SBS Newsletter – March 2011
In this issue
Lobbying for a Cause
Student Participates in UN Advocacy Practicum, Thanks to Scholarship
Tour de Force: UMass Mock Trial
Political Science Couple Creates Departmental Scholarship
From the Classroom to the White House
Focus on Economics
Back in the (Pitching) Groove
Distinguished Alumni Selected
UMASS at the NCMR
World Class Education at UMass
Free Tuition Offer at UMass Amherst
Summer Session Registration is Now Open
UMass Dining Among NRN MenuMaster Award Winners
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.
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, Amazon.com, 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.
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
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. Knoxnews.com, 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.
Philly.com, 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
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.
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