Around Campus

New England Philharmonic to premiere David Rakowski symphonyPosted: Oct. 21, 2014

David Rakowski, the Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Composition at Brandeis, will have his fifth symphony premiered by the New England Philharmonic Orchestra on Oct. 25.

David Rakowski"Dance Episodes" will be performed at the Tsai Performance Center in the opening show of the orchestra's 2014-2015 season. Each year, a composer in residence writes a piece for the orchestra and works with conductor Richard Pittman on the score. Rakowski is currently serving as composer in residence for the orchestra. Rakowski is a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in music and has had his compositions played around the world.

The performance of "Dance Episodes" will be the world premiere of the symphony and played as part of a two-part program titled "Shall We Dance" that also includes the world premiere of Bernard Hoffer's "Ligeti Split."

The show and the upcoming season for the orchestra were recently featured on WBUR's The Artery.

More information on the performance can be found on the New England Philharmonic Orchestra's website.

Princeton Review names Brandeis IBS a top business schoolPosted: Oct. 10, 2014

For the seventh consecutive year, the Princeton Review has named Brandeis International Business School (IBS) as one of the best business schools in North America.

Student feedback acknowledged the MBA program’s high academic rigor and invested faculty, noting that the professors at Brandeis IBS are “friendly, extremely smart, and concerned that we graduate with a great job.” Other input touched on the quality of peer-to-peer experiences at the school, identifying the student body as “diverse” and “collaborative.” One student noted the environment as an “excellent cultural mix” with “terrific exposure to other cultures.”

Graduate-level programs at Brandeis IBS have been consistently recognized by worldwide rankings publications, including The Economist and the Financial Times.

"We are pleased that the quality and dedication of our faculty, our community of talented and innovative students, and our global focus and multi-cultural environment has been recognized by the Princeton Review," said Brandeis IBS Dean Bruce Magid, P '15.

The Princeton Review released its 2015 edition of “The Best 296 Business Schools” on Oct. 7. The annual guide is compiled from a survey of more than 21,000 students at the selected schools, and asks them to rate and report on their experiences.

Lemberg Children's Center officially unveiledPosted: Oct. 7, 2014
Photo/Mike Lovett

The recently finished Lemberg Children’s Center hosted its formal dedication and unveiling on Tuesday morning, Oct. 7. Brandeis President Frederick M. Lawrence, Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, Provost Steven Goldstein '78, and Lemberg Executive Director Howard Baker as well as parents, teachers, and staff were on hand for the event. Mayor McCarthy honored the center and President Lawrence with aproclamation, praising their service to the children and families of both the Brandeis community and Waltham. At the end of the unveiling, the center’s children sung “The Garden Song” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with the help of Lemberg teachers and Associate Director of Music Education Scott Kepnes, who joined along with his guitar.

The former Lemberg Children’s Center, which was located inside the main campus, has since been remodeled to house the Crown Center for Middle East Studies. The new Lemberg Center, which is fully handicap accessible, is located on the other side of South Street. The university plans to further develop the center through landscaping, gardening, and constructing a playground for the children.

More information on supporting the Lemberg Children’s Center can be found online.

Aida Yuen Wong to give AHL Foundation LecturePosted: Sept. 10, 2014

Associate Professor of Asian Art Aida Yuen Wong will deliver a lecture in New York City on costume reform and Korean modernization as part of the AHL Foundation's 2014 public lecture series.

Wong's lecture will be based on the attire of Yu Kil-Chun, a 19th century scholar and political activist whose personal effects, including his clothing, are among artifacts belonging to the Peabody Essex Museum.

The lecture is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the Korean Cultural Service of New York at 460 Park Ave. in Manhattan.

Students return to modernized Foster ModsPosted: Sept. 5, 2014
Photo/Mike Lovett

The newly renovated Foster Mods were officially unveiled on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Mohamed Sidique ’15 and Kelsey Segaloff ’15, Foster Mods community advisers, and Senior Vice President of Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel welcomed the 182 residents. They also introduced Department of Community Living Director Timothy Touchette, who recently joined Brandeis, and his staff before cutting the ribbon.

Renovations of the Foster Mods began in mid-May, soon after last year’s seniors left campus following graduation. Improvements were made to the residence halls’ exteriors and interiors, including installing colorful paneling on the outside of the residence halls and updating the living space with new bed frames, desks, refrigerators, stoves, and carpeting. This was the first major renovation of the Foster Mods, which were originally built in 1973.  

“Before these wonderful renovations, if you lived in the Mods or went there to visit friends or to attend a Mod ‘soiree’, you know that the look was very different, the feel was very different inside and out,” said Flagel. “The workers did an amazing job that has dramatically enhanced the experience of living in the Mods.”

Shostak, Cunningham honored at ASA annual meetingPosted: Aug. 15, 2014

Two Brandeis University professors will be honored at the 2014 American Sociological Association’s annual meeting on August 16-19.

Professor David Cunningham will be awarded the Outstanding Book Award from the Section on Peace, War, and Social Conflict for “Klansville, U.S.A,” his work on the rise and fall of the Ku Klux Klan. Additionally, the book received an honorable mention from the Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements.

Associate professor Sara Shostak will be awarded the Robert K. Merton Book Award by the Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology and the Elliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award from the Section on Medical Sociology for her book, “Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health.”

Read more about Shostak’s awards on Provost Direct

Students present at international environmental science summitPosted: July 15, 2014

Margaret Back ’16, Morgan Dashko ’15 and Tasneem Islam ’15

Three Brandeis University students recently presented research findings on nail salon air quality at the 2014 International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology in Houston.

Margaret Back ’16, Morgan Dashko ’15 and Tasneem Islam ’15 reported that workers in 15 nail salons in Greater Boston were exposed to high levels of harmful chemicals which are common in nail polishes, polish removers and acrylic and gel nails. 

The students’ findings were from a study they conducted with colleagues in professor Laura Goldin’s Environmental Health and Justice Program, which is offered through the Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS).

The Justice Brandeis Semester program is part of Brandeis’ commitment to creating and supporting intensive learning experiences with enduring impact, a central goal of the university’s strategic plan.

The students conducted their research in collaboration with Viet-AID, a Vietnamese-American community development organization based in Dorchester, Mass. (many of the estimated 350,000 nail salon workers in the U.S. are Vietnamese women and other immigrants), the Boston Public Health Commission, the Healthy Cosmetology Committee, and Talena Thu Ngo, a Vietnamese business directory.

The trio, the youngest to present at the conference, said their findings were well received. “The attendees were very impressed with our age and student status,” said Islam. “When we first got up to present, it felt as if people we skeptical, but after we started, people seemed to change their expressions to those of genuine interests.”

In addition to gaining experience presenting to a professional audience, the students met environmental health professionals from around the world, including the director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division. “It was such an exciting experience, [especially] hearing about all the environmental research that is being done in the world,” said Islam.

Simon meets with former Brazilian presidentPosted: June 4, 2014

Laurence Simon and former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Laurence Simon, professor and director of Sustainable International Development Programs at the Heller School, recently traveled to Brazil for a series of meetings on international development, including with former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Simon presented da Silva with a Sustainable International Development and Health paperweight.
Congratulations to Joe Du PontPosted: May 12, 2014
Dear Colleagues,

As you may by now already be aware, our terrific dean of the Hiatt Career Center, Joe Du Pont, is departing from Brandeis University to become associate vice president for student affairs at Boston College. While I am very sorry to see Joe leave, he has been offered a tremendous opportunity and I wish him great happiness and success in his new endeavors.

Joe’s last day at Brandeis will be June 2, and members of the students and enrollment team are collaborating with the Hiatt staff to arrange a farewell party for Joe during the last week of May.

The Brandeis community has benefited from Joe’s experience and many contributions. Under his leadership, the Hiatt Career Center transformed into a bustling hub for student success. Joe elevated the university’s employer and alumni development and outreach while strategically forming an outstanding team of professionals to focus on helping our students transform their education into meaningful professional futures. Throughout the economic downturn, the Hiatt team has helped maintain a student placement rate for recent graduates between 95-96 percent at a time when many of our peers saw those rates drop.

With Joe’s departure, we begin a search for new leadership. As Joe’s role has been expanding, we expect a national search to identify candidates who will continue to build our community and corporate relations, as well as further develop our tradition of student success. My thanks to Carolina Figueroa, associate vice president for students and enrollment, who has agreed to chair this search.  It is also my great pleasure to extend thanks to Andrea Dine, the very accomplished director of the Hiatt Career Center, who has agreed to serve as interim dean. I hope you will join me in thanking Joe for his service, and in supporting Andrea in this role.

Andrew Flagel

Senior vice president for students and enrollment
Marc Brettler's "Three Testaments" wins IPPY book awardPosted: May 9, 2014

Marc Brettler, the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies, has been awarded an Independent Publisher Book Award for his contributions to "Three Testaments: Torah, Gospel, and Quran," a work that explores the connections between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Brettler shares the award with editor Brian Arthur Brown and co-authors Amir Hussain, Laleh Bakhtiar, David Bruce, Henry Carrigan, Ellen Frankel and Nevin Reda. "Three Testaments" tied for the gold medal in its category, Religion, with "The Messianic Feast: Moving Beyond the Ritual," by T. Alex Tennent. 

The awards, known as the IPPYs, launched in 1996 and are designed to bring increased recognition to titles published by independent authors and publishers. This year, 275 medalists were chosen from 4,000 submissions in 78 categories. 

Community service celebrated at BrandeisPosted: May 1, 2014

CTSA Award winners

It was quite a year for community service at Brandeis. BEMCo volunteered at the Boston Marathon, the Brandeis Black Student Organization piloted a college access program at Waltham High School, more than 60 students traveled to Honduras as part of Global Brigades, Brandeis hosted a special day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the Waltham Group reached their highest number of volunteers, averaging 800 students per semester.

On April 28, the 5th Annual Celebration of Service honored those students, staff, faculty and community partners who participated in community service work throughout the course of the year. The event’s speakers included Andrew Flagel, senior vice president for students and enrollment, Marsha Patel '14, the founding president of Brandeis Brigades, and community partner Marilyn Lee-Tom, executive director of the Community Day Center of Waltham.

In addition to celebrating all those who participated in service, this year's event paid special tribute to seniors who logged hours as part of the Commitment to Service Award Program, sponsored by a donation from Michael Gerstein '96. Seniors on track to log 300, 600 or 900 hours received bronze, silver and gold medals respectively. More than 561 students registered for the Commitment to Service Award, volunteering at 341 organizations around the world.

This year’s Clubs in Service award went to the Men' s Football (Soccer) Club, for their involvement in a variety of youth based programs in the community.

Commitment to Service Award Program Award Winners

Gold (900 hours)

Colin Gibbons
Kara Faktor
Emily Balmuth-Loris
Marsha Patel
Esther Martin
Nathanel Shammay
Eva Chiu
Roni Rosen
Gwendolyn Teutsch

Silver (600 hours)

Joshua Waxenbaum
Sarah Fahmy
Lansara Jaruthien
Sharan Shah
Lindsey Weiss
Sindhura Sonnathi

Bronze (300 hours)

Aaron Yang
Monica Ferrer Socorro
Charlotte Erb
Nicole Carlson
Christina Fischer
Rachel Strax
Emily Stott
Rebecca Montana
Gabriella Podolski
Sifang "Kathy" Zhao
Ilana Mittleman
Suzannah Scanlon
Haleigh Brockman
Venus Tran
Justin Robbins
Yael Bellin
Deepti Kanneganti
Yifei Sun
Maria Alkhasova
Zoe Oppenheimer
Michelle Wang

Students ‘teach’ what they’ve learnedPosted: May 1, 2014

Sela Brown '15

Brandeis students recently took a break from their busy academic routines, if only briefly, to become teachers.

‘DeisTalks - think TED Talks meet Brandeis - and the Experiential Learning Symposium provided students with two opportunities to speak with members of the Brandeis and local communities about knowledge they developed, or a learning experience they had, in or outside the classroom while studying at Brandeis.

Education for Students by Students (ESS), in conjunction with the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, Library & Technology Services and the Experiential Learning program, sponsored ‘DeisTalks. The Office of Experiential Learning and Teaching hosted the Experiential Learning Symposium.

“Experiential learning is a methodology that helps connect theory and practice and is a very effective process for helping students develop a deeper understanding of an issue,” said Daniel Langenthal, director of experiential learning at Brandeis. “An added benefit is that it also has helped many students to identify their life’s passion and their career focus following graduation.”

The seven ‘DeisTalks subjects ranged from the benefits of a gap year, to being Muslim and gay, to analyzing the difference between computers and the human mind to discover what it really means to be human. The presenters shared their thoughts and experiences during their 5-7 minute talks, hoping to educate and engage the audience.

The Experiential Learning Symposium featured 23 topics to showcase the diverse ways students engage in experiential learning at Brandeis. Projects featured included the group-based study of occupational exposure to unhealthy chemicals and particulates in nail salons; StudyBuddy, a group independent study to build an ambitious web/mobile app for coordinating study groups in classes; the Global Medical Brigades’ trip to Honduras this year; and lobbying the Massachusetts State Legislature for in-state tuition for undocumented students.