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SBS Newsletter – March 2011

In this issue

Joe and Kathleen Donovan Lobbying for a Cause
“My career has been in business, press, and politics,” says Joe Donovan ’92 (political science), who recently joined the UMass Political Science Advisory Board. “It’s been about building relationships, making friends, taking risks, seizing opportunities and benefiting from the help of many generous people. That is what UMass taught me.” Read more...

Julie Skogsbergh PimentelStudent Participates in UN Advocacy Practicum, Thanks to Scholarship
After making it through the competitive application process, Julie M. Skogsbergh Pimentel, a PhD candidate in anthropology, was one of twenty delegates nationally who participated in the 2011 Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s Practicum in Advocacy. Read more...

Mock Trial TeamTour de Force: UMass Mock Trial
“There is nothing quite like sitting in the courtroom before trial,” reports Joseph Mendes ’11 (legal studies), president and co-captain of the UMass Amherst Mock Trial team. “Your heart races and fingers twitch right up until the moment you make the first objection or deliver that powerful closing argument. It’s the competetiveness, the team bonding, the thrill of a trial and the accomplishments we’ve earned as team that have changed my UMass experience for the better.” Read more...

Mary and Dan FederPolitical Science Couple Creates Departmental Scholarship
“I never contemplated a career in investment management,” says Daniel Feder ’84 (political science), a senior investment manager at Covariance Capital, a TIAA-CREF endowment management business founded last year. “My career has followed a fairly logical progression, but without a grand design. Many small decisions cumulatively have had a large impact. I’m sure my life would have been far different if my favorite professor, Jeffrey Sedgwick, had been successful in convincing me to pursue a political science PhD instead of going to law school,” he laughs. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Laurie Roberts and Benjamin LevineFrom the Classroom to the White House
Benjamin Levine ’12 and Laurie Roberts '13 are applying insights garnered as political science majors into the rarified, demanding and highly coveted realm of the White House Internship Program. Levine is serving in the National Economic Council, and Roberts is in the White House Office of Management and Administration. Read more...

Matt DennyFocus on Economics
Amherst native Matthew Denny '11 (economics) had every intention of becoming a professional potter, and by the start of his senior year of high school, he was heavily involved in the ceramics program at UMass Amherst. Then, that spring, he took his first economics course and has vigorously pursued the subject ever since. Read more...

Sara PlourdeBack in the (Pitching) Groove
Following off-season hip surgery, All-American softball pitcher Sara Plourde '12 (sociology) and coach Elaine Sortino worked hard to recapture Plourde's dominance on the mound. Seems they found the answer. On March 30, she threw a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts in the first game of a home-opening double header against Dartmouth. The Minutewomen won 1-0. Plourde threw two perfect innings in the second game that was a 6-2 victory.

Peter Trovato and Larry Kocot, winners of 2011 Distinguished Alumni awardsDistinguished Alumni Selected
The Alumni Association has selected this year's round of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. All have translated their UMass Amherst experience into notable achievements in public or professional realms, bringing honor to their alma mater. Among them are SBS alumni Peter Trovato '05 (journalism and political science), founder of the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund (MSLF), and Lawrence Kocot '82 (legal studies), deputy director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution. Read more about all of the recipients.

NCMR 2011 conference logoUMASS at the NCMR
What do Nicole Belanger '09 (communication), Ph.D student Chris Boulton (communication), Jackie Hai '09 (journalism), Professor Nick McBride (journalism), and Professor Martha Fuentes-Bautista (communication and public policy) have in common with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz? On April 8 and 9 they will be all be presenting at the National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR) at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. Read more...

World University rankings logoWorld Class Education at UMass
A new Times of London survey ranks the University of Massachusetts as the 19th best in the world based on reputation for teaching and research. This “confirms that [our] academic and research programs are being recognized for their cutting-edge excellence and quality,” says UMass President Jack M. Wilson. “The rising tide of quality that we see on all five campuses is something that we have been aware of for some time, but it is truly gratifying…that this is being recognized by academic leaders throughout the world.” Read about the selection process.

UMass sealFree Tuition Offer at UMass Amherst
Students from the state’s 15 community colleges who graduate with a 3.0 or better will be able to attend UMass Amherst tuition-free under the new UMass Amherst Community College Connection. The program is also offering priority course registration, housing preferences, financial benefits and special advising services to community college students graduating with a 2.5 GPA or better, enhancing the existing agreement that guarantees them UMass Amherst admission. About 500 community colleges students a year transfer to UMass Amherst. View a news clip. Read more...

Summer Sessions logoSummer Session Registration is Now Open
Registration for three academic summer sessions, starting May 16, June 17 and July 13, is now available. Continuing and Professional Education is offering more than 400 classes–including 100+ General Education courses, both online and on campus. Students report that Summer Session classes are a good value, with instructional support, allowing them to earn credits while maintaining a job and spending time with their families. Read more and register.

Ken Toong with a UMass dining selectionUMass Dining Among NRN MenuMaster Award Winners
The dining program at UMass, headed by Executive Director Ken Toong, will be honored as one of six winners of the annual Nation's Restaurant News MenuMasters Awards at a ceremony in May. The MenuMaster Awards, the industry’s most recognized and inspiring culinary awards program, are sponsored by Ventura Foods, LLC, and honor outstanding menu development as well as excellence in foodservice research and development. UMass Dining won the award for its "Be Smart. Eat Smart. Live Smart" program, a broad-based initiative designed to deliver delicious food with healthy options. Read more...

Upcoming Events
Bookmark the Events Calendar on the SBS website. There you'll find a listing of upcoming events related to the programs and departments in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences of interest to alumni, students, faculty and/or friends. View it by week, by month, or as a listing.

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. While most are organized well in advance and are publicized on the SBS event calendar, sometimes they develop quickly in response to political and social events. For example, with the recent unrest in Arab countries, a group of SBS faculty very quickly organized a discussion of those events and their implications. Notice was short: only three days. If you are interested in receiving notification of these events, let us know and we'll put you on a listserv.

Alumni News
Katherine P. Douglas '73, MA '91, EdD '08 has been named president of Corning Community College in New York. Previously, Douglas was vice president of Academic Affairs at Sussex County Community College in Newton, NJ, dean of Social Sciences at Holyoke (MA) Community College, and a longtime faculty member and academic administrator at Greenfield (MA) Community College. Her undergraduate degree was in leisure studies and resources, part of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning until the major was discontinued. Read more...

David Narkewicz '90 (political science), president of the Northampton, MA, City Council, is running for mayor of Northampton, MA. Read more...

Having passed his licensure and certification exams, Andrew Bohne '99 (landscape architecture) is now a registered landscape architect in Massachusetts, working at New England Environmental Inc., a full-service environmental consulting company in Amherst. With cumulative experience of more than 12 years at multi-disciplinary landscape architecture firms across the United States, Bohne is a LEED accredited professional and has served New England Environmental as an ecological designer/planner for the last five years. His employment experience has provided him various active roles in project support and project management while diversifying his portfolio. He is the project manager of New England Environmental's ecological design and planning group. Read more...

Avery Oldach '08 (political science) of Athol, MA, is chief of staff for the office of State Rep. Denise Andrews (D-Orange). She is responsible for hiring and supervising several interns from throughout the Second Franklin District to assist with constituent services, research and special projects. Previously, Oldach worked in Orange and Greenfield as a mobile resource specialist for Community Action. She served on Rep. Andrews' campaign team leading up to the 2010 election, and is interested in pursuing a career in law and public policy. For more information on internship opportunities, send Oldach an e-mail. Oldach's father, by the way, is William Oldach '66 (political science). He is an attorney in Athol And her mother is Linda Oldach CAGS '86 from the School of Education. She's an assistant dean at Mt. Wachusett Community College.

David Floreen '70 (economics) will be on campus Tuesday, April 5 as part of Career Services' Distinguished Speaker Series. He is part of a career panel that will address jobs in the financial industry. Click here for more information.

John Turnberg '89 (economics), recruiter for Tesla Motors in San Carlos, CA— and previously Google, Silver Springs Network, Yahoo!, Computer Associates,, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Wachovia—was on campus on March 29, presenting "Network Your Way to Career Success." Besides showing students how to maximize internet searches to find existing jobs and internships and making the most of social networking, he offered pointers on resume development and other important tips on landing jobs.

On March 7 the campus television station, UVC-TV 19, hosted a special effects presentation by Andrew Killoy '05 (communication). Killoy, who is an educational/documentary film editor for the Media Education Foundation, spoke about documentary and narrative effects he has worked on using software like Photoshop, After Effects and Cinema 4D. View Killoy's blog.

Three months after graduation, Emily Grund '10 (journalism) began a 27-month stint with United States Peace Corps, teaching English in a farming community in Zaragoza, Philippines. Read a story about her experience, written by Alana Friedberg '11 (journalism).

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.

Department/Faculty News
A group of 22 collaborating faculty from UMass, Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges developed the Five College Public Policy Initiative, funded by Five Colleges Inc. The award, which will be centrally administered by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, will bring experienced policy practitioners, whose work has advanced social justice goals in the U.S. or abroad, to the area during 2011-12 and 2012-13.  The Initiative is now accepting proposals from all members of the Five College community, including faculty, students, and staff, or from departments, centers, or programs interested in hosting a particular resident. Deadline: April 25, 2011. Click here for application materials.

The Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University has released its Migrant Labor in the Gulf Summary Report that details research findings presented by the Migrant Labor in the Gulf working group during meetings in Doha, Qatar. David Mednicoff (public policy), acting director of the Social Thought and Political Economy program, is among these experts, who hail from a variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics, and political science. Read more...

The Second Annual New England Conference for Student Success will take place on Friday, September 23, 2011 at the UMass Campus Center. This year's exciting theme is Higher Education For All: Mission Impossible, Mission Imperative and Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will be the keynote speaker. As with last year's sold-out conference, this event will include workshops, panel presentations, and other sessions on a range of topics designed by participants from many 2- and 4-year institutions. This conference was the brainchild of Robert Feldman, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Mark Lange, associate dean of undergraduate affairs for SBS. New information will be added to the website as plans, details and sponsorships are finalized.

Dan Clawson and Naomi Gerstel (sociology) have been selected as resident fellows at the Russell Sage Foundation for 2011-12.

In a new book, The Future of Higher Education, Dan Clawson (sociology) and Max Page (art) say higher education is increasingly out of reach for low-income students and is being managed as a money-making enterprise rather than for education. A solution would be to make higher education free. The 65-page book is part of a series on 21st-century social issues for students. Page and Clawson say free higher education is not as radical an idea as it seems, pointing to the G.I. Bill as an example. Read more...

Melissa Wooten (sociology) has been awarded a fellowship for 2011-12 from the Rockefeller Foundation to be a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Archives.

Peter Haas (political science), a leading expert on the role of science in politics, was the plenary keynote speaker at the Universcience Conference, "The Scholar, the Politician and the Citizen," in Paris on March 11. His lecture, "Science and Politics," offered lessons about institutional design and practices for scientific management within international relations. Read more...

Congratulations to Yankee Magazine Editor Mel Allen, who teaches Magazine Writing every fall semester in the Journalism Program. His publication is a finalist in four award categories from the City and Regional Magazine Association: General Excellence, Excellence in Writing, Photography, and Multimedia. The awards for this 26-year-old national competition will be announced at CRMA's Annual Conference April 30-May 2 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL.

MJ Peterson (political science) has led the development of a series of in-depth case studies, teaching notes, and other instructional materials to assist faculty in incorporating the teaching of ethics in graduate science, engineering, and public policy classrooms. The work is part of the National Science Foundation project, International Dimensions of Ethics Education in Science and Engineering (IDEESE). Read more...

SBS in the News
WGBY TV's Connecting Point, 3/29/11. Nancy Folbre (economics) discusses the short- and long-range impact of the soaring cost of public education as states cut financial support and low- and middle-income students find themselves struggling to afford a college education. Folbre is the author of “Saving State U: Fixing Public Higher Education.”, 3/28/11. An economic columnist says Folbre may be on to something with her observation that job losses in the current recession hit men more than women. She says the loss of jobs traditionally held by men is greater than the loss of those held by women.  New York Times (Economix blog), 3/28/11. Folbre writes about how the nuclear plant damage in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami is directing more attention to alternative energy sources.  American Thinker, 3/20/11. A columnist writing about the possibility of a left-right political alliance in Congress that would combine forces from the Tea Party and traditional liberals against “corporatist” interests includes comments from Folbre. She says anger with bailouts of large banks has tipped populist rage to the right, and liberals such as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont have tapped into similar sentiment on the left. New York Times (Economix blog), 3/18/11. Folbre discusses how financial risks for the recent economic collapse and responsibility for disasters, such as the failures at the nuclear plant in Japan damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, have been shifted onto the public by powerful economic interests. She says this amounts to socialism for the powerful and rich and capitalism for ordinary people who have to pay the bills. New York Times (Economix blog), 3/7/11. Folbre writes that the recent economic downturn, which has been termed a “mancession,” because proportionally more men lost jobs that women did, is now reversing that trend. She says new job growth coupled with job cuts in state and local spending mean more women are now losing jobs. New York Times (Economix blog), 2/28/11. Folbre writes about the overall effect of demonstrations in Wisconsin against efforts to curtail public workers' collective bargaining rights. The protest, she says, has broadened the public debate about states' fiscal problems and brought much more media attention to key issues.

Boston Globe (highlights of event), 3/29/11; The Street (announcement of event), 3/18/11. UMass Amherst and the Boston Globe have launched a new public policy series titled, “Recession & Recovery: A Forum on Smart Policies for Sustainable Growth.” The first of the series takes places on Monday, March 28 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. Speakers include Professors Robert Pollin and Jeffrey Thompson of the Political Economy Research Institute, Lisa M. Lynch, dean and Maurice B. Hexter professor of Economic Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and Eric Rosengren, president and CEO at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Foreign Affairs, 3/28/11. Commentators are falling over themselves to explain the “gender divide” among Obama’s staff. In a substantive article, Charli Carpenter (political science) writes that these discussions reveal far more about gender misconceptions among foreign policy journalists than about the preferences or influence of Obama’s female foreign policy staff.

New York Times, 3/28/11. Research done by graduate student Gina Agostini (anthropology) looks at how studying the shape of the human femur bone can help scientists determine how much a person weighed.

The Real News Network, 3/21/11. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, addresses why full employment as a policy goal is the way out of the current economic crisis, pointing out that at the current pace of recovery full employment won't be attained until 2017. The Real News Network, 3/13/11. Pollin discusses why oil prices are rising even though there is little disruption in the supply of oil from the Middle East. He says despite revolutions and clamor for change in that region, price rises are the result of speculation, not dramatic changes in supply.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 3/18/11. Steve Fox (journalism) reviews the fine points of parenting a 13-year-old son whose joys, sorrows and development are mediated and framed by text messaging and other electronic communication. Fox contrasts this with the admonition he offers his multimedia journalism students about the benefits of footwork and personal interviews.

American Banking & Marketing News, 3/17/11. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new rules for air pollution control in the electric utility industry will benefit the economy with jobs created by investment in new pollution-control technology, new plants and retirement of older, less efficient facilities, according to a report from Ceres, “New Jobs-Cleaner Air: Employment Effects under Planned Changes to EPA’s Air Pollution Rules,” prepared by James Heintz of the Political Economy Research Institute., 3/7/11; Manufacturing Close-Up, 3/4/11.The report, details the nearly 30,000 jobs that could be created in Kentucky (and throughout the United States) through investments in pollution controls, new plant construction, and the retirement of older, less efficient coal plants as the country transitions to a cleaner, modernized generation fleet under new EPA clean air standards.

PBS NewsHour, 3/16/11. David Kotz (economics), responding to a question from economic reporter Paul Solmon, says high levels of consumer debt, caused by growing economic inequality, helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2008. Kotz says debt fueled the unsustainable housing boom, a bubble that burst and threw the world financial system into decline.

Springfield Republican, 3/15/11. Jane Fountain (political science and public policy), director of the National Center for Digital Government, comments on how elected officials can adopt new technology and social media to help make government more open and accessible. She says, “Technology has led a march toward transparency, and we now have a better view of what our elected officials are doing.”

In These Times, 3/14/11. Writing about the close connections and some conflicts-of-interest between commentators and the industries and systems they discuss in the media, a columnist points to a paper published last year by Economics Department chair Gerald Epstein and PhD candidate Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth. Many prominent economic commentators, they suggest, missed the economic collapse because they were profiting from the policies that created the disaster.

Crain’s New York Business [requires subscription], 3/13/11. In the article "Gay wedding bells ring cha-ching," M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, says if New York legalizes same-sex marriage, about 18,000 couples would take advantage of the law and spend up to $135 million on weddings and celebrations. Badgett discussed the proposed change at a Manhattan Chamber of Commerce event on March 13.

New Haven Independent, 3/11/11. A report by Jeannette Wicks-Lim (Political Economy Research Institute) says privatizing custodians' jobs in the New Haven Public Schools would reduce salaries by half, perhaps forcing families onto food stamps and state-funded health care.

Associated Press, 3/5/11. Eve Weinbaum (labor studies), director of the Labor Center, says the choice of Charlotte, N.C., as the site of the 2012 Democratic Party’s national convention shows how the Democrats have been distancing themselves from organized labor in recent years. North Carolina is not a union-friendly state, but observers say the Democrats chose it to show they can attract voters from swing states in the South., 3/1/11. Tom Juravich (labor studies) comments in a story about efforts in New Jersey to have public employees pay more for pensions and health care benefits. If budget cuts and benefit levels drop too much, he says, then the state could face a demoralized public workforce and reduced state services.

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, Environmental Design, Journalism, Labor Studies, Landscape Architecture, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), and Sociology. Among our ranks are 38,600 alumni, 3,700 undergraduate majors, and 560 graduate students. In addition to its departments, SBS is home to numerous centers and research institutions. Through the general education courses that SBS offers, the College’s 200 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 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.

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