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SBS Newsletter – February 2010

In this issue

Jeffrey KatzShedding Light on Times Square—and More
Ah, Times Square. The Crossroads of the World. The crystal ball descending each New Year’s Eve. Animated neon and LED billboards—spectaculars and jumbotrons without rival. Subject of songs. Home of theaters, restaurants, broadcast studios, retail stores, corporations. No other intersection says New York—or USA—more than Times Square. How cool is it then to learn that major sections of this area—1 Times Square, 2 Times Square, and 1600 Broadway on the Square, as well as many of those amazing signs, including the Coca Cola space—are owned/managed by real estate developer Jeffrey Katz ’69 (economics), CEO and principal owner of Sherwood Equities. Read more...

Stephen Kellogg and the SixersShady Esperanto and the Young Hearts
UMass Amherst rocks...literally. In case you're not familiar with the band Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, don't wait any longer. SK6ERS is comprised of Kellogg '98 (communication), Brian "Boots" Factor '01 (psychology) and Kit "Goose" Karlson '98 (music). Their video for the hit song "Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts" from the album The Bear was directed by Factor and filmed in 4 hours "with the help of 400 of our new best friends from alma mater UMass..." View the video... Read more about SK6ERS...

Stephanie DeFranzoSociology Student Says UMass Opportunities Are Powerful
“Scholarships like the LeBovidge Undergraduate Research Scholarship recognize the importance of giving undergraduates special opportunities,” says Stephanie DeFranzo ’10 (sociology). Her stipend (along with 4 others in various fields) was funded by Alan LeBovidge ’64 (economics) and his wife Carol. It supported 10 hours a week of substantive research assistance on a research project with Professor David Cort this past semester. Read more...

Jillian SchwedlerYemen Expert Loves Teaching, Building Understanding
A future in dance and acting was her dream while growing up, but Professor Jillian Schwedler (political science) ended up on a very different path. “I know that’s totally normal,” she says. “But the important thing was taking advantage of opportunities to discover new things about myself and the world.” She did—and still does. Her recent book, Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen, offers insights on what is going on among Islamist political parties and the government in Yemen. It’s the only book in English on the subject so far, making Schwedler an in-demand expert. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Brianna JohnsonA Will and a Way: Brianna Johnson ’11 Helps Others in Need
Her crushing handshake provides strong insight into how Brianna Johnson '11 (legal studies) and her family have raised more than a quarter million dollars to help children with physical disabilities. Built on determination and enthusiasm, the Brianna Fund has given 42 children in the Greater Springfield area money for wheelchairs, walkers, and ramps and other home modifications. Read more...

Ron CameronAlum Manages Vancouver's Olympic Stadium
When you watched the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, did you know there was a UMass Amherst connection? Ron Cameron '75 (communication), general manager of the BC Place stadium, oversaw the management and operations of those ceremonies, watched worldwide by more than 1 billion people. Read more...

Wheel of Fortune logoSenior Wins on Wheel of Fortune
On January 18, 2010 Ben Skinner '10 (communication) proved he's a whiz with words on the syndicated quiz show "Wheel of Fortune." As Vanna White tapped out the letters on the game board, Skinner spun his way to $12,800 in cash and prizes, including a $5,000 trip to St. Martin, as his mother, Ann, his grandmother Betty and his girlfriend Lisa looked on. Read more... Readers may recall the report in last month's issue that Justin Gagnon (journalism) appeared as a contestant on December 30. Although he didn't win, he doubled his annual salary in 30 minutes. Read more...

Elizabeth ChiltonCenter for Heritage and Society Pinpoints Intangibles Worth Saving
Heritage isn't just found in museums. "It's all around us," says Elizabeth S. Chilton, director of the university's new Center for Heritage and Society and chair of the anthropology department. And it's quietly slipping away without much consideration for what should be preserved and what should fade. Buildings, paintings and monuments are obvious candidates. But items more ordinary and less tangible are also part of our heritage. Political graffiti on a stop sign? Heritage. Your family's chocolate chip cookie recipe? Heritage. Jump-rope mantras about Ms. Suzy sung during recess? That's heritage, too. Read more...

Commencement medaSeniors: Nominate a Professor for SBS Senior Celebration
This year, for the first time, Undergraduate Commencement has been divided into two parts. The university commencement will take place on Saturday, May 15 from 10:00–11:30 a.m. in Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Then, each school/college will conduct an additional ceremony at various venues across campus from 1:30-2:30 p.m. The College Social and Behavioral Sciences' Senior Celebration will be held in the Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium. In an effort to personalize the SBS ceremony, we are asking seniors to nominate a professor to address the group in a meaningful and memorable way. Submit your nomination no later than March 12. Please include your name, major, and a brief statement indicating why you are making the nomination. An election will take place next month. Read more about Commencement and the SBS Senior Celebration.

New Video Brings the Campus to You
See the exciting story of UMass Amherst told by insiders—students, the Chancellor, deans, distinguished faculty, researchers and more. Visit the best college town and find out why UMass Amherst is the number one place to receive a world class education. View the video...

Upcoming Events
Check out 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
A new book, Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America, by Sharon Lee Davies '84 (political science) is now available at bookstores. It has been hailed as "a compelling account of a notorious murder in the 'Magic City' of Birmingham [Ala], in a gripping story of love, prejudice and violence in the age of Jim Crow." Davies is John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Designated Professor of Law at Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University. Read more about Davies.

Michelle Cardinal '89 (communication) is president of the direct marketing agency R2C Group in Portland, Oregon. R2C has used direct marketing in TV, print and radio promotions for years, but technological developments have upped the ante. "It is easy to track how marketing efforts affect phone or online sales of vacuum cleaners," says Cardinal in a Portland Business Journal article, "but R2C’s clients can now integrate sales and marketing data with their inventory systems to track how a broadcast ad affects retail sales in real time." In an article about Super Bowl ads, in another issue of the same publication, Cardinal shared her opinion: “A good portion of Super Bowl advertisers are trying to make a creative statement about their brand. There’s value in that, from an awareness standpoint, but if you want to get people to buy something you need to find a way to engage viewers. And you need better ways to quantify your results than the number of viewers you got.”

Visitors at the Bartizan Connects booth at the 2010 ASAE Technology Conference and Expo were able to view product demonstrations of its new, first-of-its-kind iPhone App for tradeshow lead retrieval. The application is expected to be available for free download at the iTunes store on April 1, 2010. Bartizan, headed by founder Lew Hoff '62 (economics), offers innovative and affordable lead retrieval solutions for event organizers. An article about Hoff and his new product appeared in Let's Talk Trade Shows (2/4/10).

Kathy AbbottKathy Abbott '80 (landscape architecture and regional planning), executive vice president of the Trustees of Reservations (MA) and former Massachusetts Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, was elected co-chair of City Parks Alliance, a national network of urban park and recreation leaders working to increase federal, state and local investment in America ’s urban parks, which play a vital role in building stronger, healthier, and more livable cities. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from Harvard. In her work with The Trustees, Kathy has led the drive to expand urban conservation work across Massachusetts with Urban Parks Advocates, a statewide network of nonprofits, community groups, businesses, public agencies, municipalities, and individuals. Read more... [pdf]

Two leading independent brokerage firms, New York based Divine Capital Markets LLC, founded and run by Danielle Bionda Hughes '91 (political science), and Paris-based Global Equities SA, have created a strategic partnership, allowing for seamless equity and derivative coverage spanning US, European and Asian markets. Clients will benefit from the combined global outlook and experienced opinions of Divine's distinguished analyst team and Global Equities' renowned research group."Our strategy is to provide our clients with 24/6 access to the global marketplace through our network of local, experienced traders. We are pleased that our alliance with Global Equities takes us one step closer to achieving that goal," says Hughes.

Christine (Solt) Savage '92 (political science), chair of the Healthcare Group at Choate, Hall, Stewart LLP, was a panelist at the MassMEDIC's seminar, One Year Later: Complying with the Massachusetts Gift Ban Law. The "gift ban" law requires medical device companies to restrict their marketing and product development practices and to report to the state on payments made to health care providers. Panelists also addressed the law's impact on the medical device industry and examined the Mass Department of Public Health's implementation of the law, enforcement policies and company compliance practices.Recognized by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America, Savage was also one of 40 emerging business leaders for the Boston Business Journal’s 2007 “40 Under 40” award. Read more about her work.

In Hong Kong, to welcome Chancellor Robert C. Holub and his wife Sabine during their first trip to China, Benjamin Happ '98 (psychology) and his wife Amy '98 (communications disorders PHHS) hosted a reception at the China Club on February 22 for alumni and friends in the area. Happ is head of Capital Services Asia Pacific with Credit-Suisse.

Jackie Brousseau-Pereira '00 MPA (public policy) was selected alum of the month (February) in the political science department at Providence College, where she earned her BA in '90. Jackie is director of external affairs for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst. She also is a part-time doctoral student in the School of Education, studying higher education administration.

Jared Stenquist '07 (communication), CTO and a host of other UMass Amherst alumni run CampusLive, an Amherst-based company that creates customized homepages for students at 150 colleges. The firm has recently received about $320,000 in angel funding. In 2008 Business Week named the CampusLive team #3 in its "Best Entrepreneurs under 25." Read more...

Michael Cote '08 (environmental design) is a former newspaper and corporate contract writer currently pursuing two master's degrees: one in regional planning at UMass Amherst and the other in Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. An urban planner who focuses on climate change adaptation issues, he attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen (COP15) with generous support from the American Planning Association-International Division and sponsorship of Vermont Law School. Currently, he is in his "grueling planning-thesis semester." Read Cote's report... [pdf]

in June George Epstein '48 (chemistry), longtime friend of SBS, was elected a Fellow of the International Society of Plastics Engineers [scroll down]. Last year he was named Senior Citizen Volunteer of the Year by the Optimists. (Among other things, he was responsible for Charity Poker Tournament that helped the Senior Center replace dollars lost to budget cuts by the City of Los Angeles.) A Fellow in the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, he holds its coveted George Lubin Memorial Award, among many other awards from industry and government for technical contributions.

Wes Golomb '74 (sociology) is the program coordinator/professor for the Energy Services and Technology Program at Lakes Region Community College. The program, which he started four years ago, is receiving a merit award from the New England Board of Higher Education. 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.

Faculty/Department News
Sally Powers (psychology), director of the Center for Research on Families, has been appointed to the National Academies' Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council's Committee on the Science of Research on Families. Read more...

The rate of childlessness among American women is the same for whites and blacks, although black women without children are more likely to be married than childless white women, according to a new study by sociology faculty members Jennifer Hickes Lundquist and Michelle J. Budig and graduate student Anna Curtis. Read more...

At the Altar of the Bottom Line: The Degradation of Work in the 21st Century by Tom Juravich (labor studies) has been published by the University of Massachusetts Press. Based on extensive interviews with workers in four different industries, the book looks behind the statistics of the economic collapse and into the lives of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet and support their families. Juravich combines oral history with social and economic analysis to provide an account of the multiple challenges presented in today’s workplaces. Read more...

On December 16, the 40th anniversary of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s first address calling for national health insurance, Senator Paul G. Kirk, Jr. delivered a major health care speech before the Senate. He quoted from an article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, written by Karen List, director of the journalism program, about her daughter Emily and Sen. Kennedy receiving cancer treatment together in the summer of 2008 at Mass General Hospital. "Karen's was a statement of hope," Sen. Kirk said and asked that the column be read into the Congressional Record. The Daily Hampshire Gazette doesn't allow nonsubscribers to read articles online, but the piece is posted on FiftyShift, a website/blog maintained by BJ Roche (journalism).

In addition to his academic research and excellence in teaching, graduate student Nathaniel Kraft (political science) is the Northampton High School girls track coach. He recently received the Dick Atkinson Indoor Track Award for his outstanding contributions to the Western MA high school track program. Says Laura Reed (political science), "They love him at the high school...and he's doing a great job as my TA for American Foreign Policy."

SBS in the News
USA Today, 2/25/10. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, says jobs in education and research have much lower start-up costs than those in fields such as construction. His comments come as part of the debate over whether the $15 billion federal jobs bill moving through Congress will create enough jobs to offset adding to the national debt. Solveclimate.com, 2/18/10. Pollin says a new report that argues maintaining current restrictions on oil and gas drilling through 2030 will have a major economic impact on the U.S. economy misses the point. Pollin says the report’s conclusions are overstated and contends that the price of oil and how well we conserve will have a much more substantial impact on the national GDP. The Real News Network, 2/6/10. Pollin discusses the prospects for national economic recovery and what that could mean for the federal budget deficit.

Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/22/10. Continuing Education instructor Todd Gilman (journalism) writes a column rebutting some of the myths about distance learning.

Post Standard [Syracuse, N.Y.], 2/20/10. A report from UMass Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute is cited in a story on the proposed closing of state parks in New York. Every dollar spent on parks returns five dollars, according to the study.

FOXBusiness.com, 2/19/10. Gerald Epstein (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute and chair of the economics department, is a member of the group SAFER that supports imposition of the so-called “Volcker Rule” that would prevent large banks that accept government-backed deposits from conducting their own proprietary trading and owning hedge funds. The proposed rule is one of the key financial reforms sought by the Obama administration to restrict risky behavior by banks and to prevent banks from becoming too big to fail. The Real News Network, 1/27/10. Epstein is interviewed about solutions to the problems created by large amounts of capital and the speculation it creates that isn’t connected to the everyday economy.

iBerkshires.com, 2/17/10. Tom Juravich (labor studies) spoke at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams on the U.S. labor movement and the future of work, as presented in his recent book, At the Altar of the Bottom Line: The Degradation of Work in the 21st Century (UMass Press). An accomplished folk singer, he also performed folk songs at the event.

New York Times Economix blog, 2/15/10. Nancy Folbre (economics) explores the increasing competition for students who can help a school's bottom line. She particularly questions the marketing efforts of for-profit colleges, and fears that some state universities have begun to imitate the for-profit model. Business Week, 2/11/10. Folbre comments in a story about how state universities continue to be buffeted by budget cuts. Folbre, the author of the book, Saving State U, is very worried because officials in Massachusetts have been offsetting budget shortfalls with federal stimulus funding, money that will disappear next year, possibly leading to rounds of drastic cuts. New York Times Economix blog, 1/18/10. Folbre discusses public spending on children and why overall, we spend so little on them. She sees two trends in public spending on children: it amounts to about 2.2% of the national gross domestic product, compared to 5.3% spent on the elderly; and spending per child goes up after age 6 despite research showing that younger children benefit from early-childhood education.

Providence Journal, 2/14/10. Jeffrey Thompson (Political Economy Research Institute) says Rhode Island doesn’t appear to be poised to make a big push into the high-technology economy because it doesn’t have the required highly trained work force, or the growing educational sector to support such a move. New Haven Register, 1/27/10. Thompson participated in a budget forum for officials in Connecticut on ways to deal with a $500 million deficit this year. Thompson and Nicholas Johnson of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggested a mix of spending cuts, efficiencies and some revenue increases, coming from a more progressive graduated tax system.

Christian Science Monitor, 2/8/10. Jane D’Arista (Political Economy Research Institute) says the financial industry in the U.S. has become too large and contributes little to national economy. She says by 2007, borrowing by the financial sector amounted to 117% of the GDP, and then the financial house of cards collapsed. D’Arista and other observers say the activity created by the financial sector generated fees and profits, but little that was productive for the economy at large.

Le Monde [pdf], 2/6/10. An interview on the subject of ethnic statistics with Rahsaan Maxwell (political science) followed the release by the French government of an official report on whether ethnic statistics should be collected. Rahsaan spoke about his experiences analyzing one of the rare and little-known datasets in France that allows one to study “ethnic” differences.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/6/10. Jeannette Wicks-Lim (Political Economy Research Institute) writes a column saying that as the U.S. economy recovers from the downturn, a major challenge will be the creation of good jobs that can support a family at a decent standard of living. She says unions can play an important role because they improve pay and benefits, something that economic growth may not produce.

MassINC.org, 2/4/10. An investigative reporting class at UMass Amherst taught by Steve Fox (journalism) is cited in a magazine article about new and experimental ways to deliver news at a time when traditional news media are in decline. Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/31/10. Fox discusses the importance of combining face-to-face discussion with online learning in a commentary on hybrid courses. Fox says blogging on issues can help jump-start in-class discussions.

New York Daily News, 1/22/10. Robert Feldman, dean of the College Social and Behavioral Sciences, comments in a story about the lying and sex scandal surrounding former U.S. Sen. John Edwards. Feldman says Edwards long string of lies about his adulterous behavior and fathering a child with his mistress make him an extreme example. Feldman has written a book on lying. FMS, the Book Show [Connecticut Public Radio], 1/15/10. Faith Middleton's Book Show, recommending terrific titles in all categories, included a 5-minute segment on The Liar in Your Life by Feldman. Calling it "so intriguing," she says it helps one understand why people lie and begs the question, "Should you be dead honest about everything?" Discussion of the book begins about 17 minutes into the program.

Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Mercury News, 1/19/10. During the trial over the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, testified that same-sex couples prefer marriage over domestic partnerships, citing the fact that just 2,077 couples chose partnership while 18,000 chose marriage in 2008 when marriage was legal.

Los Angeles Times, 1/19/10. Ray La Raja (political science) comments in a story about the Jan. 19 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Edward M. Kennedy. La Raja says he expects a heavy voter turnout for the election which is widely viewed as a toss-up between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley. He also says the election signals hard times ahead for most Democratic incumbents. Boston Globe, 1/14/10. La Raja discusses the special election, saying Democrats are spending money and sending staff to the state to prevent any chance that Republican Scott Brown will win and be the decisive vote in the Senate to kill health care reform. Republicans and outside interest groups on both sides are also spending money in the race.

WBUR, 1/13/10. Ralph Whitehead (journalism) discusses the Jan. 19 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Edward M. Kennedy. He notes that the race has garnered national attention because the outcome can have a strong impact on a number of key national issues currently being debated in Congress.

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, 413.545.3945.

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
http://www.umass.edu/sbs/