Sept. 10, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 1
Bolstering the ranks
Veteran faculty member Assoc. Prof. William Petri (Biology) and BC newcomer Robert Scott, a scientist with experience in the academic and public sectors, begin the 2004-05 year as the new A&S associate deans.
Petri, who served as acting A&S associate dean during 2003-04, joined the Biology faculty in 1976 and chaired the department from 1989-2000, a period which saw the expansion and renovation of Higgins Hall, and has been assistant chairman since 2000. His research interests center around molecular and developmental biology, using the eggshells of fruit flies to study the mechanisms that allow certain genes to be turned on or off. [For more on Petri, see www.bc.edu/schools/cas/biology/facadmin/petri/]
Scott has worked since 2001 as a senior scientist in the Respiratory Technology Department of the Procter and Gamble Health Science Institute at in Cincinnati. He taught as an assistant professor of biology at Norfolk State University from 1996 to 1999 before accepting a position as a visiting scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
A graduate of Norfolk State with a doctorate from Georgia Tech, Scott's work focuses on the cellular and molecular physiology of the airway and gastrointestinal tract, which has clinical relevance to respiratory viral infections and diarrheal disease.
"Bill brought a wealth of experience as a scientist, teacher, mentor, and administrator to our office, and we are delighted that he is staying with us," said A&S Dean Joseph Quinn. "Robert has excellent management skills and is eager to return to the academic environment. He'll be a superb mentor for our undergraduates, especially those science majors contemplating their career options after their undergraduate years."
Combination of the two
Prof. Thomas Kohler is embarking on a new challenge this academic year as the Law School's inaugural director of law and religion programs.
Kohler will help develop curricula, work with BC offices and departments - such as the Vice President for University Mission and Ministry and the Philosophy and Theology departments - and organize and coordinate events and speakers in areas related to the intersection of law and religion.
The creation of the new position represents "a confirmation of existing BC Law programs and an aspiration for the future," said Law School Dean John H. Garvey. "Our Jesuit and Catholic identity, including our goal to train not merely good lawyers but lawyers who lead good lives, leads us to develop a stronger focus on morals, ethics, justice, inquiries about the public interest, and the role of law and religion in our society."
An expert in labor and employment law and on theories of civil society and personhood, Kohler's University activities include serving on the Strategic Planning Committee Task Force examining BC's Jesuit and Catholic dimensions and participating in the University's Lonergan Workshop.
Garvey praised Kohler as "an internationally known scholar in the area of Catholic social thought" who is "ideally suited to lead this initiative."
Making a move
University Advancement administrator Marianne Lord '79 will again put her experience and talents to work for the Law School on Sept. 15, when she formally begins her new job as associate dean for institutional advancement.
Lord, currently the associate vice president for leadership gifts and regions in Advancement, is no stranger to the Law School, having spearheaded its capital campaign from 1993-96. As associate dean, Lord will oversee the school's development and alumni relations efforts.
After receiving her master's degree from BC, Lord worked as an associate director of development at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute before returning to the University in 1984 as director of planned giving.
BC Law Dean John Garvey said, "Throughout her career at Boston College, Marianne has consistently raised the bar for fundraising and has strengthened alumni connections through innovative and engaging programs which have showcased the University's leading-edge research and distinctive academic endeavors."
Dining Services did not have to look very far for a successor to former director Patricia Bando, newly appointed as associate vice president for auxiliary services. Helen Wechsler, who has served as associate director for four years, will now oversee BC's dining operations.
Financial Vice President Peter McKenzie praised Wechsler for helping to improve "the management and culinary practices of our dining halls" and noted the recent Food Service Operator of the Year "Silver Plate" awarded to BC Dining Services by the International Food Manufacturers Association.
"We know that under Helen's leadership, Dining will continue to be a 'best in class' operation," said McKenzie.
Dining Services also is unveiling some changes on the operational front. The hours for the Lower Campus Dining Hall and Carney's in McElroy have been expanded and a new food service operation featuring coffee, sandwiches and snacks will open in Fulton Hall to service hungry evening MBA students.
The Dining Services Web site is at www.bc.edu/offices/bcds/.
Fr. Fleming in the fold
Rev. James Fleming, SJ, has left the Lynch School of Education faculty to assume a new task: examining students' academic, spiritual and personal growth at BC.
Fr. Fleming was appointed this summer as assistant to Vice President for University Mission and Ministry Rev. Joseph Appleyard, SJ, whose office promotes Boston College's distinctive mission as a Catholic and Jesuit university.
His first major project with Mission and Ministry will be to survey the Class of 2005 about the variety of learning experiences and activities during their years at BC, whether in a classroom or residence hall, at a spiritual retreat or service trip, or in everyday interactions with fellow students.
"First we have to figure out what students are thinking, and ask them, in a confidential way, about their experiences here at Boston College," said Fr. Fleming, who entered the Society of Jesus in 1983, two months after earning a master's degree in education from the Lynch School. "There is a need for us to have a better understanding of our students and their experiences so they can be better served. It will be a good leaping off point."
Fr. Fleming will continue teaching in the Capstone Program, a seminar for seniors focusing on personal and spiritual development and discussion, as well as his duties as a resident minister.
Staying on task
BC's alcohol and drug education efforts will take on a new focus this academic year, and under a new organization to boot: the University Task Force on Prevention Initiatives.
The task force will pick up where the University Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse left off, according to Assistant Dean for Alcohol and Drug Education Kimberley Timpf. Its members include representatives from Health Services, Counseling, Residence Life, Community Affairs, Student Development, Career Services, Student Affairs and Athletics as well as academic offices and departments, student government and peer education groups.
Philosophically, says Timpf, the task force will look to move beyond traditional drug-alcohol prevention techniques - which tend to favor awareness campaigns and individual intervention programs - to what are known as "science-based initiatives."
"For years, the approach in alcohol-drug education was to devise and implement initiatives, but with little follow-up to assess how well they worked," she said. "Now there is an extensive body of research that details the effectiveness of initiatives, and what factors are likely to make them successful. It's a great resource for colleges and universities to use."
BC this fall is introducing two programs in the science-based initiative mold, one geared specifically toward freshmen, which will be used for students referred through the campus judicial system for alcohol-related violations. Both programs utilize facilitators drawn from the University community.
Another is an online interactive science-based program, AlcoholEdu, which provides detailed information about alcohol and its effects on the body and mind, to help students deal with questions about alcohol and the drinking behaviors of their peers. •