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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

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 measurement of social capital.

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 of eight 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 (also Oxford University Press).

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

Professor
Phone 617.627.5104

Alnoor Ebrahim is a Professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. His current research addresses two core dilemmas of accountability facing social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies: How should they measure and improve their performance? How should they address competing demands for accountability from diverse stakeholders? 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. Professor Ebrahim presently serves on advisory boards to the Global Impact Investing Network and Acumen Fund on the topic of impact measurement, and he previously served on a working group established by the G8 to create global guidelines on social impact measurement. He has also worked with the NGO Leaders Forum, an annual gathering of CEOs of the largest humanitarian development organizations based in the US.

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

Deborah Donahue-Keegan

Professor
Associate Director, Tisch College Initiative on Social-Emotional Learning and Civic Engagement
Phone 617.448.1949

Deborah Donahue-Keegan is a Lecturer in the Education department. Her research and teaching focus on the ways in which prosocial education approaches can synchronously foster positive school climate, racial literacy, equity, and academic achievement in/across school systems. She is dedicated to advancing education practices that foster social-emotional development, deep learning, and cultural competence in all schools. Deborah co-leads the MA Consortium for Social-Emotional Learning in Teacher Education. She is also on the steering committee for the MA Social-Emotional Learning Alliance. Deborah began her career in the education field as a high school teacher, for seven years, beginning in Kingston, Jamaica. Before coming to Tufts, Deborah was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Wellesley College. She is currently writing a book that builds on her dissertation research--a qualitative study of public high school teachers' efforts to foster socio-moral and civic learning through constructive controversy.

Moon Duchin

Moon Duchin

Tisch College Senior Fellow
Phone 617.627.5970

Moon Duchin is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Tufts University and was one of the faculty who founded 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 interest are in geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and dynamics. Her applied research program is in data science for civil rights, and the MGGG Redistricting Lab has become a leading group in the national efforts to better understand census, redistricting, and electoral systems.

The Lab has built the Districtr public mapping tool that will be used around the country in the redistricting cycle in 2021 by legislatures, redistricting commissions, and parallel public processes. A second major project is the GerryChain software packages that harness the mathematics of Markov chains to build thousands or millions of alternative districting plans, helping people explore the range of possibility in redistricting. Other major research and software development areas for the Lab include differential privacy in the Census, ranked choice voting, and the future of the Voting Rights Act.

Penn Loh

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 Masters in Public Policy Program and Community Practice at Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. 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. He has served on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s Health and Research Subcommittee, the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, 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 member of the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board and the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council.

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. 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 is Chair of their new Division of Interdisciplinary Studies. An art historian, she has chaired the Department of Visual and Critical Studies (now Visual and Material Culture) 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  a bilingual, archival exhibition (“These Words”) in Boston’s Chinese neighborhood, and 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 recent book, On Dangerous Ground: Freud’s Visual Cultures of the Unconscious (Bloomsbury, 2019), winner of the 2019 Robert S Liebert Award; previous writings have received the Loewenberg, Deutsch, and Silberger Prizes. Her scholarship now extends into areas of public and civic memory, sites of memorialization, and forensic ethics and excavations. For a recent (May, 2020) essay that relates these issues to the COVID-19 pandemic, refer here

Recent Publications:

"Amnesias of a Freudian Kind." American Imago: Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences, (forthcoming, spring, 2021)

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, 2020. 

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

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

“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.

 

Faculty

Nancy Lippe

Nancy Lippe

Lecturer

Nancy has spent her career developing entrepreneurial solutions to community issues. Inspired by her work as a community foundation program officer, Nancy is passionate about building community resources/resilience. While living in the San Francisco Bay Area, she launched a charter school, a family giving network, numerous community forums, as well as a college mentoring/scholarship program for first generation college students. She also started a teen grant-making program in partnership with the Packard Foundation, and has been teaching youth and college philanthropy ever since. Currently, in addition to philanthropy consulting, Nancy works as the Director of Arts & Environment at The Umbrella Community Arts Center in Concord, where she is most excited about developing program partnerships with environmental groups and neighboring towns, including Lowell, Framingham and Maynard. She serves on several local nonprofit boards, and is a facilitator in a local restorative justice program.

Chris Swan

Chris Swan

Associate Professor
Dean of Undergraduate Education, School of Engineering
Phone 617.627.3211

Chris Swan is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a strong focus on engineering education and outreach efforts. He previously served as a Tisch College Associate Dean, and serves on the steering committe of the Tisch College Community Research Center. Prof. Swan received a Doctor of Science (ScD) degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT in 1994 and both Bachelor (BS) and Master (MS) of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and 1986, respectively. Prior to obtaining his ScD. Dr.Swan worked for GZA Geoenvironmental, Inc., a national engineering consulting firm specializing in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering projects.

Grace Talusan

Grace Talusan

Lecturer

Grace Talusan teaches the Tisch Scholars foundation course "Civic Identity, Reflection, and Action," and in the 1+4 Bridge Year Program and Civic Action Gap Semester for the Tufts First-Year Global Programs. She taught writing for many years at Tufts University and Grub Street, and is currently the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University. Her memoir, The Body Papers, won the 2020 Massachusetts Book Award in nonfiction, the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, and was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection. Her short story, "The Book of Life and Death," was chosen for the Boston Book Festival's 2020 One City One Story program and dispatches from the pandemic were published in the anthologies, And We Came Outside and Saw the Stars Again and Alone Together, which raise funds for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. She graduated from Tufts University and the MFA Program in Writing at UC Irvine. She is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Julianne Zimmerman

Julianne Zimmerman

Lecturer, Social Entrepreneurship

For over 25 years, Julianne Zimmerman has focused on putting technology to work for the greater good.  In her current role as Managing Director with Reinventure Capital, she is in the process of raising a fund to invest in a chronically overlooked pool of entrepreneurs:  people of color and women.  Previously as Co-Founder of seed-stage investment firm Vodia Ventures, Julianne invested in startups in energy, water, food, and health. As an external consultant, VP of Communications, VP of Business Development, and VP of Engineering, Julianne has built departments, managed alpha projects, guided branding and identity efforts, and led a wide variety of initiatives from blank page to successful, in many cases award-winning, completion. Along the way she and her co-conspirators have catalyzed industry shifts, changed conversations, won awards, and set new standards for performance.

Julianne holds two undergraduate degrees from MIT in Humanities/Literature and Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, an MS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, and an executive certificate in sustainability management from the Presidio Graduate School; she previously served as a certified EMT in Maryland and Massachusetts. She was twice a finalist in the NASA astronaut selection process. She is a frequent speaker, reviewer and judge for innovation and entrepreneurship programs in the US and abroad; she currently serves on the MIT Venture Mentoring Service and as a founding Principal of Great Dome Associates.

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.