Alumni Profiles

Sara Plourde '12 Makes Pitch for Canada

Former Minutewoman softball pitcher Sara Plourde '12 (sociology) is playing for Team Canada.

Alum Native Seed Collector Helps Dune Restoration and More

NPR's "All Things Considered" ran a story that featured Heather Liljengren '04 (environmental design).

Department of Energy Taps Environmentalist Kevin Knobloch '78 as Chief of Staff

Kevin Knobloch '78 (journalism),  president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), has been named chief of staff to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz, a respected physicist and leader on energy technology and policy, starting on June 24. Dr. Kathleen Rest, UCS’s executive director, will oversee the organization as it searches for a new president.

Alum to Offer Social Skills Course in August

This summer alumnus Benjamin Happ '98 (psychology) will offer a blended course intended to help juniors, seniors and recent alumni become better equipped to survive in the job market.

Alum Lawyer Credits UMass with Nurturing Lifelong Negotiation Skills

“I’ve spent a lot of time with people who attended places like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Dartmouth, and I can say without a doubt that I was as prepared academically as they were,” says Lynn Robitaille Garcia ’97 (STPEC), general counsel of the Texas Forensic Science Commission. “In fact, I was better prepared to negotiate stressful situations and difficult interpersonal relationships than many of my colleagues because of my UMass experiences.”

"The News Never Sleeps"—And Neither Does News Anchor Haynes '94

“I am a TV news anchor at Fox 5 in Atlanta,” says Tom Haynes ’94 (political science). “And trust me, every bit of what I do in my job today was cultivated during my four years at UMass.” Moving from an Intro to American Politics or Political Theory course to TV may not seem like an obvious step for political science majors. But that’s exactly what happened for Haynes.

 

Bateman Scholar Knobloch Addresses Strategy for Low-Carbon Future

Kevin Knobloch '78 (journalism), president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, was this year's Eleanor Bateman Scholar in Residence on campus. In his public address, "Needed: Skillful capitalists to lead us to a low-carbon future" he explained the processes by which he achieved results on a wide range of environmental and national security issues—such as renewable energy, nuclear weapons, forest management and corporate responsibility—by working with scientists, legislators, industry leaders and delegations to the United Nations. Watch a brief video with Knobloch. View pictures on Flickr.

Writing for the Environment

Like many alumni, Emily Zimmerman ’09 (political science/English) recognizes the value of internships. In fact, her current career – speechwriter and public affairs specialist for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – began with an internship at the EPA during her senior year at UMass.

Legal Studies Alum Focuses on Music, Law, and International Social Justice

“International social justice work is not an easy path,” says Michael Otto ’03 (legal studies), “but it is often very exciting and rewarding!” Otto, who helped to found Tiny Toones, a non-profit organization which uses music to empower at-risk youth in Cambodia, says his major helped to make much of his social justice work possible.

The Case of the Vanishing Policy Memo

Derek Khanna '09 (political science) made big news this month in Washington related to "an incredibly bold copyright reform memo" he wrote for the Republican Study Committee. “Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where To Start To Fix It” was released on 11/16 and retracted the next day for a variety of reasons, but not because Khanna isn't well-versed in the subject. The Slate article, which discusses Khanna's points, concludes, "[His] suggestion that Republicans should view copyright less as a kind of 'property' and more as a kind of regulation is a fascinating move on the coalitional chessboard. For now it seems too hot for the Republican Party. But if they’re smart, they’ll think twice."

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