2010 Archived News and Features
college and graduate school of arts and sciences
Theologian's book honored
Theologian Catherine Cornille's latest book The Im-Possibility of Interrreligious Dialogue has won the Frederick J. Streng Award for Excellence from the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, given annually to a book that 'makes make an important contribution to issues relevant to the context of Buddhist-Christian dialogue.'
The new English missal
As Catholics prepare for a revised English translation of the Roman Missal, there is disquiet about its rendering of a usable and sacred vernacular, theologian Raymond Helmick, S.J. - who was among those involved in the 1960s translation- writes in The Tablet.
English Associate Professor Andrew Sofer has received the inaugural ASTR Essay Prize of the American Society for Theatre Research for his Theatre Journal article on 'Doctor Faustus.' According to the award citation, the essay's 'rigorous and insightful interweaving of theatre and literary history, performance and critical theory, and cultural and textual analysis' renders it 'a model of elegant scholarly inquiry.'
Sleep and memory
Sleep seems to reorganize memories, picking out the emotional details and reconfiguring them to help people produce new and creative ideas, according to an article co-authored by Psychology Associate Professor Elizabeth Kensinger in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. UPI | Hartford Courant | Science Daily
Justice for Magdalenes
The Irish Human Rights Commission has requested a formal inquiry into violations against women and girls in Ireland's Magdalene Laundries, based on an application by advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes, which was coordinated and co-authored by English Associate Professor James Smith. Sampling of coverage: Irish Times | Irish Examiner | RTE Television News.
Food and home
Lynne Christy Anderson, English adjunct professor and ESL coordinator of the ESL Program, discussed her book Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens - and the symbolic role of food in the assimilation process - on WBUR's 'Here and Now.'
Solar cheaper than coal?
Ferris Professor of Physicis Michael Naughton and other like-minded scientists are rethinking fundamental elements of solar cells, aiming to make solar energy cost-competitive with coal and natural gas. Discover Magazine
Malaria research advanced
Boston College DeLuca Professor of Biology Marc Muskavitch and an international team of researchers have developed the first high-res microarray for a vector mosquito, which provided 400,000 genetic markers that can offer vital insights into the insect that transmits malaria. Video Science Daily | PhysOrg.com
The Broken Tower
The Broken Tower: A Life of Hart Crane, a biography of the American poet written by poet and University Professor of English Paul Mariani - has drawn the attention of actor James Franco, who has initiated a conversation with Mariani about making it his next film. Springfield Republican
Missing Lucile: Memories of the Grandmother I Never Knew by English adjunct faculty member Suzanne Berne 'distills the essence of an era in the history of one family' with 'remarkable cunning and sensitivity.' She discusses the work in a Q&A with the Boston Globe.
A solar energy project co-founded by Patrick Allen A&S '13 at his Minnesota high school has grown into an initiative that now encompasses other local schools and, most recently, has earned an international accolade.
Pope Benedict and the Church
Theology Professor Rev. Kenneth Himes discusses the contributions Pope Benedict XVI has made to the Church in a Q&A with National Catholic Reporter.
New Monan Prof. named
Karen MacDonald, an award-winning Boston-based actress who has worked across the U.S. and internationally, has been named the Rev. J. Donald Monan, SJ, Professor in Theatre Arts for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Spotlight on nanotech
Boston College faculty in biology, chemistry and physics who are producing breakthroughs by developing devices engineered at the nanoscale are featured in the latest issue of AJCU Connections.
In the news
Sociology Professor Lisa Dodson will be the “Writer as Witness” speaker for the incoming class at American University. Additionally, her book, The Moral Underground, was reviewed by Choice: Current Review for Academic Libraries as “Highly Recommended.”
Emotion and visual attention
People who are angry pay more attention to rewards than to threats, according to a new study co-authored by Psychology Assistant Professor Maya Tamir, graduate student Brett Ford and colleagues, published in the journal Psychological Science. Sampling of coverage: Science Daily | Times of India | Bloomberg BusinessWeek
A recipe for tradition
Lynne Christy Anderson, a member of the English Department faculty and author of the new book Breaking Bread: Recipes and Stories from Immigrant Kitchens, discusses the culture, traditions and memories that come with preparing family recipes on Vermont Public Radio.
How Lincoln Learned to Read
Each fall since 2004, BC has chosen a book for new freshmen that represents the academic theme for the coming year. This year's book is How Lincoln Learned to Read by Daniel Wolff.
Global Catholic ethics
Catholic moralists from around the globe convened in Italy for 'Catholic Ethics in the World Church,' the second world-gathering this decade spearheaded by Founders Professor of Theology Professor James Keenan, S.J., and an international planning team. The Tablet ('Letter from Trent', last page) | America | Vatican Radio | Commonweal
The world's a stage for sophomore Patrick Lazour A&S '13, who is half of a fraternal songwriting team that has already scored two locally-staged musical productions. He and his brother Daniel are featured by the Worcester Telegram.
What We Have
A new memoir in which English Associate Professor Amy Boesky relates her experience as a 'previvor'—one of the increasing number of women with cancer-ridden family histories who face genetic testing or preventive surgery—is cited as a 'book to watch' by Oprah's O Magazine | Boesky writes in support of a proposal to establish an annual Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer week in the Huffington Post.
Erica Cross A&S '12 has been awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship to study in South Africa
A series of recent experiments led by Psychology Research Assistant Professor Maya Tamir found that people subconsciously prime themselves to feel emotions they believe will be most useful to them in an anticipated situation. The study is highlighted by the New York Times.
Canada quake jolts N.E.
A seismograph at an Amesbury, Mass. middle school, hosted by BC's Weston Observatory, showed evidence from the magnitude-5.0 earthquake that struck on the Ontario-Quebec border in Canada on June 23, which was also felt by people across New England. Geophysics Professors John Ebel and Alan Kafka and seismologist Leslie Campbell of the Observatory assessed the quake. AP | Boston Herald | Salem News | Danbury News-Times (Conn.) | Providence Journal | FoxNews
Mass. math panel
Mathematics Professor Solomon Friedberg has been appointed by the Massachusetts Commission of Education to a panel that will advise the state on the new K-12 mathematics framework, the Common Core.
Global economic justice
The U.S. bishops' 1986 vision that moral principles guiding economic decisions could ensure that each person has the basic necessities of life remains an elusive goal, according to University Professor of Human Rights and International Justice David Hollenbach, S.J.
'Nanocoax' solar cell
A nano-scale thin-film solar cell inspired by the coaxial cable offers greater efficiency than any previous designs, Boston College physicists report. UPI
Teacher of the year
Bonnie Jefferson, associate professor of communications, has won the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award. Nominated by students initiated into Phi Beta Kappa, Jefferson was described as "an extremely knowledgeable teacher, an inspirational advisor, and a kind person." BC Chronicle
Andrew Leonard A&S '10, who will join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in August, has dedicated a musical composition in appreciation for the impact that BC service opportunities have had on his life.
Obit: Fr. Flanagan
Rev. Joseph F.X. Flanagan, S.J., a beloved Jesuit priest and highly respected professor of philosophy whose seminal programs helped shape both the Philosophy Department and undergraduate education at Boston College, died May 14.
Beyond Business as Usual
A progressive economic vision is one that yields a sustaining planet, creative work and fair distribution. The business-as-usual economy is failing on all those fronts, writes Sociologist Juliet Schor in an essay adapted from her new book, Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth. The Nation
Graduate and undergraduate students in psychology have been on a semester-long mission to raise awareness in the local community of brain function and the importance of brain research.
Students honored for local service
BC undergraduates were among students honored by the Allston Board of Trade for their exemplary service to the local community. A&S Senior Ben Smith, assistant captain of the NCAA Championship Hockey Eagles, was designated to accept the award.
Odyssey of Russian émigré Jews
Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies Maxim D. Shrayer probes identity and faith in both his first book-length work of fiction, Yom Kippur in Amsterdam, and his memoir, Waiting for America: A Story of Emigration, according to a review in the Jewish Advocate.
Tackling Cystic Fibrosis
Thanks in no small part to the efforts of freshman Gunnar Esiason and his father, former NFL quarterback-turned-broadcaster Boomer Esiason, the life expectancy of people diagnosed with cystic fibrosis has nearly doubled. Boston Globe
Building a better battery
A tiny titanium structure of nanonets coated with silicon particles could pave the way for faster, lighter and longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries, according to a team of researchers in the lab of chemist Dunwei Wang.
On a mission
Soumia Aitelhaj, A&S '10, is on a mission to keep alive the poetry of a dying culture - her own. BC Chronicle
Associate Sociology Professor Eve Spangler has been selected to receive the Reverend John R. Trzaska, S.J. Award, which recognizes a faculty advisor who has contributed to student life at BC, as part of the 32nd Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony.
Spence Award winner
Psychology Associate Professor Elizabeth Kensinger will receive a new Association for Psychological Science award that recognizes 'transformative' early career contributions.
Sloan Research Fellow
Psychology Assistant Professor Sara Cordes has received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a highly competitive award given to the very best young scientists across the U.S. and Canada
Plan for peace
If President Obama is serious about peace, he needs to dust off the Saudi Peace Plan and make it the centerpiece of his discussions with the Israelis, writes theologian Rev. Raymond Helmick, S.J., in the UAE's English newspaper, the Khaleej Times.
Justice and reconciliation
Both injustice and the longing for reconciliation are visibly evident in Nairobi, Kenya, and in Jesuit Refugee Service work in eastern Africa, writes theologian Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., in Promotio Justitiae, the publication of the Social Justice Secretariat of the Jesuit order in Rome.
On February 27, 2010, BC's ESP seismographs recorded the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that occurred off the coast of Chile, near the city of Concepcion, 200 miles southwest of Santiago. Weston Observatory seismogram | News article
MLK scholarship recipient
Catherine Duarte A&S '11 was named recipient of the 2010 Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship.
Catholic apologetics handbook
Philosophy Professor Peter Kreeft discusses his book Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith, co-authored with BC colleague Ronald Tacelli, S.J., on Catholic TV's 'This is the Day' (Segment begins at 20:00 into the video.)
Inspiring future scientists
Founded and run by BC students, the Women in Science and Technology program offers a month-long series of weekend lectures, labs, and field trips for local high school girls interested in science. Testing cigarette smoke emissions on 02/13 in the Merkert Chemistry Center with students from North Cambridge Catholic HS (purple smocks) are Laura Barrett A&S '11 (L) and Jacqueline Valenza A&S '12 (R).
A surgical mission
The Philadelphia Inquirer chronicles the efforts of alumnus and orthopedic surgeon Alex Vaccaro A&S '83 to save an injured Haitian earthquake victim from permanent paralysis.
Undergraduate Beckman scholars from Boston College, Boston University, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Yale University convened in the Merkert Chemistry Center on January 23 to present their research projects in chemistry and the life sciences. Reviewing a poster presentation are, from left, Courtney McKee A&S '11, Julie Olson of Smith College, and Stephen Bohlman A&S '11.
Wealthy leaving N.J.
A study conducted by John Havens of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy reveals that from 2004 through 2008, $70 billion in wealth left New Jersey, while the state's charitable capacity declined by $1.13 billion. Wall Street Journal | Boston Globe | Star-Ledger (NJ) 12 | Forbes | Examiner.com | The Record (NJ) | AP | New York Post
Spotlight at Syracuse
Syracuse University has selected Fine Arts faculty member Karl Baden's Covering Photography: Imitation, Influence and Coincidence for their spring 2010 exhibition.
"The Early Show"
Ayla Brown A&S '10, daughter of BC Law School alumnus and new Mass. Senator-elect Scott Brown, chatted with "The Early Show" anchors about her basketball career, her new album and her American Idol experience. Video
A semester in Beijing
For economics major John R. R. Howie A&S '11, currently studying at Peking University, China 'is the most exciting and opportunistic place to be in the 21st century.' Boston Globe
Numan named AAAS Fellow
Psychology Professor Michael Numan has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to the understanding of parental behavior.
Center on Wealth and Philanthropy Director Paul Schervish discusses the impact of celebrity benefit shows on major fundraising efforts. Forbes
Theorem of the Day
Mathematician Jenny Baglivo is featured in the 2010 calendar "12 Theorems by Women Mathematicians".
Through the lens of a seismologist
The earthquake that occurred in Haiti is a fascinating reminder of the incredible power of natural forces in the Earth, and at the same time a reminder of the human tragedy caused by powerful earthquakes. Read Alan Kafka's blog describing his thoughts about this tragic earthquake and their work at Weston Observatory studying the science of the fascinating, but also tragic, phenomenon of earthquakes. Kafka's website
Representing the non-profit group
The recent U.N. conference on climate change seemed to produce more controversy than results, but for student delegate Elizabeth Barthelmes A&S '11 - who met some interesting people at the event - there is cause for optimism. BC Chronicle
Haiti aftershocks may persist
The aftershocks from Haiti's 7.0-magnitude earthquake may persist for days, posing risks for more damage and endangering rescuers, Weston Observatory Director John Ebel told the Boston Globe. | Weston Observatory seismogram | CNN news report| Boston Globe 1 | Boston Globe 2
Sociology Professor Sharlene Hesse-Biber discusses the stereotyping of 'perfect' bodies in light of a controversial photo on the cover of Marie Claire magazine. WBZ-TV
New blockbuster formula?
If 'Avatar' turns out to be director James Cameron's biggest juggernaut, then expect others to include dollops of anti-American vitriol in the blockbuster formula, writes Martha Bayles of the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. Boston Globe
A junior abroad
Integration is elusive for France's Muslims, writes Marina Lopes A&S '11, who is studying international relations at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. Boston.com