The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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2018 Fall Travel Award Recipients

The Center for Research on Families is excited to announce the recipients of the 2018 Fall Travel Awards. Every semester CRF provides funding for graduate students to present their family research at an academic conference. CRF’s award helps offset the costs of travel and allows students the opportunity to meet and present with other researchers in their field. Since we began to offer the award in 2010, CRF has helped dozens of students from a wide range of disciplines attend national and international academic conferences.

Laura Vandenberg (FRS '15-'16) Featured in UMass Magazine for Feature Article Titled "Target: Breast Cancer."

Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Laura Vandenberg is among five UMass scientists profiled in the latest issue of UMass Magazine for a feature article titled "Target: Breast Cancer." The story examines researchers who are investigating the causes of breast cancer and how to prevent it. Read the article here.

Lisa Wexler (FRS '07-'08) Featured in UMass Magazine for Suicide Prevention Efforts

Associate Professor of Community Health Education Lisa Wexler's suicide prevention efforts are profiled in the latest issue of UMass Magazine. The story examines Wexler's work with Alaska Native communities to build resilience through community belonging and cultural continuity in an effort to lower suicide risk. Read the article here.

Aline Gubrium (FRS '17-'18) Assumes American Public Health Association Leadership Role

Associate Professor and Program Head in the Department of Community Health Education, Aline Gubrium has begun her two-year term as Chair of the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Section following the completion of her one-year term as Chair-Elect. The SRH Section works to improve the health of women, men and children by ensuring that population, reproductive and sexual health remain major domestic and international priorities. Read more here.

Alexandra Jesse (FRS '16-'17) Awarded $100,000 NIH Grant

The vast majority of speech perception research has focused on how we recognize what the speaker says through listening only, and has failed to capture the value of speaking face-to-face, says speech perception expert Alexandra Jesse. Now she has a two-year, $100,000 grant from NIH’s National Institute of Aging to explore the mechanisms underlying audiovisual speech perception, that is, investigating how listeners, in particular older adults with age-related hearing loss, combine information from both hearing and seeing a speaker to their benefit. Read more here.

How to Prepare an ISSR or CRF Scholars Proposal

Led by Center for Research on Families (CRF) Director Maureen Perry-Jenkins and Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) Director Laurel Smith-Doerr, prospective applicants for the faculty Scholars Programs at CRF and ISSR will receive guidance on the application process, which program to apply to, and what reviewers will be looking for in competitive applications for the spring application deadline {TBA January 2018}. Free and open to UMass and Five Colleges Social Science faculty. Lunch will be provided. See additional event details here.

Linda Tropp (FRS '09-'10) to Participate in Upcoming Seminar, "Where We Stand and What We See"

Linda Tropp will be one of five panelists on the upcoming seminar,  "Where We Stand and What We See", hosted by the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). The seminar will address the following questions: in what ways does our social position affect the academic work that we do? Does one’s position in society produce "epistemic advantages," allowing someone to see things that others cannot? If there is, what can social science do to accommodate such things? What do such issues imply about the possibility of knowledge in social science?

The panel brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines to discuss whether and how "where we stand" affects "what we see" and "what we can know" as scholars. The seminar is scheduled on Thursday, November 29, 2018  from 4:00pm to 5:30pm and will be located in E20 Machmer Hall, UMass Amherst. Click here for more information. 

Tatishe Nteta (FRS ’14-’15) Quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education on the Correlation Between College Education and Political Beliefs

What is it about a college degree — especially when filtered by race and gender — that so starkly correlates with political beliefs? In the social sciences, a college degree is more than just a piece of paper, said Tatishe M. Nteta, an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It’s an indicator of a set of networks and worldviews provided by the campus and classroom experience. “People who have a college degree tend to be friends with, tend to work with, tend to live in neighborhoods with individuals who also have college degrees,” Nteta said. In a recent paper, Nteta and his colleagues studied voter samples from the 2016 election to analyze what had driven the so-called education gap among white voters.Read more here.

Lisa Wexler (FRS '07-'08) Receives $3.5 Million Grant to Expand Suicide Prevention Pilot Program in Rural Alaska

The intervention, “Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide” (PC CARES) was developed by Lisa Wexler and Cris Smith at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with colleagues from Northwest Alaska and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Wexler and colleagues pilot-tested the program in 10 far-flung Native Alaska communities over the past year. They recently received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health to expand the project, “re-envisioning it to adapt to a new region,” as she explains. Read more here.

CRF Director Launches Pilot Grant in Springfield

Reducing Depression and Stress in Low-income New Mothers and their Partners

CRF Director, Dr. Maureen Perry-Jenkins, has launched an exciting and innovative pilot project that aims to reduce depression and stress among low-income new mothers and their partners early in pregnancy. “We’ve always known that stress can have negative impacts on our health, but the latest literature is really showing that stress prenatally is very detrimental in terms of long-term health of both mothers and infants. Thus, the aim of our intervention is to reduce stress in the second trimester of pregnancy to enhance parental well-being and child outcomes,” she explains.