April 28, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 16

Sgt. Kevin Croke ably filled the role of auctioneer at the Boston College Police Department's annual auction of abandoned items, held on April 23 in the Vanderslice Hall Cabaret Room. Proceeds from the sale of the items, which ranged from umbrellas to backpacks to bicycles, were donated to the Jimmy Fund. (Photo by Suzanne Camarata)

Around Campus

Music for the eye

A special exhibit of many of the earliest, rarest and most significant books on musical instruments and music theory and history, along with related instruments and works of art, is now on view at the John J. Burns Library.

"The Legacy of Sebastian Virdung: Rare Books on Music & Instruments from the Collection of Frederick R. Selch" is comprised of objects drawn from the private collection of the prominent scholar, writer and musician who died in 2002. Selch's collection documents the history of Western music from the early 1500s, and includes 800 historic musical instruments; 6,000 books, many of them rare; 400 prints, drawings and paintings of musical subjects, and a wide variety of ephemera.

The exhibit is inspired by Sebastian Virdung's Musica Getutscht, originally published in Baselin in 1511. Virdung, a German theorist and composer, has the double distinction of having produced the earliest printed treatise in the West to deal exclusively with musical instruments and the earliest musical treatise in a modern European language.

"Virdung's Musica Getutscht is the seminal work on musical instruments," said Selch Collection curator Barbara Lambert. "All known copies are owned by institutions. Consequently Eric Selch was able to procure only a facsimile of it - the only facsimile in the exhibition."

The focus of Selch's passion was American music and its European sources, notes Lambert. "Through this exhibit, the public will have an opportunity to see some of the most important and appealing Western musical evidence ever created," she said.

Unsurpassed in private ownership in the United States, Selch's collection encompasses theater, performance, the music industry from manufacturing to economics, dance, ceremonies, ethnology (native cultures of North and South America, African and other American immigrants), fine arts, and the technology and tools for making instruments.

The Selch Collection will be on display at Burns through August 15. This will be the exhibit's only Boston-area appearance before it travels to Duke University, the University of Chicago, and its permanent location, the University of Maryland's Hornbake Library.


Following in Schweitzer's footsteps

Boston College students Natalie Langlois, Christine Daniels and Cherisse Sardon Garrity are among the recipients of the 2005-06 Albert Schweitzer Fellowships, which provide community service opportunities for graduate students in health-related professional fields who are dedicated to addressing unmet health needs in their local areas.

Langlois, a law student, will be working at the Medicare Advocacy Project in Greater Boston Legal Services' Health and Disability Unit. The only law student to receive a Boston Schweitzer Fellowship, she hopes to use her upcoming summer experiences at GBLS as part of her fellowship project, and as a starting point for identifying and addressing the problems the elderly community faces when navigating access to healthcare via Medicare and Medicaid.

Daniels, of the Graduate School of Social Work, is collaborating with the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center to create a project that ensures Brockton's homeless men and women have access to the health and community services they need.

Garrity, who studies in the Connell School of Nursing, is working with the Healing Our Community Collaborative program, which provides HIV prevention and education programs to high-risk women. She is focusing on outreach to the greater Boston community to increase the number of women who are aware of HOCC's programs.

Since 1991, the Boston Schweitzer Fellows Program has enabled more than 200 Boston and Worcester area students to carry out health-related community service projects in their local areas. Other Schweitzer Fellows programs are offered for students in Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New Hampshire and Vermont, New York City and North Carolina.

Director of AHANA Student Programs Donald Brown greets Sarah Ha '05 after her speech at the April 19 "Night of Celebration" in Gasson 100. The event commemorated three milestones: Brownís 25 years of service to the Boston College community; the 25th anniversary of the AHANA acronym; and the 10-year anniversary of the AHANA Leadership Council. (Photo by Suzanne Camarata)

At home in Dublin

You won't see Michael Cronin on the Boston College campus very often, but he's determined to form ties with the University community - even though his office is a few thousand miles east of Chestnut Hill.

Recently appointed as academic director of Boston College-Ireland, Cronin will develop and manage University initiatives in Ireland, including the Dublin-based Boston College Centre for Irish Programmes. His responsibilities include co-sponsoring academic symposia with the Irish Studies Program, working with the Irish Institute in support of its government-funded peace process initiatives, and helping organize exhibits of Burns Library holdings at the Dublin center in St. Stephen's Green.

Cronin also will be the liaison with faculty coordinators at Irish colleges and universities that BC students are attending, and assist the Center for International Partnerships and Programs in monitoring internships.

Most of all, though, Cronin wants BC students, faculty, alumni and friends to know they have a place to go in Dublin.

"It is essential that BC-Ireland is viewed as an integral part of Boston College, and not simply an off-shoot of the Center for Irish Programs," said Cronin, who holds a doctorate in Irish history from Oxford University and, in addition to publishing scholarly volumes, monographs and journal articles, has substantial experience in grantsmanship, conference sponsorship and consultancy.

"BC has such strong historic links with Ireland, and so many faculty, students and alumni are either traveling here for work or pleasure, that it is important that BC-Ireland welcomes them and supports them while they are in the country.

"The doors of number 42 St. Stephen's Green are always open to any member of the BC family. There are Internet facilities that are open to all, and meeting rooms and teaching space can be made available on request. Even if it's simply a case of dropping in to avoid the rain, a quiet place to read the newspaper or just to say 'Hello,' everyone in BC should see BC-Ireland as an integral part of the facilities that the college offers."

More information on BC-Ireland is available at on-line.


On the MAP

Boston College researchers' non-hair-splitting inventiveness in nanotechnology is one of the science stories of the year. You could look it up.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica 2005 Book of the Year cites an innovation by a research group headed by Prof. John Fourkas (Chemistry), a technique called multiphoton absorption photopolymerization (MAP) that is seen providing the basis for microscopic machines and electronic devices.

The researchers developed an acrylate resin that made it possible to fabricate intricate three-dimensional microstructures on a biological material without damage. To demonstrate, Fourkas fabricated various structures on the surface of a human hair, including microscopic three-dimensional letters spelling the word "hair."

Images of the tiny letters spelling "hair" on a human hair left undamaged by the process were widely published in the science press after the findings were reported in the June 1, 2004, issue of Journal of Applied Physics.

The results demonstrated the technique could be used to fabricate structures nondestructively on biomaterials. Potential applications are seen in the creation of miniature biodevices that might include micromanipulators for cells or even for individual protein or DNA molecules.

[Read the Chronicle story on Fourkas and MAP.]


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