Of Note

Assistant professor Derron Wallace wins two prestigious fellowshipsPosted: June 6, 2022
Derron Wallace, assistant professor of sociology and education, has recently been named an 2022 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow by the National Academy of Education, and has also received a Fulbright Scholar Award.

The NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship provides $70,000 to early-career scholars to focus on their research and attend professional development retreats. This year, the 25 postdoctoral fellows were selected from a pool of 258 applicants.

For his Fulbright, Wallace will work on a second major project related to policing in British schools. He will be based in the sociology department of Durham University in northeast England for a year as he engages in that work.

Wallace has been recognized for his work at Brandeis with several university awards, including a Provost’s Research Award and the Michael L. Walzer ’56 Award for Teaching.
Share your graduation news with local mediaPosted: May 16, 2022

Many local news outlets share graduation news about current or former residents. If you would like to share an announcement about your (or your child's) graduation, below is a template you can follow that will work for many news organizations. Some outlets allow you to include a photo - if you do, be sure to identify the graduate and any family members who may be in the photo.




[TOWN/CITY] resident graduates from Brandeis University

WALTHAM, Mass.—[STUDENT FIRST NAME LAST NAME] of [TOWN/CITY] graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass on Sunday, May 22.




About Brandeis University

Brandeis University was founded in 1948 by the American Jewish community at a time when Jews and other marginalized groups faced discrimination in higher education. Today, Brandeis is a leading research university for anyone, regardless of background, who wants to use their knowledge, skills and experience to improve the world. Nearly 6,000 Brandeis students and 550 faculty members collaborate across disciplines, interests and perspectives on scholarship that has a positive impact throughout society. Learn more at brandeis.edu.

Giumette awards granted to 11 studentsPosted: May 11, 2022
Seven students standing, smiling, in front of the remainder of the Castle

From left to right: Isabella Doulas, Ashna Kelkar, Jolie Black, Roshni Ray, Tanner Eustace, Sahil Muthuswami, Norah Khadraoui, all members of the class of 2024 and recipients of the Giumette Academic Achievement Award.

Late last month, 11 students celebrated receiving the the Giumette Academic Achievement Award (GAAA), which will provide them with $5,000 each semester for their remaining two years at Brandeis.

The GAAA recognizes currently enrolled sophomores who have distinguished themselves and made a significant contribution to the community during their first two years at Brandeis. The award, which began in 2004 as the Brandeis Academic Achievement Award, was renamed in 2015 in honor of Peter Giumette P '03, who served as the Dean of Student Financial Services for over 20 years and who had a deep commitment to increasing access to educational opportunities for first-generation and low-income students. The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding scholarship and academic achievement as evidenced by grades, faculty recommendations, and personal accomplishment. 

Floriesha Bastien is a first-generation college student, double majoring in sociology and Critical Media and Cultural Studies (IIM). Floriesha is passionate about learning about why society functions the way it does and wishes to apply sociological theories to her IIM studies. Her IIM in Critical Media and Cultural Studies represents Floriesha’s interest in digital media and mass communication. She also felt it was important to capture the ways in which race and racism impact the media world. In addition to her majors, Floriesha also plans to minor in Psychology. She is currently on BASO’s (Brandeis African Student Organization) e-board as their communication coordinator. In BASO, Floriesha is able to find and cultivate community. Most importantly, she is passionate about youth empowerment. For that reason, she decided to become an SSSP peer mentor and has stayed engaged with her high school by serving as a resource for high school students in her community.

Jolie Black is double majoring in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and psychology, a combination that allows her to pursue her interest in social and behavioral health sciences, health psychology, and public health policy. She is from New Jersey and was raised in a Russian-speaking family. Jolie works on-campus as a research assistant at the CasaLab for the Heller School, a health policy lab, and at the Memory and Cognition lab in the psychology department. Off-campus, she is the senior intern at Stop TB USA, a domestic tuberculosis advocacy group, and is a figure skating coach. Her love for learning applied quantitative methods and data analysis leads her to take different types of statistics courses. As Jolie was homeschooled in high school, she considers her hands-on experiences outside of the classroom an integral part of her academic education and experience and consistently seeks opportunities for work that complement the material taught in the classroom. Jolie is also the treasurer and rising president of the Brandeis Skating Club and is working directly with Ukrainian refugees globally to provide support for emigration, job applications, finding housing, obtaining medical insurance and care, enrolling in schools, learning English, and any other support families might need.

Isabella Doulas intends to double major in Health Science, Society, and Policy and biology with a business minor. She is a Bridge to Wellness Peer Health Educator and established Brandeis University’s Dental Brigades chapter that serves in partnership with the nonprofit organization Global Brigades, where she is currently organizing an upcoming dental service trip to Panama scheduled for January 2023. Last February, Bella and her team partnered with Waltham Partnership for Youth to design a specialized media platform, Circles, to connect local youth to resources and educational opportunities, which won the Non-Technical Game Changer Award as part of DeisHacks 2022. At Brandeis, she is a Brandeis Beacon and likes to spend her spare time in the MakerLab where she prints and assembles 3-D printed prosthetic hands for children as a member of the Prosthesis Club.

Tanner Eustace is pursuing a double major in biology and Health: Science, Society, and Policy, as well as a minor in psychology. He enjoys working as a Supplemental Instruction Leader for General Chemistry, where he creates activities for the students to engage in a collaborative learning environment, including Jeopardy-style review games. He also works as a Pride Rep at the Gender and Sexuality Center, advocating for equity in STEM, and he absolutely loves playing percussion in three musical ensembles on campus: Wind Ensemble, which plays a variety of genres; MAD Band, a student-run pep band that plays at various Brandeis events; and Top Score, a student-run group that specializes in movie and musical soundtracks, in which Tanner recently became a conductor. When he can, Tanner also enjoys going to Quiz Bowl practice, putting his trivia skills to the test.

Ashna Kelkar is double-majoring in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and business. At Brandeis, she serves on the EBoard of the Student Union as the Executive Senator and the Interim Vice President. In this role, she aims to connect students to administration and be an advocate for her peers, in hopes of making a real and meaningful change on campus. She is also a coordinator for the Waltham Group "Advocates for Community Transformation" where she works in partnership with a local Waltham organization called Watch CDC to advocate for various issues on and off campus. Finally, Ashna currently serves as a Community Engagement Ambassador for the Department of Community Service, where she works on campus outreach and marketing opportunities offered by the department. Ashna’s overarching goal within all her positions is to serve as a liaison and voice students' concerns to continue making our school an even better place to be!

Norah Khadraoui is a current sophomore and MLK Fellow majoring in sociology and minoring in legal studies, Social Justice and Social Policy, and studio art. She is co-president of the Women of Color Alliance (WOCA) and is involved in The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII) which provides pro-bono legal representation to immigrants in the Waltham area. Currently, Norah is working on a mural for PARC and GSC that centers around people of color and the communities she belongs to. With this project Norah really wanted to celebrate the community she had found here at Brandeis.

Sahil Muthuswami is majoring in biology with a minor in Health: Science, Society, and Policy, which allows him to examine overlapping variables that affect health outcomes. Sahil is actively involved on the Brandeis campus as a Senator in the Brandeis Student Union and on the E-board of the South Asian Student Association. Prior to attending Brandeis, Sahil voiced youth concerns as a leader of Courageous Conversations and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Now, as a volunteer in the Waltham Group’s Kids Connection and Advocates For Health, he can connect to the greater Waltham population by providing resources to youth groups. Sahil has been inspired by the strong research culture at Brandeis and will be expanding his passion for scientific discovery over the summer as a biomedical research intern at the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of the classroom, Sahil enjoys painting, playing tennis, running, and traveling whenever the opportunity arises.

Roshni Ray is a member of the Quantitative Biology Research Community honors program studying neuroscience and computer science. At the Paradis Lab, she uses molecular biology techniques to study the mechanisms of inhibitory and excitatory synapse formation. It has been tremendously exciting to explore developmental neurobiology and conduct research with applications in neurological disorders such as epilepsy. Outside of the lab, Roshni writes for The Hoot, where she covers campus news. Having had rewarding academic experiences at Brandeis, she is motivated to support other students through mentorship as a Neuroscience Undergraduate Departmental Representative. Roshni’s future goals include conducting neurobiology research, engaging in science entrepreneurship, and developing enriching science education resources.

Scarlett (Tong) Ren is an international midyear student, majoring in the International and Global Studies Program and minoring in journalism. Born and raised in Shanghai, China, she studied abroad alone starting at the age of eleven in Seattle, WA. Her humanities and social science interests span across religious studies, anthropology, and philosophy while maintaining a competitive GPA. She is heavily involved in campus initiatives and event planning as an E-Board director of the Student Union, Brandeis Chinese Cultural Connection (BC3), and TEDXBrandeis. In addition, she serves as an admissions ambassador, alumni weekend student coordinator, and a project connect facilitator to utilize campus resources and connections to bridge and provide for domestic and international students. Scarlett writes for the campus newspaper The Hoot, plays on the club tennis team, and will be studying at the National University of Singapore next spring, further embarking on her journey as a global citizen.

Noah Risley is an International and Global Studies Program and comparative literature double major and a legal studies minor. If you could help Noah pick a second minor, they'd greatly appreciate it. They're originally from Fort Smith, Arkansas, and love to talk about the South with anyone that will listen. On campus, they've been involved with the Brandeis Democrats, the Student Union, the Brandeis Law Journal, and helped to refound Brandeis Model United Nations, where they're currently working to create a conference for high schoolers called DeisMUN. They're also a Research Assistant for Professor Kerry Chase, where they're helping him assess how the United States has "named and shamed" genocides and mass atrocities, and previously helped him find videos for his POL15A class which made international relations feel real for students. Outside of extracurriculars, Noah's favorite spot on campus is Dunkin’.

Logan Shanks is a Posse Atlanta Scholar who majors in African and African American Studies and English, with an interest in the Sexuality and Queer Studies Program. Logan’s work enhances the places where Black people spend most of their time and energy by creating authentic spaces for community members to engage with their histories, cultural nuance, and aesthetics through more intentional means. Logan has done this through her “Dismantling White Patriarchy” lecture and The Sesa Wo Suban Project, a community service project that serves Black Students in Atlanta by transforming at-risk students into agents of change who push for liberation in their communities. Currently, through her "Exploring Black Intimate Dwellings: Black Bookstore," she is exploring how Black bookstores are spaces of liberation for the Black community. Logan defines herself as a “Black feminist curator” who demystifies traditional “academic” understandings of blackness by pairing Black theoretical knowledge with everyday, familiar encounters of Black culture and art to create spaces where Black ways of knowing are validated and elevated.

Brandeis named a Best Value College for 2022 by The Princeton ReviewPosted: May 11, 2022

The Princeton Review has once again chosen Brandeis as one of the best-value colleges in the U.S. The annually-released list names the public and private colleges that have earned the education services company's highest Return on Investment (ROI) rating—a score the company tallies using more than 40 data points.The ratings are based on analyses that review more than 40 data points. They cover academic offerings, cost/financial aid, career placement services, graduation rates, and student debt as well as alumni salary levels and job satisfaction.

The Princeton Review chose 209 schools for its 2022 list based on its survey of more than 650 institutions during the 2020-21 school year. To tally the ROI ratings, the company analyzed school-reported data on academics, cost/financial aid, career services, student debt, and graduation rates. Data on the levels of job satisfaction and salary of school alumni also factored into the tallies. The list of the 209 Best Value Colleges is not ranked hierarchically from 1 to 209.

"The schools we chose as our Best Value Colleges for 2022 are a select group: they comprise only about 7% of the nation’s four-year undergraduate institutions,” said Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review. “We commend their administrators, faculties, staff, and alumni for all they are doing to educate their students and guide them to success in their careers. These colleges are also exceptional for the generous amount of financial aid they award to students with need and/or for their comparatively low cost of attendance.”

“Based on the overwhelming response to our offers of admission this year, it’s clear that talented high school students and their families recognize the great value in a Brandeis education,” said Jennifer Walker, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Brandeis. “It is gratifying to have confirmation of what we already know; that Brandeis not only delivers top-notch academics and financial aid, but that students graduate ready to tackle their next challenges.”

Faculty members win fellowships from the American Council of Learned SocietiesPosted: April 1, 2022

Two Brandeis faculty have been selected as 2022 ACLS fellows by the American Council of Learned Societies: assistant professor of anthropology, Brian A. Horton and assistant professor of theater arts, Isiah Matthew Wooden.

The ACLS Fellowship program supports exceptional scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences that has the potential to make significant contributions within and beyond their fields. This year, the program will award more than $3.7 million to 60 scholars selected from nearly 1,000 applicants through a rigorous, multi-stage peer review process.

ACLS Fellowship awards provide $30,000 to $60,000 to support scholars during six to 12 months of research leave. Awardees who do not hold tenure-track faculty appointments during the fellowship year also receive an additional $5,000 stipend for research or other personal costs incurred during their award term.

Brian A. Horton’s project “Shimmers of the Fabulous: Public Sex and Intimate Touch in Queer and Trans Bombay,” is a multi-sited ethnography of queer sexpublics—spaces for queer and trans intimacies, desire, and touch—across Bombay. Drawing on over 28 months of fieldwork, each of the manuscript’s five chapters unfolds a different site— nightlife, the police station, pride, virtual worlds, and home. Through interviews, participant observation, archival research, and virtual ethnography across each of these sites, the book explores how queer and trans lives might be lived outside of and against the reaches of cultural intelligibility and legal recognition.

Isiah Matthew Wooden’s “Reclaiming Time: Race, Temporality, and Black Expressive Culture,” posits that one of the more urgent questions to emerge in the post-Civil Rights era is: What is the time of Blackness? Exploring works by playwrights Jordan E. Cooper, Eisa Davis, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Robert O'Hara; visual artists LaToya Ruby Frazier and Jefferson Pinder; and, filmmaker Tanya Hamilton, this interdisciplinary study analyzes the aesthetic strategies and practices contemporary Black artists hone and deploy to dramatize the deeply intertwined relationship of Blackness and time, thereby challenging concepts of "normative temporality" and reclaiming those aspects of Black life, history, and culture sidelined by temporal regimes structured to reinforce white supremacy.

Ruth Wyckoff '21 awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grantPosted: March 28, 2022

Ruth Wyckoff '21 has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grant to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Argentina for the upcoming academic year. The Fulbright grant program was established by the U.S. Congress to foster understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, to exchange ideas and to help find solutions to shared international concerns. Recipients, chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, are given the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Since graduating with dual majors in international and global studies and history with minors in hispanic studies and islamic and middle eastern Studies, Ruth is currently working with elderly refugees in Utah as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. She previously worked in Jordan with the SIT program, focused on refugee health and humanitarian action. Having taught after-school programs, adult ESL classes, and a Spanish course for elderly people coping with chronic pain, Ruth is excited to interweave cultural instruction and joy into language learning in Argentina. After her Fulbright year, Ruth intends to continue working with refugees and immigrants as a community educator.

Ruth joins 125 previous Brandeisians who have participated in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program since 1959.

The Office of Academic Fellowships assists Brandeis students in applying for prestigious fellowships and scholarships, such as the Fulbright U.S. Student grant.

Christine Le ‘23 selected as a Goldwater ScholarPosted: March 28, 2022

From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, Christine Le ‘23 has been selected as a Goldwater Scholar. The Goldwater Scholarship fosters outstanding students in their sophomore and junior year to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. Many of the scholars have published their research in leading professional journals and have presented their work at professional society conferences.

Le is the 23rd Brandeis undergraduate student to have earned this distinction since 1989, and is the fifth in the last nine years. A junior majoring in biology and neuroscience with a minor in hispanic studies, she has been an active member of professor Guillermina Ramirez-San Juan's lab since the summer 2020, working at the interface of physics and biology. Le intends to earn a PhD in Cellular and Developmental Biology, conduct research in developmental biology, and teach at the university level.

The Office of Academic Fellowships assists Brandeis students in applying for prestigious fellowships and scholarships, such as the Goldwater Scholarship.

Brandeis dissociates from Middle Eastern Scholars Association Posted: March 24, 2022
The Middle Eastern Studies Association’s (MESA) announced on March 23, 2022, that a majority of its members voted in favor of a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Brandeis University condemns MESA’s boycott of institutions of higher education in Israel. The resolution attacks the fundamental principles of academic freedom and association to which MESA specifically refers in its mission statement, and to which Brandeis is committed. As a matter of principle, Brandeis University opposes academic boycotts of universities in any country. In light of this vote and the boycott, Brandeis dissociates from MESA and reaffirms our support for academic freedom.