Around Campus

Larry Kanarek '76 departs from Brandeis Board of TrusteesPosted: July 19, 2017

Larry Kanarek '76, chair of the Brandeis Board of Trustees, announced that he is stepping down from the Brandeis Board, effective July 18.

In a note to his fellow trustees, Kanarek wrote, “The past two years have been an exceptionally rewarding time for me at Brandeis, first leading the presidential search committee that resulted in the hiring of a new president, and then as your chair helping Ron settle into and become familiar with Brandeis, while working with you to bring about changes in the board’s structure, the issues on which it focuses and how it works together. This required a nearly full-time commitment on my part during which I put aside some other significant personal and professional commitments. Now that Ron is fully integrated into Brandeis and with a very successful first year under his belt, I feel the time is right to step down. I will of course remain close to Brandeis and continue to be one of this great university’s most committed alumni. I hope to find other ways to contribute to Brandeis, which changed the arc of my life.

“I am confident that with your leadership and Ron’s, Brandeis’ best days lie ahead,” Kanarek added.

A board member since 2010, Kanarek has been deeply involved with the university for decades. In the 1990s, he led the development of the strategic plan for the Brandeis International Business School, and sat on its Board of Overseers. He led the fundraising campaign to establish an endowed scholarship in honor of economics professor Barney Schwalberg, and supported the Joel Friedland ’76 Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship, among other initiatives.

“I have appreciated being able to work so closely with Larry during my first year at Brandeis,” said President Ron Liebowitz. “Larry’s love for this university is both palpable and inspiring. I know I speak for my colleagues on campus and members of the board when I say how grateful we are to Larry for his passionate commitment to Brandeis and that we look forward to continuing a warm relationship.”

The process for the selection of the next board chair begins with the board’s Nominating and Governance Committee. That group will consult with President Liebowitz and with other trustees in a process that is broadly consultative before bringing a recommendation to the full board. In the interim, board vice chairs Meyer Koplow ’72, P’02, P’05, Lisa Kranc ’75 and Cynthia Shapira will serve as interim co-chairs and collaboratively fill the responsibilities of the board chair.

Professor Karen V. Hansen named director of the Women’s Studies Research Center at BrandeisPosted: June 28, 2017
Karen V. Hansen
Provost Lisa Lynch announced today that Karen V. Hansen, Professor of Sociology, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, has been named director of the Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) upon the retirement of Professor Shulamit Reinharz, founding director, effective July 1.

“I am delighted that Karen has agreed to serve in this position,” said Lynch. “Her scholarship and teaching on the sociology of gender, class, race and ethnicity and her commitment to knowledge advancing positive change for women and their families makes her the ideal person to lead the WSRC in this next phase of its development.”

Hansen’s latest book, Encounter on the Great Plains:  Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, has received support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and received the 2016 Chaudhuri Book Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians.  Professor Hansen’s scholarship also focuses on contemporary families. She authored Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and the Networks of Care, which received the William J. Goode Book Award, Honorable Mention, and was a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Award. Combining theoretical frameworks and rich empirical accounts, she has also edited two anthologies with Anita Ilta Garey, At the Heart of Work and Families in the U.S.
Hansen has served as department chair in sociology at Brandeis from 2007-2012 and again since 2016.  She is currently a member of the board of directors for the consortium for graduate studies in Gender, Culture, Women and Sexuality based at MIT, and she is series editor for the Families in Focus series at Rutgers University Press.

Diane Rubin ’81, co-chair of the WSRC advisory board, said “I know that her scholarship and personality with make her a terrific new leader for the Center.”  Rosalie Ripaldi Shane '66 said, “Karen's understanding of women's issues and her commitment to scholarly research make her a perfect choice to lead the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center as we move forward. It will be a pleasure for Diane Rubin and me to serve as her co-chairs of the WSRC advisory board.”

“As someone who has been engaged with Women’s Studies at Brandeis for more than twenty years, I look forward to building on all that my colleague Shula Reinharz has achieved as founding director of the Women’s Studies Research Center,” said Hansen. “Shula has built an extraordinary interdisciplinary research facility of scholars, students and faculty who study gender issues and women's lives.”
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.