The University of Massachusetts Amherst

News

2015 PEP Fellow, Rebecca Spencer, research on the benefits of naps and overnight sleep on early childhood memory featured in WPSD news story

A WPSD news story featured findings from a study by sleep researchers at UMass Amherst, led by 2015 PEP Fellow, Rebecca Spencer. They report for the first time evidence that naps and overnight sleep may work together to benefit memory in early childhood. The study was published in Scientific Reports. Spencer, and colleagues, report that for children in this study, “Individually, the nap and overnight sleep bouts were not sufficient to induce changes in memory. A significant benefit of napping was observed only when changes across the entire 24-hour period were considered. This supports an interplay between the nap and subsequent overnight sleep in the consolidation of memories in young children.” Read more here.

Deepankar Basu, 2017 PEP Fellow, discusses his new study on the relationship between right-wing hate crimes in India and the success of the BJP Party on The Real News Network.

Deepankar Basu, 2017 PEP Fellow, discusses on The Real News Network his new study on the relationship between right-wing hate crimes in India and the success of the BJP Party. Basu says where this nationalist party is strongest there is a noticeable increase in reported hate crimes while in areas where the BJP Party is not as strong, that trend is less pronounced.

2015 PEP Fellow, Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta, leads statewide network to increase and diversify STEM workforce.

2015 PEP Fellow, Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta, using a recent three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and IDS affiliates, has created a team of leaders across the Commonwealth “to break down these silos and build a multi-institutional partnership,” she says. This research-practice partnership will connect computer science and engineering educators with social scientists who study barriers facing students and their solutions, she points out. It will also reach out to education staff who provide out-of-class support, outreach organizations offering out-of-school learning opportunities, and industry partners who hire and develop talent in technology and engineering. Read more here

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, quoted in Washington Post story on the best materials for reusable water bottles.

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, says in the Washington Post that until more research is done on various plastics, glass and metal are the best materials for reusable water bottles. Zoeller has studied the chemical effects of bisphenol A (BPA) which has been linked to hormonal disruptions in humans. He says bisphenol S, often used as an alternative to BPA, has not really been studied in humans and some animal studies suggest it could be disruptive as well.

The Public Engagement Project invites applications from UMass faculty for the Spring 2020 Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship

Do you want to share your research with audiences beyond the academy, write an effective op-ed or policy brief, testify before Congress, or work with community and professional groups?

The Public Engagement Project invites applications from UMass faculty for the Spring 2020 Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship. As a Public Engagement Faculty Fellow, you’ll develop a fellowship plan tailored to your expertise and aspirations for reaching broader publics. You will receive technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences, cultivating networks to reach those publics, and workshopping your policy brief, blog, op-ed piece, or other public engagement products. 

For more information, click here. 

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, comments in EcoWatch on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement about changes to its mammal testing policy

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, comments in EcoWatch on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement that it will stop conducting or funding studies that involve testing on mammals by 2035.  He says, “If you exclusively depend on in vitro toxicology or mathematical modeling, you're going to miss all the different interactions that happen in a physiological system — whether in rat, mouse, human, or a fetus. You simply cannot replicate that.”

Elizabeth A. Evans, 2018 PEP Fellow, is interviewed on Connecting Point about a new pilot program studying opioid treatment in seven jails in Massachusetts.

Elizabeth A. Evans, 2018 PEP Fellow, is interviewed on the local public affairs program Connecting Point about a new pilot program that will study opioid treatment in seven jails in Massachusetts. Evans had created a similar program for inmates at the jails in Hampshire and Franklin counties. She says the addition of more jails to the program is being done as part of a new state law that has just taken effect and will allow officials who run these facilities to share information on what practices have been shown to work well.

2018 PEP Fellow, Karen Kurczynski, launches “Making Art Yours,” a new program in collaboration with the University Museum of Contemporary Art this Fall

2018 PEP Fellow, Karen Kurczynski, will launch “Making Art Yours,” a new program in collaboration with the University Museum of Contemporary Art. Funded in part by a Campus Climate Grant, the project will gather small groups of students - about ten each, including students of color, first-generation college students, and others who may not feel like the art museum is “their” space, into the UMCA for a personal conversation about art. Read more here.

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