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Student Profile: Alizée Weber

Alizée Weber

Senior Alizée Weber fell in love with Tufts University in a way many students do: through Jumbo Days. After receiving her acceptance letter, she attended Jumbo Days and explored Tufts’ campus and talked to its students and faculty, specifically former Dean of Admissions Lee Coffin. “Coffin told me, ‘There is only so much you can learn in the classroom.’” This really resonated with Alizée, who noted that there were many amazing academic institutions in the United States, but that she wanted a place where her classmates and professors would shape her for the next four years. “The more I talked to current and admitted Tufts students and to professors, the more I realized just how passionate, caring, and down-to-earth they were,” Alizée recalls. These conversations and more importantly the community she found at Jumbo Days shaped Alizée’s decision and her next four years.

Alizée is an international student from France and describes herself as a people’s person. “I love learning about different cultures, meeting new people, and helping others,” she says. With students from over 60 countries and all 50 states, Tufts presents a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and diversity, something Alizée cherishes. As well, Tufts offers academic options that allow Alizée to learn about her multiple passions and work with departments on campus and complete internships off campus. “I have been able to explore different academic fields and career paths that would allow to pursue my passions, such as medicine, nutrition, clinical psychology, higher education, and admissions.” As a senior intern for Admissions, Alizée finds a full circle with her work for incoming students and the tour guide program.

At Tufts, she feels engaged and excited about her interests. She is constantly discussing her college experience, her studies, her internships, and her work in and out of Tufts. Whether these interests be in line with her academic career or her personal love of cheese, Alizée is ready to talk for hours, like many Tufts students. Specifically, Alizée recalls one of her favorite aspects of Tufts being its support system. “From my peers to graduate students and alumni to professors and career counselors, there has always been someone there for me,” Alizée says.

With plans to attend Cornell’s prestigious School of Hotel Administration in the fall after graduation, Alizée is excited for her future and thankful for her past. “I am looking forward to applying what I have learned at Tufts to this new field of study. I am confident that the rigorous academic education Tufts provides, and the open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity is fosters will help me tackle this new challenge,” Alizée explains. With the many connections and friends she has made, both with international and American students, Alizée cannot imagine having a better college experience and feeling more excited for her future. As one of the organizers of this year’s Jumbo Days, she is hopeful future students will make the same connections she made and discover the Tufts community in the ways she has.

Student Profile: Jacob Ehrlich

Jacob Ehrlich

To sophomore Jacob Ehrlich, Tufts University is about opportunities. “Tufts is innately liberal arts so I can pursue my various passions without being married to one subject necessarily,” Jacob says. For students with a wide variety of interests, passions, and pursuits, liberal arts colleges are the best option to discover these different paths. For Jacob, Tufts goes even further. Besides being able to study different subjects, Tufts, as a research institution, also allows him the ability to study very specific trades at intense levels, like computer science. This is something Jacob thinks is specifically unique to Tufts. “It’s an opportunity that many other liberal arts colleges cannot offer,” he says.

Since middle school, Jacob has been obsessed with filmmaking. While applying to colleges, he was not exactly sure where this passion fit in terms of deciding a major and career. “Not to say I have my whole life figured out now, but I do think my first two years at Tufts have brought me some clarity,” he explains. Filmmaking continues to be a personal and academic passion for Jacob, specifically in terms of the resources offered by Tufts. The camera, sound, and lighting equipment offered through Tufts’ Film and Media Studies program is open for all undergraduate students. “At most film universities, the top equipment is reserved for the undergraduate seniors or graduate students, but at Tufts, as a freshman, I got access to 4k cameras, Steadicams, and professional lighting kits. In this way, Tufts really trusts its students and wants the undergraduates to have as much of an opportunity as students at the graduate level,” Jacob says.

Jacob loves camera equipment and image technology and has decided to pair a Film and Media Studies major with a major in Computer Science. His passion for creating art and his interest in understanding the technology behind film equipment have combined in a unique way, something not uncommon at Tufts. Regarding other opportunities, Jacob sees Tufts as a place to make incredible connections. “In my first semester as a freshman, my film professor gave me the opportunity to be a production assistant on his short film,” Jacob recalls. Jacob is also involved in a band and has met other musicians through Tufts’ music program, playing gigs at different social events. When he is not behind the camera or playing music, Jacob is also involved in a cooking club with his friends and classmates. He finds that while the school can sometimes feel big, he has thrived within a “family-like filmmaking community.” This community makes Jacob feel unique and gives him the confidence to continue to use the broad resources offered at Tufts and expand his network across the community.

As for his future, Jacob feels that he has the advanced academic skillset to do something with his creative instincts. “This is not to say I know I want to work at a camera tech company or be a film director, but rather, whatever path I end up choosing, I will be better off knowing the full story,” Jacob says. This full story is specifically that Tufts presents students with a wide range of opportunities to develop skills for future work. With Jacob, Tufts gave him a variety of liberal arts options but also encourages him to explore these options deeper.

Student Profile: Christopher Campbell

Christopher Campbell

            For some students, choosing a college is kind of like a show on HGTV: it’s all about location. For Christopher Campbell, Tufts was an ideal college for this exact reason. “I’m from a big city and wanted to experience a different setting, but still have access to go into the city, so this campus was the best of both worlds for me!” Christopher recalls. Since coming to Tufts, however, Christopher’s love for Tufts has branched past location. Tufts has become special to him for so many reasons.

            Christopher Campbell is a sophomore studying Biology. His ultimate goal is to become a doctor, and for a while, that was his only focus. When he chose Tufts, he loved that the school was extremely advanced in the medical field and had students with passions that they were exploring through classes and research. While studying Biology, Christopher discovered other interests he has. “I have passions for science, entertainment, and children. So far at Tufts, I have been able to so much in these realms academically through courses I’ve taken, like medical sociology, filmmaking, and American sign language,” Christopher says.

            Many Tufts students share these same varied passions and interests, often picking up double majors and minors through exploring different classes. For Christopher, a Biology major and Film and Media Studies minor sounds like the perfect combination of academic areas he loves. At other schools, this combination seems strange. Through students like Chris, Tufts reaffirms its status as a university where students are diverse in their interests. “Tufts is very special to me because I’ve been offered so many unique opportunities from the different courses offered to the organizations I’ve partnered with to the amazing people I’ve gotten to know,” Christopher says.

            Christopher also completes research on campus, a common activity amongst Tufts students beginning as early as freshman fall and as late as senior spring. Christopher volunteers in a biomedical lab and learns about what innovative projects Tufts is working on at campus. He also believes this research will prepare him for future work and medical school. Graduating in two years sounds exciting to Christopher, especially considering how ready he feels for the work field thanks to Tufts. “I am being prepared so well here at Tufts from the classes I’m taking to the research I’m volunteering in to the incredible internships that I can apply to,” Christopher affirms. These internships vary for him, from being in film and entertainment to biology and medicine. Christopher sees new internship opportunities through Tufts all the time, ranging from research in labs to location work in places like Guatemala and London.

            These resources are also offered through professional advising and student activities, where Christopher says he spends a lot of this time learning about new opportunities and ways for him to excel in his classes and work. He also finds time in his schedule to be a member of ATO at Tufts, a gender-all inclusive fraternity. Christopher is community outreach chair for the fraternity. Christopher has made a lot of social connections through the fraternity and finds it to be a core part of his time at Tufts.

Student Profile: Celia Gittleman

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In some ways, the past can often shape the future. For Celia Gittleman, junior, her Tufts journey began years before she even knew it. Celia’s grandparents worked at Tufts University, living on Professor’s Row until she was eight. “I spent a lot of my childhood on campus and learning about Tufts,” Celia recalled. Her grandparents are not the only connections Celia has to the university, however. Both her parents and her sister attended Tufts for their undergraduate education. While the Tufts legacy holds for Celia, that hasn’t stopped her from forging her path both academically and in extracurricular activities at the university.

When Celia began applying to colleges, she found herself in a difficult position. “I realized hallway through that every college I was looking at I was comparing to Tufts. I would say, ‘I want it to be near a city, but I also want it to have its own campus. I want it to be a big school but not too big or too small. I realized Tufts was the school I was holding as my ideal,” Celia said. Now, as Celia begins her junior spring semester, she enjoys the traditions that Tufts means to her, but she also remarks that her journey is very much her own. Celia is the production manager for a student theater group on campus, Torn Ticket II. She also stage manages both drama department productions and student productions. In both capacities, Celia enjoys being extremely organized and a leader for all students.

“The theater department lets me, as a production manager and a stage manager, thrive in that leadership position while also being in the community and letting me do student and department theater and be in both communities and get a balanced experience,” Celia said in regard to her extracurricular involvement. Even with the time-consuming responsibility she faces with the positions, Celia makes the most of her studies on campus. Neither of her parents or her sister studied what Celia is studying or participated in theater, giving her ample opportunity to make a name for herself. As a Child Study and Human Development major and a Drama minor, she gets to make the most out of both of her passions. Celia loves working with children and finds that the department gives her the unique and rewarding opportunity to work in the greater Boston area through internships and summer programs. With her drama minor, Celia has the opportunity to grow through interesting classes. Currently, she is the teacher’s assistant for the Stage Management course in the department, which meets on Mondays. She is also the stage manager for the drama department’s upcoming production, Lysistrata.

As for Celia’s bright future, well, she is yet again forging her own path. “I’m potentially going to apply to work on a cruise ship the summer after I graduate. I think it’ll be a great way for me to get the production managing and stage managing out of my system, but I may find that’s what I want to do professionally,” she explained. In many ways, Tufts provided her with the tools, experience, and resources to develop her skills and discover her interests. The professional and hands-on work offered by the Child Study and Human Development major, one of the most popular departments on campus, combined with her work in drama gives Celia a wide variety of options to suit her wide variety of interests.

Teacher Profile: Frank Lehman

Written by Christopher Panella

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            “I have spent my life with this music,” Frank Lehman recalls, sitting in his office on a Friday afternoon. “I think I was first introduced to the music in Star Wars from a tape cassette that I got of film music concert arrangements from various movies, a lot of them stemming from John Williams's scores.” Lehman, now an assistant professor of music at Tufts University, is one of the finest examples of not only a knowledgeable professor, but also a professor dedicated to his area and learning more about his craft.

            Lehman has always been interested in learning about music. A self-proclaimed “Wagner-phile,” Lehman studied music theory, music composition, and philosophy at Brown University, graduating in 2006. He later received his Ph.D. in Music Theory from Harvard University in 2012. Throughout the process of studying a variety of music, specifically 19th and early 20th century music, Lehman found himself drawn to film music and the impact it has on filmgoers. “[Wagner] wasn’t exactly virgin territory academically speaking. I mean there was more written about Wagner than probably any other historical figure besides Abraham Lincoln and probably Jesus Christ. Film music was still a new field in scholarship and I had a lot to say, and there's so many different angles to take,” Lehman said while discussing his dissertation. With his dissertation, Lehman became a constant student in the world of film music, exploring new film scores, studying their influences, and cataloguing their structures. For Lehman, studying film music became a growing interest that shaped both his career and his research.

            Specifically, the Star Wars franchise holds a special place in both his heart and academic work. He recently updated his “Complete Catalogue of the Motivic Material in Star Wars, Episodes I-VIII” to include Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 2017’s installment into the ongoing franchise. The catalogue is truly a symbol of Lehman as a scholar: meticulous, well-informed and researched, and successful. Lehman has been interviewed and cited by multiple publications, including The Chronicle and The New Yorker. In truth, it should be no surprise that Lehman’s Star Wars research is so popular. He studies the music insistently, looking at motifs and leitmotifs and tracking their development throughout the series, and he is not stopping any time soon. “I haven’t had an equal opportunity to study all of them, some of them have been around longer than others. If I continue at this pace, I’ll have a book written on The Last Jedi soon! I’ve probably looked at the music in the Return of the Jedi the most, if only because my upcoming book has one of the cues as one of the case studies. I really dig into its structure in a way I haven’t done before,” Lehman explains.

            Tufts University has an extremely diverse faculty, with differing years of experience and interests. This, obviously, is not different from many other universities across the world. What distinguishes Tufts University’s faculty, however, are teachers like Lehman: teachers who are constantly learning, studying, and expanding their understanding of the field. Lehman would love to eventually teach a course solely studying the scores of the Star Wars universe, but for now, he remains a principle musical researcher of the galaxy far, far away. “It’s just an amazing musical opportunity to stick with this material,” Lehman gleams. “I’m excited for Star Wars to be allowed to make dramatic and creative choices that are appropriate for 2018, and far into the future.”