SBS Newsletter – July/August 2011
In this issue
Family Studies Pioneer Naomi Gerstel Appointed Distinguished Professor
UMass Offers Options and Life Lessons, Says Alum
Research, Teaching, Service Inform Political Scientist’s Work
Improving Lives, One Puppy at a Time
Feldman on Sex and Lying
The Sleepover Question
New Book Outlines Black Feminist Thought for Archaeologists
Going the Distance: UMass Boxer Demonstrates Strength in Ring and Classroom
Alumni Collaborate on LEED Platinum Building for New England Environmental
UMass Amherst Alumni Finance Group Created
Four Receive Football Accolades
Archaeological Field School Examines Pocumtuck Life
Some Spark for UMass: Globe Columnist Visits New President
Credo Special Collections Archives Now Online
Teach for America Application Deadline Looms
Thursday, Sept. 8: After the Towers Fell: A September 11th Retrospective. Panel Discussion. Campus Center Reading Room, 4-6 p.m. Sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Journalism Program, the Departments of Political Science, Economics, and Psychology. Read more...
Thursday, Sept. 8 (and every Thursday through the semester). Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning presents the Zube Lecture Series, 4-6 p.m. Read more...
Thursday, Sept. 15: SBS Wing Thing Welcome to Campus Event. Student Union Ballroom, 4-6 p.m. Stop by and network with SBS students, advisors, faculty, and staff! Enjoy free food (wings, of course, and other yummies!). Enter raffle for iPad. Music. Fun. All students, faculty and staff from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences are welcome. Students: register now for this event. See wrap-up and pictures of last year's event.
Wednesday, Sept. 21: Panel Discussion: Emerging Democracies. Cape Cod Lounge, 4-6 p.m. Held in recognition of Constitution Day.
Thursday, Sep. 22: The Economics Department presents the 15th Annual Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture. Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, will lecture on "Thinking About Climate Change as a Commons." Goodell Hall, Bernie Dallas Room, 4-6 p.m. Read more...
Friday, Sept. 23: The Second Annual New England Conference for Student Success, 8 am - 5 pm. Read more...
From time to time the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences sponsors lectures, panels and programs that may be of special interest to alumni. Most of these take place on campus, generally in the late afternoon or early evening, and are free. If you are interested in receiving notification of these events, let us know and we'll put you on a listserv.
Alan LeBovidge '64 (economics), former head of the MA Department of Revenue and the MA Turnpike Authority, has taken over leadership of the North Andover Finance Committee. Read more...
Rosie Walunas ’11 (journalism) is working in New York City as an assistant editor on a feature documentary about women, war, rape, and genocide. It profiles various women from conflict zones such as Bosnia, the Congo, and more. "It's real," she says.
MJ Adams-Pullan '82 (economics), MRP '89, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, is running for City Councillor at Large in Northampton. You can listen to her ideas in an interview on WHMP.
A story in the New York Daily News about the racial makeup of the U.S. women’s national soccer team focuses on the experiences of Brianna Scurry '95 (political science). She was the only African-American player on the UMass soccer team before playing for the U.S. national team for 14 years. Few African-American women play soccer, she says, which may be why the current national team has only three non-white players.
Olga Deshchenko '10 (journalism) was selected as an Urban Fellow to work with New York's mayor's office and other city agencies this fall.
Atty. Colin Keefe '91 (political science/legal studies) appeared on the "Today Show" with his client Sharon Chanon Velasquez, who served probation in connection with the bullying-related suicide of South Hadley teenager Phoebe Prince.
Jessica (Lacroix) Hall '00 (political science) has been a criminal analyst for Massachusetts' Executive Office of Public Safety for the past 11 years.
Former Minuteman hoopster Tony Gaffney '09 (sociology) has signed a contract to play basketball in Germany next season. Read more...
Former basketball star Ricky Harris '10 (communication) is working out to improve his shot at signing a contract to play pro basketball somewhere this coming season. Read more...
Anissa Talantikite '09 (political science) has been named a 2011 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow. The Pickering Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State, will provide support for her to complete a graduate degree at Tufts University as she prepares academically and professionally to enter the United States Foreign Service. Talatikite is one of 40 Pickering Fellows—20 undergraduate and 20 graduate—in their journey to represent America in world affairs. View listing.
In "Movers, Shakers, Lawmakers" in UMass Magazine, several SBS alumni with key roles in Massachusetts government were featured. Jeffrey B. Mullan '83 (environmental design) is the first CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation with 10,000 employees and a $4 billion budget, charged with consolidating entrenched organizations such as the Mass Turnpike Authority and MassHighway under one umbrella (note: Mullan has since announced his decision to step down from the post.) Katherine Cohen '02 (economics/political science) is chief of staff and the chief budget person for State Senator Stephen M. Brewer '71, chair of the powerful Committee on Ways and Means. She is married to Aaron Cohen '02 (economics). Scott Jordan '89 (economics/political science) is assistant secretary for capital finance and intergovernmental affairs, working just a few doors down from the Governor's Office. Mark Cusack '07 (political science), Mark Paul MA '08 (labor studies), John Fernandes '74 (political science) and Kathi-Anne Reinstein '93 (communication) are all state reps.
Jane Wolfson '83 (journalism) is VP of marketing and communication at the New England Aquarium.
Andrew Richards '01 (anthropology/Spanish), aka Paul Reverse (not to be confused with Paul Revere), is a Boston Duck Tours guide, bringing history and humor to tourists. Read more...
John Gauthier '73 (sociology), a certified financial planner, recently opened an INVEST Financial office in Amherst. "I have been in the financial services industry for many years, but wanted to get back to the area I loved so much. If anyone sees this note and wants to stop in, please give me a call or visit."
Michael Cote '08 (environmental design) donated a wheelchair to the Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning Department’s undergraduate Environmental Design program, run by Patricia McGirr. Why? His grandfather, who had Parkinson's Disease, was restricted to a wheelchair and had to move into his mother's home. "One day I tooled around the house in his chair to see what it was like. It was eye opening. Not only was it cumbersome to move through the doorways, I quickly found out that I couldn't reach a glass for a drink and going up and down the ramp was surprisingly dangerous. This was happening around the same time I enrolled in Patricia's undergrad program. I began to think about 'audiences' and…wanted to learn more about Cradle-to-Wheelchair design, but little was to be found except the occasional obscure academic paper. We came up with the idea for a 'Challenge Chair,' to be used by LARP students to help with the design-thought process [and] challenge them to consider the age-gradient of their audience. In the end, what really impressed me was that the department was so open to new ideas. And it's one of the reasons why I stayed on for a master's."
The United States Trustee's Office, part of the Department of Justice, has appointed Anthony Manhart '95 (legal studies) to the panel of private bankruptcy trustees for the District of Maine. He will also continue his legal practice at Perkins Thompson in Portland, Maine.
Two projects by Matthew Cunningham '00 (landscape architecture) received 2011 Gold Medal Awards from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). Only four gold medals were given this year, and Matthew is the first person to win two in the same year. For one of these projects, Le Petit Chalet in Southwest Harbor, ME, Cunningham worked with alumni-owned Gardenform in South Deerfield, MA. This llandscape construction company is owned by James Barrett '00 (landscape architecture) and Susanna Jewell '03 (landscape architecture).
Meredith (Krumenacker) D'Agostino '03, (communication) has joined 451 Marketing as a public relations account executive. Her sales, marketing, and PR experience will support clients including Yankee Candle, Party of Gold and Universal Secure Registry (USR). Read more...
Laurie (Shea) Cadigan '78 (communication) is president of the 19,000-member Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®. Read more...
Steve Himmer '99 (anthropology) is author of The Bee-Loud Glade (Atticus Books, 2011), a novel about a corporate drone who agrees to live as an ornamental hermit on a billionaire's estate.
After 40 years in journalism Bruce DeSilva '68 (government) retired and began writing crime novels. Publisher's Weekly named his Rogue Island (Forge Books, 2010) one of the best debut novels of 2010.
Joel Fox '79 (government) published his first mystery novel, Lincoln's Hand (Echelon Press, 2010), about an attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln's body. It was a top-ten paperback bestseller at the Los Angeles Mystery Bookstore.
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
Universal Preschool: Policy Change, Stability, and the Pew Charitable Trusts by Brenda Bushouse (political science and public policy) has received the Virginia A. Hodgkinson Book Prize for 2011 from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. It recognizes the best book on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector that informs policy and practice.
Charles M. Schweik (environmental conservation and public policy) spoke at the University of Alaska Anchorage on open source software development and how those methods might be used to solve large, global problems. He is working on a book on the subject. Read more and listen to the podcast (scroll down to June 27).
High-Stakes Reform: The Politics of Educational Accountability, a new book by Kathryn McDermott (education and public policy), takes a hard look at state-level policies that push public schools to ensure that all students reach a common threshold of knowledge and skills
During the summer Jack Ahern (landscape architecture and regional planning), vice provost for International Programs, delivered a plenary address at the 2011 International Conference on Rural Regeneration in Taipei, Taiwan.
Congratulations to Maryann Barakso (political science) who has been awarded tenure.
Brian McDermott (journalism) was on the Perpignan Project faculty in French Catalonia this summer, working with fifteen college students from the U.S. and Canada on multimedia journalism and learning French. This four-week study-abroad program is co-sponsored by the Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia) and the San Francisco State University Journalism Department.
Labor Extension Coordinator Dale Melcher (labor studies) is a 2011 recipient of an Usung Heroine award given by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.
Assistant Professor Enobong Hannah Branch (sociology) has been elected to the Council of the Race, Gender and Class section of the American Sociological Association.
Sociologist Andrew Papachristos won the American Sociological Association's Community Section's Jane Adams Award for best paper. "Murder by Structure: Dominance Relations and the Social Structure of Gang Homicide" was published by American Journal of Sociology.
"'Two Armies': Data from the Survey of Active Duty Personnel" by Jen Lundquist (sociology) and PhD candidate Dan Burland was published in June's Armed Forces and Society.
Sociologist Millie Thayer's book, Making Transnational Feminism: Rural Women, NGO Activists, and Northern Donors in Brazil, won the Society for the Study of Social Problems Global Division's 2011 Outstanding Book Award.
Michelle Budig and PhD candidate Melissa Hodges (sociology) received the 2011 Reuben Hill Award, by the National Council on Family Relations, for their paper on the wage penalty for motherhood.
SBS in the News
Boston Globe, 8/29/11. In her Fiftyshift blog, BJ Roche (journalism) discusses some tribulations of caring for aging parents who may feel “ornery” to downright enraged about changes in their lives. She says some books and TV shows have helped mid-life caregivers to feel less isolated and even laugh at their situations.
Los Angeles Times, 8/26/11; On the anniversary of female suffrage, Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), director of the Labor Center, co-authors an op-ed on the state of women’s rights in the U.S. Reprinted in History News Network, 8/30/11.
South Coast Today, 8/23/11. An editorial, citing comments by UMass economists Nancy Folbre and Gerald Friedman, says a single-payer health care system would help reduce the national debt.
WWLP-TV 22, 8/22/11. Michael Ash (economics) says the revolution in Libya, which holds about 2% of the world's oil, isn’t likely to have much impact on world oil prices. Falling oil prices are much more related to the global recession, which is causing people to drive less, reducing the demand for oil.
MSNBC.com “Today,” 8/22/11. Since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2007, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 74% to about 46 million, or 15% of the population. Arindrajit Dube (economics) says the federal food stamp program has become an “implicit subsidy for low-wage jobs.”
New York Times (Economix blog), 8/22/11. Nancy Folbre (economics) discusses the debate over whether to impose a financial transaction tax on speculative purchases of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. Opponents say it would restrain trade while supporters say it would curtail speculation and encourage productive investment. New York Times (Economix blog), 8/15/11. Folbre discusses the furor created when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. government’s credit rating. Credit agencies have significant credibility issues of their own based on the role they played in the economic meltdown in 2008 and the fact that they are paid by the same companies they rate, not the consumers and investors who use the rating system. New York Times (Economix blog), 7/25/11. Folbre addresses why it is important to close tax loopholes in the federal tax code to boost the economy and raise more revenue to pay down the national debt. New York Times (Economix blog), 7/18/11. Folbre addresses how the national debate about the debt ceiling and the federal budget deficit has been framed. Dominating the discussion: budget cuts versus tax increases. The press has largely ignored other ideas. New York Times (Economix blog), 7/11/11. Folbre examines why deficit reduction, not unemployment, is dominating the public policy agenda. New York Times (Economix blog), 7/4/11. Folbre discusses the economic logic behind increased efforts to promote bicycle commuting, citing a study that ranked Portland, OR, tops for bike commuting. Folbre also cites a study by Heidi Garrett-Peltier (Political Economy Research Institute) showing bike lane projects are good for employment.
Huffington Post, 8/19/11. Enobong Hannah Branch (sociology) says women who are employed as nannies often work “under the table” without benefits or health insurance. Branch is author of Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work (Rutgers University Press).
Monthly Review, 8/18/11. Gerald Epstein (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, says the recent debate over raising the debt ceiling to avoid a “first ever” default by the U.S. government doesn’t quite get the facts right. He says in 1971, former President Richard Nixon refused to allow foreign central banks to redeem their dollars for gold, forcing a devaluation of the dollar in a form of default. FoxBusiness, 8/9/11. Epstein says the impact of the downgrading of the U.S. government’s credit rating isn’t known. If, however, the move is perceived as an increase in risk, banks will likely charge more for loans but won’t pay more for deposits. Fox Business, 6/30/11. Epstein says recent moves to boost capital requirements for large international banks don’t go far enough. New regulations in an agreement reached in June by a group of international bankers are an improvement, he says, but they need to be much stronger.
The NewsHour [PBS], 8/17/11. David Kotz (economics) says the growing income disparity in the U.S. is a major factor in explaining the economic meltdown that began in 2008. Ordinary people borrowing to maintain their living standards when wages are stagnant causes rising debt.
The Irish Emigrant, 8/17/11. Archaeology students from Ireland’s Queen’s University, Belfast, and UMass Lowell say their excavation around Lowell's St. Patrick’s Cathedral was “aided immensely” by Dan Lynch, a PhD candidate in anthropology and field supervisor for the Archaeological Field School. Lynch conducted a complete geophysical survey of the dig site. The project is focused on 30 laborers from County Tyrone who in 1822 walked from the Boston area to the Lowell area to dig canals to power new industries.
The Nation, 8/16/11. Discussing the Securities and Exchange Commission's upcoming review Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade U.S. credit, a blogger notes that Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, says S&P wanted to create the impression that it is hard nosed and courageous. Boston Globe, 8/12/11. Pollin says volatility in the stock markets reflects general fear and uncertainty in the U.S. economy. Declines in prices, he notes, create a climate of risk aversion, making people afraid of making big economic moves, including hiring and lending. MontereyCountyWeekly.com, 8/11/11. Pollin discusses the fallout from Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. credit worthiness. He says it was unnecessary and based on a poor understanding of the nation’s debt situation. The Nation, 8/3/11. Pollin comments in a story about whether the triple-A U.S. bond rating from credit rating agencies has any real meaning. Huffington Post, 8/3/11. Pollin comments in an article on how pending federal budget cuts may damage the already weak national economy. Grist.com, 7/12/11. Research on green-related job growth by Pollin is cited in a story on unemployment and the sustainability sector of the economy. Rolling Stone, 7/6/11. Commenting on President Obama’s populist stance on taxing the rich, Pollin says, “I think we don’t want to make too much of his promises on taxes.”
Zcommuncations.org, 8/10/11. Prof. emeritus Richard Wolff (economics) discusses the fallout from Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. credit worthiness. He says it was unnecessary and based on a poor understanding of the nation’s debt situation. David Pakman Show [Real Talk], 8/9/11. On this nationally syndicated show, Wolff and David Pakman '06 (economics/communication) discuss the downgrade of Standard and Poor's, the impact of that decision, and how important this downgrade is— especially with respect to the continuing debt deal.
Daily Times Chronicle, 8/4/11. Article discusses how Rachel Dutton '12 (environmental sciences) implemented lessons learned in Mark Hamin's environmental design class to create a farmer's market in Burlington, MA.
Sharon Patch, 8/1/11. Rebecca Tran '12 (landscape architecture) is recognized for her efforts to create a park in her hometown.
Real News Network, 7/26/11. Prof. emeritus James Crotty (economics) discusses how current calls for austerity in the U.S. economy could damage the social safety net and won’t do anything to deal with the high unemployment rate in the country.
Legal Times [blog], 7/15/11. Sheldon Goldman (political science), along with two other political scientists, says the Obama administration is restricting the flow of information about how it is selecting candidates to be federal judges. The White House, they say, has failed to provide access to information they use in researching how judicial appointments are made and how successful they are.
Marshall Independent [Minn.], 7/8/11. Letter to editor cites studies by M.V. Lee Badgett (economics) et al that found extending domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples would save taxpayers millions of dollars.
Commondreams.org, 7/7/11; Truthout, Zcommunications, 7/5/11; Dollars & Sense, 7/1/1; Physicians For a National Health Program, 7/1/11. Gerald Friedman (economics) argues that universal health care is the only viable solution to soaring health care costs. In fact, according to Friedman, “if current trends continue, the entire economy would be absorbed by health care by the 2050s.”
USA Today Health, 7/6/11. In an article about Casey Anthony being convicted of lying, Dean Robert Feldman, author of The Liar in Your Life, says, "Once you lie, it's very easy for it to become habitual."
Concord Monitor, Smart Growth, 7/5/11. Cycling lanes and infrastructure upgrades create an average of 11.4 jobs for every $1 million spent, according to a study by Heidi Garrett-Peltier (Political Economy Research Institute). Road projects by contrast create only 7.8 jobs and all construction projects only 4.7 jobs per $1 million spent, she says.
National Catholic Reporter, 7/5/11. A June 28 vigil at the New York Mercantile Exchange calling to rein in speculation on food and energy was timed to coincide with the release of “How Wall Street Speculation Is Driving Up Gasoline Prices Today,” by economists Robert Pollin and James Heintz (Political Economy Research Institute).
New York Times, 7/1/11. Stuart Shulman (political science) comments about online political activism and the impact it may or may not be having on international politics.
Huffington Post, 6/30/11. A columnist writing about younger women dating older men cites research by Lynn Phillips (communication).
A Word from SBS
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 gift to SBS for your department, student financial aid, a purpose that speaks to your personal experiences and priorities, or an unrestricted designation. 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.
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