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An artist’s impression of Dawn between Ceres and Vesta. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Running low on fuel, NASA’s Dawn mission is about to come to an end after 11 successful years in space. Dawn’s mission was a unique one in NASA’s roster of explorers. While slightly lesser-known than the Curiosity rover on Mars or spacecraft like New Horizons, which flew past Pluto some say Dawn was the first truly interplanetary mission because it orbited two planetary bodies during its journey—the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet, Ceres. It’s unusual in other ways too—unlike most other NASA missions, Dawn is not an acronym. Instead, it’s named after the missions goal—to look back into the dawn of the solar system.

To do this, the spacecraft orbited both Vesta and Ceres, two bodies that are wildly different from each other, but both may hold answers to questions about the earliest days of the solar system. Vesta is the second largest object in the main asteroid belt, and a majority of meteorites that have been found on Earth are believed to come from Vesta. Ceres on the other hand is unique in that it’s the largest body in the asteroid belt, after all it’s large enough to be classified as a dwarf planet. It’s believed that Ceres formed much further out in the solar system and spent millions of years migrating inwards, making it a perfect combination of outer solar system meets inner solar system.

Bodies like this haven’t been altered by weather or geological processes the way Earth has, with it’s windstorms and volcanoes. In some ways, Vesta and Ceres are time capsules of the earliest days of the solar system, so any chance to study them can teach us a lot about what sort of materials were around billions of years ago as well as the types of processes that eventually gave us the solar system we know today. Dawns Principal Investigator, Dr. Carol Raymond, says that Vesta and Ceres “represent two different chapters in the solar system’s history. Vesta is a good example of the inner solar system—it’s a dry rocky body whereas Ceres formed with much more water.”

Overall this mission with a relatively modest 500 million dollar budget, has delivered well beyond its expectations. Every part of the spacecraft is still working perfectly, but the hydrazine fuel that is used to keep the spacecraft oriented towards Earth is running dangerously low. If Dawn can no longer point its antenna towards us, then NASA engineers can no longer communicate with it, making any further observations useless.

NASA thinks that the mission will end sometime between mid September to mid October. Once they can no longer connect with the spacecraft, we will know the mission has ended. The spacecraft will remain in orbit around Ceres for 20 years or longer, but eventually it will impact Ceres. Because the planet turned out to have so much water and icy and might still be geologically active, planetary protection required that the spacecraft not impact the surface for fear of contaminating future research. Planetary protection guidelines say that they need to keep the spacecraft away from the planetary body for at least 20 years in order to give NASA time to launch a new mission. There is a chance we might go back to Ceres with new astrobiological glasses on to see if life exists there, or if it once did. And while every mission’s end is bittersweet, Dawn’s team are reflective and thankful for all that Dawn delivered. “It’s been a long and awesome journey,” says Raymond. Dawn’s mission director Marc Rayman agrees; “I’m both sad that its ending and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how successful it’s been.”

Let’s take a look at a few highlights from the Dawn mission:

An ion propulsion system. NASA/JPL


The Dawn spacecraft is often referred to as a tie-fighter; think Star Wars meets actual space exploration. The Dawn spacecraft’s main propellant is made from an element called xenon and is used in an ion engine to accelerate through space. Ion propulsion is ten times more efficient than other types of propulsion used on Earth, even if it takes a while to get up to speed. While it takes Dawn four days to accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour, after 11 years of travel it’s managed to reach speeds of up to 25,000 miles per hour. The force of these charged particles of xenon getting pushed out of the engine is so weak that it pushes the spacecraft with about the same amount of force as a piece of paper resting on your hand. But that’s all you really need in space where gravity is non-existent. Keep that engine running longterm and it is one of the most efficient ways to navigate around space. Dawn proved how successful this type of propulsion can be and the blue glow of xenon is probably likely to appear in future missions as a result.

The first image of Vesta taken by Dawn after achieving orbit. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Global image of Vesta:

This is Vesta, nearly 300 miles across and made up of the primordial building blocks of our solar system. Until Dawn approached this large asteroid, it was just a blurry rocky body imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Throughout its time in orbit around Vesta, Dawn discovered that this asteroid actually resembled more of a baby planet, giving scientists hints about what proto-planets really look like. “Vesta is a time capsule of the very early days of solar system formation, “ says Raymond. After gathering data directly from orbit, the team can now trace the evolution of Vesta through modeling and what they found is Vesta likely formed within 1.5 million years of our solar system. That means that the first pebbles that existed around our star helped make the asteroid. As far as space rocks go, they don’t really get much older than Vesta.

A map of dark materials found on Vesta. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/UMD

Dark spots on Vesta:

After some initial exploration, Dawn spotted some strange features on the surface that were unexpected. “One of the things that really surprised us,” says Raymond, “was there was a patch of hydrated dark material on Vesta. “It was thought that Vesta was drier than the moon because of its gravity. The moon can hold onto more ice because of that, but what we found was this patch of hydrated material at the equator that was enriched in hydrogen.”

The team discovered that while it wasn’t exactly damp within that dark patch on Vesta, the actual minerals themselves were hydrated which they did not expect to find. Also called hydroxyl, hydrated minerals contain water within their crystalline structure. Hydrated minerals have also been found on Mars. While it’s not water, it’s evidence of a water-related history. “It’s not free water or ice but this was a big surprise and a big discovery.” says Raymond.

A false-color image showing Ceres, as seen by the Dawn spacecraft. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Global image of Ceres:

Ceres was once classified as an asteroid, but now joins in the ranks along the larger of the smaller bodies in our solar system next to Pluto, Eris, and other dwarf planets. Ceres is around 600 miles across (that’s a little less than the distance between New York City and Detroit.) While that might seem pretty small, compared to other planets, for something residing in the asteroid belt it’s enormous. After departing Vesta, Dawn entered orbit around Ceres and captured this image of the icy world. The team wasn’t sure what Ceres’s story would turn out to be, but it ended up being a lot more fascinating and complex than they anticipated. After some initial reconnaissance they found that Ceres likely once had a subsurface ocean and might even still be geologically active. Weird bright spots began to appear scattered in size around the planet and after closer examination were found to be hydrated salts.

Inside Occator crater on Ceres. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Inside Occator Crater:

When Dawn first spotted these bright spots on Ceres, scientists wondered what could be causing such a difference in contrast from the surface. With closer study, they realized these were salty ice mounds getting pushed upwards, towards the surface of the dwarf planet. We know that Ceres likely formed in the outer solar system, where it was cool enough for water to freeze, instead of burning away in the hot sun. Over many millions of years Ceres migrated inward, but like many outer solar system bodies it has retained a lot of its water.

Ceres’ lonely mountain, a probable cryovolcano. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PSI

Ahuna Mons

Ceres has one enormous 13,000-foot-tall mountain and it is called Ahuna Mons. This striking landmark is evidence that the dwarf planet was recently geologically active—and it might still be. The white streaks along the sides are sodium carbonate. This material is not common in the solar system. It’s found here on Earth, in the plumes of Enceladus and on Ceres. What could those three have in common? We know life exists here, and researchers think there’s a chance it might exist on Enceladus. Could it exist on Ceres? There is only one way to find out. With Dawn about to run out of gas, another future mission will have to continue its mission of exploration.

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Female Scientists React Before—And After—Nasa’s All

Female Scientists React Before—and After—NASA’s All-Women Spacewalk Was Canceled Until a space suit snag, BU space researchers were thrilled about the would-be historic milestone

NASA’s much-anticipated first all-female spacewalk was canceled because of space suit sizing issues. BU scientists react before and after the milestone came to a halt. Photos by Cydney Scott

Last week, the world came oh-so close to seeing the first all-female spacewalk, but as it turns out, we earthlings will have to keep waiting to see that day.

NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch were slated to perform maintenance on the International Space Station (ISS) during the much-anticipated spacewalk, scheduled for Friday, March 29, 2023. But the would-be historic milestone came to a halt earlier in the week after NASA announced that Koch will instead be conducting the spacewalk with a male astronaut, Nick Hague, because there were not enough equipped medium-size space suits aboard the ISS for both Koch and McClain to wear at the same time.  

Aboard the ISS, in the final week leading up to the spacewalk, McClain and Koch, the two female astronauts currently on the space station, discovered they both would need to wear a medium-size space suit during their mission. While there are enough properly outfitted large and extra-large space suits on hand, only one medium-size suit aboard the ISS was properly configured for a spacewalk.

Even though the changes to the spacewalk were necessary to keep the team safe and on schedule, many people on social media expressed disappointment at the almost-historic moment, which would have coincided with the conclusion of women’s history month.

Anticipating the female spacewalk, BU Research had reached out to speak with Boston University women astronomers, engineers, and space scientists about the milestone. They were, to say the least, pretty excited about it. After the space suit snafu, we reached out again to see how their feelings had changed based on the updated spacewalker assignments. Here are their reactions, before and after the all-female spacewalk was no longer a thing:

Jenny Gruber

In 2009, the day before NASA lead mission analyst Jenny Gruber (ENG’99) adopted her now 10-year-old son, the Hubble Space telescope mission, STS-125, landed safely on the ground. While simultaneously going through the emotional process of adopting a child, Gruber was responsible for making sure the crew returned to Earth in one piece.

“I just felt this sense of peace,” she says. “It was a moment of feeling like I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.”


“I have an obligation to do as much as I can to inspire the next generation the way I was inspired,” she says. “I’m glad people are noticing the first all-women spacewalk, but I want to make sure it doesn’t turn into an oddity, or something strange. The focus should be,

it’s about time we have something like this

, and anyone can do whatever it is they’re good at.” — Gruber


“I’m glad safety is the highest priority, and both crew members will be able to work most efficiently,” Gruber wrote by email. “I understand that there is limited space on ISS, and crew time is expensive, so the choice to switch crew members instead of taking extra time to outfit another medium torso is the right call to respect taxpayer dollars. This isn’t just a stunt—they’re really placing the right people in the right job at the right time.

Another time will come when that means an all-women team.

— Gruber

Aurora Kesseli

Aurora Kesseli, a PhD candidate in BU’s astronomy department, is looking for the next Earth-like planet. How does one even begin looking for a habitable planet in the vastness of outer space? By characterizing and understanding stars around newly discovered planets, Kesseli explains. This is because observers are not directly seeing the planet—they are seeing the signature in the star’s light.

“So you really need to know what the star is doing in order to get an accurate density or size of the planet,” Kesseli says. “We have new planets being discovered all the time and new instruments that are going to allow us to characterize them better than we ever have before. It’s a really exciting time to be in exoplanets.” She has been working with Phil Muirhead, assistant professor of astronomy, all while coleading BU’s Women in Astronomy group and preparing for graduation in May 2023.

The group gets together about once a month, varying from informal trips to see Hidden Figures or other female-centered films, to important group discussions on issues that could negatively affect women in the department, such as implicit bias and imposter syndrome.


“I think it’s really important to have women being role models for other women,” says Kesseli. “The cool thing about spaceflight is it touches astronomy, space physics, geology, engineering…and other fields also underrepresented with women.

Hopefully this will inspire the next generation of women.”

— Kesseli


Kesseli wrote over email, “It is obviously really disappointing that the all-women spacewalk has been postponed. We really needed something like this, and

I really think we were ready for it as a field

. The pessimistic part of me is not surprised this happened, but I have seen so much positivity for the all-women spacewalk on social media and anger at the postponement that I am optimistic that it will happen and that women will continue to be leaders in our field.” — Kesseli

Dolon Bhattacharyya

Inspired by late astronaut Kalpana Chawla—the first-ever Indian woman to go to space—Dolon Bhattacharyya, a research scientist at the BU Center for Space Physics, decided she wanted to study astronomy as a young child. After coming to BU in 2010 as a graduate student, she began studying Mars, primarily focused on the escape of hydrogen atoms from the upper atmospheres of different planets. For a planet like Mars, understanding hydrogen escapes can potentially answer the long-standing question of whether or not the planet was ever capable of harboring life.

In her experience, one of the main reasons for the gender gap is the lack of successful women who can serve as mentors to junior female scientists. She has noticed other factors, like unconscious bias and a lack of support for individuals with family, also contributing to this disparity. Along with her work as a research scientist at BU, she is working on projects with the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s MAVEN mission.


“The all-women spacewalk serves as a definite marker for [NASA’s] progress,” she says.

“It will serve as an inspiration for young girls and let them know that they can also dare to dream and that nothing is impossible.”

— Bhattacharyya


“When I first found out about it on social media

I thought it was a joke of some kind,”

Bhattacharyya wrote in an email. “I could not quite understand why the agency, known for its extreme planning, would make the announcement about the all-women spacewalk days beforehand and not check if there were proper suits available for the astronauts to execute it. The situation is a little bit hilarious.

“I really hope that an all-women spacewalk event happens in the near future,” she continued to write. “Honestly, I would love to see an all-women crew man the space station. That would be incredibly awesome, too! People’s reaction and outrage on social media makes me think that people do care about astronomy and space sciences. This is good news for our community as most of us are dependent on federal funds for our research. If more people care about the science being done through an organization like NASA, then it does help with the yearly budget allocated for astronomy.” — Bhattacharyya

Wen Li

“It is critical to educate young women in their early-career stage about what space physicists do, how they contribute to society, as well as expose them to many successful women working in the space physics field,” says Wen Li, assistant professor of astronomy at BU. She remembers looking at the sky as a child, feeling curious about what is happening in space—a place she thought was unreachable at that time. She one day learned about people sending man-made satellites into space and was totally amazed.

Li has already greatly contributed to the field by researching “killer electrons” in Earth’s radiation belts. These highly energetic electrons can potentially damage critical electronics of satellites and be hazardous to astronauts in space due to their high radiation. Li hopes to expand her research to Jupiter and has been actively involved in NASA’s Juno mission the past few years.


“[This event] is an excellent way of demonstrating what space physicists do, how they contribute to society, as well as expose them to many successful women working in the space physics field, with the ultimate goal of

motivating and encouraging young women to pursue their careers in this field,”

she says. — Li


“It was a bit disappointing to hear that the all-women spacewalk has been canceled,” Li wrote via email. “However, I am hopeful that an all-women spacewalk milestone will occur eventually.” — Li

Marissa Vogt

“When I was a kid, I loved mystery stories,” says Marissa Vogt, research scientist at the Center for Space Physics. “But I was always drawn to Nancy Drew, and for some reason never had any interest in reading the The Hardy Boys books. It was easier to relate to the Nancy Drew novels because she was someone I could relate to.”

From 2023 to 2023, Vogt was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at BU. She has been studying the effects of the solar wind—which is a stream of charged particles that is constantly blowing out from the sun—on Jupiter’s magnetosphere and aurora. When the solar wind interacts with a planet’s magnetic field, it can create solar storms and put on beautiful displays of aurora, much like the natural light shows visible on Earth, but differs from planet to planet. Vogt is also a member of the science team for the MAVEN mission to Mars.


“Anytime we can highlight work being done by members of underrepresented groups and use it as a way to reach out to underrepresented communities is great,” says Vogt. “It’s almost surprising this is only happening in 2023, but of course,

better late than never.”

— Vogt


“When I heard that the spacewalk had been postponed due to the issue with space suit sizing, I immediately thought about a recent article I had read in The Guardian that cited dozens of examples of historically male-centric product design and safety regulations and discussed the ramifications,” Vogt wrote in an email. “

I think this highlights how the idea of ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t always apply,

particularly for women and minority groups, and our society needs to be more considerate in making business and policy decisions.

“Unfortunately, many women I know working in science have had some negative experience in which they were treated differently, or had access to different resources, because they were women,” she continued to write. “In many cases it might be something that’s a relatively minor inconvenience—like working in a lab or office building with multiple men’s bathrooms but only one women’s bathroom—but these experiences do add up and contribute to a general feeling of unwelcomeness. I think it’s really important that, going forward, we need to do our best to be considerate of the needs of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences—and we’re definitely moving in the right direction, but I don’t think we’re there yet.” — Vogt Merav Opher

Merav Opher, associate professor of astronomy at BU, is not afraid of breaking boundaries in space sciences or afraid of rethinking how boundaries at the end of our solar system protect us from the sun. In 2023, she and her research team discovered that this boundary—an area called the heliosphere—could very well be shaped like a “croissant,” challenging a decades-old belief that the heliosphere is shaped like a comet.

“This could mean we are much closer to the interstellar medium than previously thought,” she explains. “We are a much smaller bubble.” Opher has been a guest investigator in NASA’s Voyager missions since 2005. As of December 2023, Voyager 2, and sibling craft Voyager 1, became the farthest-traveled spacecraft from Earth and will continue to provide clues to astronomers like Opher about what lies beyond the heliosphere. “Now we have the data from Voyager,” she says. “And we need to put together this puzzle.”


“There are women taking more leadership positions; years ago you couldn’t even imagine a female in spacewalk,” said Opher.

“Now, slowly things are changing.”

— Opher


“I think the walk will happen one day…this is just an adjustment to the reality of more women taking part in space exploration,” Opher wrote in an email. “It’s exciting, and I am sure in the future, there will be female suits ready! Women are taking strides, but there are still too few women in leadership positions, and

it will take time and pressure for this to change.”

— Opher

 Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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Pov: 20 Years Later, Learning From 9/11

POV: 20 Years Later, Learning from 9/11

Voices & Opinion

POV: 20 Years Later, Learning from 9/11 SPH Dean Sandro Galea on how the lessons we learned that day might help us prepare to mitigate the consequences of other large-scale events, COVID in particular

Twenty years ago, at 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, followed, 17 minutes later, by United Airlines Flight 175, crashing into the South Tower. Two other hijacked planes, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93 were hijacked that same day, crashing respectively into the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001, and about 6,000 people were physically injured. The immediate aftermath of the attacks cost at least $10 billion in property damage and about $3 trillion in total costs. The long-term global consequences of the attacks continue to be felt to this day—9/11 resulted in the launch of global wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with about 500,000 people dying in Iraq and likely a comparable number of deaths in Afghanistan.

I was in New York City on 9/11, just starting my career as an epidemiologist. Along with millions of New Yorkers, I watched with horror as the World Trade Center unthinkably collapsed. Stunned by the obvious destruction, our team quickly became concerned with the potential longer-term mental health consequences of the attacks. Working with colleagues around the country, we designed and conducted a series of studies aimed at documenting the mental health aftermath of the attacks in New York City. The first study, conducted a month after the attacks, was one of the earliest to show that large-scale attacks like 9/11 can affect populations far beyond just those groups who were directly exposed to the events themselves. We estimated that about 7.5 percent of Manhattan residents had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 9.7 percent had depression that month, for a total of approximately 67,000 persons with PTSD and 87,000 with depression. This suggested a prevalence of PTSD and depression two to three times higher than what one might have expected at baseline. 

We subsequently studied residents in the entire New York City metropolitan area, finding a substantial burden of PTSD and depression throughout the region. Other work showed that the burden of mental illness subsided over the first six months among most of those affected, even as it persisted in a small but important subgroup who continued to experience mental illness years after the attacks. This was particularly the case among direct witnesses to the attacks.  

Studies by other research groups have documented the full range of the attacks’ long-term health consequences, evincing strong associations between exposure to the attacks and mental illness—including substance abuse and respiratory illness, particularly among rescue and recovery workers. Ongoing studies continue to monitor many of those who were exposed to 9/11, and this long-term work will undoubtedly document more definitively the physical health consequences of the disaster.

At this point, we probably have more research documenting the health consequences of the 9/11 attacks than we have for any other disaster in human history. Several books have since compiled the state of our knowledge about the consequences of disasters, including one I coedited about a decade after 9/11. Before the attacks, the study of trauma and its consequences focused, with few exceptions, on interpersonal trauma affecting individuals. The 9/11 attacks exposed us to an entirely new world, where large-scale disasters had effects that were experienced by hundreds of thousands of people at the same time, affecting the health of entire populations.

We now face a disaster that is in many ways of even greater magnitude than 9/11, in COVID-19. The pandemic has killed over 600,000 Americans, and millions around the world. At one point, the daily death toll in the United States was so great that it exceeded that of 9/11. In addition to challenging our physical health, the pandemic has also undermined mental health in ways we are just beginning to fully understand. In research conducted during COVID, we found depression prevalence to be threefold higher in the United States than before the pandemic struck. Recent reports suggest as many as 42.4 percent of adults in the United States continue to report symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder. These outcomes were strongly mediated by socioeconomic context. In another study, for example, our team found that more assets—like income, savings, home ownership, marital status, and education—helped lower the level of probable depression among populations—the more assets someone had, the lower their level of the disease.

Just as the health consequences of 9/11 remain with us, the health consequences of the COVID moment will likely linger for decades, if not generations. As we look back on 9/11 then, a pause to ask: what are the key lessons we learned after the attacks? How might these help us prepare to mitigate the consequences of other large-scale events, COVID in particular? I suggest that three main lessons about health emerged after 9/11, informing my thinking about trauma and its consequences.

First, the consequences of traumatic events are pervasive. September 11 was perhaps the first disaster experienced in real time by millions, as an increasingly interconnected world allowed people all over New York City to know that they were under threat—and to experience the consequences of that fear—in real time. Billions around the globe were able to watch what was happening and see the world change literally in front of their eyes. The scientific work after the attacks showed us, perhaps not surprisingly, that the scope of the consequences of 9/11 did not stop with those who were in or near the twin towers, but affected whole populations. Subsequent research about other large-scale events—including, perhaps most notably, Hurricane Katrina in the southern United States and bombings in the United Kingdom—have confirmed and extended what we learned after 9/11: that large-scale terrorist attacks or disasters have consequences that shape the health of whole populations, changing the trajectory of health for decades after the attacks. This unfortunately teaches us that the challenges to population health are very real and potentially devastating for thousands after an attack, and that a responsive system needs to be prepared to deal with these consequences both in the short term and in the long term.

Second, the consequences of traumatic events extend well beyond physical injury. Standard accounts of the 9/11 attacks suggest that 6,000 people were injured that day. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Behavioral illness—including PTSD, depression, and use of substances—will affect far more people than just those who were physically injured by these events. Behavioral illness is also tightly interlinked with the expression of a broad range of other illnesses, including, for example, asthma and respiratory disorders. The full story of the health consequences of 9/11, particularly among direct survivors and rescue workers, remains to be written, and it is likely that the full range of consequences of the attacks extends across generations, as several studies have now documented the intergenerational transmission of the health consequences of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders. This suggests the need for health system sensitivity to the potential consequences of these events, with the long-term surge capacity to effectively tackle a fundamentally different picture of population health.

Third, while the consequences of large-scale traumatic events are driven very much by the sentinel traumatic experience itself, these events are but one driver of population health. As we have seen during COVID, the effects of traumatic events are part of a complex set of factors, including underlying socioeconomic context and ongoing traumas and stressors, all of which contribute to the health of populations in the medium term and long term. Simply put: the consequences of traumatic events do not occur in a vacuum, and it is often marginalized groups already experiencing a range of other traumas and stressors who suffer the greatest burden of the long-term consequences. Unfortunately, these groups are also the groups that frequently have least access to the resources that may mitigate the consequences of traumatic events, suggesting that it is only through careful attention to the foundational drivers of population health that we can effectively ease the consequences of terrorist attacks and disasters.

While many of us have moved on from the experiences of 9/11, thousands of others continue to live with the consequences of that day, every day. It seems to me that perhaps the best way, maybe the only way, to honor the victims of 9/11, and the millions who have been killed or harmed in its wake, is to make sure we do not forget what we learned after the attacks, and to apply these lessons as we address disasters going forward. In particular, it would be fitting indeed if the lessons learned as a consequence of the sorrow of 9/11 could be used to reduce suffering in this COVID moment, the legacy of one tragedy helping to ease the burden of another.

Author’s note: I refer to work I conducted, but that is a simplification for the sake of writing efficiency. I had the privilege of being a part of large teams of investigators across the world who conducted this research. I acknowledge in particular epidemiologist David Vlahov, a Yale School of Nursing professor, and Dean Kilpatrick, a University of South Carolina professor of medicine, both of whom I worked with at Columbia University and without whose mentorship I would never have had the opportunity to conduct any of this work.

Sandro Galea, Robert A. Knox Professor and dean of BU’s School of Public Health, can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @sandrogalea.

Find a list of all those with ties to the BU community killed on 9/11 here.

Celop Celebrates 30 Years Of International Education

CELOP celebrates 30 years of international education Reaccreditation in 2005 and rejuvenation in 2006

Margot Valdivia, center, CELOP director, discusses the program with Sun Young of Korea (left) and Cheng-Ya Chang of Taiwan.

In its 30 years, BU’s Center for English Language and Orientation Programs has faced some challenges standard for any higher education institution, such as increased competition from overseas and a changing student profile. Other trials, however, have been specific to a program designed to help foreign students transition into American university life.

“Our business is very vulnerable to what happens in the world, politically and economically,” says Margot Valdivia, CELOP’s director. “We’re impacted by everything that happens outside the United States.”

Over the past decade, CELOP has experienced both its best and worst years — before and after 9/11, respectively — and the program is still rebounding from a 40 percent enrollment drop in late 2001 and early 2002. But at the end of last year, CELOP’s status as one of the longest-running and highest-rated English-language study programs in the country was confirmed by two events: the 30th anniversary of its founding and reaccreditation by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.

“It epitomizes the fact that we are a successful program,” says Valdivia. “It is really a fact that we are one of the top schools in the country.”

CELOP is one of 51 accredited programs nationwide and the only one of the three in Massachusetts affiliated with a college or university. More than 1,200 students, representing 50 countries, have enrolled this year, and next year’s enrollment is expected to top 1,400. Depending on their interests and goals, students might study television news broadcasts to improve general language skills, tour the Boston Stock Exchange to observe the idiosyncrasies of business English, or participate in mock doctor-patient conversations to gain comfort and fluency.

The student population has varied significantly over the past 30 years, says Valdivia, who has been with CELOP since 1975. In the 1970s, the program had many Iranian students and many Venezuelan students, who received scholarships from the government institution Fundación Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho. In 1985, the Hariri Foundation, led by the late prime minister of Lebanon and former Boston University trustee Rafik B. Hariri (Hon.’86), sponsored hundreds of Lebanese students who came to CELOP to study English. In the 1990s, the booming economy brought students from all over Asia.

Now, as CELOP climbs out of a decline, the program is faced with increasing competition from other English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. To remain competitive, CELOP now offers nine full-time programs catering to different types of students, from health-care professionals to those pursuing MBA degrees.

The reaccreditation, which stands until 2023, is particularly meaningful now, says Valdivia. For the first time since 2001, foreign families are beginning to feel comfortable sending their children to the United States again, and she hopes that CELOP can continue to play a role in fostering international communication.

“We feel that we really prepare students for success in professional and academic life,” she says, “but also that we really help students open their minds globally.”

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What Can I Do After

What Can I Do After B.Com?

Explore the Top 10 best options

Written by

Tim Vipond

Published October 21, 2023

Updated July 7, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to: What Can I Do after B.Com?

One of the most common questions we get from CFI students before they start is – “What can I do after chúng tôi (bachelor of commerce degree)?”  They often come to us feeling a bit confused about what to do next.

On the one hand, they have worked hard and invested a lot of money in earning a chúng tôi On the other hand, for many career paths, a chúng tôi is not enough, and more training, education, or even a designation is required.

This guide is designed to help you navigate any confusion and find the path that’s right for you.

10 Best Things You Can Do After B.Com: #1 Get work experience at a bank

This option should be top of your list. Banks are one the biggest employers in the financial services sector and they like hiring students who have just graduated with a chúng tôi degree.

The top options for careers at banks for someone with a chúng tôi include:

#2 Get work experience at an accounting firm

Still wondering, what can I do after chúng tôi Working at a large public accounting firm is a great place to start. The biggest accounting firms hire a lot of university graduates each year and their training programs can give you more knowledge, more skills, and excellent work experience.

The best options for careers at accounting firms with a chúng tôi include:

#3 Get work experience at a corporation

Corporation refers to an operating company like Google, Facebook, Tesla, Amazon, Salesforce, etc. Corporate careers can be an excellent training ground for a recent bachelor of commerce graduate, as they can offer a wide range of work experience and provide a good work-life balance.

The best roles for a chúng tôi graduae at a corporation are:

#4 Get the FMVA designation

If you don’t get a job at one of the above three choices right after school (or even if you do), you may want to consider studying for the FMVA. This designation is heavily focused on financial modeling and valuation, as well as on other practical applications.

It can be so challenging, some recent chúng tôi graduates prefer to focus on studying for it full time and after they finish their undergrad degree.

Career paths for an FMVA designation include:

#5 Go back to school for your MBA

Still wondering, what can I do after chúng tôi Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can help set you apart in a crowded job market and earn you the respect of your peers. Another fall back plan if you don’t land a job at the first three options is to pursue your graduate degree.

To learn more, see our guide: Is an MBA worth it?

Pursuing an MBA can be very rewarding, but they are often expensive and vary widely in quality and reputation.

#6 Earn an online certification in financial modeling

With the massive shift in trends from traditional education to online education and dynamic learning solutions, you should seriously consider an online financial modeling certification.

Most of the elite jobs in corporate finance require financial modeling skills, yet most chúng tôi programs don’t teach it.

If you want to stand out, taking CFI’s online courses can be a great way to master this skill.

The top jobs that require financial modeling are:

The basics: what is financial modeling?

Learn more: financial modeling guide

#7 Get an accounting designation (CPA or CA)

We already listed public accounting firms in spot #3, but that was for positions that don’t necessarily require becoming an accountant (those positions can be occupied by finance professionals).

If you’re willing to start in the Audit group at a public accounting firm, you can earn your CPA or CA designation (depending on what country you’re in) and move up to being a full-fledged accountant, or move on into other areas of the firm.

Becoming a CPA will give you the gold standard in accounting knowledge, and make your employability much higher.  Banks, corporations, and institutions love hiring professionals with accounting designations.

#8 Change career paths

When you asked, what can I do after chúng tôi you probably didn’t expect to hear “change career paths” as an option, but the reality is that sometimes that is the best choice.

The chúng tôi has given you great training and exposure to finance. Now you can complement that with another skill, such as coding, engineering, or entrepreneurship, and move into an area that may be a better fit for you.

It may be hard to make a change after investing so much time, effort, and money in a bachelor of commerce degree, but always stay open to the idea of moving into another field entirely.

To see what change may be best for you, explore our interactive career map.

#9 Use your university alumni network

If our suggestions thus far still haven’t satisfied your question of, what can I do after chúng tôi perhaps this one will: One of the biggest assets of a chúng tôi program is the alumni network.

The best way to get full value from your alumni network is to talk to the career center and ask for introductions to alums who are working in the same field that you’re interested in working in.

Here are a few points for effectively networking with alumni:

Focus on people with jobs that are relevant to what you’re looking for

Find alums who are 3-5 years out, as they have experience, but aren’t too senior yet

Don’t directly ask for a job

Ask for an informational interview, to learn about what they do and what they like/don’t like about it

Ask each person you meet with to introduce you to one more persons. That way your networking process never ends

#10 Offer to do a research project or unpaid internship

If all of the above preceding options still leave you wondering about what your best career move is, you may want to try offering to do a research project or free internship at a company that you really want to work for.

This strategy works especially well with corporations (not as well with banks and accounting firms), as they can be more flexible and entrepreneurial.

This “foot in the door” strategy could be all you need to jump-start your career at a corporation.  The top divisions for a chúng tôi to try this with are:



Financial planning & analysis


Hopefully, these 10 ideas have given you some helpful ideas on “What can I do after B.Com?”  If you follow this guide and our many more resources, you should be in great shape.

Additional CFI resources that you may want to check out include all of the following:

Help! Pubg Won’t Launch After Update

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) took the gaming world by storm with the hyper-realistic gunplay in the battle royale genre. With the increasing popularity of streaming services like Twitch, PUBG saw an increase in the number of gamers playing and streaming the game.

However, recently some Windows users have complained that PUBG will not launch after an update. Different users have reported different outcomes of this error, with the most common one being a black screen coming up instead of the game launching. But there can be other symptoms as well, like the game failing to launch completely.

If PUBG won’t open on your computer as well, here are some simple solutions that you can use to troubleshoot this error.

Let us start with the basic solutions first, which includes eliminating errors due to conflicting applications. If some other application is taking up system resources, there is a chance that PUBG won’t open due to unavailable system resources.

Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the task manager. Here, under the Processes tab, kill any task that you may notice taking up a lot of system resources. Once done, launch the game again to check if PUBG still won’t launch. Your error should now be resolved.

You may have to contact PUBG support team in order to find the list of applications that may cause conflicts with the game, like the illegal cheating programs.

Microsoft’s development environment Visual C++ is actually very important for applications to run smoothly on your computer, as these contain the standard libraries that these applications utilize. You must have all the Visual C++ libraries installed for the games and applications to perform optimally on your computer.

You may see PUBG not launching due to outdated device drivers, which fail in communicating proper instructions to the operating system for proper functioning of the hardware. To eliminate this issue, make sure that you have the latest version of the device drivers installed on your computer.

Uninstall the older version of the installed graphics driver using DDU, and update the drivers to the latest version.

Check out this article to find more about device drivers.

The firewall is used in Windows to monitor the network connection and prevent any malicious files from being downloaded on your computer. However, the firewall can also interfere with your regular applications, leading to these apps not being able to connect freely over the internet.

Add PUBG to the firewall exceptions list and check if PUBG launches normally.Solution 5: Verify Integrity Of Game Files

If none of the solutions above helped you in launching the game, there might be something wrong with the installation files of the game. If you used Steam to purchase PUBG, you are in luck. You can use the Verify integrity of game files feature to check for any missing or corrupted game files.

If the game files returned okay, then Windows may be missing some critical components. This can often lead to multiple services crashing, and your device may be rendered useless. However, this can be easily solved using the built-in tools.

Run the System File Checker scans to restore any missing or corrupt Windows core files. Once the scan finishes, restart your PC and check if you are able to launch PUBG. Your error should now be resolved.

If the solutions above failed to help you in launching PUBG, all there is left for you to do is to reinstall the game. Visit the Programs and Features section of the control panel, locate your game and uninstall PUBG. Else, you can also use third party uninstallers to quickly remove the residual files as well.

Visit Steam and download the latest version of PUBG. This time the game should launch without any errors.

So, there you have it. Now you know how to fix if PUBG won’t launch on your Windows 10 PC, using one or a combination of the solutions provided above. Comment below if you found this useful, and to discuss further the same.

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