March 2013 Newsletter

In this Issue

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.”

LARP Leader, ISSR Research Scholar Prepares Communities for Future Hazards

“I am quite passionate about helping communities prepare to meet the challenges of this century,” says Elisabeth Hamin, associate professor and new department head for Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. In addition to her newly acquired administration work, Hamin focuses on land use planning, particularly as it relates to climate change adaptation.

New Communication Chair Erica Scharrer

Professor Erica Scharrer began her new role as chair of the Department of Communication just prior to the start of the second semester. She brings both her incredible experience in Communication and her devoted support of faculty and students to the position.

Political Scientist, ISSR Scholar Bruce Desmarais Focuses on Computational Social Science

“If you had asked me when I graduated from high school what I would be doing a decade later, I never would have said ‘college professor,’” says Asst. Prof. Bruce Desmarais (political science). But as his college career at Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) developed, Desmarais became captivated with the social sciences and teaching.

Other Topics of Interest

SBS Senior Celebration Ceremony, Call for Pictures

Commencement Medal

The SBS Senior Celebration Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 1:00 p.m. in the Mullins Center. Due to the popularity of last year's pre-ceremony slide show, we will create a new one featuring this year's graduates. Seniors, please send a high-res .jpg of yourself ...somewhere on campus, on a study abroad experience, during an internship, or doing something UMass-related.

Badgett Discusses Same Sex Marriage, Economic Impacts

Lee Badgett

On March 26, 2013 M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, discussed the U.S. Supreme Court hearing on same-sex marriage with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line."

Resource Economics Joins SBS

resource economics

We are excited to announce that the Department of Resource Economics is now part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. To avoid confusion, the Department will finish out the academic year with the Isenberg School of Management (including the Senior Celebration Ceremony), but all email addresses have been changed, and you'll be seeing news about the department in SBS communications. It's a great fit and we welcome all faculty, alumni and students from Resource Economics to our family.

SBS Names Outstanding Teachers for 2013

BJ Roche and David Cort

This year’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award goes to BJ Roche ’78, senior lecturer, advisor and internship coordinator in Journalism, and David Cort, assistant professor of Sociology.

Bateman Scholar Knobloch Addresses Strategy for Low-Carbon Future

Kevin Knobloch

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.

New Academic Classroom Building Under Construction

New Academic Classroom Building

Construction is moving apace for the New Academic Classroom Building, which will be the home for Communication, Journalism, Film Studies and Linguistics beginning in fall 2014.

Learn to Build a Basic Website Via MOOC

Journalism MOOC

Journalism is excited to offer UMass Amherst’s first Massive Open Online Class (MOOC) this summer. Starting on May 20, a free course called Building a Basic Website will be taught by Journalism's Brian McDermott.

UMass Poll Shows Strong Support for Minimum Wage Hike and Assault Weapons Ban

UMass Poll Logo

The results of a new national UMass Poll released in mid-March show strong public support for an assault weapons ban and a broad consensus in favor of a higher federal minimum wage. Additionally, President Barack Obama enjoys high personal favorability, while Speaker John Boehner is viewed as equally unfavorable.

SBS, Commonwealth Honors College Junior Named Truman Finalist

Renée Barouxis

Renée Barouxis '14 (political science) has been named a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The prestigious award is for outstanding students preparing for careers in public service. She was chosen from a pool of 629 applications from 293 colleges and universities, and vies to be among the 60-65 college juniors to be selected nationwide.

Meet Me After Class

Shaina Mishkin

A photo essay by Shaina Mishkin '14 (journalism), published in the latest UMass Magazine, included some personal commentary about her UMass experience, as well as images of Dylan Lurvey '14 (communication) doing slacklines and Tommy Verdone '14 (journalism) browsing records in Northampton.

Former UMass Chancellor Randolph Bromery Dies at 87

Randolph Wilson Bromery

Randolph Wilson “Bill” Bromery, chancellor of UMass from 1971-79 and Commonwealth Professor emeritus of geophysics, died Feb. 26 in Danvers, MA. Bromery led the university through one of the most dynamic and sometimes turbulent periods in its 150-year history, establishing a reputation for problem solving and for building both diversity and consensus. Following his retirement as chancellor and executive vice president in 1979, Bromery went on to lead Westfield State, Springfield College and Roxbury Community College, retiring in 2003. An obituary in the Springfield Republican includes a slide show and a video.

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

Alumni News

Recent alumni publications include Indigeneity: Collected Essays (New Pacific Press) coedited by John Brown Childs '64 (sociology) and Guillermo Delgado-P. It focuses on the global indigenous peoples' movement. Jason Rubin '85 (journalism) has penned The Grave and the Gay (VantagePoint Publications). Based on the English folk ballad "Matty Groves," this first novel centers on love triangles leading to an explosive climax.  B2B Marketing Confessions (Lulu.com) by John J. Wall '92 (economics) offers insights on how marketing affects every step of the customer life cycle. Martin Comack MS '99 (labor studies) wrote Wild Socialism: Workers Councils in Revolutionary Berlin, 1918-21 (University Press of America). It examines the rise, development, and decline of revolutionary councils of industrial workers at the end of WWI. Lori Bindig PhD '09 (communication) and Andrea Bergstrom MA '05, PhD '11 (communication) have teamed up to write The O.C.: A Critical Understanding (Lexington Books), a feminist cultural studies analysis of Fox TV's hit teen television drama. Massachusetts Cranberry Culture: A History from Bog to Table (The History Press) by Jacob Walker '10 (anthropology) and UMass history professor Robert Cox traces the evolution of cranberry culture in the Bay State, exploring the delectable history of this quintessential New England industry.

Diane Curtis, director of pre-law advising on campus, has been busy posting stories of lawyer alumni on the Pre-Law blog. Recent Q and As include Iraq veteran Richard A. Sugarman '92 (political science), assistant general counsel at Boston Medical Center, and Joseph Roche '05 (political science), an associate at Army & Lee, P.C., Worcester.

Chris Greer '88 (economics) of Westport, CT, is competing in the cyber-monitored five-event CrossFit Open global athletic contest, designed to test, not train, fitness. Results are posted on a leader board on the CrossFit Open site. More than 120,000 participants worldwide in 17 regions are entered in what may well be the single largest sports competition event in the world. The contest culminates in Carson, CA, in July when the top performers will meet face-to-face in the five-event final.

The New Yorker's photo blog included an excerpted interview with photojournalist Ben Brody '12 (journalism) from the upcoming book Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq by Michael Kamber. Click on the picture arrows to get to the Brody piece.

Bill Milhomme '72 (political science) of Foxboro, MA, wrote a letter to the editor of UMass Magazine acknowledging that he owes everything to his UMass education, but worries about how many Massachusetts students, given the higher bar for acceptance, are being denied the opportunity he's had. Read the letter...

Rick Pitino '75 (sociology), head basketball coach at Louisville, was mentioned in an article about the development of sports at UMass.

The most recent UMass Magazine included an article about Frank A. Waugh, head of the Division of Horitculture and ID'd as "The Man Who Cultivated Mass Aggie. It quoted Ruth A. Faulk White '29 (landscape architecture): "He was a teacher whose attitude lived with you for years. He brought all of your senses to his teaching, to the point where you weren't just learning about the subject but about life." That article was based heavily of the master's degree thesis on Waugh by Joseph A. DiCarlo, Jr. '67 (landscape architecture), MLA '73.

In Sept., 2012 John Milkiewicz '86 (political science) retired from the the U.S. Dept. of State's Diplomatic Security Service. He lives in Reston, VA, with his family and is self-employed as a security consultant. "If anyone wants to reach out and give me holler, I can be reached at locke45@hotmail.com. I will also see you at the UMass RFC reunion and pig roast this coming summer!"

Marie Phillips '78 (sociology), MPA '91 explored "Our Feline History" in the latest UMass Magazine. She worked in Human Resources on campus for 25 years, and her book about the campus cats, Dadcat University, was published in 2011.

In his second term as State Representative for Massachusetts' 2nd Berkshire District, Paul Mark MS '08 (labor studies) was appointed vice chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education.

Stephen Harvey '82 (political science) of Pepper Hamilton LLP is president of the board of directors of the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP). The board oversees operations of this award-winning legal services organization. With a legal staff of 8 and a corps of over 350 volunteer lawyers, paralegals and law students, HAP provides legal services to homeless families and single people in Philadelphia. Pepper Hamilton has a long-standing relationship with HAP and currently staffs two HAP legal clinics, one for homeless single women and one for homeless veterans.

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

The Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning will offer a 5-course graduate Cultural Landscape Management Certificate Program, beginning in 2014. And this year the Department will offer a range of summer on-line courses including Planning for Climate Change Mitigation, Planning for Climate Change Adaptation, Green Infrastructure, and Geographic Information Systems. These are available through UMass Continuing & Professional Education and do not require UMass admission.

Shaheen Pasha joined the Journalism faculty in January to teach international journalism, but she's still reporting on the Middle East. Check out her latest piece in Quartz. Click here to read more about Pasha.

Jarice Hanson (communication) again served as a pronouncer at the 13th Northampton Education Foundation’s Adult Spelling Bee. Proper pronunciation in a spelling bee is crucial, for spellers who look for a variety of clues to puzzle out the correct spelling. The winning team spelled "braggadocio" correctly.

Prof. Emeritus Robert Christensen (resource economics) has published Gaylord Goose (Peppertree Press), a fun story of a young Canada goose who doesn't want to fly south for the winter and the adventures he has when winter comes to his pond in Maine.

SBS in the News

NBCNews.com, 4/1/13. Jonathan Wynn (sociology) says people enjoy pulling April Fool’s pranks because they get a “swift psychological kick out of being the fooler, and for some, even the fool.” Culturally, jokesters have a kind of magical status and are people who gain status by being pranksters.

U.S. News & World Report [from HealthDay], 4/1/13. Commenting on a new study that finds most young people don’t engage in consensual sex before their teen years, Amy Schalet (sociology) says, the “issues at stake” for younger children engaging in sex are much different than those faced by teen-agers.

New York Times [Economix blog], 4/1/13. Nancy Folbre (economics) focuses on how gender roles have been bending, creating greater diversity in socially acceptable behavior for both men and women. New York Times [Economix blog], 3/25/13. Addressing efforts to craft and pass federal legislation aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Folbre says tax-and-dividend system may be a politically viable way to proceed. New York Times [Economix blog], 3/18/13. Folbre discusses what an unregulated global labor market might look like, using Mechanical Turk as an example. New York Times [Economix blog], 3/11/13. Folbre blogs about the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chaez using his nation’s oil wealth to invest in the human capabilities of his people, but now we have to wait to see if his policies worked the way he intended.

USA Today, Detroit Free Press, 3/28/13. Tom Juravich (labor studies) offers comments about the impact of new right-to-work legislation in Michigan. He says the existence of the new law is symbolically huge in a state that has been a traditional bastion of union power, but says in the short run it may not have much impact on unions. Salon, 3/26/13. Juravich says temporary workers are often put in dangerous situations or assigned hazardous tasks because employers view them as less valuable than permanent employees.

ABC News, Washington Post, Politico, 3/27/13. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, discusses the economic impact of allowing same-sex marriage. Federal tax implications and benefits, such as social security for couples, can add up to millions of dollars in their lifetimes. Dollars spent on weddings and celebrations would create significant state and local revenues. The Economist, 3/9/13. Badgett explains why some employers in the U.S. have joined the fight to secure rights for married same-sex couples. Windy City Times, Chicago Phoenix, Chicago.gopride.com, 3/6/13. Badgett says approval of same-sex marriage in Illinois would generate up to $103 million in spending to the state and local economy.

Cato Institute Policy Report, March/April 2013. Ray La Raja (political science) says the direct impact on elections of the Citizens United and SpeechNow court cases is still not clear, despite the increase in political campaign money contributed to super PACs, corporations and unions.

Dollars and Sense, March/April 2013. An article by Gerald Friedman (economics) says declining revenue, not increased spending, caused the federal deficit.

Time, 3/27/13. Brad Tuttle (journalism) addresses Walmart’s reduced staffing levels and the impact on shoppers and workers. Time, 3/25/13. Tuttle explores why consumers don’t like shopping for cars and what the industry is doing to try to make the experience more enjoyable. Time, 3/18/13. Tuttle focuses on the rapid growth of Amazon Prime, the membership service created by the online retailer, noting that when people join they sharply increase their shopping at Amazon. Time, 3/22/13. Tuttle writes about the proliferation of automated red-light cameras and the process that municipalities use to bid on the devices. Several questions surround the cameras: Do they actually make intersections safer? Are they being viewed as easy ways to raise money from tickets? Is there corruption in awarding contracts for the cameras? Time, 3/13/13. Tuttle ponders why some major league baseball teams are rolling back the prices for beverages and food at their park. Time, 3/7/13. Tuttle focuses on some tourist destinations that are offering access to shooting ranges as fun things to do. Time, 2/27/13. Tuttle looks at why there is a shortage of used cars on the market and why “gently-used” cars are selling for a premium.

Boston Herald, 3/26/13; Carrolcountytimes.com [Indiana], 3/25/13. Two op-eds make reference to remarks made by Arindrajit Dube (economics) during a congressional hearing on efforts to raise the federal minimum wage. Christian Science Monitor, 3/19/13 and many other print, radio and television news outlets. Dube comments on Senator Elizabeth Warren's suggestion to triple the minimum wage to $22. Stateline.org, 3/19/13. Research by Dube on the effects of raising the minimum wage is cited in a report on proposals by 10 states to hike their minimum wage rates. Los Angeles Times, 3/14/13. Dube is quoted in an article about minimum wage increases. US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, 3/13/13. Dube testified on indexing the minimum wage before the Senate's HELP Committee. His testimony begins at the 38:36 point on the video. Read his statement.

Mother Nature Network, 3/25/13. An article about asthma studies notes that Sylvia Brandt (resource economics) was the lead researcher on a study that found a connection between childhood asthma and traffic pollution in two cities in California last year.

Aljazeera, 3/21/13. David Mednicoff (Public Policy and Administration), director of Middle Eastern Studies, was interviewed on “Inside Story” about President Obama’s visit to Israel and the resetting of the tone between the U.S. and Israel.

Associated Press [Denver Post], 3/21/13 and many other outlets across the country. Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), director of the Labor Center, is quoted in a widely published AP story about a survey that finds many low-wage workers don’t take advantage of job training or educational programs. She says research shows that for most low-wage workers, “there is not much chance that job training will lead to better jobs and higher incomes, simply because the higher-paying jobs are not there.”

Asian Journal, 3/20/13. Research by C.N. Le (sociology) supports a recent study that finds only 42% of U.S.-raised Filipino-American men and about 29% of Filipino-American women are likely to marry another Filipino. Le says this is because U.S.-raised Asian-Americans interact more with other racial and ethnic groups before marriage.

WHP-TV 21 [Harrisburg]; Lehigh Valley Health, 3/19/13. Reports note a study of rising health costs in Pennsylvania by Gerald Friedman (economics), who is backing a proposal to create a single-payer system for the state. A Pennsylvania legislator is filing a single-payer bill. HealthCare Now, 3/7/13. A study by Friedman concludes that a single-payer health care system in Pennsylvania would save $17 billion annually.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 3/18/13 [registration required; 5 free articles/month]. Judith Holmes (legal studies) says mistrials are uncommon and the retrial of someone on the same charges is even rarer. Her comments come in response to the recent ruling of a mistrial in the case of a former Granby resident, Cara Rintala, who was charged with murdering her wife in 2010.

Royal Gazette, 3/18/13. During the last week of March Leah Wing (legal studies) conducted a five-day training session on mediation in Bermuda sponsored by Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.

Real News Network, 3/12/13. James Boyce (economics) is interviewed about inequality and the environment. He says, "In places where the income gap is greatest, the environment is more degraded for everyone." The Real News Network, 3/5/13. Boyce discusses his new book Economics, the Environment and Our Common Wealth about the relationship between environmental degradation and inequality of wealth and power.

The Real News Network, 3/9/13. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, discusses "Who Benefits from Austerity?" on this video. Paramus Post [N.J.], 3/1/13. A columnist writes about Pollin's view that there is no debt crisis in the U.S. government and that austerity will prove to be bad economics for the country. BBC News, 2/28/13. Pollin says budget cuts in the federal sequester will have a negative impact on private economy in the U.S. because people who make economic decisions will work on the assumption that things will continue to perform poorly.

Hartford Courant, 3/8/13. In an op-ed, Jeanette Wicks-Lim (Political Economy Research Institute) argues that raising the minimum wage helps workers and is a boost to the economy.

Springfield Republican, 2/28/13. During Gov. Deval Patrick's visit to the Lyman & Merri Wood Museum in Springfield as part of the celebration of Black History Month, Whitney Battle-Baptiste (anthropology) commented that New England was a center of the abolitionist movement and the industrial revolution, but that didn’t mean life was easy for African-Americans in the Northeast.

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, 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.

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