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25 Students and 3 Faculty Honored with Tufts 2021 Presidential Awards for Civic Life

The Presidential Award for Civic Life is the highest recognition for service, leadership, and civic engagement conferred by Tufts University. Each year, Tisch College, in collaboration with partners from across the University, is proud to help select and celebrate outstanding individuals who combined academic achievement with a profound impact on communities near and far, helping to address some of the biggest challenges in our society.

This year, for the first time ever, we are also presenting Presidential Faculty Awards for Civic Life to recognize Tufts faculty for civic leadership and achievement in three categories: Outstanding Teaching for Active Citizenship, Outstanding Personal Achievement in Active Citizenship, and Outstanding Achievement in Civic Research. This new program joins and complements the long-running Presidential Awards program that honors and celebrates Tufts graduate and undergraduate students. 

For the second year in a row, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are compelled to celebrate these remarkable leaders remotely rather than in person. But their commitment to a diverse range of civic participation reminds us how much we need the passion, innovation, and civic dedication of Tufts students and faculty now more than ever. In these difficult times, the 25 students and 3 faculty members to whom we present this prestigious honor make us proud and hopeful for the future.

Learn more about our amazing award winners and some of their incredible work below, and join us on this page for the premiere of a special video celebration on May 12 at noon ET.

Undergraduate Award Winners

Eve Abraha smilingEve Abraha, Biology, A21 - School of Arts & Sciences

Eve Abraha has dedicated herself to helping dismantle oppressive systems, primarily through equity practices within health, education, and community involvement. Eve has been involved with the Tisch College of Civic Life’s College Access Initiative since 2017, working on outreach and mentorship for underrepresented students in Boston Public Schools. Recently, she worked with the Pedagogical Partnership Program and Dr. Lauren Crowe to examine the Bio 13 curriculum for barriers to equity, analyze student outcomes, and develop new practices to improve access to course material. Eve serves as a Class Senator for the Tufts Community Union, is an active member of Greek life on campus, and has tackled food insecurity in the Boston area as food program manager with Building Audacity.

Zachary Intrater, Political Science & Quantitative Economics, A21 - School of Arts & Sciences

Zachary Intrater smilingZachary Intrater is recognized by his peers as someone who has the vision and strength of character to make the world a better place. Over his four years at Tufts, Zachary has exercised strong leadership skills through his work with CIVIC (Cooperation and Innovation in Citizenship), as a member of the University-wide Bridging Differences Task Force, and through his extensive involvement in the Tisch Summer Fellow program. Zachary was a 2018 Tisch Summer Fellow with the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, and in 2019 at Democracy Partners/Blue Future, an organization that funds youth organizers in elections that are particularly competitive. In the summer of 2020, Zachary was a Tisch College Campaign Fellow with the non-partisan organization When We All Vote. He spent that summer and the fall semester building and leading a voter registration team.

Alex Lein at the beach smiling Alex Lein, Interdisciplinary Studies, A21 - School of Arts & Sciences

After having his study abroad program cut short due to COVID-19, Alex Lein approached Tisch College with an idea that would come to have an enormous impact on campus and around the world. Through tireless efforts from Alex, and support from Dean Solomont and Tisch College, the Student COVID Response Summer Program was created. The program received over 200 applications and funded 77 projects from 94 students. Projects were based in Tufts communities as well as students’ home communities across the country and around the world. Students focused their efforts on mitigating the societal effects of the pandemic, especially racial injustice and health inequities. Alex has also been a leader in the Tufts University Prison Initiative (TUPIT), the Tufts program that brings joint educational experiences to the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and Tufts students. Finally, Alex has also served as the president of the Leonard Carmichael Society (LCS), which supports more than 30 service organizations on campus.

Issay Matsumoto smiling Issay Matsumoto, History & American Studies, A21 - School of Arts & Sciences

Issay Matsumoto has been deeply committed to civic engagement on the Tufts campus and the greater Boston area during his time at Tufts. As a first-year, Issay dove into student activism, advocating for workers’ rights and equity in higher education through the Tufts Labor Coalition and helping organize the campaign to pass TCU Senate resolution S.17-7 which created an accessible Asian American Center (AAC). As a sophomore, Issay was the first-ever House Manager of the newly established Asian American Suite, an AAC Peer Leader, co-president of the Tufts Japanese Culture Club, and one of the organizers of the student-led Tufts Asian American Symposium. He has also written and edited for the Tufts Daily, the Tufts Observer, and Voices Literary and Arts Magazine. Outside of Tufts, Issay has been involved with many grassroots organizations, including the Chinese Progressive Association, the Asian American Resource Workshop, and the Chinatown Stabilization Committee.

Saherish Surani smiling Saherish Surani, Psychology, A21 - School of Arts & Sciences

Saherish Surani has represented Tufts University admirably across many disciplines and fields. Saherish is a published author who released “The Story of U.S.” on Amazon last December; the book details the experiences of 10 undocumented and first-generation immigrants who are living in the United States today. She is a co-founder of Project iConquer, a non-profit geared toward raising awareness about childhood health issues and nutrition. In the summer of 2020, in response to the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests, Saherish created social media messaging, implemented diversity training, and was instrumental in leading several Black-centric events throughout the semester for the Tufts University Social Collective. She has also spent time in Muizenberg, South Africa, working on the Day Zero water crisis.

Sawyer Uecke smiling Sawyer Uecke, Civic Studies & Spanish, A21 - School of Arts & Sciences

Sawyer Uecke has lent his passion and enthusiasm to many Tisch College programs over the years. He was a member of the second class of 1+4 Bridge Year Fellows, traveling to Nicaragua for a gap year and meaningfully engaging with the culture, language, and his host family. As a first-generation college student and Questbridge Scholar, Sawyer was uniquely aware of the challenges of transitioning to Tufts for first generation and low-income students. This allowed him to be extremely effective in his role as a TA for Tisch College in 2018, facilitating WebEx class sessions with current fellows around the world, creating fun and engaging opportunities, and peer mentoring for 1+4 alumni on campus. In 2020 Sawyer was accepted into the Tisch Summer Fellowship program and worked with the Somerville Planning Office, supporting the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development with research on historical preservation. Sawyer also worked in the reception area at Tisch College and continued co-leading virtual events for 1+4 alumni.

Lidya Woldeyesus smiling Lidya Woldeyesus, Political Science & Civic Studies, A22 - School of Arts & Sciences

Lidya Woldeyesus has become a central leadership figure at Tufts University that students, staff, and faculty look to for guidance on issues related to civic engagement. She is a Gerald Gil Research Fellow, student chair of JumboVote, and an intern for Citizens Union. Lidya is also a  Tisch Scholar and an intern for the FIRST Resource Center. Within the last year, she helped build a remote Career Readiness Program called Yes, which helps disadvantaged students explore careers that help advance future job prospects by offering stipends for unpaid and low-paying summer opportunities. In August 2020, Lidya was one of a few select undergraduate students selected to join the Tufts University Working Group on Safety and Policing, where she took part in community engagement efforts, did research, and presented to the committee on different models of public safety and well-being. Lidya has also participated in several conferences and professional development opportunities, including presenting at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics National Conference.

Maria Fong smiling Maria Fong, Studio Art, A21 - School of the Museum of Fine Arts

Maria Fong has used her academic career at Tufts to provide steadfast leadership while accounting for everyone’s voice in the room—particularly young people, and those of marginalized backgrounds. In the summer of 2020, Maria took initiative by organizing regular phone banks for the Chinese Progressive Association’s volunteer base to call legislators in favor of extending affordable housing measures during the pandemic. Additionally, Maria has worked with Chinatown residents to co-create beautiful bilingual signs that warned drivers to slow down in Chinatown, using art as an anti-racist tool and a positive force in the community. Maria has been a leading member of Tufts Asian Student Coalition since the Fall of 2018, and has forged partnerships with many external stakeholders. Maria organized the first-ever student mural in the Tufts Asian American Center, bringing the Asian American student community to the forefront. In addition to her work in the Asian American community, Maria has led the way as a student leader and coordinator of the inaugural Arts @ Tufts Pre-Orientation.

Hezekiah Branch smiling Hezekiah Branch, Cognitive Brain Sciences, E21 - School of Engineering

Hezekiah Branch has shown a passion for uplifting his peers, whether through his pursuit of a Cognitive Brain Science major or his extensive work in the Africana community at Tufts and beyond. He was named the 2019-2020 Africana Center Peer Leader, where his skillful efforts aided the transition of first-year students to the Tufts campus. Hezekiah was also involved in several research opportunities, including LSAMP at the Tufts Machine Learning Group and the MIMIC-Extract project, spearheading health and artificial intelligence research on COVID-19 at the COVID Command Center. Outside of research, he has launched and managed the BLASTOFF Industry Speaker Series, which has connected nearly 100 Black/Lantinx students internationally with recruiters from Pixar, The New York Times, Nike, Disney Junior, and NPR. His involvement in the Boston area included Code with Hezekiah, which offers free classes in software engineering and data science for underrepresented students in the Boston/NYC area.

Rene LaPointe Jameson smiling René LaPointe Jameson, Environmental Engineering, E22 - School of Engineering

René LaPointe Jameson has defined what it means to be an activist engineer at Tufts. Through numerous efforts, René has pushed for the explicit inclusion of equity in civil and environmental engineering education. Along with Kim Dao and Myisha Majumder, she co-created the Equity Committee of the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In the summer of 2020, she served as a research assistant on chimpanzee study as well as a Racial Equity and Media Programming consultant. Currently René serves as a Tisch Scholar, an Africana Center Peer Leader, and a HERlead Fellow, which are just some of the myriad ways in which René remains an engaged citizen.

Graduate Award Winners

Alexandra Fielding smilingAlexandra Fielding, V22 - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Since beginning her studies at Cummings, Alexandra has been an active voice for antiracism and social justice. She has held several positions, including student co-chair, on theTufts Veterinary Council on Diversity (TVCD), where she has worked closely with campus groups to educate and facilitate discussion on a range of issues related to diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine. In collaboration with other members of TVCD, Alexandra secured two Bridging Differences Grants that champion antiracism and inclusion by creating a workshop series designed to address the unique barriers to diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine, and by providing minority children in local schools the opportunity to learn about veterinary medicine. Alexandra has also worked to foster community at the Cummings School by assisting with virtual programming for incoming, underrepresented vet students. And this past year, she represented the Cummings School in the University-Wide Institutional Audit and Targeted Actions workstream. 

Jeremy Gwinn looking forwardColonel Jeremy Gwinn, F21 - Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

A natural leader, Colonel Jeremy Gwinn is good in a crisis. From his lifelong commitment to civic engagement to his days as an Eagle Scout to his 20-plus years of service as a Colonel in the U.S Army, Colonel Gwinn’s commitment to service and civic action has become a hallmark of his identity at Fletcher. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, he recruited and organized military students and veterans with experience running operations centers during their military careers to help the temporary Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Tufts. Colonel Gwinn and his team played a critical role in the University’s response to the virus by monitoring and analyzing the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on the community. He also worked with Tufts Medical Center to secure alternate sources of PPE from local, small-scale manufacturers in anticipation of shortages, and he played a key role in the transition to remote learning last March by maintaining open communication and boosting student morale amidst the fear and uncertainty of the pandemic. On top of these responsibilities and completing his PhD in just three years, Colonel Gwinn also managed to find time to support Tufts’ host community of Somerville by volunteering as a mentor to a local Boy Scout Troop. 

Allison Wainer smiling Allison Wainer, F21, AG21 - Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy & the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

A dual degree student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and in the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Program in the School of Arts and Sciences, Allison artfully combined her passions for equitable access to healthy foods and urban planning. During her time at Tufts, she served as a TA for three different courses, going above and beyond the traditional responsibilities of a TA to ensure that fellow students were truly understanding the complexity of the course material in order to be change agents. As a research assistant working with a local healthy food retail project as part of Shape Up Sommerville, Allison explored the disconnect between food access issues and transportation planning, which would eventually become the basis for her thesis and a scholarly article she’s co-authoring to share her findings with other communities in need. And this past summer in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, she co-founded the COVID-19 Food Systems Connector to match food system organizations with much needed technological assistance provided by skilled graduate students. Her platform provided critical support to 26 organizations in 13 states. This ongoing project is just one example of Allison’s commitment to using her own research experience and resources to prioritize community needs and provide healthy food for underrepresented communities.

Chaveso Cook smilingLieutenant Colonel Chaveso Cook, AG21 - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Lieutenant Colonel Chaveso Cook has been a leader at Tufts, in the U.S. Army and in the greater Boston area, promoting civic engagement, equity and mentorship through a multidimensional approach. Whether as a keynote speaker or as a panelist, LTC Cook has spoken widely at local and national meetings to promote antiracist practices and resources and to share his commitment to diversity and inclusion all while reflecting on his own experiences as a person of color serving in the U.S. Army. He continues this work through the creation of Military Mentors, a nonprofit organization he founded while at Tufts that seeks to elevate and facilitate mentoring for the military and beyond, and through his regular mentorship of ROTC students at Tufts, MIT and Harvard. As the Executive Director of Military Mentors, LTC Cook took action in response to the murder of George Floyd and the January 6th insurrection by speaking out and advocating widely for the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. And as an avid fan of physical fitness, LTC Cook created a weekly workout group of active duty soldiers, veterans and civilians where he resides at Hanscom Air Force Base, using physical exercise as a gateway into discussion of complex issues like toxic masculinity. Upon graduation, LTC Cook will join the faculty of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point. 

Alyssa DiLeo smiling Alyssa DiLeo, GBS22 - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Since beginning the Ph.D. program in Neuroscience in 2018, Alyssa has prioritized creating a supportive and inclusive community within the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and advocating for greater support for women in STEM. After identifying the need to support first-years, she founded the Resources for Easing Friction and Stress (REFS) program. REFS trains Ph.D. students in conflict resolution, stress management and mental health awareness so they can create a strong support system for their peers. Alyssa was inspired to create this program while volunteering for an event sponsored by the New England Graduate Women in Science and Engineering, a group that works to address the challenges that women face in STEM. She also served on the leadership team of the Tufts Graduate Women in Science and Engineering for two years. 

Sadi QuinonesSadi Quiñones, GBS23 - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

A recipient of the 2019 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Studies, Sadi is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in STEM. In response to COVID, he collaborated with others to convert funds associated with the Gilliam Fellowship into an emergency fund accessible to students in need of support. During his time at Tufts, he has distinguished himself as a leader committed to combating racism.  He has led a series of initiatives, such as Cultural Dinners and a seminar called “Let’s Talk About Racism: Academia, Accountability and A Way Forward,” that promote racial equity and justice. Sadi also serves as the president of the Graduate Student Government where he has created a sub-group that has worked to implement culturally sensitive mentorship training for faculty. Recently, he founded the Tufts chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. Off campus, Sadi serves as a “big brother” for the Big Brother Big Sister of Massachuestts Bay. 

Sylvia Chen smilingZijing 'Sylvia' Chen, EG23 - Graduate School of Engineering

Sylvia has been an active member of the Graduate Student Council since 2018, holding various roles including President and Student Life Chair. Under her leadership, the Council drastically increased the number of non-academic events that promoted community between students, faculty and administrators. Sylvia’s fierce dedication to her peers and community was perhaps most evident during the pandemic. In the wake of Tufts students returning home last spring, she worked with the Dean of Student Affairs to create an emergency relief fund for students, partnered with Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative to assist with students’ food related needs, and organized a group of volunteers to send 500 medical kits to students in China during the pandemic. And as anti-Chinese and anti-Asian sentiment and violence began to increase in response to COVID-19, Sylvia played a critical role in communicating the concerns of Chinese students to the Tufts International Center, paving the way for necessary conversations and outreach to graduate students. 

Tyler Brown smilingTyrell FridieTyrell Fridie, D21 & Tyler Brown, D21 - School of Dental Medicine 

After finding out they would matriculate to the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) together, Tyrell and Tyler decided to document their dental school journey on video. The effort grew into FutureDDS, a successful platform created for other pre-dental and dental students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to learn about the dental school experience and get advice about the process. Over the past four years, FutureDDS has helped over 15,000 pre-dental students, many of whom were first-generation, navigate their educational and professional futures. Building off their success, Tyler and Tyrell also created the Dental School Experience Series, a series of video interviews with students from every dental program across the country to foster community, provide networking and mentorship opportunities, and document what it’s like to go through the dental school process. And their work extends to younger generations too: through the creation of the Madison Park Outreach Program, Tyler and Tyrell hosted an annual event to bring Tufts dental students together with local high school students to inspire the next generation to pursue higher education. 

Omar Harmouche smiling with his arms crossedOmar Harmouche, D21, MG21 - School of Dental Medicine & School of Medicine

In his first year of dental school, Omar knew he wanted to pursue a nationwide health program in Lebanon. After working with dental faculty from Tufts and Harvard to develop a proposal, he presented it to the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, to the Lebanese Dental Association, and to representatives from every dental school in the region. The proposal became Box for Health, which Omar originally designed to be an in-person pilot program to teach health education to Lebanese children. But with the disruption of COVID-19, Omar completely redesigned the program and remotely delivered comprehensive health education curriculum, complete with lesson books and plans, to more than 4,200 children and school administrators. With the goal of delivering health education to every child worldwide, Box for Health now partners with sixteen primary schools and NGOs in Lebanon. Omar, with his partner Alia Osseiran, has already developed Box for Health partnerships for future collaborations in the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, and Nigeria. 

Chardai LydeChardai Lyde, D21, MG21 - School of Dental Medicine & School of Medicine

Throughout her four years at TUSDM and TUSM, Chardai has been a leader on health equity and access issues both on and off campus. As President of Tufts Dental LGBTQA, Chardai developed a two-part lecture series with Fenway Health on LGBT culture and health and coordinated educational events and community outreach efforts to improve LGBTQA inclusivity. Admired by her peers, Chardai has been annually elected to serve as the student representative to the Ethics, Professionalism, and Citizenship Committee by her classmates for the past four years. Off campus, she also serves as student coordinator of Bridging Healthy Smiles, an outreach program that provides oral health education, screenings, and treatment to members of Boston Living Center living with HIV/AIDS. Chardai’s commitment to equitable access to care eventually brought her to Zambia, where she leveraged the existing healthcare infrastructure to provide dental prevention, treatment, and follow-up care to underserved Zambians in remote areas as part of a global service-learning outreach project. 

Elyssa AnneserElyssa Anneser, M21 - School of Medicine 

As a double Jumbo, Elyssa has been an environmental leader on campus for the entirety of her undergraduate and graduate education at Tufts, combining her love of environment, justice, civic action, and policy. As an undergraduate in the School of Arts & Sciences, Elyssa served as an Eco-Rep through the Office of Sustainability, where she focused on environmental justice and on the historical role racism has played in exacerbating environmental hazards and sacrifice zones. She educated thousands of her peers through her on campus work and educational blog posts, eventually becoming the leader of the Eco-Rep program. Elyssa continued this work through internships with the Center for Health, Environment and Justice and as a climate policy fellow with the Boston City Council where she helped develop a climate policy plan to tackle local challenges. In her master’s program, Elyssa has been dedicated to antiracist work, even creating an antiracist book club for her research group and drafting a grant proposal to scale the program across the entire University. While at TUSM, she continued that work through her involvement in the Student Senate, the Academic Affairs Committee, the Diversity, Equity and Antiracism Council, and One Health. Elyssa’s studies and extracurricular activities have been devoted to addressing environmental inequalities as they pertain to civic engagement and COVID-19. And, she did it all despite considerable personal and professional challenges. 

Jonathan de Guzman smiling Jonathan de Guzman, M21 - School of Medicine 

While at TUSM, Jonathan served as student leader of KICKS! or Kids in Care at Floating Hospital, a one-to-one friendship match program between TUSM student allies and children in chemotherapy or with blood disorders at Tufts Medical Center. Starting out as a KICKS! sidekick assigned to two patients, Jonathan's vision for the program went beyond one-to-one matches: despite having few group events in the past, KICKS! would host a prom for the kids in the program. To fund his idea, Jonathan organized several large-scale fundraisers, utilizing donations from and collaborations with local businesses. The end result was a fantastic prom event that even included the families of participating children. Jonathan’s enthusiasm for and commitment to KICKS! was also instrumental in expanding the program to Maine via a pilot program with the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, a collaboration he established during his Maine rotation. 

Elizabeth De JesusElizabeth De Jesus, M21 - School of Medicine 

Elizabeth has been a champion of diversity, peer mentorship and antiracist work throughout her time at TUSM. An active member of the Multicultural Fellows Council (MFC), she served as a resource for support and mentorship to prospective candidates as a TUSM Ambassador. Elizabeth then went on to organize a workshop for rising third-year students about navigating bias in clinical settings with a focus on microaggressions, all while providing opportunities for support, discussion, and training. She was a student member of the Appropriate Treatment in Medicine Committee, the Equity and Inclusion Workstream Committee, the TUSM Admissions Committee, the Student Wellness Advising Committee, and the Antiracism Task Force. In addition to her considerable work at Tufts, Elizabeth founded the Sisterhood of Traveling Mentors, an organization that provides a mentorship program for the Philadelphia High School for Girls, a public high school in a historically underserved community, to connect current students with alumni, fill mentorship gaps and encourage pursuit of higher education and STEM fields.  

LeAnn Louis smiling LeAnn Louis, M21 - School of Medicine 

LeAnn’s commitment to health justice shines through her work as a volunteer, researcher, leader and advocate. That commitment brought her to the Sharewood Project, where she helped underserved communities, particularly women of color, navigate the healthcare system as a Sexual and Reproductive Health Counselor and Haitian Creole interpreter. She continued this work as a Tisch Summer Fellow with the Lynn Community Health Center, where she treated pregnant and parenting women with Substance Use Disorder and helped them enroll in an opioid treatment program. LeAnn’s research on the impact of the treatment program helped it win a $500,000 grant for program expansion. Her interest in maternal health and racial justice also led to LeAnn’s involvement planning the first and second annual Black Mamas Matter conference at Tufts, which successfully highlighted the voices of Black mothers and brought awareness to poor health outcomes for Black mothers and children. Building on this focus, LeAnn also served as patient support for socially complex pregnant patients at Tufts as well as on the Massachusetts Medical Society's Committee on Maternal and Perinatal Health, the TUSM Antiracism Task Force, the Appropriate Treatment of Medicine Committee, and the Race Curriculum Task Force. 

Faculty Award Winners 

Chris Economos smilingOutstanding Achievement in Civic Research: Christina Economos

Christina “Chris” Economos, the New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, the Chair of the Division of Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change, the Co-Founder and Director of ChildObesity180, and Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy as well as Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the Tufts School of Medicine, has dedicated her career to studying and serving disadvantaged populations with the goal of helping them live healthier, more equitable lives. Her research has bridged a critical gap between science and application, and she has pushed the boundaries of traditional methodologies by applying evidence-based, innovative approaches to create environmental, behavioral, and biological change. Her work has not only informed and helped drive the growth of the Friedman School’s research, scholarship, and service, but the results of her work have also influenced nutrition intervention pedagogy and policy change at the national level. As Professor Economos’ nominator wrote in his nomination: “It is one thing to be good at ‘translation’ of academic work for the community. It is another thing altogether to do what Chris has done: to demonstrate the feasibility of conducting rigorous research on a drastically more ambitious broad-based community intervention to improve nutrition and the food environment.”

Bruce Hitchner smiling with his hand to his faceOutstanding Personal Achievement in Active Citizenship: Bruce Hitchner 

Bruce Hitchner, Chair and Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Archaeology Program at the School of Arts & Sciences, is truly one of Tufts’ most interdisciplinary scholars. In addition to his work at Tufts, Professor Hitchner has contributed substantially to world peace in a rare manner through his groundbreaking work on breaking Bosnia’s post-war deadlock. From 1998 - 2014, he was founder and chair of the Dayton Peace Accords Project, a UN-accredited NGO, where he created the Dayton Peace Prize to keep alive the memory of those who worked to end the war that claimed over 100,000 lives. As part of this work, Professor Hitchner was also a critical member of the international negotiating team that assisted the political parties of Bosnia-Herzegovina in producing the 2006 Package of Amendments to the Dayton Constitution. He has raised Tufts’ profile in the world of civic engagement through his continued work on this issue, organizing conferences on the Dayton Accords and on Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Balkans with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Wilson Center. Professor Hitchner’s voice continues to be central to this conversation today, and he shares his knowledge and experiences with the Tufts student body through his class “Bosnia after Dayton.” 

Emily McCobb smilingOutstanding Teaching for Active Citizenship: Emily McCobb

Emily McCobb, Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the Shelter Medicine Program at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, is the epitome of an educator who embeds active citizenship and civic life into her curricular and extracurricular efforts and fosters these values within her students. Her work in developing innovative outreach programs, all while engaging students, has had a significant impact on the health of vulnerable animal populations as well as the educational experiences of Cummings students. Though her work as Director of the Shelter Medicine Program, Professor McCobb has ensured high-quality care for shelter animals while providing her students with critical hands-on training in an environment that teaches the importance of giving back to your community. She is also critical in leading the Worcester Housing Authority outreach selective, an elective course that allows vet students to run no-cost clinics in the Worcester area and provides basic health checks and vaccinations to underserved and unstably housed pets.