Ruth Palombo, Heller MA’00, PhD’03, was named senior health policy officer at the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. She formerly served as assistant secretary in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. In her new role, the 30-year health and human-services industry veteran is responsible for the foundation’s educational, network-building and policy-related activities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Anya Rader Wallack, Heller MA’01, PhD’07, is the chair of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin’s Green Mountain Care Board, which is designing a universal health-care plan for the state. A native of Vermont, Anya helped to author Act 48, the law that sets the stage for a single-payer-style system. Jason Pierceson, PhD’03, is an associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois-Springfield. His teaching and research focus on public law, the legal and political issues relating to sexuality, and political theory. He is the author or co-author of several books on same-sex marriage, including “Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court.” In 2011, he was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in American Studies at the University of Alberta. Melissa Bass, PhD’04, an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Mississippi, published her first book, “The Politics and Civics of National Service: Lessons From the Civilian Conservation Corps, VISTA and AmeriCorps.” The book — which focuses on the history, modern relevance and civic impact of domestic national service — argues that only by examining programs over time can we understand national service’s successes and limitations. Alabama State University alumna Bonita Hamilton-Caesar, MFA’04, returned to her alma mater to share her story of success in the performance arts during the school’s inaugural theater and dance symposium, “Deep Roots, Strong Branches, Rich Fruit.” The Tony Award-winning actress credited Tommie Stewart, dean of the school’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, with encouraging her to pursue her passion in theater arts. “The one thing that I want to say about this theater is that it instilled in me a tremendous work ethic,” Bonita told the students. “Something about this theater stirred something inside of me. I lived and breathed on this stage every day.” Doug Gobeille, MS’06, PhD’11, is an instructor in the physics department at the University of South Florida. Daniel Goldsmith, IBS MBA’06, works at PA Consulting, a worldwide strategy consulting agency, where he has conducted research for the Office of Naval Research in the U.S. Department of Defense to reduce submarine costs. He also advises clients in the health-care and energy sectors.
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