2009 Archived News and Features
college and graduate school of arts and sciences
Capturing 'hot' electrons
Boston College physicists' success in harvesting elusive 'hot electrons' may lead to improvements in solar power efficiency. Sampling of pickups: Science Daily | Physics World | NanotechWire | Nanowerk News | Life Sciences World | PhysOrg.com | e!Science News | Cooler Planet
Four graduate students: Bede Bidlack, Kevin Conroy, Jeffrey R. Nagengast, and Kevin Vander Schel have won Fulbright Grants. BC Chronicle
A climate for change
Environmentalist and sustainability advocate Elizabeth Barthelmes A&S '11 is a student delegate to the United Nations conference on climate change in Copenhagen.
Keeping the peace
World peace is on the agenda - literally - for Kathryn Duthaler A&S '12, who serves as political officer for the Security Council at the sixth annual Chicago International Model United Nations.
'The Moral Underground'
A new book by sociologist Lisa Dodson, which depicts 'necessary and moral acts of conscience' that aid low-income workers, is recommended reading, according to a review in Time.
Chemistry resources enhanced
Support from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Dept. of Energy has helped to transform the Center for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, a cornerstone of chemistry research on campus.
Yom Kippur in Amsterdam
A new collection of stories, Yom Kippur in Amsterdam, by BC author and scholar Maxim D. Shrayer offers a distinct perspective on the modern immigration experience.
Not derailed by diabetes
Preparation is the foundation for any football player. But for junior Rich Lapham, it takes a little more than most. The Eagles' right tackle is a Type 1 diabetic - and a role model for children facing the disorder. Boston Herald
A semester in Madrid
Michael Polark, a senior majoring in economics and Hispanic studies, spent five months at La Universidad Complutense de Madrid last semester. He reflects on the experience in a Q&A with the Boston Globe.
Writers among Us
Paul Mariani, University Professor of English, reads from his book Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life. The author of six books of poetry, several full-length biographies, and some 200 articles, Mariani is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. front row
Faculty publication highlights
Faculty are interviewed on their publications: The Gambling Debate by Richard McGowan; An Anthology of Jewish-Russian Literature: Two Centuries of Dual Identity in Prose and Poetry by Maxim D. Shrayer; Cracking Up: American Humor in a Time of Conflict by Paul Lewis. (Real Player is required for viewing)
Rebecca Valette, professor emeritus of romance languages, and her husband will be honored with an award for their humanitarian work on October 14.
'Getting to Know You'
Christina Klein, associate professor of English, joined Tony-award winning playwright David Henry Hwang for a symposium on the successes and controversies of the Richard Rodgers musicals The King and I, Flower Drum Song and South Pacific.
Recession and recovery
Murray and Monti Professor of Economics Peter Ireland discussed the prognosis for recovery from the recession with WBZ-TV News.
A violent divide
Elizabeth O'Killea Haney A&S '11 is studying history at Rhodes University in South Africa. She offers a first-hand look at the country's violent divide for the Boston.com blog 'Passport'.
The Dan Brown phenomenon
Martha Bayles, culture critic and faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, discusses the popularity of author Dan Brown on WGBH-TV's 'Greater Boston'.
On September 30, 2009, our BC-ESP seismographs recorded the magnitude 7.6 earthquake that occurred in the Sumatra region, Indonesia. This earthquake follows yesterday's magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the Samoa Islands region.
Sumatra seismogram | news article| Samoa seismogram | news article
BC's newest endowed professors
A&S faculty members Michael Naughton (physics), Rev. James Bernauer, S.J. (philosophy), and Mary Crane (English) are the University’s newest endowed professors. BC Chronicle
Summer of science
A&S seniors Conor Schlick and Bridget Salna were among the ten students from across the country, who spent two summer months working with BC physicists, under the auspices of NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.
Football Eagle Will Thompson A&S '11 was featured on an edition of 'Wednesday's Child,' a long-running initiative of WBZ-TV Ch. 4 that helps to place foster children in permanent homes with adoptive parents.
Sarkisian wins award
Associate Professor of Sociology Natasha Sarkisian has won the Oliver Cromwell Cox Article Award from ASA's Racial and Ethnic Minorities section for her paper, "Street Men, Family Men: Race and Men's Extended Family Involvement."
Mary Crane has been appointed Thomas F. Rattigan Professor of English. Professor Crane has taught English at BC since 1986 and has served as chair of the English department since 2004.
Unprecedented NIH Grant
Biology Professor Thomas Seyfried is a lead researcher with the Tay-Sachs Gene Therapy Consortium, which was just awarded a $3.5 million grant from NIH to prepare for human clinical trials, a gene therapy to halt the fatal genetic disorder, Tay-Sachs. News Release | Physorg.com | The Jewish Daily Forward
Symmetry, great and small
Mathematics Professor Mark Reeder discusses his recent research, published in the Annals of Mathematics. Boston College Libraries
From ice skates to army boots
Psychology major and ROTC cadet Michelle Boulos '11, a former member of the U.S. Figure Skating Team, "used to use her athleticism to impress judges at competitions. Now she uses it to pass physical fitness tests for drill sergeants."
What the brain sees
Emotion may help the visual system jump the gun to predict what the brain will see, according to a study co-authored by Psychology Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett. Science News
A look back at Woodstock
Marking its 40th anniversary this year, Woodstock was both a dream and a nightmare, writes Martha Bayles of the College of Arts & Sciences Honors Program faculty. Wall Street Journal
Student arts camp aids orphans
Advanced Study Grant recipient Kellen O'Gara '10, a theater and communication major, is in Africa this month leading an arts-based program for orphaned children.
The guiding of light
Researchers led by physics professor Willie Padilla have created a device to guide electromagnetic waves of light around objects - such as the corner of a building or the profile of the eastern seaboard. News release | Science Daily | Science blog | Photonics.com | Nanowerk | Nanotechwire | Nanotechnology Now | Science Centric | PhysOrg | derStandard (Austria)
Gender issue, health issue, no issue?
Sociologist Sharlene Hesse-Biber is among experts discussing the controversy surrounding U.S. Surgeon General nominee Dr. Regina Benjamin's weight.
Casey Guerin A&S '10 discusses her semester at the University of Westminster in London in a Q&A with the Boston Globe.
Student advocates public service
An op-ed by Christina Pierro A&S '10, a summer intern at the U.S. Department of Justice, advocates the formation of a U.S. Public Service Academy to encourage and support service among young Americans. Eagle-Tribune
Faculty publication highlights
Faculty are interviewed on their publications: The Case for Greatness Honorable Ambition and its Critics by Robert Faulkner; Colonial Crossings: Figures in Irish Literary History by Marjorie Howes; Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life by Paul Mariani. (Real Player is required for viewing)
Fulbright winners making news
A number of this year's 21 student Fulbright winners - 17 of them now new graduates - have been highlighted by their hometown newspapers, including Jessica Cusano, Matt Porter, Dodie Rimmelin, Jonathan Sege, John McQuade, Dorothy Smith, Daniel Neer and Michael McGovern. Read about all the 2009 student winners.
'Mister Rogers' 2.0
The iconic PBS program 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' lives on at a new website launched by Boston-based animation studio Fablevision, led by Communication adjunct faculty member Paul Reynolds '89. Boston Globe
Body language and emotion
Psychology Associate Professor Joseph Tecce is among analysts offering insights into the complex process of interpreting President Obama's body language. ABC News
Interest in the Middle East on the rise
Founded in 2002, BC's Islamic Civilization and Societies Program - a study of politics, religions, economics, arts, cultures and languages of Muslim-majority countries - is currently the fastest growing program at the University. Yeman Observer | ICS Program
Faculty Publication Highlights
Faculty comment on their publications: English Prof.; James Smith, Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment, and Psychology Prof. Elizabeth Kensinger, Emotional Memory Across the Adult Lifespan. (Real Player is required for viewing)
Lilly graduate fellows
Recent A&S graduates Emily Neumeier '08 and Paul Camacho '07 are among 16 named this year to the Lilly Graduate Fellows program.
Dissecting Katrina response
A long-term study by Political Science Professor Marc Landy and the Rockefeller Institute of Government on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina says a major failure was lack of central organization.
Perceptions of emotion
A paper co-authored by Psychology Prof. Lisa Feldman Barrett on the varying ways in which people perceive emotion in men vs. emotion in women (to be published in the journal Emotion) is highlighted by Newsweek.
Seven visually-impaired students who plan to pursue higher education in their futures will take part in a two-week "Transition to College" program held on campus from July 20-31, through the efforts of Communication Prof. Kevin Kersten, SJ, and alumni Joseph Quintanilla and Rabih Dow of the Carroll Center for the Blind.
Freedom to Learn
Psychologist Peter Gray writes on the roles of play and curiosity as foundations for learning, and on the downfall and potential revival of "trustful parenting." Psychology Today
Redress for Magdalene women
The survivors of the Magdalen laundries are being denied a distinct redress scheme despite the state's culpability, writes English Assoc. Prof. James Smith, in Ireland's Sunday Tribune.
Inspired by behavior of the human eye, BC computer scientists Hao Jiang and Stella X. Yu have developed a technique that lets computers see objects as fleeting as a butterfly faster and more accurately. Science Daily | ScienceCentric | TGDaily, PhysOrg | Malaysia Sun | Albuquerque Express | NewsTrackIndia | Top News | ScienceBlog.com
Hypocrisy pales in comparison to Mark Sanford's other sins, writes Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life Director Alan Wolfe for the New Republic blog 'The Plank'.
When the revolution isn't broadcast
The protests in Iran have been dubbed the 'Twitter Revolution' because the latest social-networking tools proved useful. But what if this sudden deployment of media tech doesn't move the regime?, asks Martha Bayles of BC's Arts and Sciences Honors Program. Boston Globe
What did the King of Pop bequeath to the world? Your answer will probably depend on your view of American pop music, writes culture critic Martha Bayles of BC's Arts and Sciences Honors Program.
A sampling of recently published books by A&S faculty: emotional memory across the adult lifespan by Elizabeth Kensinger, Ottoman Tulips, Ottoman Coffee by Dana Saji, and The Future of Liberalism by Alan Wolfe.
Senior eyes 'Idol'
Math and music major Alycia Kennedy A&S '10 was among those vying for the chance to audition for the Fox TV hit 'American Idol.' Boston Herald
Penn's 'holy experiment'
The 'peaceable kingdom' was too good to last—after William Penn, Native Americans were treated savagely in Pennsylvania, writes History Prof. Kevin Kenny—author of a new book on the subject—in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"Best Article Award"
Sociologist Shawn McGuffey's article, "Saving Masculinity: Gender Reaffirmation, Sexuality, Race and Parental Responses to Male Child Sexual Abuse," has won the "Best Article Award" from the American Sociological Association Sexualities Section.
This year 116 students were admitted to the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. BC Chronicle
Teacher of the Year
Professor of Political Science Marc Landy has been selected for the 2009 Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award.
This year BC claims 21 Fulbrights, 17 of them graduating seniors. In addition, two students have won Beckman Scholarships.
'Six to Remember'
A series of short profiles on some of the most outstanding members of the Class of 2009 - four from A&S. From scholars to activists to volunteers, this class had a special mix of talent, leadership and drive. Alexandra Saieh has taken issues of Middle East geo-politics and brought them closer to BC. | Celso Perez brought civility and respectful discussion to a traditionally controversial issue. | Robert Kubala has embraced cura personalis, traveling the world for research and playing in several music groups. | Pilar Landon became the leader of the student newspaper and a respected student leader.
A sampling of recently published books by A&S faculty: Meaning and Authenticity by Brian Braman; The Im-Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue by Catherine Cornille; and Murder and the Death Penalty in Massachusetts by Alan Rogers.
Prof. honored by Italian government
Prof. of Italian Rena Lamparska was honored by the president of the Republic of Italy with conferral of the title of Dama in the Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta Italiana.
Remaking English poetry
'Gerard Manley Hopkins,' a biography by University Professor of English Paul Mariani, draws praise as 'Book of the Week' in the May 11 issue of The New Yorker.
The world of Nabokov
'The World of Nabokov's Stories' and 'temy i variatsii' by Prof. of Russian and English Maxim D. Shrayer are valuable additions to Nabokov scholarship, according to a review in the Nabokov Online Journal.
Top paper award
Melissa Mazzeo '09 won the Top Paper Award for Communication and Media at the Conference for Undergraduate Research in Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Biology junior Colin Kunzweiler works with Russell Elementary School students for a hands-on lesson about turtles and the work of university scientists.
Spotlight on student poetry
Verse by undergraduate bards from 25 colleges and universities was showcased this month at the Greater Boston Intercollegiate Poetry Festival, hosted by BC.
Play's the thing
Research of early human adaptation by Psychology Prof. Peter Gray shows 'free play' - distinct from organized, competitive play - is highly important to human social development. News release | FirstScience News | PsychCentral | LiveScience | PhysOrg.com | Science Daily | ScienceCentric
The Paschal Cure
Theologian Rev. Robert Imbelli writes on incarnation and the Eucharist for Commonweal magazine.
A sampling of recently published books by A&S faculty: Radio Cultures: The Sound Medium in American Life by Michael Keith; Violence in the West: The Johnson County Range War and Ludlow Massacre by Marilynn Johnson; and Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment by Kevin Kenny.
Chemist named Guggenheim Fellow
Chemistry Prof. Udayan Mohanty has won a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship for his theoretical studies of rare chemical reactions.
Referenced by chance
Karl Baden's exhibition "Covering Photography: Imitation, Influence and Coincidence" was praised in the art journal 'afterimage'.
Award-winning undergraduate researchers reflect on what their projects taught them about their fields and about themselves. Audio slideshow from @BC
Running because she still can
Less than two years after learning she had Hodgkin's lymphoma, psychology major Kate McAuliff '10 plans to run in the Boston Marathon to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Computer models can now link strangers in a life-saving chain of kidney transplants, researchers including economist M. Utku Ünver report in the N.E. Journal of Medicine. CNN.com | Health.com | Science Daily | Boston Globe | Medical News Today | U.S. News & World Report's 'Health Day'
Awarded for distinguished teaching
Math Professor Solomon Friedberg has won the 2009 Northeastern Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching. Friedberg was cited for his enthusiasm and skill in the classroom, his commitment to his students and accessibility outside the classroom, and his efforts to improve the teaching of the next generation of faculty.
Theologians on Caritas Christi venture
Rev. James Bretzke, SJ, Lisa Sowle Cahill, and Rev. Kenneth Himes are among leading theologians asked to comment on a proposed joint venture between Caritas Christi hospital and a secular insurance company. Boston Globe's 'Articles of Faith'
Economist's passion: boat speed
Economist Chris Maxwell looks at a variety of sports questions through the lens of modern mathematical modeling. But above all, his is a mad pursuit of one thing: boat speed. Rowing News
'Clean power' promise
Overcoming a critical conductivity challenge to clean energy technologies, researchers led by BC chemist Dunwei Wang have developed a titanium nanostructure that demonstrates significantly greater efficiency in the transport of electrons. News Release | Science Daily | Scientist Live | Nanowerk | UPI
New 'metamaterial' device
A unique 'metamaterial' device can precisely control the complex terahertz electromagnetic frequency, BC physicist Willie J. Padilla and a team of researchers report. News Release | Science Daily | Nanotechnology Now | NanoWerk | Science Mode | ScienceCentric (Bulgaria) | Innovations Report (Germany)
Barbie at 50
Love her or hate her, everybody knows Barbie. As Mattel's fashion icon turns 50, Sociology Prof. Sharlene Hesse-Biber discusses the doll's legacy on NPR's 'On Point'.
Finding the spark
Camille Petri is co-author of major research that could hold a key to combating malaria. 'What drew me to the project was the fact that it was applying science to help other people, especially those without the resources to help themselves,' she says. BC Chronicle | PhysOrg | Medical News Today
That was verdict from BC psychologist Joseph Tecce, who was among experts analyzing the press conference in which NY Yankee Alex Rodriguez responded to allegations of steroids use. New York Daily News
Alumna has reins at BJ's
Lauren Sen A&S '78 - new CEO of BJ's Wholesale Club, the nation's third largest club chain - is highlighted in a Q&A with the Boston Globe.
High tech laser maps
New high-tech laser maps beamed from planes overhead clarify how well these bodies of water can help maintain or expand fish stocks, according to a new study by geologist Noah Snyder. News release | Sampling of coverage: Science Daily | PhysOrg.com | Science Mode | ScienceCentric (Bulgaria) | SINDH Today (Pakistan) | Top News (India) | Photonics.com
The spiritual in art
The recent Rouault retrospective at the McMullen Museum was 'beautifully focused, with a concentrated force,' according to a review in The New Republic. | History Assoc. Prof. Stephen Schloesser, SJ, has received the Apple Valley Foundation's 2008 Curatorial Excellence Award for the exhibition.
Understanding body image
Ann Marie Barry will give a university lecture on "Understanding Body Image: Sense of Self, Media Imagery, and Visual Culture" at the University of Minnesota Symposium on Body &Knowing, a two-year endeavor in which the human body is examined both as an object of study and as a producer of knowledge.
Major, Lifetime Achievement Award
English Prof. Paul Mariani has won the John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry.
Every Day since 1987
Fine Arts Professor Karl Baden has been making a photograph of his face every day since February 23, 1987.
The best job in the U.S.
Mathematicians land top spot in new ranking of best and worst occupations in the U.S. Wall Street Journal
Order of the Palm
Ourida Mostefai, associate professor of French in the Romance Languages & Literatures Department, will be honored by the French National Ministry of Education with the award of Chevalier dans l' Ordre des Palmes Académiques.
Music dept. chair Michael Noone—noted for his publications, teaching, performing and recording of music from the Spanish Golden Age—says Renaissance era church music composer Tomas Luis de Victoria represents 'one of the great untold stories of how the Jesuits supported music.'
Professor John Michalczyk is curator of the exhibit, "Beauty: Skin Deep?" -- a provocative view of burn survivors and the disfigured, asking the real question about superficial vs. true Beauty.
Psychologist Joseph Tecce was interviewed by Fox 25 News about body language that may indicate deception, in conjunction with the debut of the new Fox drama 'Lie to Me.'
Senior's advocacy honors dad's memory
Caroline Ogonowski '09, whose father was piloting American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11, honors his memory as an advocate for blood donations. NECN
Suffering from SAD?
Psychologist Joseph Tecce writes about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a winter disorder caused by the loss of normal light in the environment, affecting approximately 15 million people.
World Trade and Justice for the Poor: Impact of the Global Talks Breakdown
Finding her place
Elizabeth Mumford '09, founder of REACT - a group focused on eliminating human trafficking in Boston - talks about how BC has helped to shape her future. BC Chronicle
Support for Warburg cancer theory
After German scientist Otto H. Warburg received the 1931 Nobel Prize for his cancer theory, its biochemical basis remained elusive. Now, BC biologists and colleagues report new evidence to support it. News release | Scientist Live (UK) | Bio-Medicine | Science Daily
The return of cultural diplomacy
America should aim to export more serious forms of entertainment as well as 'Dark Knight' and 'Baywatch,' writes A&S Honors Program faculty member Martha Bayles in a recent essay for Newsweek.
Obama the Communitarian
Throughout his campaign, Barack Obama's language mixed themes of hope and purpose with communitarian emphasis on duty and responsibility. In his inaugural address, the former could barely be heard, writes Boisi Center Director Alan Wolfe.