Tufts 1+4 Alumni Share their Experiences at Regional Conference
On February 25, alumni of our Tufts 1+4 Bridge-Year Service Learning Program attended the New England Lessons From Abroad Conference held at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. The conference gave the 1+4 alums, now first-year Tufts students, the chance to share experiences with other undergraduates who have been abroad and to network with organizations that work to make international experiences a more integral part of higher education. They also enjoyed opportunities like reviewing their resumes with experts and discussed how they can better explain their experience abroad with future employers.
“The bestl part of the conference was the exposure to the amount of opportunities there are to work, teach, and volunteer abroad,” said Tufts 1+4 alum Madeline Weir, who spent her year abroad in Spain. “Being a part of a community outside of the United States for nine months last year allowed me to realize my passion for exploring other cultures. At the conference, I had the chance to connect with others who value global citizenship and having a network of opportunities for future international studies or employment.”
On February 7, as part of our Civic Life Lunch series, we hosted Boston City Council President Michelle Wu for an informal chat about city politics and the impact engaged young people can have on government, especially at the local level.
Wu, the first Asian-American woman in the Council’s history and its youngest current member, spoke to a full room at Tisch College and offered insights gleaned from her personal story to public office, which was sparked by having to interact with government in order to secure a better life for her family.
“Government was always in the way. Government was always trying to shut us down when all I was trying to do is help my family and in some ways create an environment for my community to be stronger. So I sort of vowed at that point that if I ever had the chance, I would try and do something about it one day,” she said.
Tisch College researchers and Tufts University students presented at the Association for Moral Education Annual Conference on the Tisch Scholars program. Pictured are Sherri Sklarwitz and Sara Allred from the Tisch College programs team, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), along with Anissa Waterhouse and Joel Alves, both Tisch Scholars.
The Tisch Scholars program is a nationally-recognized leadership development program that combines academic coursework, fieldwork in local communities, skill-building, and critical reflection.
David Simas, an Assistant to President Obama and the Director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, visited Tisch College on December 8 to share insights from his experience in the West Wing and to encourage students to fend off discouragement and engage in politics with empathy and passion.
Simas, who was a leading figure in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, spoke at Tufts as part of our Civic Life Lunch series of informal chats with civic leaders from various fields. He was also a guest speaker in the Tisch College Course “Topics in American Politics: Changing America, Changing Politics,” taught by Simon Rosenberg, founder of the New Democrat Network and a member of the Tisch College Board of Advisors. Rosenberg praised Simas as a singularly effective leader who keeps colleagues and stakeholders engaged.
Addressing both the recent election and politics going forward, Simas addressed the need for people to connect and seek to understand each other. He also highlighted that citizens’ participation in public life is a necessity. “Civic engagement isn’t just an action to fill the day. It literally goes to whether or not a pluralistic democracy can function.”
In 2015, the Tisch College and Tufts University School of Medicine Community Service Learning Program received a generous gift from Harold Seifer, M.D., M52, M85P and Gerda Seifer, M85P. This gift supported the creation of two new initiatives that recognize the important role of service-learning in medical education today: the Community Service Learning (CSL) Faculty Mini-Grant Program and the Tisch College and Tufts University School of Medicine CSL Faculty Award. Together, these programs aim to engage and recognize faculty as they work to engage students in community-based learning.
The Mini-Grant Program helps faculty kick-start projects and move them to implementation. Funding is available for three “seed” projects that have the potential to show impact on an eighteen month cycle. This year’s winner of the grant was the Passamaquoddy Pipeline Program, which is run by faculty members Jo Ellen Linder, M.D.; Christina Holt, M.D., MPH; and Tania Strout, R.N., Ph.D. in partnership with the Pleasant Point Passmaquoddy Tribe in an area called Sipayik in Northern Maine. The program gives students a unique opportunity to learn about Native American health by working directly with health advocates on outreach, health fairs, and engaging high school students in the health sciences. The grant helps cover the transportation, lodging, and materials to the Passamaquoddy reservation.
The Tisch College-TUSM Faculty Award honors faculty members who show exemplary leadership in incorporating service learning into their teaching. “This is really an award about teaching and using the tools of service-learning as an essential part of pedagogy,” says Jennifer Greer Morrissey, MEd, the CSL coordinator. This year’s winner of the Faculty Award was Dr. Shirley González, a pediatrician at Newton Pediatrics. She founded TEEEN® (Teens Empowerment, Exercise, Education, Nutrition), a program designed in response to the needs of her patients and to addressing the national challenge of pediatric obesity. Through this program, Dr. González both empowers the lives of young children and mentors medical students.
The Community Service Learning Program hopes that these exciting new programs will highlight the central role of faculty in service learning and encourage more faculty members to get involved, which in turn will allow more students to have these transformational experiences during their medical training and incorporate service into their careers.
Political strategist and commentator David Axelrod, who served as Chief Strategist in both of President Obama’s campaigns and as a Senior Advisor to the President during his first term, visited campus recently to chat with students and other members of the Tufts community about the recent election.
Axelrod, who also spoke at Tufts earlier this year as part of the Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series, was on campus as a guest speaker in “Race for the White House in a Modern Media Environment,” the course taught by Tisch College Professor of the Practice David Gregory. He also participated in one Tisch College’s Civic Life Lunches, in which he encouraged students discouraged by the recent presidential election to reengage in politics.
“The one thing we should take away from this is not to turn away but to lean into democracy and understand that there are responsibilities associated with it,” he said.
On November 14, less than a week after Election Day, two of Tisch College’s most experienced political experts shared their expertise at an event called “Beyond 2016: Politics, Media, and the Youth Vote.”
Hosted by our dean Alan Solomont, the conversation featured David Gregory, Tisch College Professor of the Practice and former White House correspondent; and Peter Levine, Tisch College’s Associate Dean for Research. Both discussed the unique nature of this year’s presidential campaign and spoke about implications for American democracy going forward.
The conversation was especially focused on young people’s political participation, and was shaped by the exclusive data and analysis of our Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), which has published an in-depth look at the youth electorate in 2016.
Tisch Summer Fellow Wins MA House Intern Essay Contest
Tisch Summer Fellow Marissa Birne, A19, who served as a legislative in the office of Massachusetts State Representative Mary Keefe, was awarded first prize in the inaugural Summer Intern Essay Contest held by the commonwealth’s House of Representatives.
More than two dozen House interns submitted thoughtful reflections on their work throughout the summer. Birne’s winning essay focused on her experience in Rep. Keefe’s office as well as the inspiration she drew from Reps. Denise Garlick and Danielle Gregoire, who offered a chat to interns as part of the statehouse’s Summer Speaker Series.
“Every single one of us is responsible for crafting the world we wish to live in. This activist commitment guides everything I do, from the courses I select in my Peace and Justice Studies major to the volunteer opportunities I pursue at assisted living facilities and shelters to the internship I undertook this summer,” wrote Birne, a native of Needham, MA. She concluded with the lesson that guided her summer: “Respond to the hopelessness and disillusionment of injustice through public service by utilizing legislation, time, power, and compassion to influence positive change.”
All intern essays were sent to each member of the House of Representatives and to Governor Charlie Baker. On August 8, Birne celebrated the end of a successful summer at the closing ceremony for all Massachusetts Tisch Summer Fellows, including Sabrina Chishti, A17, who also worked at Rep. Keefe’s office this summer.
Pictured: Marissa Birne with Representative Denise Garlick
On June 30, 2016, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter presented the Pentagon’s highest award for public service—the Distinguished Public Service Award—to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Tufts students Eva Kahan and Gabriella Roncone, both Tisch Summer Fellows working at the Department of Defense’s Cost and Resource Center, had the tremendous opportunity to be there.
This summer nearly 100 students, the most in the program’s history, are sharpening their skills and making valuable contributions to communities in MA, NY, DC, and around the world through the Tisch Summer Fellows program. A total of 83 Fellows are working domestically and 11 are undertaking international projects.
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of Tisch College’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, was recently named by Jobs for the Future as one of the inaugural Students at the Center Distinguished Fellows, a group of nine leaders in policy, practice, and research from around New England, each selected for their vision, contributions, and impact in the student-centered learning movement in the region.
The Fellows will work to investigate, use, and promote effective renditions of student-centered learning, and to communicate research findings in ways that makes them actionable and accessible for policymakers and practitioners. They will also serve as core members of the Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative, a new effort to investigate and evaluate what we know about student-centered learning within and beyond school walls, and then leverage that knowledge to affect meaningful change at scale.
Learn more about the Fellows here.
A university-wide initiative of Tisch College and the Provost’s Office, JumboVote 2016 is gearing up to promote voter registration and political learning and engagement in advance of this November’s general elections.
Tisch College recently hired a JumboVote 2016 coordinator to spearhead this effort. Diane Alexander, A16, who just graduated from Tufts with a degree in Political Science, is coordinating with staff members in all three Tufts campuses to provide resources and plan events that will increase electoral participation in this presidential cycle. JumboVote 2016 will also engage student organizations from throughout the university; both political groups and others who wish to incorporate political learning and engagement into their activities.
In early June, United States Congresswoman Katherine Clark hosted and moderated an environmental policy panel at Tufts University featuring lawmakers, researchers, and practitioners.
The panel focused on Massachusetts’ role as a local, national, and global leader in protecting the environment, mitigating climate change, and fueling the innovation economy. The invited speakers were State Senator Michael Barrett; Linda Abriola, Director of the Tufts Environment Institute; EK Khalsa, Executive Director of the Mystic River Watershed Association; and Anne Goodwin, Arlington Coordinator for Mothers Out Front, an environmental advocacy organization.
The event, co-hosted by Tisch College, was part of a series of district policy panels occasionally hosted by Clark, a Democrat who represents Massachusetts’ 5th district. In September 2014, she hosted a gun violence policy panel at Tufts.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Visits Tisch College
On Monday, April 4, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx spoke to Engineering and Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) students at a roundtable hosted by Tisch College and the School of Engineering. Secretary Foxx, who has served in this role since 2013, shared the Department of Transportation’s current policy priorities, including a renewed focus on infrastructure as one viable path toward economic growth and emphasized the importance of local autonomy in priority-setting.
He also shared inspiring words for future builders and planners of American cities. “Don’t think of yourself as civil engineers,” said Secretary Foxx to the students. “Think of yourselves as builders of the fabric of our nation.”
Also in attendance was Tufts School of Engineering Dean Jianmin Qu, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Medford Mayor Stephanie Burke, and CEO of Massachusetts Port Authority Thomas Glynn.
First-year Tufts University student Giancarlo Musetti was named a 2016 by , a national coalition of colleges and universities dedicated to higher education and campus civic engagement. The Newman Civic Fellows Award recognizes college student leaders who demonstrate a commitment to addressing social challenges facing their communities. Newman Civic Fellows work through advocacy, research, and community service to gain a better understanding of these challenges and promote mechanisms to create sustainable solutions.
Giancarlo was recommended for his engagement in community organizing and political activism. He is the first-year representative of Tufts Democrats and canvassed in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to encourage people to vote in primary elections. He is also working closley with Tisch College, organizing voter registration efforts with political groups on campus that have united increase political awareness as part of Tufts University’s JumboVote 2016 initiative. Through these efforts, Giancarlo has helped hundreds of students register to vote.
On March 30, the Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) hosted its 5th Annual Symposium, which showcases and celebrates work completed through the Tisch College-TUSM Community Service Learning program. At the Symposium, TUSM students shared reflections on their projects and experiences, and teens who participate in the Health Impact Partnership (HIP) program at Boston English High School in Jamaica Plain attended to discuss what the program has meant to them. It was a great afternoon of reflection, celebration, and ice cream!
The Community Service Learning program, in which each Tufts medical student completes at least 50 hours of community service as part of his or her education, stems from the firm belief that physicians have a social responsibility that extends beyond the clinic and hospital walls. Students serve in a variety of roles and settings, improving not just patient care but education and public health in local communities. John Armstrong, M18, recently shared his experience through the CSL program:
“Community engagement for me has built relationships with people and, through them, with a place. I cultivated skills that will help in my future practice of medicine, but more valuable to me are the skills I developed that will allow me to be an active, involved member of my community.”
Read more about John’s experience here.
Tisch College’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) is conducting leading research on the role of young people in the 2016 presidential election, and its data, analysis, and commentary has been recently featured in major publications.
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, the Director of CIRCLE, wrote an editorial for Fox News entitled “Trump and Clinton both have problems with young voters. Here’s how it could cost them.” Her piece uses CIRCLE research to contextualize the importance of the youth vote in the primary elections this year. She says, “Historically, young voters have generally chosen presidential candidates whose positions on major issues reflect their own, whether Ronald Reagan in 1984 or Barack Obama in 2008.”
Kawashima-Ginsberg was also featured in the New York Times on March 14, after Senator Bernie Sanders’ upset in Michigan. In “Sanders Strength with Young People Shouldn’t be Underestimated, ” she argues that Senator Sanders has been competitive because of young people’s high participation and overwhelming support for him.
More recently, The Washington Post used CIRCLE research to further highlight how young people are voting throughout the primary process: “74-year-old Bernie Sanders’s remarkable dominance among young voters, in 1 chart.”
Read more about CIRCLE’s 2016 election research here.
“Whether through corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, impact investing that allows successful social ventures to grow to scale, or through individual and corporate philanthropy, some of the leading businessmen and women, and some the most important companies in America, are elevating the private sector’s ability to effect positive change in our world,” said Alan D. Solomont, Dean of Tisch College, when presenting Robert Manning with the 2016 Tisch College Corporate Citizen Fellow Award.
Manning, the Chairman and co-CEO of MFS Investment Management, received this recognition on March 9. The Corporate Citizen Fellow Award honors a business leader who has made outstanding contributions to civic life. Under Manning’s leadership, MFS grew into one of the largest and most successful investment companies in the world while maintaining a commitment to a variety of social issues and charitable causes. MFS does outstanding corporate social responsibility work focused on four key areas: education, health, self-sufficiency, and civic engagement, including work with Jumpstart and City Year—two organizations with which Tisch College also partners.
That same week, Tisch College hosted the 2016 Conference on Impact Investing and Community Finance. The full-day of panels included speakers from top impact investing firms, banks, and academia, including ACCION International, Acumen, Goldman Sachs, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Panels focused on risk management, performance measuring, evidence-based policy making, and impact innovation. Read more about the panel and participants here.
On February 26, the Active Citizens of Tufts Alumni-Boston (ACT-Boston) group held its annual Alumni Charity Bash. All proceeds from the event will benefit Tisch College, specifically our Tufts 1+4 Bridge-Year Service Learning Program.
The event gave Tufts alumni, especially those who were active citizens during their time at the University and remain committed to civic engagement, a chance to connect during a fun evening while supporting their alma mater. The charity bash featured food, raffles, a silent auction, and more. Tisch College Communications Manager Jennifer McAndrew, A96, offered remarks on behalf of Tisch College and thanked ACT-Boston, as well as all attendees, for their continued support.
Check out pictures of the event on the ACT-Boston Facebook page.
The event kicked off with a design thinking workshop and included panels on innovation and human rights, rethinking education, data and decision-making, and innovation in financial technology. Human rights and public advocacy experts, as well as student clubs and organizations from across the Tufts University community, collaborated to share innovative solutions to challenges in entrepreneurship and globalized business.
Read more about the event and participants here.
On February 22, Tufts alumnus Max Finberg, A92, current Director of Americorps VISTA, visited campus to share his experience in public service and discuss the benefits of national service, for both the individuals and the communities in which they work. In a conversation hosted by Tisch College and cosponsored by the Tufts Peace and Justice Studies Program and the Tufts Career Center, Finberg recounted some of the ways VISTA volunteers are working to serve their communities, from building capacity for youth employment in Ferguson, MO, to helping alleviate hunger on American Indian reservations.
“We have challenges in our country no one person can solve,” said Finberg. “VISTA volunteers are in a unique position to face those challenges in the face of poverty and hunger and among rural populations.”
Tisch College’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) is currently studying the effects on future employment for individuals who have served as AmeriCorps volunteers.
Read more about Finberg’s visit from the Tufts Daily.
The rankings were determined based on student ratings and responses to survey questions covering community service opportunities at their school, student government, sustainability efforts, and on-campus student engagement. The Princeton Review also factored in the percentage of alumni from each school that reported having high job meaning. Tufts also ranked in the “Colleges that Pay You Back” and “Best Career Placement” categories, making it an overall “Best Value” college.
In past years, Tufts has also been recognized with the 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation, and with the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.
Read more here about the rankings.
Blueprint magazine, a publication of Tufts University Advancement, recently highlighted the Tufts 1+4 Bridge Year program and its inaugural participants, now halfway through their year of service abroad. The students, who will return to Tufts University next year as to begin their on-campus studies, are enjoying a transformational experience that will serve them when they return to college—and beyond.
“Spending some time in service to your community or to your nation or to the world gives you a sense of responsibility and a sense that you’re part of something bigger than yourself,” said Tisch College Dean Alan Solomont in the article. “We think the students in the program will come to campus next year better prepared for academic success, better prepared to take on leadership roles and better prepared for success in life.”
On Friday, February 5, United States Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) spoke at an intimate roundtable with Tufts students about foreign policy, domestic affairs, and the 2016 presidential election. The Senator’s visit was organized by Tisch College, and the conversation was moderated by Dr. Richard Eichenberg, Professor of Political Science.
Senator Kaine has been in Congress since 2013, and is a member of the Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations, and Aging Committees. A former Governor of Virginia and former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Kaine combined his expertise in politics and policy to share valuable insights with students. His candid answers on complex topics like ISIS, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the heroin addiction crisis, gave the assembled students a sense of how these matters are discussed and tackled in a deeply divided Congress.
Read more from the Tufts Daily here.
Tisch College is pleased to announce that Robert Manning is our 2016 Corporate Citizen Fellow, a recognition given to a corporate leader who has led a significant change in core company operations in order to improve their company’s social impact. Manning is the Chairman and CEO of MFS Investment Management, where he started out as a bond analyst and climbed the ranks to his current role. His belief in the role of corporations to be active and positive participants in the local and global communities in which they serve is central to the values, mission and work of Tisch College and Tufts University.
The Corporate Citizen Fellow Award was established by Tisch College to expand the understanding of how private sector leadership can result in positive social impact. The inaugural award was given to Doug Conant, former President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company.
Manning will receive his award March 9 in the Alumnae Lounge. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed his remarks at 6:30 p.m. If you are interested in attending, RSVP here.
Prior to joining CIRCLE, Noorya worked as an international researcher and coordinator in public health and nutrition awareness in the developing world. She holds an Ed.M. in international education policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus on global education and citizenship for the 21st century, monitoring and evaluation for improving education systems, and applied data analysis. She is interested in the intersection of education, both in formal and informal settings, and civic learning and awareness in youth, particularly from marginalized and diverse ethnic backgrounds. Noorya’s skills, interests, and experience make her an invaluable addition to CIRCLE and we look forward to her contributions to research on civic education and engagement.
Read more about Noorya here.
Congressman Seth Moulton Visits Tisch College
On November 23, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA6) visited Tisch College for a roundtable discussion on American politics and shared how his experiences—both in Congress and the Marine Corps—have shaped his views on public service. Moulton, a decorated Iraq War veteran, is currently in his first term representing Massachusetts in the House of Representatives.
Moulton spoke about his run for public office in 2013 against Democratic incumbent John F. Tierney and won on a platform of sensible, bipartisan leadership. He has continued that bipartisan streak in Washington, forming relationships with his Republican colleagues and often finding unlikely legislative cosponsors on the other side of the aisle.
The Congressman also recently became a strong pro-refugee voice in the Commonwealth, arguind in a Boston Globe op-ed that accepting Syrian refugees is the right thing to do both morally and strategically in the fight against ISIS.
The roundtable discussion, moderated by Tisch College Dean Alan Solomont, was co-sponsored by Tufts CIVIC (Cooperation and Innovation in Citizenship and Tufts ALLIES (Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services).
Read more about Congressman Moulton’s visit from The Tufts Daily.
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of our Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) recently spoke with National Public Radio about the trend of young people being more likely to support socialism than older adults—a trend currently manifesting itself through young people’s support for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Kawashima-Ginsberg pointed to two likely reasons for this phenomenon. Because they came of age during the most recent recession, many Millennials are more suspicious of capitalism. The term “socialism” also has different historical and geopolitical connotations for Millennials.
“When young people think about socialism, or hear that term, the first thing they think about are Scandinavian countries, like Sweden and Norway, where people seem to be quite happy and people seem to be pretty well-supported,” said. Kawashima-Ginsberg. “Older generations thought straight to the Soviet Union, where things were really tough and the idea of socialism wasn’t really about raising the bottom.”
Read or listen to the the full piece: Why do young people like Socialism more than older people do?
In a recent Boston Globe op-ed, Tisch College Dean Alan D. Solomont argues that there is a looming leadership crisis in the nonprofit sector that also presents the opportunity to “usher in new generations of more diverse, more collaborative, and better prepared leadership.”
The op-ed, co-written with with Barry Dym, co-president of the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership (INML), argues that many nonprofit leaders are on the verge of retirement and organizations often to do not have succession plans or long-term strategies to retain talent. Additionally, there is a troubling lack of diversity in nonprofit leadership, with multiple studies showing that only 9-15 percent of current nonprofit leaders are people of color.
That looming crisis is being addressed by organizations like INML, an independent non-profit that aims to close the gap in skill and diversity in nonprofit leadership through yearlong training for nonprofit executives and emerging leaders. The INML, which has trained more than 600 leaders, is entering its 9th year of operation, but this is its first in affiliation with Tisch College, which will grant certificates to those who complete the program. Learn more about our partnership here.
You can read the full op-ed here.
Danielle Allen, a renowned scholar on race and education in contemporary America, and Director of the Edmond J Safra Center For Ethics, received the 2015 Tisch Research Prize last month. Allen’s keynote address, “Recovering Equality in America” presented the historical reasons underlying the diminished capacity to think effectively about equality and point to ways in which we can renew our commitment to achieve equality in America.
“Scholars routinely talk about inequalities—analyzing them, coming clearer on their growth over time. Over the past 20 years you see income inequality is the most disproportionate. For all the talk of inequality, almost no one talks about equality. It’s surprising given equality’s prominence in the founding of our country,” said Allen, who referenced the prominent role the concept of equality plays in America’s founding documents.
Allen also argued that while many see freedom and equality as opposed, they are necessarily complementary. “The only way you can be committed to freedom for all is if you have an institutional structure that protects everybody from one another in equal ways. If some people are able to dominate others, then those who are dominated are not equal and also are not free. A serious commitment to freedom should have a serious commitment to equality built into it,” she said.
Allen encouraged opening up a reflective space for dialogue on equality—recognizing how different kinds of equality, such as moral and social, affect both political experiences and ordinary interactions.
On October 19, Jay Greene, Professor and Head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, delivered a lunchtime talk at Tisch College in which he presented his research on the value of culturally enriching field trips in schools. Greene, a Tufts alumnus, shared data that shows students who visited an art museum or saw live theater had improved scores in measures like tolerance, critical thinking, interest in the arts, and even well-being.
Greene’s talk was part of the Tisch Talks in the Humanities, a series of presentations that highlight the connections between disciplines and activities in the humanities, and civic engagement.
Tisch College leaders recently authored two op-eds that argue government support is crucial to stronger civic education and engagement.
In, “Millennials Want to Serve. Let’s Help Them Do It” (Education Week), Tisch College Dean Alan D. Solomont asserts the vital role of service learning and civic engagement in the education of young people, and decries proposed funding Cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service. In “Renewing Our Commitment to U.S. History and Civics”, Solomont and Peter Levine, Tisch College’s Associate Dean for Research, call attention to the lack of federal programs and policy to support civic education in schools, and argue for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to close that gap.
“We need to focus on giving our students the tools and opportunities that allow them to become not only good stewards of American history and civics, but also pioneers of ideas that can strengthen and transform America,” write the deans.
Tom Ehrlich, member emeritus of the Tisch College Board of Advisors, recently highlighted Tufts’ commitment to civic engagement in a blog post titled Universities Power Up for Public Service and featured on Forbes.com.
Ehrlich, visiting professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a renowned service learning advocate highlights higher education initiatives that promote significant civic work. He specifically points to Tisch College and our Tufts 1+4 Bridge Year Service Learning Program, which provides accepted students the opportunity to do a year of full-time community service before beginning their studies on campus. Tisch College was featured along with Duke University’s DukeEngage Program and Cardinal Service at Stanford University.
Read the full article.
This year’s common book author, Eboo Patel, visited Tufts University on September 21 to discuss interfaith work, his religious renewal, and founding and leading the Interfaith Youth Corps—a nonprofit organization that encourages religious pluralism among America’s college students. Patel’s book, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation was sent to all incoming and transfer students as part of the Common Reading Book program cosponsored by Tisch College.
In his talk, Patel encouraged students to develop “interfaith radar” to build awareness of religious issues and better identify how religion is integrated into and affects politics and social and economic matters.
Read more about the event on Tufts Now.
On September 16, 2015, Tisch College and the Tufts Social Impact Network alumni group hosted an engaging conversation with Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts and the current managing director of Bain Capital, LLC. In conversation with Tisch College Dean Alan D. Solomont, Patrick spoke candidly and compellingly about civic engagement, public service, impact investment, and other ways to be an active citizen.
The discussion focused on Patrick’s leadership in the public and private sectors and the importance of social impact. Watch full video of the event here.
Tisch College, in collaboration with The Fletcher School, invited former National Security Advisor to Israel’s Prime Minister, Jacob Amidror; former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Nicholas Burns; and Consul General of Israel to New England, Yehuda Yaakov, to discuss the pros and cons of the Iran nuclear deal on September 10. The event—”Inside the Iran Nuclear Deal: Pros, Cons, and Possible Outcomes”—was moderated by Professor Richard Schultz, the director of Fletcher’s International Security Studies Program.
While all sides recognized that the deal is not perfect, Burns emphasized the importance of reaching a compromise and argued that this deal is the best possible outcome for stability in the region. Yaakov expressed his opposition to the deal and highlighted Israel’s particular vulnerability if Iran were to subvert the deal.
Read more about the event from the Tufts Daily.
RecycleHealth, a community health initiative by Tufts University School of Medicine professor Lisa Gualtieri, was recently featured in the Boston Globe’s BetaBoston technology section.
Gualtieri, an incoming Tisch College Faculty Fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year, is collecting and recycling wearable fitness devices, such as Fitbits, in order to refurbish and provide them for free to community members. She plans to use the devices to pilot a fitness program at the Fitchburg YMCA.
Gualtieri will continue to work on RecycleHealth as a Tisch Faculty Fellow, a program that provides support for Tufts faculty members who are using civic engagement in their teaching or research.
Read more here.
July 2015 is the first ever Jumbo Alumni Service Month, an opportunity for regional alumni chapters and interest groups to organize and conduct service activities.
This joint initiative of the Tufts University Alumni Association, the Active Citizens of Tufts alumni group, and Tisch College, celebrates Tufts’ commitment to civic engagement and gives alumni the opportunity to have an impact in their communities. Activities are currently planned in Boston, New York, Chicago, London, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Learn more and register here.
The Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH), an umbrella study of 5 interrelated community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects supported by Tisch College, was recently honored with the 2015 Annual Award Honorable Mention from Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH). This award recognizes partnerships that adhere to high standards for effective community-university research collaboration and are making a real difference in their target communities.
In recognizing CAFEH, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health wrote that “The CAFEH project illustrates what well-grounded and effective principled partnerships can achieve through CBPR and hard work. Their willingness to be flexible, commitment to facilitating change in the communities involved, and an ability to recognize and effectively respond to needs within the community greatly impressed the reviewers.”
While CAFEH formally launched in 2008 with an NIH grant awarded to Tufts University, the partnership began when community members at Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) approached Tufts University researchers about collaborating on a project that would investigate and document health impacts from exposure to heavy traffic from Interstate-93.
Tisch College, through its Tufts Community Research Center, provided the initial team with its first seed grant. This money was used to conduct a pilot study that supported the development of larger proposals that expanded the partnership. Since then, the CAFEH study has grown to assess levels of air pollution in the Boston area, its impact on various populations’ health, strategies to mitigating exposure, and now local and regional policy initiatives to protect health.
Read more here.
(Pictured: Ellin Reisner, of the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, receiving the award)
The Spring 2015 issue of Diversity & Democracy, a journal of the Association of American Colleges & Universities, features an article by Tisch College researchers titled “Run Like a Girl … for Office: How Higher Education Can Advance Gender Equity in Politics.”
Co-authored by Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of our Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), and Nancy Thomas, who leads our National Study on Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), the article examines the challenges girls face at all educational levels and various difficulties women face when pursuing political careers. The article also explores the role of higher education in building or undermining women’s confidence as they prepare for political roles, and offers recommendations to help colleges and universities cultivate gender equity among the next generation of political leaders.
Read the full article here.
On May 14, The Tufts Community Research Center (TCRC)—an initiative founded and still sponsored by Tisch College—sponsored “Community Dialogue on Gentrification and Displacement: Advancing Learning Across Diverse Views and Sparking Community-University Inquiry.”
The event brought together a wide range of participants, including Tufts students, faculty members, and local community leaders from organizations like The Welcome Project, the Preservation from Affordable Housing, and the Somerville Chamber of Commerce. Their dialogue featured two roundtable discussions: the first about views on gentrification from local stakeholders in Somerville, and the second about insights and lessons learned from beyond local communities.
“Gentrification is an important matter for Tufts University, as it interacts with our host communities of Medford, Somerville, and Boston’s Chinatown, and it is important for Tisch College, part of whose mission is to support and promote the University’s community engagement,” said Tisch College Dean Alan Solomont at the event.
The rich discussion at the event may lead to possible future work by the TCRC, which conducts community-based participatory research that addresses vital needs.
In late April, Tisch College Dean Alan Solomont presented Rebecca Tumposky, a graduating student in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) with the Rob Hollister Award for Citizenship and Public Service.
The recognition, one of several presented at the Graduate Student Awards, is named after Rob Hollister, founding dean of Tisch College, and each year recognizes a student who made civic engagement and public service an essential part of their time at Tufts.
Tumposky was honored for her valuable contributions to local organizations like Economic Democracy, Alternatives for Community and the Environment, the Dudley Real Food Hub, and the Right to the City Alliance. She was also a leader in the UEP community, particularly in the Tufts New Economy group, and a civic engagement liaison in the Talloires Network.
The Tufts Community Research Center (TCRC) recently announced seed funding for two emerging community-based participatory research collaborations. Founded and supported by Tisch College, TCRC is run jointly by Tufts faculty and community-based organizations. This year, the group received its highest number of proposals in response to its annual RFP, and ultimately selected two projects to support.
Research and Action: An Exploratory Study of Dominican Immigrants’ Perceptions of Gentrification
A collaboration between Magalis Troncoso, Executive Director of the Dominican Development Center, Dr. Flavia Perea at Tufts University, and Dr. Linda Sprague Martínez at Boston University School of Social Work, this project will focus on investigating the impact of gentrification on the health and well-being of Dominicans in the greater Boston area. An intergenerational team of community research assistants will conduct key informant interviews with local housing activists and organizers. Additionally, the project will employ Photovoice to empower residents to share their stories and capture images that represent the changing culture in their community.
Increasing Utilization of Preventative Care in Asian American Women in Massachusetts
Chien Chi Huang, Executive Director of Asian Women for Health, and Dr. Lisa Gualtieri, of the Tufts University School of Medicine, will collaborate on this formative project investigating barriers to preventive screenings among Asian women of different ethnicities in Massachusetts. Focus groups will be designed and facilitated with Chinese, Vietnamese, and South Asian Women. The project’s ultimate goal will be to inform an impactful and evidence-based intervention to increase screening utilization.
TCRC was very impressed with both projects’ selection of important and timely topics, and their clear plans to disseminate their findings to multiple audiences. For example, among other strategies, the Dominican Development Center will present their findings to community-based organizations and at the Massachusetts State House while Asian Women for Health plans to share findings through local Asian media outlets and.
On March 28, a dozen students received the Tufts Alumni Association’s Senior Award—including five undergraduates who distinguished themselves as active citizens through their work in connection to Tisch College.
Tisch Scholars Ben Berman, Katelyn Montalvo, and Victoria Oliva Rapoport were among the Senior Award recipients. Berman leads Tufts’ chapter of Generation Citizen, an organization that sends college students to be “democracy coaches” and teach civics in local schools, while Montalvo created the Tufts First-Generation Student Council to provide resources for those who are the first in their families to attend college. Oliva Rapoport has done exceptional work in her Tisch Scholar projects with the Boston Student Advisory Council, the SPARK (Supporting Parents and Resilient Kids) Center, and more.
Other Senior Award recipients included Becky Goldberg, who minored in Leadership Studies, the sole academic program administered by Tisch College; and Robert Joseph, student representative to the Tufts Community Research Center.
(Pictured: Katelyn Montalvo)
On March 26 and 27, Tisch College joined with the Tufts Art Gallery to sponsor a “flash collective” in order to create a public work of art about the impact of racism in the United States.
Artist and activist Avram Finkelstein, known for his work on public awareness campaigns and public art projects, came to campus to lead the collective. Mindy Nierenberg, Senior Director of Tisch College Programs, first suggested that the piece tackle the issues of racial privilege that many students have been engaged with through the Black Lives Matter protests. Working collaboratively, a dozen students from across the University created a piece that will be installed in April and unveiled before the end of the academic year.
“I hope that the community goes and sees it,” Nierenberg told the Tufts Daily News. “I hope that people look at the images and that it makes them think, because that’s the whole spirit of it: to promote dialogue with each other about issues which are difficult to talk about.”
Read more from the Tufts Daily News here.
On March 10, Tisch College partnered with the Tufts Career Center and the Tufts Social Impact Network alumni group to present Careers in Social Impact, a networking event that featured alumni from various fields sharing how their jobs allow them to make a difference.
Current students had the opportunity to discuss career opportunities with successful professionals working in sectors like nonprofits, government, philanthropy, education, and many others. The Tufts alumni answered questions and shared useful lessons from their own paths to values-driven careers and the myriad ways to be apply the values and skills of active citizenship after graduation.
Levine, who also directs our Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) and is one of the nation’s preeminent voices on youth civic and political engagement, argues in the piece that 16 and 17-year-olds are no less knowledgeable about current events than 25-year-olds; that these young people should have a voice in the government that affects them; and that teaching and encouraging voting while in high school can increase participation and shape a more engaged citizenry over the long term.
“At 17, most people are still living at home, where they can see parents voting and probably hear about local issues and candidates. They also are still in school, where voting can be encouraged and become a social norm,” writes Levine.
Read the full op-ed here.
Tisch College has formed an exciting new partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership (INML), an organization that works to transform communities by equipping the most promising nonprofit leaders with the skills, confidence and resources they need to make their organizations effective, innovative and sustainable.
The Institute, which was previously housed at Boston University, conducts comprehensive year-long training programs for individuals at various levels of nonprofit leadership. To date, INML has trained more than 600 leaders affiliated with over 270 nonprofits.
INML will now grant certificates in partnership with Tisch College. We look forward to a fruitful relationship with this organization that shares our commitment to a vibrant, diverse nonprofit sector as essential to strong communities.
Learn more about the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership here.
The symposium focused on customer-driven approaches to design and innovation in myriad fields. Miriam Nelson, Associate Dean of Tisch College, moderated a panel titled “Building Dynamic Ecosystems: The Customer in Civic Innovation,” which featured Cathy Wissink, Senior Director of Technology and Civic Engagement at Microsoft New England; Stephanie Wade, Director of the Innovation Lab at the US Office of Personnel Management; and Dan Beckmann, Founder and Managing Director of IB5K.
Additionally, the symposium’s “Ignite Speech” was delivered by Faith Wallace-Gadsen, Founder & Managing Director of the Archimedes Project. Her organization received seed funding from Tisch College that helped it develop an innovative social venture to fight cholera in Haiti.
Find more about the Tufts Innovation Symposium here.
Part of a national network of Engineering Ambassadors, Tufts undergraduates will be going into 9th grade science classes in local high schools to give presentations and lead interactive activities on different scientific disciplines. The effort is especially aimed at building interest and enthusiasm for the sciences in girls, youth of color, and other underrepresented students. All seven Tufts STEM ambassadors are first-generation college students.
At Tisch College, this initiative is led by Shirley Mark, Director of Community Partnerships, and Kelly Nguyen, our AmeriCorps*VISTA.
Read more from the Tufts Daily.
Ito’s talk was titled “How the Internet has Changed the World: Civic Engagement, Innovation, Learning and Technology Today.” He spoke about the Media Lab’s pioneering work in these fields, and more broadly about how technological advances are allowing citizens to transform the way we do business, create knowledge, and act in the public square.
Tisch College has a strong partnership with the Center for Civic Media, part of the MIT Media Lab, which is dedicated to inventing, promoting, and assessing new tools that leverage technology to improve civic education and engagements.
The event was organized by Tech@Fletcher, the student group of the Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
In an effort to foster civic engagement and strengthen community service at the Tufts Unviersity School of Dental Medicine, the Department of Public Health and Community Service (DPHCS) recently launched Dental Central, a new online hub for student organizations.
Dental Central allows student organizations at the dental school to broadcast upcoming community and cultural events, encourage participation and reflect on past work. It was created in collaboration with Tisch College, and spearheaded by Nancy Marks, Community Service Learning Coordinator in DPHCS.
“I believe that community service is core to creating a more just and civic-minded society,” Marks said. “If Dental Central can play a small role in supporting that, then it will be worth all the effort.”
During the Spring 2015 semester, the Initiatives in the Public Humanities at Tisch College will sponsor a series of monthly brown bag lunches to identify areas of mutual interest and concern through conversations informed by contemporary civic and cultural practices. These Tisch Talks in the Humanities will be led and moderated by Diane O’Donoghue, Tisch College Senior Fellow for the Humanities. All sessions will take place at 12:00 p.m. in the Rabb Room of Tisch College, Lincoln Filene Hall.
March 11 | 9:00 a.m. – Source @Sourcing* – Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Assistant Professor of Classics; Jennifer Eyl, Assistant Professor of Religion
Professors Beaulieu and Eyl will discuss the impact of contemporary practices of knowledge production, such as found in the digital humanities and open-source scholarship
March 30 | 12:00 p.m. – Generative Empathies – Amahl Bishara, Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Doris Sommer, Director, Cultural Agents Initiative, Harvard University; Peter Levine, Associate Dean for Research, Tisch College
Professors Bishara, Sommer, and Levine will explore current discourses around the meanings and uses of “empathy,” a topic with implications that are both compelling and complex.
April 27 | 12:00 p.m. – Neighboring – Penn Loh, Director, Master in Public Policy Program and Community Practice, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning; Peter Probst, Professor and Chair of Art and Art History
Professor Probst and Mr. Loh will discuss the implications of proximity as the provocation to objects and acts of “neighboring.”
Learn more about our Senior Fellow for the Humanities here.
Recent events in Ferguson, Staten Island, and around the country have inspired a renewed wave of student activism aimed at addressing issues of race and discrimination. Recognizing the need for seed funding and advising to support this important work, Tisch College will make a number of mini-grants, through the Tisch Fund for Civic Engagement, to individuals and groups of students working to have an impact on these issues.
“I think that right now this is an urgent time in our country’s history where issues of race and inequality are at our forefront,” said Mindy Nierenberg, Senior Director of Tisch College Programs, in an interview with the Tufts Daily about this initiative. “We want to do whatever we can for students to be at the forefront of addressing these systemic issues.”
Students who are awarded funding also receive feedback, advising resources, and opportunities to present their work. The maximum amount of funding is $150 for an individual applicant and $400 for a group application. The application and criteria for funding are the same as for the general Tisch Fund for Civic Engagement and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Read more from the Tufts Daily.
Tufts University has received the 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation, a prestigious recognition of the university’s deep institutional commitment to civic engagement.
The classification, which Tufts first received in 2006 and which lasts for 10 years, honors exceptional collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. As a Community Engaged University, Tufts is being recognized for excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.
Tufts University was also recently named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Honor Roll’s Presidential Award is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning, and civic engagement.
Tisch College played a central role in Tufts’ receipt of these recognitions, as it does in ensuring that civic and community engagement are signatures of the University.