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SBS Newsletter – April 2011

In this issue

UMass Amherst Commemorative MedalMay 14: SBS Senior Celebration Ceremony
Attention all graduating SBS seniors: The annual Senior Celebration Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 14 at 12:30–2:00 p.m. in the Mullins Center. This event is In addition to the official university Commencement (scheduled on Friday) and will provide a send-off that is personal, memorable and fun.You will be able to spend time with faculty and friends in your major, plus you will receive a commemorative UMass medal (pictured here). Don't miss essential info (like when and where to line up) for you and your families. Read more...

Cady ColemanAstronaut Cady Coleman to Send Commencement Address from Outer Space
The Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 13 at 5 p.m. will feature a videotaped address from alumna and NASA astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman ’91 PhD (polymer science & engineering), who is currently on board the International Space Station. Coleman will be offering congratulations to the 4,300 Earth-bound graduates at the ceremony in McGuirk Alumni Stadium as friends, family and alumni from around the world look on. Read more...

Peter KumbleUsing Education for Improving Lives
“If you’re looking for a course of study to help heal the planet, look no further!” says lecturer, researcher and advisor Peter Kumble (LARP). “Landscape architects and regional planners have been doing ‘sustainable’ work for more than 100 years! This degree will teach students to have the self-confidence to be problem solvers on many different levels.” Read more...

SBS Peer AdvisorsSBS Peer Advising Program Has Stellar First Year
Stop by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advising Center any afternoon and you will be greeted by the energetic and talented Peer Advisors. In its freshman year, the SBS Peer Advising Program is charged with providing student-to-student connections to help undergraduates with their academic planning and offering an academic seminar for upper-level students who want to develop their leadership and helping skills. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Alan UlichneyJournalism/Econ Student Named Commencement Speaker
“Student commencement speaker Alan Ulichney ’11 (journalism/economics) hails from Stow, MA, a town that boasts a population that is one-fifth the size of the 30,000-person audience expected to attend the class of 2011 commencement,” writes Alana Friedberg ’11 (journalism). “You can hear the double journalism and economics major speak at McGuirk Alumni Stadium Friday, May 13 at 5:00 pm. In this interview you’ll get a glimpse...or two...or three of his much anticipated address.” Read more...

James IhedigboIhedigbo Named NHF Humanitarian of the Year
James Ihedigbo ’07 (sociology) of the New York Jets was honored this month as the Nigerian Healthcare Foundation Faces of Hope Humanitarian of the Year. He is the founder of Hope Africa Foundation and is also involved in the Nigerian Agricultural Technical Community College (NATAC), a college founded by his parents. Read more...

At the Edge of Camelot cover imageHistory of Econ Department is Published
Professor Donald Katzner (economics) has written At the Edge of Camelot:  Debating Economics in Turbulent Times (Oxford University Press) that will be of particular interest to economics alumni—especially those who were on campus during the period he covers, the late 1960s through the 1970s. The book tells the story of an academic department that underwent rapid, wrenching changes during a time and in a place that one would not have expected. Read more...

Kate TookeLandscape Architecture Student Wins Olmsted Scholarship
Master's degree candidate Kate Tooke (landscape architecture), has been selected as the 2011 National Olmsted Scholar, bringing her a $25,000 award. Kate will receive her degree in May and plans to use the award to build on her thesis work studying the ecological impacts of the Boston Schoolyard Initiative by developing a design toolkit for urban ecological schoolyard transformation. Read more...

Seung-Yun OhFive College Fellowship Goes to Econ Grad Student
Economics graduate student, Seung-Yun Oh, has been awarded a Five College Fellowship for the 2011-2012 academic year. The residential fellowship is designed to provide support to doctoral students finishing their dissertation and includes a $30,000 stipend and a research grant as well as office space, housing or housing assistance and health benefits. Seung-Yun’s dissertation is titled, “Evolutionary and Institutional Model of Family Economy.” She will be hosted by Smith College. Read more about the fellowship.

Gizem ZencirciPolSci Student Receives Generosity Fellowship
Political Science PhD student Gizem Zencirci has been awarded a prestigious and highly selective "Science of Generosity" Dissertation fellowship administered by the the University of Notre Dame for the 2011-12 academic year. The aptly named award of $25,000 supports Gizem's dissertation project, "Manifestations of Generosity in Turkey: Community, Charity, and Civil Society." Read more...

John HirdHird Named Interim Associate Dean
John A. Hird, chair of the Political Science Department, has been appointed Interim Associate Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences for the 2011-2012 academic year. Hird will be responsible for overseeing the College's research programs and serving as liaison to the College Executive Committee and the Research Council, while Douglas Anderton, associate dean for research, takes a well-deserved sabbatical leave. Read more...

Center for Research on Families logoCRF Selects Research Scholars
The Center for Research on Families, part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Natural Sciences, has named six faculty members as 2011-12 Family Research Scholars on the basis of their promising work in family-related research. Included are SBS faculty Angelica M. Bernal (political science) and Elizabeth Krause (anthropology). The Family Research Scholars Program provides selected faculty with time, technical expertise, peer mentorship, and national expert consultation to prepare large grant proposals to support their research. Read more...

Anthony GurleyPortsmouth Invitational Beckons Gurley
Basketball's Anthony Gurley ’11 (sociology) had a chance to impress professional scouts at the Portsmouth (VA) Invitational Tournament in early April. The third-team, all-Atlantic 10 selection averaged 18.7 points as a senior and scored 1,520 points in his college career. Portsmouth is a showcase for seniors who want to play professionally. Former Minutemen Gary Forbes ’08 (communication), Stephane Lasme '07, and Tony Gaffney ’10 (sociology) played in the Portsmouth Invitational. It helped Lasme get drafted; Forbes and Gaffney each earned a spot in an NBA team's preseason camp.

$50K by Labor Day logoJournalism Campaign: $50K by Labor Day
The Journalism Program is working to raise $50K by Labor Day to buy new laptops, cameras, audio recorders and video cameras for students to become well versed on multimedia platforms. Journalism’s equipment is limited and aging, plus the program needs to have a new lab in place by the start of the fall semester. Gifts may be made online or by check, payable to “UMass” (memo: “Journalism”), to James Mallet, director of development, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Draper Hall, UMass Amherst, 40 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9244. Read more...

UMass footballRent-free Deal at Gillette Allows UMass to Climb to FBS
UMass Amherst officials have announced they are elevating the football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), thereby becoming a football member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The formal announcement was made April 20 at Gillette Stadium, where the Minutemen will be playing their home games for the foreseeable future. UMass will play a full FBS and MAC schedule beginning with the 2012 football season and by 2013 will be eligible for the MAC championship and bowl participation. Read press release and view video. Read Boston Globe article...

Student Success logoCollege Educators: Save the date for 2nd Annual Student Success Conference
The 2011 New England Conference for Student Success will take place on campus, Friday, September 23, 2011, featuring a keynote presentation by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This year's theme is “Higher Education for All: Mission Impossible, Mission Imperative.” The registration page is live and content is being added daily to the website. Those interested in submitting a session proposal, click here. Please join us for this exciting event and pass this invitation along to your colleagues! Last year's was a capacity crowd of 300 individuals from colleges throughout the Northeast Region.

Upcoming Events
Bookmark 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.

From time to time the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences sponsors lectures, panels and programs that may be of special interest to alumni. Most of these take place on campus, generally in the late afternoon or early evening, and are free. While most are organized well in advance and are publicized on the SBS event calendar, sometimes they develop quickly in response to political and social events. For example, with the recent unrest in Arab countries, a group of SBS faculty very quickly organized a discussion of those events and their implications. Notice was short: only three days. If you are interested in receiving notification of these events, let us know and we'll put you on a listserv.

Alumni News
Asher Berman ’06 (political science), a graduate student at Tufts University's Fletcher School, is currently studying Arabic in the Middle East as part of a Boren Fellowship. He writes, "During the recent revolution in Egypt, I was living in Cairo and traveling the country with cartoonist Dov Torbin ’07 (engineering). Over the past few months, we have been working on telling our story through a webcomic, The Revolution will be Televised, the first chapter of which was recently published. It tells the story of two American travelers who, through clouds of tear gas, watch a country evolve and find themselves altered by the experience. It will be updated weekly."

Toni Maschler '87 (anthropology), immigration rights lawyer, presented the keynote at the Five College Undergraduate Anthropology Research Conference on campus.

John Musante MPA ’89 (public policy) is Town Manager of Amherst. He received his undergraduate degree from the Isenberg School of Management, with a minor in economics.

Several communication alumni came back to campus for the Department's annual Alumni/ae Career Night, sharing their experiences with students. Jessica Atwood ’95, MA ’00, senior economic development planner with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments in Greenfield, MA, has been extensively involved with broadband service access in unserved areas of Western MA, the redevelopment of "brownfield" sites in Franklin County, and other areas of regional economic development planning. Liz Coffey ’96 is the film conservator for the Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge, MA. A camera assistant and operator for nearly 12 years, Gregg de Domineico ’99 has worked on more than 300 commercials, 100 music videos, and multiple feature films. Credits include Spider Man 3, Junebug, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, Dave Chapell's Block Party, Ceremony, Little Children and Che. For many years Patrick Sabbs ’84 worked at WWLP TV-22, rising from camera operator to production director. During that time he went to law school and since 1996 he has been an assistant district attorney for Hampden County, MA. George Smith ’02, currently senior manager of social strategy and execution at Pepsico, has helped develop marketing strategy for many brands, including Crocs and Walmart. After completing a 2-year stint in the Peace Corps in Dominica, West Indies, Hillary Teed ’07 has been a public policy specialist at the Connecticut Community Providers Association, an organization that advances behavioral health policy and advocacy on behalf of community human service providers.

"Back from the Front," featuring six young journalism alumni discussing how to survive and thrive in the uncertain job market, was held on campus April 21. On hand were Erika Lovley ’06, staff writer at Politico, Mike LaCrosse ’10, reporter and producer,  ABC-TV 40, Michael Phillis ’10, staff writer, Lexington Minuteman, Sean Sullivan ’10, associate producer,, Mary K. Alfieri ’10, advertising and PR, The Loomis Group, and Julie Robenhymer ’04, senior writer, Read more...

Hearty thanks go to Jeremy Bucci ’98 (political science & philosophy), Chief Trial Counsel, Massachusetts Northwestern District Attorney's Office; Sean Chen ’03 (communication), attorney in small practice specializing in immigration and family law, Colin Keefe ’91 (political science), criminal defense attorney in private practice; Chris Mahoney ’95 (political science), attorney in private practice, specializing in family law, estate planning, and criminal defense;, and Maura Murphy-Osbourne ’94 (political science), Assistant Attorney General, Hartford, CT, who were on campus in mid-April, participating in the Careers in the Law Night. More than 40 students attended the event, sponsored by SBS, Commonwealth Honors College and Pre-law Advising.

The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation has awarded Dan Lamothe ’04 (journalism), a senior staff writer for Marine Corps Times, the Major Megan McClung Award for his coverage of Marine operations in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.

Mike LaCrosse ’10 (journalism) covered the jury deliberations in the trial of those accused of killing Springfield's reputed mob boss Al Bruno.

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.

Department/Faculty News
Associate Professor Jillian Schwedler (political science) is a recipient of a 2011 Distinguished Teaching Award. Only current students or alumni may nominate faculty for this highly competitive and prestigious award, presented by the Provost's Office. Recipients receive a monetary prize and are recognized at both the Undergraduate and Graduate Commencements.

Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), David Cort (sociology) and Tom Juravich (labor studies) received funding for their proposal, "Employment Fraud and Employee Misclassification in Massachusetts," from the Mass. Department of Labor.

Assistant Professor Jesse Rhodes (political science) has received a grant from the Spencer Foundation to explore "How Education Accountability Shapes Citizens' Civic Attitudes and Behavior." Findings will help to identify policies—or characteristics of policies—that effectively promote civic action. Read more...

Assistant Research Professor Jeff Thompson (Political Economy Research Institute) is one of the winners of the 2010 Richard Musgrave Prize from the National Tax Association, presented to the author or authors of the outstanding paper published in the National Tax Journal. Read more...

Associate Professor Krista Harper (anthropology and public policy) presented research at the International Conference on Urban Harvest and Sustainability, April 7-8, in Seixal, Portugal. Her presentation, “Youth participation in the 'farm-to-school' system: Examples from the United States" discusses community-based participatory research projects with two western Massachusetts community organizations, Fertile Ground of Williamsburg and Nuestras Raíces of Holyoke. The research team included Catherine Sands MPPA ’09 and Molly Totman ’10 (anthropology), as well as Nuestras Raíces Youth Programs Director Diego Angarita. Read more about Harper....

Professor Don Tomaskovic-Devey (sociology) was elected president of the Southern Sociological Society for 2011–12. Also, Tomaskovic-Devey and grad student Ken-hou Lin's paper, "Income Dynamics, Economic Rents and the Financialization of the U.S. Economy" was accepted for publication by the American Sociological Review.

The Center for Public Policy and Administration welcomed Victor Basile, counselor to the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and a national leader in the LGBT community. His talk, “Navigating the Maze: Working for Social Justice and Gay Rights in the Nation’s Capitol,” drew on his long career in government and nonprofit service and his work for social justice for LGBT people. 

Professors Ray La Raja and John Hird (political science) are recipients of a Residential First Year Experience (RFYE) Student Choice Award that recognizes faculty who have made a significant impact on the lives of students during their first year of college. Only first-year students may nominate faculty.

Assistant Professor Stuart Shulman (political science), director of the Qualitative Data Analysis Program, has received a grant from the Smithsonian Institution to develop tools which can rapidly mine public discourse and concerns about climate change. The project will enable the Smithsonian to build a climate change outreach and education platform. Read more...

Norman Sims (journalism) presented a paper and was a panelist at a three-day seminar on international literary journalism at the American Comparative Literature Conference in Vancouver, B.C.

Jeannette Wicks-Lim (Political Economy Research Institute) was guest speaker at The Northampton Living Wage Coalition to mark Living Wage Week in mid-April.

Assistant Professor Angelica Bernal (political science) has received a Lilly Teaching Fellowship for 2011-2012. This competitive program, established in 1986, enables promising junior faculty to cultivate teaching excellence in a special year-long collaboration on campus.

Journalism hosted a screening of the upcoming film "The Bang Bang Club," a true story about four South African photojournalists covering the country's apartheid period between 1990–94. See the movie trailer....

Professor John Brigham (political science) gave an invited presentation at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain. His presentation linked the "Chaos and Classicism" exhibition at the Guggenheim with the strongly neo-classical US Supreme Court building. According to Brigham, many people "forget that the Supreme Court building was built in the 1930s and associate its classical style with antiquity rather than seeing it as a political statement." Read more...

SBS in the News, 4/29/11. Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), director of the Labor Center, comments about the overwhelmingly Democratic Massachusetts House voting to weaken municipal employees’ ability to bargain over some aspects of health care. She says this vote represents part of the same trend that has seen much harsher legislation approved to curtail public workers’ benefits and calls it "a perfect storm."

“Planet Money” [NPR], 4/29/11; WFCR, 4/19/11; Providence Business News,, 4/13/11. A study by Jeffrey Thompson (Political Economy Research Institute) that shows state tax rates have little impact on a person’s decision to move to another state is included in a story about how the rich respond to taxes. Thompson says most people decide to move based on the availability of jobs, but are much more inclined to stay put to be near family and friends. Boston Globe, 4/13/11. In a a letter-to-the-editor Thompson calls for ending the state’s single sales factor tax incentive that allows mutual fund companies and manufacturers to base taxable income only on sales in the state. The incentive, he says, has little impact on business decisions and is costly to the state.

Virgin Islands Daily News, 4/28/11. John Mullin, dean of the Graduate School (landscape architecture and regional planning), is the co-author of a “living wage” study commissioned by the Virgin Islands legislature. The study is under discussion in the territory.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 4/26/11. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, comments in a story about how legal agreements, estate planning and other financial issues have become more complicated for same-sex couples and unmarried couples around the country. She says there is no way for gay couples to escape the high fees paid to lawyers and planners.

Boston Herald, 4/25/11. Professor Emeritus Jerome Mileur (political science) says if gasoline prices continue to rise, the public will blame President Obama and it will become an issue in the next presidential campaign.

Dayton Daily News, 4/23/11. The homicide rate in Dayton, Ohio, has dropped nearly 50% since the 1970s and much of the credit for that goes to improvements in medical technology and trauma care, according to police officials.The article references a 2002 study, “Murder and Medicine,” by Anthony Harris (sociology), who concluded that improvements in trauma care suppress the homicide rate, but don’t necessarily lower the violent crime rate.

The Real News Network, 4/22/11. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, discusses the federal budget proposal put forward by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. This budget focuses on changing the tax code and ending overseas wars to save money rather than cutting entitlements. The Real News Network, 4/16/11. Pollin discusses why he thinks President Obama’s new emphasis on reducing the national debt is misguided and his efforts should be focused on boosting the economic recovery.

Boston Globe, 4/21/11. B.J. Roche (journalism) blogs about attending an unconventional funeral that captured the spirit and reflected the warm friendships enjoyed by the deceased woman. More people are personalizing funerals now and at least one organization helps make informed choices in planning one’s own send-off. [Baltimore], 4/20/11. A study by the Political Economy Research Institute found that on-street bike lanes, more than any other kind of transportation infrastructure improvement, lead to effective job growth. The study was based on work in Baltimore.

Naked Capitalism, 4/19/11. A column by James Boyce (economics) examines the use of tax havens to shield corporations from having to pay taxes in the U.S.

New York Times (Economix blog), 4/11/11. Nancy Folbre (economics) discusses the political and economic argument for raising taxes on the very wealthy. The idea, she says, always draws fierce opposition, but in addition to raising revenue for the government, such a step might also be good for the economy by encouraging more productive investment and activity. New York Times (Economix blog), 4/4/11. Folbre writes about the decline in corporate tax revenues and its impact on the nation’s budget deficit.

WAMC, 4/8/11. Frank Sleegers (landscape architecture and regional planning) discussed the Riverscape project, that aims to create more recreational, cultural and economic opportunities tied to the Connecticut River.

WWLP-TV 22, 4/5/11. About 1,000 students, staff, faculty and community members participated in an April 5, on-campus teach-in on the economic crisis and rising inequality. Speakers included Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), director of the Labor Center, and Dan Clawson (sociology). Similar events were held at about 200 schools in the country.

Indian Country News, 4/4/11. Ventura Perez (anthropology) says the skulls and other remains of Yaqui warriors that have been returned to the tribes by New York’s American Museum of Natural History showed evidence about how they were killed. The bones and other materials have since been buried in Northern Mexico., 3/31/11. In "Washington Post plagiarism case challenges educators who tell students not to break the rules"  Steve Fox (journalism) addresses the issue of plagiarism and how reporters and editors can address it together.

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, Environmental Design, Journalism, Labor Studies, Landscape Architecture, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, 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, student 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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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