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SBS Newsletter – July 2006

In this issue

Associate professor Mari Castenada

Communication Professor Focuses on Latina/o Media and Community Service Learning
If you’re interested in communication policy and new media development, the political economy of broadcasting and transnational telecommunications, the history of regulation, or cultural production in mass media, then newly tenured associate professor of communication Mari Castañeda is a woman you need to know. Read more...

member of the ICODR Belgrade team of students

Five Years of Online Competition Offers Law Students Experience and Empowerment
The UMass Amherst Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution is celebrating an anniversary. For five years running, the Center has organized and managed the International Competition for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR), a pioneering competition—the first of its kind, in fact—for U.S. and international law students. Read more...

Dan Maltzman

Study Abroad Experience Adds Depth to Education
“Before I became a proud Minuteman, I spent two years in high school studying in the Netherlands at the American School in The Hague,” recalls Dan Maltzman ’07, a legal studies and political science major. “It was an amazing experience and fed my desire to study abroad again.” Read more....

Cashing in Her Chips
Alumna Stacy Madison '87 (psychology) is the cofounder and brand name behind Stacy’s Pita Chip Company. Read more....

And other topics of interest...

Krista Harper, anthropology Professor Harper Briefs New U.S. Ambassador to Hungary
Krista Harper (assistant professor of anthropology and public policy) was invited by the State Department to help prepare Ambassador April Foley for her posting in Hungary. The July 13 briefing covered a range of topics intended to familiarize the new ambassador with Hungarian business, politics, and culture. Ambassador Foley is a 1969 Smith College graduate. Harper was joined by several other academic and private-sector experts on Hungarian economy and society. Fluent in Hungarian, Harper has studied social movements around the issues of health, environment, and human rights in Hungary since 1994. "I was honored by the opportunity to brief Ambassador Foley," she says. "Anthropologists study other cultures in depth and can offer insights to policymakers." Adds Jane Fountain, director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, "This invitation exemplifies the high caliber of the faculty at the Center for Public Policy and Administration and the relevance of their research and expertise to decision-makers at all levels of government."

news microphonesJournalism Program Chosen to Create New England News Council
The Journalism Program has been awarded a $75,000 grant to establish a New England News Council to investigate complaints about the media and promote public trust in the news. Read more...


Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff, professors of economicsEconomics Professors Publish New Book
New Departures in Marxian Theory (Routledge, 2006) by Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff (economics), has been released simultaneously in hardcover and paperback. The book uses concepts of overdetermination and class to create a new way to understand capitalism's contradictions and lapses. The authors’ new nondeterminist and class-focused Marxist theory is both responsive to and critical of other movements, such as post- modernism and feminism, transforming modern social though. Resnick and Wolff have confronted basic incompatibilities among dominant modern versions of Marxian theory and the fact that Marxism seemed cut off from the criticisms of determinist modes of thought offered by post- structuralism and post-modernism as well as by some of Marxism’s greatest theorists. This collection of essays enables readers to understand and make use of a major new paradigm in Marxist thinking and showcases analytical breakthroughs now punctuating a Marxism in transition. Other books by Resnick and Wolff include Class Theory and History, also published by Routledge.

graduates Lauren Koffman and JT Saunders IIIGood to Go: A Glimpse at Members of the Class of 2006, One Month Removed
What defines a UMass Amherst education? The class that turns an academic interest into an intellectual passion? The summer internship that catapults into a career? The semester spent in a foreign country and nothing ever looks the same again– even once you get back home? Read more...

Safety and Security Issues Addressed
When students arrive on campus in September, some extra eyes will be watching them. This fall every residence hall will have a camera at its entrance and exit. The 10-year phase-in program of surveillance cameras, started in 2002, and other security initiatives were accelerated after the ABC News show "Primetime" named the campus the most violent among the nation's largest universities during a broadcast in November. The project will be completed this year, adding 325 video cameras to campus at a cost of more than $500,000. UMass Amherst Police Chief Barbara O'Connor says that to date every time the police department has issued a photo of a suspect taken by one of the high-resolution, color video cameras, the suspect has been identified by the public. Other security initiatives include expanding the police department, including a deputy chief of operations and the addition of two officers a year over five years that will bring the department up to 69 officers. In addition, two police dogs, trained for drug detection and general patrol, will be a campus presence this fall.

An editorial in the Springfield Republican praised the installation of the cameras, noting that not only do students and their parents need to know that they are safe at school, but also that "the cameras will deal with both reality and perception. They'll lessen crime, of course. Someone who is thinking about acting violently—whether toward a person or against property—will doubtless think twice if he knows that his actions are being recorded. As for the perception,...while the statistical method used [by ABC's 'Primetime'] was badly flawed, much of the nation might have gotten the perception that UMass Amherst is unusually dangerous. Even if that perception is undeserved—which it most decidedly is—it is the kind of thing that can stick in people's minds. The security cameras will go a long way toward changing that."

Democracy and Independence conferenceJournalism's Media Giraffe Conference Viewable in Quick Time, Blogs Available
"Democracy & Independence: Sharing News & Information in a Connected World," the first summit conference of Journalism's Media Giraffe Project at UMass Amherst held June 28-July 1, was a tremendous success with more than 200 participants. Sponsors included The Boston Globe, Omidyar Network, MassLive/The Republican newspaper, and the New England Press Association, among others. Conference events, including the keynote address by veteran White House Correspondent Helen Thomas, are now viewable on Quick Time. Independent logs are also available. Go to for links.

In the News
Monthly Review, July/August 2006. An in-depth story entitled "Women and Class: What Has Happened in Forty Years?" co-authored by Stephanie Luce (Labor Relations and Research Center) recounts how women workers have fared. The article covers what has changed, what hasn't changed, and trends with explanations. The article notes, "After forty years of the women’s movement, the gains of some segments have led to a greater class divide among women workers. This challenges us to consider if it would be possible to build a cross-class women’s movement today." Included are links to other sources of information on the subject. Read the article.

Workers World, 7/17/06. In the article "What’s behind the Darfur Campaign" by Catherine Donaghy, Enoch Page (anthropology), an expert on the anthropology of genocide, discusses the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan during a recent forum held at Smith College. Read the article. The entire meeting is available on audio.

Los Angeles Times, 7/17/06. In the article "Right, Wrong? In a Group, It's Harder to Tell" by Shari Roan, Ervin Staub (psychology) comments about how people in groups often have a difficult time resisting very reprehensible or illegal and violent acts for fear of losing connections with others in the group. Overall, Staub says, groups make it more difficult for people to decide right and wrong and to act on their decisions. Read the article.

Asia Times Online, 7/12/06. A column by Max Fraad Wolff, a doctoral candidate in economics, says developing countries such as China are seeking access to key commodities, including energy and minerals, but are also counting on building consumer demand for the new products they will manufacture. Wolff says the demand side of the equation needs careful review. Read the article.

From the Gulag to the Killing Fields book cover by Paul HollanderEnter Stage Right. "Omnibus of Evil" by John W. Nelson, web posted 7/10/06, reviews the book From the Gulag to the Killing Fields, edited by Paul Hollander (emeritus professor of sociology). It notes that Hollander did a survey of UMass students in 2000 and found that not one in a class of 300 had been taught about Communist repression while they were in high school and that three had never heard the word “gulag." Read the article.

Mail and Guardian (South Africa) 7/3/06: In the commentary "For an Interest Rate Cut" by Lumkile Mondi, Gerald Epstein (economics) is cited for his recent research on how lowering interest rates can boost the GDP of South Africa. Read the article.

Springfield Republican 6/28/06: "Veteran White House Reporter Blasts Iraq War, Media Failures" by Holly Angelo gives an overview of news correspondent Helen Thomas' keynote address on June 28 at the beginning a four-day conference on the future of journalism at UMass Amherst. The conference, “Democracy and Independence: Sharing News and Information in a Connected World” was organized by the Media Giraffe Project, a non-profit research group affiliated with the journalism program.

A Word from SBS
This e-letter has been created for alumni and friends of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SBS includes the departments and programs of Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Journalism, Labor Studies, Legal Studies, Neuroscience and Behavior, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy and Administration, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), and Sociology. With 38,000 alumni, 5,000 undergraduate majors, and 500 graduate students, SBS is the largest of UMass Amherst’s colleges. In addition to its departments, it is home to numerous programs and research institutions. Through the general education courses that SBS offers, the College’s 150 faculty members teach one quarter of the 17,000 undergraduates on campus.

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 students. If you are already a donor, please accept our sincere thanks. If not, please consider a donation to SBS for your department, financial aid, or a purpose that speaks to your personal experiences and priorities. To make a gift online, click here. Questions? Contact:
Eric Yates, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
202 South College
150 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9274
(413) 577-1700

We welcome feedback related to this newsletter, the college in general, or specific concerns. If you wish to add your name to the mailing list, or if you wish to unsubscribe, please write to the SBS Newsletter . 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