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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Spring 2017

Arts and Sciences



Message from Dean Gregory Kalscheur, S.J.

In the midst of our increasingly polarized twenty-first-century body politic, the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences (MCA&S) continues to be inspired by the Jesuit tradition’s commitment to an educational apostolate animated by a spirituality that includes an orientation toward the public good. Our academic community has a mission of reconciliation based on justice, faith, and solidarity with those most in need. READ DEAN KALSCHEUR'S FULL MESSAGE » 


Faculty authors on their latest books

Eighteen Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences faculty published books last year on topics ranging from sustainable farming in New England to dissident philosophy in Cold War Europe. Here, five of these authors talk about what led them to their subjects and what their books contribute to their fields. GO TO SLIDESHOW OF FACULTY TALKING ABOUT THEIR NEWEST TITLES »


Undergrads showcase their work at Research Day

“The Environment and Society: Research for a Changing World” was the theme of BC’s annual Research Day on December 5. An exhibit of student research complemented a daylong series of faculty and student presentations. GO TO A VIDEO OF STUDENTS DISCUSSING THEIR WORK »


Liberal arts career pathways: Alumni insights and advice

More than 60 MCA&S alumni came to campus on January 11 for “Endeavor,” a three-day career exploration conference for sophomores pursuing degrees in the liberal arts. Eight alumni who took part in the program reflect on how their BC experiences prepared them for their lives and careers. GO TO A SLIDESHOW OF ENDEAVOR ALUMNI »


New clean lab supports interdisciplinary research

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences’ new Center for Isotope Geochemistry offers faculty and students in physics, chemistry, biology, and other fields a state-of-the-art lab space with technology to study the planet’s evolution over billions of years. GO TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE NEW LAB »


Young wins psychology award

The Foundation for Social and Personality Psychology and SAGE Publications recently named Associate Professor of Psychology Liane Young a SAGE Young Scholar. An expert in the emerging field of moral psychology, Young is one of only seven scholars selected for the award. VIEW AN ARTICLE ABOUT YOUNG’S AWARD »


Of Note

University Libraries unveiled the Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, a digital trove of more than 330 recordings—many previously unreleased—complemented by music transcriptions, stories and essays, Irish tunes, and songs by well-known traditional Irish musicians and performers. The collection culminates a project started 15 years ago by Connolly, a 10-time winner of the Irish National Fiddle Championship and retired Sullivan-Artist-in-Residence at Boston College. GO TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT CONNOLLY AND THE LIBRARY’S COLLECTION » VISIT UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES’ SÉAMUS CONNOLLY COLLECTION OF IRISH MUSIC WEBSITE »

Professor of Physics Krzysztof Kempa has been elected a 2016 Fellow of the American Physical Society in recognition of his outstanding research and “pioneering contributions” to the field. VIEW AN ARTICLE ABOUT KEMPA’S ELECTION »

Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Jeremy Shakun co-authored a report in the December 2016 Nature on the Greenland ice sheet, a 660,000-square-mile expanse that is a bellwether of climate conditions such as the earth’s temperature and projected sea-level rise. GO TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT SHAKUN’S RESEARCH »

Writing in Bloomberg View about a survey on the relationship between sports fandom and political attitudes he conducted with Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Thorson, Assistant Professor of Communication Michael Serazio noted that at a time of pronounced inequality, sports fans are more likely to believe that success is a result of individual initiative, rather than other forces. GO TO THE ARTICLE IN BLOOMBERG VIEW »

The microbiology journal Plos Pathogens reports that Assistant Professor of Biology Tim van Opijnen, Assistant Professor of Computer Science José Bento, and colleagues employed a novel gene sequencing technique to explore bacterial resistance to antibiotics. GO TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE RESEARCH »

On display from January 30 to June 4, the McMullen Museum’s Rafael Soriano: The Artist as Mystic presents more than 90 paintings, pastels, and drawings by Cuban painter Rafael Soriano (1920-2015). Elizabeth Goizueta, a lecturer in Romance languages and literatures and the McMullen’s adjunct curator, curated the show. GO TO THE MUSEUM’S SORIANO EXHIBITION WEB PAGE » GO TO THE BOSTON GLOBE’S REVIEW OF THE EXHIBITION »

As many as 1,000 students, faculty, and alumni are expected to take part in the 2017 Boston College Arts Festival, a campus-wide showcase for student, faculty, and alumni music, theater, and dance presentations, film screenings, art exhibitions, literary readings, and children's activities that takes place this year on April 27-29. The Arts Council has chosen Tracy Wigfield ’05, an Emmy-winning television writer known for her work on 30 Rock and The Mindy Project, as the recipient of the 2017 Arts Alumni Award. GO TO THE COUNCIL'S ARTS FESTIVAL WEBSITE »