SBS Newsletter – April 2010
In this issue
Landscape Architecture Student Plans to Enrich the World
Distinguished Service Alumni Award Recipient
Work and Family Define Sociologist’s Interests
Third Year Running: Journalism Student Selected as Commencement Speaker
Journalism Major Wins First UMass Video Contest
Mari Castañeda to receive 2010 Antonia Pantoja Award
Recovery Act Supports Unique Internship Program
The Art and Artists of Healing
UMass vs. Michigan Football
Former UMass President David Knapp Dies
David 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.
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.
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
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.
Nashobapublishing.com, 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
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