New Faculty Bios, 2013-14

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences welcomes the following new tenure track faculty and lecturers to campus.


Seth K. Goldman, Assistant Professor of Communication
Goldman earned the Ph.D. in 2010 at University of Pennsylvania before becoming the George Gerbner Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication there. His research examines the effects of mass media and political communication on stereotyping and prejudice, especially with regard to public opinion about race and sexual orientation. Seth's research has appeared in Public Opinion Quarterly, American Journal of Political Science, and Political Communication. The recipient of a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation to examine change in racial attitudes during the Obama presidency, he is completing a book, The Obama Effect: How the 2008 Campaign Changed White Racial Attitudes.


Dania Francis, Assistant Professor of Economics and Afro-American Studies 
Francis broadly studies the fields of labor economics and public economics with particular attention to racial and ethnic inequalities.  She completed her PhD this past spring at Duke University as a student of William Darity, Jr.  Her dissertation research centered on the economics of education, focusing on the causes and consequences of the racial and socioeconomic academic achievement gap.  This fall Francis will be teaching “The Economics of Education.”

Marta Vicarelli, Assistant Professor of Economics
Vicarelli focuses on the risks and socio-economic impacts of climate variability and climate change, as well as on the design of vulnerability-reduction instruments, such as weather-indexed insurance programs.She has been a research fellow at the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (2004-10), a fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Development (2009-11), and a postdoctoral fellow at Yale (2011-13). She holds a B.S. in earth and atmospheric sciences from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, a master of environmental economics from the École Polytechnique,and a master of International Affairs and a Ph.D. in sustainable development from Columbia University.

Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning

Darrel Ramsey-Musolf, Assistant Professor of Landscape and Regional Planning
Ramsey-Musolf recently received his PhD in Housing Policy and Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research examines urban morphology (i.e., cities, housing, infill, and redevelopment schemes), planning praxis (i.e., uniting research and practice), and regionalism. While at Madison, he received a HUD Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant, supported his mixed-method dissertation on California’s Housing Element Law, and he also received a 2-year AOF research grant from the College of Letters and Science at UW Madison. A former municipal planner for the California cities of Glendora and Hawaiian Gardens, Ramsey-Musolf also holds master’s degrees in urban and regional planning as well as public administration.

Political Science and Legal Studies

Bryan Coutain, Lecturer 
Coutain, Chief Undergraduate Advisor for the Political Science and Legal Studies programs, holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Drawing on social constructivism, linguistic philosophy, and historical institutionalism, his research agenda examines how, since the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, the equality-of-treatment norm transformed international, domestic state-society, and household gender-based interpersonal relations, making the world both modern and liberal.

Valerie Joseph, Lecturer
Joseph is presently pursuing her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at UMass. She studies theories of race, racism and ideological whiteness in the United States and the Caribbean with a special interest in African Diasporic cultural production, colonial and post-colonial education, media representations and the law.

Dianne R. Pfundstein, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Pfundstein holds a joint appointment in the Commonwealth Honors College. Her research focuses on American security policy in the post Cold War period, particularly coercion and the use of military threats in U.S. foreign policy. She holds a PhD from Columbia and completed a post-doc as a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Robert Samet, Visiting Assistant Professor
Samet's research focuses on law, crime, and forms of political representation in the Americas, with a special emphasis on Venezuela. Currently, he is revising a manuscript based on two years of ethnographic field research on crime journalism in Caracas, and is beginning a new project on the political economy of urban security in Latin America. His areas of interest include legal anthropology, media studies, social movements, democracy, theories of sovereignty, ethnographic research methods, and legacies of colonialism, neoliberalism, and globalization in the Western Hemisphere.

Elizabeth A. Sharrow, Assistant Professor of Political Science and History
Sharrow holds a Ph.D. in Political Science with a minor program in Feminist and Critical Sexuality Studies and a Master's in Public Policy with a focus on Gender, Law, and Sports Policy from University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on in the history of public policy and the politics of sex and gender in the United States.

Yasmeen Daifallah, Assistant Professor of Political Science 
Daifallah holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from University of California, Berkeley, as well as a M.A. in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University. Her research focuses on Islamic political thought, especially the political theory of Abdullah Laroui, Hassan Hanafi, and Mohamed ‘Abed al-Jabiri.

Sociology and Labor Studies

Laurel Smith-Doerr, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Social Science Research
Smith-Doerr investigates how science, gender, and organizations are connected and become institutionalized in contemporary knowledge-based communities. She conducts research on inter-organizational collaboration, implications of different organizational forms for women’s equity in science, gendering of scientific networks and scientists’ approaches to social and ethical responsibilities, and tensions in the institutionalization of science policy.  Results of this research have been published in her book, Women’s Work: Gender Equity v. Hierarchy in the Life Sciences

Clare Hammonds, Professor of Practice, Labor Studies
Joining the Labor Center, Hammonds will conduct and support applied research and the labor extension program. Her research focuses on organizing among low-wage care workers in the US. She is currently completing her dissertation project which compares unionization efforts among childcare workers and personal care attendants. Hammonds, who holds an M.S. in Labor Studies from the Labor Relations and Research Center at UMass Amherst and a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, will receive a Ph.D. in Sociology in 2013 from Brandeis University.

James Kitts, Associate Professor, Sociology  
Kitts studies social networks and social interaction in organizations, focusing mostly on social movements, schools, and hospitals, and has been working for almost two decades to develop the interdisciplinary field of Computational Social Science. Funded by the National Science Foundation, his research has recently appeared in American Sociological ReviewSocial ForcesDemography, and Social Psychology Quarterly. Kitts earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University in 2001 and his M.S. in Natural Resources & Environment from the University of Michigan in 1995. He has held positions in Management at Columbia University and in Sociology at Dartmouth College and the University of Washington.

Anthony Paik, Associate Professor, Sociology
Paik’s research focuses on several areas, including social networks, formal models, social demography, and sexuality. He is co-editor of The Sexual Organization of the City (University of Chicago Press, 2004), which he co-edited, and has numerous articles in major sociological journals.  Currently, Dr. Paik is working on a book-length project that seeks to use signaling models to understand a wide variety of sociological phenomena.  Previously, he was a jointly appointed associate professor in the Departments of Sociology and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa and served as the director of social science policy at the University of Iowa’s Public Policy Center. He received his doctorate in 2003 from the University of Chicago and is the chair-elect of the Rationality and Society Section of the American Sociological Association.

Social Thought and Political Economy

Graciela Monteagudo, Lecturer and Associate Director
Monteagudo's fields of expertise include unintended consequences of neoliberalism, governmentality, Latin American social movements with a focus on Argentina and Mexico, feminisms, transnationalization of feminisms, and the connection between activism and emotions. With a Ph.D. in anthropology from UMass Amherst, she is currently working on a book project on Argentine women's collective strategies to overcome a neoliberal economic crisis as well as a paper on challenges and successes of global North academic-activists doing research in the global South.