Around Campus

Jankowski's 'Verdun' wins World War One Historical Association's book prizePosted: Jan. 16, 2015

The World War One Historical Association has awarded Paul Jankowski, the Raymond Ginger Professor of History, the 2014 Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Book Prize for his book “Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War.”

The prize is offered annually for the best historical work on World War One. It consists of a check for $3,000 and a bronze plaque.

The Battle of Verdun is noted for its length - it lasted for 10 months – and its brutality, and is the subject of many books that have largely analyzed the military tactics. Jankowski has been lauded for taking a different approach in his writing. His book provides insight on the human experience and includes both the German and French perspective.

University of Bern honors BrootenPosted: Jan. 12, 2015
Photo/University of Bern

Bernadette J. Brooten, front row, second from left, with her fellow honorary degree recipients

The University of Bern has awarded an honorary doctorate in theology to Bernadette J. Brooten, the Robert and Myra Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies.

The Swiss university recognized Brooten for her groundbreaking research on Jewish and Christian women in antiquity, on the history of sexuality, and on slavery, noting that her work has spurred new discussions within the academy and in society more broadly. Her research on the Apostle Junia was singled out as a milestone in biblical studies and a classic in theological women's studies.

Brooten is the director of the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, which was established, in part, to provide religious communities and society at large with the knowledge and framework needed to recognize and acknowledge past collaboration in slavery, to engage in restorative justice for slavery, and to create sexual ethics untainted by slave-holding values.

Brooten, who is also a professor of classical studies, of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and of religious studies, currently is a fellow-in-residence at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is working to understand why Christian leaders supported slavery for most of Christian history and how that support relates to their regulations on marriage, family and celibacy.

The University of Bern was formally founded in 1834, but the roots of the university dates back to the 16th century when it was founded as a collegiate school in response to the Reformation.

Brandeis named a top 10 school for a sociology degreePosted: Jan. 7, 2015

College Factual has ranked Brandeis as one of the top 10 schools to earn an sociology degree in the United States.

Brandeis earned the sixth spot in a national survey conducted by College Factual that looked at overall academic quality of sociology undergraduate programs.

The web-based college information source recognized Brandeis for blending a liberal arts education with sociology classes to further explore human interactions, especially relating to gender, religion, health and politics. “Along with analyzing theories and methods in the classroom, students at Brandeis are able to gain hands-on experience through engagement with community organizations and local social movements. The school also offers the opportunity to become involved with research.”

Jonathan Sarna lecture to air Dec. 27 on C-SPAN 3Posted: Dec. 23, 2014
Photo/Mike Lovett

A class lecture by Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, on Henry Ford and his support of anti-Semitic publications, will be broadcast on C-SPAN 3 this Saturday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. as well as at midnight as part of its “Lectures in History” series which airs each Saturday.

C-SPAN was on campus in November to film the lecture, which was part of Sarna’s course “It couldn’t happen here: Three American anti-semitic episodes.” Sarna discussed the influence of Henry Ford and his publication, The International Jew, on the American Jewish experience. 

"It was a great honor for me to be selected by C-SPAN for its series," says Sarna. "The students participated actively in the class and we talked about what it meant when one of the greatest men in America declared Jews to be the 'world's foremost problem.' We discussed the great irony that Ford blamed Jews for changing America but never realized that nobody did more to change America than he himself, through the automobile. More broadly, we looked at the motif of the 'mythical Jew' and the 'Jew next door,' which characterizes the Ford saga. Ford lambasted 'Jews' but was mystified that friends and employees who were Jewish took offense. Of course, the descendants of Henry Ford long ago disavowed his anti-semitism. Still, the episode remains important as an object lesson in hatred and its consequences. I am glad to be able to share that lesson with C-SPAN viewers."

Brandeis named a top 10 school for an economics degreePosted: Dec. 12, 2014

Brandeis earned the ninth spot in a national survey conducted by College Factual that looked at overall academic quality of economics undergraduate programs.

The web-based college information source recognized Brandeis for providing a broad range of courses — including international economics and finance, macroeconomics, monetary economics and labor economics — that prepares students to pursue a variety of careers following graduation. It also cited the average early-career and mid-career salaries of its graduates.

Special offer from Brandeis University PressPosted: Dec. 5, 2014

Israel: A History by Anita ShapiraWith the holiday season quickly approaching, Brandeis University Press and University Press of New England are offering all Brandeis students, faculty, staff and alumni a 35 percent discount on all books for a limited time. Purchases of $35 or more qualify for free shipping within the United States.

Books must be ordered online. The discount code is “WW91.” Free shipping will not show up in your shopping cart, but will be applied when orders are processed.

For more information or to make a purchase, visit the Brandeis University Press site. 

Alumnus paints fencing room muralsPosted: Dec. 2, 2014
Photo/ Julian Cardillo
Photo/ Julian Cardillo

The Brandeis Fencing room added a new feature to its decor this off-season.

Thanks to former Judges fencer Chris Spencer ’94, the fencing room now has two painted murals. One depicts university namesake Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis holding a saber. The other is of three fencers, each representing one of the sport’s disciplines — foil, epee and saber — under the words “Brandeis Fencing.”

“We’ve always had a Spartan philosophy in the fencing room, but the opportunity came up to do something new,” said Bill Shipman, Brandeis’s head fencing coach. “Chris did a nice job. It’s very striking, especially the mural of Justice Brandeis holding a saber, it’s appropriate. I think the people passing by the fencing room, and the fencers, will enjoy it.”

The Judges’ take on St. John’s University, Yale University, Columbia University, Cornell University and the Air Force Academy for their home opener on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 9 a.m. at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center.

Lucy Kim wins Boston Artadia AwardPosted: Dec. 1, 2014

Lucy Kim, a lecturer in fine arts, was named one of three winners of a Boston Artadia Award.

Kim, whose work combines sculptural relief and painting to disrupt normal modes of perception and figuration, was selected for the award after the field was narrowed to 10 finalists. The other winners include artists Larissa Bates and Ria Brodell. 

The award comes with an unrestricted $12,000 grant, access to Artadia programs, awardee exhibitions, studio visits and connections with curators, and participation in Artadia projects at art fairs across the country. Artadia funds a rotating cycle of awards in Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.

Society for Neuroscience honors Eve Marder ’69 and Timothy O’LearyPosted: Nov. 11, 2014

Eve Marder ’69, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience, and Timothy O’Leary, a postdoctoral fellow in the Marder lab, will be honored this weekend at Neuroscience2014, the Society for Neuroscience’s annual conference.

Marder will be presented the Award for Education in Neuroscience for her work at Brandeis and across the country promoting neuroscience programs at all career levels. She established one of the first undergraduate neuroscience programs at Brandeis, in 1990, and has trained more than 20 PhD students and 35 postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are women and underrepresented minorities.

Marder is sharing the award with Richard Olivo of Smith College.

O’Leary will be presented the Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience, which recognizes promising young scientists for outstanding research and educational pursuit in an international setting. At Brandeis, O’Leary, who is Welsh, is working to develop accurate models of individual neurons and neuronal networks maintaining homeostasis.

O’Leary will share the award with Nicolas X. Tritsch of Harvard Medical School.

Child Opportunity Index outlined at Health Affairs eventPosted: Nov. 11, 2014
Photo/Bob Stevens, ©rlstevensphotography

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia speaks at the National Press Club in an event held by Health Affairs.

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, the Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and director of the Institute for Child Youth and Family Policy, was among a group of featured authors from the November issue of Health Affairs to speak at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

Acevedo-Garcia discussed her article, “The Child Neighborhood Opportunity Index: a tool for improving the collaboration between community development and public health," co-authored with researchers from the Heller School and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University.   The Child Opportunity Index is a new measurement tool that rates the quality of opportunities for children on a neighborhood and regional level, based on indicators such as availability of quality early childhood education,  healthy physical environments, and supportive socioeconomic environments.

Analysis of the Index across the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas found that high concentrations of black and Hispanic children live in the lowest-opportunity neighborhoods within their metropolitan areas. Forty percent of black and 32 percent of Hispanic children live in very low-opportunity neighborhoods within their metropolitan area, compared to 9 percent of white children. This inequity persists across metropolitan areas but is greater in some areas, especially those with high levels of residential segregation.

The website features a number of ways to explore and utilize the Child Opportunity Index.  Interactive maps allow users to overlay Census population data on the Child Opportunity Index, showing where children of different racial and ethnic groups live and how these patterns correspond with levels of neighborhood opportunity. Users can also create interactive rankings and bar charts to gain further insights into the differing geographies of opportunity that children face in their neighborhoods.

“Policy makers increasingly recognize the concept of neighborhood opportunity in the development of housing for low-income families,” Acevedo-Garcia said. “Through its web-based mapping system and database, the Child Opportunity Index offers a valuable new tool to the housing and community development fields that is unique both in its focus on children and in its ability to facilitate analyses of racial and ethnic inequities.”

Kate Moran awarded Humboldt FellowshipPosted: Nov. 11, 2014

Assistant professor of philosophy Kate A. Moran has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship to support her work on a book that explores how dependence and interdependence fit into Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy, especially his theory of autonomy. As part of her fellowship, Moran will work with Andrea Marlen Esser, a Kant scholar and professor of philosophy at the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, from January 2015 until the summer of 2016.

“It’s a great honor to receive the Humboldt Fellowship,” says Moran, who speaks German fluently. “I’m very excited about the chance to live in Germany and to work on my research. I’m also excited to have the opportunity to get to know the philosophical community in Germany better.”

The Humboldt Foundation grants more than 600 research fellowships for postdoctoral and experienced researchers each year. The foundation makes its selections based on a researcher’s proposal as well as their past work. Though the foundation allows for long-term projects, the timetable for research is flexible and allows as many as three stays in Germany within three years.

Brandeis partners with Waltham High to bring guidance counselor to national meetingPosted: Nov. 3, 2014
Brandeis University has joined a national campaign to enable more public high school guidance counselors, especially those who work with underserved students, to attend the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s annual meeting in San Diego next October.

Brandeis was the third school pulled into the social media campaign, the High School Counselor Challenge, which encourages colleges and universities to pledge to cover the cost of a high school guidance counselor to attend the conference. Bates College kicked off the campaign by announcing it accepted the challenge and then called out Pitzer College to follow suit. The California college, in turn, tapped Brandeis to do the same.

To honor its commitment, Brandeis offered to cover the cost of a Waltham High School guidance counselor to attend the conference. This includes travel, hotel, meals and conference registration. Brandeis also continued the challenge by asking Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn., to participate.

“Brandeis is thrilled to participate in the high school counselor challenge,” said Jennifer Walker, executive director of admissions. “By funding a counselor from Waltham High to attend the conference, we are investing in both the counselor and the students. These counselors are advocates who work tirelessly to provide support and resources to college-bound students, and their voices should be heard in the national dialogue about school counseling. At its core, this is about social justice in the work of higher education; it aligns perfectly with who we are as a university.”