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SBS Newsletter – April 2010

In this issue

Max CohenLandscape Architecture Student Plans to Enrich the World
“As a child, I built forts. Now, I manipulate earth, stone and plants, focusing my creative energy on gardens,” says Max Cohen ’10 (landscape architecture). “The landscapes that inform me are far reaching—from the farmlands of the Midwest to the Northeastern forests, all the way to the rainbow corals of the South Pacific,” Cohen says, noting that he has lived in many very diverse areas. “My parents prioritized adventure. On one grad school student’s budget, they found ways to expose my siblings and me to exciting places: parks, museums, and mountains. I developed a playful relationship with my environments, as well as an intimate appreciation for the outdoors.” Read more...

Melvin HowardDistinguished Service Alumni Award Recipient
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association on alumni, faculty and friends. Recipients of this prestigious award have translated their UMass Amherst experience into distinguished achievement in the public, business or professional realms and bring honor to UMass Amherst and to their field of endeavor. Among this year's recipients is Melvin Howard ’57 (economics), former vice chairman of Xerox Corporation and CEO of Xerox Financial Services. Read more...

Naomi GerstelWork and Family Define Sociologist’s Interests
It was the late 1970s. Professor Naomi Gerstel (sociology) was a PhD candidate at Columbia University. “The feminist movement was blossoming, but it hadn’t yet changed campuses,” she recalls. “Our department only had one woman faculty member. The study of work and family barely existed.” Gerstel made it her business to change that. Read more...

Emily GrundThird Year Running: Journalism Student Selected as Commencement Speaker
Emily Grund '10 (journalism) is one of two students selected as this year's commencement student speaker. That makes three years in a row that the speaker has been from Journalism, with Katie Huston '08 and Jackie Hai '09 preceding her. Must be something in the water...or in the way the journalism majors are taught to present their thoughts! Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Tonya EckertJournalism Major Wins First UMass Video Contest
Tonya Eckert '10 (journalism) from Hatboro, Pa., is the winner of the grand prize in the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s first-ever SMART Student Video Contest. The competition challenged students to create a unique 1–3-minute video demonstrating why UMass Amherst is a smart place to receive an education. Judges evaluated the entries based on how effectively the video communicated the theme, how engaging and entertaining each video was, and its overall creative and technical excellence. Read more and view video...

Mari CastanedaMari Castañeda to receive 2010 Antonia Pantoja Award
The Communication Department’s Mari Castañeda is this year's recipient of the Latino Scholarship Association's Antonia Pantoja Award. "Named after a remarkable activist, educator and community organizer, the award recognizes Castañeda’s activist scholarship and her sustained work in developing and maintaining educational partnerships between the Latino community in Holyoke and UMass Amherst," said department chair Lisa Henderson in announcing the award. Read more...

Recovery Act logoRecovery Act Supports Unique Internship Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a long history of hiring interns to work on biological, habitat restoration and visitor services projects. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enabled the Service’s Northeast Regional Office in Hadley, Mass., to offer a different type of internship experience this year. The office, which leads communications for the region, used Recovery Act funding to create an undergraduate internship program in partnership with UMass Amherst. Read more...

Mural image with artistsThe Art and Artists of Healing
UMass Amherst unveiled an extraordinary mural April 5, 2010, as part of the multi-year The Art of Conflict Transformation in the North of Ireland/Northern Ireland event series. Two artists-in-residence from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine, worked with UMass students to examine the role of art in the centuries-old conflict and the transformation to peace. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences was among the sponsors of the event, organized largely by Leah Wing (legal studies). View the video of the unveiling, along with commentary by Congressman Richard Neal.

UMichigan stadiumUMass vs. Michigan Football
Calling all sports fans! Mark your calendar for September 18 and plan to show your school pride as the Minutemen kick-off against the University of Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor. Be part of the largest crowd ever to watch a UMass Amherst sporting event! Also, on Friday, September 17 the Alumni Associaiton will host a UMass Football Fan Gathering event at the Guy Hollerin's Sports Restaurant & Bar, located in the official UMass Amherst Fan Hotel. Travel packages, game tickets, and pre-game reception tickets are now available for purchase. You may also purchase raffle tickets for an opportunity to win one of three fabulous seat upgrade packages! Read more and purchase tickets.

David KnappFormer UMass President David Knapp Dies
Former UMass President David C. Knapp was remembered this week as “an educator, a visionary and a leader” who “left an indelible mark on the University of Massachusetts.” Knapp, who died Tuesday, April 13 in Concord at the age of 82, served as UMass system President from 1978 to 1992. He was considered to be instrumental in expanding the five campus system, and well in solidifying the importance of the president’s office and political influence of the system. Read more...

Upcoming Events
Check out the Events Calendar on the SBS website. There you'll find a listing of upcoming events related to the programs and departments in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences of interest to alumni, students, faculty and/or friends. View it by week, by month, or as a listing.

Alumni News
Paul MarkPaul Mark '08 MS (labor studies) has announced that he is running for Massachusetts State Representative, 2nd Berkshire District. Mark's website notes that he "has dedicated his life to exceeding expectations through hard work and perseverance. His philosophy has been shaped by his blue-collar background, his strong commitment to family, and his passion for learning and education." While working full time, Mark earned his master's degree from UMass Amherst and attended law school three nights a week at Suffolk University. After UMass, he enrolled in Northeastern University’s Doctorate in Law and Policy program. Mark graduated from both Suffolk Law and Northeastern in 2009. His doctoral dissertation is entitled, “Predicting Labor Law Reform,” an analysis of why the Employee Free Choice Act will not pass the 111th Congress in spite of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Paul passed the Massachusetts bar exam last July and was sworn in as an attorney in December. Read more....

David PakmanDavid Pakman '06 (economics and communication), host and co-producer of the Northampton-based radio/TV/internet program "Midweek Politics With David Pakman," is rapidly becoming a force in the American communications industry. His talk show focuses on politics and news of the week, with listener call-ins and interviews of liberal, conservative, and non-political guests ranging from Victor Ostrovsky, former Mossad case officer and Lieutenant Commander of the Israeli Navy, to gossip columnist Perez Hilton. Read an interview with him in the Jewish Ledger.

Carole Counihan '76 MA, '81 PhD (anthropology), professor of anthropology at Millersville University, was on campus in April to present the Distinguished Lecture in the Anthropology of Europe. She is the author of several books: Around the Tuscan Table (2004), The Anthropology of Food and the Body (1999), and Life is Like a Tortilla (2009). She edited several major collected volumes, including Food and Culture: A Reader (2000/2007), Food and Gender (1998), and Food in the USA (2002). Read more...

Zach Beaulieu '09 and Carl Saccone '09 (landscape architecture), founders of Landscape Studio 7 in Fitchburg, are interviewed in the Fitchburg Pride. The company is having great success getting business through social media markets, including Facebook and Twitter. “It’s unbelievable how UMass prepared me to understand the business so much better,” Beaulieu says. “UMass prepared us for everything, from the computer software, to the programs and drawings.” Landscape Studio 7 offers affordable as well as state-of-the-art designs, including 3D before and after renderings. It operates remotely throughout New England, and is based out of each co-founder’s home. For more information, visit the Landscape Studio 7 website.

Former Minuteman basketball player Tony Gaffney '09 (sociology) has signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Boston Celtics. Read more on April 13 and April 15.

For the fourth year, David Floreen '70 (economics), a senior vice president at the Massachusetts Bankers Association, has run a financial literacy internship program for UMass students. Among their activities, the interns—four this year—organize a campus event to provide information to undergraduates on an array of financial topics, including budgeting, maintaining good credit, preventing identity theft and managing student loan and credit card debt. Turnout was excellent at this year's program and the packed Student Union heard from a variety of speakers, including Floreen. He noted that financial education is where sex education was in schools 20 years ago: behind the times. "We're a generation behind with financial ed," Floreen says, acknowledging that the recession hurt many people's ability to save for their children's future educational needs.

Please send us your news! Also, view upcoming alumni events, sponsored by the Alumni Assocation, 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/Department News
During the past five years, the National Center of Technology and Dispute Resolution, housed on campus and headed by Prof. Emeritus Ethan Katsh (legal studies), has collaborated with the UMass Computer Science Department and the National Mediation Board in two significant National Science Foundation research projects. Along with Dr. Beverly Woolf of the Computer Science Department, a new NSF grant has been approved. The research project, also funded for three years, is "The Fourth Party: Improving Computer-Mediated Deliberation through Cognitive, Social and Emotional Support." The goal is "develop and evaluate software to support people engaged in online social deliberation, especially as it relates to online dispute resolution and collaborative inquiry.

Brigitte Holt (anthropology) has received a General Education Fellows Program award for 2010. This is a teaching development opportunity from the Provost's office that provides a $2,500 stipend.

Lynnette Leidy Sievert (anthropology) is one of three recipients of the 2010-2011 Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Award. Presented by the Office of Research Affairs, the fellowship consists of a cash award of $3,000 and a year's leave of absence to encourage recipients to concentrate on activities related to graduate education, research, creative work and scholarly attainment.

Oxford University Press will publish To the Edge of Camelot: A History of the Economics Department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1965-1981 by Don Katzner (economics). The book is expected to appear towards the end of 2011. Read more...

A book party and benefit celebrated the release of Saving State U: Why We Must Fix Public Higher Education by Nancy Folbre (economics). The event benefited the Public Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), the leading organization advocating for affordable, well-funded public higher education in Massachusetts. PHENOM unites students, faculty, alumni, staff, parents and community organizations to do grassroots organizing, policy analysis, and legislative advocacy. The event was sponsored by PERI and the Department of Economics.

For over 50 years the core of campus has been designated as the Frank A. Waugh Campus Arboretum, UMass's own Emerald Necklace of trees. The arboretum supports teaching and research and enriches the community by reminding us of the natural habits of trees; their seasonal interest; their size and shape; their beauty; and the way they both sit in and shape outdoor spaces. In conjunction with Arbor Day, The Arts in the Arboretum tour, organized in part by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, brought attention to three groupings of trees that are important components of the Waugh Arboretum. Jack Ahern (Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning) is the director of the Arboretum. Read more...

Dean Robinson (political science) has been selected as a 2010 Marion and Jasper Whiting Fellow. The fellowship will enable Professor Robinson to conduct research this summer in Australia and New Zealand on health disparities in those countries and the policies pursued by their governments to address the disparities. Read more...

Racial and Ethnic Studies (Volume 33, Issue 5, 2010, Pages 889 – 916) included a review of Nancy Foner's (ed.), Across Generations: Immigrant Families in America by Ken-Hou Lin (sociology).

The Center for Research on Families has named five Family Research Scholars for 2010-2011. Every year, the Family Research Scholars Program supports up to six faculty, each of whom produces and submits a major grant proposal for family research. Read more...

SBS in the News
New York Times Economix Blog, 4/26/10. Nancy Folbre (economics) discusses the issue of salary disparities between men and women and how that played a role in the recent economic meltdown. Folbre says the linkage between high pay and productivity seems to be fraying in our society, and instead people are reaping large rewards for aggressive and cynical opportunism that isn’t very socially productive. She also points out that women tend to be less aggressive and Machiavellian in business with negative impact on their pay rates. Folbre suggests creating a pay system that actually rewards productivity and penalizes bullies and cheats., 4/26/10. Columnist Rebecca Traister responds to the Folbre blog posting.

American Banker, 4/26/10. Jane D’Arista (Political Economy Research Institute) defends provisions of banking regulatory reform legislation that call for additional studies in a variety of areas. Such study proposals often serve as points of compromise and consensus in otherwise stalled debates, she says. The Real News Network, 4/15/10. D’Arista discusses whether the U.S. dollar can maintain its status as the world’s currency.

New York Times, 4/22/10. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, comments in a story about the slow progress being made in encouraging the green economy in the U.S. Pollin says few companies have applied for federal tax credits available to firms that are involved in green manufacturing and that currently only about 75,000 jobs have been generated. Overall, however, Pollin says green energy is an opportunity to help revive the nation’s manufacturing sector. City Limits, 4/19/10. In a story analyzing the Federal Reserve’s role in addressing high unemployment, particularly among black workers, Pollin says he believes economic thinking is changing and it now makes sense for the Fed to buy corporate bonds to fund high-employment businesses, especially those that will create jobs in urban areas, much as it acted to cut the federal funds rate in the 2008 economic crisis. He says the Fed has other mechanisms to control inflation without hurting employment, but it just doesn’t use them.

Recycling Today, 4/20/10. An analysis of auto shredding capacity in the scrap metal market cites an article by James Crotty (economics) that says global excess capacity is difficult to measure or even define.

Miami Herald, 4/15/10. When U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens retires this summer, the remaining eight justices will have been trained at just two law schools – Harvard and Yale. Sheldon Goldman (political science), an expert on the federal judiciary, comments that he doesn’t see this as a problem. “One would expect the top legal minds of the country to have gone to the very best law schools,” he says. He also says it is somewhat of a coincidence that all eight justices went to just two schools.

Science Daily, 4/14/10. Marina Blanco, a doctoral student in anthropology, was part of an international team of researchers that discovered the world’s only known living population of Sibree’s Dwarf Lemur in Madagascar. The species was first discovered in Madagascar in 1896, but this tiny, nocturnal dwarf lemur was never studied throughout the 20th century. Following the destruction of its only known rainforest habitat, scientists had no idea whether the species still existed in the wild—or even whether it was a distinct species. The research team's paper on the lemur will be published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution., 4/9/10. Christopher Donta (archaeological services) gave a presentation to the Groton (MA) Historical Society on the history of that town dating back 14,000 years, the end of the last ice age in this region. He says very little is known about that period, and it’s not until about 5,000 years ago that identifiable Native American tribes were located in the town.

WFCR, 4/8/10. Two Irish painters, artists-in-residence this spring at UMass Amherst and former enemies who have put aside their differences in the interest of peace and moving their country forward, work with Springfield youth to create a mural based on hope. Though from very different cultures, those who live in one the city's poorest neighborhoods and those who grew up at the height of the troubles in Ireland have experienced similar struggles. The event was organized largely by Leah Wing (legal studies).

New York Times, 4/7/10. Elizabeth S. Chilton (anthropology) comments on the significance of pre-Columbian Narragansett Indian village archaeological site that is the focus of a property rights dispute in Rhode Island. State officials are trying to stop development of the site, which is on privately owned land. Chilton says the discovery of an entire Narragansett village would reveal how the Indians lived, worked and worshiped before Europeans arrived.

Epoch Times, 4/6/10; Veterans Today, 4/3/10. Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) have released the Toxic 100 Air Polluters, an updated list of the top corporate air polluters in the United States. The list informs consumers and shareholders which large corporations release the most toxic pollutants into our air, according to Professor James Boyce (economics), co-director of PERI’s Corporate Toxics Information Project.

Boston Globe, 4/5/10. Madeleine Blais (journalism) was on a panel of judges at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute that chose the top 10 stories in the past decade. The Boston Globe’s series on clergy abuse was one of the top stories.

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 (LARP), Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), and Sociology. Among our ranks are 38,600 alumni, 3,800 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 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. 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, 413.545.3945.

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