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Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

Faculty Fellows

The Tisch Faculty Fellows program convenes a diverse group of faculty members from across Tufts University for interdisciplinary discussions about teaching and research and builds the capacity of Tufts faculty to integrate civic engagement into their work. Faculty Fellows develop a course, research project, or other initiative designed to strengthen the connections between their individual disciplines and civic life. They receive a stipend that can be used for salary or research/teaching expenses, and they meet four times per semester to share perspectives and discuss common themes, challenges, and resources. To date, more than 100 colleagues, representing every Tufts school, have participated in the program, which is open to any member of the Tufts University faculty.

The 2018-2019 Faculty Fellows application period is closed. We will announce the new class of Fellows on this page soon. Any questions can be directed at Diane Ryan, Tisch College’s Associate Dean for Programs and Admnistration, at


2017-2018 Tisch Faculty Fellows

Julian Agyeman


Julian Agyeman is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. He is the originator of the concept of ‘just sustainabilities,‘ the full integration of social justice and environmental sustainability. As an ecologist/bio-geographer turned critical urban studies scholar, he has a background in both science and social science which helps frame his perspectives, research and scholarship.

Building on his latest book, Food Trucks, Cultural Identity and Social Justice: From Loncheras to Lobsta Love (co-edited with Caitlin Matthews and Hannah Sobel: MIT Press 2017) his Tisch Fellowship project, conducted alongside researcher and co-editor Sydney Giacalone (2017 Environmental Studies and Anthropology) will be a co-edited book entitled Immigration, Immigrants, Agriculture and Food in North America, which will investigate the immigration-food nexus at two levels: the national policy level, and the personal and cultural/community level.

Claire Beckett

Visiting Scholar

Claire Beckett is a Visiting Artist in Photography at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her photographic work revolves around what it means to be a 21st century American. Recent projects have looked at newly-enlisted soldiers, cultural impersonation and role-playing during U.S. military training, and American converts to Islam.

As a Tisch Faculty Fellow, she will continue to photograph new Muslims. She will also work with a group of local convert women to collect texts, found imagery, and ephemera which describe the experience of becoming Muslim.

Hilary Binda

Senior Lecturer
Director, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program

Hilary Binda is a Senior Lecturer in the Visual and Critical Studies Department, Director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, and Director of the Writing program at the SMFA. Her current research focuses on the impact of college-in-prison experiences on the lives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in Massachusetts and is being completed in collaboration with professors Jill Weinberg and Carolyn Rubin and supported by grants from Tisch College and Tufts Collaborates. Her other project explores the relationship between the literary and the visual registers as this productive tension informs the emerging discourses of time and sexuality in early modern England and as this tension resonates in the contemporary discourses of queer and feminist theory.

As a Tisch Faculty Fellow, Binda will continue her work as Founding Director of the emergent Tufts University Prison Initiative at Tisch College (TUPIT). Through on-going collaboration with the state Department of Corrections and with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, her work will include organizing faculty and students in different schools at Tufts schools in the service of developing educational opportunities for incarcerated people and for Tufts community members. This faculty fellowship will help support: bringing James Forman Jr. to speak on mass incarceration at Tufts; teaching Tufts students alongside incarcerated students in the first Tufts in prison course; developing a faculty lecture series at the prison; recruiting and training interested Tufts faculty to teach in prison; developing a symposium at Tufts on college in prison; and attending the National Conference of Higher Education in Prison.

Freeden Blume Oeur

Assistant Professor

Freeden Oeur is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Affiliate with the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. His work examines how neoliberal governance has shaped masculine power, with consequences especially for Black politics.

Oeur and Prof. Jill Weinberg are serving as co-principal investigators on a project that will examine the meanings of consent. In the first half of their project, they will take stock of existing research in the areas of law, politics, gender, and sexuality to clarify how researchers have defined and used consent. In the second half of their project, they will assess how students and university officials make sense of consent in two important sites: sexual violence discourse and in Institutional Review Boards.

Elena Byhoff

Assistant Professor

Elena Byhoff is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. Her primary research focuses on how social determinants of health impact health and healthcare. She is interested in identifying primary care-based interventions to reduce health disparities in vulnerable populations.

Dr. Byhoff's Faculty Fellow project involves developing a community-engaged primary data collection project to understand how clinics serving vulnerable populations identify social needs in their patient populations. As a primary-care physician and health services researcher, she is particularly interested in examining the root of health disparities using methods that engage individual patients and their communities.

Kristina Schmid Callina

Research Assistant Professor

Kristina Schmid Callina is a Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. As an applied developmental scientist, Kristina uses longitudinal data analysis techniques to study character virtue development from childhood through early adulthood.

As a Tisch Faculty Fellow, Kristina will develop a course that grounds responsible consumption of data in the ethics of civic engagement. The purpose of this course will be to promote students’ ability to critically evaluate research findings they encounter in the media. This skill set is essential for the kind of media literacy that is required of active and engaged citizens to be able to identify quality science and reject flimsy claims based on questionable data. The aim of the course is to give students the tools they need to evaluate the quality of data and research they encounter in the media and enhance their active citizenship in a data-driven world.

Fahad Dogar

Assistant Professor

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.

Moon Duchin

Associate Professor

Moon Duchin is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and serves as director of the interdisciplinary Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Her research in pure mathematics focuses on geometric group theory, low-dimensional topology, and dynamics. She is also interested in the social studies of science, particularly the role of expertise, authority, intuition, and proof.  

Duchin's Faculty Fellowship will support her multi-year project on the geometry of gerrymandering. She is leading a team of mathematicians and computer scientists (the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG) in wide-ranging work on scientific interventions in electoral redistricting. MGGG has major support from Tisch College.

Ioannis Evrigenis

Professor and Chair

Ioannis D. Evrigenis is a Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of Classics. His research centers on the history of ideas and the history of political thought in particular. He is the author of Fear of Enemies and Collective Action, which won the 2009 Delba Winthrop Award for Excellence in Political Science, and of Images of Anarchy: The Rhetoric and Science in Hobbes's State of Nature, as well as co-editor of Herder's Another Philosophy of History and Selected Political Writings. At present, he is working on early modern political economy, sovereignty and popular sovereignty, the emergence of modern political science, and Plato's Socrates.

As a Tisch Faculty Fellow, Evrigenis will focus on the construction of a digital variorum edition of Jean Bodin's Les six livres de la république and the ways in which this project can inform pedagogy and research. Early findings of this project were published in "Digital Tools and the History of Political Thought: The Case of Jean Bodin," which was recently awarded the Renaissance Society of America-Text Creation Partnership Article Prize for Digital Renaissance Research.

Sasha Fleary

Assistant Professor

Sasha Fleary is an Assistant Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. Her research focuses on empowering parents, adolescents, and children to engage in healthful behaviors through interventions, programming, and outreach responsive to the risk and protective factors for health disparities in underserved groups. She is particularly interested in the role of multiple facets of health literacy in chronic disease prevention and community organization around health.

Fleary will utilize her Faculty Fellowship to launch a critical health literacy intervention for early adolescents. She will partner with community organizations to engage their underserved youth to think critically about the health of their communities. The adolescents will engage in a photovoice project and a community event will be held to showcase their work as well as engage the community in discussions about health.

Erin Kelly

Professor and Chair
Director, Peace and Justice Studies

Erin Kelly is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department in the School of Arts and Sciences. Her research interests are in moral and political philosophy and the philosophy of law, with a focus on questions about justice, the nature of moral reasons, moral responsibility and desert, and theories of punishment.

As a Tisch Faculty Fellow, she will explore the intellectual relationship between Civic Studies and Peace and Justice Studies. As the new director of Peace and Justice Studies, she aims to build community with interested faculty to revitalize the executive committee of Peace and Justice Studies, to review and expand the PJS curriculum, and to consider rebranding PJS to highlight Civic Studies as a distinctive field of inquiry and engagement at Tufts University.

Valencia Joyner Koomson

Associate Professor

Dr. Valencia Joyner Koomson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University. Her research interests are in the design of silicon-based mixed-mode VLSI systems (analog, digital, RF, optical), analog signal processing circuits, and optoelectronic system-on-chip modeling and integration for applications in optical

Dr. Koomson’s objective as a Tisch Faculty Fellow is to develop a cross-continental research collaboration to improve access to engineering design tools, skills, and resources at educational institutions in the developing world to accelerate medical device innovation that will improve the health of people in resource-poor settings.

Ron Lasser

Professor of the Practice

Ron Lasser is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His interests include how design impacts people; specifically, how ill-structured (or wicked) problems are defined and resolved by the integration of multiple perspectives, the risks associated with innovation, and the ultimate impact on society. Ron teaches Junior Design, Senior Capstone Design Project, Mobile Medical Devices and Apps, Societal Aspects of Design, among other courses.

Through the Tisch Faculty Fellowship, Ron will work to add a civic engagement component to Societal Aspects of Design and the other design courses he teaches. Specifically, identifying and embedded the knowledge, skills, values, and motivation into the design process (a purposeful intent to transition from a problem state to a future desired state), when addressing community problems to make a societal difference.

Anthony Romero

Professor of the Practice

Anthony Romero is Professor of the Practice in Performance at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Anthony Romero is an artist, writer, and organizer committed to documenting and supporting artists and communities of color. Recent projects include the book-length essay The Social Practice That Is Race, written with Dan S. Wang and published by Wooden Leg Press, Buenos Dias, Chicago!, a two year performance project commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and produced in collaboration with Mexico City based performance collective, Teatro Linea de Sombra. He is a co-founder of the Latinx Artist Visibility Award, a national scholarship for Latinx artists produced in collaboration with artist J. Soto and OxBow School of Art, and a co-founder of the Latinx Artists Retreat, a national gathering of Latinx artists and administrators. 

Romero's faculty fellowship with aide in the development of a civic literacy curriculum for the visual arts. This year-long think tank will bring colleagues and collaborators from across SMFA/TUFTS together with visiting artists, scholars, activists, city officials, and urban designers to consider the intersection of civic life, contemporary art, and education. Each semester two themes will be addressed as a way to ground and focus discussions and the curriculum building process. Suggested themes include food systems, housing, incarceration and detention, and citizenship.

Peter Scott

Professor of the Practice

Peter Scott is a Professor of the Practice in the Print, Paper and Graphic Arts Department at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Over the past 25 years he has been involved with print workshops and print portfolio exchanges between the Print and Paper area at SMFA and with colleagues and students in Johannesburg, South Africa. In particular, this has focused on collaboration with Artist Proof Studio, Johannesburg, founded and directed by SMFA/Tufts alumna Kim Berman in 1991, as well as with faculty and students at the University of Johannesburg, where Ms. Berman is also a Senior Lecturer in printmaking.

With the on-going transition of SMFA into the Tufts University administration, Scott’s Fellowship will support his efforts to further institutionalize the continued exchanges between the SMFA Print, Paper and Graphic Arts Dept. and Artist Proof Studio as well as the University of Johannesburg. Scott will be working to establish support, both administrative and financial, for exchange students from these institutions to attend SMFA at Tufts for a semester, and for the print curriculum to revive course initiatives that would allow SMFA students to travel to Johannesburg to collaborate with students at Artist Proof Studio and the University of Johannesburg.

Patricia Smith


Patricia Smith has been a Lecturer in Spanish at Tufts since 2003. She has taught all levels, but her major interest is in a course she developed about themes concerning the Spanish Civil War, and the transition in Spain after Francisco Franco died. One of the most important topics of the course is the Law of Historic Memory.

Smith's Faculty Fellow project will encourage students to engage in scholarship which will lead to the study of history and our past mistakes.  A new dimension to the course is to have students keep a journal in which they compare what happened in Spain, and what is still ongoing in Spain, with developments in another country. For example, Colombia, South Africa, Chile, Germany, Peru, Yugoslavia, Argentina, and Japan are countries which have a law involving reparations to those who suffered violence. Many countries have museums, such as the Holocaust Museum or the Museum of African American History in the U.S., to honor the memory of those who have suffered losses in wars, and to encourage reflection regarding how one can improve the future by consciously avoiding errors of the past. The course will culminate with a conference.

Ninian Stein

Lecturer, Department of Anthropology

Ninian Stein is a Lecturer in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. Educated and trained as an anthropological archaeologist and an environmental scientist, her research and teaching spans three areas—environmental policy and communication, landscape change, and environmental justice. With Medford Conversations and Earthos Institute, Stein received a 2016-2017 Tisch College Community Research Committee Seed Grant entitled "Listening to Medford: Supporting and Assessing Community Involvement in Medford Conversations." 

For her Tisch Faculty Fellowship, Stein will collaborate with Earthos Institute to support and build Medford Conversations through targeted outreach guided by community suggestions and community-based research. Through this research, they hope to gain insights into ways that participation in organizations such as Medford Conversations may increase civic engagement and social resiliency.

Jill Weinberg

Assistant Professor

Jill Weinberg is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Affiliate with Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Program. Her work explores social decriminalization and how individuals and groups use law to render their illegal activities legally and socially acceptable.

Weinberg and Prof. Freeden Oeur are serving as co-principal investigators on a project that will examine the meanings of consent. In the first half of their project, they will take stock of existing research in the areas of law, politics, gender, and sexuality to clarify how researchers have defined and used consent. In the second half of their project, they will assess how students and university officials make sense of consent in two important sites: sexual violence discourse and in Institutional Review Boards.

Weinberg will also be collaborating with Prof. Fahad Dogar on his Faculty Fellowship project.