SBS Newsletter – December 2011/January 2012
In this issue
Study Abroad Scholarship Recipients Selected
Offering Support, Guidance, Sense of Community, Peer Advisors Gain Personal Enrichment
Sports Enthusiast Aims for Broadcast Journalism Career
Economist Speaks about Occupy Wall Street
Hanson on Digital Technology
Economics Grad Students Win Awards
Hard Work Lands Alum at Dept. of Homeland Security
Keller '91 Receives NYC Division Chief Award for Law Work
In Remembrance: Professor Emeritus Gordon Sutton
Senior Celebration Ceremony Scheduled for May 12
SBS Undergraduate Scholarships
CPPA Launches Development Project with 2-Year Grant
Idle Cash Could Cut Joblessness Nearly in Half
New Alumni Association/Alumni Relations Leader Named
Campus Ranks Third Nationally for Gilman Scholarships
UMass Among “Best Value” says Kiplinger's Magazine
Thu, February 2. SADRI/Sociology Panel: NIH Funding for the Social Sciences. Discussion by and for social science faculty from across campus, followed by a light reception. 3:30 – 5:00 p.m., W32 Machmer. Sponsored by SADRI, the Sociology Department, and the Center for Research on Families. Read more... [pdf]
Mon, February 6. CPPA Faculty Colloquium: Collaborative Governance and Sustainability of Local Broadband Projects: Lessons from Underserved Communities in Western Massachusetts. Asst. Prof. Martha Fuentes-Bautista (communication and public policy) will share her recent research on high-speed internet access in western Massachusetts. 12 – 1:00 p.m. Thompson 620. Brown bag lunches welcome. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Center for Public Policy and Administration. Read more...
Tue, February 7. Fifth Annual Rossi Lecture. Bruce Western, professor of sociology and director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, Kennedy School of Government: “Mass Incarceration and the Prospects for Reform.” 12:45 – 2:00 p.m. Campus Center Amherst Room. Light reception to follow. Sponsored by SADRI and the Sociology Department.
For more SBS-related events, go to the SBS Events Calendar.
First Lt. Samuel P. Fortsch '10 (sociology) of Longmeadow, MA attended the State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. on January 24 as a guest of U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal of Springfield. Fortsch recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Read more...
Sean Dandley '85 (journalism) is president and CEO of DSCI Corporation, often referred to as New England's premier Hosted Communications Provider. Recently, the company expanded its iPBX Call Center, providing a map out of the voicemail maze by empowering its clients to enhance communication and interaction with their customers. Read more... Dandley is a member of the SBS Dean's Advisory Board.
Suki Kramer '99 (journalism) is not only founder and president of Suki Skin Care, but she is also an accomplished ballroom dancer. She recently earned a second place finish at the Ohio Star Ball Competition in Columbus. Read more (you may need a subscription to the Daily Hampshire Gazette).
Alan P. Miller '84 (economics) has been promoted from senior director to executive managing director at Eastern Consolidated, a commercial real estate investment firm. Read more...
In a 2007 precursor to the recession that obliterated the construction industry and the condominium market, developer Robert Ansin '96 (political science) of MassInnovation was suddenly unable to get financing to turn the old Wood Mill in Lawrence into luxury condominiums. However, Ansin kept the project alive by switching to rental apartments and, most importantly, succeeded in getting the 105-year-old mill put on the National Register of Historic Places. That allowed him to apply for federal and state tax credits, which can cover up to 40% of rehabilitation costs. Now the 204 loft units at Monarch on the Merrimack are nearly ready for occupancy. Read more...
Congratulations to William McGuinness '10 (journalism) for his CBS News story about a dog who was rescued by a kayaker after the car he was riding in was involved in a deadly DUI. It made the rounds on YouTube and elsewhere.
Reuven Carlyle '87 (communication) has served in the Washington State House of Representatives since 2008. Governing magazine has named him one of 12 state legislators in the U.S. to watch in 2012. Read more...
Sharon L. Davies '84 (political science), the John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor in Law at the Moritz College of Law/Ohio State University, has been selected as the next director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity there. Davies, a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, is a leading scholar in race and criminal law. She has been an associate attorney for Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. and Lord, Day & Lord Barrett Smith in New York City, and an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division for the Southern District of New York. Davies, who has taught at Moritz since 1995, will continue as a member of the College’s faculty in conjunction with her new role at the Kirwan Institute. Read more...
In response to recent scandals at universities, ranging from allegations of child abuse and molestation to deadly hazing rituals, Irma McClaurin MA '89; PhD '93 (anthropology), culture and education editor at InsightNews.com, has penned a piece on the perils of leadership in higher education. McClaurin, who served as president of Shaw University in Raleigh, NC, for about a year—the third president in as many years at the troubled school—says that during her short tenure she "learned that institutions of higher education often are broken or (in counseling nomenclature) 'dysfunctional' systems." Read the article.
Michaella Christine Morzuch ’03 (political science), MPP ’08 and David Finger ’02 (political science), MBA ’04 were married in Sept. at Jacob's Pillow in Becket, MA. They reside in Watertown, MA. She is a health research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research in Cambridge, and he is a supply demand planner at Staples, Inc. in Framingham.
Albert Kelley ’74 (political science) married Carolyn Howard last spring in Santa Monica, CA. Both had been widowed in 2007. They live in Sarasota, FL.
In mid-December ESPN featured a story, "Football Journey," about former Minuteman James Ihedigbo '07 (sociology), a safety with the New England Patriots.
Steffan Fantini '84 (communication) is one of three not-so-criminal minds behind the music of the television show, "Criminal Minds." Steffan and his composing team recently won their sixth consecutive set of ASCAP Film/TV Awards for "Criminal Minds" and their fourth in a row for "Army Wives." Read article in the Philadelphia Inquirer and a recent interview.
Rob Vanasse '10 (economics/political science) is a financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, evaluating economic data to identify trends and risks in the banking sector in New England.
Catherine Tumber ’79 (STPEC) has published Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World (MIT Press). It has received great reviews, and the American Society of Landscape Architects has named it among the 15 best books of 2011. Tumber is a Research Affiliate in the Community Innovators Lab in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
James A. Smith '72, MA '77 (politics) is a managing director and partner at the London-based security company Terra Firma Risk Management (TFRM). Smith entered the international security field after retiring in 1999 from the U.S. Foreign Service, for which he lived and worked in Latin America and the Middle East. Prior to joining the federal government, Smith was a reporter and editor at the Springfield, Mass. Daily News as well as New York metro dailies. He lives on an island in Northeast Florida.
Nicole Whitney Sobel ’11 (journalism/Judaic Studies) has landed "an exciting position" as special projects manager of PJ Library in West Springfield, MA. This national Jewish family engagement program, part of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, is made possible through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations and is implemented on local levels throughout North America. Says Sobel, "We mail free, high-quality Jewish children's literature and music to families across the continent on a monthly basis. Families in hundreds of communities across the United States and Canada can explore the timeless core values of Judaism through books and music. All families raising Jewish children from age six months through five, six, seven or eight years (depending on the community) are welcome to enroll. I am excited, and proud to be a part of such an exciting, high-quality program that is based on Jewish values."
Elizabeth Sweeney ’08 (political science/legal studies) graduated from Western New England University School of Law last May with a concentration in criminal law. She participated on the school's National Moot Court team in 2010, and placed in the semifinals of Region 1. Sweeney has passed the Massachusetts Bar Exam.
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
Profs. Jacqueline Urla and Krista Harper (anthropology) are co-PIs of "Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces (CHESS)," an NSF-sponsored international research and training program. CHESS graduate student, Grace Cleary, has written a "student's-eye-view" about her European fieldwork and workshops with partners at the University of Barcelona.
Brian McDermott (journalism) has published a three part series on planning, designing, building and maintaining a successful photojournalism portfolio website. Part 1 focuses on planning; Part 2 covers template options, JQuery plug-ins, basic HTML and basic CSS; Part 3 has advice for putting it all together with smart graphic design.
Prof. Carol E. Heim (economics and public policy) was interviewed in December for a six-part television series on capitalism. The series will explore the history of capitalism and its contemporary presence around the globe. Written and directed by documentary filmmaker Ilan Ziv, it is organized around key historical debates and thinkers and will air in 2013. Heim was interviewed about Joseph Schumpeter, a 20th-century economist who focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and large-scale firms. In Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, he highlighted the “creative destruction” that characterizes capitalism, incessantly destroying old structures and creating new ones. Heim also answered questions on the emergence of capitalism, its distinctive institutions, and its historical evolution.
Asst. Prof. Stuart Shulman (political science), founder and director of the Qualitative Data Analysis Program at UMass Amherst, was an invited speaker at University of Haifa in Israel. His presentation, "Coding the Twittersphere," explored how and why posts on micro-blogging forums such as Twitter should be gathered, filtered, searched, and analyzed. Read more...
SBS in the News
The Columbian [Washington State], 1/23/12. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, speaks about same-sex marriage divorce rates which remain lower than those among traditional marriages. Out in Jersey, 12/26/11. Badgett says policymakers around the country are increasingly relying on social science research as they debate changing laws related to same-sex marriage and other issues that affect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
New York Times (Economix blog), 1/23/12. Nancy Folbre (economics), writing about the best states for children, says some have chosen to spend more on child-related programs and are willing to impose the taxes necessary to fund them, while others choose lower taxes and fewer such programs. She says the concept of “tax morale,” or the willingness to pay taxes to benefit others, is a driving force in this discussion. New York Times (Economix blog), 1/16/12. Writing about families where the mom is the breadwinner and the dad takes care of the home and the children, Folbre notes that current U.S. tax policy rewards families that have a non-working spouse. Federal tax policy, she thinks, should instead reward families where both spouses care for children and other family members and both work. New York Times (Economix blog), 1/9/12. The notion that the U.S. economy will improve if people just work a little harder is reflected in policies based on pay incentives and performance measurement for teachers and other workers, says Folbre. But exhorting people to try harder doesn’t solve problems and may make progress even harder. New York Times (Economix blog), 1/2/12. Folbre writes about how perceptions of social class—and which group poses the larger threat—often drive political allegiance. New York Times (Economix blog), 12/26/11. Folbre discusses the idea of “philanthrocapitalism,” in which businesses focus less on short-term profits and more on long-term issues related to taking care of people. New York Times (Economix blog), 12/19/11. Folbre writes about how feminism has helped upper income, educated women to be more successful and attain higher levels of equality, but has failed to deliver the same benefits to lower-income women. New York Times (Economix blog), 12/12/11. Folbre examines the impact of federal welfare reform adopted 15 years ago, noting that restrictions on aid have a greater effect on poor families with children when fewer jobs are available. New York Times (Economix blog), 12/5/11. Folbre writes about the British government's strong austerity measures to deal with debt, noting that they have not reduced the deficit as planned.
business2community.com, 1/22/12. Article discussing why we lie more in email cites research by SBS Dean Robert S. Feldman, professor of psychology, and Mattityahu Zimbler, a graduate student. Springfield Republican, 12/5/11. Communication using computers for instant messaging and e-mail increases lying compared to face-to-face conversations, and e-mail messages are most likely to contain lies, says a new study by Feldman and Zimbler. The study was published in the October issue of the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
Press of Atlantic City, 1/22/12. C.N. Le (sociology), director of the Asian and Asian-American Studies Program, comments in a story about how casinos use Chinese New Year to attract customers. The New Year, he says, is a time for new starts and many people want to try their luck at gambling to see what the rest of the year will be like. He also says casinos have learned to create a welcoming environment that is comfortable for Asian people.
Dollars & Sense, 1/20/12. Jeannette Wicks-Lim (Political Economy Research Institute) writes about how the recession has expanded the wealth gap between African-Americans and whites.
Daily Hampshire Gazette, 1/19/12 (subscription may be required). Prof. Emeritus Ethan Katsh (legal studies), director of the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution, comments on the cyber-protest prompted by congressional efforts to stop online piracy. He says the protests, including the shutting down of popular Internet sites such as Wikipedia, are about basic issues related to who owns information and how it can be used to create knowledge.
Boston Globe, 1/18/12. Ralph Whitehead (journalism) comments that full equality for people, regardless of sexual orientation, is a core conviction of coming-of-age voters.
Marin Independent Journal, 1/7/12. Speaking to a group of Occupy Marin participants, Prof. Emeritus Richard Wolff (economics) says the Occupy movement needs to democratize corporations.
New York Times, 1/6/12. In a news story about Pentagon budget cuts, Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, says defense spending isn’t a strong source of job creation compared to other areas of government spending. Defense spending, he says, has benefits in terms of geopolitical power, but much less in terms of jobs and the economy. WFCR, 12/26/11. Pollin discusses a Political Economy Research Institute report that shows big business could fund 19 million jobs if $1.4 trillion in excess liquid assets were channeled into productive investments. Doing so would bring unemployment below 5%. The Street, 12/12/11; Rocket News, 12/12/11; Physorg.com, 12/7/11; Huffington Post, 12/7/11. Articles discuss the PERI report by economists Pollin, James Heintz, Heidi Garrett-Peltier and Jeannette Wicks-Lim. Foreign Policy in Focus, 12/12/11; The Hill, 12/7/11; Physorg.com, 12/1/11. With the recent focus on the federal defense budget, Pollin and colleague Heidi Garrett-Peltier MA '06, PhD '10 (economics) have revisited their assessment of the employment-creation potential of military spending. As in previous editions, their study finds unequivocally that government spending on the military is a far weaker engine of job growth than are investments in clean energy, health care, or education, and is even weaker than spending the same amount on household consumption.
Real News Network, 1/4/12. Prof. James Boyce (economics) is one of two experts discussing the Obama administration's climate change policy agenda. Valley Advocate, 12/22/11. Boyce discusses the new initiative Econ4—as in economics "4 people, 4 the planet, 4 the future."
Sociological Images, 1/3/12; CNN, 12/26/11; Boston.com, 12/22/11. Amy Schalet (sociology), author of Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex, is interviewed. She has researched and written about the attitudes toward adolescent sexuality and the differences in attitude about teen sex among Dutch and American parents.
Christian Science Monitor, Alaska Dispatch, 1/2/12. The state of Washington, which has pegged its minimum wage to the consumer price index since 2001, is the first in the U.S. to set its minimum wage higher than $9/hour. No evidence exists of any loss of employment with minimum wage increases in the last 20 years, says Arindrajit Dube (economics). When employers cut back on workers, it’s usually because of lack of demand and poor economic conditions, not wage requirements. Wall Street Journal, 12/1/11. A story on how businesses in states that are about to increase the minimum wage are looking for ways to cut costs includes comments from Dube.
CBS News, 12/29/11. A story about whether higher tax rates on California's wealthy will cause them to move out of the state quotes Jeffrey Thompson (Political Economy Research Institute). That’s unlikely, Thompson says, because California has job opportunities for high income individuals that don’t exist elsewhere. Overall, he explains, the decision to move is driven by job losses, divorce or other personal reasons, not the tax rate. Times-Union [Albany, N.Y.], 12/3/11. A column advocating higher taxes on wealthy individuals in New York State citesThompson's study.
PRI’s The World, 12/27/11. Visiting Scholar Joshua S. Goldstein (political science) discusses his new book, Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide. Goldstein says war may not be inevitable.
Summit County Voice [Colorado], 12/26/11. Ethan Carr (landscape architecture and regional planning) says the National Park Service’s “Parks for People” project will help the service adapt to the changing social, environmental and technological landscape. The project comes as the service prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2016.
Boston.com, 12/23/11. In her blog "Fiftyshift" BJ Roche (journalism) offers tips for slowing down "to reclaim the slow life" and asks for other ideas.
MassLive.com, 12/19/11; WBUR, 12/16/11; WFCR, Boston Business Journal, Boston.com, Insurance News Net, 12/13/11. A UMass Amherst poll, run by political scientists Brian Schaffner and Raymond La Raja, rates attitudes on Massachusetts health care reform and casinos.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/13/11. Econ4, a national group started on campus by economists— including Nancy Folbre, James Boyce and Gerald Epstein—is pushing for the field to articulate a broader range of views and expand teaching methods.
Press TV, 12/12/11. Gerald Friedman (economics) is interviewed about the extent of popular discontent in the U.S. related to the continuing economic downturn. Dollars & Sense, 12/8/11. Friedman writes a column about how conservatives and business interests are challenging public sector unions, noting that some liberal Democratic governors have joined forces with these groups.
Springfield Republican, 12/12/11; Wall Street Journal, 12/10/11. Washington Post, CNN.com, Boston Herald, Daily Kos, Firedoglake.com, WBZ-TV 4 and WBZ radio, MetroWest Daily News, Patriot Ledger, Springfield Republican, WWLP-TV 22, Business Insider, Politicalwire.com, Care2.com, RTTNews.com, Huffington Post, WFCR, WAMC, 12/1/11.The UMass Amherst iSurvey Project poll, run by political scientists Brian Schaffner and Raymond La Raja and rolled out in early December, found that Elizabeth Warren, the leading Democrat in the field of challengers to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, is running even or perhaps ahead of Brown in a potential matchup next fall. Newburyport News, Eagle-Tribune, 12/6/11. The poll is mentioned in an editorial about the public’s outlook about the state economy. Patriot Ledger, 12/2/11. UMass Amherst's first political poll finds that a majority of Massachusetts residents dislike the Legislature and that only 32% believe the state is headed in the right direction. The poll also found that Elizabeth Warren, the leading Democrat in the field of challengers to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown are in a statistical tie.
Sentinel and Enterprise [Fitchburg], 12/6/11 (article is no longer available). A group of landscape architecture and regional planning students and professors present their visions for the Thayer Field Recreation Campus in Lancaster.
Yuma Sun [California], 12/5/11. Emily West (communication) comments on how greeting cards are now aimed at a much wider array of social situations than in the past. West says greeting card companies are sensitive about criticism of their recent addition of sympathy cards for people who have been laid off or fired from their jobs.
Financial Times [U.K.], 12/2/11. A story about the Obama administration's initiative to create thousands of jobs by pushing energy-saving projects notes that the White House has not made an official estimate of jobs that could be generated. The administration cites research by the Political Economy Research Institute as predicting that 50,000 jobs could be created by energy-savings programs.
ABC News, Yahoo.com, 12/1/11. Raymond La Raja (political science) comments in a story about US House efforts to defund public financing for presidential candidates, turning about $200 million to the U.S. treasury to help offset the national deficit.
A Word from SBS
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