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Current News

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

Tatishe Nteta's (FRS ’14-’15) Research Reveals Men Whose First Child is a Girl More Likely to Support Gender Equity Policies

Tatishe Nteta (FRS ’14-’15) recently co-authored an article in the Washington Post highlighting their research which reveals that men whose first child is a girl are more likely to support policies that promote gender equity than men whose first child is a boy. Read the article here and the research publication here.

CRF Announces 2018 Graduate Student Scholars - Grant Writing Program

CRF has developed a pilot program to facilitate and support graduate students in the development of successful graduate fellowship applications.  This pilot program is a 9-month program designed specifically for NSF and NIH pre-doctoral fellowship proposals. Six selected graduate scholars will receive mentoring and support from CRF faculty, staff and peers throughout the grant development process, including: development, refinement and communication of research ideas, approach, and methodology.

CRF Announces 2018-2019 Student Awardees

The Center for Research on Families (CRF) is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's Student Research Awards. CRF is committed to supporting students engaged in family research — our student researchers are addressing family challenges such as opioid use among parenting women, ADHD in early childhood, Flint water crisis and community nutrition. Eight talented students received awards in four categories for a total of over $24,000 awarded.

Nilanjana Dasgupta (FRS '06-'07 & '12-'13) Interviewed for National Science Foundation's Women's History Month Feature

Nilanjana Dasgupta (FRS '06-'07 & '12-'13) describes her research in the National Science Foundation: One focus of our work has been on psychological and learning environment characteristics that influence young women’s entry into STEM-based academic majors in colleges and universities. We find that changes in the local culture of classrooms and academic departments can make a real difference in the likelihood that a woman will choose STEM. Interventions are most effective when students are at transition points, such as when they move from high school to college, or early in college when they choose an academic major. Read the article here.

Richard Pilsner (FRS '15-'16) Featured in Spring 2018 UMass Magazine

Richard Pilsner, (FRS '15-'16) and Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health & Health Sciences is leading epigenetic studies in how endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment might affect men’s sperm: specifically, how external factors influence the way genes are expressed. Pilsner has found that phthalate levels in expectant fathers have an effect on their reproductive success. Read the article here.

Aline Gubrium (FRS '17-'18) Publishes Findings on Digital Storytelling as an Intervention Method

Aline Gubrium (FRS '17-'18) and Associate Professor of Community Health Education is the lead author of a paper recently published in the journal Critical Public Health. Titled “Digital storytelling as critical narrative intervention with adolescent women of Puerto Rican descent,” the journal article presents findings of a two-year pilot research study focused on addressing sexual and reproductive health inequities faced by adolescent women of Puerto Rican descent living on the mainland United States. 

New Study by Alexandra Jesse (FRS '16-'17) Suggests We Can Recognize Speakers Only from How Faces Move When Talking

Results of a new study by FRS '16-'17 Alexandra Jesse and her linguistics undergraduate student Michael Bartoli should help to settle a long-standing disagreement among cognitive psychologists about the information we use to recognize people speaking to us. Read more here.

Student Spotlight: Mahala Dyer Stewart Seeks to Understand How the Decision to Homeschool is Impacted by Class and Race

Mahala Dyer Stewart, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology was selected as one of only two students awarded a $10,000 CRF Dissertation Fellowship in the spring of 2016. Stewart's dissertation seeks to understand if and how the decision to homeschool is impacted by class and race across communities. She hopes that her research will be useful to educators and policy makers by offering insights into why families feel compelled to remove their children from the public-school system, and which families are able to make that choice.

Shannon Roberts (FRS '18-'19) Received 2018 Armstrong Award to Advance Safety in Self-Driving Vehicles

Shannon Roberts (FRS '18-'19) assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and Philip Thomas, assistant professor of computer science, received the 2018 The Armstrong Fund for Science Award. The award includes a grant of $36,000 to support a two-year project which addresses the question of when an automated driving system should warn a human driver that it may have to relinquish control of the vehicle in the near future. Read more here