Professor Allyala K. Nandakumar has been appointed chief economist for global health at the Office of Health Systems, Bureau for Global Health, in the U.S. Agency for International Development. A professor of the practice at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Nandakumar was also the director of the school’s Institute for Global Health and Development. He will continue to teach courses at Brandeis on health economics. 

Five Brandeis undergraduates are among the 700 students selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to receive a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which provides up to $5,000 that can be applied to study-abroad costs. Karen Brier, Yuki Wiland, Heather Yoon, Jenny Chen and Emily Huang, all from the Class of 2015, will travel to South Africa, Thailand, The Hague, Chile and Denmark, respectively, during the spring semester.

Historians David Engerman and Michael Willrich have received endowed professorships. Engerman — an authority on the international and intellectual history of the Cold War, and 20th-century Russian and American history — is now the Ottilie Springer Professor of History. And Willrich — who studies U.S. social and political history, with special interests in legal and urban history, the politics of criminal justice and public health, and the Progressive Era — is the Leff Families Professor of History.

The university’s Graduate Professional Studies division has launched a Master of Science degree in strategic analytics. The online program is designed to help business experts harness and make sense of “big data” using advanced analytic tools. Courses focus on the processes by which data are collected, stored, secured, mined, analyzed and then translated into information that can drive strategic decision-making.

At the Heller School, the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) has received a $2.9 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to complete and launch, the first nationally comprehensive interactive online database tool for exploring data, policy information and policy analysis on the well-being of U.S. children across racial and ethnic groups. ICYFP also received a grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a four-year project to evaluate changes to the Massachusetts child-care subsidy program for low-income working families, with a focus on families that face increased barriers to access, such as immigrant families. 

The Brandeis women’s and men’s squads in both cross-country and soccer enjoyed strong showings in the postseason. The women’s cross-country team finished in 22nd place, out of 32 teams, at the NCAA Division III championship. Their male counterparts advanced as far as the New England Division III regional championships, where they tied for 17th place, out of 50 teams. Women’s soccer lost to Castleton State in the final quarterfinal of the ECAC Division III New England tournament. And the men’s soccer team experienced déjà vu all over again when for the second consecutive season they fell to Williams College in Sweet 16 action at the NCAA Division III tournament.

Now in its second year, the Davis Teaching and Learning Fellowship brings together faculty to share ideas about innovative teaching, learning and student assessment. Supported by the Davis Educational Foundation, 14 faculty members from diverse disciplines meet twice monthly to discuss their philosophies of teaching, develop classroom strategies and demonstrate ideas. “The Davis Teaching and Learning Fellows group has quickly become a place for wide-ranging discussions about learning and teaching, from many different viewpoints and disciplines,” says Dan Perlman, program facilitator and associate provost of innovation in education.

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