Faculty members from all Tufts schools are invited to apply to participate in the Tisch College Faculty Fellows program during academic year.
To date, more than 75 colleagues representing every school have participated in the program. The program convenes scholars for interdisciplinary discussions about engaged teaching and research and builds the capacity of Tufts faculty to integrate active citizenship into their work. It comes with a stipend that can be used for salary or research/teaching expenses.
Coordinated by Peter Levine, Tisch College director of research and director of CIRCLE, the program brings Fellows together four times a semester to discuss common themes, challenges, and resources from diverse disciplinary perspectives. Apply now or read our frequently asked questions.
The 2012-2013 Faculty Fellows are:
assistant professor of sociology, School of Arts and Sciences
An urban sociologist whose research largely concentrates on the transformation of cities, Centner brings a strong local component to his teaching at Tufts. As a Faculty Fellow, Centner will develop a community fieldwork project engaging the local Portuguese-speaking population. Boston-region neighborhoods, and especially communities near Tufts, are home to robust collectivities of immigrants and descendants from Portugal, Brazil, and Cape Verde. Despite sharing a language, these groups have quite different histories in their sending countries as well as here in the US.
Making use of existing research on Hispanic/Latino cross-group relations and connecting with local commercial and community groups, Centner will craft a study of intergroup relations within the Portuguese-speaking population. Centner will also explore opportunities to work across departments, giving advanced Portuguese students a chance to use their language skills in the field, help build greater ties to Tufts, and also conduct basic community research.
There are many questions to explore, several of which revolve precisely around the issues of citizenship and public service that are core concerns at Tisch College. Expanding the active, positive connections between Tufts and its host communities involves being able to understand each other at the most basic levels. One key contribution of this project will be to get more of us at Tufts falando e ouvindo (talking and listening) to these groups that are often overlooked nationally, yet constitute a major local presence.
assistant professor of public health and community service, School of Dental Medicine
Dolan oversees the Tufts Dental Facilities Special Needs Community Dental Health Program. Since 1976, The Tufts Dental Facilities have provided comprehensive oral health care to developmentally disabled individuals in Massachusetts. The nationally recognized program – the largest of its kind – serves more than 9,000 patients at eight clinics throughout the state. The program also maintains arrangements with four hospitals to address the needs of patients who require IV sedation or general anesthesia for treatment.
Focused on the dental health needs of individuals with disabilities such as mental retardation, autism, blindness and Down syndrome, Tufts Dental Facilities depend on the support of university, community, government, hospital and private health care resources to fill an important health care gap for this population.
associate professor of sociology, School of Arts and Sciences
For several years, Ennis has been informally documenting public events such as political rallies, festivals, demonstrations, and marches, and circulating these images on Flickr for public use and comment. As a Faculty Fellow, Ennis will systematically extend this work, compiling a visual record to explore how such images can be used in a comparative way and to see how they can provide grounds for conversation, reflection, classification, argument, understanding, and exploration.
Ennis will consider the historic role of photography in sociology and the social sciences; the relation of visual sociology to photojournalism; the role of visual evidence in understanding and explanation; and the methodological, aesthetic and practical challenges of this work.
professor of clinical sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Leveille-Webster has a longstanding interest in K-12 educational outreach. Throughout her Tufts career, she has been very involved in numerous outreach efforts organized by the Cummings School with the Grafton Public School district. As a Faculty Fellow, Leveille-Webster will seek to expand these opportunities into underserved Worcester public schools.
Building on the partnerships created through the opening of Tufts at Tech, a low cost veterinary clinic at Worcester Technical High School, Leveille-Webster will work to expand the Cummings School’s role in STEM initiatives, specifically targeting March innovation month in Worcester. With a bank of approximately 40 Tufts faculty who have expressed an interest in leading workshops in local classrooms, Leveille-Webster is planning a symposium on campus to educate the faculty on local STEM efforts, familiarize them with curricular material available for them and give them some basic training in teaching younger audiences.
As part of these efforts she plans to develop and refine innovative curriculum ideas that use veterinary medicine as a hook to engage students/teachers in STEM. She will draw on expertise in the Medford campus, particularly the Center for Engineering and Education Outreach (CEEO) run by Dr. Chris Rogers. The veterinary school has already worked with Dr. Rogers to develop some curricular material he uses in his Lego outreach programs.
associate professor of child development, School of Arts and Sciences
As a Faculty Fellow, McWayne will continue to build on partnerships in Somerville through the SomerPromise initiative. Partnering with numerous community organizations as well as the municipal government, McWayne will work to co-construct and institutionalize a child-focused Integrated Data System (IDS) for partnership research, policy analysis, and evaluation. This project has the potential to lay the groundwork for an information-sharing system that can be sustained over time and contribute timely, valid, population-based information to guide work in Somerville generally, with a specific focus on supporting Somerville students’ academic achievement and life success.
Through weekly meetings, a team of Tufts faculty and community members will work toward co-constructing a larger memorandum of understanding to guide future involvement in the IDS, developing and submitting at least three grant proposals to raise funding for the long-term effort, and beginning the initial data integration across education and health and human service sectors to answer some of our most pressing questions about student achievement.
Community members’ active partnership in all stages of this research effort provides an innovative model for university scholarship – deliberately working together to further both the goals of education and social science (ensuring rigor) and practical community-based problem-solving (ensuring relevance).
associate professor of political science, School of Arts and Sciences
Schildkraut will examine whether having a strong identification with one’s ethnic or national origin group leads to alienation from the structure and operation of representative democracy in the United States. This question emerges in a time when the diversity of the American population is increasing, and concerns about its impact on American society and institutions are common.
Scholars have examined the nuanced ways that ethnic group identities shape how individuals evaluate political institutions and processes. However, there has been little investigation into the conditions under which group identities affect people’s assessment of the type of representation they receive and the type they desire. The goal of this project is to provide a comparative ethnic analysis of people’s views regarding a wide range of factors related to the representative-constituent relationship, and determine the conditions under which ethnic and national identification matter.
associate professor of biology, School of Arts and Sciences
As a scientist, Starks is deeply concerned over the proliferation of active citizenship initiatives uninformed by scientific literacy. It appears on the surface that as standards requiring functional understanding disappear, the vacuum is filled by opinion-based invective where aggressors for ‘both sides’ of the issue compete to an inevitable stalemate. As a Faculty Fellow, Starks hopes to identify behavioral and intellectual characteristics which ultimately rendered specific active citizenship efforts detrimental to society. The identification of these characteristics will help illuminate those characteristics that best facilitate positive active citizenship.
Once properly formulated, Starks will explore the potential pitfalls of active citizenship, the behavioral and intellectual correlates of positive active citizenship, and a framework for teaching the positive traits. If ultimately successful, this perspective – nurtured and informed by the Tisch College – will be shared with the entire Tufts community.
assistant professor of English, School of Arts and Sciences
A scholar of American literature, intellectual history, and literary theory, Takayoshi is interested in building a general theory that codifies the grammar of human motives. Scholars agree that while human motives may originate in biological needs, many human wants are shaped by cultural norms, and to that extent, they can be satisfied, or eliminated, psychologically.
As a Tisch College Faculty fellow, Takayoshi will work on a scholarly article in which he compares various ways to manage our distinctly cultural aspirations and thereby modify our social behaviors through largely symbolic or psychological means. His is a theoretical research, in the sense that he explores the problem through engagement with speculative writings on the fundamental concepts such as rationality, pleasure, and symbolism by notable thinkers, including but not limited to Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, Harold Lasswell, Frank Knight, Herbert Simon, Kenneth Burke, and Ernesto Laclau. While he is mainly concerned with abstract model-making, however, Takayoshi also hopes to leaven his analysis with empirical findings gleaned from other Faculty fellows’ research projects.
associate professor of education, School of Arts and Sciences
Vaught is an institutional ethnographer interested in the role of race, gender, and power in schooling. Most recently, she conducted ethnographic research in a high-security juvenile male prison school and across the state juvenile legal system. She also directs the Tufts University Department of Education’s Educational Studies graduate program. As a Faculty Fellow, Vaught will explore the ways in which civic engagement can be meaningfully incorporated into the structure of the Educational Studies masters program she directs. Specifically, she will consider how the constellation of course requirements, conference participation, and publication can serve as a scholarly foundation for student civic engagement.
Originally published October 2012