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Faculty and Fellows

Tisch College works closely with faculty across Tufts University who advance and promote the study of civic life through their teaching, research, and other professional activities. Our efforts are led by a core group of faculty members who hold leadership positions at Tisch College, oversee or teach foundational courses in the Civic Studies major, and are otherwise engaged in developing and implementing the academic and intellectual framework of Civic Studies. In addition, a growing group of faculty members serve as Tisch College Senior Fellows who explore deep connections between civic life and their areas of scholarship, and who are often working on specific research projects, courses, events, and other initiatives to strengthen those ties. (Several core faculty members also serve as Senior Fellows.)

For a full list of faculty members who are teaching courses that count toward the Civic Studies major, visit this page.

Core Faculty

Peter Levine

Peter Levine

Associate Dean
Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs
Phone 617.627.2302

Peter Levine is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life.

Trained as a moral/political philosopher, Levine has spent most of his career conducting applied empirical research and organizing professional efforts related to civic life in the United States, including sustained work on civic education, voting rights, public deliberation, social movements, and the the measurement of civic engagement.

Levine graduated from Yale in 1989 with a degree in philosophy. He studied philosophy at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving his doctorate in 1992. Before coming to Tufts in 2008, he worked for Common Cause, the Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy at University of Maryland, and the National Commission for Civic Renewal and helped to found and then led CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, which is now part of Tisch College.

At Tufts, Levine’s primarily appointment is in Tisch College. He directs the Tufts Civic Studies program, which offers an undergraduate major, the Summer Institute of Civic Studies, and the annual Frontiers of Democracy conference. He holds tenure as a full professor in Political Science and has additional appointments in Philosophy, Science and Technology Studies, International Relations, Tufts University College, the Data Intensive Sciences Center, the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and the Center for Humanities at Tufts. He co-leads the University-wide Research Group on Equity in Health, Wealth and Civic Engagement.

Levine is the author or editor of eleven books, including most recently We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Oxford University Press, 2013) and the forthcoming What Should We Do? Political Theory with Citizens at the Center (Oxford University Press, 2022).

He has served on the boards or steering committees of such civic organizations as AmericaSpeaks, Street Law Inc., the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Discovering Justice, the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, the American Bar Association Committee’s for Public Education, the Paul J. Aicher Foundation, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.

Diane Ryan

Diane Ryan

Associate Dean
Phone 617.627.7679

Diane M. Ryan is the Associate Dean for Programs and Administration in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Dr. Ryan oversees a portfolio of programs and curricula that service the entire undergraduate and graduate student body as well as provide resources for faculty research and professional development.

Diane’s teaching and research is focused on leadership development. She is a co-investigator on Project Arete – a 5-year longitudinal study of character and leadership development at the United States Military Academy. Dr. Ryan also holds a secondary appointment as Associate Professor in the Eliot-Person Department of Child Study and Human Development.

Prior to joining Tufts, Diane was an Academy Professor, Director of the Eisenhower Leader Development Program with Columbia University and Deputy Department Head in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. During her 29-year career as a U.S. Army officer she served in a variety of command and staff assignments both stateside and abroad. Diane is a noted expert in leader development and mentoring. During her last combat assignment with the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad, Iraq she founded a US-Iraqi partnership for military women and worked with several NGOs on peace and security initiatives. More recently, she served as a strategy consultant to the Commander of U.S. Army Pacific designing leader development exchange programs for several key U.S. partners.

Diane is certified in Stakeholder Centered Coaching and, in 2017, was selected as one of Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 Coaches from over 16,000 applicants. She has worked with numerous organizations across all sectors to include NYC Public Schools, Goldman-Sachs, Dell-EMC and Dartmouth College.

Dr. Ryan holds a B.A. in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross, an M.S. in International Relations from Troy University, an M.S.S. in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College and a Ph.D. in Social and Community Psychology from North Carolina State University.

Diane and her husband Al Roscoe have two daughters and a wily shih-poo named Maggie.

Alnoor Ebrahim

Alnoor Ebrahim

Phone 617.627.5104

Alnoor Ebrahim is a Professor of Management at The Fletcher School, and the Tisch College of Civic Life, at Tufts University. His research addresses several core dilemmas of social change facing businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies: What strategies should they adopt for delivering and scaling social change? How can they best measure and improve their impacts? How should they handle competing demands for accountability from diverse stakeholders? How can they influence “system” problems such as global poverty that require collective action? These questions are addressed in his new book, Measuring Social Change: Performance & Accountability in a Complex World. He is also author of the award-winning book, NGOs and Organizational Change: Discourse, Reporting, and Learning, and is co-editor of Global Accountabilities: Participation, Pluralism, and Public Ethics.

He serves on advisory boards to IRIS+ at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), and on the board of Imago Global Grassroots. He previously served on a working group established by the G7 to create global guidelines on social impact measurement, and on Acumen’s Lean Data advisory council. He has also worked with the NGO Leaders Forum, an annual gathering of CEOs of large humanitarian development organizations. His previous research on accountability mechanisms within the World Bank led to a Congressional Testimony on improving the Bank’s information disclosure policy.

Professor Ebrahim teaches courses on leadership and strategy, and in executive programs at Fletcher, Harvard, and Georgetown. Prior to joining the Fletcher faculty, he taught at Harvard Business School, where he chaired two executive programs for social sector leaders, and also at Virginia Tech. Professor Ebrahim received his doctorate and master’s degrees from Stanford University, and his bachelor of science from M.I.T.

Brian Schaffner

Brian Schaffner

Newhouse Professor of Civic Studies

Brian Schaffner is the Newhouse Professor of Civic Studies at Tufts University. Before coming to Tufts, he was a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a faculty associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. His research focuses on public opinion, campaigns and elections, political parties, and legislative politics. He is co-author of the books Campaign Finance and Political Polarization: When Purists Prevail and Understanding Political Science Research Methods: The Challenge of Inference; co-editor of the book Winning with Words: The Origins & Impact of Political Framing; and author of Politics, Parties and Elections in America. His research has appeared in more than 30 journal articles and has received over $2 million in external funding.

Senior Fellows

Hilary Binda

Hilary Binda

Senior Lecturer
Founding Director, Tufts University Prison Initiative at Tisch College
Phone 617.921.8051

Hilary Binda has her PhD in English and is the Founding Director of the Tufts University Prison Initiative of Tisch College. She is Director of the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and a Senior Lecturer in Civic Studies. Among her classes, The Literature of Confinement and Literatures of Justice combine Tufts undergraduates and incarcerated or formerly incarcerated students as co-learners. Her current research aims to support the development of educational equity as a form of racial and economic justice in partnership with decriminalization.

Julie Dobrow

Julie Dobrow

Tisch College Senior Fellow for Media and Civic Engagement
Phone 617.627.4744

Julie Dobrow has an A.B. from Smith College in Anthropology and Sociology, and holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in media studies from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Much of her research centers on the content and effects of media on children; on issues of gender and ethnicity in media; and on how children make sense of these images in the world of animated programming. Dobrow’s other main research interests are in the intersection of history and communication studies and in biography.

Her book, Outside Emily's Door: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet, was published by WW Norton and Company in 2018. Dobrow has worked professionally as a journalist and runs workshops on media literacy training for parents, teachers, and students. She has written a blog on children and media issues for the Huffington Post, in addition to writing  freelance pieces for the Boston Globe Magazine and other publications.

Dobrow’s work at Tisch College focuses on developing and teaching courses in the area of Civic Media, mentoring Tisch College faculty, advising students in the Civic Studies major, coordinating internships for students that focus on issues of media and civic engagement, and putting on events such as the annual Edward R. Murrow Forum on Issues and Journalism.

Outside of Tufts, Dobrow has volunteered extensively on town boards and committees in her community in educational and environmental realms. She also serves as vice president of the Boston Authors Club.

Fahad Dogar

Fahad Dogar

Assistant Professor
Tisch College Senior Fellow for Civic Technology

Fahad Dogar is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Tufts University. His research interests span networked computer systems, including mobile and wireless systems, cloud-based systems, and the Internet. Performance, reliability, and cost of using these systems are some of the important considerations in his research.

Fahad's Faculty Fellowship will support the continued development of the course "Computing for Developing Regions" which was first offered in Spring 2017. This course focuses on understanding, designing, and evaluating innovative technological solutions for developing regions of the world. Fahad will work towards identifying suitable project ideas for the students, and making this course accessible to a wider audience at Tufts.

Deborah Donahue-Keegan in a red scarf outdoors

Deborah Donahue-Keegan

Associate Director of the Generous Listening and Dialogue Center (GLADC), Social-Emotional Learning & Civic Engagement Initiative | Lecturer, Department of Education

Deborah Donahue-Keegan, M.S.W., Ed.M., Ed.D. serves as the Associate Director of the Generous Listening and Dialogue Center (GLADC), is a Senior Fellow at Tisch College, and oversees the Center's Social-Emotional Learning & Civic Engagement (SEL-CE) Initiative. She is also a Lecturer in the Tufts Department of Education, as well as a member of the university-wide Bridging Differences Task Force, the Tufts JED Campus committee, and the university's Mindfulness and Resilience Collaborative.  

Deborah holds a B.A. in History from the College of the Holy Cross, an M.S.W. from Boston College, and Ed.M., Ed.D. degrees from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She serves as an Advisor for SEL4US, a national SEL advocacy organization. Deborah co-founded and co-leads the Massachusetts Consortium for SEL in Teacher Education (MA SEL-TEd). She has authored articles and chapters focused on Social-Emotional Learning, contemplative practices, and educator professional development. Deborah is co-author of the forthcoming book, EQ Goes to College: An Emotional Intelligence Framework for Colleges and Universities (Kendall Hunt Publishing). Deborah's research and teaching focus on ways that transformative social-emotional learning can be leveraged for well-being, equity, belonging, and racial literacy in K-12 and higher education environments.

Moon Duchin

Moon Duchin

Tisch College Senior Fellow
Phone 617.627.5970

Moon Duchin is a Professor of Mathematics at Tufts University and was one of the faculty founders of the interdisciplinary Science, Technology, and Society Program. She runs the MGGG Redistricting Lab as one of the research groups at Tisch College of Civic Life.

Duchin's areas of mathematical expertise are in geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and dynamics. Her applied research program is in data science for civil rights, where her Lab has become a leading voice in the national efforts to better understand census data, redistricting, and electoral systems. Duchin's co-edited volume (with Olivia Walch) called Political Geometry was published in 2021.

The Lab built the Districtr public mapping tool that was used around the country in the redistricting cycle in 2021-22 by line-drawers and community groups. More than 130 localities have used Districtr to collect official public input, including New York City and the state of Michigan. A second major project of the Lab is the GerryChain software packages that harness the mathematics of Markov chains to build high-quality ensembles of alternative districting plans, helping people explore the range of possibility in redistricting. This has enabled ensemble analysis that featured in redistricting litigation in Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and more. Other major research and software development areas for the Lab include differential privacy in the Census, ranked choice voting, race and polarization analysis, and the future of the Voting Rights Act.

Penn Loh

Senior Lecturer
Director of the Master of Public Policy Program and Community Practice
Phone 617.627.3394

Penn Loh is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Master of Public Policy Program and Community Practice at Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. He partners with various community base building organizations in the Solidarity Economy Initiative, Right to the City Alliance, and Center for Economic Democracy. From 1996 to 2009, he served in various roles, including Executive Director, at Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), a Roxbury-based environmental justice group. He holds an M.S. in environmental science and policy from Energy and Resources Group of the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in electrical engineering from MIT. Before joining ACE, he was Research Associate at the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California and a Research Analyst at the Tellus Institute for Resource and Environmental Strategies in Boston. He has published broadly on environmental and social justice issues. He has served on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s Health and Research Subcommittee, the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, and on the boards of the Environmental Support Center, the Environmental Leadership Program, New World Foundation, and Community Labor United. He is currently a trustee of the Hyams Foundation and board member of Center for Economic Democracy.

Megan Mueller

Megan Mueller

Tisch College Senior Fellow
Phone 508.839.7991

Dr. Megan Mueller is the Elizabeth Arnold Stevens Junior Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and is the Associate Director of the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction. She teaches in the M.S. program in Animals and Public Policy at the Center for Animals and Public Policy, as well as in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. Dr. Mueller received her B.A. in psychology and M.A. and Ph.D. in child study and human development from Tufts University.

Dr. Mueller’s research, teaching, and service focuses on assessing how relationships with animals can promote healthy children, families and communities through pet ownership, animal-assisted therapy, and animal-based community programs. Her ongoing projects involve human-animal interaction in military families, the integration of animals into science and engineering education, the effects of equine and canine-assisted therapy in promoting mental health, and accessibility of veterinary care to underserved human and animal populations.

As a Tisch College Senior Fellow, Mueller focuses on issues related to public policy regarding animals and the role pets can play in improving education, health, and other aspects of civic life.

Woman smiling looking at the camera

Diane O'Donoghue

Director, Program for Public Humanities & Senior Fellow for the Humanities
Phone 617.627.6145

Diane O’Donoghue is the Director of the Program for Public Humanities and Senior Fellow for the Humanities at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts. She is also Visiting Professor of Public Humanities at Brown University's John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and a scholar member and faculty of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, where she chairs their Division of Interdisciplinary Studies and directs the Ecker Fellows Program. An art historian, she has chaired the Department of Visual and Critical Studies (now Visual and Material Studies) at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, and since joining Tisch College in 2015 her scholarship and public-facing projects frequently intersect. Her specialization in the visual culture and archaeology of early China helped facilitate two bilingual, archival exhibitions ("These Words” and “Endurance Streets") in Boston’s Chinese neighborhood. An interest in connections between archaeology and psychoanalysis brought her to Vienna, where she became involved in descendant advocacy for Nazi-era restitution of a large Jewish cemetery. This latter work in turn inspired aspects of her book, On Dangerous Ground: Freud’s Visual Cultures of the Unconscious, winner of the 2019 Robert S. Liebert Award from Columbia University; previous writings  on topics addressing psychoanalysis and visualities have received the Loewenberg, Deutsch, and Silberger Prizes. Her current scholarship now extends to contested sites of memorialization, constructions of public memory and amnesias, and forensic ethics. Read an essay that relates these issues to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor O’Donoghue and her colleague, Bridget Conley, of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School at Tufts organized a series of five panels during the 2020-2021 academic year. These presentations introduced twelve speakers who addressed, from various perspectives, ethical issues concerning human remains. Recordings of all the panels are available on the project’s site. A selection of these papers will appear in November 2022 as a co-edited issue of Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

With funding from the Tisch College Community Research Center, she has curated the Program's current project—"Endurance Streets: Resilience and Response in Boston’s Chinese Community” (堅韌的街道: 波士頓華人社區的韌性和反應)—in partnership with the Chinese Historical Society of New England. A public-facing exhibition, installed at two locations in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood, it opened on September 15, 2022 and will be on view through until December 30th.

Recent Publications:

“Making a Ground Dangerous,” in Psychoanalytic Intersections: A Collection of Papers by Visiting Scholars of the Austen Riggs Erikson Institute (NY; London: Routledge, forthcoming, 2023).

“Last Place: Burying the Death in Times of Pandemic.” Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 8, no. 2 (2022): 74-93. 

Amnesias of a Freudian Kind, Part II." American Imago: Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences, 78, no.4 (Winter 2021): 601-617.

"Amnesias of a Freudian Kind Part I.American Imago: Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences, 78, no.1 (Spring 2021): 55-77. 

"What Readers Matter? Challenging the Disappearance of the Branch Library in Boston’s Chinese Neighborhood." In Doing Public Humanities, edited by Susan Smulyan. New York: Routledge, 2021: 114-129.

"Sigismund’s Wolves.American Imago, 76, no.4 (Winter 2019): 553-567.

On Dangerous Ground: Freud’s Visual Cultures of the Unconscious. New York; London: Bloomsbury, 2019.  

“Image, Loss, Delay.” In Grief and Its Transcendence: Memory, Identity, Creativity, edited by Adele Tutter and Léon Wurmser. New York; London: Routledge, 2016, 88-94. 

“Liquiphophia und der Schauplatz der Psychoanalyze.” In Verflüssigungen: Ästhetische und semantische Dimensionen eines Topos, edited by Kassandra Nakas. Berlin; Munich: Wilhelm Fink. 2015, 45-56.

George Scarlett, Tisch College Senior Fellow

W. George Scarlett

Senior Lecturer
Tisch College Senior Fellow
Phone 617.627.2248

George Scarlett’s work focuses on the child-nature connection and cultivating ecological literacy for the development of earth stewards. He is founder and editor of the Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards online resource for educators around the world. His published works include books on children’s play, classroom management, and religious and spiritual development across the lifespan. He holds degrees from Yale University (B.A.), Episcopal Theological School (M.Div.), and Clark University (Ph.D. in developmental psychology). Since 1990, he has been teaching in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development.


Faculty Fellows

In addition to core faculty and permanent senior fellows, each year, Tisch College selects and supports a group of Faculty Fellows who develop courses or conduct research that connect their disciplines to civic life.