JUMBO Magazine - Spring 2020

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THE INTERCONNECTED ISSUE For Bizaye Banjaw, A First-Gen Community to Lean on Engineering With Real People in Mind Social Media: Hot Takes From an Artist and a Political Scholar Before Applying, Read This Advice


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.




22 | Platform Diving We ask the experts at Tufts—how is social media changing the way we perceive key issues, each other, and ourselves?

32 | To Be Seen Nestled in hillside houses, six identity-based centers at Tufts offer students a place to just be.

3 8 10 11 14 26 36 38 39


On the Cover: For first-gen English major Bizaye, questions aren’t just a way of learning but a way of life. COVER PHOTOS BY KATHLEEN DOOHER (FRONT), ALONSO NICHOLS/TUFTS UNIVERSITY (BACK)


FROM THE DEAN LOW WALLS. It’s one of our favorite ways to

describe the interconnected nature of our academic program. At Tufts, engineers have easy access to language courses, and anthropologists can dive into studio art courses. The walls between our schools and academic programs are low and relatively easy to scale, which means you can fill your curricular plate with academic entrées in and out of your major. What happens when you build an institution with that kind of interconnected academic program? You educate students about how disciplines intersect, how ethics informs biological sciences, how political movements inform visual art, how environmental studies informs mechanical engineering…well, you get the point.

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.


When you come to Tufts, you join a community that values interdisciplinary education, cross-pollination between academic programs and your individual interests, and intentional engagement with your peers about the things that matter most to you. Whatever the walls might be that you’re looking to climb, know that this place will give you the tools you need to scale them—and what you find on the other side might take you to places you never imagined. That’s the beauty of a liberal arts, engineering, and visual arts university that encourages you to think big and to build connections across differences and across disciplines.

In this issue of JUMBO, you’ll witness just how interconnected academic pursuits and personal interests can be at Tufts. You will learn about the Group of Six, our identity-based centers that encourage and support students from underrepresented backgrounds. You will read about Bizaye Banjaw ’21 and the power of student voices in creating space and community for first-generation students at Tufts. You will learn about the impact of social media

Welcome to Tufts!

SIWAAR ABOUHALA ’23 from West Harrison, NY

CHRIS PANELLA ’21 from Hollywood, FL

MAGGIE BROSNAN ’23 from London, England

KEESHA PATRON ’21 from San Bruno, CA

JACOB GREENWALD ’23 from Baltimore, MD

VALERIA VELASQUEZ ’23 from Columbia, MO


JT Duck Dean of Admissions

HASAN KHAN ’22 from Sharon, MA

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

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



Our students are more than their academic interests, though. They bring their experiences, identities, talents, curiosities, and aspirations to our community. The conversations at Tufts are just as much about engineering problem sets as they are about your belief system, your commitment to social justice, your enthusiasm for competitive athletics, the ways in which you beat the odds on your path to higher education, or the intersections of any of these.

on child development and the role of human factors engineering in creating addictive apps. You will find out how an environmental studies and political science major found herself conducting field research in the rainforest. You’ll read about the new resources for film production in our Film and Media Studies program and how this discipline weaves its way through a liberal arts curriculum. You’ll even see how the School of the Museum of Fine Arts connects to the Museum of Fine Arts, allowing for unparalleled opportunities for our scholar-artists.

Mechanical engineering professor James Intriligator co-taught an Experimental College course with psychology professor Harold Miller-Jacobs called Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? Self-Driving Cars, Technology, and Change.

Majors shared between Arts & Sciences and Engineering: Computer Science and Engineering Psychology/Human Factors

Interdisciplinary Course






Undergraduate Enrollment


Campus Location


Undergraduate Enrollment






Interdisciplinary Course

SMFA offers a 5-Year Combined Degree with Arts & Sciences


Interdisciplinary Course SMFA professor Neda Moridpour invites students of all disciplines to take Socially Engaged Art, cross-listed between Performance and Photography, exploring the exciting overlap between socially engaged art and cultural practices generated by recent social movements around the world.



SMFA professor Floor van de Velde is teaching Digital Fabrication Lab, a studio sculpture course that allows students— artists and engineers alike—to develop proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) and learn to safely and effectively use laser cutters, 3D printers, and CNC milling machines.

Campus Location

Areas of Study


Undergraduate Enrollment

Artists, engineers, history buffs, future psychologists, and scientists come together at Tufts. Students can take classes and pursue minors across the three schools, no matter which they matriculate into. Professors team up to teach innovative classes, and exciting research happens when distinct fields of study unite. Visualize some of the possibilities above.





MORAL SUPPORT One could argue that genetic databases like 23AndMe are in moral hot water, tempted by the money they could make selling customers’ data to insurance companies and the like. In fact, many of Tufts’ Ethics Bowl teams did just that at last year’s regional and national Collegiate Ethics Bowl Competitions. Teams of five argued the moral dimensions of consent and privacy under both utilitarian and deontological calculuses to determine who should ethically be allowed to access genetic data.




For Kate Costello ’98, the body of her artistic work finds its point at the tip of the tongue— where the abstraction of visual and spoken languages can be explored. In drawings, sculpture, and photography, Costello tracks the movement and breakdown of communication, engagement with archetypes, and narratives of gender and power. On view from January 16 – April 4 in the Anderson & Grossman Galleries at SMFA at Tufts.

Midterm exams have you wheeling on all cylinders? Time to head to the library and hit the stacks. Just don’t be surprised to find that your favorite study spot has been transformed into a pop-up roller rink! This event, hosted by Tufts University Social Collective (TUSC), transformed Tisch Library, inviting students for a night of rollerblading, nostalgic tunes, and so much glow.


“I have begun to discover myself from a different perspective. My favorite view (besides the Incan archaeological sites and the mountains) is always moving: the 7:30 AM autobus ride to Calca, where my internship placement is located, provides me a unique view of local agriculture and how buildings are composed of adobe bricks (made of dried clay and straw). As I munch on breakfast, I pass by Catarata Arín (a waterfall in the town of Huaran) and am pertinently aware of the Sacred Valley’s towering heights—how it flanks me on both sides constantly throughout my journey, as the journey ahead seems like it opens up while the road behind looks like it’s being devoured by the mountains. Each new workday offers a visual invitation to embrace the unknown.” —Yong Quan Tan ’23

WHAT WE’RE READING: THE DISAPPEARANCES BY EMILY BAIN MURPHY ’06 Losses accumulate in Bain Murpy’s debut novel. Every seven years, a simple joy disappears from the lives of the small-town residents of Sterling: reflections in mirrors, the smell of food, and the ability to dream. Newcomer Alia Quinn, sent to live in Sterling while her father fights in World War II, endeavors to find the cause of the disappearances, suspecting they might have something to do with her own mother. The Disappearances is a complex, moving tale by an alum who once sat in Tufts’ own creative writing classes.

TUFTS TWEET @TuftsStudentLife: Jumbos! Have you heard?! TUSC is bringing Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye to campus.


“GIVE ME AN E!” During National Engineers Week, or “E-Week,” Tufts students, faculty, and staff hold a carnival in the Science and Engineering Complex atrium, complete with everyone’s favorite games and fair foods. Throughout the week, panels and workshops help current engineering students network and plan for the future, while unique competitions provide some laughs. Watch engineers go head-to-head in events such as: Are You Smarter Than a Faculty Member? and Hands on STEMathon. All in all, it’s an action- and innovation-packed week. Don’t worry, though—the fun isn’t just reserved for engineering students. All majors are welcome to join nearly all of the activities!

EXCOLLEGE HIGHLIGHT: MORE THAN A FEELING? CRITICAL APPROACHES TO EMOTION IN APOCALYPTIC TIMES This interdisciplinary seminar asks, How does emotion move us? What is the relationship of emotion to power, knowledge, and difference in times of political emergency? How can emotions inform, or transform, society at large? Alongside visiting lecturer Justin Jiménez, a critical race feminist researcher, students will look towards emotion as a site for knowledge, explore the potential of emotional states including crisis and discomfort, and examine emotion in the context of historical events. Lastly, they will ask what possibilities emotions can create for our relating to one another and the world.

DINING HALL HACK: THE FLUFFERNUTTER This is not exactly an original recipe so much as a foolproof one. Somerville is home not only to Tufts but to one of the tastiest food creations of all time: Marshmallow Fluff. Naturally, the dining center toast bar is stocked with Fluff at all times of day. The classic way to enjoy this sweet Somerville spread is on toast with peanut butter. For an added twist, we recommend topping with sliced strawberries from the salad bar or your favorite cereal for a welcome crunch.


In a cappella and environmental advocacy, Adrie isn’t afraid to raise her voice.


When senior Adrienne La Forte reflects on her Tufts career, she notes that it began with a strong desire to become a Jumbo. When she took a second tour of the campus, it clicked that she belonged here. “I became obsessed with Tufts,” Adrie laughs. She admits that she often motivated herself by listening to the various a cappella groups’ albums. “I had a playlist of all of the Tufts a cappella groups, and I listened to it the night before Early Decision I came out.” Four years later, and she has been quite successful across the board. An environmental studies and political science major from West Hartford, Connecticut, Adrie has pursued multiple jobs— including some prestigious internships, like her current position as an intern for ActBlue and her upcoming internship with Senator Elizabeth Warren. Her commitments have a purpose. “I try to do jobs that are only political or environmental,” she says, “because those are the fields I love and where I see myself working.” Much of her learning has been hands on. Adrie studied abroad in Australia and worked at a field station in the rainforest where she studied tropical rainforest ecology and economic policy. “We conducted experiments on rainforest regeneration to

see which kinds of species you can plant to make rainforests grow back,” she explains. The data her group gathered was intended for researchers and politicians. “Tufts is great because it gave me the skills to know how to do this and invest myself,” Adrie notes. Field experience and her environmental studies major have helped her lessen her impact on the environment through structural change as well as individual action. She takes pride in “not shopping firsthand anymore” and never buys coffee unless she brings her own mug. The once-collector of a cappella playlists now brings her voice to the forefront as a member and the business manager of the Amalgamates, Tufts’ oldest mixed-gender a cappella group. Adrie is energetic as she talks about both her center-stage and behind-the-scenes roles. “It involves negotiating with clients, drafting contracts, sending invoices, reaching out and cold-calling and cold-emailing clients.” Though it sounds like a full-time job to make sure the group can perform, Adrie views it as her duty. “As a senior, I’ve seen people in these positions before me working so hard [for] the group,” she says. “I feel like I have the chance to give back.” For Adrie, the Amalgamates have become not just an extracurricular but her family at Tufts. Now, as she reaches graduation, Adrienne La Forte looks back at her time on the Hill as an exciting period of change. “I think I’ve become a lot more confident,” she says. She means both in herself as a person and in her ability to be academically and professionally impactful. “I really do think I’ve grown a lot since coming here.” —CHRIS PANELLA ’21








ARTS HIGHLIGHT Museum comes from the Greek mouseion, meaning “seat of the Muses.” Fittingly, many Tufts students find the Museum of Fine Arts to be the seat of their inspiration— for their artistic practices and even future careers. MFA + SMFA The Museum of Fine Arts—the “MFA” in SMFA at Tufts—is home to the second largest collection of art in North America. All Tufts students have free access to the museum, located a three-minute walk from the SMFA. They come to think of the museum as an extension of their classroom. In courses like Oral and Visual Storytelling, Sculpture in Site, and Digital Photography, field trips to the museum allow students to develop intimacy with works that have changed the course of art history, while working with a respected community of arts professionals, from curators to historians.


Exhibitions + Internships Each year, SMFA students and alumni exhibit their work at the Museum of Fine Arts during shows specifically designed to feature the SMFA community, including the Biannual SMFA Student Exhibition and Traveling Fellows SMFA Alumni Exhibition. Students also take advantage of employment positions and internships at the MFA, which allow them to gain experience working alongside leading curators and conservators. Museums, Memory, and Heritage Minor Housed in the Department of Art and Art History, this new minor is designed for students who want to study museums, monuments, the institutionalization of memory, and cultural heritage from an academic standpoint and as a potential career path. Courses like Interpreting Art: Tools for Critiquing, Creating, and Curating provide hands-on experience, while the course Who Owns the Past? invites students to engage in debates about cultural heritage and power. MFA by the Numbers





Year founded

Works of art

Annual visitors

Walk from SMFA



INTERCONNECTED ILVS 192-01 Advanced Special Topics: Nothingness If we are all different (and diversity is our reality), how are community and communication going to be possible going forward? We will address this postmodern conundrum by considering the non-symbolic orders of animism and Zen, with comparisons made with Kantian and post-Kantian German Idealism, British Romantic literature, Phenomenology and Existentialism, and the philosophy of Wittgenstein. Nothingness as the shareable and the sublime realm of non-distinction and universal locality. Texts and films will include those by Nagarjuna, Joseph Kitagawa, Nishitani Keiji, Thomas Merton, Mishima Yukio, Kojeve, Hegel, Sartre, Paul Shrader, Bresson, and Ozu. Co-taught by Inouye (Japanese literature and visual studies) and White (Philosophy, aesthetics, and film). Cross-listed as JPN 192-01 and PHIL 192-01. —Charles Inouye, Professor of Japanese Literature and Visual Culture, and Stephen White, Professor of Philosophy

COMP-0139 Ethics for AI, Robotics This course will provide an overview of the ethical problems and challenges prompted by current and future technological advances in AI, robotics, and human-robot interaction. It will start by reviewing the philosophical foundations of the main ethical theories (virtue ethics, deontology, utilitarianism) and link them to different algorithmic approaches in artificial agents (rule-based, utilitybased, behavior-based, etc.). Explicating and contrasting the assumptions underlying each algorithmic approach (e.g., policybased decision-making vs. rule-based reasoning), functional trade-offs and implications for autonomous robots and AI systems will be discussed. The scope will then be widened to moral psychology and human-robot/human-technology interaction to move beyond individual autonomous systems into the realm of social interactions between humans and autonomous systems, discussing the societal implications of AI and robot technology. Social, economic, legal, and military ramifications will be considered, with the aim of exposing the unique challenges AI and robot technology pose for humanity, compared to other disruptive technologies, but also the unique opportunities these technologies enable for current and future generations. —Thomas Arnold, Lecturer of Computer Science



EXP-0015 Food Media The rise and evolution of food media over the last three decades has directly impacted every aspect of how we interact with food: from what, when, and where we eat, to how we connect with our plates and our planet. This course will be a wide-ranging survey of the past, present, and future of food media. We will analyze the theory behind this influential force at the nexus of information and entertainment, but our journey will be rooted in real-life practice. Your guide will be someone whose career on the front lines has been nearly as varied as food media itself, which is continually changing as it feeds our appetites and shapes how we look at the world. Food media encompasses a variety of formats across the wider media landscape. We’ll explore important skills including food writing, recipe writing, and food styling and photography, and we’ll go behind the scenes to explore food storytelling in books, newspapers, magazines, radio, podcasts, television, film, the internet, and social media. We’ll analyze how each media form feeds, or is fed by, our culture’s current obsession with food. —Denise R. Swidey ’90, Emmy- and James-Beard-nominated producer of national TV cooking shows


The best way to explore a city is by foot— and by food. From dreamy ramen to chicken and waffles, the Boston area has a full plate of exploration to offer. By Chris Panella ’21

LUCIA RISTORANTE & BAR 415 Hanover Street

With a small world of Italian restaurants to choose from in the North End, Lucia Ristorante & Bar sets itself apart from the crowd with classic, authentic, and comforting Italian cuisine. Located on Hanover Street, Lucia Ristorante features a vibrant red brick interior. The food is nothing short of fantastic. Highlights include the cozze (mussels), the gnocchi abruzzese, and their pollo marsala. Still have room for dessert? Take a walk to Modern Pastry for a sweet cannoli.

This award-winning dumpling spot in Chinatown is beloved by locals. Portions are huge, and seating is always packed. Try the Sandong-style pan-fried variety— filled with chicken and cabbage, pork and cabbage, or fish and shrimp, to name just a few options—and you’ll be able to tell why these dumplings are widely considered the best in the city. Craving some boba afterwards? The equally famous Tea-Do is just around the corner on Tyler Street.


604 Columbus Avenue

SALTY DOG SEAFOOD GRILLE & BAR 206 South Market Street

Looking to dine on some delicious oysters alongside fish and chips? Salty Dog Seafood Grille & Bar is the perfect place to grab some quality seafood. With a nautical interior and—on sunny days—outdoor seating, Salty Dog is an ideal place to enjoy the seafood that Boston is famous for. Highlights include their New England clam chowder, the fried clam or Maine lobster sandwich, and the fresh native oysters.

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, known as DCBK, serves up Southern comfort food with a side of jazz. Fill up on country fried chicken wings, catfish strips, shrimp and grits, or the renowned jambalaya. Ordering a basket of cornbread muffins topped with honey butter is a must, and if you come over dinner, you’re likely to savor some live tunes, too.


25 Evans Way Wednesday through Monday, stop by Café G and take a break from exploring the big city. Café G is connected to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—an inspiring place to spend a day, but don’t worry, tickets to the museum aren’t required to visit the café—and is perfect for a summer day iced coffee or dessert. Its main menu is seasonal, but this past winter, Café G featured plenty of delights, including a grilled flank steak salad and a pumpkin soup.



121 Water Street

VILLA MEXICO CAFÉ 178 Kneeland Street South Street Diner is an iconic spot; originally built in 1947, it’s become a staple 24/7 food choice for Bostonians. Like any diner, South Street’s menu ranges from breakfast food to buffalo wings and burgers. Its diner special—three eggs, two pancakes or French toast, home fries, toast, and a choice of bacon, corn beef hash, ham, or sausage—is both a belly buster and a bang for your buck.

When Chef Julie King moved to Boston 20 years ago, none of the Mexican cuisine she encountered compared with the meals of her childhood in Puebla, Mexico—so she started her own restaurant. Diners flock to Villa Mexico Café for house-made black salsa and spice-heavy burritos prepared by “Momma King.” Stroll along the Rose Kennedy Greenway to work up an appetite, then hop on over to Villa Mexico Café for a meal you won’t soon forget.

1923 Massachusetts Avenue This Porter Square ramen shop would seem unassuming from the outside, were it not for the line you’re guaranteed to find outside the door. While dishing up just two (mouthwatering) choices— ramen with pork, or ramen with more pork—Yume Wo Katare wants customers to be nourished by meaningful conversation. The English translation of Yume Wo Katare is “Talk about your dreams,” and a sign hanging above the dining tables reads, “What is your purpose in life?” A big question, sure, but easier to answer once you’ve finished a high bowl of the best ramen you’ll ever have.


“There is somebody real out there who I can communicate with, who I can connect to, and who is driving me to do the best work that I can.�


When I walk into Professor Chris Swan’s office, he offers me a seat in a large armchair, quickly finishing an email to a student before spinning around to face me with a smile. The entire time I speak with him, I can’t help but feel like a student in one of his classes, developing the urge to pry into his vast knowledge of geotechnical and environmental engineering. Chris Swan’s passion for engineering is infectious. For Swan, raised in Texas, the genesis of an interest in engineering was his father’s profession as an excavating contractor. Professor Swan’s fascination with the more specific field of geotechnical engineering—the study of the interaction between the earth and engineering—however, is slightly more complex. Swan insists that the unpredictability of geotechnical engineering forces more complex problem solving and engagement with the situations one is confronted with, making it intellectually fulfilling. “With concrete, steel, construction materials in general, I can control them. I can make it to the specifications that I want, and then test to see if it’s meeting those specifications,” he explains. “I can’t do that with soil.” When asked what brought him to the Hill, Chris Swan admits that although his application for the job was initially fueled by location, he soon realized that he should have pursued his undergraduate

degree at Tufts. “It was that welcoming,” he says. “This is not just the culture of Tufts, but the culture that I think engineers should have in general—this stronger connection to arts, sciences, and liberal arts. You all get to hang out together, you all get to work together. Friendship eventually leads to collaboration.” Professor Swan’s immense passion for teaching shines through in nearly everything he says. No matter what question is asked of him, he finds a way to redirect the conversation towards his classes and students, discussing the ways in which he works to expand their minds and inspire them. Swan wants his students to finish his classes with more than just technical competency, hoping that they leave the Hill with the necessary skills to find success in their professional and personal lives. Swan’s experience as an engineering consultant is a core component of his teaching practice, allowing him to share his knowledge of the real-world practice of engineering. Additionally, Swan acknowledges the importance of helping his students build a non-engineering knowledge base. “I’m teaching a first-year course right now,” he explains, “and I’m more focused on what they’re picking up that isn’t engineering.” Professor Swan wants his students to leave his courses with a greater understanding of entrepreneurial practice in particular, because

“there are differences in [the branches of engineering] knowledge-wise, but not method-wise,” and an entrepreneurial mindset is what spans the gaps between fields. He encourages his students to engineer with social impact in mind. “I look at service as a way to deepen the learning experience,” Swan maintains, “basically saying that there is somebody real out there who I can communicate with, who I can connect to, and who is driving me to do the best work that I can.” Professor Swan recognizes that this social awareness will become increasingly important for geotechnical and environmental engineers as a consequence of the public’s ever-increasing environmental understanding in the age of the climate crisis. Teaching environmentally sustainable practice is an essential component of Tufts’ School of Engineering, and “sustainable geotechnic techniques” are slowly becoming a core component of the engineering world. Professor Swan hopes his students will be able to blend these skills with their technical capabilities to become high-functioning and civically cognizant engineers not just of the present, but of the future. —MAGGIE BROSNAN ’23





Ask any Tufts student, and they’ll likely tell you their strongest friendships were made in the residence hall. While camaraderie forms casually during spontaneous movie nights and late-night study sessions, RAplanned events build community in unique and powerful ways.


By Chris Panella ’21



Each month, residents of color in Haskell Hall can join a discussion group focused on connecting and sharing both life and Tufts experiences. Haskell RA Chi-Chi Ikpeazu ’22 notes that the RAs “pose questions, but then residents know to take the conversation where they best see fit.” So far, the POC Circle has not only provided residents of color the opportunity to connect with their RAs and each other, but also the space to learn more about other resources on campus. “It’s amazing how people from different backgrounds can share really similar experiences,” Ikpeazu says, “and also how building solidarity can instill confidence amongst POC residents and RAs.”

As students continue through their time at Tufts, many move into off-campus housing. RAs host programs for sophomores and juniors to assist in the housing search. Independent Living’s “Got Housing?” event was a resource program focused on providing important information and giving residents a space to ask questions and connect. RA Joshua Tso ’20 says the event had four tables with information on locations, resources, utilities, and financial aid. “Angy Sosa [Assistant Director for Housing Operations] also gave a presentation,” Tso explains. Thanks to the “Got Housing?” event and many programs like it, residents are able to learn more about their housing options at Tufts.



Everybody loves a good murder mystery! Thanks to the Miller Hall and Houston Hall RAs, residents got to team up, answer riddles, and become ace detectives. The Miller Murder Mystery Night attracted around 50 residents for refreshments and a campus-wide scavenger hunt to discover the weapon and guess the “murderer.” According to RA Tong Liu ’20, the program “started off by establishing two paths of nine clues placed in envelopes and taped throughout campus, with each clue containing a cutout letter.” These letters would eventually spell out the murder weapon, and the riddles led to the scene of the crime. The best part? The prize for the winning team was a cake from nearby Danish Pastry House! Liu confirms that there’s a plan to host a second Miller Murder Mystery Night this semester. Let the crime-solving continue!

Hosted by RA Laura Wolfe ’21 in partnership with Eco Representatives, Bush Hall residents were treated to Overnight Oats. The program taught residents how to make oats overnight for an easy, healthy, and delicious breakfast in the morning. It’s certainly a great idea for the busy weekday mornings. RD Cesar Cruz noted that “some of the residents had expressed interest in a program [which was] environmentally focused.” Overnight Oats allowed the residents to engage with their Eco Representatives to learn more about being sustainable in residence halls and at Tufts.




As a first-generation, first-year student, I’ve already begun to rely on the resources offered through Tufts’ FIRST Center. These resources, as it turns out, have a dynamic, student-led history—one that Bizaye Banjaw ’21 has been part of since her arrival at Tufts. Bizaye Banjaw is the daughter of Ethiopian parents and has lived in Maryland her entire life. She never imagined herself going to college until a friend recommended that she apply to Collegiate Directions, a college readiness program specifically for low-income students. The program fueled her motivation to apply to college and supplied her with the information she needed to navigate financial aid. “All of it was really this beautiful form of success and hardship,” she says. With the help of an organization that prepared her for nearly two-anda-half years, Bizaye headed to Tufts with a strong foundation on how to overcome the barriers tied to the first-generation and low-income identity. Soon after coming to Tufts, Bizaye reached out to Dr. Rob Mack, Chief Diversity Officer for the Medford and SMFA campuses, to get information on reducing the cost of textbooks. “After that interaction, I knew him as a person who was willing to help me and understand where I’m coming from— which was great to have,” she states. Later, she responded to a student’s Facebook post, which asked if any students were interested in being part of the First-Generation Student Council. That student was Anne Hall ’19, who Bizaye credits with taking the initiative to expand the support for firstgeneration and low-income students on campus. 16

When Bizaye first got involved in the First-Gen Council, meetings consisted of her, Anne Hall, and Prince Shaw ’20 gathered in a Tisch Library study room, completely unaware of the tremendous expansion that was to come. The council hosted frequent dinners at the Women’s Center and planned a variety of events where first-gen and lowincome students could get to know each other. “Essentially, we wanted to build a community. Being first-gen and low-income is an invisible identity. You can’t see if someone’s of this identity the way you see someone’s race. Students being able to say ‘hi’ to each other when walking up Professor’s Row and feeling like they are not in it alone—that was the mission,” she beams. Bizaye and the other leaders of the First-Gen Council remained in close contact with administrators, who agreed there wasn’t enough support for students like them at Tufts. After gaining the support to expand from casual get-togethers to thorough, staffed, and wellfunded programs specifically for their identities, the feeling of support started to improve drastically. Throughout Bizaye’s time at Tufts, she has witnessed the establishment of the FIRST Center, the growth of the First-Gen Council, and the introduction of the BEAST (Building Engagement and Access for Students at Tufts) pre-orientation program, which she has helped plan since its conception her first year. While her involvement with the First-Gen Council has been a big part of her life at Tufts, Bizaye’s academic journey is just as compelling. As an English major, which she joyfully describes as “a

four-year book club,” Bizaye is not confined by a plethora of strict, required courses and can cater to her wide variety of academic interests. She’s quick to note that she isn’t double majoring or minoring: she’s an English major who is not willing to succumb to the societal expectation to “crunch numbers” and the intense pressure on first-gen students to get well-paying jobs after graduation. She’s more focused on coming out of college satisfied with her education and feeling like she is better because of it. “Can I give you one last thing?” Bizaye asks as our interview comes to an end, before offering me one of the most refreshing perspectives I’ve heard as a college student thus far. “I want to say this to first-gen, low-income students and students with undocumented status specifically: college is a space where you have the time, the fortune, the privilege to ask yourself what you want from this world,” she tells me. “And you have people who are encouraging you to ask yourself that. Not just what you want to do after you graduate or choosing your career—those are very conventional forms of the question. What are you willing to ask for? What are you willing to work for? If you had the world in your hand, what would you take from it? These are questions I wasn’t taught to ask. They’re really beautiful questions—but really hard ones. Don’t take them as a burden.” —VALERIA VELASQUEZ ’23



“College is a space where you have the time, the fortune, the privilege to ask yourself what you want from this world.�




Each year at Tufts holds its own discoveries— many of them individual. But when we asked students which ten experiences couldn’t possibly be left off of a “Tufts bucket list,” they were quick to agree on the super important items…and “soup-er.” The first words out of their collective mouths? “The bisque!”


Paint the Cannon In more ways than one, the paintbrush is a microphone at Tufts. Tradition has it that groups of students can only paint the Cannon when the sun is down, and groups must stay up all night guarding it. Otherwise, your work is at risk of being painted over by another student group during the night. Sports teams, first-year residence halls, a cappella groups, and social justice organizations alike have painted the Cannon to broadcast events, send a message, or promote their communities. You’ll even find the occasional wedding proposal from one alumnus to another. Follow @tufts_cannon on Instagram for updates from the Academic Quad. Learn the Dining Center’s Secret Recipe for Butternut Bisque Ever taste something so good that you had to know the recipe? On any day, for any meal, Tufts Dining’s famous butternut bisque with ginger is the perfect indulgence. Like much of the produce at the dining centers, the butternut squash is sourced locally, and the bisque is made from scratch. Ginger adds an unexpected touch—a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. The soup has acquired such a devoted following that Tufts Dining published their recipe online. Before you graduate, practice and perfect it! This bisque will warm you up on chilly winter days when you miss the Hill as a post-grad.

Have (Free!) Coffee With a Professor in Tower Café Do you like free coffee? Trick question—of course you do. You know who else loves guzzling complimentary caffeine? Our professors! Instead of grabbing a coffee alone before an afternoon of studying, Tufts invites you to come to the Tower Café in the heart of Tisch Library to share a cup of coffee (or tea!) with any professor, on the house! You’ll want to take advantage of this perk at least once, though likely much more than that—does the limit exist? Present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium So you’ve spent your semester tirelessly studying the geothermal gradients of southern Massachusetts, or maybe you analyzed the current politicization of migration in Morocco. After months of work, the Undergraduate Research Symposium gives Tufts students the opportunity to share their findings with their peers and professors. Not only is this an amazing chance for you to share your research with the larger community, but it is also a great way to gain valuable public speaking experience. Topics at previous symposiums have ranged from biosynthetic nanowires to Oriental modern art. For anyone who wants to see the latest cuttingedge research going on around campus, this is a must-attend event.



Visit the Hidden Floor at the SMFA That Houses Its Risograph Unless you have the privilege of taking a bookmaking or print class on the SMFA campus during your time at Tufts, it is unlikely you would hear about the illusive and mysterious “Floor M.” Sandwiched between the second and third floors of 230 Fenway, this top-secret room houses the school’s Risograph (RISO). After about an hour of training, you can be certified to use this non-archival mass photocopying machine and will be able to print posters, zines, comics, and other graphic design work in vibrant, neon colors. Be careful, though, because RISO ink has a knack for getting everywhere. You will be finding neon pink, blue, and yellow stains for about a month after you finish your project. Worth it, though—getting to spend time in this quiet, unknown space is sure to make you feel like a Tufts insider. Teach an ExCollege Course Since its founding, the Experimental College has put students in the foreground of decision making and leadership, including students on its first-ever Board in 1964. Today, the ExCollege empowers undergraduates to propose, design, and teach their own courses that their peers can take for credit. This spring, Tufts students are teaching courses on their passions, from Gender, Justice, and True Crime to Black Mirror & the Trajectory of Modern Technology. What course would you teach at Tufts?

Spend a Weekend at the Loj Nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and maintained by Tufts Mountain Club, the Loj is available to all Tufts students yearning for some fresh air, adventure, and fireside relaxation. You’ll want to spend a weekend here at least once, using the Loj as a base for skiing or hiking, perfecting your puzzle-building skills, and—of course—making s’mores. The Loj is a reminder that the wilderness isn’t far. Prepare to leave with campfire songs lodged in your brain for days. Declare or Change (or Change Again?) Your Major Whether you have a clear sense of what you want to study or are committed to exploration, declaring a major is a milestone moment for many Tufts students. Arts and Sciences students will choose theirs by the end of sophomore year, while engineers will declare by the end of their first year. (BFA students explore a wealth of disciplines through their interdisciplinary studio art degree, without ever technically declaring a major.) The process is as simple as choosing an advisor, signing a form, and handing it in at Dowling Hall. If you’re the indecisive type, rest assured that many students change their majors at some point during their undergraduate careers—and a good portion declare double, or even triple, majors! No matter your path, this is a moment to celebrate.

Watch the Sunrise on Tisch Roof The Tisch Library Roof, accessible from the Academic Quad, boasts a beautiful view of the Boston skyline. And while it’s an ideal place any time of day to study, soak up the sun, or even country swing dance, there is something particularly special about a sunrise on Tisch Roof. This experience belongs, we would wager, to students alone—and it’s worth setting an earlier alarm clock. Gather some friends and thermoses of coffee, enjoy the view from our Hill, and be ready to get a little sentimental. Sled With President Monaco The President’s Lawn is widely considered one of the best sledding hills in the Medford/Somerville area—by students, staff, and local families alike. Of course, President Anthony Monaco wouldn’t want to miss out on the wintry fun happening in his own backyard. Sledding with the president is an informal tradition at Tufts, and you’ll want to seize the opportunity when it arises. Bundle up and have fun!


For this professor and Mad Men fanatic, the beauty of a program devoted to film and media lies in the unexpected connections his students make.


It’s an exciting time for Tufts’ Film and Media Studies (FMS) program. Since the launch of the major in 2015, students have taken a variety of production and analysis courses, applied for selective internships (including Winternships, which happen over winter break), and recently gained access to newly renovated facilities inside Barnum Hall. FMS is a unique field of study at Tufts; students often find ways to carve out their own interests in the program, which speaks to the university’s liberal arts education. In his office, Malcolm Turvey explains to me that this rich educational experience originally brought him to the Hill. “I came to Tufts in 2015 and was hired to start the Film and Media Studies program,” Turvey says. “What I liked about Tufts is that it’s a university where faculty are doing research and writing books and so on, but also taking teaching seriously, and class sizes are relatively small.” The director of the FMS program’s career reads just like you’d expect—Turvey graduated with his PhD in Cinema Studies and has written and co-edited multiple books and academic journals. He’s always writing; mid-interview, he points out a copy of his new book, Play Time: Jacques Tati and Comedic Modernism, on his desk. Professor Turvey notes that FMS uniquely combines production, analysis, history, research, and close relationships with professors to create something special. And with Barnum Hall’s new spaces for the program, Turvey sees a strong future for FMS to continue giving students exciting opportunities. “What we have here are studio spaces, dedicated to filmmaking and media production, and a digital editing lab and finishing studios and classrooms.”

Turvey hopes these facilities and resources will attract future applicants to FMS. The new spaces also further his desire to bring more speakers and Tufts alumni to campus for screenings, events, and direct interaction with students. Turvey’s goal for FMS is not just to teach film production. “As a liberal arts institution, we believe that having something important to say is just as important as knowing how to say it,” Turvey says. “Of course, that comes from learning about film and media in a broad intellectual context.” He notices that many Tufts students want to combine different majors and minors in order to fulfill their academic interests, which excites him. “That’s one of the beauties of a liberal arts education. Students find their own connections between the material they’re studying in classes and different majors. Interesting and important insights and work come through that.” Tufts students are not the only ones finding interests to explore—when I ask Turvey about his own interests, he excitedly mentions that he’s taking some time to finish his Mad Men book soon. “I’m also interested in the extent to which the sciences can play a role in the explanation of the arts,” he says. He comments that Mad Men is his favorite television show of all time, which leads to a discussion of our favorite 2019 films. Turvey lists a few picks, including Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. When he discusses his books or begins to dissect films like The Irishman, he exhibits a passion that feels palpable. It might seem refreshing to meet a professor as engaged as Turvey, but at Tufts, it’s the norm. —CHRIS PANELLA ’21





THE PERKS AND PITFALLS By Siwaar Abouhala ’23 Illustrations by Anna Wray





s social media becomes increasingly engrained in our lives, many people have begun seeking ways to regulate their use of it and wondering whether the impact is net positive or negative. At Tufts, you can hear these conversations happening everywhere— from residence halls to art studios to engineering labs. You, too, might be wondering, What is the best way to consume social media in my daily life? I journeyed beyond the screen, face-to-face, through Tufts’ Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Department of Political Science, School of Engineering, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) to find out. How would you describe yourself in two lines of text? Perhaps you would admit, I’ll never be the gym buddy you’re looking for. Or maybe you’re a gastronomic globe-trotting gal. You might even crown yourself Self-Care King. Whichever strand of humorous alliteration or poetic honesty you choose, it’ll probably fail to fully capture you. This reality is what Erika Sacks ’19, a recent graduate from SMFA at Tufts, has brought into the public eye through her senior thesis project on the ways in which we create personae for social media consumption. Sacks centered her focus on Tinder, a popular dating app that has resulted in over 21 billion matches. Based on a person’s profile, which is only composed of a couple pictures and a few lines of text, users can decide to either swipe left (if they are not interested) or right (if they would like to start a conversation). If both users swipe right, they form a “match” and can start talking. In Thirsty (2019), Sacks created one hundred ceramic cups, each embossed with a real Tinder biography, making permanent and tangible the profiles of people who, within the app, are typically only given a few seconds of attention before receiving a swipe. In another project, Faceshopping (2019), Sacks created a collection of laser-cut acrylic mirrors etched with classic American food packaging labels that allow the viewer to appear trapped in a container, meant to evoke how people package their identities to be easily digestible on social media. “I wanted people to confront


themselves with what I wrote. Seeing yourself as a product is dehumanizing. It shows people how you are dehumanizing someone when you judge them by two pictures and one line of text,” Sacks explains. Her artwork, a visual representation of what she believes is subconsciously affecting society’s perception of love, allows for conversations to take place among a wide variety of audiences. Social media platforms can instill in users a sense of detachment, which can often turn into mindless interaction. Sacks’ art counters this through intentional interaction, providing “a space where people can talk about these things among friends, family, and strangers.” Her work allows people to consider taking control of a behavior that they have learned to engage in without much thought, which is part of becoming a conscious user. Sacks believes that “if we encourage each other to take breaks and continue having these conversations with people, we can use technology in healthier ways.” While this method of monitoring technology use to promote healthy habits holds true for adolescents and adults, does it remain relevant for younger members of society? I sat down with Julie Dobrow, Tisch College Senior Fellow for Media and Civic Engagement, to learn more. Professor Dobrow, who observes the intersection between child development and media as an academic, researcher, and mother of four, is currently working on a three-part interdisciplinary research project at Eliot-Pearson Children’s School regarding the portrayal of gender, race, and ethnicity in children’s media. The first part of her project tracks social identifiers that are presented in children’s media. The second part analyzes different stereotypes that children are taught through media. For example, the villains in many children’s movies tend to have foreign accents, which projects the association between “foreigner” and “bad guy.” While these stereotypes may encourage bias and discrimination, many movie producers turn to them to quickly develop characters that may otherwise require lots of screentime for development. The third part of the research project examines the impact that animated programs have on children. How do children identify the “good” and “bad” guys in animated films? Do they rely on context or stereotypes? Do social identifiers such as gender, race, and ethnicity influence children’s perceptions? All of these questions are pertinent in our modern society, in which, as Professor Dobrow explains, “People feel as if their phone is part of who they are or an extension of themselves.” This reality is particularly concerning for kids, who use media technologies to socialize and learn about the world. “Children take their cues from the people around them,” Dobrow says, which is why she finds the “pass-back effect,” when parents give their children a device to stop being fidgety or upset, highly troublesome. In order for children to learn how to use technology in healthy ways, the adults around them will have to initiate change. “If the people around



[children] are modeling thoughtful, appropriate behavior, children are going to start to realize that this is how we do it,” explains Professor Dobrow. On the other hand, when it comes to adults, political science professor Jeffrey Berry thinks it’s important for social media users to break their ideological bubbles. In The Outrage Industry, a book he co-authored with Professor Sarah Sobieraj, Professor Berry explores how people often use the outrage industry, which includes cable TV, talk radio, and blogs on the political left and right, to gain social and emotional satisfaction from the news. Through this use of media, we’re able to “hear what we’d like the truth to really be,” according to Professor Berry. This conversation surrounding news consumption through social media often leads to the concept of “fake news.” Berry makes it clear that fake news is not something new; it’s been a part of our public’s narrative since the founding of this country. But it has become especially prevalent since the emergence of large social media platforms such as Facebook. There is no simple answer for how adults can have healthier technology use when it comes to the political sector because, as Professor Berry explains, “America is polarized. The news that’s so acrimonious is going to continue because people like it. I just don’t see this stopping.” It is possible, however, to regulate social media in ways that limit widespread falsehoods. One approach is heightening the presence of the “real news” in hopes of overpowering other extreme messages and providing a strong, factual basis for users to form their opinions off of. This can be done if people start to pay attention to traditional journalism, a method of reporting that has become less common in recent years. These three fields—art, child study and human development, and political science—teach us that the main strategy for fostering healthy social media consumption is through more intentional use. While it can seem scary to take constant precautions while using technology, media platform producers aren’t out to get us, Jenna Wittich ’20 reassures me. “The intention of social media is to make the world a little bit smaller and to help connect people. Most developers are trying to make people’s lives better instead of trying to do any harm,” Wittich explains. Wittich has been able to observe the dynamic relationship between engineering and society through Tufts’ five-year Master’s program, which she has been pursuing in engineering psychology and art history. Through classes that focus on designing humanmachine systems, she has studied how developers often account for negative impacts of the products they’re designing through experimentation and testing, with the occasional acceptance of an “unknown factor.” The developers’ job is to make enticing products that we’ll want to consume, and our job, as consumers, is to question frequently and use with caution. Just as brief bios provide only glimpses of our identities, social media platforms and targeted apps offer concentrated pieces of information—often unhinged from context. Consumers can empower themselves to seek out knowledge and connection through apps, and to know when to disconnect in order to value and preserve other forms of human connection. Each Tufts department that I spoke to emphasized how social media provides an appealing world of seemingly endless interactions and creations, but sometimes at the expense of real-life contact. However, at the same time, my conversations have taught me that there is no one way to consume social media. Whether you try to take a break from social media, receive news from “unbiased” sources, or reduce screentime for children, no one has devised a perfect, universal strategy. It is up to the consumer to find the right dose of social media that allows them to happily explore the digital world while still existing in the real one.






FOOTBALL OPENS SEASON WITH STIRRING 14-8 VICTORY OVER TRINITY Attendance: 1,225 We get chills just thinking of this epic match. For the first time since 2007, the Tufts men’s football team beat Trinity (3x NESCAC defending champions) in the season opener. The game was tight, but in the end Tufts pulled ahead with a score of 14-8.

VOLLEYBALL DEFEATS BOWDOIN AT HOME TO WIN THE NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP Attendance: 230 Spirits were high as the Jumbos earned a hardfought win over Bowdoin, claiming their second NESCAC title in program history (and the first since 1996). In a close fifth set, Maddie Stewart ’20 turned in a final kill to give the Jumbos a 15-13 win. And the crowd in Cousens Gym went wild.



In this conference final at Spicer Field, the Tufts softball team won its 11th NESCAC championship with a 3-2 victory over Williams College (3x defending NESCAC champions). Williams had the tying run on second base with one out in the top of the seventh. Pitcher Kristi Van Meter ’22 got the next two outs to secure the championship for the Jumbos.

MEN’S SOCCER ADVANCES TO NESCAC SEMIFINAL AFTER DEFEATING HAMILTON 3-0 Attendance: 295 The men’s soccer team battled to a 3-0 victory over Hamilton College in the quarterfinal at Bello Field. Erich Kindermann ’22 earned the win in his third start of the season, propelling the team onward to the NESCAC semifinal at Amherst College. The team went on to finish the season with its second straight NCAA championship and fourth in the last six years.


ADMISSIONS REMIX WILL WILSON ’21 ANTHROPOLOGY AND FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES MAJOR FROM LEWISTON, ID Will is well-known around the admissions office—and beyond—for his lively campus tours, which incorporate a vivid recounting of the tale of Jumbo the Elephant. He brings the same energy, thoughtfulness, and humor into all he does—as part of The Institute Sketch Comedy, a member of the Tufts Mock Trial team, and a devoted double major. In his remixed supplement, Will reflects on finding belonging at Tufts in new and familiar places.


Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, “Why Tufts?” Feeling like an imposter isn’t something new to most of us at Tufts. As a student from Lewiston, Idaho, I was worried I wouldn’t belong. It’s not common for most kids at my high school to travel across the nation for college, and to be the first in my family meant traversing a terrifying new place. Despite my fear, communities at Tufts are overtly inclusive. Finding groups to associate with and explore is second nature. It’s almost scary how fast new students feel at home. Maybe you will join an on-campus sketch comedy group or you will find a community in the Group of Six! We might do different things, but just like me, you will realize you are not an imposter. You belong.

From recognizing break dancing as a new Olympic sport, to representation in media, to issues of accessibility in our public transit systems, what is something that you can talk about endlessly? What do you care about and why? My heart is pounding out of my chest every second. I push my chair back, stand up straight behind the large walnut table, and give a light smile to the judge in front of me. Sitting beside me are my teammates in their charcoal-colored suits. After a brief introduction, I move forward into the open space of the furnished courtroom and begin to speak. Mock Trial is an amazing activity. It’s a combination of public speaking, acting, and puzzle solving all while being incredibly competitive. I could ramble on about the intricacies and nuances of the activity, as I am sure my friends could testify to (ha! A Mock Trial joke!), but what keeps me coming back night after night to practice are the people I compete with. Brilliant is a modest word to describe the incredible cast of characters that make up Tufts Mock Trial. We bond through our addiction to the activity, craving the opportunity to compete in the courtroom. But outside of competing and practicing, these are the people I like spending my time with. I can always find a teammate sitting in the campus center to do work with. Our board game nights are loud, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. At the end of a long tournament, the most satisfying dinner is fries from Shake Shack.


The people that make up Tufts Mock Trial are closer than teammates. They’re family. I don’t know what my Tufts experience would be like without them.

To see all the options for the supplemental essay questions, visit https://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/essay-questions/ 29


Elyssa Anneser ’20 has known her academic advisor, political science professor Deborah Schildkraut, since the beginning of her time at Tufts. Here, they sit down to discuss their longtime relationship and the complex but rewarding process of crafting a thesis. —VALERIA VELASQUEZ ’23

Deborah Schildkraut: That Introduction to American Politics class was during the 2016 election, so it was memorable. It had a lot of first-year students in it. It’s their first time in college, and for many of them it’s their first time away from home. For most students it was also the first election they could vote in, and many people did not expect the outcome. I had over 20 students from that class take another class with me the next semester—that was a very high number. Because of this, I felt like we were continuing a process together in trying to understand what was going on. Elyssa wasn’t in the public opinion class, but she took political psychology with me later, and there were also a lot of people in that class who had been in Intro to American Politics. I’m not exaggerating, but with that particular group of students, I established a connection with them more than I normally do when I teach that class. EA: I remember the class after the election—it was just a very intense class. The energy in our room was a lot, in just deciphering what had happened together. I am so glad that we had that class and that time together.

What impact has your relationship with Professor Schildkraut had throughout your time at Tufts? DS: Pretend I’m not here. EA: You’ve helped guide me through all of the ups and downs of my academic career. I’ve had some academic mix-ups. I took a leave one semester, and you helped me figure out what to do with my schedule. I couldn’t have been graduating on time without you—it’s been amazing. You’ve also helped me figure out what classes best suit me. You said to me one time, “It’s best for students to avoid majoring in so many things and take classes that actually interest them.” Since you said that, I’ve really taken it to heart. I think at that time, I was like, “Oh, maybe I can just add a minor, for no apparent reason.” DS: A good piece of advice for students who want to get to know professors goes well with the advice of taking classes that are really interesting to you. It sounds like such obvious advice, but it’s easy to forget. I think that when you’re taking a class that is interesting to you—even if it’s not in your major— you might be more likely to be comfortable seeing your professor. You want to go to see the professor and talk more about the class because it’s something that excites you. Have there been any specific highlights or moments together that stand out to you? EA: I’m doing a thesis in political science, and I’m doing it on how emotions affect environmental engagement. Professor Schildkraut is my advisor. It’s been a long process. I applied for the thesis in the spring and then began working on it this summer. I ran an experiment in the fall, but had to start getting IRB approval—that was a long process. Over

the summer, we met a few times to work on a literature review, and then running the actual experiment took a few tries and had a few mishaps. I took a seminar class through the department, but we met throughout the semester. We also just met yesterday to go over my data. DS: So, Elyssa’s thesis is, in my view, the ideal way a thesis should work in political science. She took a class with me in her junior year and wrote a paper on a topic that was about course material but said, “Hey, let’s apply this course material to some area that hasn’t been studied yet. Wouldn’t it be great if someone did a study on this?” And now she’s a senior and she’s doing that study, and that’s her thesis. This is real-deal research: all the joys and pitfalls and hair-pulling that comes with designing your own experiment, figuring out how to learn the statistical techniques you need to do it, and making sure you can fill a gap in the existing literature. Her thesis builds on her own personal interest in environmental participation that’s joined with the academic work we covered in the class… If a student says, “I’ve done this in a class and I love it and I want more and I want to spend a whole year thinking about it,” then that’s the most important first step. EA: The thesis process is not for everyone, but it’s great to see the actual interest you have come to fruition and just have a question that you had over a year ago be answered. It feels so good.



How did you first meet? Elyssa Anneser: I took Introduction to American Politics my freshman fall, which was my first introduction to political science. It was a very good class—it was also a very big class. That’s when I knew I wanted to study political science and that I wanted to stick with it. I fell in love with American politics then, and that spring I asked Professor Schildkraut to be my advisor. I came to your office hours a couple of times that year and created a study group with people from the class. Your class was such a big component of my freshman fall.




A Student-Led Tour Through Tufts’ Identity-Based Centers

Part One of a Two-Part Series on the Group of Six at Tufts By Hasan Khan ’22 and Keesha Patron ’21 Illustrations by Grace Heejung Kim YOU QUICKLY REALIZE upon arriving to the Tufts campus that there are

houses everywhere—serving as residence halls, small classrooms, and office spaces. Whether you are walking into the Fung House Center for Humanities for class, Gifford House for an event with President Tony Monaco, or the cozy and quiet home that houses Counseling and Mental Health Services, you step through these doorways into spaces of comfort and growing familiarity. Soon enough, you call these places home, too. Among the slanted rooftops and sometimes active chimneys of our many homes here on the Medford/Somerville campus, there is a group of six. These are the six identity-based centers at Tufts, termed “the Group of Six”: the LGBT Center, Women’s Center, Tufts Latino Center, FIRST Resource Center, Africana Center, and Asian American Center.



you arrive on campus, a first-year student ready to take on classes and meet new people, and amongst the tens, if not hundreds, of welcome events and ice cream socials, you hear about six places hosting their own welcome-back events for students of certain identities. That’s funny, you say to yourself, with your own layer of identities, some matching one or two of the centers but certainly not all. You have heard of cultural and identity clubs at Tufts—from the Muslim Students Association to the Taiwanese Association of Students and a slew of others—but these six are called “centers” and have their own spaces, directors, interns, peer leaders, the whole deal. Hey, it is the first week of your new life in college, why not take a short stroll and see for yourself? You start down the street from the Campus Center at the Asian American Center (AAC), where an ice cream social is in full swing. When asked what she sees when first walking into the AAC, Peer Leader (PL) Kelly Tan ’22 describes, “You see the smiling face of an intern, and they greet you. There are people sitting around and hanging out, and as you walk up the stairs, you see pictures of PLs. You see our director Aaron with his door open. There’s music and laughter and chatter and studying and napping and distractedness.” PL Richard Nakatsuka ’22 describes each floor of the three-story house as its own little experience, hosting Asian and Asian American students who are talking, catching up, meeting for the first time, and as the year progresses, studying and napping together. However, Student Intern Theo Nunez ’22 explains that the first day in the AAC is not always so easy. He mentions, “It’s hard for entering students who are trying to relate quickly on sometimes just a surface level, like ‘Oh, you like boba too?!’” Perhaps that is the ecstatically terrified, ready-to-relate-to-anyone energy that characterizes all firstyears, but as the days turn into weeks, for Theo the small moments began to accumulate, as he and fellow students learned about the AAC’s history and came together around it. Kelly says of the AAC, “It’s different than a dorm common room. The magic moments are in hanging out here, but also in those intentional gatherings that we can just be together, share stories, bond, and discuss important things


in our lives and in the world as people and Asian Americans.” Here, the director of the AAC Aaron J. Parayno offers, “While all those moments and sights make this place feel like a home, it takes a different level of intentionality for people to decide, ‘I want to go study at the AAC’ and make it a home. Those sorts of moments really make it worth it.” Much effort went into the creation of this space. No one at Tufts decided out of the blue to dedicate a space for Asian and Asian American students to feel like they were centered or that their needs, hopes, and community building were put first and valued. The AAC came about because of continuous student efforts. Kelly recalls that, for a while, it was just the Asian House—a residence hall option for students. Now, the center “is supposed to be here for any student to use it, like a gathering space, like a safe space for any Asian or Asian American students,” she says. “I think that having that history—that is, of this campus not being one that felt welcoming or safe for Asian American students—is really important to inform our continuing efforts of what the space is supposed to be for.” THAT LEVEL OF INTENTIONALITY to create a space for people to “just

be” characterizes the mission of many centers within the Group of Six. You set off from the AAC, passing the Campus Center again, and come across a certainly cozy-looking home with a bright blue door. You walk into the living room of the Women’s Center (WC). Among the crowd of interns and a chorus of laughs, you find Jessica Mitzner Scully, Interim Program Administrator of the WC. Describing her impression of the WC, Jessica says, “It’s people studying together and laughing, a central feeling of welcome, cozy, quiet, couches, tea. It’s the art on the walls, books on the shelves, the faces you see.” Just as Theo described the AAC as a place where all the expectations fall away, offering a place “to be, period,” Jessica similarly notes the WC and its many couches as “a place to just be.” But who is the space for? Who are the people centered in this center? Jessica explains, “The Women’s Center is not actually a place only for people who identify as women. It’s trying to be a site for people to come together to think about how gender impacts our lives in various ways, and particularly how gender impacts other aspects of identity, like religion, class, citizenship status, or ability.” And so the center is for anyone interested in that level of intentionality. Rather than serving as exclusionary clubs for a handful of students, the centers of the Group of Six are for those of us prepared to center

others’ experiences, who are often “left at the margins,” as Jessica describes. These spaces are for those of us “who also want to fight the gender binary, create an anti-racist space, and combat homophobia and transphobia,” Jessica says. “In the Women’s Center, we act with intention, we create community, we center the margins, we ask questions, we make space for others, we learn, we all get to just be.” And again, as with the AAC, no one administrator or staff member on the Tufts campus suddenly decided there should exist a Women’s Center. In fact, after a brief stint of being co-ed from 1892 to 1910, women did not officially attend Tufts until 1980, instead matriculating to Jackson College, an on-campus women’s college associated with Tufts. In 1980, Tufts became fully co-educational once again. In 1981, Fern Ellen Greenberg published an article in the WC’s magazine Out of the Ashes titled “A Herstory of the Tufts Women’s Center,” in which she records, “In the past ten years, Tufts women have been gathering to effect social change on behalf of all women. The early years were marked by one-issue lobbying groups of fleeting coherence. The Tufts Women’s Center, as we know it today, was founded in 1973. The end goals of the center have remained the same over time: to eradicate discrimination, to claim control over our bodies and lives, to challenge the patriarchal power structure, to educate ourselves, and to support and celebrate our achievements.” Some of the first issues of the magazine centered on abortion legalization, hiring a full-time gynecologist at Health Services, and protesting degrading behavior of some of the fraternities of the time. Later opening the Women’s Community School, the goals of the center incorporated skills training and, soon, greater lobbying power with the administration as “it became apparent that the University, too, needed to be accountable to women’s needs.” Since then, the WC’s approach has been an organic one, allowing students and interns to procure programming that feels relevant to them and the issues they face today. For instance, Student Intern Trina Sanyal ’21 founded Comic Relief, the WC’s comedy group for people of color. Among their weekly POC Circle and an annual Symposium on Gender and Culture, Jessica states, “The Women’s Center is trying to be two things at all times: an educational space but also a community building space.” ASIAN AMERICAN CENTER PL Richard Nakatsuka’s words still ring

in your ear: “Even if you don’t come to the center all that often, knowing that you have that space to go to if you do need it is so important to your mental well-being and your comfort on this campus.” Having centered two “visible” identities, you depart from the WC, venturing farther along Talbot Ave. until you reach Bolles House on College Ave. As you ascend the stairs, you find yourself in the main lounge room of the LGBT Center. A member of Team Q introduces themself and the space, flags representing an umbrella of identities, and a calendar full of events making every effort to center those groups—from discussion groups to movie screenings and more. For all the lack of safety that comes with not having a space to feel like you can let go and be, the LGBT Center was founded the latest of these three in 1992, and its current director, Hope Denese Freeman, is its first POC and black woman to serve as director. What

act with intention, we create “...we community, we center the margins, we ask questions, we make space for others, we learn,

we all get to just be.” the LGBT Center has lost in age, its community has made up for in a rich history as documented in Elena Mead’s Tufts Queer History Project—from a male student coming out on the graduation stage on June 1st, 1969 (before the famous Stonewall Riots), to the first dance hosted by the Tufts Lesbian & Gay Community on April 23, 1983, and the formation of Rainbow House (student housing centering LGBTQIA+ students) in the fall of 1998. Then and now, hate crimes against the community still occur on the Tufts campus, but usually online where there are levels of anonymity and a lack of accountability. But here, in this space, there are shoulders to lean on and fellow students ready to listen and offer what they can to support you. In that sense, Hope has been active in shaping the space to be one of pride, embodying the key need for students of marginalized identities to feel valued and centered. As one of her colleagues during her work at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) put it, “visibility equates value,” and so even the pillows on the couches are emblazoned with “QUEER” and flags for the trans, asexual, pansexual, genderqueer, and more communities. Besides just the emblems, the entire recent facelift for the center has been quite empowering. Hope says, “I think that students are really proud of the aesthetic of the space and proud that it feels new. They feel taken care of—I am a strong believer in ‘I can’t function or do work that’s true to myself if I’m in an unwelcome environment.’” And so this work continues to center the margins and make Tufts feel accessible as much as possible to people who do not see themselves in most spaces here on campus. One of the more unique challenges for the LGBT Center and community at large is how invisible one can feel and the fear that comes with being more open and visible with one’s queer identity. Most often, members of the community approach Hope asking, “I’m scared to ask admissions this” or “I can’t discuss this with my parents,” and that is exactly why she finds it critical to create a space of visibility and of possibility, “trying to find books and display graphics that help students see themselves in the future, more than just the now.” That idea of being able to see—and often find—oneself is a core advantage of exploring identity-based centers. If you cannot see others like yourself on campus, then they mentally do not exist in your concept of who a Tufts student is and is not, who is welcome here and who is left out. The Group of Six literally sees differently than other spaces on campus—they see students who are left unseen in a majority of spaces elsewhere. Students, in turn, can feel these centers. In and out of these spaces flow the interconnected ideas, support systems, values, and identities that bring Tufts to life.

In Part One of this two-part series on the Group of Six, Keesha Patron and Hasan Khan explored the Asian American Center, LGBT Center, and Women’s Center at Tufts. In part two, appearing in the summer 2020 issue of JUMBO, they will speak to the important work and resources of the Africana Center, FIRST Resource Center, and Tufts Latino Center. But you can learn about these spaces and communities even sooner—visit students.tufts.edu/identity-based-centers.



d ago an g n o l not so cation sition t the appli ys o p r u u a o ur ess ed abo as in y s! I w ips I receiv to draft yo ays. Doing r o i n “ Hi ju the best t e summer for a few d thoughts l f one o is to use th time to sit your initia hed will s t s m e u e l e h o to c proc give t a chance t y to sit un tionality d n a a y ten ss ou earl give y ing your e ct on the in ithin your l l i w this elf w Allow e to refle yours orm. take f ample tim expressing of luck!” e ou st give y how you ar lps and be e d h n i s i h be e th s. Hop ’19 essay r anns nselo on M Trent sions Cou is m d A

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“If you’re look ing at BFA prog rams that require an art portfolio, you’ ve likely already spent some time bu ilding your skills. So now is a great tim e to take som risks—maybe e by diving into a new medium you’ve been wanting to try or pushing your self conceptua lly to give your work a di fferent purpos e. Think about what yo u want that po rtfolio to say about you.” Angela Jone s-OB Director of Ad rien m SMFA at Tufts issions,




1 2 3 4

Common Application or Coalition Application

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

Tufts Writing Supplement

High School Transcript(s)

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

Senior Year Grades


5 6 7 8 +

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.

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

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.

22,766 3,404 15% 100% 11% 15% 50%

Applications Acceptances Acceptance Rate of Demonstrated Financial Need Met First-Generation Students International Students Women in the School of Engineering

Score Ranges of Admitted Students 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 4.8 20 28 300+ 40% 45% 39% 81 33%

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 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 2021–2022 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 meritbased 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)* 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

2019 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 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 Chinese Civic Studies* Classical Studies Cognitive and Brain Sciences

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


Food Systems and Nutrition






Biomedical Engineering



Chemical Engineering



Civil Engineering Computer Engineering Computer Science Electrical Engineering

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

Judaic Studies


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


Architectural Studies

Latin American Studies

Data Science




Africana Studies

Middle Eastern Studies

Engineering Physics



Engineering Science

Music, Sound, and Culture

Environmental Health

Applied Computational Science


Human Factors Engineering

Italian Studies Japanese

Physics Political Science Psychology Psychology/Clinical Concentration Quantitative Economics Religion

Environmental Engineering Mechanical Engineering

Judaic Studies Latin Latin American Studies Latino Studies

Multimedia Arts

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.

Asian American Studies

Museums, Memory, and Heritage

Astrophysics Biotechnology Engineering° Chemical Engineering

Science, Technology, and Society*


Colonialism Studies


Digital Media

Computer Science


Engineering Psychology

Film and Video


Spanish Cultural Studies



Spanish Literature

Graphic Arts

Environmental Geology


Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Illustration Installation



Engineering Education


Engineering Management°




Entrepreneurial Leadership


Environmental Science and Policy°

*Available only as a co-major


°Available only to students enrolled in the School of Engineering




Art History


Geological Sciences

Human Factors Engineering°


Cognitive and Brain Sciences




Architectural Studies


Film and Media Studies




Environmental Studies*

Greek Civilization




Greek Archaeology

Leadership Studies


Computer Science


Architectural Engineering

Russian Language and Literature

Community Health



Child Study and Human Development

Russian and East European Studies


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 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: admissions.tufts.edu


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 https://publicsafety.tufts.edu/wp-content/uploads/90689-Tufts-ASR-2019-2020.pdf.

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 admissions.tufts.edu

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