Around Campus

Brandeis names Samuel Solomon Chief Financial Officer and TreasurerPosted: June 13, 2017
Samuel Solomon M.B.A., Ph.D., C.F.A., has been named by Brandeis University as chief financial officer and treasurer. He will join the university on July 31.

Solomon joins Brandeis from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the world-renowned art and design institute and museum. At RISD, he served as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since early 2014, where he led the finance, risk and information technology areas overseeing a $150 million budget, $150 million debt portfolio and a $325 million endowment fund. He strengthened RISD’s financial operations and structure while leading its strategic financial planning, working closely with the institution’s senior leadership and Board of Trustees.  

Solomon began his higher education career as a business manager in the Northeastern University Athletic office, and was subsequently named budget director and later named assistant treasurer. In 2008, he became treasurer and director of finance leading the treasury, debt, cash management and financial planning areas.

Solomon is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and has an MBA and Ph.D. from Northeastern University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and an officer of the Boston Consortium of Higher Education. He has served on the board of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

Solomon succeeds Marianne Cwalina, senior vice president for finance and treasurer, who is retiring at the end of June.

Schuster Institute, WGBH News Explore interracial marriage through commemorative “Loving Day” seriesPosted: June 13, 2017
WGBH News, in collaboration with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, has launched “Loving Day,” a commemoration series on interracial marriage airing on 89.7 WGBH June 12-14.
Fifty years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 12, 1967 landmark civil rights decision in Loving v. Virginia legally allowed interracial marriage, the effects of the case continue to reverberate.
Mildred Jeter Loving, a woman whose disputed racial heritage has been called both African American and Native American, and Richard Perry Loving, a white man, had been legally married in Washington, D.C. in 1958. But two weeks later, after they had returned to Virginia, they were arrested on charges of violating the state’s 1924 Racial Integrity Act and sentenced to one year in prison. The Lovings challenged their conviction and lost in state court.
Instead of giving up, they moved to Washington, D.C., and took their case all the way to the highest court in the land. And in 1967, they won.
The Supreme Court's groundbreaking civil rights decision in Loving v. Virginia invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage in the U.S. At the time of the decision, 16 other states banned marriage between people of different races. Such anti-miscegenation laws date back to 1664, when Maryland, still a colony, was the first to adopt this kind of law.

The June 12 anniversary is known as Loving Day.
The three-part radio series, “Loving Day,” reports on interracial marriage over the past 50 years, and real-life repercussions as experienced by individuals, couples and families today. How have they dealt with continuing discrimination aimed at them? How have children with interracial parents approached their search for racial identity? And why is one the Lovings’ descendants protesting a new commemorative monument in Richmond?
“This anniversary is an ideal time to revisit the Loving decision and examine the evolution of interracial marriage over the past several decades, as we do on our website,” said Florence Graves, founding director of the Schuster Institute. “As with previous stories from the Institute's Race & Justice reporting project, Sally's work illuminates a complex aspect of race that continues to affect Americans today.”
The stories were produced by reporter Sally Jacobs and producer Josh Swartz and edited by executive editor and producer Aaron Schachter and senior editor Ken Cooper.
“This landmark decision is just as relevant today as it was 50 years ago, and there are important stories to be told by those most greatly affected by it,” said Schachter. “Sally did extensive, thorough reporting for this series, including visiting the Lovings’ hometown and speaking with sources who have never spoken to the media.”
Related resources, including a timeline of state anti-miscegenation laws and important case law, an excerpt from Sheryll Cashin’s recently released book, Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy, and links to maps, relevant websites and other resources to spark learning and discussion can be found on WGBH News’ and the Schuster Institute’s websites.

Waltham youth organization honors Dean Jamele Adams with award for community leadershipPosted: June 13, 2017
Dean of Students Jamele Adams speaks to a group of high school students in the summer of 2016
Dean of Students Jamele Adams received a Community Leadership Award from the Waltham Youth and Community Coalition, a project of the Waltham Partnership for Youth, on June 7.

Adams was nominated by Luke Kirkland, a teen specialist at the Waltham Public Library. In his nomination, Kirkland said that Adams’ support of activities at Waltham High School and the Waltham Public Library are making a difference with the young people of Waltham.

“Jamele has been an unbelievably powerful inspiration to Waltham youth and those who work with Waltham youth. He is a magnetic presence, someone who speaks to the experiences of youth of color and inspires their agency, but who also fuels the fire of youth of all backgrounds,” Kirkland said. “He is an invaluable model for us adult mentors who hope to similarly nurture our youths’ potential…he is an irreplaceable engineer and collaborator in our citywide efforts to build an inclusive community.”

The awards were given to individuals for having the courage to address challenging issues that affect youth; for showing leadership in health and wellness, substance use prevention and treatment; and racial, ethnic and gender equity and justice.

The Waltham Youth and Community Coalition’s mission is to support a culture of mental health and wellness, free of substance misuse, for Waltham youth by connecting all sectors of the community, addressing root causes, and promoting advocacy, education and policy change.
Lisa Fishbayn Joffe named interim director of Hadassah-Brandeis InstitutePosted: June 12, 2017
Lisa Fishbayn Joffe

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe

Brandeis University has appointed Lisa Fishbayn Joffe to serve as interim director of Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI), effective July 1. Joffe will begin work in the role upon the retirement of HBI founding director Shulamit Reinharz.

Joffe is currently HBI’s associate director, and director of HBI’s Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law and of the Boston Agunah Task Force. In addition to serving as interim director of HBI, Joffe will teach “Gender, Multiculturalism and The Law,” cross-listed in the Philosophy and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies departments. Professor Sylvia Barack Fishman will continue to serve as Co-Director of HBI.

Founded in 1997, HBI is a research institute at Brandeis with a mission to develop fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide, by producing and promoting scholarly research, artistic projects and public engagement.

“I am thrilled that Lisa has agreed to serve in this position,” said Brandeis Provost Lisa M. Lynch, Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy. “Her background and scholarship is a perfect match for HBI’s international and interdisciplinary focus on Jewish women’s issues and gender issues in diverse contexts.” 

Phylllis Hammer, chair of HBI’s board of directors said, “With Lisa’s appointment, I know that HBI’s leadership will be in wonderful hands. Lisa is a rising star, and over the past 10 years we have watched her guide the HBI into new areas of inquiry with excellent scholarship and leadership.”

Joffe received her bachelor of laws from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and graduate degrees in law from Harvard Law School. Joffe joined HBI in 2007 and created the Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law (GCRL) project with founder and chair, Sylvia Neil.

“At HBI we seek to highlight the multicultural, multi-racial and economically diverse identities of Jewish women; to fully explore the experience of LGBTQ Jews and to engage in interreligious dialogue with women of other religious traditions around shared struggles,” said Joffe. “It is a great privilege to succeed Shula as director of HBI, who has been a mentor and friend since I arrived at HBI.  I look forward to building on the ebullient, entrepreneurial spirit Shula cultivated at HBI, and the institute will continue to be open to new ideas and collaborations.”

Joffe’s scholarship includes Gender, Religion and Family Law: Theorizing Conflicts Between Women’s Rights and Cultural Traditions (with Sylvia Neil, Brandeis University Press, 2012); The Polygamy Question (with Janet Bennion, Colorado University Press, 2015); Women’s Rights and Religious Law (with Fareda Banda, Routledge Press, 2016) and a special issue of Nashim on New Historical and Legal Perspectives on Jewish Divorce (Volume 31, forthcoming 2017). She is editor, with Sylvia Neil, of the Brandeis University Press Series on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law.  A more complete list of her publications is available here.

Brandeis neuroscientist Eve Marder '69 receives honorary degree from Tel Aviv UniversityPosted: May 30, 2017
Eve Marder receives honorary degree from Tel Aviv University

Eve Marder '69, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience, was awarded an honorary degree by Tel Aviv University May 18.

While in Tel Aviv, Marder met with scientists, post doctoral researchers and graduate students, and gave two talks, one on scientific publishing titled "Owning your Mistakes," and a scientific talk titled "Variability, Robustness and Neuromodulation in Oscillatory Neurons and Networks."

Marder’s research on small neural circuits found in lobsters and crabs has revolutionized the understanding of the fundamental nature of neuronal circuit operation, including how neuromodulators control behavioral outputs and how the stability of circuits is maintained over time. In 2016, she was awarded the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, along with Carla Shatz and Mike Merzenich, for her groundbreaking research.

She was among a group of nine researchers and leaders from around the world to receive honorary degrees from Tel Aviv University this year.

Postdoc wins grant to research Lyme disease treatmentsPosted: May 23, 2017

Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a nonprofit that funds Lyme disease research, gave the Laure Woods Emerging Leader Award to Nakajima, who works in the lab of Professor of Biology James Haber. The award comes with a $100,000 grant to investigate potential treatments to block immune evasion by the bacteria causing Lyme.

The Foundation announced the award at an event called LymeAid 2017 held in Portola Valley, California on May 21. Actor Alec Baldwin was the master of ceremonies. Singer and songwriter Kenny Loggins performed.

"While it is extremely disheartening to see the rise in tick-borne diseases across the U.S., we are encouraged by the involvement of more researchers in trying to solve the mysteries of this disease and growing awareness of the general public," Linda Giampa, executive director of Bay Area Lyme Foundation, said in a press release.

Alert your hometown newspaper about your graduation from BrandeisPosted: May 21, 2017

The Office of Communications invites all students and their families to alert their hometown news media on the accomplishment of their graduation from Brandeis University.

Below is a standardized form you can fill in and send to the editor of your local newspaper to be recognized in your community. Don't forget to attach a photo to your submission.

Congratulations on your many accomplishments.




[STUDENT NAME], [TOWN/CITY RESIDENT], graduates from Brandeis University

WALTHAM, Mass. - [STUDENT FIRST NAME LAST NAME] of [TOWN/CITY] graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. with a bachelor of [ARTS/SCIENCE] in [MAJOR] at the 66th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 21, 2017.





About Brandeis University:

Brandeis University is a highly competitive private research university with a focus on undergraduate education. Founded in 1948 by the American Jewish community and named for Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, the university embraces the values of academic excellence, critical thinking, openness to all and a commitment to making the world a better place. Located just west of Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts, Brandeis is a member of the Association of American Universities, which represents the 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Brandeis' distinguished faculty are dedicated to the education and support of 3,600 undergraduates and more than 2,000 graduate students.

Brandeis University Office of Communications, 781-736-4200.

Brandeis undergraduates awarded Davis Projects for Peace GrantPosted: May 17, 2017

A project created by two Brandeis students to provide assistance on matters of citizenship, asylum and immigration has received a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant from the Davis United World College Scholars Program.

Created by Jonathan Goldman ’19 and Victoria St. Jean ’19, the Right to Immigration Institute is working towards becoming accredited to provide representation and assistance for asylum seekers in immigration proceedings, in addition to establishing opportunities for people to become trained representatives for asylum seekers. With the Projects for Peace grant, Goldman and St. Jean will create a training program for undergraduate students to become accredited representatives and they will implement a citizenship program for the Waltham Public Schools.

The Davis Projects for Peace grant program was established in 2007 on the occasion of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis’ 100th birthday. Davis was intent on advancing the cause of peace and sought to motivate tomorrow's promising leaders by challenging them to find ways to “prepare for peace.” The Davis family continues to honor her legacy by funding Projects for Peace. The program seeks proposals that address conflict resolution and reconciliation;

foster understanding; provide opportunity, and help to build community.

A total of 120 projects across the country were awarded grants through the program this year. Each project will be implemented over the summer.

Our Generation Speaks wins innovation awardPosted: May 17, 2017

Our Generation Speaks, an incubator and fellowship program that brings together young Israeli and Palestinian leaders to start sustainable ventures, has been named winner of a 2017 New England Innovation Award by the Smaller Business Association of New England.

Founded by Ohad Elhelo '16, MA'17, Our Generation Speaks features a partnership with Brandeis that brings fellows to the Heller School for Social Policy and Management for a 3-month residency. The program also features a partnership with startup accelerator MassChallenge, along with one-on-one coaching for fellows and ongoing support for past fellows and startups established through fellowships.

The innovation awards started with a field of 149 nominees before being narrowed to 50 finalists. Only two not-for-profit organizations - Our Generation Speaks and the Microbiome Health Research Institute, Inc. - were selected for the awards, which were announced at a gala at the Westin Hotel in Waltham on May 11. Past winners of the award include: Staples, Ben & Jerry’s, Brooks Automation, and Kronos, Inc.

Read more about Our Generation Speaks in this profile from Forbes.