SBS Newsletter – April 2012
In this issue
SBS Outstanding Teaching Awards Recognize Faculty
Longtime UMass Journalism Prof Dies
Urban Design Project in Rome Brings Insights and Recognition
People Lie Constantly, Especially Online
Senior Celebration Ceremony on May 12
SBS Faculty Help First-Year Students
Plourde's Perfect Pitching
Tarsi receives Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies
Documentary of Old Chapel Wins Award
Kappa Tau Alpha Inducts New Members
Law Dinner Provides Students/Alumni Networking Opportunities
Band to Play in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Ride with UMass Pride!
Library's Peregrine Falcons Get Reality Show
Wed, May 2 – Fri, May 4. International Conference: High-Tech Heritage: How Are Digital Technologies Changing Our Views of the Past? Sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Heritage and Society. Registration required.
Wed, May 9. Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil presented by Professor Timothy Mitchell, chair of the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. Cape Cod Lounge, Campus Center, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Department of Political Science. More information...
Saturday, May 12. SBS Senior Celebration Ceremony. Mullins Center, 1:00 p.m. More information...
For more SBS-related events, go to the SBS Events Calendar.
Former UMass football player James Ihedigbo ’07 (sociology), now with the New England Patriots, was in Amherst for the April alumni football game and to attend a fundraiser for the HOPE Africa Foundation.
After graduation Alana Friedberg '11 (journalism) joined the Page Program at CBS News in New York. She's currently working on the show "48 Hours Mystery."
Robert A. Hall ’72 (government) has published his sixth book, Advice for my Granddaughter: For When I'm Gone. From the "secret of happiness" to the "secret to avoiding poverty" to "tattoos," this grandfather draws on life experience for the girl he loves—and it's helpful for boys too. Hall, who has pulmonary fibrosis, is donating his royalties to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. This eventually terminal illness kills as many people each year as breast cancer, but is little known or researched. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran, a former five-term member of the Massachusetts State Senate and, since 1982, a successful non-profit executive. He has been widely published on political and management topics, plus a sprinkling of short fiction and poetry. A resident of Des Plaines, IL, Hall also is the recipient of the 2012 Robert A. Gannon Award, given for a distinguished volume of original verse (“Old Jarhead Poems”) by a Marine poet dealing with Marine Corps life. The award was presented at the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s Annual Awards Ceremony on April 21 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va. Royalties from that book go to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Read more...
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
Professor Jane Fountain (political science and public policy), a member of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on the Future of Government, has been named by Governor Patrick to the newly established Commonwealth’s Council for Innovation. The council will advise the administration on best opportunities to improve government efficiency and use technology to streamline delivery of services to people, businesses and local governments. Read more...
The Journalism Program's first Howard Ziff Journalist-in-Residence, Mark Stencel of NPR, spent three days on campus in April, guest-speaking in Journalism classes and talking to many Journalism faculty and students. Stencel also delivered a public presentation.
In memory of journalist Anthony Shadid, who tragically died in Syria earlier this year, the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU has released an unedited conversation between him and professor Jillian Schwedler (political science). Read more and watch the video.
Following the death in 2010 of John Bonsignore, founder of Legal Studies at UMass Amherst, his friend Artie Wolfe, formerly prof. of business law and ethics at Michigan State University, wrote Remembering John Bonsignore: A Memoir and Tribute. The book creates a permanent record of Bonsignore’s scholarship and actions in developing the first program devoted to law study that is not dominated by the “law-as-rule-memorization” paradigm prevalent in the late 19th century.
Professor Emeritus Howard J. Wiarda (political science), author of seven books about the Dominican Republic, has been awarded the "Orden de Colon" (Order of Columbus), the highest honor bestowed by that country. Considered one of the nation's leading experts on foreign policy, comparative politics, and international affairs, Wiarda taught at UMass 1965-2003. Read more...
As part of the CMASS/SBS Mentoring Program Assistant Prof. Ventura Pérez (anthropology) spoke about the unconventional path which took him from underachieving high school student (with a 1.2 GPA) to becoming a UMass Amherst Professor. The next day the Daily Collegian featured the story on its front page.
The Center for Research on Families (CRF) has named six faculty members, including Asst. Prof. Fareen Parvez (sociology), as 2012-13 Family Research Scholars. Selected on the basis of their promising work in family-related research, the faculty will receive the time, technical expertise, peer mentorship and national expert consultation to prepare a large grant proposal for their research support. Read more...
CRF also continues its mission of nurturing the next generation of researchers dedicated to understanding and unlocking issues related to the family with its annual grants and awards program. This year, 26 graduate and undergraduate students received over $70,000 of funding to advance their research through graduate fellowships, travel awards, methodological studies awards, undergraduate assistantships, and the honors thesis/capstone awards. PhD candidates Jessica Looze (sociology), Eiko Strader (sociology) and Joo Yeon Suh, (economics) each received a $10,000 Family Research Graduate Fellowship to work with a faculty mentor for the 2012-13 academic year. Read more...
A retirement celebration for Sara Lennox, director of the Social Thought and Political Economy Program and professor in German and Scandinavian Studies, was held on April 13. Lennox is retiring after 38 years on the faculty. The next day STPEC alumni continued the festivities with a reunion to honor and commemorate 40 years of STPEC. Featured were several alumni panels, a reception, dinner and music.
SBS in the News
PBS.org, 4/30/12. Steve Fox (journalism) says that even though student journalists know they have the right to cover events, including making videos of police activity, they often are unwilling to challenge authority when told to stop or threatened with arrest.
The Real News Network, 4/30/12. Gerald Epstein (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, discusses how the federal Dodd-Frank legislation, designed to regulate banking and Wall Street, is being undermined by the very interests it is supposed to watch over. The overall impact is that many people believe there are strict new rules in place, but in fact that’s not the case.
New York Times [Eonomix blog], 4/30/12. Pondering whether Americans really want to help the unemployed find jobs, Nancy Folbre (economics) writes about the misconception that many unemployed Americans use unemployment benefits to put off finding jobs, which is complemented by the notion that helping the unemployed promotes laziness and cutting benefits would improve the economy. New York Times [Economix blog], 4/16/12. Folbre writes about the gender gap that has been revealed by polls in the race between Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Kansas City Star, 4/12/12. Folbre says the political controversy created by a comment about Ann Romney’s status as a stay-at-home mom is bringing attention to the fact that economists pay so little attention to the value of unpaid work in the home. She says “it’s crazy” that more effort isn’t devoted to understanding what a homemaker’s job is worth in our society. New York Times [Economix blog], 4/9/12. Folbre writes about how social responsibility has made inroads into the world of investment. While it is hard to prove if such companies can make as much money as those that are only profit-driven, neither is it obvious that socially conscious companies are at any disadvantage in the market.
Maryland Community News, 4/27/12. Commenting about what Maryland might expect if its same-sex marriage law survives a statewide referendum this fall, M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration on campus and the Williams Institute at UCLA, notes that both Iowa and Massachusetts realized millions in related spending as well as state and local tax revenue.
City Limits magazine, 4/25/12. Research by Arindrajit Dube (economics) on the impact of raising the minimum wage is cited in a story about raising the federal minimum wage. Bloomberg, 4/16/12. A story about efforts by some in Congress to increase the federal minimum wage cites research led by Dube that found strong earning effects but no employment effects in doing so. It appears that state lawmakers around the country seem more accepting of the idea than federal lawmakers and have increased state minimum wages.
Washington Post, 4/24/12. Columnist Ruth Marcus, writing about political battles over whether new regulations create or destroy jobs cites a Political Economy Research Institute report. It concluded that new EPA rules on limiting mercury from power plant emissions would create 1.46 million jobs, as opposed to a coal industry study that asserted the new rules would cause the loss of 1.44 million jobs. She notes that such studies can produce results that align with a group’s political views.
Daily Hampshire Gazette, 4/21/12. Frank Sleegers (landscape architecture and regional planning) is quoted in an article about “Riverscaping,” an international conference sponsored by the Five College Architectural Program that creates collaborations between local communities and designers to highlight the Connecticut River. Four finalists were selected to implement their designs in cooperation with Turner's Falls, Hadley, Holyoke and Springfield, each with the help of a $7,500 grant from the program.
OpinoJuris.com, 4/18/12. Blogging about about how social media campaigns can have an impact on international law, using the documentary about African warlord Joseph Kony as an example, Charli Carpenter (political science) ponders a series of questions related to citizens’ appreciation and understanding of international law.
Time, Huffington Post, 4/17/12. A pair of stories marking Equal Pay Day cites two bodies of research, one by Nancy Folbre (economics) and the second by Michelle Budig (sociology) and grad student Melissa Hodges (sociology). Folbre has long studied how women are more likely to work in so-called caring professions which are traditionally lower paid than other work. Budig and Hodges did a study on the “motherhood penalty” women face when they have children. The greatest loss, they found, is among the poorest women.
SFGate.com [San Francisco], 4/17/12. A column about whether higher tax rates for the wealthy will discourage those people from working cites a study by Jeffrey Thompson (Political Economy Research Institute). Thompson says wealthy people don’t work less when taxes go up; they become more creative in finding ways to reduce their taxable income.
Wall Street Journal, 4/16/12. An article about Asian-Americans "outmarrying" less than in the past notes that C.N. Le (sociology) has done an in-depth analysis of Asian-American intermarriage and made the results viewable on his public blog, Asian Nation. Le finds that since 2006, the frequency of inter-Asian marriage has increased by 8% among all Asian-Americans and by 15% among Asians raised in the U.S. New York Times, 3/30/12; Seattle Times, 4/2/12. Research by Le is cited in an article on recent marriage studies that found Asians are increasingly marrying within their own race. According to Le, marriage trends vary among nationalities, with Japanese-Americans having the highest rates of intermarriage with whites and Vietnamese-American men and Indian women having the lowest rates.
Toronto Star, 4/14/12. In a story about the difficulties of doing business in Africa, Leonce Ndikumana (economics) says a myth persists that doing business in Africa requires one to be corrupt.
Reuters, 4/13/12. In an article about President Obama’s efforts to generate “green jobs” being slow to sprout, Robert Pollin (economics), co-chair of the Political Economy Research Institute, notes that the rush of government funding encouraged private-sector participants to inflate their job-creation projections as they angled for a piece of the action. WBUR, 4/11/12. Pollin, along with Bryan Bender, national security reporter for the Boston Globe, and Martin Romitti, director of economic and public policy research at the Donahue Institute, discuss a pair of dueling UMass Amherst studies that are playing a key role in the Washington debate over defense spending cuts. The Donahue Institute's report focuses on potential job losses from defense cuts, while PERI's points to investments in education, clean energy and health would creating many more jobs than in defense. Real News Network, 4/3/12. Pollin says speculation and manipulation are key factors behind rising gas prices.
Alternet.org, 4/13/12. Amy Schalet (sociology) and her book, Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex, are cited in a story about how European countries are much less prudish about sex than Americans and how strict conservative policies on sexual behavior actually encourage out-of-wedlock births, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases. New York Times, 4/6/12. Teenage boys between 15 and 17 are becoming more careful and more romantic about their first sexual experiences, writes Schalet in an op-ed article.
Yankee Magazine, 4/11/12. The publisher of Yankee Magazine and the Old Farmer’s Almanac has donated its corporate records to UMass Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives. Company officials note the special relationship with UMass Amherst, where Yankee Magazine’s editor Mel Allen, has taught in the journalism program for more than a decade.
New England Public Radio, 4/10/12. Law School applications are down, says Diane Curtis, director of UMass Amherst Pre-Law Advising, and tells the story in an interview.
Daily Hampshire Gazette, 4/9/12. Alana Tiemessen (political science) comments about Kony 2012, a video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army that uses kidnapped children as soldiers. She says the film misrepresents many main characteristics in the conflict, and so far she has seen little evidence that the video is doing any more than raising general awareness of the issues.
CommonWealth, Spring 2012. Reviewing Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960 – 2010, Ralph Whitehead (journalism) says author Charles Murray does a good job describing the growing rift between high-school educated whites and college-educated whites, but fails to offer a good explanation for what can be done to reach across the divide.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 4/2/12. Using popular mobile phone technology, Charles Schweik (environmental conservation and public policy) and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation are collaborating to engage more people in governmental and scientific efforts to collect valuable data about invasive species, particularly the Asian Longhorn Beetle. Interested? You can download the app from the link provided--or just use your computer if you're not using an app-friendly device.
A Word from SBS
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