November 2013 Newsletter

In this Issue

Leidy Sievert Named Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Human Biology

Lynnette Leidy Sievert (anthropology), international expert on menopause and symptoms at midlife as aspects of human variation, as well as the evolution of menopause and post-reproductive life, takes over the helm of the top journal in the field.

Student Strives to Get Most Out of College Experience

Sara Amell '14 (sociology), who is paying her own way through college, has asked herself annually, "Can I afford another year?" Naturally, she was thrilled to receive the Class of 1945 Merit Scholarship to help with expenses.

Marketing Through Social Media at Estée Lauder

Elisa Thomas '95 (journalism/political science), the first global director of digital education at Estée Lauder Companies, teaches some of Estée Lauder’s more than 40,000 employees worldwide how to market through social media. She was on campus recently for the SBS alumni/student networking event.

Community Journalism: A Project Bringing Hope to Springfield

Community Journalism, offered by the UMass Journalism Department, is an initiative to increase college opportunities for students at Commerce High School in Springfield, MA. “This is not a save-the-natives initiative with us posing as saviors,” says Prof. Nicolas McBride, “This is a save-ourselves initiative through the sharing of resources and knowledge, a reciprocal exchange of ideas that benefit all concerned.”

Other Topics of Interest

Investigative Journalist Kevin Cullen '81 Talks Shop

Kevin Cullen

Boston Globe columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Cullen '81 (journalism) reflects on his life in journalism and his years of exposing James "Whitey" Bulger for what he was.

Comm Professor Focuses on Cultural Aspects of Communication

Benjamin Bailey

Race, code switching, bilingualism, immigration, and intercultural communication—and teaching—are among Benjamin Bailey's major interests.

Student Represents UMass at National Collegiate Security Conference

Ritika Bhakhri ’14

After a competitive application process, Ritika Bhakhri ’14 (political science/legal studies) was selected by the UMass International Relations Club to attend the weekend conference. “I saw this as a perfect opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills that I have acquired in the classroom to debate on real life issues that we face as an international society,” she says.

Experimental Model Captures Key Aspects of Care Provision

Angela de Oliveira

Prof. Angela de Oliveira (resource economics) presented “Care Provision: An Experimental Investigation,” part of a larger project funded by the National Science Foundation, at the Science of Philanthropy Initiative's annual conference. 

SBS Day at Gillette

Dean Robert Feldman on the jumbo-tron at Gillette Stadium

Dean Robert Feldman on the jumbo-tron at Gillette Stadium

It was SBS day at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, November 2. 

Countdown for Band's Performance in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

UMass Minuteman Marching Band

As always, Tom Turkey will lead the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Santa will bring up the rear, but marching somewhere in between, amid the big balloons, will be a special group—the Minuteman Marching Band.

Federal Grant Will Help Strengthen Education about Sexual Violence

End Sexual Violence ribbon

A mandatory course focused on sexual violence and intervention by bystanders is being developed for all first-year students on campus. The online educational program is an outgrowth of a three-year, $270,000 grant awarded to UMass Amherst by the U.S. Department of Justice’s office on Violence Against Women.

Historical Markers Unveiled as Part of Sesquicentennial Celebration

Sesquicentennial logo

Three new 7-foot-tall historical markers along the walkway that runs from the Recreation Center and between the George N. Parks Marching Band Building and Dickinson Hall chronicle the history and development of the college that became known as Mass Aggie in its first 70 years.

Alumni News | Faculty and Department News 

SBS in the News | A Word from SBS

Alumni News

Nicole Belanger '02 (journalism/psychology), Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA/Mass) PR coordinator and newsletter editor​, recently published an article about farming at UMass Amherst.

Dan Duggan '06 (journalism) recently moved to, and wrote a breaking story about bullying in Rutgers football.

Sanjay Singh '13 (economics) is an HR Development Program Associate at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Andover, MA.

Alyssa Creamer '13 (journalism) has been hired as a freelance digital producer by WBUR, Boston's NPR station. She will also continue contributing to The Boston Globe.

An article in the Springfield Republican profiles former UMass basketball star Gary Forbes '08 (communication), who is joining the Springfield Armor, the NBA development league affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets.

The latest UMass Magazine focuses on the music scene on campus and beyond over the years, and it's amazing to see all that has happened. Lots of SBSers were featured. First off, Daniel Guidera '04 (journalism) created several original illustrations to accompany the intro to the articles. One article featured photos and memories of Cheryl Senter '81 (journalism), one of two campus photographers in the late 1970s/early 1980s who captured the lion's share of concert photography at the campus hot spots. An update on Stephen Kellogg '98 (communication), formerly of Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers fame (including an infectious YouTube hit featuring "Shady Esperanto & the Young Hearts" with the Minuteman Marching Band), tells us that he has recently gone solo with the release of a new album, Blunderstone RookeryCharles Michael Kittredge Thompson IV '87 (anthropology), aka Frank Black of the Pixies and solo artist Black Francis, has been scoring silent German expressionist films and touring vigorously, both solo and with rockster Reid Paley.

S.P. Sullivan '10 (journalism) was on the scene of the New Jersey mall shooting, live-tweeting for A BBC producer told him that at one point they were reading his tweets on air. The importance of the moment was not lost on S.P.: "There were hundreds of RTs and mentions....kind of drives home the responsibility you have, as someone attached to a news organization and on the ground, to not tweet bullshit." 

Linda L. Marston '75, PhD '89 (sociology) and Dennis R. Bromery '86 (legal studies)​, MEd '88, son of the late Chancellor Randolph W. Bromery, have given WFCR, New England Public Radio a $300,000 planned gift to support programming, and hope that their gift will inspire others to give to the station which has broadcast from campus since 1967.

Edmund F. Ward '75 (economics), MBA '77 has pledged $2.3 million for athletics, noting he firmly believes "that a major research university should try to excel in everything—and that includes athletics." Ward, who lives in Springfield and works in real estate investment, played UMass lacrosse for two years and several intramural sports. "I enjoyed all kinds of sports, just as I do today," he says.

For a month at an archaeological field school in Akko, Israel, last summer, Stephen Anderson '13 (anthropology) assisted in excavating a Late Bronze Age silo or storage pit. He worked with Prof. Michael Sugerman (anthropology), thanks in part to a $2,000 award from SBS's Carol and Alan L. LeBovidge '64 Undergraduate Research Scholarship that helped defray some of the cost and make up lost summer employment income.

A story about Brianna Scurry '95 (political science), a star goaltender for the UMass women’s soccer team and later for the U.S. Olympic team, was published in the Washington Post. Following a concussion in a professional game, she overcame its debilitating effects through treatment and perseverance.

Former faculty member Meredith O'Brien-Weiss '91 (journalism/political science/history) has penned Mortified: A Novel About Oversharing (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc.). This cautionary tale set in Massachusetts is about the hazards of sharing too much personal information online.

In his sixth golf book, Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the Landscapes of Modern Golf (University of Nebraska Press), Bradley S. Klein PhD '84 (political science) offers an absorbing view of golf courses as cultural markers.

After 9 nonfiction books and many articles (three in the Harvard Business Review on communication and politics), Kathleen Kelley Reardon '78 (communication) has segued into fiction, taking her interest in politics on the journey. Shadow Campus is a mystery-thriller set at a leading business school. A young female professor is found hanging in her office, nearly dead, on the eve of her tenure decision. Her estranged brother must travel 3000 miles to unravel academic politics and save a sister he has kept at a distance since a childhood event he can neither forgive nor forget. Reardon is a professor at USC Marshall School of Business​, currently on leave in Jamestown, RI. Read an article by Dorie Clark about the new book in Forbes Magazine.

Miriam Zoll '84 (journalism) has published Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility and the Pursuit of High-Tech Babies (Interlink Publishing), an eye-opening account of growing into womanhood with the simultaneous opportunities and freedoms afforded by the U.S. women's movement and new reproductive technologies.

Writing about Equilibrium (Kensington Books), a novel by Lorrie (Glovsky) Thomson '86 (journalism), Lisa Verge Higgins, author of Friendship Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, says, “In this impressive debut, Thomson skillfully maps the emotional landscape of mother-daughter relationships. It's an emotional, complex, and deeply satisfying novel about the power of hope, love, and family. I couldn’t put it down!"

William D. Ferguson MA '86, PhD '89 (economics) has published Collective Action and Exchange: A Game-Theoretic Approach to Contemporary Political Economy (Stanford University Press).

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

Prof. Shaheen Pasha (journalism) participated in the TEDx UMass Amherst Professor Showcase. Delivering a talk titled "What's Your Story?" she discussed how her personal story fits into a journalism career that has spanned three continents. 

Dean Robert S. Feldman and his wife Katherine E. Vorwerk were pictured and quoted, along with many other campus leaders, in an article on "Leading the Way" in UMass Magazine. They said, "Because we've had an insider's view for more than three decades, we are aware of how gifts to the campus can make a substantial difference. We know that our gift will give students the opportunity to have extended one-on-one interactions with faculty mentors while working on significant research projects."

Brian McDermott (journalism) spoke about web design and development via Skype with students at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. Also, McDermott's summer course, Basic Website Design, the first-ever MOOC offered at UMass, was featured in the most recent UMass Magazine.

The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted: The Early Boston Years, 1882-1890 (Volume 8) (Johns Hopkins University Press), edited by Ethan Carr (landscape architecture and regional planning), covers the period when Olmsted designed much of the Boston park system (the "Emerald Necklace"), as well as many other projects. During this time Olmsted established the first professional landscape architecture office in his Brookline home, Fairsted, which is now a National Historic Site.

Anthropologist Betsy Krause's paper “'They Just Happened': The Curious Case of the Unplanned Baby, Italian Low Fertility, and the 'End' of Rationality" has been chosen as the winner of this year's Polgar Prize in Medical Anthropology, an award for the best article in the​ Medical Anthropology Quarterly during the calendar year preceding the American Anthropology Association meeting. The selection committee cited the "combination of theoretical sophistication and rich ethnographic writing, in addition to the importance and depth of the analysis" as prize-worthy aspects of the paper. 

New research from Prof. Jennifer Lundquist​ (sociology) and Ken-Hou Lin PhD '13 (sociology) has found specific racial patterns in the outreach and response habits of heterosexual men and women using online dating sites. Their study Mate Selection in Cyberspace: the Intersection of Race, Gender and Education, to be published in the upcoming issue of the American Journal of Sociology (vol. 119, no. 1), tracked the racial and educational characteristics of almost one million online daters searching for relationships from the 20 largest cities in the U.S. They analyzed the inquiries, sent and received by each dater, to gain an understanding of how members of each race interact with one another in an online dating setting. Read more... The study received lots of media attention. See SBS In the News for links.

Leah Wing (legal studies), co-director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution on campus, was featured live on Blog Talk Radio in a special episode as part of the international online dispute resolution conference “Cyberweek 2013" on November 7. 

Steve Fox (journalism) was on a panel discussing the use of social media during the Boston Marathon bombing at the "Beyond Convergence" conference at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Al Jazeera America's flagship news program, "America Tonight," did a week-long series on campus sexual assaults. Expert Lynn Phillips (communication) appeared in two of the programs. Here is a link to the first one, which featured an interview with Phillips, as well as some clips from her film, "Flirting with Danger," based on her book by the same title. Segments of the second one, a town hall "meeting" on the relationship between alcohol and sexual assault, can be viewed here.

Sarah la Cour, a visiting lecturer in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, has been named  executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District. She brings over 20 years of experience in project management, regional planning, village revitalization and conservation development.

The results of a  UMass Poll released Oct. 30 showed state Rep. Martin J. Walsh with a 7-point lead over Boston City Councilor at-Large John R. Connolly in advance of the Boston mayoral election on Nov. 5. The telephone poll included interviews with 600 registered voters in the city of Boston. The poll was spot-on.

SBS in the News

New York Times [Economix blog], 11/25/13. Prof. Emeritus Nancy Folbre (economics) writes about how the complex and disastrous rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act is not only providing political ammunition to conservatives, it is also making a strong argument for a single-payer system. She says the health care law was intended to be politically moderate, but has shown how complicated a free-market system has to be to function. New York Times [Economix blog], 11/11/13. Folbre, examining the issue of work requirements for people seeking public assistance, says the best way to encourage a work ethic is to make sure people can find work. New York Times [Economix blog], 11/4/13. Folbre writes about how little effect marginal tax rates have on people’s behavior. While many economists believe raising marginal tax rates will cause people to stop working or to slack off, experience shows that isn’t the case. Folbre also points to distortions in the market caused by work in the underground economy and the way economists tend to dismiss work in the home or caring for others as if it has little or no value. [Ill.], 11/24/13. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, says as more states legalize same-sex marriage, an increase in wedding-related businesses is likely. That, however, doesn’t mean those states will necessarily see a boost in tourism, because there is much more competition. The Daily Beast, 11/18/13. Badgett comments in a story about how Credit Suisse has launched a portfolio for those who want to invest in LGBT-friendly companies., 11/18/13​​; MetroWest Daily News, 11/17/13; ABC News, 11/16/13 [all AP, and more across the country]. Badgett says following legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts in 2004, at least 16,000 same-sex marriages have taken place in the state, and across the country, there have been about 100,000 same-sex couples who have gotten married. ABC NewsCNBCMSN NewsHawaii News NowAlbany Times Union [and more across the country], 11/13/13. In an Associated Press article about Hawaii legalizing same-sex marriages and the potential economic impact of the decision, Badgett says that same-sex couples who live in states that do not yet allow same-sex marriage will travel to states that do, and “it's a reasonable expectation people will want to go to Hawaii. It's a big wedding destination spot." ​

Boston Globe, 11/21/13. Ethan Carr (landscape architecture and regional planning) is co-editor of The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted: The Early Boston Years, 1882-1890, the eighth of nine planned volumes of Olmsted’s papers. 

NPR, 11/20/13; WFCR, 11/21/13. Ray La Raja (political science) says using bitcoin, the virtual currency, to fund political campaigns could end up undermining efforts to make campaign funding more transparent and open. Bitcoins are like cash because there is no record of who owns them, so reporting and requirements and limits on donations would be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. Appearing on the day before the Federal Election Commission was scheduled to vote on a proposal to allow use of bitcoins in political campaigns, the article says that La Raja didn't think the FEC would allow their use.

The Real News Network, 11/21/13​. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, discusses how policies at the Federal Reserve can help out ordinary Americans and Main Street businesses. He says Janet Yellin, who is the new chair of the Federal Reserve, is likely to continue the policies of Ben Benanke, the outgoing head, but she could change some policies to benefit smaller businesses.​ Real News Network, 11/11/13. Pollin discusses America's industrial policy, noting that the problem is that it's run by the Pentagon. He says we need an industrial policy aimed at jobs and a green economy, not massive public spending on the military. 

Virtual-Strategy magazine, 11/20/13. Prof. Emeritus Ethan Katsh (legal studies) comments on Colin Rule, founder and COO of Inc., the world’s leading online dispute resolution company, receiving the 2013 Mary Parker Follett Award for Innovation for his contributions to the field of online dispute resolution.  

WSJ Live, 11/18/13. Listen to Michelle Budig (sociology) speak about her recent study on the "mommy penalty" (about 5 minutes in) that finds women with children under 18 earn less than women without minor children, and that the reverse is true for men. MSN Money​, 11/18/13; [Canada], 11/15/13. Budig and her research on "the mommy penalty" are covered in a story. Budig says parenthood is “the new site of gender discrimination.” Her research shows that women generally make less money for each child they have, even when you take into account time off for child-rearing. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to see their earnings rise when they are married and have children. 

Boston Globe, 11/16/13. Daniel Rodriguez '15 and Shaina Mishkin '14, journalism students in Steve Fox's "Investigative Journalism & the Web" class, had their story on federal complaints being filed against Amherst College published. Huffington Post, 11/5/13. Liz Strzepa '14 (journalism), Rodriguez and Mishkin had a video, "Students want answers following rape reports," featured in the College section.

CBS News 03, 11/16/13. Krista Harper (anthropology and public policy) and Gretchen Gano (public policy) speak on behalf of the "Participatory Visual & Digital Research Methods" class that participated in a walking tour of Springfield to look at ways the city uses technology in public places and for public services.

North Dallas Gazette, 11/15/13. Dean Robert S. Feldman, described as "an American psychologist and one of the world’s leading experts on lying," is featured in an article entitled "The art of the lie."

CIO Today, 11/13/13; Business Insider, 11/12/13​; Des Moines Register, 11/8/13​;​ CRM Daily, 11/6/13; USA Today, 11/5/13. Articles cite a study, co-authored by Jennifer Lundquist (sociology) and Ken-Ho Lin PhD '13, on racial boundaries that tracks almost a million online daters from the 20 largest cities in the USA from "one of the largest dating websites." The study found that for most minorities their first instinct is to go with others who look like them and that black women "are the most penalized of any online dating group."

EFN, 11/12/13. Thomas Herndon, PhD candidate in economics who was a key player in debunking elements of an economic paper written by two Harvard economists that was the basis for the adoption of austerity policies in the U.S. and Europe, is interviewed on Swedish television about his experiences and his views on the controversy. (Ed: Notice how the host switches from her native Swedish into English so effortlessly! And then you can practice your Swedish.)

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly [PBS], 11/8/13. In this video, part of the American Dream series, Tom Juravich (labor studies) and undergraduate London Tatum '14 discuss the changing perception of the American Dream for the current generation. 

The Real News Network, 11/5/13. Léonce Ndikumana (economics), director of the African Development Policy Program at the Political Economy Research Institute, is interviewed about what it means now that Nigeria’s economy has surpassed that of South Africa as the largest in Africa. 

Talking Points Memo, 10/31/13. Sheldon Goldman (political science) writes about his Index of Obstruction and Delay for judicial nominees, which he has used it to track trends under all presidents since Jimmy Carter.

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, CommunicationEconomics, 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.