Sept. 23, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 2
College of Arts and Sciences:
The bug house
While sounding like something out of Edward Gorey, the new Insectary in Higgins Hall will help save lives.
Hundreds of mosquitoes bred in a section of converted greenhouse in Higgins 670 will be used by Boston College biologists studying the transmission of malaria and other insect-borne illnesses.
Malaria annually claims the lives of as many as 2 million people, half of them children under five, in sub-Saharan Africa and other tropical regions around the world, says DeLuca Prof. Marc Muskavitch, chairman of Biology.
He and colleague Asst. Prof. Mohammed Shahabuddin study the ways in which mosquitoes grow, develop and transmit disease, research relevant to the battle against malaria and other insect-borne sicknesses like West Nile virus and dengue fever.
"We ultimately hope to save lives by understanding how insects transmit disease, and stopping them from doing it," said Muskavitch.
Between 500 and 1,000 mosquitoes of the genuses anopheles and aedes will be kept in the roughly 20-by-16 square-foot Insectary housed in a converted greenhouse wing on the sixth floor of Higgins.
No worries, say the biologists: Chances of the bugs escaping are virtually nil. Four doors and a pressurized vestibule separate the mosquito chamber from the hall outside, and the insects themselves are always kept inside containers: "You have free-flying mosquitoes in your backyard, but not in our Insectary," said Shahabuddin.
Research will be done into the transmission of animal pathogens that infect birds and mice, not humans. The findings are expected to present analogies useful to understanding how mosquitoes pass sickness onto people.
New life for Riley
The recently established Auxiliary Services Division has added to its administration with the appointment of Associate Director of Residential Life Linda Riley as executive director for business services.
When she assumes her new job on Nov. 29, Riley will serve as the financial officer and project administrator for the auxiliary services functions that include human resources, auxiliary facilities construction management, financial management, information technology, debit card operations, transportation, retreats, community relations, guest hospitality services and contracted auxiliary services coordination.
Riley, who joined the University in 1977, has been an administrator in BC's residential life operations for 23 years.
"Linda's high degree of experience in management and supervision of operations, personnel management, financial planning and management, facility maintenance and renovation for Residence Life are assets that will be valuable for the success of our current and future programs in Auxiliary Services," said Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Patricia Bando in announcing Riley's appointment.
Riley also has been impressive in "creative, tactical and strategic thinking skills, leadership experience, demonstrated mentoring skills and overall professional demeanor," added Bando.
Irish eyes on Campaign 2004A group of Irish political journalists is getting an up-close view of the United States presidential election and the media coverage it generates, thanks to a new program offered by the Boston College Irish Institute.
The 10 representatives of major media outlets from Ireland and Northern Ireland arrived at BC Oct. 27, less than a week before Election Day. In addition to attending a seminar given by BC presidential history expert Prof. Marc Landy (Political Science), the journalists have visited with editors and writers from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, toured the Massachusetts State House and met political officials, consultants and analysts.
On Election Day, the group talked with veteran journalist David Nyhan and later on visited WCVB-TV to observe their coverage of the day's events.
"They say the three main pastimes in Boston are 'politics, sports and revenge,'" said Irish Institute Director Mary O'Herlihy, "so I can't imagine a better place for this group of political journalists to observe the United States presidential election."
Said University Professor of History Thomas Hachey, executive director of the Center for Irish Programs at BC, "This is a particularly propitious time for foreign journalists to visit America, given the presidential campaign's global overtones. US-sponsored programs of this kind, so effectively conducted by Mary O'Herlihy and her colleagues, expand our trans-Atlantic dialogue. There is a need for more frequent exchanges on subjects of mutual concern."
The Irish visitors are in Louisville today and tomorrow, observing how the election results are playing in the "American heartland," according to O'Herlihy, and return home Saturday.
Lynch School of Education:
Leading examplesThe Lynch School welcomed their own group of foreign visitors late last month, hosting 24 school principals and three college professors from Sweden for a week of discussions, seminars and other events centered around exploring educational leadership.
Among other activities, the Swedish guests took part in a talk about Massachusetts education reform and the No Child Left Behind Act, toured Boston schools and visited the Hudson Public Schools in Central Massachusetts to learn about their programs on democratic citizenship and social responsibility and use of educational technology.
Prof. Robert J. Starratt (LSOE), an organizer of the visit, said the principals were impressed by what they saw. "They showed admiration for what they expressly said were truly inspiring examples of leadership by the principals in the schools they visited. They also praised the creativity and ingenuity of the teachers who seemed to have a rich repertory of teaching strategies that kept the students engaged in the classroom activities."
The excitement generated by the Red Sox World Series victory did not escape the Swedish delegation's notice, either, Starratt adds. "The principals really enjoyed seeing all the enthusiasm. On their visits to schools in and around Boston, they observed both teachers and students wearing Red Sox paraphenalia, and looking somewhat glassy-eyed from their long nights of watching the World Series." •