February 2013 Newsletter

In this Issue

Political Scientist, ISSR Research Scholar Focuses on Minority Migrants in Europe

“My research focuses on the politics of ethnic and racial diversity in Europe,” says Rahsaan Maxwell, assistant professor of political science, who is among the first group of Social Science Research Scholars affiliated with the Institute for Social Science Research in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “As an African-American who grew up in New York City, I’ve been thinking about the complexities of diversity for as long as I can remember. Traveling outside the country in my teens and early twenties, I became fascinated with all the different ways societies can be organized.”

ISSR Research Scholar, Archaeologist Focuses on Anthropology through Race, Gender and Class

"Archeology is often thought of as ‘exotic’—far away from the everyday, in Egypt or Israel, Greece or Europe,” says assistant professor Whitney Battle-Baptiste (anthropology), a member of the first class of Research Scholars sponsored by the Institute for Social Science Research in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. 

Dube Research on Minimum Wage Tapped by White House, Media

Research by Arin Dube (economics) on minimum wage has been widely cited lately, including by President Obama in his State of the Union address when he called to increase the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour and then indexing it to inflation.

Civic Initiative Director Hannahan Meets with Young Leaders in Pakistan

After bringing over 63 Pakistani students to the UMass Amherst campus for the past three summers as participants of the Pakistani Young Leaders program, political science professor Mike Hannahan traveled to Islamabad in January, where he oversaw a reunion of that program’s alumni.

Other Topics of Interest

Rossi Lecture to Feature NOW President Terry O’Neill on Challenges Facing Feminists

Terry O'Neil

Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), will discuss the past, present and future challenges facing feminists at the 2013 Rossi Lecture on Tuesday, March 5, at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

Law Looms Large in Student’s Dreams

Ashley Berger

Ashley Berger ’13 (legal studies/history) claims to have entered UMass as the average freshman. However, as she progressed through her undergraduate career, Berger’s determined attitude and drive to succeed made her a standout.

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

Michael Otto

“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.

Writing for the Environment

Emily Zimmerman

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.

Ten for Ten: Center for Research on Families Hits Sweet Spot of Success

Center for Research on Families Logo

If a tenth anniversary isn’t enough cause for celebration, the UMass Amherst Center for Research on Families (CRF) is also riding high on the wave of its most successful year. Its research scholars boast grant acceptance rates well above the national average, and its flagship program has yielded upwards of $15 million in external funding— nearly $10 million of which was awarded within the past year.
Offsite link

Fulbright Award Goes to Alvarez for Research in Brazil

Sonia Alvarez

Sonia Alvarez, Leonard J. Horwitz Professor of Latin American Politics and Director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies (CLACLS), has received a Fulbright Lecturer/Research Award to support her research on feminism in Brazil. This award is not her first entry into the Fulbright community. Alvarez received a Fulbright-CIES Lecture-Research Award in 1992 and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship for 1982-83.

Sheldon Goldman Scholarship Established to Honor Professor Goldman

Sheldon Goldman

The Sheldon Goldman Scholarship was recently established to honor Professor Goldman for his nearly 50 years of teaching, service and research in the Department of Political Science and to celebrate his promotion to Distinguished Professor.

Shulman's Text Analytic Software Purchased by Canada-based Vision Critical

vision critical logo

After more than a decade in development, DiscoverText, a cloud-based text analytic software developed by Assistant Professor Stuart Shulman (political science), in part through his Qualitative Data Analysis Program (QDAP) Lab, has been purchased by Vision Critical, a Vancouver-based provider of consumer insight technologies and services. Shulman will be VP for text analytics.

UMass Turns 150, Celebrations Abound

UMass turns 150

Get into party mode! 2013 marks the 150th birthday of UMass Amherst. There's going to be a yearlong celebration, with an array of events scheduled throughout the year and particularly during Founder's Week, April 22-29. A celebratory website has been launched where you can find information about all of the events and view photos, a historical timeline, historical information and more. You'll also be seeing the 150th logo on UMass websites and other publications, both print and electronic.

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

Alumni News

Karen M. Cullen MRP '83 (landscape architecture and regional planning), the director of planning and community development in Ware, MA, and winner of the 2012 Professional Planner Award from the Massachusetts chapter of the American Planning Association, is profiled in the Springfield Republican.

Kevin Cullen '81 (journalism) is coauthor of a new book on James "Whitey" Bulger and portrays him as part defiant, part delusional, cloaked in something of a persecution complex.

Dr. Pierre Rouzier of University Health Services and Chaz Nielsen '06 (journalism) have written Henry Gets Moving, a book for children, ages 4-8, about a hamster who learns the hard way that living a healthy lifestyle is the way to go. Read a review...

If you follow football, then you probably already know that James Ihedigbo '07 (sociology), who is a safety with the Balitimore Ravens, won a Super Bowl ring this year. His picture on winning the game is terrific and says it all. During the week prior to the big game, Ihedigbo, who played in the Super Bowl last year with the New England Patriots, advised teammates on how to handle the intense media attention. Read more...

Clare Brown '96 (anthropology), associate chair and academic advisor for the Master of Arts in Exhibition Design Program at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in DC., is an exhibition designer with 15 years of experience in New York, Washington, and Massachusetts. She was a guest speaker in late January for the Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department's Zube Lecture Series, sharing with her audience the ins and outs of museum exhibition design. Click here for more information about Clare and her work.

Will McGuinness '10 (journalism), HuffPost College senior editor, wrote an article about a new study that found half of recent college grads work jobs that don't require a degree, and shortly after its publication participated with several others in a chat on Hufffington Live entitled "The Price of Diplomas."

Meredith DiMola '99 (STPEC/women's studies) received a master's degree in public administration from George Washington University in 2003. A Certified Professional Coach/CPC, she runs a career coaching company called Life's Work Career Coaching, helping mid-senior career professionals love the career they are in or find a career they can love. She also works with the UMass Alumni Association and offers discounts to her fellow alumni. Read more...

Jake Poole '75 (leisure studies and resources) retired and moved from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Tucson, AZ, last year, and writes, "After 22 years in the US Army and 15 years at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Janice and I have begun a new adventure: retirement. We are enjoying life and the warm days and nights in Arizona after 15 plus years of cold in Alaska."

Please send us your news! Also, view upcoming alumni events, sponsored by the Alumni Association, on their Events Listing. And check out MaroonCentral, the Alumni Association's online community. This is a FREE social networking service that encourages communication and professional networking among alumni and students through class notes, profiles, a searchable directory, and more.

Faculty and Department News

Heritage & Society, the journal co-edited by Profs. Elizabeth Chilton and Neil Silberman (anthropology), has been acquired by Maney Publishing. "This is an exciting development," says Chilton, and we are already seeing options for open access, online submission and production, publicity, etc. The journal is edited here at UMass at the Center for Heritage & Society in SBS." Take a look...

Associate Prof. Krista Harper (anthropology and public policy) has been named a University Service-Learning Faculty Fellow. She will receive training and support from the university’s Community Engagement and Service-Learning program to develop a new course with a service-learning component. “Participatory Digital and Visual Research” will be offered for the first time in fall 2013. Read more...

The Huffington Post has partnered with UMass Journalism's investigative journalism class to report on how institutions are responding to claims of sexual violence. Watch the discussion about how this came to be, featuring Prof. Steve Fox, Rosemary Kelly '13 (journalism/political science), a member of the class, and Will McGuinness '10 (journalism), Huffington Post senior editor, among others.

The first Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) “Research in Process Panel” of the Spring 2013 semester, “Social Science Research in Springfield,” took place on Thursday, February 7. The panel featured three social scientists who are engaged in research and engagement projects in Springfield: Sylvia Brandt (resource economics and public policy); Frank Sleegers (landscape architecture and regional planning); and Fred Rose (Center for Public Policy and Administration). Read more about their work.

Prof. Erica Scharrer is the new Chair of the Department of Communication. Her research interests involve the study of media content, opinions of media, media effects, and media literacy, particularly regarding gender and violence.

As more and more states are legalizing gay marriage and the Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on the Defense of Marriage Act, the Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA) will offer this summer an innovative and timely online course about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender social science, public policy and law. Read more...

"Portraits in Design" is a new lecture series at the National Building Museum that takes a biographical look at the iconic designers whose past work has had a lasting impact on our contemporary built world. Among the February speakers for the series was Assoc. Prof. Ethan Carr (Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning). He discussed the influential career of Frederick Law Olmsted, including New York’s Central Park, Boston’s Emerald Necklace, and the U.S. Capitol Grounds in Washington, D.C.

We are sorry to report deaths of former faculty members. George I. Treyz, economics professor from 1968-1995 and founder of Regional Economic Models Inc. in Amherst, died Feb. 14. Read obituaries in the New York Times and the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Also on Feb. 14, Kenneth L. Brown, retired professor of communication, died in South Hadley. Read his obituary. William K. Price, a retired professor of communication who taught at the university from 1963 until 1996, died on Feb. 8. A resident of South Deerfield, he was a lifelong learner with a broad range of interests. Read his obituary. David W. Yaukey, professor of sociology from 1964-1991, died Feb. 9. He was best known for his pioneering fertility surveys that encouraged and supported family planning programs in developing countries and shortened their population explosions. Read his obituary.

SBS in the News

Boston Globe, WBUR, 2/26/13. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, comments about how the federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, will affect Massachusetts. He says while the reduced federal spending won’t crash the state economy, it will serve as a drag on growth. Pollin also says there is room to cut defense spending, but cutting now is a poor idea. UPI.com, 2/24/13. Pollin says sequester federal budget cuts will hurt the economic recovery. If the cuts take place, it signals to international political leaders that the U.S. political system is unable to come up with a more nuanced policy and is instead pursuing an austerity agenda that could harm both the U.S. and the global economy. The Real News Network, 2/19/13. Pollin discusses why President Obama cannot meet carbon emission targets he has set and at the same time support more oil and gas production. Bloomberg, 2/19/13. Pollin is interviewed about why the unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high. Salon.com, 2/12/13. Pollin says efforts by conservatives to repeal or roll back Renewable Electricity Standards in states will hamper economic growth and curtail growth in renewable energy industries and damage state economies. Yahoo! Finance [Australia], 1/24/13. Pollin, author of Back to Full Employment, says to boost the economy and lower unemployment the Federal Reserve should put a cap on bank reserves, forcing them to use nearly $1 trillion currently sitting unused.

Real News Network, 2/25/13. James Heintz, associate director and research professor at PERI, says President Obama and the GOP are focusing on budget cutting instead of creating more employment. Fiscal policy, which should be used to aid recovery, is being turned into political brinkmanship.

New York Times [Economix blog], 2/25/13. Nancy Folbre (economics) says the online economy may be helping us in ways that are hard to measure. Research by PhD candidate Anders Fremstad MA '11 (economics), she says, is one way to quantify online services. New York Times [Economix blog], 2/18/13. Folbre points out why developing and expanding early education programs, as suggested by President Obama as a long-term policy, makes economic sense but, like Social Security and Medicare, are likely to come under the deficit cutting knife. New York Times [Economix blog], 2/11/13. Folbre says that worries about the U.S. suffering from having too few children are overstated, as are concerns that the growing percentage of older Americans will hobble the economic diversity of our society. New York Times [Economix blog], 1/28/13. Folbre discusses the book Documenting Desegregation, co-authored by Donald Tomaskovic-Devy (sociology) and Kevin Stainback. While overt discrimination based on race and gender is no longer culturally acceptable, both covert bias and institutional inertia perpetuate inequality. In the words of President Obama, "Our journey is not complete." Marketplace.com, 1/28/13. As of yesterday, merchants in 40 states can charge you more to swipe your card. However, Folbre says it’s unlikely that retailers will pass on the new charges because "small businesses are really terrified that they'll discourage customers."

BillMoyers.com, 2/22/13. Prof. Emeritus Richard Wolff (economics) was a guest on "Bill Moyers & Company" and discussed raising the minimum wage and why it is necessary to make major changes to the capitalist system so that it can survive and serve ordinary people, not just the economic elites. Read the profile of Wolff posted on the BillMoyers.com website.

Time, 2/20/13. Brad Tuttle (journalism) addresses how gasoline prices have recently increased, just as they did around the same time last year. Time, 2/19/13. Tuttle examines Carnival’s compensation offer to cruise passengers who were stranded at sea on a disabled ship. Time, 2/7/13.Tuttle writes about how the foreclosure crisis in Florida means real estate deals for those with the resources to take advantage. Time, 2/8/13. Tuttle writes about the ethics of taking advantage of mistakes on airline fair listings online to get cheap flights. Time, 2/13/13. Tuttle says joining the Burmese python hunt in Florida is a really bad idea on many levels. Time, 2/6/13. Tuttle discusses the decline in "old-fashioned stick-ups" at banks, noting that with ATMs and online transactions, there is a sharp increase in scams and electronic theft. Time, 2/5/13. Tuttle focuses on consumers, who want to continue buying cars powered – at least in part – by gasoline, and that accounts for the popularity of the Toyota Prius. However, other car manufacturers are producing hybrids which is heating up the competition. Time, 1/29/13. Tuttle says consumers like the idea of electric cars, but so far haven’t gotten past concerns about high costs and limited range for the vehicles. Time, 1/28/13. Tuttle says airlines are running out of ideas for new fees to charge customers.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 2/16/13. A story looks at efforts by anthropologists Robert Paynter and Donna "Rae" Gould to repatriate the remains of Native Americans. Originally dug up in 1925 by an Amherst college faculty member, the remains later were given to UMass Amherst. Paynter and Gould have been working for more than a decade to return the materials to the appropriate tribes.

WFCR Morning Edition Extra, 2/15/13. Brian McDermott (journalism) discussed his current photography exhibit, Saturday Night in America, at Flying Object in Hadley. Be sure to click through to see some of the photos.

WWLP Channel 22, 2/14/13. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute and PERI researcher Jeannette Wicks-Lim discuss the effort to boost the minimum wage.

The American Prospect, 2/13/13. Tatishe Nteta (political science) finds that working class African-Americans join their white counterparts in high support for restrictive immigration policies.

PBS MediaShift, 2/13/13. In an article on whether news media outlets should be willing to pay college interns, Steve Fox (journalism) says it’s nice that City University of New York has a policy of having the school pay interns if the news outlet won’t, but that the onus should be on the company.

Real News Network, 2/13/13. Gerald Epstein (economics), discussing President Obama's State of the Union address, says his language on wages, infrastructure and climate change could help shift the debate but didn't go far enough.

The International, 2/11/13. Kevin Young (political science) comments about how the U.S. government is suing Standard & Poor’s for its role in the financial meltdown of 2008 that nearly destroyed the international financial system.

Federal News Radio, 2/11/13. Jane Fountain (political science and public policy) discusses how federal agencies can better work together. Fountain, who has recently published a report on such cross-agency collaboration, is director of the National Center for Digital Government.

Financial Times, 2/8/13 [requires registration]. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, comments about how support for legalizing same-sex marriage is growing around the world.

Montana Public Radio News, 2/5/13. A study done by the Political Economy Research Institute is cited in an op-ed about the need to preserve timberlands in Montana. The PERI study found that for every $1 million invested in forest restoration creates 40 jobs, compared to 14 jobs created for the investment in solar power, or 13 jobs for an investment in wind industries.

Bloomberg, 2/4/13. Neil Silberman (anthropology), commenting about the dig at Israel's Beth Shemesh, notes that its having been a border town and a source of tension between the Philistines and the kingdom of Judah make it most interesting.

Bloomberg BNA, 2/4/13. Michael Ash (economics) comments on a report that says the amount of toxic material released in the air, water and through other means—and the risk—has declined since 2001, reminding us that it is important to remember that all toxic materials are dangerous, but some are considerably more toxic than others. WGBY-TV 57, 1/23/13. Michael Ash (economics), chair of the department, discusses ideas for dealing with the federal debt ceiling on the talk show “Connecting Point.”

San Francisco Chronicle, 2/3/13. Sheldon Goldman (political science) says President Obama has nominated more ex-prosecutors to be federal judges than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

axcentral.com [The Republic], 2/3/13. David Cort (sociology) says House Speaker John Boehner is likely to be cautious in how he handles possible legislation to reform the national immigration laws. He says Boehner will probably wait to see what kind of bill comes out of the Senate before signaling whether he will support or oppose the effort because he doesn’t want to alienate his conservative caucus members.

Bloomberg Business Week, 1/31/13. Why do people lie at work? Dean Robert S. Feldman explains. West Virginia Gazette, 1/26/13. Since Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah, SBS Dean Robert S. Feldman, author of The Liar in Your Life, has received much media attention related to Armstrong's history of lies. Nothing about Armstrong’s case is out of the ordinary, says Feldman, because we live in a society where lying is widespread and quite acceptable. People often lie to protect their self-image and eventually justify this action because they are telling others what they want to hear.

NPR, 1/30/13. in a story about controversy surrounding the term “illegal immigrant,” Jonathan Rosa (anthropology) says the phrase is contradictory, but points out that "undocumented immigrant" doesn't quite fit either because the term "makes it seem as though there's [just been] an administrative mistake, as if a document wasn't issued." He uses the phrase “unauthorized migrant” to describe people in this country illegally or without proper immigration documents, noting that a “migrant” is someone who is moving across national borders, without presumptions about legal status.

Bloomberg, 1/29/31. Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), director of the Labor Center, comments about the U.S. Court of Appeals' decision that the recess appointments of 3 members of the National Labor Relations Board were invalid, putting all of the board’s actions into question.

Inside Higher Ed, Physorg.com, 1/24/13; Science Daily, News Blaze [Australia], 1/23/13. In a study published in the January issue of Fathering, sociologists Jennifer Lundquist and Joya Misra, along with KerryAnn O'Meara of the University of Maryland (formerly of UMass), examined assumptions that men take unfair advantage of parental leave at universities.

WGBY-TV 57, 1/22/13. Amel Ahmed (political science) discussed the ongoing political transformation underway in Egypt on “Connecting Point.” She recently traveled to Egypt to see the situation first-hand.

Washington Post, 1/23/13. A story on the decision to allow women in combat roles cites a study conducted among 30,000 active-duty personnel by Jennifer Lundquist (sociology), published in the American Sociological Review a few years ago. It showed that women consistently reported higher job satisfaction in the military than male counterparts of the same ethnicity. This trend held true for African Americans, Hispanics and Whites, and is the exact opposite of what sociologists see in the private sector.

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, 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, including story ideas, to Sabine Cray, director of communications and marketing. 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.

Back to Top