Holub Releases Academic Reorganization Plan
Chancellor Robert C. Holub has announced an academic reorganization that is aimed at increasing efficiency, reducing administrative costs and avoiding the “more deleterious option of slashing programs and departments.” The plan will create a new college of natural sciences by this fall. In addition, he noted that his earlier proposal to combine the colleges of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Humanities and Fine Arts needs further study. In the meantime, an interim dean of SBS, who will be appointed for one year to replace outgoing Dean Janet Rifkin, and Joel Martin, dean of HFA, will lead a review of the merger issue and report back to the chancellor by the end of the 2009-10 academic year. Read more...
Governor Proposes $81.6m in Stimulus Funds for University System
A planned $1,500 increase in student fees for next year will be reduced, thanks to the use of federal stimulus money. Gov. Deval Patrick has announced that the five-campus UMass system will receive $81.6 million from the federal stimulus package for Massachusetts, while the state’s 15 community colleges will get $40.3 million and state colleges, $36.7 million. The infusion of funding is also expected to mitigate some program reductions and layoffs. The Amherst campus will receive about $40 million, nearly enough to cover an anticipated $46 million funding gap for the next fiscal year. Read more...However, the Chancellor has written since this announcement, "Heeding the cautions of our state and national leaders [that agencies receiving
stabilization funding for two years would be making a grave mistake if
they do not prepare for a future of lower state appropriations] I am proceeding
with our budgetary plans, including our plans for reorganization. I
have agreed that further study is required in some portions of the
reorganization plan, but I also believe we must act now to reduce
administrative costs where we can." Read more...
Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs Appointed
Michael A. Leto, a veteran fundraiser with a track record of success, has been appointed the next vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs. Leto, currently vice president for development and alumni relations at Central Michigan University, will begin his transition to the UMass Amherst leadership team starting in April and will begin his full-time duties in June. He also served as executive director of development at the Indiana University Foundation – considered one of the nation’s leading fundraising organizations – and was selected following a national search. Read more...
UMass Amherst Website Gets New Look
The UMass Amherst homepage has
a new look as of mid-March. This redesign, says Tom Milligan, executive vice chancellor for university relations, gives the campus the ability to tell its compelling
stories: faculty teaching and conducting research; students and alumni
achieving excellence through exploration; a diverse campus community
defined by outreach and service. "We have much to be proud of here at UMass Amherst," says Milligan, who looks forward to sharing the the excitement with all constituencies. Visit the new site.
Alumni Association Launches MaroonCentral
The Alumni Association has launched MaroonCentral, an updated online community and career center for students and alumni. The online community includes a directory to facilitate connection and communication between students and alumni. Career tools include access to personal career assessment, job postings, career and resume tips, mentoring opportunities and searchable business and industry databanks—and it's free! Read more...
Student-run Amherst Wire Gets Handle on Economic Stimulus
Can we spend our way out of a bad economy? Amherst Wire, the student-run online news magazine dedicated to covering top stories and issues from a local perspective, has explored the issue in depth, interviewing numerous professors, including economists Carol Heim, Peter Skott and Gerald Friedman, who describe on various videos the background of the economic crisis and stimulus plan. They offer a basic overview, address where the money is coming from and where it's going, the effect on local and state budgets, and unemployment. This is a follow-up to the "Market Meltdown 101" Amherst Wire did in the fall that was picked up by national media. Click here for more.
Alumni Association Announces 2009 Scholarships and Awards
SBS majors are strongly represented in this year's Alumni Association scholarship awards: Leaders in the Making include Madeline Haynes '10 (psychology); she also received the Robert B. Collins '19 SAA scholarship.The Life Member Scholarship for Internships honors Roseanne Walunas '11 (journalism); and nearly one third of the 60 William F. Field Alumni Scholars are SBS majors (plus two of the Humanities and Fine Arts honorees have an SBS double major)! Click here to see a full listing.
SBS Alumni Offer Internships
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences encourages students to acquire practical experience related to their majors. Internships are one way that students can prepare for employment or graduate study. The College is working with alumni to develop potential opportunities. Both Michelle Cardinal '89 (communication), CEO and founder of Cmedia and group
president of R2C Group, and Ronald Grasso, Jr. '92 (psychology), first vice president of Wealth Management at Smith Barney, are offering internships for students this summer. Click here for more information about the internships. Alumni who are interested in making internships available should contact Jackie Brousseau-Pereira '00 (MPA).
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced in mid-March that they have signed forward Alex Berry '09 (psychology) to a two-year entry level contract. Berry has joined the Maple Leafs' American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, for the remainder of the 2008-09 season. Read more... Senior forward Tony Gaffney '09 (sociology) of the men’s basketball team has been named the Atlantic 10’s Defensive Player of the Year. He led the conference with blocks (3.9 per game) and was second in rebounding (10.2) and steals (2.0). Former UMass Amherst soccer goalie Briana Scurry '95 (political science) has signed a contract with the Washington Freedom of the new Women’s Professional Soccer League. Scurry was the starting goalkeeper for the United States women's national soccer team at the 1995 World Cup (3rd place), 1996 Olympics (gold medal), 1999 World Cup (champions), 2003 World Cup (3rd place) and 2004 Olympics (gold medal). She was a founding member of the WUSA, playing three seasons as starting goalkeeper for the Atlanta Beat (2001-2003). As of March 29, the women’s lacrosse (5-6) team is in a three-way tie for first place in the Atlantic 10. The men’s and women’s skiing programs will be discontinued as varsity sports beginning with the 2010 season, according to athletic director John McCutcheon. Read more... For more on UMass Amherst sports, click here.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Science, Technology and Society Initiative Colloquium Series: Transparency.gov 2.0, Using the Internet for budget transparency to increase accountability, efficiency and taxpayer confidence
4-5:30 pm; Thompson 620
Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst for Tax and Budget Policy, U.S. PIRG
A growing number of states are using powerful Internet search technology to make budget transparency more accessible than ever before. Legislation and executive orders around the country are lifting the electronic veil on where tax dollars go. At least 18 states currently mandate that citizens be able to access a searchable online database of government expenditures. These states have come to define “Transparency 2.0”—a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility. Massachusetts, consistently ranked as a top state for technology industries, should be a natural leader of the Transparency 2.0 movement. But as more and more states upgrade their transparency systems, Massachusetts has fallen behind the emerging set of best practices. We must seize the opportunity to catch up with this nationwide movement.
Sponsored by the Science, Technology and Society Initiative (STS)
Thursday–Friday, April 16–17, 2009
Science, Technology and Society Initiative Colloquium Series: First
Annual Journal of Information Technology &
Politics Conference, *"YouTube and the 2008 Election Cycle in the United
This conference brings together social and computer scientists to
examine the electoral impact of user-created YouTube content and to
demonstrate new technical and analytic opportunities associated with new
media technologies and politics. Registration is available through the conference website.
Co-sponsored by the Departments
of Political Science, Computer Science and Communication at UMass
Amherst; the Center for Public Policy and Administration at UMass
Amherst; Panopto; TubeKit; the National Center for Digital Government;
the Qualitative Data Analysis Program; the Science, Technology and
Society Initiative; the Journal of Information Technology and Politics;
and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst and
is supported by a grant from the Research Leadership in Action Program in the Office of Research and Engagement at UMass Amherst.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Seminar: Engaged Scholarship in
Media, Technology and Culture
Joe Karaganis, director of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) “Culture, Creativity and Information Technology” and “Media and Democracy” programs
Draper Hall, Room 227
An open conversation about academic research that informs
practice, advocacy and policy for media reform and media justice.
Karaganis' research focuses on the relationship between digital
convergence and cultural production, including work on "The Politics of Open Source
Adoption," the culture industries, and the impact of intellectual property expansion on the philanthropic
field. An associate editor of the Oxford Dictionary of the Social Sciences and “Structures
of Participation in Digital Culture,” he has been a consultant for the Ford and
Sponsored by the SBS Center for Communication for Sustainable Social Change (CSSC), the
Department of Communication, and the
Center for Public Policy & Administration (CPPA). Please RSVP.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Student/Alumni Career Night: The Medium is the Message
5:30 pm, Commonwealth College Lounge, Goodell
Alumni with careers in public policy, journalism, media/public relations will be available to discuss career options with students. Click here for more information on the alumni who will be in attendance.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Anatomy of a Hollywood Writer
Mark F. Wilding '79 (economics),
executive producer and a lead writer of Grey's Anatomy
As part of the Eleanor Bateman Alumni Scholar in Residence program, UMass Amherst phenomenon Mark Wilding '79 will share his story from student to award-winning, nationally prominent writer and producer. Come hear about Hollywood, the glitz and the grit, from one who really knows. Immediately following the talk, guests can visit with Mr. Wilding at a complimentary reception. Click here for more information.
Monday–Thursday, June 8-11, 2009
Workshop: Modeling Diary and Dyadic Data
Dr. Jean-Philippe Laurenceau, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Delaware
Dr. Niall Bolger, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University
Sponsored by the Center for Research on Families, this workshop will be of interest to members of the social and behavioral sciences, including social, clinical, and developmental psychologists, family and medical sociologists, gerontologists, social workers, communication researchers, and researchers in marketing and organizational behavior.
please visit our website to download a mail-in registration form. Email Holly Laws or call her 413-545-4718 with questions.
The International Graduate College
on Conflict and Cooperation between Social Groups has awarded Linda Tropp (psychology), director of the Psychology of Peace and Violence Concentration, the 2009
Henri Tajfel Fellowship. She will be a visiting professor at
Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany from April through May. Established in 2001, the IGC is a
collaboration of research from European centers in the area of
intergroup relations, Friedrich Schiller Universitat, the universities of Sussex and Kent at Canterbury (UK), and the
Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). Read more about the Tajfel Fellowship, IGC Programs, and Linda Tropp.
The Eastern Sociological Association has selected Professor Naomi Gerstel (sociology) as the Robin M.
Williams, Jr., Lecturer for 2009-10. Gerstel will give this prestigious
lecture at next year's meetings of the ESS, where she first will be lauded
for her remarkable academic contributions.
The Association for Psychological Science (APS) has named Hal Grotevant, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, a fellow "in recognition of his sustained outstanding contributions to the advancement of psychological science." Fellows of APS include the most distinguished and prominent psychologists in the field.
Laurie R. Godfrey (anthropology) has received a $4,200 grant from Conservation International for her project "Biology of Two Sympatric Dwarf Lemur Populations (Cheirogaleus spp.) in the High-Altitude Forests of Tsinjoarivo, Eastern Madagascar. Godfrey is a world expert in lemur anatomy, paleontology and life history.
Many talented and enthusiastic adjunct instructors work in the Journalism Program, among them several who have recent successes to celebrate. Writes director Karen List, "Congratulations to Jim Foudy, Mary Carey, and all of our other friends at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, which has been named "Newspaper of the Year" for the second year running by the New England Newspaper Association. An independent jury of editors from around the country judges entries based on the quality of their reporting, editing, photography and design. Jim has been a terrific Newswriting instructor for several semesters, but his new duties as associate publisher have required him to step out of the classroom—we hope temporarily. His class has been picked up by our gifted and long-time Newswriting instructor Mary Carey, who covers Amherst for the Gazette." Also, Yankee Magazine editor and long-time Magazine Writing instructor extraordinaire Mel Allen is a finalist in the National City and Regional Magazine Awards competition for Best Columnist. Yankee is also a finalist for Best Website and Best Interactive Media. The winners will be announced at the CRMA conference in August in New Orleans.
Click here to see the full list of finalists—and Mel's competition.
The Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar has awarded Prof. David Mednicoff (legal studies and public policy) a $34,958 grant through its Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf research initiative. This grant will fund his research project on “Migrant Labor and Legal Regulation in Doha and Dubai." All grant recipients participate in CIRS' Migrant Labor in the Gulf Working Group, an international group of experts and policymakers to convene periodically in Qatar, beginning in May. The work connects to Mednicoff's broader current research on law and political activism in five contemporary Arab societies. Says Mednicoff, "I'm very excited by this chance to build on my Fulbright in Qatar (2006-7) and contribute to a new global research network in the next few years on a critical set of issues in Doha, Dubai and the rest of the Persian Gulf."
Rebecca Spencer (psychology) has received $243,000 from the National Institutes of Health for her research on Age-Related Decline in Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation. An expert in cognition and action, Spencer most often addresses the fine line between these two dimensions. This research, stemming from her work on the cerebellum, is focused on the role of sleep in motor and cognitive learning tasks. "Memories are consolidated with sleep," she says, "but this advantage of sleep is diminished with age."
Jan Servaes (communication) has been invited to join the new ECREA-IAMCR-ICA Working Group on Quality in Communication Research and Education. Other members include Professor Emeritus Cees Hamelink, past president of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR); Professor Francois Heinderyckx, president of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA); and Professor Linda Putnam, past president of the International Communication Association (ICA). One of the group's first activities will be an assessment of the quality of academic communication journals. Earlier this year, Servaes was appointed to the board of directors of ORBICOM, the Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication. He will coordinate the Orbicom-UNESCO global initiative on “Future Imperatives of Development Communication and Information."
In March Johnnetta B. Cole, member of the Anthropology Department from 1970 to 1983 and provost of undergraduate education from 1981 to 1983, became the director of the Smithsonian's
National Museum of African Art. While at UMass Amherst, Cole played a pivotal role in the development of the university's African-American studies program. Since her time in Amherst, Cole has been president of Spelman College in Atlanta and Bennett College in North Carolina. She has served on the Scholarly Advisory Board of the Smithsonian's
National Museum of African American History and Culture since its
inception, and has worked with a number of Smithsonian programs since
the mid-1980s. Read more... Also, in the most recent issue of Diverse, Cole speaks of her early days as a professor of black studies and anthropology at UMass Amherst, mentioning her colleague, Esther Terry, now interim vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life on campus..
Richard D. Wolff (economics) spoke on the economic crisis at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. A Marxian economist, Wolff appears in the recently released documentary, “Capitalism Hits the Fan,” produced by the Media Education Foundation in Northampton. Read more about the film.
Things are hopping in the Sociology Department. Michelle Budig and Joya Misra are the recipients of the first World Bank/LIS Gender Research Award, for their working paper, "How Care Work Shapes Earnings in a Cross-National Perspective." Besides receiving a cash award, they have been invited to Luxembourg this summer to present the paper. Read more... The book Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work by Enobong (Anna) Branch is under contract for publication through Rutgers Press. "The Collective Dynamics of Racial Dehumanization and Genocidal Victimization in Darfur" by Wenona Rymond-Richmond and John Hagan was published in American Sociological Review (December 2008). Melissa Wooten received a research award funded by the Rockefeller Archive Center at their archives on the United Negro College Fund. Amy Schalet received a $200,000 Ford Foundation Grant for her project "Advancing Sexuality Education, Health and Policy Using a New ABCD for
Adolescent Sexuality." David Cort received a $3000 grant from the UMass Labor Center Future of Work Project for his research on Immigrant and Ethnic White Representation in Jobs. Emeritus Professor Anthony Harris received a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation two-year grant to research race differences in homicidal outcomes from criminal injury. Read more...
A new book by Professor Emeritus Jerry Mileur (political science) chronicles the legendary 1942 pennant drive by the St. Louis Cardinals. Read more...
The Psychological Services Center has developed an eight-week parents’ group that began in late March to help people learn how to encourage positive child behavior through play, attention and rewards.
Michael Katz '71 (government, now political science), a partner with the Springfield-based regional law firm of Bacon Wilson P.C., recently received the prestigious Sadowsky Visionary Award from the Jimmy Fund. This award periodically goes to "someone who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to the Fund and the mission of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute by conceiving, leading or dedicating themselves to an event or activity that delivers annual financial support and/or long-term volunteer commitment."
As unions in the Amherst area expressed frustration over the billions of taxpayer dollars spent to bail out banks via demonstrations outside Bank of America branches in Northampton, Amherst, Greenfield and Chicopee, one of the picket captains was Jesse Martin G'08 (labor studies). Martin is the organizer for Service Employees International Union Local 615 and says union research shows that benefits for many bank employees, particularly tellers, is "substandard."
The Chicopee-based band Nosho joined a group of other locals in performing a daylong concert Saturday at the Waterfront in Holyoke that benefited their ill friend, Jamie Sabo '06 (psychology). Funds will go toward bills and treatment. Read more in the Springfield Republican.
Kyle Wedberg MA'00 (public policy and administration) is interim president of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He recently attended the Stevie Wonder concert at the White House and brought along a Shea Pierre, a student who is an aspiring young pianist. While there Wedberg pressed Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, about “the need to get some public school artists of note and promise into the White House.” Read the New York Times article and view the picture of Wedberg at the White House.
Wannabes, Goths, and Christians: The Boundaries of Sex, Style, and Status (University of Chicago Press) by Amy Wilkins PhD'04, MA'99 (sociology) has won the 2009 Midwest Sociology Society's Distinguished Book Award. Amy is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, and the book is based on her UMass Amherst dissertation. Read more about Amy.
Please send us your news!
SBS in the News
Associated Press, 3/25/09. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, comments in a story about how U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York has reversed his stand on gay marriage and is now supporting it. Badgett says Schumer’s change of position highlights that supporting gay marriage isn’t the political liability it once was in the Northeast. USA Today, 3/20/09. Badgett says a new study on poverty among gays and lesbians shows that the stereotype of upper-middle-class gay people in television shows isn’t accurate. The study finds that lesbian couples are more likely to be poor than married heterosexuals, and the children of same-sex couples are twice as likely to live in poverty as children of traditional married couples.
Dallas Morning News, 3/17/09. Sheldon Goldman (political science) says Democrats in the Texas congressional delegation should have a much larger say in federal judicial nominations despite resistance from the state’s two Republican senators. He also notes that traditionally, the party that controls the White House has been able to get a large majority of nominees for federal district court vacancies from their own party.
Associated Press, 3/17/09. Tom Juravich (labor studies) comments about the possible political fallout from feuds among major labor unions at a time when Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House. He says he doesn’t think the infighting will derail labor’s agenda, but adds, “I don’t think it reflects well on labor.”
Science News, 3/13/09. Emeritus professor Ervin Staub (psychology) was one of the researchers who helped develop a radio soap opera on reconciliation in Rwanda as a way to help overcome the residual effects of that country’s genocide in the 1990s.
Marketplace [NPR], 3/13/09. Gerald Epstein (economics) says financial rating agencies have lost some credibility because they failed to accurately rate mortgage-backed securities that are key to the current financial meltdown. He says the rating agencies should work to produce more long-range ratings.
Good Housekeeping, 3/9/09; O, the Oprah Magazine, March, 2009. Associate Dean Robert Feldman (psychology) discusses his research on lying that shows that 60% of people tell at least one mistruth in a 10-minute conversation.
Miller-McCune, 3/6/09. While “green job” has become a popular term, Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, says many of the jobs it refers to already exist. “I’m greatly in favor of investing in things that will promote a clean environment, fight global warming, and those investments will all create jobs, and I really don’t care what color they are,” he says. Campus Progress, 3/4/09. An overview of the Obama administration’s green jobs agenda cites a report by UMass Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute that says a two-year, $100 billion green investment program could create 2 million new jobs.
New York Times, 3/5/09. Although American economists tend to be fairly orthodox in their embrace of the free market, UMass Amherst and UMass Boston are among a handful of institutions where alternative economic theorists have been welcome over the years.
The Observer [England], 3/1/09. Anger is too often associated with violence and can have positive effects on relationships, work situations and political expression, according to James Averill, professor emeritus of psychology.
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 degree-granting 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 centers 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.