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College of Arts and Sciences

2015 Features

college and graduate school of arts and sciences

Professor Hon and Snyder
The Great Snow Melt

What happens when a record-breaking snowfall finally melts? Associate Professors Noah Snyder and Rudolph Hon of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department explain. BC Chronicle

Peter Ireland
Three words for the Fed

Independence, accountability and transparency should be watchwords for the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, writes Murray and Monti Professor of Economics Peter Ireland, co-author of a piece for Economics21.

Lisa Cahill
Women and the Church

A working paper issued before the recent Vatican plenary assembly on women offers a glimpse of the latest Catholic thinking about a number of issues, including as cosmetic surgery. Monan Professor of Theology Lisa Cahill was among experts asked to weigh in. New York Times

David Hopkins
Netanyahu's victory

Assistant Professor of Political Science David Hopkins commented on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decisive victory, and its likely impact on U.S. relations. Boston Herald

Alan Rogers
Religion and medical care

Should parents' religious beliefs allow them to refuse medical care for their children or avoid standard medical practices? Professor of History Alan Rogers weighs in for the New York Times 'Room for Debate'.

James Cronin
Rules of a disordered world

Professor of History James Cronin's Global Rules: America, Britain and a Disordered World is a 'deeply researched and lucid history of the period between the Vietnam War and the present day,' according to a review by Foreign Affairs. | BC Bookmarks

Robert Morrissey
Arts and Sciences to be named for benefactor, alumnus Robert J. Morrissey

Boston College will name its College of Arts and Sciences in honor of Robert J. Morrissey ’60, a prominent Boston attorney and investor who, with this latest commitment, will become the largest benefactor in the University’s history. BC News Release | Boston Globe | AP via ABC News

Maxim D. Shrayer
Ghosts of Soviet Past

An émigré and his ex-girlfriend meet at the Estonian island of Saaremaa to confront some of the ghosts of their Soviet past in Professor of Russian and English Maxim D. Shrayer's new novella published in the Canadian magazine Cosmonauts Avenue.

Carlo Rotella
Proustian power of bad music

'The songs that take me back most powerfully are the ones that feel as if they left scars,' writes Professor of English and Director of American Studies Carlo Rotella. Boston Globe

David Hopkins
Venus and Mars on Capitol Hill

Making sense of contemporary government requires understanding the distinct goals of each party base, writes Assistant Professor of Political Science David Hopkins, co-author of a post for the Washington Post "Monkey Cage".

Alan Rogers
Overextending a Constitutional Protection

It's time to repeal all religious exemptions that unconstitutionally protect parents at the cost of a child's death, contends Professor of History Alan Rogers, author of The Child Cases: How America's Religious Exemption Laws Harm Children. New York Times "Room for Debate".

Dunwel Wang
Boosting battery performance

BC Associate Professor of Chemistry Dunwei Wang reports nano-coatings help stabilize a unique form of carbon, which could help pave the way for next generation, high performance lithium-ion batteries. BC News Release | PhysOrg | Nanowerk | ECN magazine | Nanotech Now | R&D Magazine

Thomas Seyfried
New approach to cancer treatment

Professor of Biology Thomas Seyfried told an overflow audience at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition that a new metabolic approach to cancer treatment is overdue, calling some existing regimens barbaric and toxic. Ocala Star Banner

Ken Williams
Drug shows promise against HIV

A drug used to treat patients with Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis has helped scientists confirm how "viral reservoirs" form in patients living with HIV and proven effective at blocking the pathways to those reservoirs, Professor of Biology Ken Williams and a team of researchers report in the journal PLOS Pathogens. BC News Release (via Medical Express).

Elizabeth Kensinger
Nostalgia's Tech Comeback

From Throwback Thursday to Timehop, nostalgia has been embraced by the social media community. Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Kensinger, who studies memory, discussed how the brain processes live and recalled experiences in an interview with The Atlantic.

Maxim D. Shrayer
Yom Kippur in Amsterdam

Yom Kippur in Amsterdam, the title story from a 2009 collection by Professor of Russian, English and Jewish Studies Maxim D. Shrayer, has been selected for the anthology The New Diaspora: The Changing Landscape of American Jewish Fiction. BC Bookmarks

John Ebel
'Swarm' of earthquakes

Analysis of seismic data recorded by BC's Weston Observatory during two weeks of earthquake 'swarms' in Plainfield, Connecticut, earlier this year shows more than 60 small quakes occurred in the first week, geophysicist John Ebel tells Connecticut Magazine.

David Geraghty
Sloan Foundation Fellow

Assistant Professor of Mathematics David Geraghty has received a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship, awarded annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to rising stars among U.S. and Canadian early-career scientists and scholars. Geraghty's work focuses on number theory and a sub-area known as the Langlands program. BC News Release

James Russell
Science's struggle to study emotion

Researchers study facial expressions, brain patterns, behavior, and more, but each of these is only part of the effort to understand human emotions. Professor of Psychology James Russell is among scholars interviewed by The Atlantic.

Thomas Seyfried
Metabolic approach to cancer treatment

Professor of Biology Thomas Seyfried told an overflow audience at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition that a new metabolic approach to cancer treatment is overdue, calling some existing regimens barbaric and toxic. Ocala Star Banner

Peter Ireland
Prepping markets for rising interest rates

How could the Federal Open Market Committee better prepare markets for higher interest rates? Murray and Monti Professor of Economics Peter Ireland, a member of the Shadow Open Market Committee, is co-author of an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Maxim D. Shrayer
Story selected for new anthology

Yom Kippur in Amsterdam, the title story from a 2009 collection by Professor of Russian, English and Jewish Studies Maxim D. Shrayer, is included in a new anthology of Jewish-American fiction. His latest story appears in the Jewish news and culture magazine The Tablet. BC Bookmarks

John Ebel
New data on Connecticut quakes

Analysis of seismic data recorded by Weston Observatory during two weeks of earthquake "swarms" in Plainfield, Connecticut earlier this year shows that more than 60 small earthquakes occurred in the first week, geophysicist John Ebel tells Connecticut Magazine.

Joseph Tecce
Stress mounting with snow

As an arctic blast adds plunging temperatures to rising snow piles, it's a perfect storm of winter woes to trigger snow stress depression. Associate Professor of Psychology Joseph Tecce commented on NBC Nightly News.

James Najarian
Honored for Poetry

The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers has honored Associate Professor of English James Najarian, who specializes in Romantic and Victorian poetry and nonfiction prose, with its Stephen J. Meringoff Writing Award in Poetry.

Jeffery Byers
Chemist wins NSF Career Award

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jeffery Byers, whose research focuses on the development of sustainable chemistry, has received a $655,000 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, the agency's most prestigious grant for junior faculty. BC Chronicle

Robin Fleming
Rome and the Britons

Though the Romans brought many innovations to Britain, on average Britons lived longer after the Roman Empire fell, Professor of History Robin Fleming said during a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Telegraph (UK)

Elizabeth Goizueta
Lam Exhibition on View in Atlanta

Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds—which debuted last semester at the McMullen Museum, curated by Elizabeth Goizueta of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures' Hispanic Studies program—is now on view at Atlanta's High Museum of Art. Art Daily | Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Goizueta was interviewed about the exhibition on CNN Spanish Network (in Spanish).

Heather Cox Richardson
Cowboys after the Civil War

A C-SPAN series marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War features Professor of History Heather Cox Richardson, who talks about how cowboys became a symbol for a newly reunited America during the Reconstruction Era. View the segment here

Martha Bayles
Jon Stewart steps down

Jon Stewart and 'The Daily Show' changed comedy and journalism as we know it, Martha Bayles of Arts and Sciences Honors Program tells WGBH 'Greater Boston'.

Shawn McGuffey
The ICC in Africa

Scholars, practitioners, policymakers and activists, including Associate Professor of Sociology and African and African Diaspora Studies C. Shawn McGuffey, gathered in Tanzania to make recommendations to the International Criminal Court regarding its work in Africa. BC Chronicle

Peter Kreeft
Life, Theology and Thomas Aquinas

"Theology is always practical because nothing is more practical than living in reality, living in the real world," Professor of Philosophy Peter Kreeft tells National Review Online in a Q&A about his latest book, Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from Saint Thomas Aquinas.

David Broido
Elected APS Fellow

Professor of Physics David Broido has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the world’s second-largest organization of physicists, the society has announced. BC Chronicle

Robin Fleming
Medieval Academy Fellow

Professor of History Robin Fleming has been named a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, the largest organization in the United States promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies. BC Chronicle

Joseph Tecce
Got Snow Stress?

Psychology Professor Joseph Tecce was among several psychologists, interviewed by the Patriot Ledger, to offer coping mechanisms on handling snow stress.

Arissa Oh
Sitcom draws heat

Assistant Professor of History Arissa Oh weighed in on the controversy that preceded the debut of ABC's 'Fresh Off The Boat,' the first situation comedy to feature an Asian-American family in two decades. CNN

T. Ross Kelly
Law of Science

Thanks to seniors Jaclyn Lundberg and Omar A. Khan, anyone with an Internet connection can now get a glimpse of Vanderslice Professor of Chemistry T. Ross Kelly's collection of scientific curiosities, each of which teaches a lesson about a law of science or nature. BC Chronicle | Kelly's 'Curiosity Cabinet' is featured by Chemical & Engineering News. | Slideshow

Most popular majors

Economics leads the list of most popular undergraduate majors at BC, for the third consecutive year. Finance, biology, communication and political science round out the top five. BC Chronicle

Marc Landy
Why Romney Won't Run

Former Massachusetts governor and two time presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced last week that he would not seek the Republican nomination. Professor of Political Science Marc Landy was interviewed about the decision on CBS Boston's "Keller at Large".

Michael Naughton
Physics and footballs

Cold weather can affect pressure, which could have been the reason for the underinflated footballs used in the Patriots-Colts AFC Championship game, says Ferris Professor of Physics Michael Naughton. Boston Herald | WCVB_TV

John Ebel an Alan Kafka
Quakes rattle Connecticut

Hundreds of Connecticut residents packed an information session at which Director of Weston Observatory Alan Kafka answered questions about the recent earthquake activity there. WNTH-News | Hartford Courant | NBC Connecticut. Weston's John Ebel commented on CBS Evening News | The Weather Channel and in Connecticut Magazine. Other media interviews with observatory staff include the Boston Herald | WTNH-TV | Boston Globe | WNPR_FM | Hartford Courant | NBC Connecticut | AP | Providence Journal | UPI | Reuters.

Joseph Tecce
Brady's body language

During an interview with Fox 25 News, psychology professor and body language expert, Joseph Tecce, stated Tom Brady was telling the truth.

Lisa Sowle Cahill
Theological Excellence award

Monan Professor of Theology Lisa Sowle Cahill has received the 2015 Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence, which recognizes the contributions of contemporary theologians in writing and teaching. BC News Release

Peter Ireland of economics
Gaining on wages

The best thing the Fed can do to help bring about more sizable wage gains is stick to its current strategy, gradually but decisively bringing its monetary policy back to normal, according to Murray and Monti Professor of Economics Peter Ireland. Economics 21

Marina McCoy
Ending in hope

'Hope means choosing to act in ways that lead me closer to what is good and loving, even though the future is often unknown and beyond my control.' Associate Professor of Philosophy Marina McCoy writes on the Examen, a Ignatian technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day, for DotMagis.

Elizabeth Goizueta
Touring 'New Worlds'

WGBH-News toured the retrospective exhibition 'Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds' at the McMullen Museum of Art for a segment of 'Greater Boston' that includes an interview with curator Elizabeth Goizueta of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures' Hispanic Studies program.

Franck Salameh
Dialects and Middle East peace

Perception of the Middle East as a place with a certain culture and language ignores the array of different cultures that have developed over the course of history, contends Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies Franck Salameh in an interview with NPR affiliate KGOU-Oklahoma.

Jonathan Laurence
Eyes on Tunisia

Europe should watch Tunisia, which can already lay claim to the most democratic success story in the uncertain post-Arab Spring period, writes Associate Professor of Political Science Jonathan Laurence. Brookings UpFront | The Economist

Liane Young
Tracing intractable conflicts

New research into the nature of intractable political conflicts, led by Assistant Professor of Psychology Liane Young, might shed light on how to address other perennial arguments. NPR 'Morning Edition' | New York Magazine | Science Blog | The Guardian (UK)