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Tisch College Launches 10th Anniversary Celebration

Monday, December 6, 2010

Faculty members who have worked with Tisch College in their teaching and research reflect on our impact.


Last month, students, faculty members, alumni and community partners gathered on the Medford campus to officially kick off Tisch College’s 10th anniversary.

“When we started Tisch College ten years ago, we had a unique vision of a college that worked across disciplines to infuse active citizenship into research, into classrooms, and into life across all Tufts campuses,” said Tisch College Dean Rob Hollister. “Tonight we are joined by four outstanding faculty members who teach, research and live the mission of active citizenship each day. There is perhaps no better illustration of our impact than their work and their passion for active citizenship.”

Miriam Nelson, Associate Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Director, John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity Prevention, spoke about her StrongWomen, program. An evidence-based strength-training program developed by Nelson, the StrongWomen Program envisions a worldwide community of women who are fit, strong, and healthy.

“These empowered women become positive agents of change for their families, communities, and beyond,” Nelson said. “We’ve known for along time that being active is important to health, but its essential to get research out of the lab and into the community in order to have a real impact.”

Chris Rogers, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and CEEO Director, School of Engineering spoke about engaging students in the community through engineering education. Started by Rogers 8 years ago, the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) integrates engineering into K-12 education by bringing engineering students into community classrooms.

“We’ve found that the program not only helps elementary students find a passion for engineering, but also makes our students better engineers,” said Rogers.  “The Tufts students who participate in the program are better able to explain engineering concepts and develop a greater connection to engineering as a field.”

Edith Balbach, Senior Lecturer, Community Health, School of Arts and Sciences, spoke about her work engaging community health students in local communities. Balbach has made work in the community a central piece of the classroom experience for her students.

“Our students learn a lot from working directly in the community,” Balback said.  “Our approach helps students master the essential skills of learning from and partnering with the community.”

Pearl Robinson, Associate Professor, Political Science, School of Arts and Sciences, spoke about Ghana Gold, a Corporate Social Responsibility Study Tour which Robinson founded. The heavily interdisciplinary course introduces students to development challenges in Ghana through issues surrounding the gold industry and included an annual trip to Ghana.

“Historically speaking, many of the people who have gone to help Africa have done enormous harm,” Robinson said. “This partnership has shown our students the impact of those unfortunate interventions and teaches our students how to responsibly engage with communities.”