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WSSS Profiles

WSSS Alumnus Armando Milou

"What I really liked about WSSS was that it brought together people from different disciplines. When you’re in UEP, you’re with the people in UEP, and when you’re in engineering, you’re with the people in engineering. Same with nutrition or medicine or history or Fletcher. I got to know a lot of other graduate students from all over Tufts who I wouldn’t have otherwise; I’m still in touch with all of them. My experience at Tufts would have been very different had I not gotten the WSSS certificate."

Armando Milou, WSSS alumnus, UEP '08

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Read an extended interview with Armando>>

WSSS Alumna Katie Resnick

"During the seminars I was really impressed by the caliber and type of research that was being done by the students. WSSS brought all of the different disciplines together; it was really great to be able to meet and work with some of the people in the nutrition school and in engineering and to see their research – it's very different from what we're doing at UEP."

Katie Resnick, WSSS alumna, UEP '09

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WSSS Alumna Regina Lyons

"With WSSS, suddenly you’re not with people – you have conversations with engineers, public health or nutrition students, or students from the Fletcher school. When you’re sitting in class there’s a little more back-and-forth. People are coming from different areas, which broadens the discussion. I think it’s going to be different every year because of the mix of students and levels of involvement from the participating schools – that changes the dynamics."

Regina Lyons, WSSS alumna, UEP '09

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Read an extended interview with Regina>>

WSSS Alumnus Derek Etkin

"I was impressed by the personal relationships I developed with people in a wide variety of disciplines. Their insights – in conversations in the hallway, after classes, in the library – really served me well. They were able to give me perspective on what might have become a very focused, discipline-specific research project I was working on. Some of those conversations led me down interesting, interdisciplinary paths in my own graduate research. "

Derek Etkin, WSSS alumnus, CEE '08

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WSSS Alumnus Jonathan Lautze

"In WSSS most people get a broad perspective on water resource issues, so when you get out into the water field you can draw on that background – skills as well as knowledge. For example, classes like GIS or systems engineering gave me practical skills; classes like hydrology or integrated water resource management gave me exposure to a lot of issues. At Tufts I picked up a broad range of knowledge about water – with a focus on specific areas – and also the ability to publish and write analytically, and convey messages clearly and concisely."

Jonathan Lautze, WSSS alumnus, MALD '05, CEE '08

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Read an extended interview with Jonathan>>

WSSS Student Patrick Ray

"In engineering education, it's often about being technically excellent... but you can't learn everything, and there's real value in other things. I took classes in Public Health; I took classes in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and in Economics... I believe pretty strongly that what I learned from economics, public health, statistics and policy classes that took while at Tufts is at least as relevant to what I'm doing now in the Middle East – water systems planning and management – then further education in traditional Civil Engineering curriculum would be."

Patrick Ray, WSSS alumnus

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Read an extended interview with Patrick>>

WSSS Alumna Jyotsna Jagai

"The conceptualization of the whole program was exciting to me. I’m an engineer by training – my undergrad was in engineering – so even though I ended up in Public Health, I’ve always looked at the world as one big system. This program [WSSS] is really systematic, too, in how it sees the world as interconnected via this issue of water. All issues are interconnected, from poverty to food systems to health care to infrastructure. It really suited my nature."

Jyotsna Jagai, WSSS alumna, N'09

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Read an extended interview with Jyotsna>>

"The interdisciplinary nature of the WSSS program was the primary reason I came to Tufts. With an undergraduate degree in biotechnology and an MSPH in tropical medicine, I specifically looked for a PhD program that would enable me to focus on the diverse challenges facing water resources in tropical regions, particularly in Africa. At Tufts, I'm fortunate to count an immunologist, an epidemiologist, and a professional engineer/water chemist among my advisors as I seek to address the problem of schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm transmitted by water."

Karen Kosinski, PhD candidate in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering

"The great strengths of the program are the very interested and interesting faculty and the very interested and interesting students. There's a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, and willingness to think outside the box and work with other people. And a tremendous expertise – both students and faculty who come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines."

Dr. Jeffrey Griffiths, Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health, TUSM

"If you think about the themes Tufts has articulated – internationalism, public service, life sciences, interdisciplinary work – WSSS is right in the middle of it. What former Tufts president Jean Mayer said about nutrition is just as true of water: It is not a discipline. It's a focus, a problem to be solved. This program plays to Tufts' strengths and the areas in which we excel. This issue isn't going away anytime soon, and we want this program to be a permanent entity. To Tufts' credit, the WSSS program represents a long-term commitment to this topic."

Dr. Bea Rogers, Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

"WSSS works at Tufts because we have strong support from the administration, a creative faculty, few boundaries between schools, and dedicated students. We also have Tufts' tradition of focusing on internationalism, environmental issues, and public service. The school attracts students who want to make a difference; the water program attracts people who believe in this issue as the way to make that difference."

Dr. Paul Kirshen, WSSS external advisory board, former WSSS Director and Tufts professor

"Putting together an interdisciplinary program at a large research university like Tufts is no small task. The WSSS program, which has been evolving over the past four years, now provides a unique interdisciplinary graduate program unequaled at US universities. It has generated widespread faculty support and student interest within the university. It is also receiving attention from outside the university, particularly in water agencies that view their own futures as being largely driven by interdisciplinary and sustainability issues."

Dr. Peter Rogers, WSSS external advisory board, Professor of Environmental Engineering at Harvard University

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The Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) program is a graduate research and education program that provides Tufts students with interdisciplinary perspectives and tools to manage water-related problems around the world.

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