University of Massachusetts Amherst

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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SBS Newsletter – August 2010

In this issue

Ward McCarthyFinancial Economist Reflects on Career, Offers Advice
Today Ward McCarthy ’73 (economics) is chief financial economist at Jefferies & Company, a major global securities and investment banking group in New York. But when he graduated from UMass, the economy was a mess. The stock market was experiencing one of its worst downturns in modern history and inflationary pressures were mounting. To keep pace internationally, the dollar was devalued by 10%. Unemployment was high and rising. Meat prices soared. When Arab nations reduced petroleum shipments to countries friendly with Israel by 5%, a full-blown fuel shortage ensued. Read more...

Henry RenskiRegional Planner Brings Practical Experience into the Classroom
“My interest in regional planning developed as a student at the University of Southern Maine,” says Assistant Professor Henry Renski (landscape architecture and regional planning). “When I landed an internship with Greater Portland [Maine] Council of Governments, I’d actually never heard of planning, so really it was kind of happenstance. And even though I hadn’t ever considered myself a numbers person, I discovered a strange affinity for data analysis. When the semester ended, GPCOG hired me as a full-time assistant planner.” Read more....

Facebook logoSBS Is Now on Facebook
One goal of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is to communicate more effectively with all of our constituencies: alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends. This newsletter and our website reflect efforts begun a few years ago. We've done an alumni survey to learn more about interests and concerns, and we send out periodic emails to let you know about events in your region. This summer we added a Facebook page to our toolkit. To date, participation has been quite lively and membership is growing. If you haven't already become a fan, we hope you'll join the conversation. Be sure to click "Like" so that you can keep up with SBS events, accomplishments and programs.

Brian SchaffnerBrian Schaffner to Speak at Alumni Gathering in Boston
The third annual Cole Lecture at the UMass Club in Boston on September 23, 2010 will feature Professor Brian Schaffner, speaking on Public Opinion and Politics. Schaffner’s research interests focus on American politics, with a particular concentration on political campaigns, elections, and public opinion. A frequent contributor to, he has served as a program officer for the political science program at the National Science Foundation, is co-author of Politics, Parties, and Elections in America (6th edition) and co-editor Winning With Words: The Origins and Impact of Political Framing. For more information about this alumni networking opportunity, click here.

And other topics of interest...


SBS Wing Thing logoSBS to Host 2nd Annual Wing Thing; Student Will Win iPad
On September 16 from 4-6 pm, SBS will host the second annual Wing Thing, a welcome back to campus barbecue for all SBS majors. We’ll have great food, giveaways and opportunities to connect with faculty and other students. Don't miss your chance to win a new iPad. Tickets to attend the event will be emailed to all SBS majors on Tuesday, September 14. You must attend the event in order to enter the raffle. Students, if you haven't already let us know that you're coming, register now.

SPringfield skylineCreative Economy Grant to Spur CPPA's Springfield Iinitiatives
The Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA) has been awarded $40,000 by the UMass President's Creative Economy Initiative to help create a center dedicated to alleviating poverty and inequality in Springfield and other western Massachusetts cities. "CPPA  is delighted by this award," says M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of CPPA. "It not only provides support for an important CPPA initiative, it signals the President's Office's commitment to developing strong cooperative relationships with the people of Springfield." Read more....

Jeffrey ThompsonWant Prosperity? Fund Public Services, Says PERI Study
Massachusetts, and the rest of the New England states, can no longer afford to spend scarce resources on tax credits and other business giveaways. Instead, the region needs to focus its economic development efforts on rebuilding neglected infrastructure and improving education for people at all levels, from pre-school youngsters to older adult workers. Those are the conclusions of a new study by economist Jeffrey Thompson of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). Read more...

Juravich album coverJuravich Discusses Book on Radio
First in his CD, released in 2007, and now in his book, At the Altar of the Bottom Line, Tom Juravich (labor studies), accomplished labor activist, singer, and songwriter, paints a compelling picture of the state of the labor movement in the U.S. By describing the lives of ordinary people and the common struggles they face to secure a decent wage, he elucidates the larger issues of corporate-led globalization and the declining power of unions that confront American workers. Listen to interview [mp3] on Between the Lines radio newsmagazine. Visit Juravich's website for more information on the book and the CD.

Robert FeldmanFeldman Named Distinguished Alumnus
Dean Robert Feldman received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, Wesleyan University, in recognition of outstanding achievement and service. His citation read, in part, "You have made major contributions to our understanding on nonverbal communication, strategies for success in college and the use of technology in the classroom. You also have written highly successful textbooks for introductory and social psychology courses.... For your devotion to the scholar-teacher model and for the positive impact you have had on generations of students, your field and our understanding of ourselves, Wesleyan is proud to proclaim you a Distinguished Alumnus." Read more about Dean Feldman.

John BonsignoreLegal Studies Pioneer Dies
Prof. Emeritus John Bonsignore (legal studies) died August 16. In 1998 he retired after nearly 30 years teaching in legal studies, a first-in-the-nation-program he helped form in 1973. Bonsignore began his teaching career at St. Cloud State University (1963–67), followed by Western Illinois University (1967–69), before finding his home at UMass Amherst. HIs insatiable passion for reading and writing never flagged; at the time of his death Bonsignore was working on the ninth edition of Before the Law, a textbook he co-authored with his UMass colleagues. Read more...

PRinceton Review LogoCampus Earns Kudos from Princeton Review
UMass Amherst has been named one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to the Princeton Review, which features the campus in its annual college guide, "The Best 373 Colleges." The university also is featured in the "Best of the Northeast" section of as well as the book The Best Northeastern Colleges (2011 edition). In addition, UMass Amherst earned a Green Rating of 89 [on a scale of 100] reflecting the university's commitment to the environment. Read more...

mentoring at UMassMinuteman Mentors
Be a mentor...or find a mentor. The Alumni Association recognizes the importance of networking and has developed the Minuteman Mentor program for students and alumni. Use Minuteman Mentoring if you are exploring career options, changing careers or relocating to a new area, finding professional organizations to join, learning about the job market in their area, and/or discovering the skills required for work in their field. If you'd like to be a mentor, or if you're looking for a mentor, click here.

homecoming 2010Mark Your Calendar for Homecoming 2010!
It may be the dog days of summer, but the fall season is just around the corner and with it comes Homecoming 2010. Plan to return to your alma mater this October 13 – 17 for a fun schedule of reunions, concerts, tailgating and UMass football. Go UMASS! Read more (and listen to the Fight Song!)...

Gillette StadiumUMass vs. UNH: Gillette Stadium to Host First-Ever Collegiate Football Game
This October 23 marks the first time a collegiate football game will be played at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. Even more exciting is that the rivalry will be between the UMass Minutemen and the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. A  fan gathering, sponsored by the Alumni Association, and rally will be held at CBS Scene Sports Bar and Restaurant, just steps away from the stadium. Come enjoy the sights (large screen TV for pre-game updates) and sounds (pre-game entertainment provided by your Minuteman Marching Band) with other alumni, friends, and family. Don't miss out on the fun and excitement. Register today.

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.

Alumni News
Meg Reddy ’09 (sociology), named to the All-Atlantic 10 Second Team and Atlantic 10 All-Tournament Team in women’s lacrosse during her senior year, is the new assistant women’s lacrosse coach at the University of New Hampshire. Read more...

Martin Comack MA '99 (labor studies) is an ABD doctoral candidate in political science at Northeastern University.

Dan Lamothe '04 (journalism) completed a six-week reporting assignment in southern Afghanistan as a journalist with Military Times Media Group, an independent newspaper chain focusing on military issues. While in the war zone, he was embedded with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, an infantry battalion based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. The unit has seen regular ambushes from Taliban fighters in recent months, two of which Lamothe witnessed firsthand while traveling with Marine squads in and near the former Taliban stronghold of Marjah. Before returning to the U.S. on June 10, he filed nearly 20 stories and blogged daily on Battle Rattle, a Military Times blog. Lamothe is married to Erika Lovley '06 (journalism), a journalist with Politico, a political newspaper and website based in Washington, D.C.

John Melley '89 (political science) is production director for Boston's award winning Mix 98-5 (WBMX). His reputation for creating effective radio commercials that sell for the station and its clients continues to grow, and he is known throughout the Boston area and nationally for the great character voices he uses in commercials, promotions and announcements. Read more on Melley's website and listen to his demos.

William Bennett '87 (political science) is a senior development officer at Wellesley College, having previously worked at Bentley University as managing director of The Bentley Fund.

Former UMass pitcher Mitchell Clegg '10 (economics) is playing for the Hagerstown Suns, a minor league affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Five other UMass Amherst alumni are playing in the minors and another is playing in Korea. Read more...

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.

SBS in the News
Monthly Review, September 2010. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, writes about the collapse of Wall Street and what he calls the return of reality-based economics. He says history shows that unregulated free markets undergo periodic booms and busts that can be moderated by government intervention of various types.

Tucson Citizen, 8/31/10. The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships by Dean Robert Feldman, is recommended reading in a roundup of recently published paperback books. Others on the list included bios of Ted Kennedy, Michael Jackson and Vince Lombardi!

New York Times, 8/30/10.; In her weekly Economix blog Nancy Folbre (economics) writes about under-the-table employment of nannies and other household workers and how little is known about this part of our economy. Times of India, 8/29/10. Folbre is quoted in a story about the stigma of being a housewife in a world economy where many women now work and take care of household chores. National Review, 8/24/10. A commentator takes issue with a Folbre's 8/16/10 Economix blog. The writer contends that the market correctly sets pay rates based on supply and demand. New York Times, 8/16/10. Folbre blogs about why “girly jobs,” teaching, caring for children or elders, social services and many parts of the health care industry, don’t pay as well as more male-oriented jobs. She says part of the problem is that economic output of this type of work isn't easily measured in a market-based economic system and therefore isn’t highly valued.  New York Times, 8/2/10. Folbre blogs about the debate over whether Congress should allow the tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush to expire, or whether only those on the highest income individuals should be allowed to lapse. Folbre argues that while the debate is heated, it generally isn’t based on facts or sound data but rather on ideological perceptions. She notes that many voters believe President Obama has raised taxes, even though that’s not true, and that more than 60% of Tea Party activists believe this.

The New Yorker, 8/30/10. A profile of billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch by Jane Mayer points out that the Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries as one of the top ten air polluters in the nation. The libertarian brothers own a conglomerate headquartered in Wichita valued at an estimated $35 billion. Kittson County Top News Examiner [Minn.], Valley Advocate, 7/29/10. A study of green jobs by the Political Economy Research Institute is cited in articles on the economic impact of emission cap-and-trade legislation and long-term prospects for the state’s construction industry. The PERI study says a shift to a green, low-carbon economy would create 1.7 million jobs.

Amherst Bulletin, 8/27/10. Portraits of Laos 1957; Historic Photographs, a picture book by Professor Emeritus Joel Halpern (anthropology), is the subject of a feature story.

Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy, 8/26/10. Dean Robert Feldman, author of The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships, blogs about lessons learned from Jersey Shore and other reality shows.

The Takeaway [NPR], 8/18/10. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, is interviewed about her book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (NYU Press), winner of the 2010 Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological  Association's 44th Division (the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues). She comments on what she found while researching the book in the Netherlands where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2001. WFCR, 8/5/10; Gay and Lesbian Times, 8/6/10. Badgett is interviewed about the California federal judge striking down that state’s voter-approved Prop. 8 which banned same-sex marriage. The decision used Badgett's testimony in the trial on the economic consequences of the ban and opinions in her book.

Providence Journal, 8/18/10. A story about tax breaks given to businesses in Rhode Island and the difficulty officials there have in tracking whether the recipients achieved the goals of such incentives mentions a recent report by Jeffrey Thompson (Political Economy Research Institute). The PERI report says spending on public works and public education is more effective in generating jobs than tax breaks. Bristol Press [Conn.], 8/16/10. An editorial supports the conclusions of Thompson's report that the way to boost the economy in New England states is by focusing economic development efforts on rebuilding neglected infrastructure and improving education for people at all levels, from pre-school youngsters to older adult workers. He says this works better than giving tax breaks to some businesses.

International Herald Tribune, 8/11/10.Charli Carpenter (political science) writes about the legal definitions of so-called collateral damage – civilians and noncombatants who are killed and injured in wars. She says while international rules have been improved in recent decades, more should be done to keep unintended civilian deaths and injuries as low as possible in war zones.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 8/10/10. Julian Talley (sociology), a wide receiver on the UMass Amherst football team, is profiled. Talley is the team’s leading receiver and has taken on a leadership role.

Boston Herald, 8/4/10. Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), director of the Labor Center, writes a letter-to-the-editor supporting legislation that would require employers to offer paid sick leave. She says studies show employers who offer the benefit see high productivity and morale, reduced absenteeism and lower worker turnover and training expenses. WWLP-TV 22, 7/28/10. Weinbaum comments on the practice of employers considering job applicants’ credit reports in the hiring process. She says there is no correlation between credit ratings and a person's potential as an employee. WWLP-TV 22, 7/26/10. Weinbaum comments on the Massachusetts' legislative bill that would mandate employers to give employees seven paid sick days. She says about half of the state's employees don't have paid sick time. Some industries get less sick time than others.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 8/2/10. Sheldon Goldman (political science) says President Obama is making the federal judiciary more diverse through his appointments. Overall, however, Obama is not nominating highly ideological judges and the process has been slowed by Republican delaying tactics, an analysis says. [Pakistan], 8/1/10. An editorial by Professor Emeritus Anwar Syed (political science) discusses why talks between India and Pakistan produce few results. He says both sides prefer some level of tension in relations between the two neighbors and therefore the situation is likely to remain tense and unchanged.

Real News Network, 7/30/10. Jane D’Arista (Political Economy Research Institute) says federal financial reform law will benefit five major banks. Real News Network, 7/28/10. D’Arista is interviewed about the impact of the G-20 nations’ austerity measures. She says cuts in government spending will accelerate economic stagnation and revive the notion of class warfare.

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, 413.577.1700.

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