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SBS Newsletter – June/July 2008

In this issue

John HirdReflections On Expertise and Policymaking
Throughout his career at UMass Amherst since 1989, John Hird, professor of political science and chair of the department, has focused on improving the relationship between expertise and policymaking. “Nearly all of my research,” he says, “touches in some fashion on this topic. In the classroom I encourage students to appreciate the importance of public service and prepare for careers as ‘experts.’ And my service activities aim to enhance linkages between expertise and policymaking, including my role in establishing the Center for Public Policy and Administration and its master’s degree program.” Read more...

Bonnie Reid Martin

Professional Volunteer’s Efforts Result in Effective Social Action
“To whom much is given, much is expected,” says Bonnie Reid Martin ’70 (political science), a longtime volunteer and fundraiser in Vermont and New Hampshire. “Giving back is part of my family’s tradition. If you have the means and the opportunity, if you’re blessed with good health, income and a nice place to live, then you need to pitch in and give.” Read more...

Rezarta Bilali

Guggenheim Award Recognizes Intergroup Conflict Research
This summer the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation awarded a dissertation fellowship to Rezarta Bilali, a PhD candidate in the Psychology of Peace and Violence Concentration. These awards, after a competitive review process, go to individuals in their final year of PhD work in any of the natural and social sciences or the humanities. Highest priority is given to research that can increase understanding and amelioration of urgent problems of violence, aggression and dominance in the modern world. Read more...

Ricardo Neal

Distinguished Alumni Service Award Honors Advocate for Social Justice
This year’s Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award went to Ricardo O. Neal ’95 (political science), who has been executive director of Freedom House in Roxbury, Massachusetts, since 2003, and was their director of development for the two years prior. A passionate advocate for social and economic justice, he will be leaving Freedom House in August to focus on educational reform and policy work. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Robert FeldmanDean Feldman on Mentoring
Earlier this year the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences was recipient of a Mellon Mutual Mentoring Grant. This campus-wide faculty development initiative, funded by a three-year, $400,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to address through mentoring the numerous challenges that new and under-represented faculty face. Professor of Psychology Robert Feldman, associate dean and strong proponent of faculty and student development, was principal investigator of the SBS Mellon Mutual Mentoring Team Grant. Read an interview with him on the Office of Faculty Development website.

Scott MonaghanAlum Climbing on YouTube Charts
Scott Monaghan '05
(political science), stage name “Mr. Pitiful,” is one of the top 40 most popular musicians on YouTube. Monaghan began performing with his college band and became a solo artist after a fruitless search for new band mates in Chicago’s South Loop. In less than two years, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter has amassed more than 20,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. He now ranks in the top 40 most popular musicians on the video-sharing Web site, well ahead of many mainstream pop artists. Read more...

Bonnie NewsomeAnthropologist Works with Native Americans
A research project by Bonnie Newsom, a doctoral candidate in anthropology and tribal historic preservation officer for the Penobscots, prompted the Wabanaki Council of Chiefs to endorse a resolution supporting the repatriation of their ancestors’ remains and funerary objects in the state of Maine. Newsom’s study determined that a state rule limiting tribes’ claims of cultural affiliation to 1,000 years was arbitrary. Her interviews with anthropologists also suggested that a collective approach by Maine tribes to seek repatriation would work well. Read more...

Maki MandelaDaughter Speaks of the Private Nelson Mandela
In a (Ireland) article, Maki Mandela MA '89 (sociology), PhD ’93 (anthropology), daughter of Nelson Mandela, who spent many years in a South African prison for his oppostiion to apartheid and subsequently served as president of that country from 1994–99, discusses the difficulties she had growing up with her famous father and how he handled issues surrounding the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Maki, who lives in Johannesburg, has held senior posts at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and now heads the Industrial Development Group (IDG), with interests in mining and petroleum. Read the article...

Archaeological Field School students in the labArchaeology Lab at Historic Deerfield Open to Public
Have you ever wondered what archaeology is really like? From July 24 through August 9, Thursday-Saturday, 9:30-12:00 and 1:00-3:30, the general public is invited to visit UMass Amherst archaeologists and 2008 Archaeological Field School students as they research and identify artifacts at their lab in the Moors House at Historic Deerfield. The lab is a great place for adults and children to learn about archaeology in general and see actual artifacts that students are finding throughout the Field School. In addition, a hands-on archaeology lab, Dig Deerfield!, will take place on August 2 and again on August 9, from 1–3:30 p.m. Read more...

New Weblog for UMass Amherst
UMass Amherst has launched a new weblog on, one of the region’s leading online news sites. With a variety of content being posted several times per week, the weblog creates a new way to share stories about events, accomplishments and the people who make up the UMass Amherst community. The site is managed by a campus editorial board with broad representation that includes the News Office, Research, Advancement, Outreach, Athletics, Auxiliary Services and the Mullins Center. Ed Blaguszewski, News Office director, chairs the editorial board. Material is drawn from many sources including existing articles, news releases, newsletters, event announcements, and audio and video clips. View the site.

Upcoming Events
Saturday, August 2 and Saturday, August 9, 2008
Dig Deerfield!
The general public is invited to a hands-on archaeology lab. Join UMass Amherst archaeologists to learn how to find, clean, sort, and identify artifacts. Learn about Native lifeways in the Connecticut River Valley. Do a “shoe box dig,” Make and decorate a clay pinch pot or toy marble to take home.
1-3:30 pm, The Moors House on 'The Street' in Historic Deerfield Village. Read more...
Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Dean Alfange, Jr. Lecture in American Constitutionalism
"A View from the Bench: The Federal Courts in Modern American Constitutionalism"
Presented by The Honorable Eduardo C. Robreno ’69 (M.S., labor studies), United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
4:00 p.m., Amherst Room, Campus Center 10th Floor; reception to follow. Free and open to the public. Handicap access is available.
Sponsored by the Department of Political Science

Thursday, September 25
Second Annual Alice S. and Peter H. Rossi Lecture
"Alice Rossi: The Politics and Science of Feminism"
Moderated by: Dr. JoAnn Miller ’84, Professor of Sociology, Purdue University; panelists: Sheila Tobias, Independent Lecturer and Writer, "Situating Alice Rossi in Feminism's Second Wave"; and Dr. Joan Huber, Professsor of Sociology and Provost Emeritus, Ohio State University
3:30 p.m., Amherst Room, Campus Center 10th Floor; reception to follow. Free and open to the public. Handicap access is available.
Sponsored by the Department of Sociology

Thursday–Friday, October 30–31, 2008
Conference: Women and Work: Choices and Constraints
Explore key workplace challenges for women in the 21st century by reconsidering the notion of 'opting out.'
Keynote address: Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law and Director of the Center for WorkLife Law (evening of October 30).
Click here for details, panel topics and presenters, and registration information.
Sponsored by the Center for Research on Families

Faculty Notes
Senior lecturer John Stifler (economics) has received a Fulbright Grant to teach for nine months at the University of Peredinya in Kandy, Sri Lanka. He will arrive in Sri Lanka in late December after teaching during the fall semester in Chennai, formerly Madras. In Sri Lanka, Stifler will teach an American studies course that focuses on literary works by authors such as Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston, and how they illuminate social and economic traditions and differences. He also expects to teach a literary journalism course, developing students' skills in essay, personal narrative and political analysis.

Linda Tropp (psychology), director of the Peace and Violence Concentration, has been invited to be part of the Joint Learning Initiative on Children and Ethnic Diversity, an international, interdisciplinary network of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners working to reduce racial and ethnic divisions through early childhood programs. She is in the Survey and Evaluation working group, which will review and summarize findings from evaluations of programs worldwide, to determine the most effective features for reducing ethnic divisions and prejudices among young children. "Over the next several years," Tropp says, "we will also be involved in designing interventions based on these features, which we will implement and evaluate in several sites around the world." Read more about the network [pdf].

At the June 27 rally in Unity, N.H.,designed to patch up any lingering animosity between the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, B.J. Roche (journalism) was there sporting a “Hot Chicks Dig Obama” pin.

Alumni News
Maureen Walsh '88 (legal studies) of Deerfield, MA, who has chaired of the State Parole Board since 2003 and served on the board since 1998, has been nominated by Gov. Deval Patrick to be a judge in the Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown. Read more...

Bonnie Dumanis '73 (sociology) is running for a third term as San Diego County District Attorney. Read article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Alicia Zitka '08 (communication) of West Springfield was crowned Miss Massachusetts 2008 at the Miss Massachusetts Scholarship Pageant in June. She will compete for the title of Miss America next January in Las Vegas. Read more...

Gloucester lawyer Ed O’Reilly '75 (legal studies) garnered enough support from party officials to ensure that he will give U.S. Sen. John Kerry his first Democratic primary challenge in 24 years. Read articles in the Boston Globe and in the Boston Herald. O’Reilly has proposed five formal debates on each of the campuses of the UMass system this summer. Read an article, picked up by AP, in New York Newsday.

Former roommates Jon Korhonen '06 (communication) and Andy McCarron '05 (School of Engineering) are biking across country this summer to raise money and awareness for the Children's Hunger Fund. Midway in their trip, they stopped in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and asked Dawn White '87 (Isenberg School of Management), if they could pitch a tent in her yard for the night. "No way," she said. "You boys are going to sleep in a bed" and hosted the men overnight. Korhonen and McCarron have raised over $16,000 so far. Read the article on Go to the Korhonen/McCarron website and blog.

Kori Chambers '03 (journalism) has joined the “Good Day Chicago” news show at WFLD Channel 32. Chambers, who will handle reporting and anchoring duties, has also worked at WGGB-TV 40 in Springfield and at news stations in Las Vegas and Detroit. Read more...

A scholarship fundraiser for “Disco” Vinnie Peruzzi '75 (communication), a Boston disc jockey who died in 2004, was scheduled for June 20 with a cruise on Boston Harbor. Peruzzi got his start at WMUA, the UMass Amherst radio station. Read the Boston Globe article [scroll down to "Dance for a Good Cause"].

Tony Curtis MA '90 (labor relations) has been human resources vice president for Polo Ralph Lauren Europe since 2006. He says that coming from the inner city gave him an edge because he knew how to deal with a struggle. Read the story of his rise to fashion executive.

Henry J. Brier '97 (journalism and Middle Eastern studies) is the new executive editor of the Washington Continent after two month national search. Brier has worked as a reporter for the Washington Times, the Prince George's Journal and the Daily Times in Salisbury, Maryland. Read more....

Rebecca Ridley '93 (economics) owns a Roxbury funeral home where many of Boston's shooting victims have been prepared for burial. Ridley says she views her work as a calling, and many community observers say she is providing invaluable comfort and supportive service to grieving families, adding an element of calm in the midst of chaos. Read article in the Boston Globe.

Matt Clark '06 (journalism), who was on the UMass Amherst cross-country team and now works for Admissions, is running again, having overcome some leg injuries. He placed 10th at the Rhody 5K Road Race in a field of 701 runners and clocked a personal best time. Read more...

Pattie Hunt Sinacole '86 (psychology) is principal of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience. Pattie, who holds an MBA from Babson College, also is a regular columnist for the Boston Globe's Job Doc and conducts live chats at BostonWorks.

SBS in the News
Science Daily, 7/29/08. A team of scientists, including Laurie R. Godfrey (anthropology), has used computer tomography to virtually reconstruct newly found skull fragments from a rare extinct lemur to get a better picture of how the animal looked. The original skull was found more than a century ago but the new fragments were discovered in 2003.

New York Times, 7/22/08. Nancy Folbre (economics) comments about the current economic hard times, noting that the percentage of women in the national workforce has fallen for the first time since the advent of the women’s movement in the 1960s. Folbre says women are also very reluctant to accept lower pay even as economic forces are forcing down the median pay for both men and women. Men continue to earn more than women, even as compensation levels are pushed down., 7/16/08. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, comments in a story about how the U.S. Census Bureau says it will not count married, same-sex couples as married in the next round of the census.

Belfast Telegraph [Ireland], 7/21/08. Robert Pollin (economics) says economic troubles in the U.S. don’t necessarily translate into opportunities for other countries such as Northern Ireland. He says tightening credit prompted by woes in U.S. markets may have a significant impact on the global economy. ABC News [Australia], 7/16/08. Pollin thinks the U.S. economy is much less sound than officials are saying and could be in major trouble. However, he also says federal bailouts of troubled banks and the federally chartered and sponsored Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will prevent a significant economic catastrophe.

USA Today, National Post [Canada], Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald,, Newstrack India, Top News India,, ABC News, Washington Post, Reuters UK, 7/15/08. National and international news coverage of a study conducted by Daniel Anderson (psychology) which finds that television playing in the background distracts children as young as 12 months and could be a “significant environmental hazard” to their development. The research also found that when a television is on in the room, children played with a toy for about half the time they played with it when the television was off. Anderson says one of his concerns is that the television appears to be a disruptive influence and in many households it is a constant one. He also worries that the effects are cumulative., 7/14/08. Mari Castañeda (communication) comments in a story about the reasons why Spanish-speaking television journalists earn less than their English-speaking counterparts.

Medical News Today, 7/10/08. U.S. soldiers seeking medical treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., will have help from a new online system developed by the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The system includes online dispute resolution applications that can be used to help resolve problems that soldiers may encounter as they seek medical care. Ethan Katsh (legal studies) played a lead role in developing the tool.

Asia Times, 7/9/08. A column by Max Fraad Wolff, a doctoral student in economics, discusses how energy prices are rarely examined in terms of their direct relationship to wage rates and decreased human productive output.

Newsweek,, 6/12/08. A study by Jennifer Hickes Lundquist (sociology) finds that racial minorities and women have the highest job satisfaction in the U.S. military. Her research shows that the military system, based on rank and performance, overrides many of the racial and gender biases found in the civilian job market. In the military white males lose many of the advantages they have in the outside world and racial minorities and women benefit from the more meritocratic system. Overall, Lundquist says, African-American women are the most positive and satisfied with their military jobs, and white males are the least satisfied.

Chronicle of Higher Education, 6/6/08. Jane E. Fountain (political science) comments in a story about how technology such as e-mail and voicemail can help professors, but only if they learn to control it.

Business Green [U.K.], 6/4/08 (and many other major news outlets); The Enquirer [Cincinnati], 6/3/08; Journal Sentinel [Milwaukee], 6/2/08. A study done by faculty members Robert Pollin and Jeanette Wicks-Lim at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) concluded that 45 occupations employing over 14 million people across the US could benefit from increased investment in green measures. It lists many new U.S. “green jobs” that can be created by having the country focus on energy conservation and reducing global warming. In Cincinnati that might be electrical workers’ union members learning about solar energy; in Wisconsin it could be finding ways to conserve energy with more efficient heating and cooling systems. Read the report.

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 current 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 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. Questions? Contact:
Saige Reisler, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
235 Draper Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9244

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