Sociologist Awarded NSF Grant to Study Jazz Repertoire
Robert Faulkner, professor of sociology, with Howard S. Becker, of the Chicago School of Sociology, has received a National Science Foundation Award for “Repertoire in Action among Jazz Musicians.” The project, to be supported with a $115,000 award, will run for two years. Sociology studies how people combine individual lines of activity so they can produce coordinated collective action. Faulkner and Becker, who both are working jazz musicians in addition to their academic careers, are interested in how jazz musicians, who often are hired to work in temporary combinations, manage to play together for entire nights, generally without benefit of written scores and with a minimum of discussion or preparation. They perform well enough to satisfy their employers and, quite often, well enough to satisfy themselves. The researchers aim to answer how musicians do that. Read more...
Professor Dasgupta to Receive NSF Career Award
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will be awarding a CAREER grant to Nilanjana (Buju) Dasgupta, assistant professor of psychology, to test a theoretical model that seeks to identify the conditions under which educational environments enhance versus constrain female students’ intellectual capital in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM). She will receive $400,500 in direct funds over five years for this project entitled “STEMing the Tide: Changing Educational Environments to Enhance Girls’ and Young Women’s Participation in Science and Mathematics.” Read more...
Professor Sedgwick Nominated to Lead Bureau of Justice Statistics
Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, associate professor of political science, has been nominated by President George W. Bush to be the director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the U.S. Department of Justice. Sedgwick, who is on a year-long leave from his faculty post, is awaiting approval of his nomination by the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee. If the panel endorses his nomination, he must then be confirmed by the Senate. Read more...
Professor Heim Wins Fellowship for Urban Growth Research
Carol E. Heim, professor of economics and Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA) faculty member, has been awarded a David C. Lincoln Fellowship in Land Value Taxation by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass. During 2006, the award of $40,000 will support some of her ongoing research on urban growth and property development through her project "Municipal Fiscal Structures and Land-Based Growth in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area." Read more...
Alumnus/Former Judge Merrigan Running for Massachusetts Governor's Council
The Honorable Thomas T. Merrigan '73 (political science), lawyer and former judge, of Greenfield has announced his candidacy for Governor's Council. Having eyed a council seat for a long time, Merrigan has been drumming up support for a run since April. "I understand the challenges of the job," he stated in the Springfield Republican (2/28/06), "and will rely upon my nearly 12 years of judicial experience to approve judicial nominees who will best serve the public safety and the public interest," he said. His goal would be to push for quicker action by the governor to fill court vacancies, and fill them with qualified people from within the community they would serve. "It is critical that nominees be appointed from the same communities they will pledge to serve and protect," he said.
In 2001 for his outstanding contributions to improve the administration of justice, the National Center for State Courts awarded Merrigan, then First Justice of Orange District Court, the Distinguished Service Award for contributions that “extend beyond his service on the bench.” Merrigan was founder and co-chair of the Franklin County Futures Lab Task Force, project director of the Franklin County Court and Community Substance Abuse Intervention Project, and led other initiatives to improve local court administration. In June 1998, Judge Merrigan was honored by the North Quabbin Community Coalition with its Certificate of Appreciation for commitment to the Reinventing Justice Program and "...courage insisting that the community take responsibility for the lives of the citizens."
Scriptwriter Boushell Teaches Continuing Ed Class on Campus
Neal Boushell '89 (communication) broke into TV writing the hard way—moving to Hollywood and working part-time jobs until he finally landed his first writing job in 1995 on FOX's ''The Preston Episodes.'' Now his long list of credits includes work on the award-winning animated series ''The Simpsons'' and ''Sabrina the Teenage Witch.'' In early March he returned to campus to present a two-day workshop entitled ''How to Break into TV Writing,'' offered through the UMass Amherst School of Continuing Education. The seminar was run like a ''Writers Room,'' with participants seated around a large conference table, pitching ideas and then writing a scene together. ''I try to give the class an authentic Hollywood experience, minus the backstabbing,'' he said in a Daily Hampshire Gazette article (March 2, 2006).
Alumnus Ed Weisman '87 Joins Development Staff
New to the Development team in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is Ed Weisman '87 (economics/geography). He replaces Lonce Sandy-Bailey who left in November for the Donahue Institute to be senior program manager for the University of Massachusetts Civic Initiative. Weisman comes to SBS from Prentice Hall Publishing where he was senior sales representative for humanities, social sciences and education, selling textbooks at 23 colleges, training professors on accompanying technology, and was consistently recognized for top performance. "The most valuable, lasting skill I took with me from my undergraduate experience at UMass Amherst," says Weisman, "was the ability to ask questions: to clarify cloudy layers of meaning, to expose bias, and to better understand the unfamiliar. This serves me faithfully whether I'm reading a newspaper, asserting my point of view, or buying a car. I am a great believer in public higher education, and I am particularly proud of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
I'm thrilled to return now to participate in the advancement of SBS, ensuring its nationally acclaimed excellence in research and teaching." Weisman, who speaks Italian and Spanish, earned an MEd from Suffolk University in 1993 and attended Edinborough University, Scotland in the honors geography exchange program during his junior year at UMass Amherst. Weisman, his wife and two children live in Greenfield.
National Media Taps SBS Expertise
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 3/8/06: "Scholars Ask U.S. to Lift Ban on Cuban Visitors for Convention" by Bill Schackner discusses the US government's visa denials to 55 Cuban academics to attend the Latin American Studies Association's International Congress in Puerto Rico from March 15-18. In response, this leading group of Latin American scholars, headed by Sonia E. Alvarez (Leonard J. Horwitz Professor in Latin American Politics and Studies; director, Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies), wrote Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, indicating that their ability to foster intellectual discussion, research and teaching on Latin America to promote better understanding and civic engagement is seriously compromised by this action. Read more...
Asia Times, 3/7/06: A column by Max Fraad Wolff, doctoral student in economics and managing director of GlobalMacroScope, and Richard Wolf, also of GlobalMacroScope, discuss what they call China’s reverse Marshall Plan, in which China is buying U.S. debt and stimulating its own economy while supporting our deficit spending.
They say that the plan is central to the stunningly fast and broad-based industrialization of select areas of China's economy, and write: "Increasingly modern industrial infrastructure and productive capacity are catapulting China to the front ranks of the world economy. That achievement is infinitely more important and positive than any unpaid debts that may emerge." Read more...
San Francisco Chronicle, 2/28/06: "If You Like Fiction, Read Job Resumes" by C.W. Nevius references Robert Feldman's (psychology) research on how and why people are verbally deceptive--in short, why they lie, and why it's typical. "I think we all lie during our everyday lives,'' Feldman says. "We lie trying to present ourselves well.'' The upshot, says Nevius, is that research on resume building shows that nearly half are inaccurate. Feldman thinks the general public is willing to put up with a little fibbing. For example, when the facts about Radio Shack's CEO David Edmondson misrepresentations on his resume became public, the company said it would stand by him. But when the fourth quarter numbers came in, showing that earnings fell 62 percent, they fired him for being a lousy manager. Read more...
Former Mass. Governor Paul Cellucci to Visit CPPA
The Center for Public Policy and Administration will host Paul Cellucci, former Massachusetts governor and US ambassador to Canada, on March 29, 2006. Cellucci will address separate audiences of CPPA graduate students and UMass Amherst undergraduate students on the use of policy research and analysis to inform public sector decision-making as well as reflecting on his experiences in public service. He is also will meet with Chancellor Lombardi and other UMass Amherst officials.
Q & A with Dean Rifkin
The winter 2006 issue of Foundations, the Newsletter of the UMass Amherst Foundation included a question/answer interview with SBS dean Janet Rifkin. Read more...
Professor Anderton Named Editor of Social Science History
The executive committee of the Social Science
History Association has unanimously named Professor Douglas Anderton (sociology and director of Social and Demographic Research Institute [SADRI]) as editor and Professor Gianpaolo Baiocchi (also sociology) as associate editor of Social Science History for a three-year term beginning July 1. In addition, the committee has strongly endorsed Anderton's local editorial board, many of whom are faculty members of SBS and who will be aided by Terri Fain, managing editor with Karen Mason, editorial assistant. The editorial committee includes many representatives from SBS: Nancy Folbre (economics), Jennifer Guglielmo (Smith College—history), Thomas Hilbink (legal studies), Laura Jensen (political science), Anne Knowles (Middlebury College—geography), Robert Schwartz (Mount Holyoke College—history), Randall Stokes (sociology), and Alan Swedlund (anthropology).
Comm 433 Offers Live and Lively Playhouse Series
So what are you doing at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays this spring? If you’re on the UMass Amherst campus, consider watching the live “Playhouse 433” series on HSCN channels 15 and 19. For the first time, students in Communication 433, taught by David Maxcy, are producing a nine-episode live drama series. Read more...
New Book by Professor Hird Released
Power, Knowledge and Politics: Policy Analysis in the States (Georgetown University Press, 2005), the latest book by John Hird (politics and director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration) offers a unique comparative focus on state policy. It dissects the nature of the policy institutions that policymakers establish and analyzes the connection between policy research and how it is actually used in decision making. "Hird’s thorough and well-written account," wrote Bruce Bimber, professor of political science and communication, University of California, Santa Barbara, "should be on the bookshelf of everyone interested in the way policy expertise is institutionalized in governments." Adds Christopher Z. Mooney, editor, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, "Hird conducts the first systematic study of nonpartisan state legislative policy research organizations. He thoroughly describes these important political institutions thoroughly and evaluates their effectiveness and shows their place in the political process."
Order Your UMass Amherst License Plates Today and Support Student Scholarships!
Just $40 puts you on the road in UMass Amherst style and supports the Drive to Succeed Scholarship Fund. Download the registration form, send in your check and reserve your plates today. Read more...
"What's News" Teleconference Available Online through April 30
On February 3, 2006 WHYY-TV in Philadelphia hosted a national teleconference for university and college students, members of the press, and concerned individuals on the nature of news in the United States. Among the panelists was Bill Israel, assistant professor of journalism. The teleconference, sponsored by the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University, can be used as an instructional module for classes in Journalism, Media and Society, Sociology, American Studies, and more. It is viewable online through April 30. Read more...
Communication in Crisis Conference Scheduled for Late March
What was initially conceived as a mildly ambitious, regional conference has bloomed into an international affair, featuring presenters from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Canada. The "Communications in Crisis" conference, organized by PhD students in the Department of Communication and graduate faculty, will take place on campus March 31 - April 1. Read more...
Summer Programs for Scholars Interested in Research on Families
The Center for Research on Families (CRF) will be holding two methodology workshops, co-sponsored with the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan. "Hierarchical Linear Models I: Introduction," a one-week introduction course, will be taught by Aline Sayer, Psychology, June 19-23, 2006. "Analyzing Developmental Trajectories," a three-day workshop, will be taught by Daniel Nagin, Carnegie Mellon University, June 26-28, 2006. Both programs will be held on the UMass Amherst campus. For more information go to www.umass.edu/family and click on "Methodology Program," or register online at www.icpsr.umich.edu/sumprog. These courses have been extremely popular; class size is limited, so register soon. The workshops are open to anyone interested in social and behavioral sciences research relevant to families. ICPSR was established in 1962 to serve social scientists around the world. It maintains the world's largest archive of computer-based research and instructional data for the social sciences. Founded as a partnership between the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan and 21 universities in the United States, the Consortium now includes more than 500 colleges and universities around the world. Scholars can share common data resources, interact and study together in training programs, and utilize a common set of technical aids.
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 (which is the home of Journalism), Economics, Labor Studies, Legal Studies, Neuroscience and Behavior, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, 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
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