Alumna Jill Carroll Documents Ordeal in 12-part Series
Beginning on August 14, the Christian Science Monitor ran an eleven-part series, written by Jill Carroll (journalism) and Peter Grier, about her January 2006 abduction by Iraqi terrorists who held her captive for nearly three months. In addition, the Monitor presents interviews of Carroll, her family, and colleagues in short video clips that focus on mujahideen families, governmental red tape, cultural sensitivity, media exposure, despair, and—through it all—hope. Take me to the site...
Fountain Keynotes Public Policy Meeting in Japan
Political Science and Public Policy professor Jane E. Fountain recently gave a keynote address at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Public Policy Studies Association of Japan and also presented an invited lecture to the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in Tokyo. Read more...
Econ Major Inspired to Address Environmental and Developmental Issues
The late Mildred (Sherry) Barber ’43 (economics) was an independent and ambitious dynamo who earned a master’s in economics from Harvard and a law degree from Boston College within two years of graduation. When she retired in 1980, she was a top D.C. bureaucrat, serving as chief of both data and reporting operations for the U.S. Department of Labor. But she never forgot her UMass Amherst roots and gave back generously, including the establishment of the Sherry Barber Memorial Scholarship for talented students majoring in economics. Among the recipients this year is Virginia Stoyanova ’06 (economics and finance), who also earned the Alumni Award for highest academic achievement. “These awards mean a great deal to me,” says Stoyanova who immigrated to the United States from Bulgaria in 1993. “It’s gratifying that my work has been recognized by the department.” Read more...
Intercultural Communicator Addresses Questions of Social Interaction, Culture, and Meaning
What is the meaning of “meaning” in social interaction and how is it constructed through joint action? How are these meaning-making processes culturally and contextually embedded and variable? What are the roles of power in these processes? These are some of the questions that Benjamin Bailey, associate professor of communication, thinks about from the perspective of language and culture. Read more....
Alum Named Dean at UC Riverside
Alumnus Stephen Cullenberg PhD '88 (economics) has been named dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of California Riverside, replacing Joel Martin, the new dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at UMass Amherst. Cullenberg, whose main fields of research are Economic Methodology, International Political Economy, and Marxian Economics, says one of his goals is to juggle the demands of the university's growth and new technology with the needs of students, faculty and staff. He says that "constant engagement and conversation" is key to his approach. "We can all learn from each other," Cullenberg says. "We're all trying to motivate [and] find the passion of our students." Cullenberg, 52, has taught at UCR since 1988. He is recipient of UCR's Regent's Faculty Fellowship (1992-1993) and the Distinguished Teaching Award (1997-1998).
Alum Mystery Writer Makes Waves
Alumnus Wayne Barcomb '55 (government) is enjoying his success as a mystery writer, a career he embarked on in 1991 after walking away from a lucrative position as vice president of Wadsworth Publishing Company. According to a lengthy biographical article in the Boston Globe (July 30, 2006) by Robert Carroll, the release of Barcomb's fourth book Undercurrent (Hot House Press, 2006) to critical acclaim has established him as a mystery writer par excellence. The book reintroduces the main character, P.I. Sam Wallace, from Barcomb's third book and focuses on murder and the endangered sea turtles off nearby Siesta Key. "In my books," he says, "you'll find the environment a constant underlying theme. It comes from being down here on Florida's west coast, where the environment is always a concern."
Barcomb's next work centers on Florida's controversial phosphate industry and the effect those companies have on the land. Under the working title Dirty Water, it should be released by Hot House Press within a year. "I used to write all the time as a kid," Barcomb says. "As a freshman I won an essay contest. I always loved to write." Read the article.
Professor Baiocchi Receives Community Action Research Grant
The American Sociological Association's Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy has awarded a Community Action Research grant to Gianpaolo Baiocchi (sociology). The program's Community Action Research Initiative (CARI) encourages and supports sociologists to bring social science knowledge, methods and expertise to address community-identified issues and concerns. Each applicant proposed a project for pro bono work with a community organization or local public interest group. CARI provides up to $2,500 for each project to cover direct costs associated with doing community action research. Baiocchi was awarded funds to work with Aganju, one of the most active human rights organizations in the city of Salvador in northern Brazil. His “Engenho Velho” project will use geographic information systems (GIS) technology to map human rights violations in a predominately Afro-Brazilian neighborhood. With five students from the neighborhood, his research will involve community mapping through interviews with the community and focused discussion groups with identified stakeholders. “I’m bringing our UMass Amherst expertise in open-source software to an organization that works on human rights issues, mainly concerned with religious intolerance and racism,” Baiocchi says. He also intends to produce a publication for human rights education in the neighborhood.
Chancellor Lombardi Expresses Views on "Value Added" Measurements
Inside Higher Ed's "Reality Check" column, entitled "Virtues and Vices of 'Value Added'" by Chancellor John V. Lombardi (August 10, 2006), discusses calls for accountability and measuring the “value added” aspects of a college education as well as the complication this leads to when one tries to apply it to higher education. A lively commentary from readers follows. Read the article.
Alum's Economics Text Named Outstanding Academic Title
The book Liberating Economics:
Feminist Perspectives on Families,
Work, and Globalization (University of Michigan Press, 2004) by
Drucilla K. Barker and Susan F. Feiner PhD '81 (economics) was selected as the Choice "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2005. Read more...
CPPA Announces Change in Leadership
John A. Hird (political science and public policy) has stepped down as director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA) to serve as chair of the political science department. Hird led CPPA since its inception in 1998. Under his leadership, CPPA increased the size and quality of its Master's Program and built a national reputation for excellence in academics and research. Hird will continue to teach in the Master's Program and serve on the Center's committees. Dean Janet Rifkin has appointed Jane E. Fountain (political science and public policy) as director of CPPA for the 2006-07 academic year. Fountain is founder and director of the National Center for Digital Government and heads SBS's Science, Technology and Society Initiative. Read more about Jane Fountain.
Updates from the Center for Research on Families
The Center for Research on Families (CRF) this fall will welcome Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. from the University of Pennsylvania and Center for Population Studies for the first of this year's Tay Gavin Lecture Series on Thursday, October 26 in the
Student Union Cape Cod Lounge. His presentation is entitled "Destinies of the Disadvantaged: Teenage Childbearing and Public Policy." Read more... And don't forget about the CRF conference "New Methods for the Analysis of Family and Dyadic Processes" that will take place October 13-15, 2006. CRF will bring together experts in psychology, sociology, education, and biostatistics to examine state-of-the art statistical methods in research processes related to families and small groups. The conference will also feature a forum for students and postdoctoral researchers to share their current work through a poster session. For details, click here.
UMass Amherst Selected Among 20 Best Campuses for LGBT Students
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has been recognized as one of the 20 best campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and will be included in The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, the first comprehensive guide to the most LGBT-friendly campuses in the United States. Read more...
SBS In the News
Portfolio Weekly, 8/01/06. "The Good Fight" by Ron Wray discusses the work of community activists who are slowly erasing the legacy of poverty on the Eastern Shore. It mentions that each each summer anthropology students from UMass Amherst come to provide community service to the New Roads program which involves bringing this community out of a shocking level of poverty and providing improved living conditions for the residents, many of whom are descendents of slaves. Read the article.
San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/30/06. The article "Two Sides at Odds over Financing of Campaigns" by John Marelius about the California ballot proposition to establish public funding of political campaigns (Proposition 89) includes commentary by Professor Raymond La Raja (political science) on the cost of publicly financing elections in Maine. Read the article.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/28/06. The article "Law for Laypeople" by Katherine Mangan explores the role of law-oriented undergraduate programs, which are on the rise, including UMass Amherst’s legal studies major, part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Read the article.
Bay Windows Online, 8/10/06. Alumnus Aaron Maloy '04 (political science), a gay Republican candidate for state representative from Cape Cod who is running as an opponent of same-sex marriage, is featured in a lengthy article by Laura Kiritsy. She notes, "There is no doubt that Aaron Maloy knows how to separate himself from the pack. In the crowded race to succeed retiring Republican state Rep. Shirley Gomes in the Fourth Barnstable District, the Orleans Republican is the youngest of the six candidates vying for the seat and the only political newcomer in the bunch. But he is also the only candidate who is unequivocally opposed to same-sex marriage." Read the article.
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 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 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 programs 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.
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Eric Yates, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
202 South College
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Amherst, MA 01003-9274
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