October 2014 Newsletter

In this Issue

Social Science Matters: Libby Sharrow

Libby Sharrow is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Department of History. Her scholarly interests are in the area of public policy and the politics of sex and gender in the United States. Her current research focuses on Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, with a particular interest to its application in the domain of sports. New to UMass in 2013, Sharrow is eager to make her mark. 

Firsthand Experiences Shape Comm Major’s Worldview

Jasmine Abreu ’14 (communication) has involved herself in a myriad of campus activities, including participation in the first UMass Women into Leadership Conference.

$457,000 NSF Grant for Election Panel Survey Goes to Schaffner

Brian Schaffner's funding will allow him to create one of the largest multi-year election panel surveys ever produced.

Alumni Spotlight: Ashleigh Barry

Ashleigh Barry ’99 (journalism) has covered her share of powerful stories, but her most recent news special for 10TV in Columbus titled "Saving Sarah" has won an Emmy Award and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. 

Other Topics of Interest

Freezing Plans for Motherhood Mask Larger Issue of Wage Penalties

Joya Misra

In the New York Times Opinion Pages' "Room for Debate" (October 15), Prof. Joya Misra (sociology and public policy), editor of the journal Gender & Society, speaks out about "Freezing Plans for Motherhood and Staying on the Job."

UMass Experiences Shape Senior’s Future

Mark Daly at Fenway Park

Mark Daly '15 (journalism), recipient of an SBS Internship Award that allowed him to work at the Lowell Spinners baseball team, says this and so many other UMass experiences have paved the way for a career in media relations.

Our Alumni Making a Difference

Samalid Hogan

Samalid Hogan ’03 (economics/Spanish) is launching CoWorkSpringfield!, an initiative dedicated to creating a diverse peer support network of entrepreneurs while offering a professional coworking space in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.

Comm Alum Takes a Leap to Volunteer in Nicaragua

Photo by Dan Robinson

“Right after college is the best time to do something like this,” Dan Robinson ’14 (communication/information technology) says. “It’s a time where you’re trying to figure out what’s next in your life. Going far outside your comfort zone and surrounding yourself with a completely new culture and language is a great way to reflect on the past 4 years of college."

Book by Sociologists Gerstel and Clawson Gets Media Attention

Naomi Gerstel and Dan Clawson

Unequal Time: Gender, Class, and Family in Employment Schedules by Prof. Dan Clawso(sociology) and Distinguished Prof. Naomi Gerstel (sociology) has been getting an increasing amount of coverage in prestigious media sources such as NBC News, The Nation, and The American Prospect.

In Peru, Badgett Addresses Economics of LGBT Discrimination

M. V. Lee Badgett

During a trip to Peru from Oct. 12-17, Prof. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, educated diplomats, government officials, working professionals and university students on the potential negative economic consequences of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Wellspring Collaborative Receives New Grants

Wellspring logo

The Wellspring Collaborative, an innovative economic development organization in Springfield co-directed by Fred Rose, lecturer at the Center for Public Policy and Administration, has received two new grants totaling $70,000. 

Spring 2015 Public Engagement Fellowships Call for Applications

Public Engagement Project header

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

Rally for Tolerance

Maija Hall addresses students at Rally for Tolerance

Maija Hall '17 (sociology) addressing students at the Rally for Tolerance.

In response to several threatening racist messages that were scrawled on dorm-room doors, about 1,000 students of all colors flooded the Student Union to lend their voices to a suddenly powerful outcry against racism on campus.

President Robert Caret Visits Amherst on #UMassontheMove Bus Tour

President Robert Caret with Journalism Students

Nia Decaille ’15 (journalism, legal studies) sat in the lobby of the fourth floor of the Integrative Learning Center on Thursday, October 9, 2014 with fellow journalism majors awaiting the arrival of the UMass system president Robert Caret. 

Alumni News | Department and Faculty News
SBS in the News | A Word from SBS

Alumni News

Gail Collins MA ’70 (political science) appears in an opinion conversation in the New York Times about President Obama's hug to Ebola survivor Nina Pham.

U3 Advisors, consultants to the Town Gown Steering Committee, are scheduled to make final recommendations to the panel on Monday, Nov. 3 at 4 PM in Amherst town hall. Nancy Buffone ’95, co-chair of the panel and executive director of external relations and university events, comments on the report in the Springfield Republican on 10/27/14.

Ken Kirkey ’90 (landscape architecture) MRP ’95 is director of Planning at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the metropolitan planning organization for the 9-county San Francisco Bay Area, which is responsible for developing Plan Bay Area, the region's long-range land-use and transportation plan. Kirkey welcomes the opportunity to give department-level presentations and reach out to current LARP students.

Let's hear it for UMass archaeologists! In the latest UMass Magazine's "Around the Pond" section, a story about uncovering Emily Dickinson's conservatory at her homestead in Amherst (now the Emily Dickinson Museum) featured lots of alumni from the Anthropology Department: Elizabeth Harlow MA '05, PhD '13; Eric Johnson MA '81, PhD '93; Kerry Lynch '95, MA '00, PhD '10; Jessica Jay '10; and Daniel Zoto '10 worked together (with a few others, including undergraduate Jackie Monsell '16). The museum will consult the team's detailed post-excavation drawings when they reconstruct the conservatory, and UMass Archaeological Services will continue to research other spots in the gardens and the paths between the house and Dickinson's brother's home next door. Read the full article here.

Kelly Garrett '91 (communication), MA '97 (education) is prominently featured in a UMass Magazine article celebrating 30 years of the Stonewall Center on campus. She recalls what it was like coming out in the late 1980s: "A third of people were homophobic, a third were kind of, ‘eh,’ and the other third were supportive. But you heard openly homophobic things all the time. And culturally it was still a gossipy and taboo subject." Read the full article here.

Claire Hopkins '12 (communication/psychology) is coordinator of the Living Laboratory for Sustainability at England's University of Cambridge. At UMass she was student sustainability coordinator with the UMass Sustainability Initiative and secretary of sustainability for SGA, and was a pivotal force in mounting Earth Day celebrations, instituting the campus's bike share program, and in 2011 helping UMass Amherst win a prestigious Stars Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Before heading to England she did a fellowship at Yale, where she helped revamp the student engagement program. "Working with people on tackling environmental sustainability issues is what I enjoy doing and hope to do for a long time to come," she says.

Howard French '79 (political science) has published a new book, China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa (Alfred A. Knopf). French has been New York Times bureau chief in Central America and the Caribbean, West and Central Africa, Japan, and China. He is the recipient of two Overseas Press Club awards and a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. The author of A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa, he has written for The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and Rolling Stone, among other national publications. He is on the faculty of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and lives in New York.

Ward Pike Messenger '59 (resource economics) is the author of The Water Closet: Ipswich River Watershed and Beyond (CreateSpace), an assortment of water-related essays.

Bruce Allen Murphy '73 (political science) has written Scalia: A Court of One (Simon & Schuster), an authoritative biography of the most controversial and outspoken Supreme Court justice of our time. Murphy is the Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he teaches American constitutional law and civil rights and liberties, American politics, and biographical writing. He is also the author of The Brandeis-Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices; Fortas: The Rise and Ruin of a Supreme Court Justice; and Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas. Murphy lives with his wife in the Lehigh Valley, PA.

Walter Mosley MA '80 (political science) has penned Debbie Doesn't Do It Anymore: A Novel (Doubleday). In this scorching, mournful, often explicit novel, a porn queen has to come to terms with her sordid life. Mosley is the author of more than forty books, most notably eleven previous Easy Rawlins mysteries, the first of which, Devil in a Blue Dress, was made into an acclaimed film starring Denzel Washington. Always Outnumbered was an HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne, adapted from his first Socrates Fortlow novel. A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Goddard College, he holds an MFA from CCNY and lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Two SBS Dean's Advisory Board members were pictured in the Annual Report of Donors, included in the most recent UMass MagazineChristine (Solt) Savage '92 (political science), partner and practice group leader for Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, Boston, for establishing the Dr. Charles W. and Doris J. Solt Scholarship; and Chair Benjamin R. Happ '98 (psychology) and his wife Amy '98 (communication disorders), who generously give unrestricted funds to allow the Chancellor to decide how best to use their donations. Happ, director of Capital Services for Credit Suisse in Boston, is responsible for coverage of international hedge fund clients. 

T.J. Houpes ’12 (journalism/political science) is now the news and web editor for Specialty Gas Report and CryoGas International, two trade publications that cater to the natural gas industry.

Anna Meiler ’12 (journalism/political science) is the nightside reporter and fill-in anchor for WNYT, the NBC affiliate in Albany, New York. 

Diane Lake ’74 (communication) has written screenplays for Miramax, Disney, Columbia, and Paramount, as well as numerous independent producers. She is an associate professor in the department of visual and media arts at Emerson College. She is featured talking about her work here.

Tracy Gebhart MPPA ’14 has been hired as a special education research analyst at Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City.

Patricia Tillmann MPPA ’10 works in Seattle with EnviroIssues, a public involvement and community outreach firm, helping engage the public in infrastructure and environmental cleanup decisions, and providing strategic communications support to clients in the natural resources and energy sectors.

Teresa Andresen MLA '83 is head of the landscape architecture program at the University of Porto, Portugal, and was the local chair for the annual meeting of the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools held at there. Prof. Jack Ahern (landscape architecture and regional planning), vice provost for International Programs at UMass Amherst, gave the keynote on “Novel Urban Ecosystems for Urban Resilience.”

Jonathan Johanntoberns-Tabb '11 (political science) earned a Presidential Management Fellowship with the Department of the Treasury. Johanntoberns-Tabb also offers help to other UMass SBS graduates who may be interested in the program.

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Department and Faculty News

Jacqueline Urla (anthropology) will be delivering the plenary lecture at the European Cooperation in Science and Technology [COST] meeting, “New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges” November 20-22, 2014 in Barcelona. The conference is part of a multi-year COST program aimed at facilitating international collaboration on the changing linguistic ecologies of Europe. Urla’s talk is entitled: “Shifting Landscapes of Language Ideology: Pride, Profit and Governmentality.”

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Emeritus Gerard Braunthal (political science). Braunthal died peacefully on October 27 with his sons by his side. He will be remembered fondly. 

We are pleased to welcome new faculty for the 2014/2015 academic year. Full listing of new faculty members along with their biographies and pictures can be found here.

Razvan Sibii (journalism) was interviewed by Radio France Internationale Romania about the upcoming U.S. midterm elections. (Practice your Romanian with this link!)

Brian McDermott (journalism) talked to a class about web design and development at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, via Skype. Also, photographs by McDermott are featured in the cover story featuring Senator Stanley Rosenberg in CommonWealth Magazine. Several observations by Prof. Ralph Whitehead (journalism) are also included.

At a conference last month in Doha, Qatar, Asst. Prof. David Mednicoff (public policy) presented the first data analysis from his three-year grant titled “The Rule of Law in Qatar: Comparative Insights and Policy Strategies.” 

Assoc. Prof. Brenda Bushouse (political science and public policy) recently presented to department chairs from around the Five Colleges a summary of the Five College Public Policy Initiative’s Curriculum Bridging Project.

Diane Curtis (political science), director of pre-law advising, has agreed to chair the group ordered by the Chancellor to review the confidential informant program with the UMass Amherst police after the recent news accounts of a student who had served as an informant before he died of a heroin overdose last year.

The Center for Heritage and Society, directed by Elizabeth Chilton (anthropology), has a number of personnel adjustments. Sam Redman (history), the new associate director, is working on issues surrounding heritage studies, public history, and oral history. Matthew Hill (anthropology) is a senior research fellow working on research grants related to heritage and sustainability for the Center. Sophia Labadi joins the Center as co-editor, and also new to the Center are graduate student assistants Evan Taylor and Erica Kowsz from the Anthropology Department. 

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SBS in the News

Boston Magazine, 10/30/14. Springfield Republican, 10/24/14. Diverseeducation.com, 10/21/14. ESPN.com, 10/9/14. Men’s basketball player Derrick Gordon ’15 (sociology) is profiled. Gordon says he decided to come out publicly as gay last spring because he was feeling miserable and considering quitting the sport. Now, he says, he couldn’t be happier and is looking forward to playing a leadership role on the team this season. Gordon also appeared in the Daily Hampshire Gazette on 10/8/14.

New York Times, 10/29/14. A 2008 study conducted by Mwangi wa Githinji (economics) and Frank Holmquist of Hampshire College is cited in a column about "poorism," where wealthy tourists visit slums in cities such as Nairobi and Kenya. They found that in Kenya, while agricultural production grew at 6.9 percent in 2006, 25 percent of that was attributable to growing flowers.

NESN.com, 10/27/14. Henry Dill ’18 (communication) named Hockey East Rookie of the week following a 42 save performance in 3-2 win over Northeastern.

CNN.com, 10/25/14. Provost Katherine S. Newman (sociology) is interviewed about the alleged shooter at a Seattle area high school on Oct. 24. She is the author of Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shooting

WFCR, 10/24/14. Brian Schaffner (political science) is interviewed about a new poll in the race for Governor that shows Republican Charlie Baker with a nine-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley, while other recent polling shows the race to be a dead heat. Schaffner, who is director of the UMass Amherst Poll, says some polling samples are way off, and that may be the case in this poll. Commonwealth Magazine, 10/24/14. Schaffner was among several pollsters who discussed the fractured state of the survey industry and the upcoming midterm elections during a meeting of the New England chapter of the American Association of Popular Opinion Research on Oct. 17. New York Times, 10/22/14. Research on campaign financing by Schaffner and Ray La Raja (political science) is cited in an op-ed piece about whether increased funding for political parties may lead to less polarization. Springfield Republican, 10/10/14. Schaffner has been awarded a $456,878 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create one of the largest multi-year election panel surveys ever produced. 

Concord Monitor, 10/26/14; NJToday.net, LA Times, 10/24/14. Arindrajit Dube (economics) is quoted in two news stories and an opinion piece on the economics of raising minimum wage.

Recorder, 10/22/14. Elizabeth Chilton (anthropology) presented a talk to a standing-room-only audience at the Deerfield River Watershed Association’s 25th anniversary on Oct. 21 at Four Rivers Charter School in Greenfield. Chilton discussed her research into Native American life and culture in the region, from the retreat of the glacier that covered most of New England to the point that the native peoples made contact with European colonists. 

WBZ-TV 4, 10/20/14. A new political poll from the WBZ-UMass Amherst Poll finds that the race for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire between Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is too close to call. Ray La Raja (political science), co-director of the Poll, says Shaheen is leading among women voters but not by as large a margin as indicated by earlier polls. WBUR, 10/9/14. A political analysis of why the race for governor between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker remains very close examines recent polling from the UMass Amherst Poll. Results collected from the Poll were also referenced in the Boston Globe, WBZ-TV 4, and the State House News Service on 10/6/14. Springfield Republican, 10/5/14, 10/4/14. The latest WBZ/UMass Amherst Poll is cited in a pair of news articles. 

New Yorker magazine, 10/27/14. Sheldon Goldman (political science) comments in a story about how President Obama’s judicial appointments are changing the federal courts as he selects a more diverse collection of people to be judges than previous presidents.

The Real News Network, 10/16/14. James K. Boyce of the Political Economy Research Institute is interviewed about a recent report he co-authored about how exposure to pollution in the country’s 435 U.S. House districts is unequal and that poor and non-white communities are more likely to be exposed to industrial pollution. 

Springfield Republican, 10/15/14. Dan Clawson (sociology) says the case of Holyoke teacher Agustin Morales, current president of the city’s teacher’s union, demonstrates why teachers need to have tenure.

WAMC, 10/13/14. Tim Barker (anthropology) says he’s pleased with the results of the recent four-week dig he and his team did at the former Springfield Armory site. He says they found evidence of human activity dating back centuries. 

Marketplace [NPR], 10/10/14. Gerald Friedman (economics) says the idea behind Monday holidays, such as the Columbus Day holiday, was to get Americans to enjoy a long weekend and spend money. 

U.S. News & World Report, 10/10/14. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics) and director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, comments in two stories about the economic impact of legalizing same-sex marriage. She is also featured in NBCNews.com on 10/10/14.

Los Angeles Times, 10/9/14. A news story on the debate on how much to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles cites recent research by Arindrajit Dube (economics). Dube is also cited in the Wall Street Journal on 10/2/14.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 10/8/14. Minutemen football player Tajae Sharpe ’16 (communication) has been added to the official watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation’s best wide receiver. Sharpe was also profiled in the Boston Globe on 10/3/14.

McClatchy DC, 10/7/14. C.N. Le (sociology) and director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Certificate Program, is quoted in a news story explaining why Asian-Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in the American South. 

Elle magazine, 10/7/14. A feature story on why some women are hiding their pregnancies from bosses cites recent research by Michelle Budig (sociology). Her research was also cited in the Washington Post on 10/2/14.

Bill Martinez Live, 10/6/14. Jesse Rhodes (political science) was interviewed on a nationally syndicated radio program about the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the prospects for the position’s nomination and the probable confirmation battle that will be fought by the Obama administration in Congress to secure the President’s preferred choice for the job. 

Reuters, 10/6/14. Tom Juravich (sociology) says the decision by a state panel that oversees Philadelphia schools to cancel contract negotiations and force teachers to begin paying part of the cost of health insurance is rare and unprecedented.

Guardian [UK]10/5/14. Robert Pollin (economics) and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, is the co-author of a recent report cited in an article on unemployment. Pollin's report was also featured in CNN.com on 10/3/14 and Thinkprogress.org on 10/2/14.

Springfield Republican, 10/3/14. French economist Thomas Piketty, author of the bestselling book Capital in the 21st Century, delivered the annual UMass Amherst Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture Thursday, Oct. 2 in the Student Union Ballroom. This lecture was sponsored by the Economics Department

Boston Globe, 10/3/14. Ray La Raja (political science) says in elections that feature ballot questions, such as the one this year in Massachusetts calling for repeal of the casino gambling law, the side pushing the negative vote enjoys a built-in advantage. 

Edtechmagazine.com, 10/2/14. Former SBS Dean Robert S. Feldman, deputy chancellor, was the co-host of a session at the EDUCAUSE 2014 conference on the future of textbooks. Feldman says he uses digital textbooks that provide him with specific feedback about how students are learning the material. 

News24Kenya, 10/1/14. Lynette Leidy Sievert (anthropology) questions a recent study that suggests men may be the cause of menopause because of their evolutionarily inclination to want to mate with younger women. 

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A Word from SBS

This e-letter has been created for alumni and friends of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SBS includes the degree-granting departments and programs of Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Journalism, Labor Studies, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Resource Economics, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), and Sociology. Among our ranks are 38,600 alumni, 3,700 undergraduate majors, and 560 graduate students. In addition to its departments, SBS is home to numerous centers and research institutions. Through the general education courses that SBS offers, the College’s 200 faculty members teach one quarter of the nearly 20,000 undergraduates on campus in any given semester.

Gifts from alumni and friends are vital to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Your investment allows us to create remarkable opportunities for today’s—and tomorrow's—students. If you are already a donor, please accept our sincere thanks. If not, please consider a gift to SBS for your department, financial aid, a purpose that speaks to your personal experiences and priorities, or an unrestricted designation. To make a gift online, click here. Or, send a check to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Draper Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 40 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9244. Questions? Contact James Mallet, 413.577.1700.

We welcome feedback related to this newsletter, the college in general, specific concerns, or topics of interest. Please address all correspondence to info@sbs.umass.edu. If you wish to add your name to the mailing list, or if you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us. If you have had a change of address, email or other personal information, you can update it online. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences respects your privacy. Your contact information will not be shared with anyone unrelated to the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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