Why Public Engagement?

As citizens and as scholars, we have an interest in today’s debates about public policy, conversations about the state of the world, and imagining a different future. Read more about the Public Engagement Projects' Mission and Vision

Upcoming Events

July 22, 2016, 7:30 PM

Sweeney Concert Hall - Sage Hall

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Principles in Action

The Smith College School for Social Work is pleased to present its E. Diane Davis Lecture as part of the Public Lecture Series. Charlie Swenson, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School will clearly describe Dialectical Behavior Therapy's (DBT) three sets of principles, within the change, acceptance, and dialectical paradigms, and use clinical examples and demonstrations to illustrate their application.

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PEP Fellow Nilanjana Dasgupta is interviewed about research on how to overcome the gender gap in science, technology engineering and mathematics jobs

PEP Fellow Nilanjana Dasgupta, psychological and brain sciences, is interviewed in Morning Edition on June 15, 2016 about research on how to overcome the gender gap in science, technology engineering and mathematics jobs. She suggests that women in these fields should work together in teams rather than have their numbers diluted in overwhelmingly male teams. Having female colleagues helps boost confidence and self-esteem, Dasgupta says. 

2015 PEP Fellow, Rebecca Spencer comments in a news story about Sleep’s Roles in Memory and Learning

Fellow 2015, Rebecca Spencer comments in The Scientist, on June 13, 2016. She says a new study that looks at factors such as heart-rate variability during sleep may provide new insights into how sleep and memory are connected. The new study looked at electrical activity in the brain during sleep but also measured variations in heart beats. “There is a good possibility that this additional measure [heart-rate variability] may help account for discrepant findings in sleep-dependent memory consolidation literature,” Spencer says. She also says sleep researchers may be depending too much on sleep physiology from the central nervous system.

Advisory Board's Lisa M. Troy co-authors paper Enhancing Evidence-Based Public Health Policy: Developing and Using Policy Narratives

Advisory Board's Lisa M. Troy, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts Amherst co-authors a paper with Dr. Kietzman, Research Scientist, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and Assistant Researcher, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, which was published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing on June 1, 2016. This paper describes the development and use of policy narratives to bridge cultures and enhance evidence-based public health policies that better meet the needs of older adults.

PEP Fellow Stephen Sireci comments in an article "Plan to Rate Teachers based on Test Scores is Under Fire"

Stephen Sireci, College of Education and Center for Educational Assessment, comments in an Globe article (5/31/16) on opposition by teacher unions, school committees and superintendents to a state plan to evaluate teachers by using test scores to measure how much students have learned. One of the authors of a 2014 report that questioned the reliability of test growth measures, Sireci says, “Our research indicates that student growth percentiles are unreliable and should not be used in teacher evaluations. We see a lot of students being misclassified at the classroom level.”

PEP Fellows Visit the Massachusetts State House to Present Their Research to Policymakers

The 2016 Faculty Fellows traveled to Beacon Hill on May 12 to share their research and explore synergies in meetings with 14 state representatives, senators, and other policy leaders.  From left to right: Chris Dunn, Executive Director of Public and Constituent Relations, PEP Fellows Louis F. Graham (Public Health), Miliann Kang (Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies), Ellen J. Pader (Regional Planning), PEP Director, Amy Schalet (Sociology), PEP Fellows R. Thomas Zoeller (Biology) and Stephen G. Sireci (College of Education),




PEP Director Dr. Amy Schalet quoted in article about teens, sex, and social media

Amy Schalet, Associate Professor of Sociology at UMass Amherst, was quoted in an article, “Boys Will Be The Boys We Teach Them To Be”, published in the ParentCo on April 28th, 2016. In this article PEP Director Dr. Amy Schalet says if you’re “able to maintain that connectedness with your child,” – by remaining open and compassionate – “through this phase, then you can also have more influence and more control, ultimately.”

2016 Fellow Thomas Zoeller co-authors consensus statement providing guidance on criteria for endocrine disruptor legislation in Europe

As part of a group of seven independent researchers from universities and research institutions from Europe and the United States, Thomas, Zoeller co-authored the consensus statement "Scientific Issues Relevant to Setting Regulatory Criteria to Identify Endocrine Disrupting Substances in the European Union" in Environmental Health Perspectives. He and his international colleagues believe they have found a way to end a nearly three-year-long stalemate over legal requirements by the European Commission to provide criteria for identifying endocrine disrupting chemicals. Read more.