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Agnès Lacreuse (FRS '13-'14) Receives NIH Funding to Investigate Etiology of Alzheimer's Disease

Agnès Lacreuse received $361,752 in supplemental funding from NIH to study whether Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms occur naturally in nonhuman primates with aging. Agnès Lacreuse is especially interested in determining whether female marmosets, like women, are more prone to such symptoms, and her work seeks to identify the factors that predict pathological aging in each sex. Read more here

Linda Tropp (FRS '09-'10) Honored for Influential 'Contact Theory' Analysis

Linda Tropp has been selected as a recipient of the 2018 Scientific  Impact Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SESP), which “honors the author(s) of a specific article or chapter offering a theoretical, empirical, and/or methodological contribution that has  proven highly influential over the last 25 years.” Tropp and her group of researchers spent over five years “trying to find every study on intergroup contact we could,” she says. Tropp mined more than 500 studies gathered from the 1940s  through the year 2000, which together include more than 250,000  participants from 38 countries, to conduct a “meta-analysis,” a type of research study “where you try to find  every study ever done on a particular topic, and then using statistical  methods, you combine the results from those studies to see what  they show overall,” she explains. Read more here.

Collaborative Class Offered by CRF and Children's Trust an Educational Model for Home Visiting and Early Childcare Workforce

In the Fall of 2017, CRF partnered with the Children's Trust to offer an innovative, 3-credit course that brought together UMass undergraduates and Healthy Families' home visitors. There is mounting evidence that post-secondary education and specialized training in child development better prepares the early childhood workforce. The class, Risk and Resilience in the Lives of First-Time, Young Parents was recently highlighted as one of only two credit-earning options for home visitors nationwide. Read more here.

Heather Richardson (FRS Scholar '10-'11) Co-Publishes Study on Brain Maturation in Adolescent Rats

One of the outstanding questions in neurodevelopment research has been identifying how connections in the brain change to improve neural function during childhood and adolescence. Now, results from a study in rats just reported by neuroscientists Heather Richardson, Geng-Lin Li and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that as animals transition into adolescence, specific physical changes to axons speed up neural transmission, which may lead to higher cognitive abilities. Read more here.

Michelle Budig (FRS '06-'07) Cited in Wall Street Journal About Workplace Inequality and the Gender Gap

Michelle Budig was cited in the article “Want Equality? Make New Dads Stay Home” published in the Wall Street Journal on September 28, 2018. The article explores a new trend in which some companies are beginning to require new dads to take mandatory leave for the birth of a child in an attempt to address workplace inequality and the gender gap. Budig’s research on the “motherhood penalty” was referenced in which the findings from a 30-year longitudinal study revealed that women’s earning decrease 4% after the birth of a child, while new dads receive more than a 6% increase, known as the “fatherhood bonus.” Read the article here

CRF Director, Dr. Maureen Perry-Jenkins Recognized for Outstanding Scholarship by NCFR

CRF Director, Dr. Maureen Perry-Jenkins was recently selected as the recipient of the 2018 Ernest W. Burgess Award by the National Council on Family Relations. The award recognizes NCFR member’s outstanding scholarly achievement in the study of families and the recipient is chosen in recognition of continuous and meritorious contributions to theory and research in the family field. Dr. Perry-Jenkins is nationally recognized for her research on the intersection of work and family and, in particular, the challenges facing low-income families as they cope with work-family demands and the transition to parenthood. Read more here

Rick Pilsner (FRS '15-'16) Awarded $2.7 Million to Expand Study of Phthalates, Reproduction

Richard Pilsner, associate professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, has received a five-year, $2.7 million National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences award to support his further research on fathers’ preconception exposure to phthalates and potential effects on reproductive health through methylation of sperm DNA. This award for work in humans complements his five-year, $2.3 million National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences award received last year. Read more here.

Elizabeth Krause (FRS '11-'12) to Host Book Salon on Tight Knit: Global Families and the Social Life of Fast Fashion

The coveted “Made in Italy” label calls to mind visions of nimble-fingered Italian tailors lovingly sewing elegant, high-end clothing. Yet, as Betsy Krause uncovers in Tight Knit, Chinese migrants are the ones sewing “Made in Italy” labels into low-cost items for a thriving fast-fashion industry. Krause offers a revelatory look into how families involved in the fashion industry are coping with globalization. She brings to the fore the tensions that are reaching a boiling point as the country struggles to deal with the same migration pressures that are triggering backlash all over Europe and North America.

DISCUSSANTS: Anna Botta (Smith College), Calvin Chen (Mount Holyoke College), Anne Ciecko (UMass Amherst) and Vanessa Fong (Amherst College)

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Laura Vandenberg (FRS '15-'16) Responds to Federal Report Claiming That Low-Level Exposure to BPA Does Not Harm Human Health

Laura Vandenberg recently participated in a webinar hosted by Carnegie Mellon and Environmental Health Sciences to discuss data emerging from a federal review on the health effects of low-level exposure to BPA. Findings from the report claim that small amounts of BPA do not affect human health. Vandenberg and the other speakers discussed additional research that has been conducted by independent academic researchers that has repeatedly revealed that low-level exposure to BPA does result in adverse health effects. Watch the webinar here.

Vandenberg was quoted about the federal report in an article published in the Daily Beast and was quoted on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered

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