Dean Eileen Kennedy to Step Down

Eileen Kennedy, D.Sc., dean of the Friedman School, has announced that she will step down from her position at the end of the academic year next June. After a sabbatical year spent working on research and an important global nutrition effort, she will return to the faculty at the Friedman School.

"Dean Kennedy has taken the Friedman School to new heights of excellence—it is stronger than when she assumed her deanship in 2004, and is now positioned for a brilliant future," said Provost and Senior Vice President Jamshed Bharucha. "She has created a stable financial foundation for the school, secured new resources and elevated its international reputation."

Under Kennedy's leadership, the Friedman School collaborated with the government of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, to establish a one-year master's degree focused on nutrition and public health challenges in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. With the support of her faculty and Board of Overseers, she began the Friedman Symposium, an annual forum bringing together academics, policy experts, industry leaders and others interested in nutritional well-being to share ideas and gain knowledge that will direct policy, advance scientific understanding and improve the quality of nutrition for people worldwide.

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Honoring Two Stellar Professors

The Friedman School began the yearlong celebration of its 30th anniversary with a Dean's Medal tribute to two of its most cherished professors, women who were instrumental in putting the nutrition school on the academic map.

Hundreds of alumni, colleagues and friends attended the November 6 program honoring Jeanne Goldberg, Ph.D., founder of the Nutrition Communication program, and Johanna Dwyer, D.Sc., director of the Frances Stern Nutrition Center, with the highest award a school at Tufts University can bestow.

Anita Owen, an overseer emerita of the school and co-chair of the Friends Council, read a message from a Nutrition Communication program graduate, Jen Hellwig, N97, who said she was amazed at how important the program's alumni have been to her career. "Jeanne is the reason the alumni community is so active, engaged and robust," she wrote. "She is not only a wonderful counselor and a mentor to current students, but she continues in that role with the alumni as well."

Dwyer is the author or co-author of more than 200 original research articles and 280 review articles, primarily looking at the prevention of diet-related disease in children and adolescents; maximizing quality of life and health in the elderly; vegetarianism and other alternative lifestyles; and nutrition in chronic disease. Many of those articles have been written with colleagues, students and interns, who are frequently included in her work, Professor Lynne Ausman, D.Sc., said in introducing her.

"She is the ultimate grand facilitator," Ausman said, describing Dwyer's penchant for phone calls and blackberry emails, each with "another wonderful suggestion or idea of a new direction that one could go in."

Watch a video that celebrates the school's 30th anniversary here:

Research Updates

The Feinstein International Center hosted a public panel discussion to launch Visiting Professor Larry Minear's new book, Through Veterans' Eyes: The Iraq and Afghanistan Experience (Potomac Books). The November 10 event featured four speakers who have fought in Iraq or Afghanistan or have family who have fought there.

Two Feinstein International Center researchers have received a two-year grant for a new project in Karamoja, Uganda. Instructors Elizabeth Stites and Kristopher Carlson will be co-principal investigators on the project, which will look at how customary mechanisms are adapting and changing in response to major shifts in livelihoods and conflict dynamics. Stites was a co-author of a recently released paper that looked at livelihoods, food security and security in that region. Read the report at

Professor Patrick Webb, Ph.D., served on the initial editorial committee for the recently released sixth report on the world nutrition status by the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition. The report says that while progress is being made, it's not happening quickly enough in some regions to meet the targets set for the Millennium Development Goals. There is a call for renewed attention to maternal nutrition, not only to prevent child undernutrition but also for the sake of mothers' own health and development. Download the report at:

Awards & Accolades

Stanley N. Gershoff Professor Alice Lichtenstein, D.Sc., received the 2010 Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award from the American Public Health Association at its meeting in Denver, Colo.

Professor William Masters, Ph.D., was named one of 12 international fellows of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.

Professor José Ordovas, Ph.D., received the University of Navarra Food and Health Award, a major nutrition award in Spain.

Ernst Schaefer, M.D., director of the Lipid Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, was honored by the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology of the American Heart Association, and gave the George Lyman Duff Memorial Lecture at the annual meetings, which were held in Chicago. The title of his talk was "High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Particles in Health and Disease."

Here & There

Adjunct Professor Johanna Dwyer, D.Sc., chaired a session on dietary supplements at the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association in Boston. The staff and students of the Frances Stern Nutrition Center held an open house for members of the association and former interns at Tufts Medical Center.

Professor Jeanne Goldberg, Ph.D., and Patricia Bannan, N99, led a session on how to use social media to access nutritional information at the American Dietetic Association conference in Boston.

Professor Alice Lichtenstein, D.Sc., chaired the American Heart Association plenary session on "Vitamin D: Deity or Disappointment?" and the cardiovascular seminar session titled "Complementary and Alternate Approaches to the Treatment of CVD Risk Factors: State of the Science." She also was one of the experts who debated the latest science related to dietary fat intake and disease risk at the American Dietetic Association annual meeting in Boston, as part of a session titled "The Great Fat Debate." She warned against focusing on single nutrients for disease risk reduction, saying, "We need to stop focusing on individual dietary components because when one goes down, another goes up." Read more about the debate here:

Roger Swartz has joined the Friedman School-based Positive Deviance Initiative as its new executive director. He comes to the school from the Boston Public Health Commission, where he was director of the Community Initiatives Bureau for 10 years. He also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and was instrumental in establishing the state's Tobacco Prevention & Control Program. In addition, Swartz has significant experience managing and implementing international public health programs having worked in Africa and the Middle East with John Snow Inc., World Vision International and the Peace Corps.

Friedman Faculty in the News

Professor Roger Fielding, Ph.D., served as the main expert for the Boston Globe's weekly "Health Answers" column. "The capacity to increase muscle mass and strength is still very large in older people." The key is not to skimp on intensity because you're older. "Generally what we see is that people can really maximize their gains and strength if they perform at high intensity," he said. That means choosing enough weight so that your muscles are exhausted after eight to 10 repetitions.

Although strength training is good for building bones, an exercise program that incorporates aerobic, weight and strength training is the best way to prevent fractures, Associate Professor Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., told the Wall Street Journal's "Health Matters" column. "It's not just about maintaining bone density, but about maintaining fitness," Nelson said. "Even if you have frail bones, if you have muscle strength and balance, you won't fall, and if you don't fall, you aren't going to have a fracture."

Body mass index is a useful tool, but it doesn't always accurately reflect a person's body composition, Associate Professor Edward Saltzman, M.D., explained to WCVB-TV, Boston's ABC affiliate. "This has to be interpreted in light of each individual," he said. "One of the problems with BMI is we are comparing you as an individual as an average. If your BMI is 25, you might have 10 percent body fat, or you might have 25 percent body fat."

Rosenberg Professor Peter Walker, Ph.D., explained the effect of erratic donation patterns on humanitarian aid to the New York Times. "It is a little bit like funding your local fire engine by rattling a tin on the street every time a fire breaks out," he said. "For countries low down on the development scale, these disasters can drastically change the development curve," with the result being a long-term need for the kind of humanitarian aid that the public gives only in the teeth of a major disaster.

Alumni Update

From Farm to Lunch

Forty students and alumni attended an Alumni Association career panel titled "From School Lunch to Agricultural Policy: The Path from Friedman to the Professional Field." The panelists were Lisa Damon, N09, farmers' market nutrition program coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources; Sonya Elder, Ph.D., N09, director of food services for the Brookline Public Schools; and Gerard Kennedy, N97, director of agriculture technical assistance for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. The panel was organized and moderated by Alumni Association Executive Council members Kerri Hawkins, N06, and Shauna Sadowski, N05. If you missed it, you can listen to a recording of it here.

Last Call for Friedman Alumni Awards

Help us honor our alumni's great accomplishments by nominating someone for an alumni award in the categories of Leadership and Expertise, Innovation and/or Up and Coming Alumni and The Leah Horowitz Humanitarian Award. Anyone can nominate alumni who have excelled in their areas of expertise. Submit your nominations, which will be accepted through December 15, at or send an email to

Reunion 2011, Scientifically Perfect

The Friedman School All-Alumni Reunion will be held April 2—4, 2011, and we are looking for alumni to send in photos from their school days to use on the invitation. Send your best Friedman photos to Whether it's a photo of a group outing to Jacob Wirth's, or a gel electrophoresis gathering, we want to customize this year's invitations with your visual memories.

Also at the 2011 reunion, we will be honoring all graduates of the science programs, in addition to the first five classes and the class of 2006. Please email to join the subcommittee and help recruit your classmates back to campus.

The annual Gershoff Symposium will take place on Monday, April 4, on the topic "Optimizing Health: Does Nutrition Have the Right Tools?" Look for a more details in late January.

A Recipe for Holiday Giving


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The deadline for submitting items for the next issue of the Dean's Letter for Tufts Nutrition is Monday, January 5, 2011. Please send your information to Julie Flaherty at

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