February 2015 Newsletter

In this Issue

Social Science Matters: Seth Goldman

Seth Goldman is an honors assistant professor in the Communication Department. He examines the effects of mass media and political communication on stereotypes and prejudices, with a focus on public opinion regarding race and sexual orientation.

Senior Secures Internship with NBC Nightly News

“Journalism is an excellent outlet to tell stories and I believe journalists have the responsibility to be the voice of the voiceless,” says Daniel Rodriguez ’15 (journalism/political science).

Social Science Matters: Julie Caswell

Julie Caswell, professor of resource economics, teaches courses focused on the economic organization of food systems and the economics of food safety and nutrition internationally. Her current research is on the economics of food certification. 

Study Abroad Experience Made Possible by Ansin Scholarship

“My experience was truly life changing,” says Alyssa Lark ’16 (communication). “I was able to travel to 9 different countries and I met so many remarkable people along the way. I am beyond grateful for having received this fellowship. I had the time of my life!”

Other Topics of Interest

Whitney Battle-Baptiste Named Director of W.E.B. Du Bois Center

Whitney Battle-Baptiste

Whitney Battle-Baptiste, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been appointed director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at the UMass Amherst Libraries.

Mari Castañeda Named First Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow

Mari Castaneda

Professor Mari Castañeda (communication) has been appointed as the first Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow, effective at the beginning of the spring semester.

Social Science Matters: Kevin Young

Kevin Young

Kevin Young, assistant professor of political science, has research interests in the areas of international political economies, with a particular focus on financial regulations; transnational policy networks; and the role of private businesses in the global economy. 

Feel Good Friday: Multi-Generational Minutemen

Barrett Family

Sïonan Barrett ’16 (journalism) has made a name for herself on campus; in fact, she comes from a family of Minutemen who have made just as much of an impact.

Social Science Matters: Robert Pollin

Robert Pollin

Robert Pollin is a Distinguished Professor of Economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). He is mainly a macroeconomist, but he is also very interested in issues related to generating employment opportunities, such as, building a green economy and offering decent work conditions. 

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

Alumni News

Brittney Figueira ’14 (journalism) accepted a position in Charleston, South Carolina as morning news producer for the NBC local affiliate, WCBD-TV.

Washington Post Correspondent Dan Lamothe ’04 (journalism) discusses the the Brian Williams scandal.

Paul Neville ’73 (LARP/environmental design), alumnus and Vietnam War veteran, is profiled in a column in The Boston Globe on 2/4/15.

Alyssa Creamer ’14 (journalism) and Dan Glaun ’12 (political science) just published a story on VICE titled "The New England College That's Going into Lockdown for the Super Bowl."

Kiri Mullen ’13 and Kristina Kulyabina ’14 (journalism) are looking for contributors to Spiritern, their own travel site. If you have good stories or images that you think might be of interest to them, contact them.

Trustee Victor Woolridge ’80 (legal studies) of Springfield was named chair of the Board of Trustees by Gov. Charlie Baker on Jan. 26, 2015. Woolridge, who is vice president of Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, has chaired the board’s Committee on Administration and Finance since 2011. His term on the board expires in 2019.

Shaina Mishkin ’14 and Nick O'Malley ’11 (journalism) published an article and photo story on MassLive.com titled, "I watched Nick O'Malley eat six Ruby Tuesday salads so you don't have to."

Will McGuinness10 (journalism) left Olympia Media Group after founding its New York City office and doubling the size of the company's editorial operations as VP of Content. In August, he joined Columbia University, where he manages the university's digital and social media strategy and content. In 2015, he will advise the Columbia Journalism Review and the Pulitzer Prizes on digital strategy and audience development projects.

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Department and Faculty News

Public Engagement Project 2015 Fellow Paul Collins (political science) interviews with Voice of America from the UMass Studio.

Prof. Shaheen Pasha (journalism) recently published a story on Pakistan's blasphemy laws in The Daily Beast.

Lauren A. McCarthy (political science) published Human Trafficking and the New Slavery and Local-Level Law Enforcement: Muscovites and their Uchastkovyy.

Ray La Raja (political science) published Campaign finance laws that make small donations public may lead to fewer people contributing and to smaller donations.

Bruce Desmarais, Vincent G. Moscardelli, Brian F. Schaffner, and Michael Kowal (political science) published Measuring legislative collaboration: The Senate press events network. 

Ph.D. Alum Lonce Bailey and Prof Emeritus Jerry Mileur (political science) have a newly edited volume of In Defense of the Founders Republic

Dr. Janice Irvine (sociology) was profiled on DatingAdvice.com about her recent article, "Is sexuality research ‘dirty work’?" Read the full article.

The Center for Public Policy and Administration has been named among the most innovative public service programs in the country by Best Value Schools. “Being recognized nationally in this way is a testament to all the great work that CPPA’s faculty, students and staff do every day,” says CPPA Director M.V. Lee Badgett.

LARP is pleased to announce its newly formed and approved graduate certificate: Climate Change, Hazards and Green Infrastructure.

Prof. Deirdre Breakenridge, an instructor with the Online Certificate of Journalism, has just been named one of the Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ.com. Listen to a podcast interview with Breakenridge.

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SBS in the News

Valley Advocate, 2/25/15. Ray La Raja (political science) comments in a story about the impact of political donations on local political races.

Springfield Republican, 2/25/15. Evan Scribner ’16 (political science), treasurer of Students for Justice in Palestine, says he doesn’t know who put up disturbing posters critical of the organization on the Amherst campus last week. He also says the university administration has been supportive. “They understand it’s hate speech.” Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life, issued a statement saying, “This poster was deeply upsetting to members of our student community. We know similar misleading posters have been found on other campuses across the country as part of an organized effort connected to an outside group. Such actions serve only to undermine civil discourse and prevent sustained conversation on difficult issues.”

Washington Post, 2/25/15. A columnist writing about a new report that finds part-time workers get less paid time off than full-time workers notes research by Nancy Folbre, emerita professor of economics, on how other countries handle part-time and full-time workers’ time off.

Buenos Aires Herald, 2/25/15. Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, 2/23/15. The Billfold, 2/6/15. Mashable, 2/3/15. There is continued coverage about actress Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech at the Academy Awards where she called for wage equality for women that cites recent research conducted by Michelle Budig (sociology). Budig finds there is a motherhood penalty for women with children that is larger than the wage gap for unmarried women. The motherhood pay gap is 24 percent for married women compared to their husbands and single mothers see a 17 percent wage gap, according to Budig’s research.

Huffington Post, 2/24/15. A column looking at the relationship between income inequality and the decline in the marriage rate cites research by Jennifer Lundquist (sociology) that finds the military fosters higher rate of marriage and low divorce rates and that those outcomes are the same for white and black soldiers. She says this is caused by the stable employment that encourages raising children.

U.S. News & World Report, 2/23/15. A story noting that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida teaches a college course at Florida International University says he’s not the only sitting member of Congress to do so. U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal of Springfield has taught a journalism course at UMass Amherst since 1998.

ZMEscience.com, 2/23/15. Washington Post, 2/19/15. Researchers from the UMass Amherst anthropology department and Brooklyn College have led a team that has discovered what is likely the most extensive collection of extinct lemur fossils ever found in an underwater cave. In the fall of 2014, co-primary investigators Laurie Godfrey (professor emerita of anthropology) and Alfred Rosenberger, professor of anthropology and archaeology at Brooklyn College, found thousands of specimens in the first exploration of three deep underwater inland caves on the island of Madagascar off of the southeastern coast of Africa. During two days of extraction, Godfrey and Rosenberger examined bones removed from the submerged caves by a team of eight divers assembled from around the world.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 2/23/15. A new office building to house the Political Economy Research Institute will be built on a parcel on North Pleasant Street that serves as the so-called gateway between the campus and downtown Amherst. Economics Department Chairman Gerald Friedman is quoted in this article along with Robert Pollin, co-director of the institute and president of the Research Support Fund.

The Real News Network, 2/23/15; The Kansas City Star, 2/21/15. Gerald A. Epstein (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, is interviewed about whether the European Central Bank’s recent announcement that it is adopting a policy of quantitative easing will help stimulate the economy of the 19-national European Union. He says it’s unlikely to have much effect. Epstein also comments in a story about how state lawmakers in Missouri often rely on economists at the University of Missouri’s Economic & Policy Analysis Research Center to determine the cost of proposed legislation. He says when the center develops models to see the impact of legislation, the type of model it uses can have an impact on the outcome. Critics of the center say it receives money from conservative donors and may be favoring their ideology when it does analysis.

Marketplace [NPR], Fortune, 2/19/15. Thomas F. Juravich (sociology) and Arin Dube (economics) comment in stories about Wal-Mart’s move to increase its starting wage to $9 per hour, rising to $10 per hour next February. Juravich says it is a symbolic victory for Wal-Mart and that the retail giant is trying to lessen pressure to pay its workers even more. Dube says the increase is good news for workers.

New York Times, 2/19/15. A columnist notes that Sheldon Goldman (political science), an expert on federal judicial appointments, says Obama has appointed a majority of women and nonwhite males to the federal bench. Goldman says 42 percent of judges appointed by Obama are women and 36 percent are minorities.

Voice of America, 2/18/15. Paul Collins (political science/legal studies) commented on the decision by a U.S. federal judge to temporarily block President Obama’s executive order shielding millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

WBUR “Radio Boston,” 2/18/15. Boston Globe, 2/11/15. Thomas F. Juravich (sociology) comments about President Obama’s criticism of Staples Inc. for its policy of threatening to fire part-time workers if they work more than 25 hours and trigger the company’s obligation to provide them with health insurance. Juravich says employers have long been using this method to reduce costs. He also says the president’s involvement in the issue gives it much greater legitimacy.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 2/16/15. M.J. Alhabeeb (resource economics) says it’s important to hire financial planners who are certified by the Financial Planner Board of Standards. That assures they have the training necessary to carry out your wishes, he says.

WGGB-TV 40, 2/13/15. Jennifer Lundquist (sociology) says online dating has become one of the most popular ways for meeting people and significant others.

Springfield Republican, 2/12/15. Springfield resident and undergraduate Jesse Lederman (political science) has announced his candidacy for an at-large seat on the Springfield City Council.

Cardhub.com, 2/11/15. M.J. Alhabeeb (resource economics) is interviewed about Valentine’s Day. He says consumer spending for the holiday is growing and likely to continue that trend. He also says enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day is driven both by corporate influence and history.

Massachusetts Daily Collegian, 2/4/15. Colby Sears ’17 (journalism) writes an article on a new mobile app that allows you to see the late night menu from Berkshire and Worcester dining commons.

Al.com, 2/6/15. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, says if same-sex marriage is legalized in Alabama there will be a moderate positive impact on that state’s economy.

The Real News Network, KCET, 2/2/15. Nation’s Restaurant News, 1/29/15. PBS Newshour, 1/28/15. CBS MoneyWatch, KIRO-FM Seattle [Wash.], 1/27/15. KFBK-AM Sacramento [Calif.], KSTE-AM Sacramento [Calif.], KPRC-AM Houston [Texas], 1/28/15. Jezebel.com, 1/24/15. Politico, Al Jazeera America, 1/23/15. FastCasual.com, 1/22/15. Economists Robert Pollin and Jeannette Wicks-Lim, researchers from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), have released a working paper verifying the ability of American fast food restaurants to more than double the minimum wage of their lowest paid workers to $15 an hour over a four-year period without causing the widespread employment losses and decline in profits often cited by critics of such increases.

Boston Globe, 2/2/15. Gerald Friedman, acting chair of economics, has a letter in the Boston Globe about the cancelation of the Vermont health care plan. 

Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 1/30/15. Whitney Battle-Baptiste (anthropology) has been appointed director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at the UMass Amherst Libraries.

Urban Milwaukee, 1/30/15. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 1/22/15. Elizabeth Krause (anthropology) published an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel with Aline Gubrium (community health education) in which they characterize the teen pregnancy awareness campaign launched by the United Way of Greater Milwaukee as cruel and misguided. The pair cites their work with the Hear Our Stories digital storytelling project in Holyoke as a way in which young parents can transform stigma and misperceptions by speaking out about their own lives.

WHYY [Philadelphia], 1/28/16. Joya Misra (sociology/public policy) is interviewed on the NPR show Radio Times about the high cost of quality child care and how this can have an impact on working families. Misra says many families need assistance in paying for childcare and says government programs to provide funding are one way to make that happen.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 1/29/15. Sarah Louise Hawes, 91, of Amherst, a retired professor of home economics, died Jan. 26.

Springfield Republican, 1/29/15. Gerald Friedman (economics) says former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” dramatically improved the economic conditions for senior citizens, that, in turn, helped the next generation prosper because they didn’t have to worry about supporting their aging parents.

The American Prospect, Huffington Post, 1/28/15. Robert Pollin (economics) and colleagues argue for a massive investment in green energy.

Springfield Republican, 1/27/15. Linebacker Adam Richard ’16 (economics) was named among six other UMass football players to the Mid-American Conference All-Academic Team with a GPA of 3.33.

DNAIndia.com, 1/24/15. Research by M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, is cited in a report on the business world attempting to integrate the LGBT community into the work place.

KPFA Radio [Berkeley, Calif.], 1/25/15. Gerald Epstein (economics) is interviewed about the tax plans proposed by President Obama during the State of the Union.

The Real News Network, 1/23/15. Jeannette Wicks-Lim (economics) is interviewed regarding the decision of health insurance company Aetna to increase its minimum wage to $16 an hour.

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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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