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College of Arts and Sciences

2014 Features

college and graduate school of arts and sciences

Europe's monetary mistake

Unwelcome monetary conditions hold sway in the Euro Area—a concern for Americans, since the situation may mean decreased demand for U.S. exports, writes Murray and Monti Professor of Economics Peter Ireland.

Sesquicentennial prof

Political Science Assistant Professor Jennifer Erickson, an expert on international security and political economy issues, has been named the White Family Sesquicentennial Assistant Professor.

Finding God in complex things

Physics Associate Professor Cyril Opeil, S.J., studies condensed matter, a research area that has applications for the pursuit of alternative-energy sources. He’s featured by the Society of Jesus U.S. website

Fr. Keenan named director of BC's Jesuit Institute

Founders Professor of Theology James Keenan, S.J., director of the Presidential Scholars Program, has been named director of the Jesuit Institute and holder of the Canisius Chair. BC Chronicle

Unearthly earthly noises

Where are Connecticut’s mysterious ‘moodus noises’ coming from? Geophysicist and Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor John Ebel discussed seismological connections to the sounds in an interview with NPR reporter Ari Daniel Shapiro '01: WBUR ‘Here and Now’.

Class finds lost Chinese relics

A successful academic quest by BC undergraduates, who used research and detective skills to track down more than 80 carved Chinese pagodas that had been lost for nearly a century, has resulted in an exhibit of several of the rare items, now on view in O'Neill Library. The class project, led by History Assistant Professor Jeremy Clarke, S.J., is featured by the Boston Globe.

Public Understanding Award

Sociology Professor Juliet Schor has won the 2014 Public Understanding of Sociology Award, given annually by the American Sociological Association for exemplary contributions to the understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public.

BC Bookmarks

In his new book Rekindling the Christic Imagination: Theological Meditations for the New Evangelization, Theology Associate Professor Emeritus Robert Imbelli uses artistic, literary, spiritual and theological sources to place Christ at the center of Catholic faith.

Parenting vs. overprotecting

Has preoccupation with safety taken away from childhood independence? Psychology Research Professor Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, is among guests discussing the difference between keeping kids safe and over-sheltering them.

Reading the Russians

What can we learn about Russian character and temperament from their literary giants—Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekov, Nabokov? Professor of Russian and English Maxim D. Shrayer was among experts providing insights on WBUR’s Radio Open Source | His latest book, Leaving Russia, is featured by Jewish Voice and New Jersey Jewish News; he reflects on his last Soviet summer in a piece for Moment magazine.

Doing ELL well

A coalition of education groups believes a new bill would transform the way English language learners are educated in Massachusetts, writes Presidential Scholar Nathan Schwan A&S ’16, state captain of Students for Education Reform and co-author of an op-ed in the Boston Globe.

Goldwater Scholar

Biology major Matthew F. Evans A&S ’15, whose research interests focus on the neurobiology of cell growth, has been awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, considered the premier undergraduate award in the sciences. BC News Release

The Fed's forward guidance

The Federal Reserve can best help employment by stabilizing prices, not targeting unemployment, writes Murray and Monti Professor of Economics Peter Ireland for Economics 21.

From Dean to Provost

University President William P. Leahy, S.J., has named David Quigley, a respected administrator and distinguished historian, teacher and scholar who has served as dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences since 2009, as provost and dean of faculties. BC News Release |

Reality of 'Breaking Boston'

The new A&E reality show is to the Boston movie boom as ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’ is to ‘Hamlet,’ writes English Professor and American Studies Director Carlo Rotella. Boston Globe

The Clinton documents

The National Archives has made public some 4,000 pages of previously confidential documents related to the Clinton Administration. History Professor Patrick Maney discussed the release with Fox News Boston.

Catholicism and the challenge of liberty

Theology Professor David Hollenbach, S.J., holder of the University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice, is among experts interviewed for a video history of religious liberty from Constantine to Vatican II by Catholic News Service.

Putin's nonverbal cues

Psychology Associate Professor Joseph Tecce was among experts asked to interpret Russian president Vladimir Putin's body language during Tuesday's news conference.

'Selfie' portrait of aging

A selfie a day for 27 years? Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography Karl Baden has taken nearly 10 thousand daily photographic self-portraits to document the aging process. 'PBS Newshour | WCVB-TV News | WBZ-TV News | Boston Magazine | Yahoo! News | Elite Daily | NY Daily News | Huffington Post UK

Francis on the Chair of Peter

Theology Associate Professor Emeritus Rev. Robert Imbelli writes about Pope Francis’ appointment of 19 cardinals, the first public liturgical ceremony at which he and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI appeared together. dotCommonweal

Political Violence

Assistant Professor Peter Krause explains variation in the use and effectiveness of political violence in the journal International Security. | Podcast

The economics of hope: kidney exchange

Boston College economists Tayfun Sönmez and M. Utku Ünver describe how they have improved the way patients in need of a kidney are matched with donors. Video from University Advancement.

The fed and the economy

The markets applauded Janet Yellen’s recent report to Congress–an enthusiasm that seems fully justified, writes Murray and Monti Professor of Economics Peter Ireland for the Manhattan Institutes’

Sloan Foundation Fellow

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Maksym Fedorchuk has received a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship, awarded annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to outstanding, 'rising star' U.S. and Canadian early-career scientists and scholars.

Magdalenes still await justice

Nearly a year after Ireland's Taoiseach made an emotional apology to survivors of the Magdalene Laundries, the women continue to suffer poverty, ill-health and trauma, writes English Associate Professor James Smith, a committee member of Justice for Magdalenes Research.


Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dawei Chen has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, the agency’s most prestigious grant for junior faculty.

The dating game

Required dating? It's an unusual aspect of a seminar taught by Kerry Cronin, associate director of the Philosophy Department’s Lonergan Institute and a fellow in BC's Center for Student Formation. Times Higher Education

Kaveny named Libby Professor

Cathleen Kaveny, a nationally noted scholar on the intersections of law, morality and religion, has been named the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor, an appointment in both the Law School and Department of Theology.

Caring despite abuse

Research by Sociology Assistant Professor Sara Moorman and Graduate School of Social Work doctoral student Jooyoung Kong on the challenges of caregiving for abusive parents is highlighted by the New York Times.

for BC Authors

America magazine calls Global Justice, Christology and Christian Ethics, new from Monan Professor of Theology Lisa Sowle Cahill, "a significant contribution not only to that discipline, but also to theology"; Leaving Russia by Professor of Russian and English Maxim D. Shrayer is named a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. BC Bookmarks

Winter Olympics security concerns growing amid terror threats

Assistant Professor Peter Krause appeared on NECN this morning to discuss the terroist threat to the Sochi Olympics.

Traumas never named

Seeling Professor of Philosophy Richard Kearney addressed Ireland's ‘traumas that were never named,’ notably the Great Famine, in remarks at an Abbey Theatre symposium on the role of theater in commemoration. Irish Times | RTE's The Pat Kenny Show (at 5:50)| RTE's Marian Finucane Show (scroll to Jan. 18 show).

Undergrad research award

Narintohn Luangrath ’14, whose work on migration and asylum policy issues earned her a Truman Scholarship, has been named one of two winners of undergraduate research awards by the Forum on Education Abroad, for her work as an intern with the Irish Human Rights Commission.

What's ahead for the economy?

Murray and Monti Professor of Economics Peter Ireland writes on the potential impact of the recent rise in long-term interest rates and looks ahead to the coming year in his latest essays for 'Economics 21.'

Judgments of suicide

People—even non-religious people—make the moral judgment that suicide is wrong not because of any specific harm related to the act, but because they believe it taints the purity of a person’s soul, according to a study by Josh Rottman, a doctoral student working in the lab of Psychology Assistant Professor Liane Young and Deborah Kelemen. BC News Release (via Science Codex), Business Standard, Health24, Medical Express News, Science Blog, Science Daily

Society and smoking

A newly approved ordinance banning smoking on Boston Common is especially ironic given the park’s past, writes History Professor Marilynn Johnson. Boston Globe 'Ideas'