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SBS Newsletter – April 2009

In this issue

Anissa TalantikiteFulbright Fellowship Honors Senior
More national honors have come to UMass Amherst. Among this year’s crop of Fulbright Fellows is Anissa Talantikite ’09 (political science). The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Fulbrighters are more than students, scholars and teachers. They are valuable contributors to the exchange of knowledge, skills, ideas and mutual understanding. Based on bi-national partnerships and open, merit-based competition, the Fulbright Program offers unique opportunities for enrichment and leadership development as well as access to facilities and a vast community of alumni. Read more...

Kyle WedbergPublic Servant Makes Big Impact in Arts Education
Throughout his career in the public sector, Kyle Wedberg ’00 MPA (public policy and administration), president/CEO of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), has experienced some memorable singular moments. The most recent was attending, along with a current NOCCA student, the Stevie Wonder concert at the White House as guests of President and Mrs. Obama. Read more...

S.P. SullivanSullivan’s the Name, Media’s the Game
Being selected to participate in the Poynter Institute’s College Fellowship, one of the best-known programs in the world for young journalists, is an enormous honor. This year’s group of 40 students, chosen from a record number of applicants for ingenuity in their essays and the strongest range of skills in their work, includes S.P. (Sean Patrick) Sullivan ’10 (journalism and anthropology). He will be in residence at Poynter Institute for two weeks in May, along with other passionate young writers, photojournalists, graphic artists, designers, broadcast and multimedia journalists. Read more...

William and Andrew SchultzA Family History of Cleaning Up
When Andrew Schultz ’91 (economics) and his brother William ’94 (communication) came out with the Wonder Tablitz™ back in 2006, they received a lot of media attention and a national award for their environmentally friendly cleaning products and revolutionary packaging. This kind of recognition is of course satisfying, but successfully carrying forward their family tradition of bringing great cleaning products into the hands of consumers has been even more gratifying. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Janet RifkinBe Part of the Rifkin Legacy
At the end of August 2009, Janet Rifkin will be stepping down as Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Leading the College with distinction since 2000, she has been an effective leader, administrator, and colleague who has tirelessly advocated for her faculty, staff and students and developed a college identity among alumni. Rifkin continues to be intent on significantly increasing the SBS Dean's Opportunity Fund for Scholarships. To honor Dean Rifkin and her years of service, please make a gift that will benefit students in perpetuity. Read profile of Janet Rifkin.

Chancellor Robert C. HolubHolub Calls for $10m Cut in Campus Spending
About $10 million in campus spending, including $5 million in administrative and support services, will be cut for the next academic year, according to Chancellor Robert C. Holub. In a message to the campus community, Holub outlined a budget plan to streamline administrative costs and “focus as many resources as possible on faculty hiring and retention going forward.” The plan calls for 45 faculty hires over the next few years using reallocated funds created through reorganization and administrative cuts. Read more..

Sally PowersPowers Presents Distinguished Faculty Lecture
In April Sally I. Powers (psychology), director of the Center for Research on Families, presented the last of this academic year’s presentations in the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. Her talk was entitled, "Hormones and Lovers’ Quarrels: How Stress Translates Into Depression." For more than thirty years, UMass Amherst has recognized distinguished achievements through the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. The lectures honor individual faculty members and celebrate the value of academic excellence. Following their lectures faculty members chosen for the series receive the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed on individuals for exemplary and extraordinary service to the University. Read more…

Jackie HaiHai Among Top Student Journalists in Nation
Big honors have come to Jackie Hai '09 (journalism), editor of Amherst Wire, a student-run project of the journalism program, and program director and webmaster at UVC-TV 19. She has been named one of the UWIRE 100, the best and brightest student journalists in the nation. They were selected from a pool of more than 825 nominations submitted by professionals, professors and peers (and some parents) from more than 135 schools. This year's 100 hailed from 69 schools. The institution with the most honorees was the University of Kansas (six), followed closely by Indiana University (five), Penn State (four). Columbia University, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill each had three honorees. There were eight honorees who were also part of 2008's UWIRE 100 honoree class. Read more about the UWIRE 100.

band saxophone playerSecret Of The Bandos: Fun And Friendship
In a Hartford Courant article, Katelyn Haggerty '10 (journalism and music), a member of the Minuteman Marching Band, wrote that the experience “has allowed me to go places that I never would have gone otherwise.” She has played in Chattanooga, Tenn., Cleveland, Indianapolis, Germany, Disney World, Canada, and at Boston Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Orchestra. She said, "Being in a marching band has given me some of the best experiences of my life, and I will never regret being labeled a band geek....It's almost like we bandos have a secret. We all know how much fun we have and the awesome things we get to do, yet people still think we're all a bunch of nerds. This is where we laugh and shake our heads." Read the article.

US News Best Colleges 2009High National Rankings for UMass Amherst/SBS
US News & World Report is well known for its annual rankings of educational institutions. In the National Universities category, for schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, master's, and doctoral degrees and also are committed to producing groundbreaking research, UMass Amherst was ranked in the Tier 1 category, coming in 102nd overall and 50th in public universities. Guidance counselors ranked UMass Amherst 58th nationally. This year US News analyzed more than 12,000 graduate programs to assess rankings. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences fared very well. Sociology tied for 31st nationally with the University of California San Diego and Vanderbilt University. This ranking shows a progression since 2005 when Sociology ranked 35th. Psychology tied for 50th, with institutions like Boston University, Florida State, SUNY Stony Brook, and the University of Georgia. And the Center for Public Policy and Administration came in at 72, along with the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Oklahoma, University of South Carolina, among others. Read more...

Center for Heritage & SocietyNew Center for Heritage & Society Opens Doors
The UMass Amherst Center for Heritage and Society (CHS), a multidisciplinary initiative in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences to craft new approaches to heritage conservation and communication around the world, has been launched. CHS offers research opportunities for scholars working in heritage-related fields such as archaeology, history, environmental science, landscape architecture and regional planning, European studies, Native American Indian studies, Afro-American studies, classics, legal studies, and public policy. Additionally, the CHS provides undergraduate and gradate students with training and experience in heritage planning and management. Visit the CHS website.

Jackie Lyons women's lacrosseSports Shorts
When the women’s lacrosse team defeated St. Joseph’s 15-14 in Philadelphia, it not only won the Atlantic 10 championship, but also a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1985. Jackie Lyons '11 (sociology) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after scoring five goals and adding three assists. Read more in Lacrosse Magazine. View post-game interview. The men's lacrosse team played Syracuse in front of a UMass Amherst record 13,722 fans at McGuirk Stadium, the 24th-largest regular-season lacrosse crowd in NCAA history. Then on May 2 at Rutgers, the team had a huge win that resulted in its first ECAC Title since 2005 and conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Read more... The softball team saw its 49-game conference winning streak end at Charlotte on April 26. Kudos to the Minutewomen for such an amazing achievement dating to 2006. Read more... Courtney Robinson '09 (sociology), a former defensive back for the football team, has been signed as a rookie free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. Read more...

facebook logoBecome a UMass Amherst Fan on Facebook
UMass Amherst Fans! Our goal is to get 5,000 Facebook Fans by Commencement 2009, and we need your help! Sign up now and invite your friends to join too. (Please note, you must be a Facebook member to become a fan.) From this site you can link to more UMass information on YouTube, Twitter, flickr, and LinkedIn. Plus you'll get updates, access to information and more.

General education at UMass logoNew General Education Website Debuts
A new website offering information about the campus’ General Education program to students, parents and faculty went live this month.The site explains the value of General Education, details requirements and courses for students, and includes additional information for faculty interested in developing new courses. There is also a section on how proposed General Education courses are reviewed and approved with background information on other governance-related issues. Read more...

environmental lightbulbNew SGA Environmental Committee Seeks Members
Students: Are you concerned about environmental and energy related issues? Do you find the concept of working on a student government committee with your peers and the school administration to create possitive change intriguing? If "Yes", than you should apply to join the SGA Energy and Environmental Committee NOW TAKING APPLICATIONS! We are looking for creative and devoted individuals from across many disciplines to come together and serve on our committee for the Fall 2009 - Spring 2010 year. The Student Government Association Environmental Committee works to collaborate with UMass Amherst administration, staff, students, and the Student Government Association in order to implement environmentally sustainable initiatives in all realms of campus life. We aim to focus campus-wide efforts to create policies which contribute to sustainability and are financially efficient practices. Above all, we as a Committee work to minimize the ecological footprint we generate today for the benefit of future generations in the UMass community. For information on how to apply please click here. Questions? Please contact us.

Upcoming Events
April & May, 2009
Event Series—The Art of Conflict Transformation in the North of Ireland/Northern Ireland: Truth Recovery and Reconciliation in a Post Conflict Society
Panel Presentations and Cross-Community Mural Painting
This event series explores the geography of conflict transformation in Northern Ireland/the north of Ireland; the contested terrains of public space and public narrative where conflict has been expressed and a shared future is under negotiation. See website for additional events and times, updates, event sites, a mural archive, and more. Questions? Contact Leah Wing (legal studies).
Sponsors: UMass Amherst Graduate School; Falls Community Council; College of Social and Behavior Sciences; Department of Legal Studies; Law and Society Initiative, Psychology of Peace and Violence Concentration; Interdisciplinary Seminar on Humanities and the Arts (ISHA); National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution; Social Justice Mediation Institute.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
“New Directions in the Work of ICOMOS: World Heritage and Global Society in the 21st Century”
Gustavo Araoz, president of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
7:00 pm, Isenberg School of Management Room 137
Sponsored by the UMass Amherst Center for Heritage and Society

Tuesday–Wednesday, May 5-6, 2009
Conference: Online Dispute Resolution in a Technology-oriented Healthcare World
As medical records move toward full computerization, objections about potential breaches of privacy abound. But another ongoing concern is accuracy. For example, companies like Google and Microsoft offer consumers a voluntary, cost-free means of creating a personal health record accessible over the Internet and usable, with the patient's OK, by healthcare providers. But because of misinterpretations of insurance codes, false information can arise out of insurance claims data, as discovered by Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Read article in the Boston Globe.
To address these concerns, Ethan Katsh (legal studies), director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and Norman Sondheimer, Leon Osterweil and Lori Clarke of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Computer Science have organized a workshop, with assistance and guidance from Dr. John Halamka of the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconness Hospital. Click here for conference discussion materials, available research and participants
Conference attendance is by invitation only at the Madison Hotel, Washington, DC
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Office of National Coordinator for Health Information, Technology Agency for Healthcare Research, Quality National Mediation Board, and the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution.

Friday, May 8, 2009
Free anxiety and depression screening sessions for the local and campus communities as part of National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week.
Sponsored by the Psychological Services Center.

Thursday, May 21, 2009
Commencement Ball 2009 – A Jazzy Affair (Link:
9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m, Student Union Complex
Seniors! You are cordially invited to attend Commencement Ball 2009 – A Jazzy Affair. Join your fellow classmates and
celebrate your final days at UMass Amherst in style. There will be food, dancing, photos and carriage rides. Tickets are only $25 and can be purchased online or by visiting the Alumni Association in Memorial Hall.

Friday–Saturday, May 22–23, 2009
Commencement Weekend
Click here for a schedule of events for undergraduate, graduate and Stockbridge commencements and commencement-related activities and news.

Monday–Thursday, June 8-11, 2009
Workshop: Modeling Diary and Dyadic Data
The Instructors: Dr. Jean-Philippe Laurenceau, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Delaware
Dr. Niall Bolger, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University
Sponsored by the Center for Research on Families, this workshop will be of interest to members of the social and behavioral sciences, including social, clinical, and developmental psychologists, family and medical sociologists, gerontologists, social workers, communication researchers, and researchers in marketing and organizational behavior.
To register, please visit our website to download a mail-in registration form. Email Holly Laws or call her 413-545-4718 with questions.

Faculty Notes
Associate professor Mari Castañeda (communication) is one of four individuals this year to receive the Distinguished Academic Outreach Award. She was honored “for teaching that immerses students in the most critical issues of the day, in a manner that has a clear and positive impact on external communities and on the development of students as scholars and citizens.” Read more...

Congratulations to Chris Smith (sociology), who is the recipient of a University Distinguished Teaching Award, and to Jarice Hanson (communication) and Christopher Overtree (psychology), who are recipients of the SBS Outstanding Teacher Award.

The new publication, Journalism Innovation: A Journal of Scholarly and Professional Debate, edited by Robert Bergland, professor of journalism and integrated media at Missouri Western State University, has named Steve Fox (journalism) the Industry Editor.

Robert Faulkner (sociology) has published Do You Know? The Jazz Repertoire in Action with Howard S. Becker. "My co-author, " says Faulkner, "is a legend in the field of sociology. Howard's work has focused on social organization, culture, methods, and social-psychology. Among his publications are Art Worlds, Telling About Society, Art From Start to Finish, Outsiders." Faulkner's previous publications include Music on Demand, Hollywood Film Composers, Hollywood Studio Musicians, and articles on social conspiracies, fraud, and corporate crime. His interests are in jazz, social organization, white collar crime, and social networks. Faulker is the recipient of the Max Weber Award from The American Sociological Association, the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award and the UMass Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award.

Randall Stokes (sociology) has written a brief history of the department [pdf] for the Footnotes publication of the American Sociological Association. He notes that the first sociology course was taught in 1908 by Kenyon Leech Butterfield, president of UMass Amherst from 1906 through 1924. With a background in rural sociology, he had a passion to improve the lives of the then widely impoverished small family farmers and rural workers. His first course was titled “The Rural Community,” and its progressive leanings were hinted at in the course description. Read more...

David Cort (sociology) received grant funding through the National Poverty Center at University of Michigan for his proposal, "Saliendo del Barrio: Documentation Status Differences in Residential Mobility Decisions."

Alumni News
Two-time Emmy Award winner Mark Wilding '79 (economics), writer and executive producer for the television show “Grey’s Anatomy," was on campus for April 27-28, as part of the Bateman Scholar-in-Residence program. He participated in numerous classes and spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on his experiences in Hollywood. The event got lots of buzz in various media outlets. View video of Wilding's presentation.

WGGB-TV 40 Springfield features Jared Stenquist '07 (communication), who started the popular college Web site CampusLive.

After Darin Lonergan '88 (political science) of Brookfield, Connecticut, was laid off from his job in March, according to an article in Metro International, he turned to the UMass Amherst Alumni Association for advice. What the former General Electric sales and marketing executive got was a 40-minute helpful conversation and ultimately a revised résumé from a career counselor. In a follow-up conversation, Lonergan said, "No job yet, but enthusiasm and confidence are high!" He also mentioned that he's in a group of 10 former GE executives, all of whom were recently laid off. Meeting regularly at the local library, they find ways to help each other. And when they're not networking and job hunting, they volunteer at local organizations. "This isn't about feeling sorry for yourself. Or being bitter or angry," Lonergan said in a Danbury News Times article. "It's about starting over and taking stock of your life and your career and figuring out the best way to move forward." The name of the game is thinking outside the box and reading between the lines as they wend their way to new opportunities. For example, Lonergan recently ran in the Stratton Faxon Greater Danbury Half Marathon, wearing a T-shirt with his resume on the back and a classified ad on the front: "A" Player Sales and Marketing executive seeking next career opportunity Cell: 203-733-7898 Email:

Peter Trovato '05 (political science and journalism), founder of the Mass. Soldiers Legacy Fund, invited family members of a fallen soldier to throw the first pitch at the Red Sox's Patriots Day game. Read more on

George Epstein '48 (chemistry and supporter of SBS) writes, "I live in L.A. and have learned to hate air travel (after doing it regularly during my work career. Am now 82+.) I will be honored at an event of the So. Calif. Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Will also receive Fellow award in June in Chicago for my technical and educational contributions. Last Nov., I received Sr. Citizen Volunteer-of-the-Year Award from the Westside Optimists Club."

Juan E. Gomez '89 (labor studies), after 4 years working as director of organizational effectiveness for Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (a Phoenix-based mining MNC), is now the HR general director for the Universidad Nacional Andres Bello in Chile. Gomez says, "This university is member of Laureate International Universities, a Baltimore-based higher education worldwide consortium. I’d love to get more news of the LRRC."

Please send us your news!

SBS in the News
Journal Sentinel [Milwaukee, Wis.], 4/28/09; The Advocate [Baton Rouge, La.], 4/29/09. A new study conducted by Michael Ash (economics) and colleagues at the University of Southern California finds that in 300 metropolitan areas around the country, pollution levels have both racial and economic dimensions. The study says the poor and racial minorities are more likely to live in polluted neighborhoods. Ash says these trends are most obvious in medium-sized cities that are homes to heavy industries., 4/27/09. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, calling for reforms, says the impact of the policy agenda of the International Monetary Fund in developing countries has been to slow economic growth, create greater inequality and cause instability. He spoke at an economic conference in Washington, D.C., 4/13/09. Pollin says researchers can, and often do, reach differing conclusions even when they are basing their findings on the same data. He uses the example of a recent report on the debate about climate change to illustrate the point.

Springfield Republican, 4/23/09. A feature story looks at how students from UMass Amherst helped the Amherst Senior Center organize a Hawaiian Night dance party. Students from Susan Whitbourne’s psychology of aging class helped raise funds for the event.

Mass High Tech, 4/17/09. Jane Fountain (political science), director of the National Center for Digital Government, discusses the advantages and possible drawbacks of using technology to promote transparency in government operations.

Asia Times, 4/17/09. Columnist Max Fraad Wolff (economics), a Ph.D. student in economics, tries to put the U.S. financial crisis in context by calculating the costs per capita., 4/14/09. Professor Emeritus Peter d’Errico (legal studies) writes a column about religious freedom in prisons for Native Americans.

Monthly Review, 4/14/09. Professor Emeritus Rick Wolff (economics) writes an editorial about how financial regulation failed to prevent the current economic meltdown.

Otago Daily News [New Zealand], 4/13/09. Gerald Epstein (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), writes in an editorial that credit rating agencies played a large role in the financial meltdown that has pushed the world economy into a severe recession.

Arizona Daily Star, 4/11/09. Elizabeth Krause (anthropology) comments in a story about the role of principals in schools and whether they should have a full-time presence in their schools.

PBS, Media Shift, 4/10/09. Bryan Murley, assistant professor of new and emerging media at Eastern Illinois University, says he has been searching college media websites looking for innovative ways student journalists are covering the economic crisis, the biggest story of their generation. He writes, "Probably the best example I have seen comes from the Amherst Wire, not a traditional college media outlet by any means. They covered the economic collapse in October with Market Meltdown 101. In March, they returned with an explanation of the economic stimulus package, Economic Stimulus 101, which was tied to a FAQ about the stimulus package." Steve Fox (journalism) is the faculty advisor of Amherst Wire.

New York Times, 4/7/09. James Crotty (economics) comments in a story about excess capacity in the national economy created by the economic downturn. Estimates are that there is now a $1 trillion drop in demand for goods, sales and other transactions, and it could take several years to get back to the pre-recession level.

Boston Globe, 4/7/09. Ralph Whitehead (journalism) says state governors don’t have nearly as many powerful tools to deal with economic problems as presidents, and the tools they do have are very unpopular with the public. While the federal government can deficit spend, governors are required to produce balanced budgets, and means that program cuts, layoffs and other moves that can be very politically damaging, as Deval Patrick and other governors are discovering.

Des Moines Register, 4/5/09. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, comments on the economic impact of the unanimous decision by the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage. A study estimates that Iowa could see $160 million in new wedding and tourism revenue during the next three years because of the court ruling.

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, Legal Studies, Neuroscience and Behavior, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy and Administration, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), and Sociology. With 38,000 alumni, 5,000 current undergraduate majors, and 500 graduate students, SBS is the largest of UMass Amherst’s colleges. In addition to its departments, it is home to numerous centers and research institutions. Through the general education courses that SBS offers, the College’s 150 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 donation to SBS for your department, student financial aid, or a purpose that speaks to your personal experiences and priorities. To make a gift online, click here. Questions? Contact:
Saige Reisler, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
235 Draper Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9244

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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Draper Hall • University of Massachusetts Amherst • 40 Campus Center Way • Amherst, MA 01003-9244 • Tel: 413.545.4173 • Fax: 413.577.0905
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Draper Hall University of Massachusetts 40 Campus Center Way Amherst, MA 01003-9244 (413) 545-4173 FAX: (413) 577-0905