University of Massachusetts Amherst

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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SBS Newsletter – December 2008/January 2009

In this issue

Stuart and Linda PriceBenefitting Students is Couple’s Passion, Gift Challenges Others to Fund Scholarships
What happens when a small-town girl from Maine, who wants a new and different experience at a big university, comes to Amherst and meets a boy from Denver, who has hitchhiked across the country to get the best education he can afford? In the case of Linda Mitchell Price ’77 (economics) and W. Stuart Price ’79 (political science), they fall in love, get married and set out to accomplish their dreams. Read more...

William C. RamseyAlum Says Positive Attitude, Enthusiasm Are Key to Excellence
This past year William C. Ramsey ’97 (political science), assistant chief counsel in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award, in recognition of his ongoing quest for excellence. Ramsey, a summa cum laude graduate, says that his time at UMass Amherst played a major role in making him who he is today. Read more...

Venuza LaveauxNBC Internship Feeds Student’s Passion
“My internship at NBC’s Dateline was one of the most phenomenal experiences of my college career,” says Venuza Laveaux ’09 (journalism), who has wanted to be a television reporter since childhood and was supported in this effort with a Bacherman Internship Fellowship. “My days included a lot of logging and research, but what took place in between my daily routine made the time so unforgettable.” Read more...

Angelina ZontineAnthropology Student Receives Top Dissertation Fellowship
Last fall PhD candidate Angelina Zontine (anthropology) received a $23,185 Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fellowship for her research project, “Remaking the Political in ‘Fortress Europe’: Cultural and Political Practice In Italian Social Centers.” The Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fellowship is considered the “gold standard” of achievement for anthropology students. Read more....

And other topics of interest...

Chancellor Robert C. HolubA Head-on Approach to Green-based Prosperity
In a Boston Globe article (12/08/08), Chancellor Robert C. Holub outlines his views on how President-elect Barack Obama should launch a Green New Deal to help with the global economic crisis. He says the plan would involve the nation’s flagship research universities and strive to build both the human and capital resources to boost the economy for years to come. Holub calls for student loan forgiveness for those who agree to teach in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; construction of new facilities on campus to train students; and requirements that construction meets the most current green building standards and uses locally available workers.

budget cutChancellor Undaunted by Economy
The economy has changed quite a lot since Chancellor Holub agreed to lead UMass Amherst. Governor Patrick has cut the state appropriation to the campus by 5%—and officials say another 8% cut is likely in next year's budget. Holub told WFCR's Bob Paquette, that while the economy may be slow, it won't stop his vision for the university. Listen to the interview. In addition, Chancellor Holub announced that about $2 million in central administration spending is being cut to help the campus meet a projected $38 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year. Read more...

CAITE programUMass Amherst to Lead Statewide Effort to Diversify Participation in IT
UMass Amherst has received project expansion funding to bring more women and underrepresented minorities throughout Massachusetts into education and careers in information technology (IT) and computing. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1.9 million to extend the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) for an additional 2 years and to add 6 institutions to the existing alliance. Read more...

Spring study abroad scholarship recipientStudy Abroad Scholarship Recipients Selected
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences understands that many students—now more than ever—need financial assistance to help their dreams come true. And because SBS encourages its students to study abroad for a semester or two, or at least a summer, we are working hard to make more funds available to help support this experience. For the first time this year, scholarships were available for students who will be spending the spring semester abroad (they've been available for a number of years for summer and fall participants, but program deadlines precluded eligibility for spring candidates). Read more...

Tony GaffneyTony Gaffney: Mr. Everything for UMass Basketball
In just nine remarkable games, Tony Gaffney '09 (sociology), who is now second in the nation in both rebounding and blocked shots, has rocketed from role player to role model in a way that has surprised everyone but himself. "He's getting people on his Facebook page that don't even know him," said Ricky Harris, Gaffney's teammate on the men's basketball team, and one of his best friends. "He's Mr. Everything," Harris said. "Without him, we might be 0-9. Read more... Another feature on Gaffney was included in the Boston Herald.

Zac BissonnetteStudent Blogger Right on the Money
Zac Bissonnette '11 (legal studies) is on a mission to educate his generation about finances and the perils of debt. The 20-year-old sophomore is already making a name for himself in the cyber-journalism world, writing about stocks and finances on blogs for AOL and legendary magazine editor Tina Brown’s [scroll down for his byline]. One is tempted to dismiss any words of potential wisdom from a college student who’s never toiled away as an adult in the work world—until he cites a Princeton University study on how top universities are overrated, quotes Warren Buffett about financial opportunities in a recession and casually notes he just landed a book contract with Penguin. Read Boston Herald article...

Facebook logoFacebook for SBS Alumni
In an effort to find more ways to communicate with alumni, and for alumni to communicate with each other, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has a group on Facebook. It is dedicated to those who graduated from UMass Amherst with degrees in Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Journalism, Labor Studies, Legal Studies, Neuroscience and Behavior, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy and Administration, Social Thought and Political Economy, and Sociology. Use this space to network with others, let us know what is going on with your life after UMass Amherst, or just ask questions about the College. To join, you must be a member of Facebook. Once you've joined, go to the Alumni of SBS at UMass Amherst group.

STS mind logoScience, Technology and Society Launches e-Newsletter
The first edition of the Science, Technology and Society (STS) e-Newsletter was released on December 12. Based in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Center for Public Policy and Administration, the STS Initiative is a catalyst for inter-disciplinary, collaborative research among the natural, physical and social sciences, engineering and public policy and a locus of engagement with governments, NGOs, business and civil society. Much of STS's work is international in scope reflecting the global nature of science and technology. The e-newsletter highlights recent research, teaching and engagement activities in the STS portfolio. The Initiative builds on and amplifies faculty research interests. To read the newsletter, click here. To receive the newsletter by email, send a subscription notice. Questions, contact STS.

Upcoming Events
Alumni: Is your career related to journalism, public policy, the media, and/or public relations? Would you like to share your success story with current UMass Amherst students? We are planning to showcase several alumni in a Career Night event during the spring semester. If you are interested in participating, contact Jackie Brousseau-Pereira, director of external affairs. Please include your full name, year of graduation, major, current professional title and and a brief description of your responsibilities.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Networking Night in New York City
6:00–9:00 p.m., The Crown Plaza Hotel, 1605 Broadway, Times Square, New York City.
Complimentary parking
Student Affairs and Campus Life has invited leaders from the private and public sectors to meet with current sophomores, juniors and seniors to discuss career paths.
Alumni: If you would like to share your expertise with these students during this very special evening, please send an email or call 413.545.6267 no later than December 22, 2008.
Students: If you would like to attend and network with potential employers, please send an email or call 413.545.2224 no later than December 22, 2008.
Refreshments will be served.
Sponsored by Career Services.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Networking Night in Boston
6:00–9:00 p.m., Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 64 Arlington Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Complimentary parking at Motor Mart Garage in Park Square.
Student Affairs and Campus Life has invited leaders from the private and public sectors to meet with current sophomores, juniors and seniors to discuss career paths.
If you would like to share your expertise with these students during this very special evening, please send an email or call 413.545.6267 no later than December 22, 2008.
Students: If you would like to attend and network with potential employers, email
or call 413.545.2224.
Refreshments will be served.
Sponsored by Career Services.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Scholarship Workshop
5:30 - 7:00, Memorial Hall
The SBS Dean's Office is offering a scholarship workshop for current SBS majors. Presenters will include Jackie Brousseau-Pereira, director of external affairs for SBS, BJ Roche (journalism), Laura Reed (political science), Anne Peramba (financial aid), and Wesley Dunham (Alumni Association). Pizza will be served. Please RSVP by February 10.

Friday, February 20, 2009
Conference: "New Worlds of Adoption: Growing Up in Complex Families"
8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Marriott Courtyard, Route 9, Hadley, Massachusetts
An increasing number of American children grow up in “complex families,” in which adults other than or in addition to the child’s biological parents are strongly involved in the child’s life. This too is becoming more frequent in adoption, as evidenced in the rise in open adoptions, kinship adoptions, adoptions by same-sex couples, and so on. In order to explore these issues, the Rudd Adoption Research Program at UMass Amherst will host this one-day conference for professionals and students in the human services fields, social science researchers, and community members to focus on new perspectives on adoption. Pre-registration required. Read more...
Sponsored by the Rudd Adoption Research Program, Center for Research on Families, Department of Psychology, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst.

Faculty Notes
Peter Haas (political science), an expert in global environmental governance issues, has been invited by the Obama administration to attend the inauguration. Asked if he received one of those fancy engraved invitations, he responded, "Yes, but first I got an email invite, which required me to order the ticket throught ticketmaster. I thought it was a scam, so I avoided responding. Then the formal invitation came in the mail so I went ahead with the order. Ticketmaster appears to be handling the distribution of tickets that aren't given out on a patronage basis by congressional offices, so my ticket will be arriving by UPS this week." Haas will be presenting a paper, "Adventures in International Environmental Governance," at the Global Environmental Governance Workshop at the University of Waterloo, Canada Centre for International Governance Innovation, in late January. He also has been selected to the Scientific Planning Committee for the the project on Knowledge, Learning, and Societal Change (KLSC) of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change.

B.J. Roche (journalism) is editor and publisher of, an e-community for women of a certain age to get together online, share ideas and experiences, and have a little fun. Roche is a former freelance columist for The Boston Globe.

Elizabeth S. Chilton (anthropology) discussed “Native American History and Archaeology in Amherst Before Euro-American Settlement” on Jan. 11 at First Congregational Church in Amherst as part of the town’s 250th anniversary celebration.

Faculty in the Department of Anthropology have included notes on their recent activities in their year-end MegaMemo.

Psychology professor Richard P. Halgin has been appointed by Gov. Deval L. Patrick to the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Psychologists. Read more...

Harold Grotevant (psychology), Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, has been appointed to the Board of Consulting Editors of the Journal of Family Psychology, effective Jan. 1, 2009. The journal, a publication of the American Psychological Association, is devoted to the study of the family system from multiple perspectives and to the application of psychological methods to advance knowledge related to family research, intervention, and policy. Grotevant is an international leader in the field of adoption. In addition, Grotevant received the "7th Annual Courage and Curiosity Award" for his "years of research and education in the field of open adoption." The award was presented by the Center for Family Connections, an educational and clinical resource center in Cambridge, Mass. that addresses the developmental, structural, and systemic issues related to adoption, foster care, and kinship care.

The Sloan Foundation has awarded Dan Clawson (sociology) $34,000 for his research project, "Unofficial Flexibility: An Analysis of Actual Day-to-Day Schedules."

Alumni News
Alicia M. Zitka '08 (communication) of West Springfield, MA, the reigning Miss Massachusetts, is competing in the Miss America contest on Jan. 14 in Las Vegas. Read more...

The New York Times featured an article about Elvira Santana '98 (communication and journalism). Santana suffered a stroke in 2005 while working for Associated Press in Washington, D.C. She now lives in New York with her mother, who moved from the Dominican Republic to care for her.

Foxborough native Chris M. Sullivan '02 (communication) is starring in the new "Electric Company," premiering on PBS Kids on Jan. 19. "I know there's going to be a lot of people who say 'I loved that show, why are they going to ruin it?' " he says. "But it's kind of a reinvention." Sullivan's character, Shock, works at the Electric Diner and also appears in segments that highlight his beatbox skills. He got his start in vocal percussion during college, but fell in love with hip-hop as a kid. Sullivan is a member of the group Freestyle Love Supreme, whose members also contribute to the kids' show. And, having befriended comedian Samantha Bee, who will appear on "The Electric Company," Sullivan will be popping up on "The Daily Show" in January.

Robert G. Judge '74 (sociology) of South Hadley is the legislative aide to State Rep. John Sciback. He is also a selectman in South Hadley. Read profile in the Springfield Republican.

Please send us your news!

SBS in the News
President-elect Barak Obama’s economic stimulus plan, which includes an emphasis on green projects, has generated national attention for Robert Pollin (economics) and a study by the SBS-based Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). Pollin is co-author with Assistant Research Professor Jeannette Wicks-Lim PhD ’05 (economics) of a report on the potential for a green recovery and the developer of an economic model showing how many jobs are created with any given investment. See articles in the New York Times, 1/9/09; Courier-Journal [Louisville, Ky.] 1/6/09; Los Angeles Times; 1/4/09; CFO magazine, 1/1/09 [scroll down to Green Piece]; Capital Times [Madison, Wisc.], Daily Journal of Commerce [Portland, Ore.], 12/31/08; BusinessWeek, 12/29/08.

Boston Globe, 1/11/09. Michael Morgan and Sut Jhally (communication) discuss how fictional TV portrayals of African-Americans as the U.S. president may make the election of Barack Obama seem less of a milestone to younger Americans.

Plain Dealer [Cleveland], 12/30/08. A story on why television viewing is considered bad for babies includes comments from Daniel R. Anderson (psychology) who says his research shows that exposure to television slows several forms of development in infants.

Inter Press Service News Agency, 12/17/08. Emeritus ProfessorJames Crotty (economics) says federal overseers need to find out if the hundreds of billions of dollars from the bailout fund given to financial institutions is going to expand lending or whether it’s being used for executive bonuses and dividends for shareholders.

Chicago Tribune, 12/9/08. Norman Sims (journalism) says the allegation that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tried to pressure management of the Chicago Tribune to fire its editorial board after it criticized his administration and called for his impeachment, breaks new ground even for the rough politics of Chicago. “It’s probably not the first time—just the first we know of,” Sims says. The allegation is contained in the criminal complaint filed against Blagojevich along with charges he was planning to “sell” the appointment to fill the U.S. Senate vacancy created when Barack Obama was elected president.

USA Today, Arizona Republic, 12/8/08. A story looks at how industrial pollution may be harming children in schools that are located near companies that release toxic chemicals into the environment. The study was done with the help of the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass Amherst, which reports on the nation’s top polluters.

The Moderate Voice, 12/6/08. Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), director of the Labor Center, says Congress is asking for many more concessions from the auto industry in order to grant it loans than it did for Wall Street firms. She says that attitude has it backward.

USA Today, 12/5/08. Robert Pollin (economics), an advocate for spending significant amounts of federal money on alternative-energy programs and technology to help boost the national economy, says spending on food stamps and unemployment insurance will provide an impact in just a few months. But in the long run, Pollin says, the side benefits of backing green technology will help boost the economy and save energy. Business Week, 12/8/08. In the article "Can Obama's Stimulus Plan Spur Green Jobs in the U.S.?" Pollin says there is about $26 billion in retrofitting of buildings to make them more energy efficient that could begin immediately if the federal government decided to fund green energy initiatives to boost the economy. NPR “All Things Considered,” 12/8/08. Pollin discusses why he believes a massive federal spending program on increasing energy efficiency in buildings, renewable energy and mass transit creates jobs and continues to save money and energy for the long term. Pollin says such a program increases employment and ripples through the national economy. New York Times, 12/21/08. Pollin comments in a story about why some observers worry that a massive infusion of federal money into the economy might not have the intended impact federal officials are seeking., 12/3/08. Neil Asher Silberman (anthropology) says a recent archeological find in Israel near Jerusalem where the Bible says David killed Goliath offers little proof that the biblical story is true. Some scientists contend, however, that the few ancient artifacts they have found at the site strongly support the story of David and Goliath.

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, 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 current 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 centers 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.

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. Questions? Contact:
Saige Reisler, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
235 Draper Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9244

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