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SBS Newsletter – March 2012

In this issue

Jennifer LundquistMulti-faceted Demographer Heads SADRI
“I am a social demographer,” says Associate Professor Jennifer Lundquist (sociology), who has taken over the helm of the Social and Demographic Research Institute (SADRI). “My research is unified by a predominant interest in inequality, with several, often overlapping, themes: families; race; ethnic and gender disparities; and intimate interracial relationships. Read more...

Cameron Jesse CoxAmbition Drives Student to Success
A lot has changed for Cameron Jesse Cox ’12 (sociology) since he matriculated in 2008. Cox began his stint at UMass undeclared but was considering a career in business through the Isenberg School of Management. Four years later, his career interests have become the antipode of that now distant memory. Read more...

Vinnie MalhotraAlum Joins CNN as Senior Vice President
Vinnie Malhotra '97 (political science/communication), a former program development executive at ESPN and long-time ABC News producer, has joined CNN as senior vice president for development and acquisitions. Read more...

Todd Riikonen-GelinasPassion for Asian Cultures Steers Investment Manager’s Life
The best part of being managing partner of Hong Kong-based Pacific Capital Advisors, Todd Riikonen-Gelinas ’87 (economics) says, isn’t about investments and advising. While he’s extremely talented at that, “deciphering foreign languages and cultures and using those insights to gain new perspectives and build bridges” are his major motivators. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Dr. Kumble R. SubbaswamyUniversity of Kentucky Provost Appointed Chancellor of UMass Amherst
Dr. Kumble R. Subbaswamy, a physicist who is Provost at the University of Kentucky, was appointed on March 26 by the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees to lead the system’s flagship campus in Amherst, capping a six-month nationwide search for a new Chancellor for the University’s oldest and largest campus. Read more...

SBS logoSenior Celebration Ceremony on May 12
The SBS Senior Celebration Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 12 at 1:00 p.m. in the Mullins Center. All SBS graduates in attendance will be recognized individually and receive a UMass Amherst medallion. Tickets are not required; seniors may invite as many guests as they like. Click here for more information.

Robert FeldmanLying OnLine
On WGBY's "Connecting Point" in mid-March Dean Robert Feldman, professor of psychology, discussed his paper “Liar, Liar, Hard Drive on Fire: How Media Context Affects Lying Behavior.” He found that people are more likely to lie in instant messages and emails than in face-to-face interaction. View the program.

Brian CanovaCovering the President
Brian Canova '13 (journalism) got credentials through the White House and went to Nashua, New Hampshire, in early March to cover President Barack Obama's speech on energy and the economy at Nashua Community College. Read his story, accompanied by his video and photos, on

Julie HemmentHemment Throws a Light on Post-Soviet Civil Society
Assoc. Prof. Julie Hemment (anthropology), an expert on post-socialist Russia's civil society and forms of civic activism since the mid 1990s, has successfully connected the campus to an international discussion about the impact that youth-oriented state policies are having on future of Russia. Read more...

Peter HaasOverhaul of Global Environmental Governance Needed, Says Haas
Thirty-two leading governance experts, including Prof. Peter M. Haas (political science), say that reducing the risk of potential global environmental disaster requires a "constitutional moment" comparable in scale and importance to the reform of international governance that followed World War II. Their article appeared in the March 16 issue of the journal Science. Read more... Article in Forbes.... And don't miss the interview with Haas on WFCR on March 23.

New Academic BuildingNew Academic Classroom Building in the Works
Construction began over spring break on the New Academic Classroom Building, which will house Communication, Journalism, Film Studies and Linguistics. Providing state-of-the-art classroom and academic space, this state-of-the-art, energy efficient LEED facility is sited near the Campus Center and Student Union, north of the Campus Pond. In addition to classrooms and faculty offices, it will house studios and specialized rooms for TV broadcasting and production, editing rooms, film screening rooms, computer classrooms, speech perception and auditory phonetics labs. Read more...

White House Campus ChallengeUMass Permaculture Initiative Wins Campus Champion of Change Challenge
The UMass Permaculture Initiative, led completely by students, won the White House "Campus Champions of Change Challenge" with 59,841 votes. Ryan Harb, chief sustainability coordinator for campus Auxiliary Services, and 14 student committee members traveled to Washington to accept the award on March 15 at the White House--and yes, President Obama was there to congratulate them. The team will appear on MTV Act and in an episode of mtvU’s program, "The Dean’s List." Read more... List of winners...

Hilda Hertz Golden Sociologist Golden Remembered
Hilda Golden, retired professor of sociology, was only 13 when her family fled Berlin in 1933 as the Nazis targeted her father, Paul Hertz, a prominent Social Democratic Party politician and economist who opposed Adolf Hitler. Golden died last month at the age of 90 in Amherst where she had lived for 50 years. She taught at UMass from 1962 until her retirement in 1986. Read more...

Upcoming Events
Spring semester is always full of events, ranging from informational sessions to outstanding lectures by distinguished guests and faculty. Following is a brief sampling of SBS related activities, but be sure to visit and bookmark the Events Calendar on the SBS website. There you'll find a listing of upcoming events sponsored by SBS programs and departments. View it by week, by month, or as a listing.

Wed, April 4. Department of Communication's Alumni Career Night. Communication alumni return to campus to speak about their post-graduation job experiences and offer advice about finding work in the current marketplace. Fields to be represented by the alums include network TV production, marketing, advertising, law, politics, and community service. 4:30 - 9:00 p.m. Marriott Dining Room, Campus Center, top floor. Invitation only.

Fri, April 13. Economics Department & UMass Amherst Alumni Finance Group Networking Event.Networking and a lecture by Douglas R. Cliggott '78 (economics). 4:30 - 7:00 p.m., University of Massachusetts Club, 225 Franklin Street, Boston. Registration required.

For more SBS-related events, go to the SBS Events Calendar.

Alumni News
Zach Gauvin '11 (political science/journalism) has published his first book, Miracle Kid: The Seventeen-Year-Old Newborn, which he started writing as a student. It tells the story of his struggle to recover from a brain injury and his subsequent transformation into a passionate advocate for people who have gone through similar trauma.

After months of campaigning, three votes and a recount, the small town of Shutesbury, MA, was deadlocked 522-522 over a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion override needed to pay its share of a new library project. Because a tie vote defeats the question, library supporters filed a lawsuit challenging the Board of Registrars' decisions about several contested ballots. A court hearing is scheduled for April 23. In the meantime, Lindsay Van Dyke '11 (sociology) created a fundraising video "Where would you be without your library?" that went viral on YouTube in early March. Read more and watch the video. Another story about the controversy and the video appeared on the front page of the Boston Sunday Globe on March 25.

The Drucker Business Forum hosted a conversation this month on "Key Challenges Ahead and the Leaders We Need Today" between Punit Renjen, chairman of Deloitte, LLP and Bernie Jaworski '79 (sociology), the Peter F. Drucker Chair of Management and Liberal Arts at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management in Pasadena, CA. Jaworski is a member of the SBS Dean's Advisory Board.

Christine (Solt) Savage '92 (political science), along with a colleague from Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, was a speaker for the Boston Bar Association March event "Mistakes, Misconduct or False Claims: Legal Risks and Potential Liability Involving Federally Funded Research." Their presentation outlined key differences in the elements and standards used to prove the submission of a false claim versus an act of scientific misconduct and examined best practices to follow when misconduct allegations are raised. Savage is chair of the SBS Dean's Advisory Board.

Melissa James '10 (journalism/legal studies) wrote, "Great article on Kerri Sadoff ['12 (STPEC) in the last newsletter]...." She reminds us that the Youth Institute of Technology in Ghana was founded by Shannan Magee '96 (STPEC), MEd '98 and Kendra Porter '00 (BDIC), MS '05 (hospitality & tourism management). "Since the founding of the school," James writes, " Kerri is one of many SBS students who have so kindly volunteered their time. Shaneka Davis '09 (journalism/anthropology) went, and so did I. UMass is building quite the name out in Ghana. Keep up the great work. Go UMass!" Click here for a story about Porter, Magee, and James.

Chris Boulton PhD '12 (communication) has been hired as assistant professor of broadcast/convergence media in the Department of Communication at the University of Tampa. This unique tenure-track position encourages both scholarly and creative work and includes teaching production and critical media studies courses in an interdisciplinary program rooted in the liberal arts.

Benjamin Sax ’97 (STPEC), assistant professor for the Department of Religion and Culture in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, is the new faculty principal of the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston which opened fall 2011 for more than 300 University Honors students. He has taught Judaic Studies at Virginia Tech since 2008, after teaching religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago. He earned his PhD in the history of Judaism from the University of Chicago and an MA in religious studies from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Samuel Glass '48 (political science) was featured and pictured in the latest UMass Magazine with his friend Sidney Topol '47. They returned to campus on the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 1941 they were playing Ping-Pong in the basement of the newly constructed Lewis Hall when they heard the news that changed their world. The next day Glass hitchhiked to the Charleston Navy Yard to enlist (though he had to resign as he was already committed to the Army through campus ROTC). Read their reminiscences...

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason K. Kim '06 (sociology) and fellow sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans recognized Black History Month with a celebration hosted by the ship's diversity committee.

Rachel Weissbard ’89 (journalism) has launched "a stylish new women's waterproof accessory for the fashion and practical conscious consumer. The RAINRAP is the first of its kind. Combining the popular style of the pashmina and wrap, it's reversible and comes in four color combinations."

Ellen (Gillis) Giblin ’82 (legal studies) has joined the Boston office of Ashcroft Sullivan. A Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/G/C), she brings more than 25 years of experience advising and providing guidance to multinational and domestic clients with privacy and data protection, regulatory risk, cyber security, data breach investigation, response and notification, and regulatory communications. Read more...

Maria (Foss) Crowley ’89 (economics) has been promoted to supervisor at Greenberg, Rosenblatt, Kull & Bitsoli, P.C. of Worcester. With the firm since 2008, Crowley focuses on not-for-profit, estates and trusts.

Diane Goodwin Papadakos '89 (communication) has been named vice president, director of marketing and sales at Dime Bank. She is responsible for providing strategic direction around marketing and promotions, advertising, public relations, branding, and community relations. She and her husband live in New London, CT. Read more...

Mara (Klein) Collins ’77 (journalism) is director of sales at The Groves in Lincoln, MA, overseeing marketing to seniors looking for an active community with amenities and health care services. A certified Elder Care Ombudsman for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, she has served on the Arlington Council on Aging. Read more...

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.

Faculty and Department News
Journalism lecturer Razvan Sibii MA '07 (communication) has been included in a "Top 100 Romanians who make things happen" list by Foreign Policy Romania. He was noted for his academic interest in journalism ethics and his foreign correspondence work. Read more (in Romanian)...

Sociology has been publishing all over the place. Joya Misra and PhD candidate Eiko Strader, with colleagues published "Family policies, employment and poverty among partnered and single mothers" in the March 2012 Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. PhD candidate Brian Connor wrote the lead article "9/11: A New Pearl Harbor? Analogies, Narratives, and Meanings of 9/11 in Civil Society Cultural Sociology," in the March 2012 Sage Journal.  Asst. Prof. Ryan Acton, with three colleagues from other universities, published "Geographical Variability and Network Structure" in Social Networks.

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $334,336 grant to Lynnette Leidy Sievert (anthropology) and her co-PIs Daniel E. Brown, Laura Huicochea-Gomez for "Variation in Symptoms at Midlife: Ethnic and Rural/Urban Comparisons." Read more about Lynnette and her work...

SBS in the News
Foreign Affairs, 3/29/12. Charli Carpenter (political science) writes about the popular HBO program “Game of Thrones” and how it is and isn’t reflective of how power politics plays out in the real world.

The Economic Times, 3/29/12. An article about the need for a code of ethics for economists cites a study by Gerald Epstein (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, and graduate student Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth. They found many prominent economists who served as commentators on financial firms had strong, but undisclosed, connections to those institutions. The Real News Network, 3/26/12. Gerald Epstein (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, discusses how banking "technocrats" are undermining democracy by pushing policies that call for privatization of public services, restrictions on labor unions and economic austerity policies that are unpopular with voters.

Telegram & Gazette, 3/29/12;, 3/9/12. Using mobile phone technology Charles Schweik (environmental conservation and public policy) and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are collaborating to engage more people in governmental and scientific efforts to collect data about invasive species. Schweik and Jennifer Fish, director of DCR’s Service Forestry program in Amherst, have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enlist the help of “citizen scientists” to map invasive species using smartphone technology. Springfield Republican, 3/12/12. Schweik and Brenda Bushouse (political science and public policy) comment in a story about the Open Checkbook, an initiative launched by Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman that details state spending. Both say the new system will make much more information available to the public, which may play a role in shaping public policies.

CNN Money, 3/29/12. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, comments about a recent federal report that found 3.1 million “green jobs” in the U.S. economy, including school bus drivers and staff at thrift stores. Pollin says those jobs qualify because “green jobs” are spread all across the economy and aren’t confined to a handful of niches such as making solar panels or constructing energy efficient buildings.

Bermuda Sun, 3/28/12. Leah Wing (legal studies) made a presentation in Bermuda on mediation as part of the Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda conference., 3/26/12; Orange County Register [Calif.], 3/16/12;, 3/12/12. The media continues its coverage of Amy Schalet (sociology), author of the book Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex, has researched and written about differences in attitude about teen sex between Dutch and American parents. Overcoming these differences, she believes, will only come through comprehensive sex education.

Wall Street Journal, 3/26/12;, 3/25/12; WFCR, 3/22/12; Bangor Daily News, 3/12/12;, 3/8/12. Reasearch by Jeffrey Thompson (Political Economy Research Institute) says raising taxes on high-income people won’t cause them to move out of state, work significantly less or start fewer businesses. The move instead will increase state revenues without the negative consequences predicted by opponents.

New York Times [Economix blog], 3/26/12. Nancy Folbre (economics) writes about the U.S. nuclear power industry and why it continues to receive significant public support, funding and government subsidies, even though the public shows much stronger support for other forms of energy. New York Times (Economix blog), 3/19/12. Folbre says Romney’s perception of government entitlements is inaccurate. Public spending on children in low-income families has been decreasing and studies show that lower-income children now have fewer opportunities for a good education than those with wealthier parents. New York Times [Economix blog], 3/5/12. Folbre discusses the trend toward motherhood without marriage, especially among women under 30 who haven’t completed college. Women who finish college, she says, are more likely to get married, stay married and put off child-rearing until later in life. For lower income people with less education, the traditional economic benefits of marriage appear to have declined over time.

Scientific American, 3/23/12. Commenting about rare 10,000-year-old human bones at UC/San Diego that must, by federal law, be turned over to the Kumeyaay Nation tribes, Ventura Pérez (anthropology) says making high-quality replicas will leave the material intact and provide a permanent record for future scholars.

Al Jazeera, 3/18/12. Jillian Schwedler (political science) writes about what the future may hold for Yemen now that long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh has given up power and left the country. She says the country may need less centralized control to survive. Eurasia Review, 3/6/12. Schwedler writes an op-ed on the politics of protest in Jordan.

U.S. News & World Report, 3/13/12. Jack Ahern (landscape architecture and regional planning) vice provost and director of international programs, comments about how graduate students can maximize the financial aid they receive.

Business West, 3/13/12. In a story about mothers balancing careers and home life, Michelle Budig (sociology) notes that researchers have found that the time women spend at work has increased dramatically since 1960, but the hours spent caring for children hasn’t changed at all.

The Real News Network, 3/13/12. Emeritus Professor James Crotty (economics), a researcher at the Political Economy Research Institute, discusses how states that have Republican governors and legislatures are implementing austerity programs and pro-business policies and are fighting to reduce the influence of organized labor in their states. This is an indication of what a Republican president might do if elected. The Real News Network, 3/4/12. Crotty discusses how President Obama is sticking with budget policies that call for austerity to boost the economy. Crotty notes that Obama has softened his political rhetoric, but still is supporting tax cuts and a narrative that says the U.S. is living beyond its means. Defense spending, medical costs and tax breaks for the wealthy all need to be cut.

Atlanta Journal Constitution, 3/12/12. Naomi Gerstel (sociology) offers commentary about the growing number of single and unmarried adults in the U.S., up from 22% in 1950 to about half of the adult population.

New York Times, 3/11/12 (scroll down a bit). In a letter to the editor, Ray La Raja (political science) comments on the debate about whether the Citizens United court case has been good for the political system and expresses his concerns about super PACs. Boston Herald, 3/7/12. La Raja says Republican Mitt Romney poses the toughest challenge for President Barack Obama in November's election. Still, Romney is increasingly seen as out of touch with ordinary voters and is viewed as a Wall Street insider.

WAMC, 3/9/12. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, comments in a story about the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts being good for the state economy. The Drum Opinion [Australian Broadcast Company], 3/6/12. Badgett writes about how legalizing same-sex marriage has been socially and economically beneficial for states and countries that have adopted it.

The Buffalo News, 3/8/12. Ethan Carr (landscape architecture and regional planning) comments about efforts to restore a Buffalo, N.Y., park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Plans are to cover a freeway that sits in what used to be the green space.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 3/3/12. Ralph Whitehead (journalism) was interested to see how many independent voters turn out for the Republican primary in Massachusetts on March 6 because of the impact it might have on the race for the U.S. Senate between incumbent Sen. Scott Brown and likely Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.

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