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College of Arts and Sciences

2005 Archived News and Features

college and graduate school of arts and sciences

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Sociologist Juliet Schor discusses consumer spending habits in an interview with the Observer-Reporter.




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David Hollenbach, S.J., Director of Center for Human Rights, and International Justice Margaret O’Brien Flatley Professor of Theology, suggest ways to renew the Second Vatican Council’s call for the promotion of social justice. America magazine




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The American Physical Society has named Chemistry Professor Udayan Mohanty a Fellow in the Division of Biological Physics.




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Physics Professor Zhifeng Ren was among the 22 new entrants to ESI rankings in the October ISI Essential Science Indicators Report.




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Fine Arts faculty member Karl Baden's exhibition "Covering Photography:55 books, 25 images" was featured in the Boston Globe.




The JEvan KantrowitzEvan Kantrowitz graphic on thecover of Journal of Molecular Biologyournal of Molecular Biology published an article written by Professor of Chemistry Evan Kantrowitz and his research group, reporting their findings on understanding how cells regulate the rate of their metabolic pathways on the molecular level.




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“After the Storm,” written by English Prof. Andrew Sofer, was selected co-winner of the New England Poetry Club’s Gretchen Warren Award for best poem published by a member in the previous year.




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Former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences J. Robert Barth, S.J. has died after a recurrence of cancer. “He will be remembered with great affection as a priest, a scholar, a teacher, a Robsham thespian, a lover of poetry, a very successful and long-serving dean, a champion of the liberal arts, and a special patron of the fine arts,” said Dean Joseph F. Quinn.

More | The Heights




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Goldwater Scholar Melanie McNally ’06, a budding neuroscientist whose research is inspired by her paralyzed father, is featured in the Boston Globe.




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Sociologist Natasha Sarkisian has received the 2005 Rosabeth Moss Kanter International Award for Research Excellence in Families and Work for her co-authored article, 'Explaining the Gender Gap in Help to Parents: The Importance of Employment'.




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On November 18, 1755 a strong earthquake rocked Cape Ann, MA and well beyond, writes geophysicist and Weston Observatory Director John Ebel. Massachusetts Historical Society




A nePaul SchervishwJohn Havens report by BC’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, released at a Boston Foundation forum on 11/08, puts pay to the oft-reported characterization that the Bay State lags in charitable giving. Professor of Sociology Paul Schervish is the Director of CWP; Senior Research Associate John Havens is Associate Director. Boston Business Journal | Full report




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Chemist Paul Davidovits has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. More




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Physics Prof. Zhifeng Ren has been appointed a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  More




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Director of BC’s newly-launched Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Professor of Theology and Margaret O’Brien Flatley Chair, David Hollenbach, S.J., writes on human rights in Catholic thought for America magazine.




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A&S Honors faculty member Martha Bayles reviews 'Good Night and Good Luck,' a new film portraying the conflict between CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow and U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy. The Weekly Standard




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Paul Mariani, award-winning poet and the author of 14 books, accompanied by renowned book designer and illustrator Barry Moser, spoke with Boston College Magazine editor Ben Birnbaum about their new book Deaths and Transfigurations: New Poems. The collaboration features 39 poems by Mariani, in addition to Moser’s original engravings.




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Michael Keith's course, Radio in Culture and Society, is highlighted by the “Chronicle of Higher Education.”




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Economist Tayfun Sonmez is among a group of economists using matching theory to boost patients’ prospects for finding compatible kidney donors. NSF Discovery




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A perspective piece by Alan Wolfe, Professor of Political Science; Director of The Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, was highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education.




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The National Institute on Aging has awarded a multi-year $490K grant to sociologist Eva Marie Garroutte to research medical communication needs of American Indian elders and their satisfaction with health care providers.




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The American Psychological Society has awarded Fellow status to psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett.




The Rett Syndrome Research Foundation has awarded a grant to Thomas Seyfried, Stephen Heinrichs, and Richard McGowan, S.J. to conduct research on gene-environmental interactions in the metabolic control of Rett Syndrome in Mecp2 mice using a ketogenic diet.




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After a period of calm in U.S.-Chinese relations, attention has returned to the military and economic rise of China and the challenges to American security, writes Professor Robert Ross in The National Interest.




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National Catholic Reporter deems English Prof. Paul Mariani’s new book Deaths & Transfigurations to be “an honest, beautiful, and accessible collection of poems.”




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Political Scientist Marc Landy shares some insight on the Supreme Court nominee with Newhouse News Service.




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Franco Mormando, originator of the exhibit “Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800”, talks about his exhibit and himself during an in-depth interview with the Washington Post.




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How will current U.S. social and political trends affect the world in the decades ahead? Sociology Professor Emeritus Severyn Bruyn poses this question in the Christian Science Monitor.




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Associate Professor Carlo Rotella reviews “Only in America” for the New York Times.




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Alan Wolfe, Professor of Political Science and Director of The Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life debates a new book by Barbara Ehrenreich in Slate.




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Theologian David Hollenbach, S.J. explores tensions between civic and religious allegiance on Australian Broadcasting Program’s The Religion Report. 




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When questioned about the economic impact from Hurricane Katrina, economist Robert Murphy told the Boston Herald that the hurricane could generate huge economic activity, contingent upon gas prices.




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An insightful editorial written by Laura Tanner reminds us that by allowing our youngsters the time and space for true recreational activity, we’re equipping them for success in college and beyond, and quite possibly eliminating future academic burn-out.




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Professor Peter Ireland has accepted an invitation to be an editor of the B. E. Journals in Macroeconomics.




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Research by Arts and Sciences Dean Joseph Quinn regarding raising the retirement age is cited in Robert Samuelson’s column in the Washington Post.




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Economics major Gregory Wiles, editor-in-chief of the University’s new undergraduate research publication Elements, was interviewed for the Boston Sunday Globe’s Education section.




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Most Americans, including many who make it their business to analyze public diplomacy, seem unmindful of the negative impression that America has recently been making on the rest of humanity via our popular culture, writes Martha Bayles in the Washington Post.




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John Ebel discusses the Cape Ann fault, one of four surprising places in the US where big earthquakes have happened - and could happen again in USA Weekend.




Paul Schervish and John Havens discuss distribution of retirement income to self, family and charity, in the National Catholic Reporter.




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Alan Wolfe takes a cautious look at author Rick Warren’s plans to lend a hand in Rwanda. Wall Street Journal




James Skehan, S.J. and John Ebel discuss how belief in science and God can co-exist.




An article co-authored by sociologist Juliet Schor appears on the cover of the The Nation.




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Thomas Simmons '07 is among a group of college students lending a hand this summer to low income middle-school students whose sights are set on college.




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The Worcester Art Museum’s exhibit by co-curator Associate Professor Franco Mormando received an outstanding review in the New York Times.




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BC Biology major Melanie McNally ´06, winner of a Goldwater scholarship this year, is being recognized as one of the top student scientists in the country. As NECN reports, much of her drive to succeed stems from a life-changing family event.




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As the Catholic Church’s 20th World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany nears, the Boston Globe Magazine interviewed young Catholics like Alison Bane ´07 about their faith and the challenges facing their church.




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The split within the AFL-CIO will certainly not revitalize organized labor’s power in the short run, say observers like sociologist Charles Derber. Christian Science Monitor




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The IRA’s latest move is analyzed by historian Kevin O'Neill and theologian Raymond Helmick S.J.




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A&S Honors Program faculty member Martha Bayles takes a look at the life and times of legendary soul artist James Brown in the Weekly Standard.




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The identities of last week’s suicide bombers in London has experts questioning how much collective benchmarks play in predicting the extremism of a handful of angry people. “We definitely have a different dynamic going on here in the United States,” says Professor Peter Skerry in the New York Times.




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At a national conference of university fund raisers, Paul Schervish, Director for Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, was one of the keynote speakers discussing the changing motivations of major donors, and how to build, maintain, and evaluate a loyal alumni base. Chronicle of Higher Education




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Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam recently interviewed Alan Wolfe  on whether a Mormon could be elected president. 




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Outpourings of grief, anger, horror, and defiance followed the London bombings, as did speculation over the identity and intent of those responsible. Professors Marc Landy and Jeanne Guillemin shared their thoughts on the bombings and the implications with The Office Public of Affairs.




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Extremely impressed with Professor Thomas Oboe Lee’s “Pluto” movement at the Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s season opener, the Herald’s Ted Medrek stated, “It had a more modern sensibility and more musical depth than its illustrious predecessor. It made me wonder what Lee might come up with for a planet cycle all his own.” Ted Medrek




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At the Black Fatherhood Summit a panel of hip-hop insiders sought ways to stress the responsibilities of manhood, writes A&S Honors faculty member Martha Bayles in the Wall Street Journal.




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Is the US heading for a constitutional revolution and returning it to the days when government was small and its authority weak? Alan Wolfe Professor of Political Science and Director of Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life writes in the Boston Globe.




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Foucault’s Philosophy a Call for Ethical Behavior, written by Prof. James Bernauer, S.J., sheds light on the mysterious world of Foucault. Bernauer discussed his book, which was recently translated into Turkish, with Zaman, Turkey’s first online newspaper.




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A nanotech paper published by the American Physical Society journal Physical Review Letters offers a harbinger of research to come from a new electron microscope lab in Higgins Hall. Authors include Zhifeng Ren, Jianyu Huang, Ziqiang Wang, Shuo Chen, Sung-Ho Jo, and Daxin Han. BC Chronicle




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Psychologist Ellen Winner, author of “Gifted Children: Myths and Realities,” was a guest speaker on The Connection for a discussion about the potential problems prodigies often face once they become adults.




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The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s 'Applaud An Educator Initiative' offers members of the graduating class an opportunity to honor a person(s) who has touched their lives. Ann Marie Barry, praised as being “a quiet guiding force” who has encouraged students to “explore the world in new ways,” was one of the educators to be honored by the Class of 2005.




When the BC Chronicle asked the faculty to name some books on their summer reading list, three A&S faculty members, Paul Mariani, David Quigley, and Carlo Rotella named the following.




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“Nobody here but us liberals,” an essay written by Alan Wolfe, was published in the Sunday Book Review section of the NY Times.




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The Dana Foundation has awarded psychologist Ellen Winner a grant to extend her longitudinal study with Gottfried Schlaug on the effects of instrumental music training on children’s brain and cognitive development.




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The founding congress of the Industrial Workers of the World was called to order on June 27, 1905, the year English Prof. Suzanne Matson’s father was born into a family of immigrant unionist coal miners. Now as the IWW marks its centennial anniversary, Matson writes an op-ed in the Seattle Times.




Professors John Fourkas and Michael Naughton are combining two super-small building techniques with some amazing results.




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The William Foote Whyte Distinguished Career Award is being awarded to Professor Emeritus Severyn Bruyn.




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Fine Arts faculty member Aileen Callahan's expressionist/impressionist art work is part of the “Visions of Moby-Dick: 3 Contemporary Artists” exhibit.




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The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture, written by Sociologist Juliet Schor, was cited by The Hindu Business Line regarding the effect advertising has on children.




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BC Alumnus Patrick Leahy has been named Acting Director of the U.S. Geological Survey by Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton.




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The American Psychological Association’s “Society for Personality and Social Psychology” has bestowed Fellow status to psychologist Lisa Barrett.




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Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael A. Smyer has been named as one of 16 Massachusetts delegates to the White House Conference on Aging. Office of Public Affairs




Carlo Rotella, English prof. and author of "Cut Time: An Education at the Fights" discussed the state of boxing on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. BC Magazine




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“Cambridge Now,” a poem written by Andrew Sofer, placed 1st in the 2005 Iambs Trochees national poetry contest. The poem will be published in Journal IV Issue 2 of Iambs Trochees, the only American print journal publishing exclusively metrical verse.




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Theologian Stephen Brown received a “Doctor Theologiae, honoris causa” degree in Helsinki during a three-day solemn Ceremony of Conferment.




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Chemist John Fourkas and his team have demonstrated that gold particles can be induced to emit light strong enough to allow the observation of single nanoparticles. Science Daily | Innovations Report




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Philosopher and director of the Psychoanalytic Studies Program, Vanessa Rumble, has received the 2005 Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award.BC Chronicle




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Jina Moon '06 has received the University’s Asian-American scholarship. BC Chronicle




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Theologian Lisa Cahill commented in the New York Times that a focus on semantics in controversial science issues may sidestep important moral questions.




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Psychologist Lisa Barrett, whose research delves into the mysteries of emotional experience, was quoted in the Boston Globe regarding an experiment at Massachusetts General Hospital, tracking the state of mind of patients battling depression. 




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Heather Speller and 17 college peers spent 3 weeks in Africa offering optometry services to Tanzanians.




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Sociologist Juliet Schor's comment on an article written by NY Times editor Jennifer Steinhauer, was selected for the NY Times ‘Quote of the Day.’




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Ali Banuazizi was interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman, NY Times Consulting Editor for Council on Foreign Relations, regarding former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. More




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Philosopher Jorge Garcia will join the executive board of the the Eastern Division Executive Committee of the American Philosophical Association.




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Theologian Kenneth Himes O.F.M. wrote an article in the Boston Globe concerning the influence Benedict XVI might have on the academic freedom in Catholic universities.




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Chemist Shana Kelley has been named a 2005 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar.




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Vanderslice Professor T. Ross Kelly was among seven Prize Professors showcased on WCVB-TV’s “Chronicle.” View segment




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Ellen Pyzik '05 was selected “Rose of Boston” in a recent Boston/New England competition, a lighthearted competition to select a woman who reflects the inner beauty, character, and personality of modern young Irish women capable of representing the best of the global Irish community.




Meghan Hammond '04 has received a Mellon Fellowship. BC Chronicle




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Cynthia Simmons has received an International Research and Exchanges Board Travel Grant (IREX) for travel to and research in Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina.




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Chemist Larry McLaughlin has won two $1 million research grants--a grant from the National Science Foundation and another from the National Institutes of Health.




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Kevin Shatzkin '05 has won the 113th annual Fulton Prize Debate. BC Chronicle




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Melanie McNally ’06 and Elizabeth O’Day ’06 have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships, making this the 4th straight year BC students have received this prestigious award. BC Chronicle




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Megan Rulison ´06 has won the National Award in Dramaturgy at the 37th annual American College Theater Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.




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Chemist Shana Kelley has been awarded a Keck Futures Initiative Grant to conduct research on the properties of PbS semiconductor quantum dots built using DNA molecules, a novel class of hybrid inorganic bionanostructures.




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Historian Franziska Seraphim was a guest speaker on Talk of the Nation for a discussion on the re-telling of history—Japan’s role in World War II.




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Mathematician Mark Reeder finished 104th in the 2005 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:40:56, beating his 2004 record of 2:43.




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Sister Mary Hinsdale discussed the Pope’s legacy regarding women and women’s issues on WBUR-FM’s “Here and Now.”




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Sociologist Sarah Babb has been awarded a prestigious Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for AY 2005/06.




In dual Boston Globe Opinion pieces theologian James Weiss writes that the coming conclave offers an “extraordinary mixture of old precedent and new paradox” while theologian James Keenan, S.J. writes about the voting cardinals need to consider the needs of a “restive and divided” church.




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Theology Prof. John Paris, S.J. discussed the ethics involved in the Schiavo case on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight newscast.




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Matthew List ’05 has won an Undergrad Research Award from the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences for his thesis on the calculation of Social Security benefits paid to elderly recipients.




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History Professor James O'Toole's book Habits Of Devotion was reviewed in the Jesuit magazine America.




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Associate VP for Research and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Michael Smyer has been named chair of the Council of Graduate Schools Government Relations Group.




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Economist Peter Gottschalk, co-author of one of the first papers on income volatility in the 1990’s, commented on the public’s reluctance toward President Bush’s Social Security Program. New York Times




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Meredith Stoffel´06 is speaking out against a bill currently before the New York legislature that proposes to include a child’s weight and body mass index in their report cards. CBS News




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Harry Rosser commented in the Boston Globe, “The benefits of knowing a foreign language go way beyond career objectives.”




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Several hundred BC students gathered on O’Neill Plaza for a memorial service celebrating Pope John Paul II’s public persona, his broad sense of humor, and his work promoting justice and peace.




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Theologian John Paris, S.J. discussed the Catholic Church’s end-of-life ethical issues with USA Today. Paris was also interviewed in The Christian Science Monitor regarding who makes the decision to end life-extending treatment when a patient leaves no written living will.




Drucker Professor Alicia Munnell and A&S Dean Joseph Quinn offer comments to the media on the changing nature of retirement. New York Times




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Political Scientist Jennifer Steen has found that US senators need more than big bucks to maintain their seats.




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Sociologist Paul Gray discussed why the younger generation prefers music played on vinyl format versus digital format with the Boston Globe.




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Professor Juliet Schor commented in the Los Angeles Times about the various ways marketers try to brand a product on a consumer’s mind.




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Choice, a publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries, has selected John Houchin’s book, “Censorship of the American Theatre in the Twentieth Century” as one of the most significant theatre and dance books published during 2004. The book was also a finalist for the George Freedley Memorial Award, which honors the best English language work about live theatre published in the U.S.




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Psychologist Ellen Winner, a specialist in visual arts who has studied gifted children, appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss Marla Olmstead, the 4-year-old girl whose paintings are selling for up to $24,000.




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Prasannan Parthasarathi is co-author of an article that appeared in the Boston Globe regarding BU’s plan to construct a high security laboratory to undertake research on biological weapons.




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For the second consecutive year Jonathan Lennon ´05 has been named to USA Today’s All-USA College Academic Team. USA Today




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BC economics students and A&S Dean Joseph Quinn help NBC’s Katie Couric offer the "Today Show" viewers a wintry primer on the Social Security dilemma.




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Professor Richard Kearney discussed desire and evil in the Christian and Jewish traditions during a recent lecture on WBUR’s “World of Ideas.”




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Alan Wolfe discussed church and state in the U.S. on NPR’s The Connection.




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Caitlin Becker ´05 published an article in America about her experience at the annual weekend protest at Fort Benning, GA.




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John Paris, S.J. discusses the dispute between a mother and Texas Children’s Hospital over ending her terminally ill baby’s medical treatment. Paris teaches medical ethics at BC and has written extensively on the subject.




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Associate Professor Amy Boesky is head writer for the Beacon Street Girls, a realistic book series written about a quintet of seventh-grade girls facing everyday predicaments.




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Richard Blake, S.J. writes a review on Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby.” America




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Heather Speller ´05, a national finalist this past semester for both the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, has never regretted her decision to enroll in BC’s Presidential Scholars Program. BC Chronicle




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Sociologist William Gamson has been selected as 2005 Recipient of the Merit Award of the Eastern Sociological Society.




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Currently a Dedham Town Meeting Representative, Peter McNulty ´07 is now seeking a position on the School Committee.




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The golden age of retirement is in full bloom in the USA, and the nation has to deal with the economics of an aging population. One reasonable approach is to encourage later retirement for those able to work a few more years, says College of Arts and Sciences Dean Joseph Quinn in USA Today.




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An independent study course crafted by Nicholas Bernier ´07 allows him to earn college credit while running for Charter Commission in his hometown of Swansea, reports the Providence Journal.




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Professor Richard Kearney has been named this year to the Cardinal Mercier Chair in Leuven University, Belgium.




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English Prof. Carlo Rotella, author of Cut Time: An Education at the Fights, reviews “Million Dollar Baby,” the new boxing movie directed by Clint Eastwood.




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Weston Observatory Director John Ebel comments about placing an advance warning system in the Indian Ocean, and the odds of a tsunami striking the East Coast. Nashua Telegraph




14 Students awarded Fulbright Scholarships in 2005

BC Chronicle




BC wins outstanding Delegation Award

Dr. Shelton Williams presented BC seniors Evan Joye, John Powell, Mark Irvine, and Lauren Johns, members of BC’s Model United Nations, the Outstanding Delegation Award for their superb representation at the Invitational Model United Nations Conference.




Honors program and eTeaching services receive grant

Established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Stanton's retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc., the grant will be used to integrate technology into classroom teaching and student research.




A professor who taught that nothing is impossible

In honor of the late Grant Balkema, the Biology Department recently inaugurated the Grant W. Balkema Memorial Scholarship, to be presented annually to an undergraduate student conducting outstanding original research within the department. This year’s recipient is Melanie McNally ’06.




Enrollment trends at Boston College

Student Services’ annual statistical snap shot of BC’s enrollment trends reported that “while communication and English majors continue to be the most plentiful at BC, more undergraduates than ever are majoring in history, human development, and philosophy.” BC Chronicle




Earthquake recorded by seismograms

An earthquake in East Africa (magnitude 6.8) was recorded at BC’s Weston Observatory. The earthquake was also recorded at the Greenlodge Elementary School in Dedham, MA, a participant in BC’s Educational Seismology Project. Seismograms | News Report




Freshmen flocking to Cornerstone electives

This year 800 freshmen, nearly "40%" of the Class of 2009, are enrolled in the Cornerstone Program. BC Chronicle




75th year

As Weston Observatory marks its 75th year of seismic recording at its current location, its BC scientists are offering a range of ways for the public to learn about their work. The Weston TOWN CRIER BC’s Weston Observatory marks 75th anniversary of seismic recordings: Weston Observatory is a geophysical research laboratory of the Department of Geology and Geophysics, located in Weston, MA. BC Chronicle




Alan Kafka comments

“Since we have seen so many tragic natural disasters this year, I am once again reminded of the importance of being sensitive in our roles as seismologists regarding the human tragedy caused by powerful earthquakes. It is always a challenge for seismologists to find the correct balance among conveying scientific information about “interesting” earthquakes, communicating our amazement at the incredible power of natural forces in the Earth, and not forgetting about the human tragedy caused by large earthquakes. It is important in our roles as seismologists and educators not to forget that the phenomenon we study, and find to be so fascinating, has tragic consequences for people.”




BC’s Newton campus once housed former “Survivor”

Elisabeth Filarski Hasselbeck ´99, now co-host of ABC’s ‘The View’ recently returned to campus to participate in a dorm room makeover.




Commencement

Boston College’s Commencement speaker, Humanitarian Dr. Paul Farmer, urged the graduates to take action against the world’s suffering and injustice.




Feeling rattled by small quake?

Geologists at BC’s Weston Observatory said yesterday they are surprised people felt the magnitude-1.5 quake that struck Lowell, Dracut, and Tewksbury, but said such quakes are actually common in New England.




Elements Journal publishes first issue

The Journal was founded in September ´04 by a group of 20 undergraduate students with a goal that the publication would become a forum for the exchange of original ideas within and across the University’s disciplines. Journal




BC’s Theatre program at its highest enrollment level in 25 years

Associate Professor Stuart Hecht stated, “We’re a program that balances the professional-conservatory approach with the purely theoretical liberal arts approach.” BC Chronicle




One of BC’s “Most Wanted” instructors

Based on the Undergraduate Student Government’s Professor Evaluation Profiles (PEPs), Denise Leckenby’s core course Love, Intimacy and Human Sexuality was rated 10 out of a maximum score of 10.




Getting Philosophical

Befitting a Jesuit school named for the Athens of America, BC has droves of Philosophy majors, quite possibly more than any other university in the country. BC Chronicle



Paul DavidovitsChemist Paul Davidovits has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  More



Zhifeng Ren Physics Prof. Zhifeng Ren has been appointed a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  More



David Hollenbach, S.J. Director of BC’s newly-launched Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Professor of Theology and Margaret O’Brien Flatley Chair, David Hollenbach, S.J., writes on human rights in Catholic thought for