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ISSUE 18 / SUMMER 2017



24 COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT HOW TUFTS students take their learning into the community



the way our students think


Melanie explores the intersection of science and social justice on page 19. COVER PHOTO BY KATHLEEN DOOHER (FRONT), ALONSO NICHOLS/TUFTS UNIVERSITY (BACK)





a college campus from early June to midAugust. While our students are away working, having adventures, and rejuvenating their minds for the return to classes in the fall, in the admissions office, we are busily welcoming prospective students and their families through information sessions and tours. Our goal is to help prospective applicants figure out if they can see themselves here—to introduce the “vibe” that exists among the student body. By the end of a visit, rising high school seniors should be on their way to figuring out whether Tufts is a “fit.” In many ways, the college admissions process is like reading a good novel. (And yes, you should read the whole book, not an abbreviated CliffsNotes version! I might be showing my age with that reference, but ask your

MEET THE STUDENT COMMUNICATION GROUP Most of what you’re about to read was written by these Tufts students. Keep an eye out for their voices as they introduce you to the Tufts community.


parents.) As you start reading this novel of your college admissions process you’re excited about what you might uncover in the pages ahead. Characters (schools) start to become clearer—most likely there are some that you like, some you don’t, and some you’re just not sure about. As the story builds toward a crescendo, you’re anxiously wondering how the story will end. My advice? Take the time to enjoy the novel—don’t read ahead! Sometimes the fun is in getting to the end of the book, not just the ending itself. I’m pleased to introduce you to the latest issue of JUMBO. You’ll notice that all the featured members of the Tufts community have offered some suggestions about their favorite summer reads. Me? I’ve decided to re-read one of my favorite classics, To Kill a Mockingbird. While I already know how it

ends, I love cracking the book open again to learn how the story speaks to me in a different way this time around. It’s actually like the admissions cycle in that way—each year I’m amazed by the things that applicants teach me. Nothing about this cyclical process ever feels repetitive. Summer gives me the time to refresh and reboot, and I look forward to what you’ll teach me this fall. Best,

Karen Richardson, Dean of Admissions

DESMOND FONSECA ’20 from Bridgewater, MA

CHLOE MALOUF ’20 from Gaithersburg, MD

CAMERON HARRIS ’18 from Shelburne, VT

ABIGAIL MCFEE ’17 from Chadron, NE

DYLAN HONG ’19 from West New York, NJ

HANNAH STEINBERG ’17 from Scarsdale, NY

LIAM KNOX ’19 from Princeton Junction, NJ

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 Jaime Morgen, Assistant Director of Admissions Design by Hecht/Horton Partners


AH, SUMMER. There’s a different energy on

A ROADMAP THROUGH TUFTS The path through four (or more!) years at Tufts is hardly linear. Barton Liang, who graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 2016, decided to stay at Tufts to pursue his Master’s in Innovation and Management through the Gordon Institute. Here, he outlines his Tufts experience, from prospective international relations major to a double Jumbo!

…wanting to study international relations (IR). I wanted to solve problems related to human rights and international development.

I started at Tufts…

Taking Introduction to IR helped me realize that political theory was actually not my cup of tea.

The summer after my senior year, I spent three months working on a construction site in Palo Alto, California, which inspired me to look for ways to connect technological innovation with construction and engineering.

Taking Introduction to Civil Engineering with Associate Professor Chris Swan helped me find a passion for the hands-on coursework and the close-knit community of collaborative engineering students. I took on a minor in engineering management, which got me thinking about entrepreneurship and innovation in the context of civil engineering and construction.

I applied to the Tufts Gordon Institute’s Master of Science in Innovation and Management program, taking a deep dive into innovation and entrepreneurship.

That same semester, I took Introduction to Community Health with Professor Edith Balbach, who inspired me to explore the intersection of medical, social, and engineering solutions when tackling big challenges.

One of my pre-orientation leaders was a mechanical engineering major, and encouraged me to explore the School of Engineering. I made the switch and declared a major in civil engineering, realizing that I could still do development work but in a different way.

I hope to develop and implement new technological and organizational solutions for the construction industry. Hopefully, I will work on projects around the world that touch on public health, infrastructure development, and social impact. Now I’ve finished a year of coursework for my M.S., and I’m taking an extra semester of electives to beef up my technical knowledge before I finally leave Tufts.


Barton’s Book Recommendation: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. “In a world where immigrant stories are dominated by European narratives, this book was an eye-opening look into a story that isn’t told often enough—of Chinese immigration to the United States. As a Chinese American with family members who immigrated around when the story was set, Shanghai Girls was a fascinating look into what the experience might have been like for others like my relatives.” 3



JUMBO RECIPE: ICE CREAM SUNDAES ANY DAY OF THE WEEK! OUR TWO DINING CENTERS have ice cream sundae bars on Thursday and Sunday nights, but with this hack,

you can enjoy a gourmet treat any night of the week! Put some peaches (from the salad bar), honey, and cinnamon into a bowl and microwave until warm. Add soft serve frozen yogurt and your cereal of choice (we like granola). Enjoy!


yet another accolade to add to her already impressive résumé (including leading the Jumbos to multiple NCAA championship games). In April, she was named the head coach of the U16 National Team, an opportunity she calls the “pinnacle of coaching.” This summer, she traveled to Argentina to lead the national team to a gold medal on the world stage!

LATE NIGHT STUDY IN CARMICHAEL LET’S FACE IT—finals are not the best time of the year. But

Tufts Senate is here to help…or at least keep you caffeinated and full! Carmichael Dining Center stays open until 3am during finals week and is stocked with coffee, croissants, cookies, and cupcakes. Students love the laid back and supportive environment—and the free snacks don’t hurt either!


ALUM FINDS HIS GROOVE WHILE at Tufts, computer engineer Bobby

Dutton ’04 founded GrooveBoston, a company that produces concerts for college campuses across the country. Contracting with top lighting, sound, and video companies, GrooveBoston designs and executes affordable AND striking productions. Dutton recently returned to the Hill to deliver the Lyon and Bendheim Alumni Lecture to a group of students. 4

stocked with computers that all have statistical and CAD modeling software. There is also ample open table space for people to work in groups. Students being so collaborative is one of the things that makes Tufts so exciting and special!

FEATURED SPEAKERS COLLEGE IS A great time to learn from your professors and peers, but also from acclaimed

guests who come to speak on campus! This past year, speakers included Senator Tim Kaine, journalist Lester Holt, and composer Jonathan Wolff (responsible for the music from the hit show Seinfeld). Kenya Barris, the writer and producer of Black-ish, was the commencement speaker for the Class of 2017. His speech landed him on Entertainment Weekly’s top 20 list of most memorable celebrity commencement speeches!


Monaco is one of our sports teams’ biggest fans. Here is our favorite recent tweet from him:


Great mini-commencement ceremony for @TuftsBaseball and their families before @NCAADIII championships this weekend! #GoJumbos

EXCOLLEGE CLASS HIGHLIGHT: WHO’S IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT: SELF-DRIVING CARS, TECHNOLOGY, AND CHANGE ARE YOU READY to hop into a self-driving car? Autonomous driving vehicles will have significant

implications for society, touching almost every facet of our lives. This interdisciplinary course will begin with a look at the current state of the technology and will hear from area companies and municipalities directly involved in the development of self-driving cars. Students will be challenged to go beyond the issues that have traditionally been addressed only by engineers, scientists, and developers: What are the legal and ethical implications? How will cities and infrastructure change? What will the passenger's experience be?

SMFA AT TUFTS SENIOR THESIS SHOW—DENATURED DENATURED highlights the work of the 17 artists selected for the 2016–2017 SMFA at Tufts

Senior Thesis Program. The exhibition reflects each artist’s yearlong process, enveloped under a wide range of individualized media and concepts. Each artist was provided with the opportunity to collaborate with peers and faculty to execute a self-guided body of work. The works displayed range from digital media, performance, and installation to painting, photography, and sculpture, to encompass a collective exhibition.

FRISBEE GOLF COURSE THE ULTIMATE FRISBEE teams here at Tufts have developed

their own Frisbee golf course around the Academic Quad and President’s Lawn. You might run into them at night, since they can’t play when there are a lot of people outside… hitting a pedestrian is a 3-stroke penalty. 5

An hour and a half interview could not capture all the passions that influence Isaiah MarshallThomas’ life. Born in New York, raised in Baltimore, and with family from Trinidad, Isaiah spoke about the role he’s played acting as the bridge between the two cultures of his family. The foundation of this bridge? Music. Isaiah began playing the steel drums when he was eight years old. He recalled to me a memory of sitting in his grandma’s living room in Trinidad and hearing the steel drum band play across the street. Soon, Isaiah started picking up the music by ear. A few years later in Baltimore, he joined CAFÉ, the Cultural Academy for Excellence, where he auditioned for their award-winning steel orchestra student troupe. When he did not make the performance group the first time around, Isaiah took it upon himself to learn music theory on his own. Through the internet, a stack of note cards, and a lot of self-motivation, he eventually made it into the performance troupe. Fast forward a few years later and Isaiah’s motivation has only grown. At Tufts, he arrived as a

BLAST (Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts) Scholar and is now an Academic and Community Engagement Fellow, member of the Kiniwe dance and drumming ensemble, and rising President of S-Factor, the all-male a cappella group specializing in songs from the African Diaspora. He also finds time to serve as a mentor at the Branches Steel Orchestra in Dorchester where he teaches kids how to play the steel drums. My initial thought: woah. How does one merge all these different interests together? Isaiah explained, “I don’t like restrictions. I don’t like anybody tying me down by saying what classes I have to take.” Instead, he’s found his own way of weaving together his passions into his classes. While he’s interested in the social factors of health, he’s also interested in how science and math come into play to understand both the foundational and broader contexts of what he’s studying. For example, he loves how his epidemiology class uses math to talk about workers who are exposed to asbestos. During his summer abroad in Talloires, France, he took a class called Global Health Crises taught by Professor

of Civil and Environmental Engineering David Gute, which gave him the scientific tools to better understand and apply community health data. Even though Isaiah has already succeeded in merging his different identities and passions, he is still thankful for the support he has received from different communities at Tufts. Navigating the Tufts experience as a low-income Black student from an inner city public school has been difficult, but Isaiah has found networks like the Africana, Latino, and LGBT Centers important in succeeding and thriving on campus. He also points to his BLAST community and several academic advisors and professors as important support systems. In fact, next semester he will be doing research with Assistant Professor of Music Frank Lehman. They will be looking at the important, yet overlooked role of minorities in western music history. As Isaiah enters his junior year, it’s clear that we’ve only seen the start of what he can do at the intersections of many fields of study. —BENYA KRAUS ’18




“I don’t like restrictions. I don’t like anybody tying me down by saying what classes I have to take.”

Isaiah’s Book Recommendation: East of Flatbush, North of Love: An Ethnography of Home by Danielle Brown “This book is a memoir by a young Trinidadian-American ethnomusicologist. I loved this book because I come from the same background as Dr. Brown, and because she tells her story through music in a way that addresses cultural and social issues of the past that are very relevant to the present.”



TOP 10



From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett, Professor of Philosophy

Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies by Sara Lewis, Professor of Biology

The Challenge of Democracy: American Government in Global Politics by Jeffrey Berry, Professor of Political Science; Deborah Schildkraut, Professor and Chair of Political Science; Kenneth Janda; Jerry Goldman; and Paul Manna

Mestizo Failure(s): Race, Film and Literature in Twentieth Century Mexico by Pedro Ángel Palou, Professor of Latin American Literature and Studies and Chair of Romance Languages

Compulsory: Education and the Dispossession of Youth in a Prison School by Sabina Vaught, Associate Professor of Education

In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe, Professor of English

Oil Booms and Business Busts: Why Resource Wealth Hurts Entrepreneurs in the Developing World by Nimah Mazaheri, Associate Professor of Political Science

Consensual Violence: Sex, Sports, and the Politics of Injury by Jill D. Weinberg, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Hideous Characters and Beautiful Pagans: Performing Jewish Identity on the Antebellum American Stage by Heather Nathans, Professor and Chair of Drama and Dance

A Tokyo Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Modern Metropolis, 1850 –1920 edited by Charles Shiro Inouye, Professor of Japanese and Co-Director of International Literary and Visual Studies; and Sumie Jones


As a renowned film scholar and new addition to the Tufts faculty, Professor Malcolm Turvey was quick to explain his view on media and how it relates to the world around us. He believes, in today’s mediasaturated society, being able to critically process media is crucial to becoming an informed and literate global citizen. “Media more than ever before is most people’s conduit to the world,” he said. “People who are able to engage with media critically are going to be much better equipped to make decisions like who to vote for and who to believe as they go through life. So, one of the things I’ve tried to do in all of my classes is to show students how moving images can be used to persuade them of certain things.” Students can gain this appreciation for critical media consumption in classes like Art of the Moving Image or Global History of Cinema. The diverse classes offered in the film and media studies (FMS) program, of which Professor Turvey is director, reflect the broad interests of its students. “The students range from very committed film students who want to study or make films all the way to, well, I have a student who’s doing this major because she wants to do music PR.” And these classes aren’t just for FMS majors, either. “I think it’s a good idea for everyone to do something in film and media in their undergraduate career given how important those things are.” In fact, Professor Turvey encourages this type of broad exploration from all students at Tufts. He explained, “Often people find what they want to do with their lives purely by taking a chance…how is that going to happen if you don’t let yourself experiment?” Crucially, Turvey’s love (and astoundingly extensive knowledge of) cinema is about more than staying informed. “Being knowledgeable about film

and media makes me a more critical person, but it has also enriched my life and given me forms of pleasure and experience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” he said. “In the same way that if you understand things like musical theory, your experience of a symphony will be much deeper and richer.” According to Turvey, this enrichment can come in many forms, and may not be purely artistic at all—in fact, popular “commercial” media has an important role to play in enriching peoples’ lives just as much or more than artistic forms. “Because film, television, and radio are mass media, they reach many more people than the traditional arts. And in that sense I think they perform a sort of communal function, giving people things to talk about collectively. And that’s a wonderful thing.” —LIAM KNOX ’19

Professor Turvey’s Book Recommendation: The Seductions of Darwin: Art, Evolution, Neuroscience by Mattew Rampley “This book promises to push back against some of the inflated claims about the relevance of neuroscience and evolutionary psychology to the study of art, and reveal the poor reasoning and evidence behind many of these claims.”


Professor Turvey believes that in today’s media-saturated society, being able to critically process media is crucial to becoming an informed and literate global citizen.




What better way to learn about Tufts’ newest interdisciplinary class than from the professors themselves? Associate Professor of Political Science Jeff Taliaferro and Senior Lecturer of Computer Science Ming Chow discuss co-teaching this innovative class with Benya Kraus ’18.


As I walked into the interview, Professor Taliaferro urged me to look around his office at the sheer amount of technology that surrounds us. Referencing the proliferation of high-speed internet and cell phones, Professor Taliaferro explained, “We have an obligation to teach students about the ubiquitous presence and vulnerability of technology and cyber security.” Thus, two departments on campus teamed up to create Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, a class that brings together engineers and globe trotters, coders and political junkies. Topics in this class range widely, from cryptography and malware to cyber espionage and counterintelligence. The large breadth of topics aims to combine the interests of political science and computer science students, with the hopes of bridging the gap between the two disciplines. When asked how the partnership began, both professors pointed to the urgent state of political affairs and the niche opportunities for interdisciplinary partnership at Tufts. Senior Lecturer Chow explained,

“There’s been a huge disconnect even now between tech and policy folks, and after facing the same problem for decades, we need to wake up.” Students in the class engaged in hands-on activities such as packet analysis, exploiting a vulnerable system, password cracking, social engineering, reconnaissance, and malware analysis. In addition to learning from two professors for the entire semester, guest speakers from the private sector, civil liberties groups, and intelligence community also lectured. For the computer science students who took this class, Senior Lecturer Chow hopes that they left with greater leadership and communication skills to guide people towards what policies are correct. For political science students, Professor Taliaferro hoped they were left with a deeper understanding of how “software will always fail you,” and when it does, how to better equip themselves with the technological understanding of trade-offs in cyber security policy.





This past year, our men’s rugby team found success in the big leagues. Their intelligent playing style secured them the title of Northeast Division National Small College Rugby League Champions! After winning the regional championship, NSCRO named the Jumbos the #2 team out of 186 schools. The team then got a bid to play at the national championship in Colorado for the first time in the program’s history. After a tough competition, the team made Jumbo Nation proud when they came in second place overall. Next year, the team has been invited to play in the newly formed Division I AA league.



Travelling from North Carolina to Texas to New Jersey, the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team (known to Tufts students as EWO) has been busy this past year. After winning three regular season tournaments, the Division I team went undefeated at the sectional tournament and came in second in the regional tournament. Ranked among the top teams in the country, the EWO secured a New England bid to the DI College Ultimate National Championship in Cincinnati!

Jumbos on the ski team, who range from recreational skiers to seasoned academy racers, have the opportunity to travel and ski every weekend, with competitions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. This year, mechanical engineer Sami Rubin ’20 was the first member of the team to qualify and attend nationals! There, she raced against top skiers, some of whom had World Cup starts. Looking back on the season, Sami said the experience was the best of both worlds—she loved spending time with her friends on the team, but also enjoyed the opportunity to race against students from all over the country.





With an unmatched enthusiasm for both butterflies and statistics, Professor Crone is at the forefront of Tufts’ DataIntensive Studies Center.

Walking to Professor Elizabeth Crone’s lab, I passed bushes in full bloom, buzzing with insects. This seemed fitting: as a population ecologist, Professor Crone studies plant and animal interactions. She strives to understand how theory can inform our observations of the natural world. “I have always been interested in how organisms, including people, interact with the environment,” she explained. “But I wasn’t the kid who learned all the names of the wildflowers and butterflies.” It wasn’t until college that Professor Crone considered studying ecology, after being part of a research program. What she fell in love with then was not the naming of organisms, but a way of understanding them: through statistics. “I think that’s where it clicked,” she said, “both the active aspect of doing research, and then statistics, because of the puzzle of finding the signal in your data and expressing it quantitatively.” This is where Professor Crone has built her career: at the intersection of numbers and nature. While her focus is often small in size—butterflies, bumblebees, and mast-seeded plants—the implications are expansive. In her work with endangered butterflies, for example, Professor Crone asks how humans can manage landscapes to mitigate the effects of climate change and help species recover. When working with these species, ecologists are forced to make inferences about populations from constrained experiments. Recent advancements in statistics are altering the landscape of their work—for the better. “We’ve had a revolution in data science,” Professor Crone explained. “In the 21st century, we have cheap, fast computers, and we can start adapting our models to fit the data.” In her favorite course, Ecological Statistics and Data, Professor Crone teaches her students formal statistical theory to extract meaning from complex data. She keeps the class open to all levels. Sophomores sit beside PhD candidates, and every semester—she is quick to point out—“there’s at least one sophomore who does as well as the PhD students.” When it comes to statistics, just like checkerspot butterflies, Professor Crone has an unmatched enthusiasm. She is at the forefront of Tufts’ initiative to create a Data-Intensive Studies Center, which would emphasize interdisciplinary research, fostering relationships between faculty and students in fields ranging from genetics to ecology to social policy. In her time here, Professor Crone has realized that Tufts’ interconnectedness mirrors her own work. “Nobody wants to label me as a plant ecologist or a statistician,” she explained. “I can do everything and learn by integrating these different perspectives. That’s much more fun.” —ABIGAIL MCFEE ’17


Professor Crone’s Book Recommendation: Full Fathom Five: A Novel of the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone. Fun Fact: the author lives right here in Boston!








1. AFRICANA HOUSE (CAPEN HOUSE) This space isn’t just for living—it hosts programs yearround as well. To secure a spot in Capen House, students must propose three different projects to engage the rest of the Tufts community. 2. THE CRAFTS HOUSE The Crafts House is a cooperative living and learning community. Students who call this space their home host workshops and share craft knowledge and techniques. Bag making workshop? Sign us up! 3. THE RAINBOW HOUSE The Rainbow House is a queer-friendly atmosphere for students who are interested in issues of gender and sexuality. Members create a living space that is affirming of all sexual and gender identities. They host holiday events on Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Thanksgiving and go into Boston for events like the Annual Drag Ball. 14


4. METCALF HALL Metcalf bridges the academic and co-curricular experience by inviting one professor each week for a discussion on an issue of their choice. Who wouldn’t like to sip tea with their favorite professor in their very own living room? 5. THE ARTS HAUS This space is open for any student who is interested in an active and artistically diverse environment. Its residents host events throughout the year that range from Mixed Media Mayhem to open mic nights.

When you think about where you’ll be living for the next four years of your life, most would envision a standard dorm. And, while Tufts has many “classic dorms” (search “Tufts Cribs” on YouTube for an idea), there are also far more imaginative options to choose from. Here are some of our favorite special interest housing options for Jumbos after their freshman year! 10




8. LANGUAGE AND CULTURE HOUSING The French, German, Japanese, and Spanish language houses give students the chance to enhance their fluency in a close-knit community. Culture houses, including the Jewish Culture House (Bayit), Chinese House, Muslim House, and Russian/Slavic house, host various programs to promote community, discussion, and understanding among students.



6. GREEN HOUSE This living space is a focal point for environmentally-friendly students, organizations, and faculty at Tufts. Those who live here share their passion for sustainable living with their peers. 7. ASIAN AMERICAN HOUSE Students who live here are encouraged to organize and participate in events to share their culture with others! Past events have included an arts exhibit, food fair, and discussions with faculty.

9. LATINO CULTURE HOUSE (LA CASA) Residents who live here have a built-in support system right outside their bedroom door! The house, which is operated in conjunction with the Latino Center, welcomes students interested in Latinx Culture and Latinx issues. 10. INTERNATIONAL CULTURE HOUSE Students from many nationalities and cultures foster an intercultural living experience at the International Culture House. This space also serves as the hub for the international club and hosts events such as a welcome back BBQ, pumpkin carving, and the jingle mingle. 15

“Tufts students rise to the occasion when they find interest in a subject and see a relevant connection to the real world.”

The fundamental role of an engineer is to design solutions to problems that arise in the world. This is not always easy to emulate in an academic setting, but Professor Ronald Lasser creates a classroom environment in which students make connections between their curriculum and real-world problems. One class that Professor Lasser teaches is called Medical Devices and Apps. Offered to senior engineers, in tandem with the Graduate School of Occupational Therapy, students are tasked with developing electronic devices and mobile applications to help patients receive appropriate care. Lasser fondly remarked, “When the students realize, ‘We can really help somebody who is a pediatric patient who had a traumatic brain injury, and we can make his or her life easier,’ they give it 250%. The key to developing learning is finding relevant projects and courses that students feel they can claw into.”

As a mechanical engineer, I enrolled in Professor Lasser’s section of Introduction to Electrical Systems during my sophomore year. The course is particularly challenging, as it introduces a wide range of concepts regarding the fundamentals of electrical circuits. Now, I can appreciate the class for being equally as important as it was difficult, since it developed principles which have been critical in higher level engineering courses. Lasser taught the class based on his philosophy of making concepts relatable to his students. In the lab, we examined ideas through the actual use of electrical equipment like oscilloscopes and amplifiers. He connected our lab and lecture content directly to real examples like how headphones utilize amplifiers for sound control by increasing voltage (and thus power) of an output signal to increase volume. Professor Lasser strives to relate to his students on both an academic and personal level. He also

believes that he learns more from Tufts students than he is possibly able to teach them. He explained, “I think by connecting with students, I get to understand them in context of their college experience. It allows me to find out about their interests, which then helps me teach them engineering.” It can sometimes be difficult to remember your professor is a real person, but Professor Lasser makes that easy with his enthusiasm for Chance The Rapper. When some surprised students inquired about his interest, Professor Lasser replied, “He’s really awesome and I can actually understand his words. I think he’ll win the Grammy.” A week or so after the Grammy’s, this same group of students came to Professor Lasser’s office to ask, “How did you know he was going to win?!” He explained that a student had set him up with a Spotify account, and he had discovered Chance from some of his students’ playlists. He figured, “If even an old guy

like me is listening to him and liking his stuff, he’s going to win!” For Professor Lasser, teaching engineering is all about connecting his students’ personal interests with the engineering skills they need to pursue those passions. “In my experience, Tufts students rise to the occasion when they find interest in a subject and see a relevant connection to the real world,” he said. Whether he’s inspiring engineers to innovate, or connecting personally through friendly hallway conversations, Professor Lasser makes learning engineering fun, tangible, and relatable. It is professors like him who have made me realize that with my engineering degree, I will be empowered to go out and make the world a better place by developing new technologies that matter. —CAMERON HARRIS ’18

Professor Lasser’s Book Recommendations:

•Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. “It is a swashbuckling adventure of a young man during the French Revolution who has to fight powerful enemies to obtain justice.”

•Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. “I was most impressed with how he overcame obstacles and challenges to gain acceptance in American society and to make such a formidable impact on the outcome of the Revolutionary War and the founding of a new nation.”





SCIENCE EDITION: Engineer Dylan Hong ’19 shows you some of his s favorite things found in Tufts labs! OSCILLOSCOPES AND FUNCTION GENERATORS The oscilloscopes have awesome trigger control and various settings to filter your signal…and they can even solve math problems for you! The function generators have many waveforms and a huge frequency adjustment range.



Even in the most advanced labs, you always need to have some good ol’ fashioned duct tape around! Great for fixing, building, and jerry-rigging, duct tape is a classic engineer’s tool.

The Maker Studio in 574 Boston Avenue hosts a waffle night every week! During this time, all of the tools and materials in the space are free. While the students are making projects, the faculty and staff make waffles for everyone to enjoy!

BATTERY CELL In Chem 2, you build photovoltaic cells in lab! Using acids and metals, students get to understand the inner workings of a technology we use in almost everything electronic.

What is a modern workspace without a 3D printer? The many 3D printers in various labs around campus allow students to quickly prototype their designs. Classes such as Computer Aided Design with Lab are focused around 3D modeling programs, building a very useful skill set!

BREADBOARDS Going back to basics with this one! Whether you’re designing a mini wind turbine generator model or coding for electrical systems through an arduino, a breadboard is an electrical engineer’s best friend.

THE DESIGN OF EVERYDAY THINGS BY DON NORMAN This book is awesome to have lying around the lab. It’s all about how to design material objects in a way that makes connections with a user. This makes people want certain products even more and makes products more intuitive. We should always be keeping the end user in mind!


During my conversation with Melanie Ramirez, I learned that, despite inhabiting vastly different academic worlds, we hold some similarities. We both enjoy the competitive fire of pickup basketball, both are students of color from lower income homes, and both suffered from high levels of cholesterol during our childhood. For me, this last similarity was just an impetus to improving my diet, but for Melanie, it sparked her desire to intersect the worlds of medicine, public health, and biology to help others. While her passion for biology is clear, Melanie explicitly says that she doesn’t like to study just one area. “I like to study multiple things and find the relevance amongst everything,” she told me. Community health has allowed Melanie explore the intersection of science and social justice. Melanie lights up when talking about epigenetics—the study of how lived experiences, like microaggressions, can negatively impact your DNA. Along with Associate Professor of Sociology and Community Health Rosemary Taylor, Melanie is currently analyzing how disease perception affects disease policy by comparing Hepatitis C and HIV/ AIDS from the 1970s to the 1990s. Her research is more qualitative than quantitative, as she looks at patient interviews, advertisements, and government policies. Melanie is continuing her work through the Summer Scholars program, receiving funding from Tufts to dive deeper into her research. Entering college, Melanie was eager to take advantage of all the resources that Tufts had to offer, but she quickly discovered “resources will find you here.” She loves working at the Tufts-run Sharewood Medical Clinic, where she can provide basic medical care for the poorly insured. Melanie is also a STEM ambassador, working to make science more intriguing to kids like her—students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. At Somerville High School, Melanie is teaching students about water filtration techniques that can be used in places like Kenya and Cambodia. For Melanie, volunteering is vital work, for she is taking what she learns in the classroom and applying it elsewhere. This is what excites her the most about graduating. She is eager to use all that she has learned at Tufts for the greater good. Whether it is in the field of medicine or public health, helping others is, in her words, “the best thing” she can take away from Tufts. —DESMOND FONSECA ’20

Melanie’s Book Recommendation: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott “This book is one of my favorites because it’s a very detailed and optimistic view of the lives of four girls becoming women in a time where there were many societal constraints for women, specifically those in a lower social class.”

Through her community health research, volunteering at a medical clinic, and serving as a STEM ambassador, Melanie is determined to use science to analyze and better society.









This past spring, one of Tufts’ many theater groups, Torn Ticket II, brought the classic musical Chicago to the Hill. With a stellar cast that included 7 freshmen, this student-directed production was a hit for three sold out performances. The show featured a computer science major from North Dakota and an international relations major from Florida. The cast list below goes to show that you can major in anything, and still be a part of the thriving arts scene at Tufts!

CAST LIST Chloe Hyman ’17, New York NY Art History Sara Kimble ’20, Sudbury MA Psychology Natalie Hwang ’20, Potomac MD Biopsychology and Music Zach Rosenfeld ’20, New York NY Political Science and Drama Shelby Cross ’18, Minot ND Computer Science Nathalie Andrade ’18, Greenacres FL International Relations and Music

Billy Lynn ’20, Chicago IL Economics and Drama

Rachel Sheldon ’17, Old Tappan NJ History and Drama

CHOREOGRAPHERS Megan McCormick ’17 (above)

Becca MacLean ’17, Mendham NJ International Relations (with a concentration on the Middle East) and Education

Sarah Wiggins ’17, Raleigh NC Psychology

Deborah Greene ’18, Fayetteville AR Psychology and Drama

Zoe Miller ’20, Denver CO Clinical Psychology and Child Study & Human Development

ASSISTANT DIRECTORS Megan Rivkin ’20, Lincolnshire IL Drama Richard Kirby ’19, Cherry Hill NJ Biochemistry and Drama

Daniel Glynn ’20, Wilton CT English and Music

DIRECTOR Jungwoo Justin An ’18, Seoul, South Korea Drama, Sociology and Film & Media Studies

Megan McCormick ’17, Minneapolis MN Music

STAGE MANAGER Claire Mieher ’19, Northampton MA Greek and Latin

Julia Friedberg ’20, New York NY Political Science and Drama

Jonah Greene ’20, Fayetteville AR Drama and History Isaac Rosen ’19, Albany NY English and Film & Media Studies

ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGERS Meghan Podolsky ’20, Fairfield CT Community Health


If the SMFA at Tufts interests you, here’s our book recommendation: check out the self-titled book by our very own faculty member Ethan Murrow.



As an artist specializing in film and animation, Liz uses her experience in performance art to influence her craft.

Liz Maelane is a long way from home. Her adventurous spirit brought her from her hometown of Johannesburg to Kenya and finally to Boston to pursue an art degree. Liz chose to attend the SMFA at Tufts because she was looking for an interdisciplinary program that catered to her diverse interests. She explained, “it suited me better to have a more open curriculum that I could determine for myself because I know what I want. That’s how I ended up at the SMFA.” The freedom of the SMFA at Tufts curriculum allows students to explore their artistic ideas through many art forms, which makes it stand out among many other art programs that ask students to limit their work to one artistic medium. Currently, Liz is embracing the SMFA at Tufts’ interdisciplinary philosophy by working on everything from sketching to sculpture and even performance art, to inform her work and help her become a flexible artist. However, she hopes to eventually work in film animation. “My goal is to

make animations for films and children’s novels about African subject matter and stories.” With half of her coursework behind her, Liz has grown to love how all these different disciplines connect. “I tell stories using characters. Performance lends itself really well to the process of illustrating and animating because I get to embody this character in all its different forms.” She believes that telling these stories and working with characters through performance art will help her with animation and visual storytelling. “Everything ends in performance but it involves sculpture, sound, and illustration,” she explained. Liz has continued to fuel her interest in storytelling by learning more about body control and movement through taking dance classes on the Medford campus. Performance art is the ultimate product of a wellrounded foundation for Liz. “It’s been a really amazing journey; I’ve done a series of performances and they are pretty much different every single time.” One


piece, titled It. And she. featured a sculpture crafted of wire, wood, and teacups. In a recent Tufts Now article, Liz explains that the first half of the piece is a dance, and in the second she wears the piece and serves herself tea and biscuits. Her most recent piece, though, spoke to a recent incident in her hometown of Johannesburg where a young girl was put in detention because her natural hair did not conform with the dress code. The point of this piece, according to Liz, was to promote a discussion about where and when culture intersects with assimilation. “It’s hard to get the themes that you care about or worry about, especially heavy subject matter, to impact people in a beautiful and powerful way,” she said. The art of capturing beauty within negative issues is one with which many art students must grapple. However, Liz is well on her way to creating critical thought and conversation on difficult subjects through her beautiful art pieces in all forms. —CHLOE MALOUF ’20





By Liam Knox ’19






ctive citizenship is an important cornerstone of the Tufts experience. Leaders at Tufts, from professors to the Provost, prioritize shaping active citizens who go out and change their communities for the better. While Tufts students spend much of their time on campus, Tufts’ host communities of Medford and Somerville, in addition to Boston and the greater metro area, are an integral part of many students’ experience. Whether they interact with the community through classes, internships, clubs, or just personal ventures, Jumbos know that their community is made up of more than just those who attend or work for the university. Tufts’ academic departments understand that education can’t take place solely within the social bubble that is a college campus, and often make concerted efforts to ensure students can take what they learn in class out into the community. Majors such as environmental studies, community health, and child study and human development even have an internship or direct practice component built into the major requirements. Lucy Fell ’17 spent the spring semester of her senior year interning at the Youth Scholars Program at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Community Health Improvement, which works to engage young people in the Greater Boston area who are interested in medical or health-related careers. Her job was to help develop and run a five-week stroke education program for adolescents, during which each week was focused on a different part of a stroke patient’s care, from being diagnosed in the emergency room to long-term rehabilitation. After graduating from Tufts, Lucy plans to move to Madrid and teach English (and hopefully coach a youth girls’ soccer team), but also continue to explore her passion for education and public health, an interest solidified by her internship. “I am just very grateful for the opportunity because without all the support from the community health department, I wouldn’t have been able to intern while taking classes,” she said. “The experience of getting out of the Tufts bubble and working in the surrounding community was invaluable…you learn so much about different neighborhoods and what Tufts students can do to engage.”

Tufts’ emphasis on community engagement benefits both its students but also the members of the communities in which they live; our Department of Music provides a terrific example. Edith Auner, the department’s chamber music and outreach director, founded the Community Music Program in 2007 to offer creative outlets to members of our neighboring communities, and Greater Boston residents have been enjoying its programs, camps, performances, and lesson opportunities ever since. “I think exposing people to good music in concert is very valuable,” Edith said. “I also think that performing is really valuable—the sense of accomplishment and the glow after having just successfully performed is very cool to see.” For Edith, making the Community Music Program accessible to families is a crucial part of the program’s mission: there is a Families in Need scholarship that is given to local families who want to take advantage of the university’s musical resources, but may not be able to afford the full price. She said that when institutions like Tufts share their often-abundant resources with their host communities, everyone benefits. “I think that since we have these resources, it makes perfect sense for the Department of Music to do what we can for the community,” she said. “That you could live here and wonder about Tufts but not have any reason to come would be a shame.” Getting out of the college bubble can also happen in your classes. One entrepreneurial marketing class tasks students with creating marketing plans for local start-ups, while a Boston Architecture and Urbanism class utilizes field trips to focus on local buildings from colonial times to the 1970s. Professor and Chair of Earth and Ocean Sciences Jack Ridge teaches classes like Environmental Geology and Geomorphology, which are centered around field trips to observe geologic phenomena in real life. Professor Ridge says these trips are not only fun for the students, but also enhance their understanding of course topics further than a textbook or lecture is capable of alone. He explained, “There’s a lot to be gained from seeing slides of things and pictures, but to actually dig in it or experience it in the field is another thing entirely.” Classes in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences have a wide array of natural resources to reinforce lessons, from the nearby, like the Middlesex Fells Reservation in Medford, to those just a few hours away, like New Hampshire’s White Mountains. For Professor Ridge, excursions to these places allow students to get excited about the field he loves so much. He said that not only do the field trips contribute greatly to students’ understanding of topics like rock formation and geological history, but also to their interest in geologic research and field study in general. “We push the envelope all the time in terms of what we know about something…I would call that discovery,” he said. “When I’m out in the field, and students too, it’s like working on a giant puzzle…I’ve always thought solving that puzzle is very interesting, and being on field trips with students, I think they do too.” Many students also volunteer for organizations where they can use the skills they gain at Tufts to give back to the university’s host communities. In fact, the largest student organization on campus is the Leonard Carmichael Society, the umbrella community service group that boasts over three hundred members and forty member groups. To expand their reach even further, Tufts students can pursue a bridge year of full-time service before they matriculate as part of the Tufts 1+4 Bridge-Year Service Learning Program. All Tufts students have access to the Tisch College of Civic Life, a university-wide college that is the catalyst for active citizenship on campus and beyond. Through the Tisch College, students can apply for internship grants in the public service sector or apply to be a Tisch Scholar, a program that features a yearlong fieldwork seminar. It is evident that Tufts students thrive when given the chance to apply their knowledge for the greater good of the community. Last year, Claudia Mihm ’18 worked with Girls Who Code, a national organization which is dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Once a week at Brown Middle School in Chelsea, she teaches sixth graders basic coding from a socially conscious angle. “It’s really exciting because code can be a tool for empowerment, especially with young girls thinking about all the different ways they can help their community through technology,” she said. “It’s definitely a great setup that goes a lot further than just giving them the hard skills of how to write a for loop.” Claudia is a double major in computer science and child study and human development, and says that she plans on using both in her career, which she hopes will include designing technology curriculum for students along inclusive and interdisciplinary lines. “The tech world is at a really interesting crossroads right now where everything is related to tech, and the old culture of it being a boy’s club where you just code ‘cool’ stuff that doesn’t really have social impact consideration doesn’t work anymore,” she said. “Early exposure is so crucial,

and it really helps affirm what I’m doing to go into a classroom and see kids get excited about learning coding.” Claudia said that Tufts’ computer science program enabled her to take her learning outside of the labs and classrooms where most official coding education takes place. “The department is smaller and they do that very intentionally so you can double major…if you’re like me and think ‘I don’t need to go work for Microsoft,’ it’s only ten classes so you can double major and apply computer science ideas to other fields.” She added that the experience has challenged her to think about the privilege and responsibility that come with attending an educational institution like Tufts. She had spent the previous summer helping to run a summer camp based around coding education in New York City. At Brown Middle School, most of Claudia’s students are low-income, and many are still learning English as a second language. “I think because of the world I grew up in, I’ve spent a lot of time with kids that have a similar background to me. … different experiences have different learning styles, and that’s something I didn’t think a lot about,” she said. “It’s definitely pushed me to grow a lot as a teacher and as someone who is thinking about how to build technology for children and how to make it inclusive.” Edith and Professor Ridge are just two examples of how Tufts faculty go out of their way to expand the definition of a university community, and what Lucy and Claudia gained from their Tufts experience simply wouldn’t have been the same without the Boston-area people and organizations they worked with, taught, and most importantly, learned from. These are only snapshots of specific student experiences, but they illustrate something important about Tufts: community is not contained within a “bubble,” it is as broad and inclusive as each student’s chosen experience with it.



PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR AND ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP STUDIES MINOR FROM PHILADELPHIA, PA Whether he is leading the First Generation Student Council or choreographing for our hip-hop dance troupe, Greg is one of those Tufts students who is everywhere on campus. He is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Here, he answers our supplemental essay questions so you can get to know him, Tufts, and our application all at the same time!


Which aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” (50 –100 words) You’ll hear it time and time again because it’s unwaveringly true: Tufts is its people. When I first arrived on campus for pre-orientation, I was welcomed (perhaps a bit overwhelmingly) by a group of upperclassmen. As I met more people, I specifically remember remarking in disbelief how everyone could be so “disgustingly nice.” Coming from a rough-and-tumble background, admittedly highly skeptical that this warmth was genuine, I thought perhaps it was all a temporary front for new freshmen. It wasn’t. Three years later, I know this culture of kindness to be true. Why still Tufts? Because the sincerity of Jumbos is contagious.

There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised—your family, home, neighborhood, or community—and how it influenced the person you are today. (200–250 words) Dad worked seven days a week at our family restaurant for most of my childhood, and the restaurant was more home than my actual one. Popular among Italian families, I grew up playing with my sisters, the regular customers’ children, and the cooks’ kids. Mom and twin sisters raised me, three very headstrong women. My sisters, having six more years’ experience in stealthy ruckus-making, turned banquet tables into race tracks, and outfitted me with oversized cardboard boxes as my wheels, and themselves as my motor. Coat racks became monkey bars, and sneaking ice cream from industrial freezers was the daily crime. Mom demonstrated what unconditional support looked like. Knowing little English, she effortlessly filled in wherever needed, from taking orders to operating the register to managing deliveries. Dad was the poster boy of whistling-while-you-work. Tireless, he moved fast but easy, and always wore a smile for both his customers and staff. He taught me compassion early on; exchanging homeless men’s cups of pennies for dollars so they could buy food at the local deli without embarrassment. My early life spoke to me about hardships, but I’ve listened only to the joys. My parents taught by example with their grace in the face of hard work, and my sisters gave me the creativity to make the best of anything by making use of everything. At Tufts, whether it’s presenting at a conference or TCU Senate meeting, I carry their voices with me whenever I speak and whenever I listen.


What makes you happy? (200–250 words)*

Greg’s Book Recommendation: Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau “My Tufts In Talloires course, Non-Fiction Writing, is currently studying this book which is regarded as the world’s first modern autobiography. An interesting and eloquent read into the life and mind of a complex, and often controversial, political philosopher.”

It’s the winter smiles I get from watching my 13-year-old dog carelessly plow through 2 icy snow banks with her own face. Or the fall laughs I’ve had with my 14 new hallmates sharing embarrassing histories in a Dewick dining hall table made for 8. Or perhaps it’s the summer trespassings embarked with 3 friends into 1 abandoned building, together re-discovering geographies simultaneously old and new. Although these specific stories gave me wonder, the common element of my happiness is from the act of sharing and building stories themselves. People make the best books. We are all stories constantly writing ourselves throughout life, from the beginning, to middle, and end. The most fun I’ve ever had is when stories collide, when journeys dance with one another, even if just for a moment. It never really matters how brief those stories intertwine, whether for a sentence, a paragraph, or a page, but it’s always fascinating how their presence influences your chapters and changes how your story ultimately unfolds. The best memories I have are of stories. Whether it’s listening to them, telling them, or making them, stories are what have made my life interesting and fun. Happiness is when I’m with people I care about, and we’re all game to share our old stories and create new ones. …that and spooning Nutella. Straight up. From the jar. A Costco-sized jar.

*Want to see the other options for the third question on our supplemental application? Visit 29


BOSTON’S HIDDEN GEMS A trip to Boston usually includes destinations like Faneuil Hall or Fenway Park, but it is the hidden gems that make Boston such an exciting city. Students and staff weigh in on their favorite spots!

One of the coolest things about Boston is Chinatown. Hei La Moon is the best spot for dim sum in the area. Also, Beard Papa’s has the best creampuffs and mochi icecream in the world!

Just minutes away from the Museum of Fine Arts, this space features everything from paintings, to tapestries, and a beautiful outdoor patio. Admission is discounted if you are wearing Red Sox apparel and free if your name is Isabella!

With the most comprehensive display of original WWII artifacts on exhibit anywhere in the world, a visit here warrants at least 3 hours. The museum employs WWII Veterans who are happy to talk to you about their experience.

If you are at the Fenway Campus, look no further than this street for your food fix. While students swear by the burritos from El Pelón Taqueria, you can also find great Thai food and much more.

With the mission of teaching fabrication, this is a great space for anyone who likes to craft. You can take classes in everything from jewelry to electronics and use any of the materials in the 40,000-squarefoot warehouse. 30


Literally translated to “Share Your Dreams” this tiny ramen joint has only two options on the menu—ramen with two or five pieces of pork. After your meal, you are encouraged to proclaim your dreams to fellow customers.

While it might look like an ordinary café, Knight Moves is stocked with every board game you could ever think of—over 1,000 to be exact.

As one of the more intimate concert venues in Boston (it holds under 1,000 people!), this club hosts a wide variety of musical acts. Recently, Tufts alums Guster played a four-night 25th anniversary show!

If you find yourself wandering in the North End (Boston’s own Little Italy), be sure to check out Bova’s Bakery. They have everything from cannoli to Boston cream pie. The best part? They are open 24/7.

Whether you want to learn to sail, or just rent a kayak for a few hours, be sure to head to the dock located on the Charles River Esplanade between the Hatch Shell and Longfellow Bridge.

If you are missing your dog while in college, look no further than the dog park in Boston Common. The one section near the Park St. MBTA stop (up a quick hill) lets dogs run around to their hearts’ content.

Find your new favorite shopping spot right in Davis Square. This store resells used clothing for the environmental, humanitarian, and financial benefit—for an unbeatable price.







the dreaded syllabus: home to a smattering of deadlines…and a section called “required reading.” Whether you’re literature-ambivalent or a bibliophile who totes around tattered copies of your favorite novels, those words probably don’t elicit much excitement. Usually, “required reading” recalls textbooks and dense scholarly articles. But what if it could mean something more? Across disciplines, Tufts professors work to redefine required reading by assigning books that mean something to their students. Every so often, these books transcend the syllabus, shaping the semesters that come afterward. When Sam Usher ’18 walked into his Human Factors class sophomore year, he was already declared as a mechanical engineer, but he had some doubts about his major. His friends recommended that he consider Human Factors, so he signed up for the introductory class, taught by Professor of the Practice Daniel Hannon. As the course’s required reading, students were assigned The Design of Everyday Things, a best-selling book written by cognitive scientist and engineer Donald Norman. “It felt more engaging than a textbook because he used real-world examples to explain each of the concepts, instead of just defining vocabulary,” Sam explained. Between class lectures and the book, Sam found himself looking at things differently—including the kitchen stove. “You never really know which knob corresponds with which burner,” he said. The alternative presented by Norman is to use spatial mapping, arranging the knobs so that they correspond with the placement of the burners on the stove. “It was really eye-opening,” Sam said. “The book said there was no such thing as dumb users, just bad designs. And the point of a good design is that people should be able to use it

without having to think about it.” Sam’s experience in that course—especially the final project, in which he and his partner designed and 3D-printed an iPhone holder that could be used for gaming—inspired him to switch majors. “What I love about Human Factors is that it’s a good mixture of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills: you learn coding, but you also think about empathizing with users,” Sam said. It was that combination—of technical knowledge and a human approach—that he found mirrored in Donald Norman’s book. Carolyn Margulies ’18, a double major in sociology and French, was also looking for a way to combine her interests. Both of her majors require a lot of reading: in the course of a day, she might immerse herself in a qualitative study on gender, then parse classic French literature. But she didn’t find much overlap between the two areas of study until this past semester, when she took 20th and 21st Century Female French Writers with Senior Lecturer Claire Schub. “We talked a lot in the class about what it means to be a female writer, and what it means to be a female writer in the context of a literature that is so based in male writing,” Carolyn said. One of the books on the list of required texts was Simone de Beauvoir’s exploration of the treatment of women throughout history, Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex). It jumped out at Carolyn immediately. That same semester, in her Qualitative Research Methods of Sociology course, she was conducting a semester-long research project on how people with non-binary gender identities navigate the French language. “Gender is not something that’s discussed very much in French,” Carolyn explained, “so critical discourse on gender and femininity is not widely available.” That’s what made Le Deuxième Sexe so special. “It tied together everything that I had been learning for the past couple of years and solidified my decision [to major in both areas],” Carolyn said. “This is why I study French. This is why I study sociology. To be able to read stuff like this, understand it, and then put it into practical use in the greater scheme of the world.” When we talk about the transformative power of literature, this is partially what we mean: that a good book can spur us to action—whether that action is declaring a different major or deconstructing systems of oppression. But sometimes the transformative power of a good book is a quieter thing: an unexpected connection between two subjects, a question we’re inspired to ask, or an hour spent reading for fun. Last fall, Finn Pounds ’19 decided to establish a new routine: he would eat an early dinner in the dining hall every day, devoting that hour to reading books that weren’t assigned for any of his classes. His most recent favorite is Feynman’s Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life by Leonard Mlodinow. Finn is, in case you were wondering, a physics (and math) major. The books he reads for fun aren’t usually an escape from his academic subjects—they’re a way of delving into those subjects more deeply. Finn came to college expecting to be an English major—but that was before he fell in love with physics and math. He still makes time in his schedule to take literature courses, on topics ranging from Shakespeare to The Japanese Short Story. In the latter course, taught by Professor Susan Napier, Finn began to notice connections between literature and physics. “A lot of physics, when approaching areas that are fundamentally not on a human scale, likes to use anthropomorphic terms to describe the interactions, particles, and theorems,” he explained. “It’s interesting to notice parallels between the


THIS SEEMS TO BE A COMMON THEME: THE BEST BOOKS LEAVE ROOM FOR THE READER TO MAKE CONNECTIONS.” wording of those anthropomorphisms and similar terms that pop up in [Japanese] literature.” Finn is eager to discover connections between math and literature, too. When I spoke to him, he mentioned Zipf’s Law, which states that—in any literary text or large body of words— the frequency of any word is inversely proportional to its rank in the frequency table. To put that in layman’s terms, the second most-used word will occur in the text half as much as the most popular word, and the twenty-seventh most-used word occurs a twenty-seventh as much as the most popular word. Finn first learned about Zipf’s Law “while poking around in some academic papers” and took it upon himself to do an experiment. “I got a word frequency calculator, I got a PDF of Ulysses, and I just ran it through. And the word frequency distribution was 1/x with an r^2 of like 0.9. I was like, ‘this is actually true,’” he said. That discovery inspired him: he now wants to teach a course in the Experimental College on mathematical approaches to literary analysis. Talking to Finn, I realized that this is how reading—both in the classroom and outside of it—should be: an extension of one’s curiosity. He agreed. “I think it’s important to acknowledge that the best work and reading gets done when you have an appetite for it,” he said. For Maia Tarnas ’19, mustering an intellectual appetite has not been a problem. She is double majoring in community health and Middle Eastern studies, with a minor in Arabic. “I’m hoping to eventually do something along the lines of infectious disease control in refugee populations or in zones of crisis,” she told me. In her Introduction to Islam class, taught by Associate Professor of Religion Ken Garden, Maia was assigned A Quiet Revolution by Leila Ahmed. It was the first book she had been

introduced to that discussed the topic of veiling within a sociopolitical context. “I loved this book because it granted women autonomy,” Maia explained. “In some Western media and in a lot of social discourse, especially now, veiling is portrayed as a repressive tradition. A Quiet Revolution specifically illustrates how veiling, in most situations, is a choice made by women for a myriad of reasons.” Maia enjoyed the book so much that she brought it with her into another course, Cultural History of the Modern Middle East, as a source for her term paper. Inspired by the discussion of veiling in A Quiet Revolution, she wrote about the intersection of fashion and political movements in Egypt under Nasser and Sadat. “It linked my loves of the Middle East and costume design,” she said. This seems to be a common theme: the best books leave room for the reader to make connections. I’m an English major. It might not be surprising that required reading has mattered to me, too. My favorite professor once told her memoir literature class, “What people miss most about college is the opportunity to sit around and talk about books like they’re the most important thing in the world.” I was a sophomore then—I had so much time still to be spent around seminar tables, reading favorite passages aloud, debating with classmates over the meaning of a single line—but I knew, as soon as she said it, that this was the thing I would miss. What I didn’t realize is that good books—books that bridge connections between disparate topics, speak to our most difficult questions, and complement our interests—were shaping the paths of students across campus, regardless of major. Most of us recycle the syllabus on the last day of class, ready to rid ourselves of the crossed-off assignments and deadlines. But those books compiled into a small list on the syllabus and labeled “required?” Sometimes they stay with us. 35



Try the food: Whether you go to one of our all-you-can-eat dining centers or grab a bite to go at the Campus Center, trying some oncampus food is always a good idea. After all, it could be the primary place you eat for the next four years. Be sure to ask the tour guides what their favorite dining hall is…. they will most definitely have some very strong opinions.

Head down to the gym: The Tisch Sports and Fitness Center was renovated just a few years ago and is open for visitors to check out! You will even find the history of our mascot, Jumbo the Elephant, in the foyer.


Walk around…even more: Take a nice walk around campus with your family, especially the parts that we missed on the tour (like the Res Quad). It is helpful to get a feel for it yourself after the tour is done. As you stroll, ask yourself if this feels like a place you could spend four years. Is it a walkable campus? Does it feel welcoming? What are people doing? These are important questions!

Grab coffee at the Campus Center: There are always plenty of students at the Campus Center so it is a good way to get a feel for the community here. Ask someone why they chose Tufts or about their experience here. The more interactions, the better the visit. We even recommend eavesdropping a bit. You’ll learn what students care about, what they’re doing this weekend, and even how happy they are!

Peek inside our newest buildings: Stroll downhill to the Science and Engineering Complex or the Collaborative Learning and Innovation Complex (CLIC). Both buildings are LEED certified and focus on collaboration. They’re a bit out of the way of the tour route, but worth a visit. You can explore our classrooms and may even run into a professor!

Sit in on a class: Many professors are open to having prospective students sit in on their lectures. Reach out before you plan on arriving, introduce yourself before class, and don’t be afraid to get involved in discussion! This way, you can get a taste of what a class at Tufts is like and talk to some students other than your tour guide. Visit our website for available classes!

Hang out on the President’s Lawn: The President’s Lawn is the central green space on the side of the hill. On a nice day, you have a beautiful view of the Boston skyline, and it is a great place to sit and relax or enjoy a meal. And in the winter, it is the primary sledding hill on campus, so if you see a sled (or a pair of skis) hanging around, you’ll know why!

Explore Davis Square: Take a ride on the shuttle or go for a short stroll to Davis Square in Somerville. From Davis, you can hop on the MBTA (the subway system that will get you to the heart of Boston) or check out other fun shops and amazing restaurants. We always suggest Dave’s Fresh Pasta for the best sandwiches in the area.


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 *available only as a second major Africana Studies American Studies Anthropology Applied Mathematics Applied Physics Arabic Archaeology Architectural Studies Art History Astrophysics Biochemistry Biology Biomedical Engineering Sciences* Biopsychology Biotechnology* Chemical Physics Chemistry Child Study and Human Development Chinese Classical Studies Cognitive and Brain Sciences Community Health Computer Science Drama Economics Education* Engineering Psychology/ Human Factors English Environmental Studies* Film and Media Studies French Geological Sciences/Earth and Ocean Sciences Geology/Earth and Ocean Sciences German Language and Literature German Studies Greek Greek and Latin History Interdisciplinary Studies International Literary and Visual Studies


International Relations Italian Studies Japanese Judaic Studies Latin Latin American Studies Mathematics Middle Eastern Studies Music Peace and Justice Studies Philosophy Physics Political Science Psychology Psychology/Clinical Concentration Quantitative Economics Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Russian Language and Literature Science, Technology, and Society* Sociology Spanish Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING MAJORS PROFESSIONAL DEGREES

Biomedical Engineering Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Computer Engineering Computer Science Electrical Engineering Environmental Engineering Mechanical Engineering ADDITIONAL DEGREE OPTIONS

Architectural Studies Engineering Engineering Physics Engineering Psychology/ Human Factors Engineering Science Environmental Health

ARTISTIC DISCIPLINES The SMFA at Tufts’ curriculum is interdisciplinary. All students explore many of the following areas of study: Animation Bookmaking Film/Video Ceramics Drawing Digital Media Graphic Arts Graphic Design Illustration Installation Metals Painting Papermaking Performance Photography Printmaking Sculpture Sound Visual and Critical Studies FIVE-YEAR COMBINED DEGREE PROGRAMS 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 MINORS Africana Studies Arabic Architectural Engineering Architectural Studies Art History Asian American Studies Astrophysics Biotechnology Engineering Chemical Engineering Child Study and Human Development Chinese Colonialism Studies Computer Science Dance

COPY AND PASTE LIST FROM Drama PREVIOUS ISSUE Economics Education Engineering Education Engineering Management English Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies Film and Media Studies Finance Food Systems and Nutrition French Geology Geoscience Geosystems/Earth and Ocean Sciences German Greek Greek Archaeology Greek Civilization Hebrew History Italian Japanese Judaic Studies Latin Latin American Studies Latino Studies Leadership Studies Linguistics Mathematics Medieval Studies Music Music Engineering Philosophy Physics Political Science Religion Roman Archaeology Roman Civilization Russian Science, Technology, and Society Sociology Spanish Studio Art Urban Studies Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


CLASS HIGHLIGHTS ENGLISH With a wide range of classes, our Department of English examines literary works in historical, social, philosophical, and political contexts. Here are a few of the courses offered this semester!

CIVIL ENGINEERING The civil engineering major focuses on the interactions between the natural and built environments. Its faculty educates students to become leaders in solving important societal problems. Here are some classes they’re offering this semester!

Creative Writing: Fiction

Steel Bridge

Forms of Poetry


Writing in the Beat Generation

The Art of Building

Hitchcock: Cinema, Gender, Ideology

Advanced Structural Analysis

From Beijing to Bollywood: The Cinema of India and China

Subsurface Fluid Dynamics

Environmental Justice and World Literature

Reinforced Concrete Design

Old English

River Hydraulics and Stream Restoration

Queer Diasporas

Geographical Information Systems

Boston Radicals

Finite Element Analysis

American Women Writers

Public Health




Common Application or Coalition Application


Tufts Writing Supplement


High School Transcript(s)


APPLICATION DEADLINES AND NOTIFICATION DATES Early Decision I Application Deadline: November 1 Notification Deadline: December 15

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 a. For applicants to the School or Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, or the Combined Degree Programs with the SMFA at Tufts or the NEC: SAT with two subject tests or ACT. b. For applicants to the SMFA at Tufts’ BFA program: SAT or ACT. Subject tests are not required.

21,101 Applications 3,127 Acceptances 15% Acceptance rate 100% of Demonstrated Financial Need Met 12% First Generation Students 10% International Students


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


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

32–34 Middle 50% ACT 710–770 Middle 50% SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 720–790 Middle 50% SAT Math

TUFTS UNDERGRADUATE STATISTICS 5,459 Undergraduate Enrollment


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 a list of financial aid documents required of international, undocumented, or DACA applicants, please visit

4.8 Miles from Boston 23 Average Class Size 28 Varsity Sports Teams 300+ Student Groups 36% Women in the School of Engineering


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.

45% of Juniors Study Abroad 36% Need Based Aid Recipients 80 Countries Represented 31% US Students of Color *As of July 1, 2017

BOOKS STAFF RECOMMENDED To conclude our summer reading issue, the undergraduate admissions staff has some final recommendations for you. Happy reading!

Dune Frank Herbert “I believe that Dune is one of the best science fiction novels of all time because it perfectly weaves together politics, religion, technology, and a fantastic story.” —Billy Rison, Assistant Director of Admissions The Winter Fortress Neal Bascomb “It’s for the history nerds out there who love finding little known stories of bravery and sacrifice. It’s the story of the secret mission by Norwegian saboteurs to thwart Nazi attempts to build an atomic bomb.” —Patrick Gladstone, Assistant Director of Admissions


Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty “If it’s not too late, read this before you watch the HBO series. For those who already indulged in the

miniseries, read Moriarty’s other stuff, particularly The Husband’s Secret.” —Meredith Reynolds, Associate Director of Admissions

I Remember Joe Brainard “Decidedly simple as an autobiography that sets down specific memories as they seem to rise to the surface of his consciousA Little Life ness, each prefaced by Hanya Yanagihara ‘I remember.’ As an artist “I love how the author concerned with ideas of captures the authenticity memory, coming of age, and and intensity of friendships repetition, I find a timeless between the four main and universal connection to characters. Their story is a the book as Brainard recalls roller coaster of hope and fantasies, thoughts, and his despair, but it’s totally worth own personal history.” the tears!” —Sean Ashburn, —Nathan Wyrick, Assistant Admissions Counselor Director of Admissions The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz “Junot Díaz is a master of words, seamlessly interweaving Spanish and English into his narrative of the U.S. immigrant experience as told through the life of a sci-fi loving Dominican nerd.” —Jessica Acosta-Chavez, Assistant Director of Admissions

Modern Romance Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg “Funny and informative, this is a perfect summer read—it provides insight into the world of data around dating without being too heavy to digest or apply to real life.” —Sayaka Smith, Admissions Counselor

Dataclysm Christian Rudder “My friends hate this book, if only because I talk about it so much! Rudder uses anonymized data from OkCupid to expose modern society’s biases and stereotypes in a way that reaches far beyond just online dating.” —Yulia Korovikov, Assistant Director of Admissions This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class Elizabeth Warren “If you are interested in politics, economics, or history, Senator Warren gives us a quick read into the history of wealth in America over the last 80 years.” —Thomas Esponnette, Assistant Director of Admissions Sarah’s Key Tatiana de Rosnay “Told in two different time periods, 1942 and 2002,

this story intertwines the lives of a young girl arrested during the Holocaust and the journalist who is investigating her story. This book sheds light on an important time in history while creating relatable and authentic characters.” —Jaime Morgen, Assistant Director of Admissions Neverwhere Neil Gaiman “I stayed firmly planted in my favorite armchair to read this in one sitting. I have a soft spot for fantasy, and Neverwhere gave me just that with additional healthy doses of adventure, mystery, and horror (what more could a girl ask for!) in a fantastical story about a not-so-fantastical Englishman.” —Beky Stiles, Assistant Director of Admissions

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

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

Jumbo Magazine - Summer 2017  

JUMBO is the Tufts undergraduate admissions magazine.

Jumbo Magazine - Summer 2017  

JUMBO is the Tufts undergraduate admissions magazine.