takayoshi takes a unique approach to the literary canon. His students embrace the challenge.





Alternative Histories and the Pictographic Alphabet Serena August ’19 BFA in Interdisciplinary Art

Diegetic Presence in Cinematic Virtual Reality Justine Chung ’20 Major: Philosophy Justine Chung’s project examines how audiovisual elements shape the viewer’s experience in contemporary 360-degree virtual reality media. Interested in the cues that promote a sense of “presence” in a fictional space, she sought out one of her past film professors, Dr. Malcolm Turvey, to supplement her studies of telling a narrative through media art. “It’s very cool to join a community of peer researchers, all of us pursuing our own questions,” Justine adds. “And of course, the research grant is highly clutch.”

Performance Analysis of Key Facial Recognition Algorithms Kevin Naranjo ’20 Major: Electrical Engineering

Serena August’s research required her to don “the aesthetic methods of an archaeologist in order to examine modern-day phenomena.” Serena, who has always held interests in history and multidisciplinary art, recalls her SMFA visual and critical studies professors urging her to consider the whys. Why do certain artifacts exist, why did they come to be, and what purpose did they serve? “I began to ask myself the same questions,” Serena says. “What does a PlayStation mean in the context of world history? Will the lower-middle-class gems of my youth be preserved?” Joining forces with a printmaking faculty mentor, Peter Scott, she set off to find out. “Even the most dismal material contains historical, sociological, and artistic context,” Serena adds with a smile. “I doubt I will ever be able to say I am finished researching.”

Kevin Naranjo honed in on facial recognition algorithms. “When looking through the current algorithms I noticed most focused only on recognizing colored or grayscale images of people’s faces. So I decided to look into how these algorithms worked with alternative image types such as infrared, night vision, sketches, and 3D images,” he explains. When he first became interested in research he turned to a professor, who pointed him towards Dr. Karen Panetta, whom Kevin contacted and within a year was working alongside in her lab. In sum, he says, “It was a refreshing change of pace from the rest of my academic career and definitely a summer well spent.”

Scaldin’ Malden: A Red Hot Opportunity for Tufts University Isaac Mudge ’19 Major: Civil Engineering

Examining the Experiences of Young Girls in STEM Education Elizabeth Moison ’20 Major: Sociology

Representing Disease: How Hep C and HIV/AIDS Acquired a Political Identity Lucia Francese ’19 Majors: Sociology and Political Science

Following a rowing event, Isaac Mudge encountered a public interest meeting at the crew team boathouse on the Malden River and was galvanized to aid their green redevelopment initiatives however possible. “It’s a really easy thing to do in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,” he explains. His mentor, Professor Julian Agyeman, was on sabbatical in Montreal at the time but still willing and able to lend his expertise, even remotely. The research focused on a region around the river just north of Boston and sought to find resources within Tufts that could be put to work behind five specific projects: a railway-to-pedestrian bridge, a floating treatment wetland, a water taxi business proposal, a formal crew team partnership, and a category of educational programming. Isaac will be conducting a research project this upcoming year revolving around the floating treatment wetland through a Tufts master’s program.

Collecting data from girls in grades 3–6 in workshops hosted by the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, Elizabeth Moison sought to understand young girls’ take on gender dynamics in the classroom. During an elementary engineering class she was teaching, she noticed boys gravitated towards technology they knew and subsequently commandeered others’ work, while girls tended to retreat, not vying for equal authority even when they had initiated the project. While the gendering of undergraduate engineering is well documented, little had been investigated with children, so sociology and education student Elizabeth paired up with a mentor in mechanical engineering, Dr. Kristen Wendell, to broach the question. “Pushing myself to admit when I didn’t know something really opened a door for her to support me and for us to connect,” she admits. “This project was what sparked my goal to go on to graduate school and study education and educational policy.”

Lucia Francese investigated how people with Hepatitis C (HCV) and people with AIDS (PWA) developed a political identity in the United Kingdom and to what extent they realized their potential to become political actors. Lucia had never even heard of medical sociology until becoming a research assistant for Professor Rosemary Taylor her sophomore year, and immediately her interest was piqued by the role the political sphere plays in shaping the identity of diseases. “We brainstormed how I could merge my interest in political science, my minor, and my interest in disease identity,” Lucia explains. “The political identity of people with Hepatitis C has been influenced by social movements, portrayal in newspapers, and how the government has addressed their concerns. This has reminded me to never be satisfied when I find one possible explanation for a hypothesis and to always search for more.”

Rainie Toll created a series of films to make Scottish academic D’Arcy Thompson’s A Glossary of Greek Birds accessible to the public. A Glossary references birds from Greek mythology, but because they are named in Ancient Greek, their modern avian correlates remain largely unknown. Rainie, along with classics professor Marie-Claire Beaulieu and film professor Jennifer Burton, traveled to Thompson’s native Scotland to investigate and begin production. “We flew into Edinburgh, which looks like illustrations in a fairytale, and stayed in St. Andrews, which is practically made out of stone. I worked on weekends and thought about the project in the car and on runs because it was so magnetic.”



Answering to Avoid Fault: Could Political Survey Data Be Affected by Respondents’ Attempts to Avoid Stigma? Henry Allison ’19 Majors: Political Science and English Henry Allison tested if judgement could change the way Trump voters answered controversial questions. For example, if prompted with “Trump is a bad person, and so are his supporters” and then asked if Trump’s or Obama’s inauguration was better attended, are Trump supporters more likely to answer “Trump” to prove a point, even if they know otherwise? Does judging someone for their partisan affiliation make them more partisan? For Henry, this curiosity was sparked by a professor’s suggestion to read an article about “expressive responding,” which would become the theoretical foundation of his project. Tufts alumna Diane Hessan then connected Henry with Dr. Peter Levine, who became his faculty mentor. “He was a brilliant scholar whom it was a pleasure to work with,” Henry shares, “and by getting to conduct my own project, I was able to get a deeper understanding of the political science research process.”

Spectral Classification of Galaxies Over 12 Billion Years of Cosmic History Danielle Golub ’19 Major: Astrophysics

Assessing the Origins of Amygdala Function in PTSD Ethan Whitman ’19 Majors: Clinical Psychology and Spanish

Each galaxy has a unique spectral energy distribution that operates like a fingerprint. The goal of Danielle Golub’s research was to analyze and construct composites of these fingerprints, allowing her eventually to study galaxy evolution over the entirety of cosmic history. Danielle, who wanted a project that would both challenge and expose her to something outside her typical area of study, sought out mentor Dr. Danilo Marchesini despite never having studied with him. “The Department of Physics and Astronomy is pretty close-knit,” Danielle relates, “and I knew his research aligned with my interests. He was so enthusiastic and helpful throughout the entire Summer Scholars application process, which happened while I was abroad, so I felt very supported. And the separate budget for discretionary spending to benefit your academic and professional development is coming in handy now, as I prepare for postgraduate life. Summer Scholars isn’t limited to the summer!”

Ethan Whitman’s research is part of a long-term project in the Shin Lab at Tufts looking at brain function in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A common problem in studying mental illness is determining whether a brain abnormality developed alongside a disorder or if the abnormalities made someone more susceptible to developing the disorder. To solve this problem, Ethan and colleagues recruited a group of veterans with and without PTSD who also have nonveteran identical twins, shedding light on some origins of brain dysfunction. “In my classes I learned about the research that exists on mental illness but also that much is unknown about these disorders, despite how serious and widespread they are,” Ethan shares. “This made me want to answer some of the questions that remain about these disorders to ultimately improve treatments down the line.” Ethan contacted Dr. Lisa Shin as a first-year student and has worked in her lab every semester since.


F ROM CLASSROOM TO CONVERSATION Professor Luisa Chiesa researches superconductive materials and is, herself, a superconductor—known for sustaining the currents of students’ thoughts and questions. Here, she sits down with her former student and learning assistant, Morgan Strong ’20, to chat about passion, human interaction, and mechanical engineering. —MARINA RUEDA GARCIA ’21 How did you meet?   Luisa Chiesa: I had Morgan as a student in the same class that she is now a learning assistant for. The Learning Assistant program is a new project that we are piloting in the School of Engineering, specifically the Mechanical Engineering Department, where undergraduate students that have taken the class already are within the class helping students solve problems. We basically co-teach a class called Introduction to Mechanical Engineering, which is a user-centric product design class. The assistants don’t have grading power, but they are part of the teaching team. They are also really good at giving us advice outside the class. Is it easy to get to know professors on this level? Morgan Strong: I think it gets easier the older you get. During my first year I was a bit afraid to talk to professors, because they have so much knowledge, but once you start to ask questions it gets easier. When you go talk to professors about any questions you have, you get so much out of it because they have so much expertise and there is always a bit extra that they can add.


LC: For my classes, I do not have standard office hours, but my door is always open, and I always tell that to students. I find that talking in person is much better than exchanging emails or answering questions right after class. I find the interaction outside class to be very fruitful, and I agree, by the time you are a junior or senior, students come see us more often. What are the benefits of getting to know your professors/ students better? MS: I think there are a lot of interesting things that the professors know that may not be demonstrated within class, like your presentation on superconductors—that was so cool! There are definitely a lot of resources that professors have and knowledge they want to share that is more individualized when it’s not in a class setting. LC: I just enjoy talking to students. I think it allows me to know them beyond the class interaction, and you learn things that maybe [a student] would not share in class. You put a human interaction first, and I enjoy learning where students are coming from and why they chose Tufts. Can you think of a specific moment that stood out to you since you met? LC: I have a lot of students that I quickly feel comfortable around, and Morgan is one of them. It’s always nice to have students who work and are engaged in class, showing a positive and energetic attitude. Morgan was definitely a bright light in our class. [Jokingly] Beat that, Morgan! MS: For me, the first interaction that stood out is when I came to you with Thermodynamics course questions about all these different engines. This stood out to me so much because I came in kind of expecting to hear only about the things that I had asked, and you came with all this extra information, and I was so excited. That was very meaningful to me, because you took the extra time to take it a step further.




FEELS LIKE HOME Beyond traditional residence halls, special interest houses offer the opportunity for students to engage with shared interests under shared roofs, while building communities that embrace their identities.











1. Rainbow House: The Rainbow House fosters a community welcoming of all gender identities and sexualities. Through hosting seasonal on-campus activities and attending Boston events, housemates seek to confront issues of gender and sexuality and, moreover, better celebrate the intersectionality of their own identities.


2. Capen House: Residents of Capen House, in collaboration with the Africana Center, host yearround public events and community projects to celebrate the culture and history of the African Diaspora. Individuals who are interested in living in Capen House must propose three potential programs when applying to live in the House. 3. Crafts House: As Tufts’ only cooperative living option, Crafts House hosts nightly open dinners and frequent workshops to celebrate members’ individualities “when they can’t find their identity represented elsewhere” (Alix Kaplan ’21). Topics explored by residents include sexual and gender identity, political activism, and artistic exploration.

4. Language and Culture Houses: (French, German, Spanish, Muslim, Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, Russian): Through daily interactions with their housemates as well as weekly coffee hours open to non-resident language learners, residents have abundant opportunities “to build upon what is learned in class” (Emily Lazorchak ’21) or connect through shared cultures.

7. Green House: Green House residents collaborate with other eco-friendly students, organizations, and faculty to promote healthy habits for sustainable living. Through their frequent on-campus projects and initiatives, Green House residents provide Tufts students many opportunities to “live more green.”

5. Arts Haus: Whether they are bonding over Bob Ross and Boba or hosting themed art-making nights, Arts Haus residents build and foster a community to explore different creative media and create a “place to call home” (Priya Misner ’20).

8. Latinx Culture House: Also known as La Casa, this house provides residents the “opportunity to stay engaged in the Latinx community” (Ana Brasil ’21) through a tight-knit support group connected by shared walls. The house operates in conjunction with the Latino Center and supports its residents closely in their academic and social endeavors.

6. Asian American House: Housemates work closely with the Asian American Center to “create a community centered on political education” (Issay Matsumoto ’21). They promote cultural awareness through public events such as traditional cultural events and thought talks with esteemed Asian guest speakers.

9. International House: Typical conversation topics between I-House residents range from Turkish coffee to Nepalese food to different cultural values in Myanmar and India. People who choose to live here leave “learning more about other countries and taking a bit of their passions” with them (Anne Lau ’21). 17

Sarah Luna knows how to build spaces for herself and others. Here, that space is an office tucked into the Department of Anthropology, where her endearingly strange-looking dog Tenoch curls up in a corner of the couch. This office, minus the specifics of dog and couch, is where Professor Luna pictured herself arriving one day. Back home in San Antonio, Texas, in her first semester as a first-generation college student, Luna resolved to become an anthropologist and a professor. Prior to that semester, she hadn’t really known what anthropology was. “But I became interested in issues that seemed politically pressing,” she tells me. Cultural anthropology struck her as a way to have a direct impact. Currently, Luna studies forms of difference along the Mexico/US border, where she spent twelve months conducting ethnographic research. This research forms the basis for her forthcoming book, Love in the Drug War: Selling Sex and Finding Jesus on the Mexico/US Border. In the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, she studied two categories of migrants: “women who migrated from different parts of mostly rural Mexico to work as sex workers in a prostitution zone regulated by the local government, surrounded by walls, called ‘la zona de tolerancia,’ or ‘Boy’s Town’,” and the white, Englishspeaking missionaries who had come “to love the sex workers” and, in so doing, convert them. Ethnographic research is always a challenge, requiring that the researcher pay close attention and keep detailed notes, but Professor Luna’s field site carried additional challenges. She lived in Reynosa during a period of intense drug violence, when people feared being kidnapped and killed. She was afraid for her own safety and afraid that her research would endanger those she wrote about. And then there was another set of fears, arising from her identity.

“I was afraid of working with the missionaries,” she admits, “because I had grown up in an evangelical church and then I ended up rejecting it once I went to college…so I was afraid they would reject me if they found out I was queer, if they found out I wasn’t a Christian.” Working within the framework of cultural relativism, she was cognizant of not imposing her own beliefs on her research. This allowed her to render a more complex picture of life in la zona de tolerancia—“not only how the rescue industry can be harmful and coercive for sex workers, but also how some of these relationships [between missionaries and sex workers] were actually very meaningful, and what both parties would consider to be love and friendship. I hope that my book shows both those sides.” Professor Luna sees the structural as a lens through which the personal can be understood. Now entering her second year as a professor of anthropology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, she teaches courses that lean fully into difficult topics: a course called Sex and Money, an upperlevel seminar on the anthropology of race and racism, an introductory course in Latinx studies, and starting in the fall, Queer Anthropology. In each of these courses, Luna has been struck by her students’ maturity. “They’ve been so respectful to each other…in a way that shows a lot of intellectual generosity,” she tells me. She describes moments in which students have become choked up during class presentations and proceeded through delivering powerful points. Their willingness to continue to engage with what is difficult strikes her most deeply—perhaps because she recognizes, in that intersection of thoughtfulness and tenacity, her own approach to academia. —ABIGAIL MCFEE





Sarah Luna turns to difficult topics, including the devaluing of bodies along the Mexico/US border, and offers them a space in academia.




Voice matters—whether you’re studying dissent literature, producing films, or programming computers to interact with human beings. Here are just a few Tufts courses that say “voice” loud and clear. CVS-0031 Dissent & Democracy in American Literature to 1900 This literature survey course focuses on “dissent” and “democracy”—two major thematic and formal concerns of early American writing. Readings include exploration narratives, settlement propaganda, sermons, autobiographies, political pamphlets, philosophical essays, poetry, short fiction, and novels. We’ll bring together Native American, white European American, African American, Latinx, and Asian American voices to think about the construction of literary history, the politics of representation, and why this matters today. Authors studied include Phillis Wheatley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Sui Sin Far, and Zitkála-Šá. —Elizabeth Ammons, Professor of English Literature COMP-0171 Human-Computer Interaction This course serves as an introduction to human-computer interaction, or how computers communicate with people. We’ll cover methodology for designing and testing user interfaces, interaction styles (command line, menus, graphical user interfaces, virtual reality), interaction techniques (voice, gesture, eye movement), design guidelines, and user interface management system software. Students will design a small user interface, program a prototype, and test the result for usability.  —Robert Jacob, Professor of Computer Science


FLM-0159 Sound and the Moving Image When combined, sound and image influence each other in subtle and complex ways. This course provides students with the practical and conceptual skills to creatively use sound (voice, sound effects, sound design, music) with film and video. We will study examples of sound/image pairings taken from the canon of cinema, and analyze how they were constructed technically and how they function aesthetically. In addition to the conventional strategies used in narrative films of the past and present, special focus will be given to the radical experiments of Jean-Luc Godard, David Lynch, Orson Welles, Toru Takemitsu, Christian Marclay, Ryan Trecartin, Candice Breitz, and others. The techniques and concepts covered in the class will be drawn from cinema, but are equally applicable to projects executed as video, installation, and image-for-sound. The goal of the course is for students to develop an expanded concept of the possibilities for sound and image, a more personal vision of how to utilize sound and image in their work, and the technical skills to achieve their vision. —Kurt Ralske, Professor of the Practice of Digital Media, SMFA at Tufts




Picture this: An Ohio high school in the 1980s. A new student named Veronica arrives on the scene. She begins her foray into a clique of popular girls, all of whom are named Heather.

While this might sound like a Mean Girls-esque narrative (minus the uncanny common name), the story actually belongs to the plot of a 1988 film, Heathers—and it takes on a new voice in Heathers: The Musical, featuring rock songs and iconic choreography. Torn Ticket II, Tufts’ student-run musical theater group, selected Heathers as one of its spring productions with an eye towards the important issues it addresses, including teenage mental health. The show featured sixteen cast members, half of whom were first-year students. Amanda Rose ’19, a film and media studies major, choreographed

the production, psychology major Josh Kim ’20 directed music, and drama major Nick Jodka ’20 directed the show. The final production, which commanded the stage in Cohen Auditorium for two nights, remained true to the story’s darkly comedic tone, while managing not to minimize its content. Torn Ticket II puts on one major production and two minor productions each semester, all directed, produced, designed, and performed by Tufts students. Everyone, not just drama majors, is invited to audition—lending their voice to the mix.



THE GREAT OUTDOORS IN OUR BACKYARD Does your favorite form of athletics happen off the beaten path, biking a new trail or swimming at the lake? Tufts students take advantage of our best-of-both-worlds location—4.8 miles outside of Boston—to explore the outdoors in our own backyard. —JOHN MATTSON ’22 The Fells The Middlesex Fells Reservation (the Fells for short) may be close to Tufts’ campus, but visiting makes you feel very far from a college town, or any town for that matter. Just one of dozens of nature reservations in Massachusetts, the Fells has over 100 miles of mixed-use trails, and a large pond at its heart, great for sailing, kayaking, and fishing. The best part? The Fells is a six-minute drive from Tufts’ campus! A trip to the Fells is the ultimate study break, a complete immersion into nature that will leave you wondering, “How have I not been here before?” Somerville Bike Path Bring your bike in for a tune-up because the Somerville Community Path is the perfect place for a ride on a beautiful day. Spanning from the Alewife Linear Park to Lowell Street, the Community Path takes you from one end of Davis Square to the other. When the weather is nice, hundreds of Somerville locals can be seen walking, running, and cycling along the path. The people of Somerville love the path so much that, since it was first built, it has been extended three times. The third extension is underway and is set to make the path over a mile longer. Throw on your running shoes, and see what the hype is all about!

The Loj The Loj (pronounced like “lodge”) may be farther away, but for many Tufts students, it’s nearest and dearest to their hearts. Owned by Tufts and managed by the Tufts Mountain Club (TMC), throughout the year the Loj houses hundreds of adventure-seeking students looking for a weekend away from computer screens and social media. Whether you’ve never been hiking before or have free soloed El Capitan, a weekend trip to the Loj has something for everyone. If you don’t have a driver’s license, no problem. TMC owns vans that take students to the Loj on Friday evenings and back on Sunday mornings. But who knows, you may have so much fun hiking that you want to make the 120-mile hike back to campus! 22


Brooks Estate Directly in between the Fells and Mystic Lakes, the Brooks Estate offers a charming blend of history and nature. First settled around 1660, the estate was transformed into a Victorian summer retreat. The gorgeous architecture is often being restored, as the city of Medford works hard to maintain the buildings’ original look. Along with the Victorian buildings, acres of open space and walking trails make the estate an ideal place to explore the unique, historic landscape. The estate is also a critical habitat for birds and small mammals, with over 60 species of birds living on the property.

Mystic Lake and Bacow Sailing Pavilion The picturesque Mystic Lakes have special importance in the Tufts community. On the shore of the Upper Mystic Lake stands the Bacow Sailing Pavilion, home to the Tufts co-ed and women’s sailing teams. The Sailing Pavilion stores every boat in the sailing team’s fleet and, at three stories high, boasts an impressive view overlooking the race course. Whether you are going for a swim on Shannon Beach, or just going to see the Tufts sailing team in action, Mystic Lake is a perfect summertime escape.






[and] providing alternative resources and action plans to engage citizens.” For Moridpour, art holds power precisely because of the joy and justice crossroads on which it sits. It can captivate an audience, giving its message power. On the Fenway campus of SMFA at Tufts, a three-minute walk from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, you’re bound to find something engaging, creative, and provocative around every corner. Down the hall from Professor Moridpour, you might find Anna Gruman ’19 in the editing studio, piecing together one of the longform videos from green screen improvisation and archival footage for which she is known. When I speak to Gruman, she is also quick to connect the artistic process with social impact, stressing the inherent connection of the two. Gruman is less interested in the messages in her art—“I’m not trying to make a PSA,” she explains—instead, she’s interested in the process, the “play.” To her, art is one of the few practices through which one can break free from the societal view of time as money. “In long-term, project-based art, when labor is based on love and not clocking hours, one’s imagination can be freed to the point of thinking in historical, even organic, time and thus, through play, imagin[ing] and begin[ning] to enact social change,” she explains. A philosophical way of looking at it. Indigo Naar ’21 holds a similar perspective. As a combined degree student, Naar brings the philosophy she studies at Tufts’ Medford campus to the art she creates at the Fenway campus. Like Gruman, she feels her art is not outright in its messaging. “My work isn’t blatantly driven towards change; it’s not waving a protest flag. That being said, the ideas held within it, and the spaces I’m trying to explore and understand, very much apply to society as a whole, not only to myself. In that sense, I do think art can offer smaller, cultural shifts in terms of understanding and awareness, and some will be more direct than others.” Despite the varying perspectives on how to utilize art as a tool in making change, each of the artists I speak with acknowledges the innate power it holds. Of course, Moridpour, Gruman, and Naar don’t just talk the talk. Each has taken on significant projects that sit at the intersection of joy and justice. Gruman and Naar both talk about making change at the personal level, having an impact on even just one person. “During one show, someone wrote a note



oping to take our minds off our impending thesis defenses, a friend and I went to a showing of Rachel Lears’ Knock Down the House at the Independent Film Festival of Boston this past April. The documentary follows the path of four women and political outsiders—including Congresswoman Alexandria OcasioCortez—as they decide to run for congress. The surprise guest introduction for this film came from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. Standing tall despite her recent knee injury, she was wearing what she called her resistance outfit: a leather jacket, hoop earrings, red lipstick, a Shirley Chisholm pin, and her hair in a Senegalese twist. Her inspirational speech was filled with gems about social movements and justice, about improving representation and considering the inequity of power in this country, but one comment of hers that particularly stood out to me came when she spoke about the role of art. She said that art and social change are inherently connected because both lie “at the intersection of joy and justice.” Members of the Tufts community seem to locate themselves at the same intersection: developing their artistic practices both as an expression of the joy they find in creation, and an obligation to work towards justice. Take Neda Moridpour, for example—a professor of the practice at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts. After earning a degree in computer software engineering in Tehran, Moridpour came to the US in 2009 to study socially engaged art. “I’m a list maker and an image scavenger. I’m a researcher and an eavesdropper. I’m an independent artist and a collaborator,” Moridpour self-describes. On top of these many roles, Moridpour is also a co-founder of Louder Than Words, an art collective that targets sexual assault, domestic violence, and other issues of social injustice. For Professor Moridpour, art’s role in making change is vital. “As a cultural tool, art has the potential for humanizing and actualizing the feelings, injustices, and distress of those who may not have a space to voice their concerns,” she explains passionately. “Therefore, I believe that art is an important visual and experiential tool to create a space for listening, agitating, informing, organizing,

Anna Gruman ’19

Indigo Naar ’21

AS A CULTURAL TOOL, ART HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR HUMANIZING AND ACTUALIZING THE FEELINGS, INJUSTICES, AND DISTRESS OF THOSE WHO MAY NOT HAVE A SPACE TO VOICE THEIR CONCERNS. on a table by the computer that was playing my video piece on ideas of home and identity, which featured my mother’s voice. All they wrote was ‘this touched me,’ and little moments like that are more so what my work aims for, rather than large-scale change,” says Naar. Gruman’s work often contains large-scale societal themes—currently she works a lot with the ideas of police, violence, and masculinity—but she always tries to ground them in personal narratives. Having devoted her career to socially engaged art, Moridpour offers many examples of her work towards social change. As a professor, she created a proposal to launch a program at the SMFA for socially engaged art. The program, expected to begin in 2020, “aims to bring together SMFA faculty and students with community organizers, activists, scholars, and educators to create critical interventions that inspire dialogue and catalyze social change through the arts.” On a personal level, the work she has done and collectives she has led also focus on making change through art. Moridpour recalls Woman on the Move (WOM), a project she could really feel the impact of. After two years of research and close work with nonprofits and justice organizations across the country, Moridpour and her team saw the need to spread the word about the intersectionality of issues of sexual harassment and violence. “We decided to visualize the result of our research and transformed a 26-foot truck into a mobile billboard and resource center… Our billboard truck intervened in the cityscape, navigating neighborhoods before stopping at schools, parks, grocery stores, college campuses, and other public spaces where people congregate. With every stop, we generated ‘pop-up’ events including intimate educational workshops, video screenings, and town halls.” WOM focused on centering marginalized voices in underserved neighborhoods. The impact was widely felt. The artists received a certificate of

recognition from the mayor of Los Angeles for their work in elevating the voices of survivors. Moridpour explains, “We had parents taking extra posters to put up in their offices, schools, and churches to use as invitations for creating a dialogue about these systemic issues with their friends and colleagues, and find[ing] ways to address them in their community.” She, like Gruman and Naar, also found the personal impact to be most meaningful. She describes the silent hugs she received of thanks, or the student who told her that putting the poster on the wall of her dorm room reminded her not to blame herself and allowed her to open up to her parents about what she had faced. In the cases of all three artists, individual experiences and passions have served as the fuel for connection with their audiences. Their voices make an impact. Having these conversations, with Congresswoman Pressley’s words still on my mind, I reflect on the ways I have seen the impact of art in my Tufts experience. Although I have not devoted nearly the hours or energy to an artistic practice that Gruman, Moridpour, and Naar have, art has been central to my own engagement with social issues. I think about the readings in my Spanish literature class and the ways that humor was used to hide social commentary from the censors of the Franco regime. I think about the snackfueled, late-night, guilty pleasure binging of Friends I so often succumbed to, and the messages about society and norms Rachel, Chandler, and the crew were sending. I even think about “Tufts Memes for Quirky Queens,” a popular Facebook page, and the ways it creates community and shapes the narratives surrounding campus issues. Then I feel bad for even considering those memes to be in the realm of art—but, nonetheless, they often lie at the intersection of joy and justice.




“I feel like that’s what a liberal arts education is for—taking the things you’re passionate about…and manifest[ing] them in real-world applications.”




For Will Youman, chatting about business consulting comes as naturally as discussing the existence of free will. He’s a sophomore working towards a double major in philosophy and cognitive and brain sciences, so sparking up an insightful conversation with him takes me no effort at all. Unlike many first-years, Will had a solid idea of what he wanted to study in his very first semester at Tufts. His passion for philosophy came about in high school, where he was a part of his school’s Ethics Bowl, a nationwide debate competition wherein teams of students examine real-world ethical issues. Will says that, among other factors like its analytical nature, he was ultimately drawn to philosophy because of a childlike frustration with accepting certain facts about the world as true. Will has always seen philosophy as one of the few disciplines where an endless asking of “But why?” is not only allowed but encouraged. And it is clear when meeting Will that both in the classroom and in life, he doesn’t take things for granted. Will brought his bottomless curiosity into his first semester at Tufts, where he took both Intro to Philosophy and Logic with philosophy professor Susan Russinoff. He also took his Ethics Bowl experience to the collegiate level, joining the Tufts Ethics Bowl team, which Professor Russinoff runs as well. “I came in and incidentally made a really great connection with a professor,” Will tells me. “Now, she’s my advisor, and I go to her for everything. She’s such a fantastic person.” Will’s confidence and drive to take advantage of new opportunities has allowed him to build meaningful relationships since his arrival on campus. One of these opportunities was with 180 Degrees Consulting, a large nonprofit student consultancy that works with local businesses to solve

a range of problems that modern companies face. With a budding interest in business, Will applied to the organization and immediately connected with the team. “I saw it as a great opportunity to use my time and privilege as a Tufts student to impact businesses in a positive way,” he recalls. At the start of his sophomore year, Will took the next step and became a team leader. Now with more responsibility, he has spent months working with the Tufts Student Fund to raise money in support of financial aid. Through marketing campaigns and giving initiatives on campus, Will was able to bring together his love for ethics and a new knowledge of business to better his community: “I feel like that’s what a liberal arts education is for,” he tells me, “Taking the things you’re passionate about and learning how to use those skills and manifest them in real-world applications.” Halfway through his journey at Tufts, Will Youman is confident in his academic path. He believes in the power of thinking with a philosophical lens and says that his classes and clubs have given him invaluable tools for effective thinking and communication. With the hope of making the college search a little less stressful for prospective students, Will also spends time as a campus tour guide. But to him, the job is much more than that. Being able to tell families about the amazing resources available at Tufts acts as a personal affirmation of why he chose Tufts in the first place. “At the end of every tour I give my ‘Why Tufts?,’” he says. “And if anything, it serves as a reminder to myself to always play to the strengths of the school that I’m at. I really do believe in shaping your experience in that way.” —JOHN MATTSON ’22





OBAL LEADERS Does becoming a global citizen mean traveling the world? Or is it something more nuanced—a process that requires learning, giving back, and understanding various perspectives? These are complex questions to have, but thankfully, there are plenty of people and organizations at Tufts who jumped at the chance to help me answer them. By Chris Panella ’21 Illustrations by Jamie Cullen 31



spent some time thinking about what it means to be a “global citizen,” as a native Floridian who came north two years ago to attend a globally-minded university. This idea of global citizenship is so central to Tufts that it sits in the mission statement: “where creative scholars…distinguish themselves as active citizens of the world.” As college students, we grow beyond our towns and the groups we once frequented, becoming members of a new community—but what does that step into active citizenship of “the world” entail? Even at first glance, it’s easy to see Tufts’ involvement with the world beyond the Hill, from the presence of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the oldest graduate school for foreign policy studies in the nation, to the 15% of the undergraduate population who hail from over 60 countries. The Tufts community serves as home to a wealth of cultural groups, organizations like Engineers Without Borders, and the International House, a special interest housing

“It is a wonderful opportunity to help develop a new generation of ethical and effective leaders who can make a difference in the world and help to find solutions to some of the most intractable issues which the world is facing today.” Williams sees the IGL’s job as providing a place to foster student understanding about the world beyond them and communities they’re not a part of. As an umbrella organization that looks to help students understand and engage with global issues, it is one of the best examples of Tufts’ creation of global citizens. “It’s at the heart of what the institute does,” Williams says. In Ginn Library in the Fletcher School, senior Eva Kahan tells me about her own experiences with the IGL. “It was a wonderful surprise to be a part of,” Kahan says. “I came to Tufts wanting to learn about cultures themselves, but I slowly became interested in studying the parts of American military history I hadn’t learned in high school. I felt really isolated from my citizenship and my role as an American in the world.” Kahan joined ALLIES, an organization inside the IGL that focuses on civil-military relations. She became invested

option for intercultural living arrangements. All are important avenues for looking at Tufts’ identity as a global institution, but a deeper glance reveals even more. One of Tufts’ premiere organizations for guiding students to see a larger world is the Institute for Global Leadership, or IGL. Flags adorn the outside of the IGL, a house located on Packard Avenue, and inside, students buzz around, talking about upcoming events, organizing programs, and sharing research. Inside his bright office, Director Abi Williams explains that the IGL has been student-focused from the moment it was founded in 1985. “I was present at the creation of the IGL, when I was a student at Fletcher,” Williams says. “I helped to organize the very first symposium, which focused on international terrorism.” He’s certainly no stranger to the organization, or to international politics beyond Tufts. Williams served as Director of Strategic Planning for two United Nations secretaries, was Senior Vice President of the Center for Conflict Management at the United States Institute for Peace, and has traveled across the world on peacekeeping missions. He may bring that experience and knowledge to Tufts, but Williams is more interested in the next generation.

in geopolitical relations and spent part of her junior year abroad in Jordan, studying Jordanian military demographics. That research later became her senior thesis, shaping her academic career. During her senior year, Kahan became a co-director of ALLIES, a culmination of her involvement. She praises the IGL for its impact on students. “The community IGL develops around the programs it holds and how that community extends beyond Tufts is something I’ve really noticed,” Kahan says. She tells me a story about meeting up with an IGL alumnus who was visiting Jordan for his Frisbee team’s game. Over the years, Kahan has noticed there are more programs in the IGL and beyond that focus on forming community, like Women in International Relations. From student programs that foster education to research and mentoring, the IGL has spent the past decades cultivating a new generation of leaders who work around the world. “It’s exciting to be on the road and meet the alumni,” Williams says—an international network of over 2,000 people. In an organization that contains multitudes, how does a first-year student find a way in? Williams mentions the Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship

(EPIIC) course, which is yearlong, open to all class years, and centered on a specific topic of global importance. This past year’s course was called Migration in a Turbulent World, and first-year Nicci Mattey found it to be the perfect gateway into a larger IGL community. Mattey came in with no prior knowledge about the IGL, and EPIIC was recommended to her during orientation. “Had I known about it, it would’ve been the reason I came to Tufts,” she says. We’re sitting in Tisch Library on a warm afternoon. “We started the course by looking at traditional migration, like economic and labor migration, and then we got into asylum law and refugees. We took it both from the theoretical perspective and then more practical case studies.” It’s a comprehensive course, and Williams—who teaches it—brings in foreign diplomats and speakers regularly. EPIIC enrolls around 16 students each year and is an incredibly unique experience at Tufts. Over two semesters, students spend time learning about a global issue—like migration—and then organize a symposium that features global leaders and experts on the topic. The symposium

about her day-to-day activities with the six girls she worked with. “I never would’ve taken a gap year if it weren’t through 1+4, and it’s been one of the most reflective experiences I’ve ever had.” Becoming a global citizen means broadening one’s horizons and growing on an individual level. Weir reassures me that students who do 1+4 come back with a deeper maturity. “It made my transition to Tufts easier because I knew more about myself. It made Tufts that much more exciting.” To add to the list of opportunities students have to grow into global citizens, Tisch College has introduced a new program called Civic Semester, which launches this fall. In her office in Tisch College, Tufts First-Year Global Programs Manager Jessye Crowe-Rothstein tells me about the vision for Civic Semester, in which first-year students will spend their first Tufts semester in an international placement. “Students are on campus for the month of August, tak[ing] two classes that are structured to support their overseas experience,” Crowe-Rothstein says. They’ll build community as a cohort, accompanied by two peer leaders, before leaving

involves a debate about the issue and allows students to develop different viewpoints about the issue, as well as a deeper connection to the IGL community. For Mattey, EPIIC also shaped her future. “Through the IGL, I found an internship, internship funding, and a global network of alumni.” It seems that the IGL not only shows students like Mattey a larger world but helps them build their own communities. For many Tufts students, exploring the entrance into the larger world can come in a literal sense. In their junior year, students can participate in one of ten Tufts-run study abroad programs, which require proficiency in the primary language of the host country, or over 200 non-Tufts approved programs. Other students begin earlier—in their first year. Through the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, the 1+4 Bridge Year program is dedicated to helping Jumbos develop into global citizens. In an empty classroom in Eaton Hall, junior Madeline Weir tells me about her experience in 1+4— and how it has shaped her time at Tufts. “I was in Madrid for the year,” Weir says, “and I worked for the program after. When I was there, I worked in a foster home for girls and I’ve gotten to go back and see them.” The work was meaningful for Weir, and she smiles as she talks

for their international placement. This year’s cohort will head to Urubamba, Peru, and future cohorts will have the additional placement option of Kunming, China. After a semester spent developing language skills, engaging in a homestay, and serving at a nonprofit, students then return to campus and live together for the spring semester. It’s an exciting idea, and Crowe-Rothstein thinks Civic Semester combines many of the best components of campus programs: the cohort-building model of a Pre-Orientation program, the new experiences of study abroad and 1+4, and the civic learning found in programs like ALLIES. “We talk about being a global citizen and having a different perspective, but it’s also about getting out of your comfort zone.” Whether a student ends up traveling across the world to study military demographics in Jordan, spends their first semester in Urubamba, Peru, or remains firmly planted on the Tufts campus throughout four years, the move to Tufts is a step into a larger world. On a campus that values looking inward and outward, students can reflect on their own experiences, cultivate deeper perspectives, and find an individual voice. Most importantly, they can ask how that voice contributes to a larger community.





You’ll find Hasan’s voice more than once within these pages. As a writer for our Student Communications Group, he brings his insight and creativity into the admissions office each week—and then steps outside to immerse himself in so many other spaces (performative, spiritual, cultural, poetic, and academic) that our mouths drop open. In his remixed supplement, Hasan explores the home he has found for his many passions in his first year.


What excites you about Tufts’ intellectually playful community? In short, “Why Tufts?” It’s fair to say that my idea of what I would be like in college and what I have actually become are very, very different. Not that I didn’t think I’d do my best in college, but I never imagined I would have performed dance on stage more than twenty times or found my major already (which I’d never heard of before coming to Tufts): Child Study and Human Development. When I applied, I mentioned how a dedication to social justice flowed through campus more clearly than the cool October rains that fell on my tour, but while I now march alongside friends and table fundraisers in the rain myself, my original “Why Tufts” had only chipped the iceberg of all the spaces I’ve now found myself inhabiting on our Hill. It takes less than ten minutes to walk over the hill across all of campus, and somehow, this small expanse has managed to fit the three open mic nights I’ve spoken poetry at; a festival of colors on the Residential Quad; the Latinx, South Asian, and East/Southeast Asian culture shows I performed in or attended; our annual TEDxTufts conference; visits from Kevin Love, Gotye, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, A$AP Ferg, and many more; and the twenty or so unique spots where I took a nap while writing my final papers. My original idea of myself at Tufts, while hopeful, was limited. Truly, I have done and become so much more than I ever dreamed.

Our Experimental College encourages current students to develop and teach a class for the Tufts community. Previous classes have included those based on personal interests, current events, and more. What would you teach and why? You might have heard of a modern fad diet known as the Paleo diet, which touts eating food solely consumed by humans in the Paleolithic era. While the actual effects are subjective, the premise is sound—modeling one’s behaviors to fit how we evolved in our original environment should minimize mismatches between our origins and current practices. A return to our roots, if you will. But what shaped those behaviors? How did evolution groom our minds into the apex predators we are today? Enter evolutionary psychology, a pursuit of what mental mechanisms make us human and why they might have evolved in our ancient past. Finding the alignments and mismatches between how we act today and how we were designed to act thousands of years ago has taken on new resonance with movements like the Paleo diet. Through the ExCollege, I’d teach Epidemiology of Evolutionary Mismatches, a course that delves deep into who we are below the surface by asking questions like, “What’s the evolutionary use of love?” or “How could symptoms of depression have been advantageous in our evolutionary past?” With experience in distant departments from Community Health to Child Study to Sociology to Evolutionary Biology, all gathered on one Hill, Tufts students would bring the necessary collaboration among fields that are worlds apart in order to finally understand what fundamentally makes us human.

*Want to see the 2019–20 supplemental essay questions? Visit 35


DEMYSTIFYING VOICE IN THE Would you believe me if I told you I read every. single. word. that you send me as part of your college application? I do. (And yes, my eyeglasses prescription is upward trending.) Your voice is that important in this process.

Extracurriculars You might think extracurriculars are the most straightforward, least voicey part of your application. But I’m here to say that the extracurricular section is the most underutilized section of a student’s application to college. Here’s why. Many (many, many) students use this section purely to define the groups they’re part of. While it is helpful to note your leadership and depth of involvement, it’s less helpful to spend valuable words defining NHS. Or JCL. JROTC. BSU. FIRST. GSA… I could go on. Admissions officers have a good grasp on the wide variety of extracurriculars that exist at high schools. We are way more interested in your specific experiences in those extracurriculars. You have been purposeful in how you dedicate your time (and have some level of excitement regarding your involvements…I hope), so share that excitement with us. Infuse your voice and personality into how you write about your extracurriculars. I mean, which would you rather read… Assistant Counselor, Camp Walden CPR certified. Supervisor for a bunk of 20 campers. Co-taught art classes every day. OR Assistant Counselor, Camp Walden Excellent spooky storyteller (just ask any of the 20 campers in the bunk I supervised) and slowly became an expert macaroni artist while co-teaching daily art classes.


Recommendation Letters I see your eyes glaring at the “recommendation letters” header as you silently think, “But I have no control over what my teachers write!” While that is true, you do have control over which teachers you ask to write your recommendations. If you’re an engineer, think about sending a letter from a math or science teacher (in fact, I’d highly recommend it…wink wink). If you don’t want to use up valuable essay real estate discussing the grand time you had writing about religious conformity in The Scarlet Letter, but you know your English teacher would gladly gush about it, ask that teacher to write a recommendation. Think about what you’ll be covering in your essays, what you want to include but can’t fit into any of those essays, and which teachers could best fill in those gaps. Essays Essays are the main stage for your voice. Similar to my advice on extracurriculars, embrace your authentic and honest voice in your essays. I expect that a more logically-minded electrical engineer will write differently from a history buff with a penchant for describing (in great detail) pivotal battles from the past century. When I open your essays, I want to know what fascinates you. What angers, saddens, inspires, or humors you. What you believe in and what you don’t believe in. What makes you laugh. You will have to write a personal statement as part of your application, and some schools may require supplemental essay questions (Tufts has two!). Make the most of each essay by focusing on a different topic in each. Don’t feel like you need to squish five very different ideas into one essay because you don’t want to miss anything. The college application isn’t your extended biography (with equally extensive appendices); it’s a snapshot of who you are and of your potential to thrive in a college community. Capture the information that you believe is core to your identity. Narrow and deep essays work better than wide and shallow ones. When you go specific, you can really explore complex ideas and give the reader of your application a better understanding of how you think about the world around you. While this is just a glimpse of the process to come, I hope you now feel (at least a little bit) more empowered to take it on. Remember that your voice is important and worthy. I can’t wait to meet you (through your application!) this fall. —BEKY STILES ’12, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions


When I say “voice” in the context of college admissions, I mean everything outside of your academics. Of course your high school transcript and testing are important, but let’s chat about why academics aren’t the only thing that matters. Last year, 21,501 students applied to Tufts. Our office determined 77% of those 21,501 students to be academically qualified. Meaning that students applying to Tufts (and schools like Tufts) know they can do the work. Since the majority of our applicants are academically competitive, the bulk of our time reading your application is spent getting to know you as a person. Cue “voice.” While it would be wild to suggest that you can capture your entire 16 or 17 years of existence in your college application, you can use the different parts of the application to showcase different aspects of yourself, giving the admissions officer on the other side the most complete view of who you are (even with a limited word count). Let’s break down this “strategery” (am I aging myself with an SNL reference from 2000?).





Common Application or Coalition Application


Tufts Writing Supplement

APPLICATION DEADLINES AND NOTIFICATION DATES Early Decision I Application Deadline: November 1 Notification Deadline: Mid-December


High School Transcript(s)


Senior Year Grades

Early Decision II Application Deadline: January 1 Notification Deadline: Mid-February Regular Decision Application Deadline: January 1 Notification Deadline: April 1 Transfer Admission Application Deadline: March 15 Notification Deadline: Mid-May



Testing We require either the SAT or the ACT. We do not require SAT Subject Tests, the SAT Essay, or the writing section of the ACT.

22,766 Applications 3,404 Acceptances 15% Acceptance Rate 100% of Demonstrated Financial Need Met 11% First-Generation Students


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

15% International Students 51% Women in the School of Engineering 32–35 Middle 50% ACT 700–760 Middle 50% SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 730–790 Middle 50% SAT Math

TUFTS UNDERGRADUATE STATISTICS 5,643 Undergraduate Enrollment 4.8 Miles from Boston 20 Average Class Size 28 Varsity Sports Teams 300+ Student Groups


Optional Materials • 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.

40% Women in the School of Engineering 45% of Juniors Study Abroad 39% Need-Based Aid Recipients 81 Countries Represented 33% US Students of Color *As of July 8, 2019






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 2020–21 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 do not need to be paid back.




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

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

College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile 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 (, an electronic imaging service of the College Board. Your account will be created at 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

2018 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 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? 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 at Tufts. 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



Food Systems and Nutrition






Biomedical Engineering



Chemical Engineering



Civil Engineering


Computer Engineering Computer Science

International Relations

Electrical Engineering

Italian Studies

Environmental Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Judaic Studies



Architectural Studies

Latin American Studies

Data Science




Middle Eastern Studies

Engineering Physics

Africana Studies


Engineering Science


Music, Sound, and Culture

Environmental Health



Human Factors Engineering

Architectural Engineering

Political Science

Architectural Studies SMFA AT TUFTS AREAS OF STUDY

Art History Asian American Studies

Psychology 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.




Russian Language and Literature


Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Colonialism Studies


Science, Technology, and Society*


Computer Science


Digital Media



Engineering Psychology

Film and Video


Spanish Cultural Studies


Graphic Arts


Spanish Literature

Environmental Geology



Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Engineering Education


Engineering Management°




Entrepreneurial Leadership

Papermaking Performance

Environmental Science and Policy°


Film and Media Studies

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

Environmental Studies* Film and Media Studies French Geological Sciences

*Available only as a co-major °Available only to students enrolled in the School of Engineering 40

Psychology/Clinical Concentration Quantitative Economics Religion Russian and East European Studies

Greek Greek Archaeology

Tufts/New England Conservatory: BA or BS and Bachelor of Music Tufts/SMFA (School of the Museum of Fine Arts): BA or BS and Bachelor of Fine Arts



Biotechnology Engineering° Chemical Engineering Child Study and Human Development


Greek Civilization Hebrew History

Judaic Studies

Human Factors Engineering° Italian Japanese Latin Latin American Studies Latino Studies Leadership Studies Linguistics Mathematics Multimedia Arts Music Music Engineering Native American and Indigenous Studies Peace and Justice Studies Philosophy Physics Political Science Portuguese Religion Roman Archaeology Roman Civilization Russian Science, Technology, and Society Sociology Spanish Studio Art 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 D3 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 Game of Thrones 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 dorm common room.

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


Equal Opportunity Applicants for admission and employment, students, employees, sources of referral of applicants for admission and employment, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with Tufts University are hereby notified that this institution does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, veteran status, or national origin in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs and activities. Any person having inquiries or complaints concerning Tufts University’s compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI, Title IX, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, or Section 504 is directed to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity on the Medford/Somerville campus, 617-6273298 or 800-611-5060 (TDD 617-627-3370). This office has been designated by Tufts University to coordinate the institution’s efforts to comply with the regulations implementing Title VI, Title IX, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Section 504. Any person may also contact the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202, or the Director, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region One, Boston, Massachusetts 02109, regarding the institution’s compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI, 34 C.F.R. Part 100; Title IX, 34 C.F.R. Part 106; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 45 C.F.R. 90; or, Section 504, 34 C.F.R. Part 104. In addition, Tufts has formulated an administrative policy that educational and employment decisions are based on the principle of equal opportunity. The consideration of factors such as sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, veteran status, or disability unrelated to a person’s ability, qualifications, and performance is inconsistent with this policy. In accordance with both federal and state law, the university maintains information concerning current security policies and procedures and prepares an annual crime report concerning crimes committed within the geographical limits of the university. Upon request to the Office of Public Safety, 617-627-3912, the university will provide such information to any applicant for admission. The report is also available online at

NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. Postage PAID Burlington, VT Permit No. 149

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

Profile for TuftsAdmissions

JUMBO Magazine - Summer 2019  

JUMBO is the Tufts undergraduate admissions magazine.

JUMBO Magazine - Summer 2019  

JUMBO is the Tufts undergraduate admissions magazine.