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

June 13, 2016, 7:30 PM

A Decade of Research on Adoptive Families Headed by Same-Sex and Heterosexual Couples: Findings, Reflections, and Applications

The Smith College School for Social Work is pleased to present its annual Brown Foundation Research lecture as part of the Public Lecture Series. Dr. Goldberg's talk will describe how and why research matters in clinical and policy terms, and will provide guidelines for clinical practice.

More information

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.

2016 Fellow Louis F. Graham states: “Gains for the LGBT Community Must Include Gay People of Color.”

Louis Graham, Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health and Health Sciencespublished an article “Gains for the LGBT Community Must Include Gay People of Color” on The Valley Advocate on April 18th, 2016. Graham states we still need an agenda that better reflects the diversity of LGBT communities and that prioritizes the social and structural conditions impacting the most marginalized among us.

Advisory Board Member, M.V. Lee Badgett, comments in a story about how large corporations are fighting states that pass discriminatory laws aimed at gay marriage and LGBT people

M.V. Lee Badgett is quoted in a series of articles talking about large corporations impact on laws aimed at gay marriage and LGBT rights. She says states also created a legal patchwork of laws trying to prevent gay marriage. “The patchwork of laws on marriage wasn’t working for them (business). Now we’re looking at a new patchwork developing. That’s not going to work for them either,” Badgett says.

"State proposals on LGBT rights push business into spotlight" published by Corvallis Gazette-Times on April 17, 2016. 

"State proposals on LGBT rights push business into spotlight" published by The Marietta Times on April 17, 2016.

2015 PEP Fellow, Rebecca Spencer, interviewed about her research in the Harvard Business Journal

Rebecca Spencer was interviewed in an article, “Sleeping on It” Doesn’t Lead to Better Decisions", posted in the Harvard Business Journal in the May 2016 issue. Rebecca and her co-researchers conducted a study in which they asked people to evaluate laptop cases for potential purchases. Spencer stated " It was evident that people who made a decision the same day felt better about their choice than those who had slept on it". 

PEP Director Dr. Amy Schalet quoted in article about sexuality in Netherlands

Amy Schalet, Associate Professor of Sociology at UMass Amherst, was quoted in an article, "Worried about your teenage daughter? Move to the Netherlands", published in the LA Times on April 8, 2016. In this article Amy says "The Sexual revolution transformed attitudes in both countries, but, whereas American parents and policymakers responded by tearing teen sex as a health crisis, the Dutch went another way: They consciously embraced it as a natural, though requiring proper guidance."