Boston University Arts & Sciences
CAS News
May 7, 2015

Dean Sapiro Gives Valedictory, Reflects on Time as Dean

Upon the conclusion of her tenure as CAS Dean, Virginia Sapiro plans to research how our higher education system developed and the implications for the future of education in the US, among other projects. She delivered a Decanal Valedictory on the topic during the final faculty meeting of the semester. In the newly released issue of arts&sciences, and in a recent BU Today article, Dean Sapiro reflected on her time as dean and looked ahead at what is next for her.  Read more

2015 CAS Teaching and Advising Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising and the 2015 CAS Teaching Awards! Read about this year's winners.

Commencement Is Coming!

Commencement Weekend is fast approaching, and it’s time to honor our graduating students for their hard work and perseverance in pursuit of their degrees. Get complete scheduling and event information here.

CAS Supporters Honor Dean, Endow “Virginia Sapiro Academic Enhancement Fund”

To honor Dean Sapiro and celebrate one of her innovations, the CAS Advisory Board has pledged more than $170,000 to create the Virginia Sapiro Academic Enhancement Fund. The Sapiro Fund will give future deans the resources to replicate the special learning experiences shared by faculty and students. You can learn more about the fund here, and can give online (when donating, be sure to write “Virginia Sapiro Academic Enhancement Fund” in the “Fund name” text box). 

Associate Deans Honor Dean Sapiro with Degree in “Decanal Leadership Studies”

After faculty passed motions bestowing degrees on this year's graduating class, another deserving "graduate" was recognized: Dean Sapiro. Read more


CAS Dean Candidate Surveys Due May 11

Over the past two weeks, CAS faculty and staff have had the opportunity to meet the final candidates for the Deanship of the College of Arts & Sciences. Feedback from the CAS community is crucial to informing the work of the search advisory committee. Please submit your comments via the online surveys by May 11 at noon.

PDPA to Re-launch Postdoctoral Orientation Sessions

To help postdocs get off to a smooth start at BU, the Office of Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs (PDPA) is re-launching their short orientation sessions. These sessions will be informal and will allow the PDPA to introduce postdocs to their peers, answer their questions, and inform them of the different resources available across the University. All CAS postdocs who have not yet attended a PDPA orientation are welcome to attend a session on May 14, May 29, or June 25. The sessions will be offered every six weeks. You can sign up on their website.

Department chairs, directors, and administrators, remember to review the CAS Chairs and Directors Guide for other important upcoming administrative responsibilities.

From BU Today

BU Honors Distinguished Service of Three Employees
Winners of this year’s John S. Perkins Awards named
Carrie Preston Wins United Methodist Scholar/Teaching Award
Citing for “remarkable impact at BU”
Computational Thinking Breaks Logjam
Hariri Institute helps address Boston’s male-female pay gap
Economist Raymond Fisman to Join BU Faculty
Known for connecting theory to the real world
Helping Postdocs Take Charge of Their Lives
CAS alum new director of Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs
Improving on Isaac Newton’s Work
Paul Blanchard wins Gitner Award for technology in education

The Power Lifter
Champion Molly Kelly (CAS’15) is not just “strong for a girl”
Too Many Postdocs, Too Little Funding
For junior scientists, the road ahead gets complicated
Were We a Nation under God from the Start?
BU input in Smithsonian’s American religious artifacts exhibition

Faculty News

The Department of Chemistry and BU Women in Chemistry sponsored the seventh annual Chemistry Day on May 1. Over 80 high school students from Brighton and Roxbury attended the event.
David Barlow, professor of psychological & brain sciences, is a 2015 recipient of an honorary degree, Doctor of Science, from his alma mater the University of Vermont.
Brooke Blower, Professor of History, was one of this year’s winners of the
American Council of Learned Society’s Burkhardt Fellowship for her project, “Hidden Fronts: New American Histories of World War II.”
Professor of Astronomy John Clarke joined the festivities for the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. He was showed his favorite Hubble photographs in an
article on The Conversation to commemorate the event.
Department of History Chair Louis Ferleger and graduate student Matthew Lavallee recently had their article, “The Triumph of Core American Values in the Epic Battle for a Grocery Store Chain,”
Linda Heywood, professor of African American studies and history, was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Annual Harem African American Genealogical Conference. The title of her presentation was “History, DNA, Database, and Memory: In Search of African American African Roots.” She also presented at the Harvard University conference on African Economic Development.
Professor of International Relations and Political Science William Grimes has
been appointed as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.
At this year’s Excellence in Student Activities ceremony, Paul Lipton, director of UROP and the undergraduate program in neuroscience, was recognized as an Advisor of the Year for his roles as faculty advisor for the Mind & Brain Society and Nu Rho Psi.
Symmetry Magazine published a
story on Mu2e, a large experiment being developed at the Department of Physics Fermilab. Professor of Physics James Miller is quoted in the story.
Professor of History of Art & Architecture Keith Morgan was
inducted as a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians for his significant contributions to the field.
Eugenio Menegon, director of the BU Center for the Study of Asia, was awarded two residential fellowships for the 2015-16 academic year. He will spend Fall’15 as a member of the School of Historical Studies at Princeton’s
Institute for Advanced Study, and Spring’16 as a senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
nominated Dean of the Pardee School Adil Najam for re-appointment to the prestigious UN Committee on Development Policy.
The American Political Science Association
awarded a grant to Augustus Norton, professor of international relations and anthropology, for his workshop, “Civil Society Revisited: Researching Associational Life in Comparative Perspective,” to be held in Beirut and Cairo.
Meers Oppenheim, associate chair of astronomy, and Yakov Dimant, senior research scientist for the Center for Space Physics, have released the
first 3-D simulations of meteor plasma dynamics of turbulence with the help of BU’s IT Department. You can view the simulations here.
Professor of History Simon Payaslian gave a lecture entitled “Was the Armenian Genocide a Model for the Holocaust?” for BU’s International History Institute’s Fellows Series. He also presented a paper on the same topic at a panel at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a paper titled “Education and Cultural Transformations in the Post-Maoist People’s Republic of China” at the Harvard US-China Economic Forum 2015.
In an educational
video published by, Professor of Archaeology Curtis Runnels discusses dating Paleolithic Sites in Southwestern Crete, Greece.
Professor of History, Philosophy, and Political Science James Schmidt’s recent discovery of a “lost” manuscript by émigré philosopher Theodor Adorno has been featured on the
blog of Alex Ross, music critic for the New Yorker.
The European Parliament and its president named
Director for the Center for the Study of Europe Vivien Schmidt’s book, Democracy in Europe: The EU and National Polities, one of the “100 Books on Europe to Remember.”
Oxford University Press published Professor of Religion Adam Seligman’s edited collection of
Religious Education and the Challenge of Pluralism.
Catherine Yeh, associate professor of Chinese and comparative literature, has
been appointed the new director of the Center for the Study of Asia.

Student News

The Mind & Brain Society was recognized for their outstanding contributions to the BU community and beyond with a Rhett Award for Student Organization of the Year in the category of Special Interest at this year’s Excellence in Student Activities ceremony.

The students in IR 501, Conflict and Cooperation in Asia, partnered with a class in “Comparative Politics” at the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong, Bangladesh, for a semester-long digital exchange program focusing on human rights, political and economic issues in Bangladesh. Read more
Christine Axen, a graduate student in the Department of History, was named the winner of this year’s poster session competition at the AHA Annual Meeting. Her poster was titled “Mapping the Bishop of Avignon: Sources of Episcopal Power in the Thirteenth Century.”
Lynne Cooney, a PhD student in African art history, received a Fulbright Student Award and will spend this coming academic year in Johannesburg, South Africa researching contemporary art.
Poetry MFA candidate Tobi Earnheart-Gold (GRS’15) won second prize in the BU Religion & the Arts Poetry competition for his poem, “Easter Monday.”
Poetry MFA candidate Jesse DeAngelis (GRS’15) won third prize in the Howard Archival Research Center Book Collecting Contest for his collection, “The Cookbook as American History.”

Alumni News

Jeanne Marie Penvenne (GRS’74,’82), an alumna of the Department of History, has been appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of African Historical Studies.
Yakeel Quiroz (GRS’14), who received her PhD in clinical psychology, was recently featured on NIH Director Francis Collins’ blog for her Alzheimer’s research. She also received the prestigious NIH Early Independence Award in 2014.

Keep Us In The Loop

Let us know about news or upcoming events. Announcements about upcoming events, new faculty book publications, and news items can also be submitted online. If you prefer, you can send news items to, or call Jeremy Schwab at 617-358-1056. Events geared toward students should be submitted to the

For all matters regarding your alumni, please contact Assistant Director, Alumni Educational Programs Sarah Speltz at 617-358-6275.

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