Of Note

Dan Kim named SVP of communications, marketing and external relations at BrandeisPosted: Aug. 9, 2019

After a national search, Brandeis University has named experienced communications executive Dan Kim to the role of senior vice president for communications, marketing and external relations. Currently vice president for communications at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, Kim will join Brandeis on September 1.

Kim will lead the central communications, marketing, and external relations team and the continued development of an integrated university-wide marketing communications strategy as its new branding platform is implemented. He succeeds Bill Walker, who has held the position on an interim basis since January.

“Dan Kim will bring a deep history of innovation and excellence in communications and marketing to our senior leadership team and to Brandeis,” said President Ron Liebowitz. “I am confident that, under his leadership, our communications team will be able to enhance our communications strategy and execution, and to elevate our institution’s profile across the country and the world. I am delighted to welcome him to our campus.”

In his work at Holy Cross, Kim managed strategic marketing, issues management, and government and community relations. He developed marketing campaigns, and collaborated closely with the college’s academic leadership on strategy, with the Office of Advancement on fundraising campaigns, and with the Office of Admissions on marketing planning.

Prior to joining Holy Cross, he served as executive director of communications and marketing at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, where he directed branding strategy and marketing planning and implementation. Earlier he held the position of director of news and information at West Virginia University, leading integrated marketing programs. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and a J.D. degree, both at the University of Michigan.

"I think this is an important moment in the university's history, and I am very pleased to be joining the leadership team. I look forward to bringing my perspective and experience to help share the story of the university and to being part of the Brandeis community." 

The search committee included Bill O’Reilly, chief of staff of the president; Harleen Singh, associate professor of south Asian literature and women’s studies; Stew Uretsky, executive vice president for finance and administration; Jen Walker, dean of admissions; and Bill Walker, interim senior vice president for communications, marketing and external relations.

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Collaboration and engagement abound at Summer Social Sciences LabPosted: Aug. 7, 2019
Attendees watch Wendy Cadge speak at Summer Lab eventPhoto/Mike Lovett

Professor Wendy Cadge presents during a Summer Social Sciences Lab session.

Throughout the summer, Brandeis students and faculty working on social sciences research have been coming together to learn about each other's work and make connections.

The Summer Social Sciences Lab sessions have each featured a faculty presenter and an audience of undergraduate students, faculty and anyone else who wants to join.

"We've been able to bring together an excellent group," said Wendy Cadge, professor of sociology and senior associate dean for strategic initiatives in the School of Arts and Sciences. "The engagement and collaboration is a benefit to everyone."

The eight lunchtime sessions - held weekly in June and July - included presentations from faculty members George Hall, Sara Shostak, Hannah Snyder, Angela Gutchess, Jytte Klausen, Lucy Goodhart, Cadge, and students, and featured plenty of time for questions and conversations amongst those in attendance.

"It all molds together," said Andrea Bolduc '21. "One of the things I like about social science is that you have to be willing to understand and take from other disciplines. It's important that we collaborate. Maybe what someone else is studying could help with your own research."

For many of the students in attendance, sticking around campus over the summer has allowed them to continue the research they have been collaborating on with faculty throughout the academic year. Along with external funding sources for undergraduate research, Brandeis offers undergraduate research grants to pay for their work.

Throughout the most recent academic year and into the summer, Bolduc started working with politics lecturer Lucy Goodhart on research focused on political polarization and television advertising in the United States. She reviews data sets from 1973 to 2003 county-by-county and examines advertising costs within media markets. Bolduc is majoring in politics, but she’s learning key skills in performing data-driven research, such as how to use technical mapping tools and coding.

The labs give students a chance to get together and to gain some perspective, Bolduc said.

"We are all in a pretty similar boat, but without this, we probably wouldn't see each other very often," Bolduc said. "The camaraderie is great."

This was the second year of the summer lab sessions, and Cadge says there are plans to continue the program in the future and possibly expand it to include collaboration with research in the hard sciences.

“We are currently in the process of hiring a director of undergraduate - faculty research, who will help us expand these efforts to the humanities and creative arts as well,” Cadge said.

Charged up: a giant battery will help Brandeis lower electricity costs, aid in the progress of greener powerPosted: July 31, 2019
One of the most significant challenges to the greening of the electrical grid is the ability to store large amounts of electricity generated by renewable sources that can only create power under certain conditions – when the wind is blowing to power a turbine or the sun is shining on solar panels, for example.

In an effort to help develop that technology, Brandeis is participating in an electricity storage project that will also save the campus money on its electric bill – likely in the neighborhood of $50,000 a year.

Brandeis is partnering with AMS, based in San Francisco, California, and FirstLight Power, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, which together will install and operate a huge, rechargeable, 780-kilowatt hour battery-based system that will connect with Brandeis’ electrical power system. The battery will also connect to the regional power grid and will charge overnight when the regional power system’s demand is at its lowest.

Brandeis worked closely with AMS through utility company Eversource’s Peak Demand Reduction Services program to demonstrate design, interconnection, installation and operation of large battery storage systems in Massachusetts. The result of this collaboration informed final design and regulatory approval of Eversource’s Active Demand Reduction program for batteries, which rolled out earlier this year. Brandeis and its battery storage partners plan to participate in this utility program beginning in 2020.

Large enterprises like college campuses typically pay variable rates for electricity that are set in part by supply and demand – the more demand for electricity, the more the utility charges. By charging overnight when the price of electricity is at its lowest, the battery will be able to send electricity into Brandeis’ system during the day when prices peak – enabling the university to buy less electricity at the most expensive times.

About the size of small trailer, and located at the main campus electrical meter near the soccer field, the battery will contain enough electricity to power, say, the library for an hour or more depending on conditions.

The savings would be at their most significant during the summer months when hot weather can spike electric prices. Brandeis already has a “Turn it Off” program to promote conservation during these peak periods, which help set overall electric rates for the campus. “Turn it Off” has saved tens of thousands of dollars over the past several years.

Sustainability Manager Mary Fischer explained that while the battery itself isn’t providing a new source of green electricity, “Energy storage is a key factor in expanding clean energy in our region, because it allows us to store electricity when it’s generated, then use it when it’s needed.”

“We have a proven track record of deploying clean energy on our campus, so demonstrating the business case for battery storage is a logical step in supporting the clean energy and energy storage economy,” she added.
Brandeis a capella group Starving Artists appear on 'Sing that Thing!'Posted: May 20, 2019
Starving Artists on set at Sing that ThingPhoto/Meredith Nierman/WGBH

The Brandeis a capella group Starving Artists appeared on a recent episode of WGBH's choral music competition show "Sing that Thing!"

Eighteen ensembles representing genres from barbershop and pop to gospel and classical compete across eight episodes in three age-based divisions. A panel of three coaches will select two groups from each division to perform on the "Grand Finale," when one group will be named the overall champion.

It was the second appearance on the show for the Starving Artists, who also performed on "Sing that Thing!" last year, bowing out in the final round. In their first appearance this season, they performed Birdy's "Strange Birds."

Watch the full episode.