SBS Newsletter – June 2007
In this issue
Scholarship Helps Student Pave Way to Public Policy Career
fMRI Facility to Enhance Research Efforts on Brain Function
Scholarships Affirm Efforts of Economics Student
RLA Award to Support Inter-American Consortium Meetings
U.S. Lacrosse Team Finalist
Food, Glorious Food!
Pioneer Valley Alumni Club Bicycle Ride and Scholarship Fundraiser
College Presidents Pledge to Cut Greenhouse-Gas Emissions
Non-Credit ULA Option Begins in July
Sociology is pleased to announce that six new faculty will be joining the departmentin the fall: Enobong Anna Branch (SUNY Albany), David Cort (UCLA), Caroline Hanley (Berkeley), Andrew Papachristos (Chicago), Wenona Rymond-Richmond (Northwestern), and Melissa Wooten (Michigan by way of Dartmouth).
Krista Harper (anthropology and public policy) was awarded a $750 SBS Instructional Improvement Grant for next year. She plans to develop a curricular unit on the PhotoVoice method of participatory action research for her qualitative research methods course and to establish a Five Colleges network of PhotoVoice researchers.
Associate Professor Betsy Krause (anthropology) and Milena Marchesi's collaborative work on reproductive politics, “Fertility Politics as ‘Social Viagra’: Reproducing Boundaries, Social Cohesion and Modernity in Italy,” has been published in the June 2007 issue of American Anthropologist.
Congratulations to Naomi Gerstel (sociology), who has been selected as a Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellow for next year. Every year the UMass Amherst Research Council awards the Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship to three UMass Amherst faculty for outstanding research and scholarship.
Recent graduate Peter Kelly-Joseph '07 (political science) in a Cape Cod Times article says his college loan debt is a “manageable” $10,000 because he chose to attend UMass Amherst instead of a more expensive private college. But even saving money and keeping debt to a minimum hasn't solved one problem that Kelly-Joseph and young adults on Cape Cod face. He'll have to leave Wellfleet and the Cape to pursue a job in his chosen field of environmental policy. "With the combination of house prices and the lack of professional jobs, I'm planning to move away," he said. Read the article...
Bob Lee '94 (political science) is president of Living Root Dragon Boat, Inc., a Boston dragon boat club that promotes the sport and cross-cultural understanding through community outreach programs. Dragon boat racing is an ancient Chinese sport that has become a global phenomenon held in over 40 countries around the world. According to Paddler Magazine, dragon boat racing is the fastest growing and second most popular water sport in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are several hundred dragon boat clubs and teams that compete annually. In North America, dragon boats are constructed of either wood or fiberglass and typically hold 20 people paddling in unison with a drummer and steerer at the front and back respectively.This year LRDB fielded its first youth team to race at the Boston Dragon Boat Festival in June. LRDB's adult teams are participating in races in Boston, Montreal, New York City, Pawtucket, Hartford and San Francisco. New paddlers always wanted. No prior experience necessary. Contact Bob for more information.
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SBS in the News
Foreign Policy in Focus, 6/21/07. An article by Robert Pollin (economics, co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute [PERI]), entitled "Microcredit: False Hopes and Real Possibilities," discusses the effectiveness of microcredit as a poverty-fighting tool. These institutions, that began with the Grameen Bank, have made important advances relative to the array of moneylenders and pawnbrokers that had previously controlled the provisioning of banking services to the world’s poor. At the same time, considered on their own, Grameen-style initiatives have limited capacity to fight global poverty, especially when placed in a policy setting dominated by neoliberalism. Read the article...
NPR "Morning Edition," 6/20/07. The Senate Rules Committee held a hearing on legislation that would give public funds to candidates who agree to hold down their spending. The ever-lengthening list of fundraising and lobbying scandals has prompted senators to re-think the way they run for office. The top Senate races last year cost more than $25 million dollars. Ray La Raja (political science) comments. Listen to the program...
Boston Globe, 6/17/07. An article on equal parenting and the evolving role of fathers in raising children cites a study by Naomi Gerstel (sociology) and researcher Amy Armenia that finds that 9% of working women take Family and Medical Leave compared to 4% of men. Read the article...
Huffington Post, 6/14/07 (originally posted on Newsweek). James K. Boyce (economics) is cited in a story about creating a huge public trust—the sky trust—funded by consumer payments based on the amount of carbon they put into the atmosphere. According to calculations done by Boyce and Peter Barnes of MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, those earning more than $160,000 a year—who have bigger cars and houses and thus use more energy—would pay more in energy charges than they got back in dividends. Those earning less than about $45,000 would end up paying less, and get some extra cash in their pockets. And those in between would find it roughly a wash, though about 70% overall would make money on the deal. Read the article...
CBS News, 6/12/07. Susan Whitbourne (psychology), past president of the American Psychological Association's Division on Aging, is quoted in an article on aging gracefully. Attitude matters, she says. "For some reason, our society is very obsessed with pointing out negative aspects of aging." And she cautions, "Don't get bogged down in all the hype about aging. Once you start thinking about it, it can drive you mad. There's nothing you can do; the clock is going to tick away." She has lots more to say in the article...
International Herald Tribune, 6/1/07. Peter Haas (political science), an expert in global environmental governance, comments in a story about some of the more esoteric projects being considered to deal with global climate change. Some of these projects could breed a dangerous complacency, he warns. Governments and companies might fail to invest in already available means of cutting emissions only to find later that promised technologies failed, or wrought unintended havoc. And some could have unintended side effects, resulting in human beings doing even more harm than good to the earth's delicate systems. Read the article... Haas also was quoted in a New York Times story (6/5/07) about efforts in Europe to create a carbon-emission trading system for companies that emit climate-changing gases. Haas says the worry in the United States is that the limits would be set too low and some polluters would get off easy. Read the article (requires subscription).
Business West, 5/28/07. An editorial notes that while we are still many months away from primary season, Ralph Whitehead (journalism) may already have contributed "the best summation of Mitt Romney, his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, and his contributions, or non-contributions, to this state that we’re probably going to get." Read the article...
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