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SBS Newsletter – May 2007

In this issue

Alison Briggs

SBS Student is Commencement Speaker
Alison C. Briggs '07 (psychology and sociology) was this year's student speaker at commencement. "I really never thought I'd get picked," Briggs said about her selection. "In my speech I don't quote any great philosophers—I just talk about how I feel." At the end of the fall 2006 semester, Briggs, from Sharon, Mass., was surfing through pages on the UMass website and happened to notice that the school was searching for a student speaker. Read more...

Ron Ansin with Candice Watch '08Students Receive SBS Scholarships
Congratulations to all of this year's SBS students who earned scholarships for internships, study abroad and meritorious academic achievement. Present at this year's ceremony were several indivudals whose generosity established some of the awards. Among them was Ron Ansin, pictured here with Candice Watch '08 (psychology), one of this year's recipients of an Ansin Study Abroad Fellowship. Read more....

Charmaine Wijeyesinghe

Education Opens Doors for Diversity Consultant
Social justice, conflict resolution, and racial identity. Independent consultant Charmaine Wijeyesinghe ’80 (psychology), ’85 MEd, ’92 EdD is known across the country for her talent in addressing these loaded topics in lectures and training seminars. “My dissertation on multiracial adults created a model, a new way of ‘framing’ or understanding racial identity,” Wijeyesinghe explains. Read more...

George Hertz

Man on the Move Motivated by New Challenges
When George Hertz ’69 (government), ’73 (MPA) assumed his new role on May 1 as chief of staff for Massport’s CEO and Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton, Jr., he will have realized his eleventh major career move—and his second stint with Massport. “My work life has been one of change, with many different levels of responsibility,” Hertz says. “My goals are consistent. I am eager to learn new things and to make contributions. At this point in my life, I am very proud to be back in public service.” Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Janet RifkinMessage from Dean Rifkin on Management Reorganization at UMass Amherst
I am sure many of you, especially those who live in Massachusetts, have heard about the management reorganization in the University system. While the final outcome has yet to be determined, President Jack Wilson announced on May 15 that next year will be one of reviewing a number of structural options, but he did make it clear that Chancellor John V. Lombardi will be stepping down as Chancellor of UMass Amherst at the end of the coming academic year. The news has created an uproar on this campus and among many of our alumni. Media coverage continues to be broad. To read the most up-to-date information, I suggest that you conduct a web search for the latest news articles (recommended key words: umass chancellor reorganization wilson). Included here are the official releases that were sent to faculty and staff on May 15. Announcement from President Wilson... Message from Chancellor Lombardi....

James CrottyCrotty Named First Sheridan Chair in Political Economy
The Economics Department has seleceted James Crotty as the first occupant of the Helen Sheridan Memorial Chair in Political Economy. Crotty is internationally recognized for his work in domestic and international macroeconomic theory and policy. For nearly 30 years this extraordinarily effective and well-liked professor has been a lynchpin of the Economics Department's undergraduate and graduate programs in macroeconomics. Read more...

Sara LennoxShaping the World through STPEC
Sara Lennox, director of the Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC) Program and professor of German Studies, didn’t intend to become an interdisciplinary scholar. Like all smart school children in the era after the launch of Sputnik, she was supposed to become a scientist to help beat the Russians. Read more...


CommencementSeniors Selected as 21st Century Leaders
Ten seniors received 21st Century Leader awards during the 137th Commencement on May 26 in McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Of the ten, five are SBS graduates: Alina Catrinoiu, a psychology major from Pittsfield; Aaron Harman, a psychology and neuroscience major from Natick; Kunal Malhotra, a political science and history major from Fairfax, Va.; Edward Sweeney, a political science and English major from Seekonk; and Deanna Vasilakis, a journalism major from Andover. The awards recognize students who are academically accomplished and who have contributed to the university through exceptional achievement or have enhanced the reputation of the campus. The recipients received a plaque and a monetary award from the Alumni Association.

construction craneNew Building Proposed for Communication and Journalism
According to University of Massachusetts officials, a new building in the heart of campus that would house communication and journalism is in the early stages of discussion. The building will work to improve the departments' ability to recruit students and faculty. The facility, which would replace the tennis courts near Tobin, would be part of an $833 million campus building maintenance and construction package. Read the full article by Peter Axtman ’07 in the Daily Collegian...

Krista Harper

Harper testifies before U.N. on Status of Hungarian Roma (Gypsies)
Krista Harper (anthropology and public policy) testified in early May before the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. Her topic was health, housing, and environmental disparities faced by Hungarian Roma (Gypsies) and governmental failure to address these disparities. Read more..

Science, Technology and Society logoSTS Hosts International Workshop
On May 17, the Science, Technology and Society Initiative hosted the day-long workshop “Nanotechnology and Society: the Organization and Policy of Innovation” in order to explore the societal implications of emerging nanoscale technologies. The workshop brought together more than 80 national and international faculty, public officials, scientists and students to discuss a range of nanotechnology topics including innovation and online dispute resolution, public opinion and the media, visual perceptions of nanotechnology, and the organization and economic development of nanotechnology research.

Faculty Notes
Brenda Bushouse (political science and public policy) has been awarded the Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy to study early childhood policies in New Zealand. Based in the Ministry of Education from February to August 2008, Bushouse will study the implementation of the 20-Hours Free Programme, a new subsidy program for preschool-age children. She will compare the New Zealand subsidy program with state universal preschool programs in the U.S. The Ian Axford Fellowship is a New Zealand version of a Fulbright. Read more...

The New England News Forum, directed by William Densmore (journalism), conducted its first Civic News Listening Series event in western New England on May 24 in Springfield. Read more...

David Mednicoff (legal Studies and public policy) in early May concluded a week-long speaking and research tour of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. During the tour, which was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Mednicoff spoke on “International law, Arab politics and U.S. Foreign Policy,” at the Riyadh Institute of Diplomatic Studies, a think tank under the aegis of the Saudi Arabian ministry of foreign affairs. Read more...

Jane E. Fountain (political science and public policy), director of the National Center for Digital Government and the Science, Technology and Society Initiative, gave an invited lecture May 4 at a European Union-sponsored conference in Oslo, Norway. Fountain spoke on “Challenges to Change in Government: Technology-based Cross-agency Innovations in the U.S.” at the conference on Research for Innovation in Healthcare and Administration, organized by the Research Council of Norway and the European eGovernment Research Network’s eGovernet project. Read more...

Tom Juravich '84G (labor studies and director of the Labor Relations and Research Center) received the Mary Killeen Bennett Alumni of the Year Award, presented by the UMass Amherst Pioneer Valley Alumni Club. As a labor educator and activist, author and singer-songwriter, Juravich has substantially enhanced the public image of UMass Amherst. As director of the Labor Center he is resonsible for two nationally know master's degree programs whose graduates hold responsible positions in labor and community organizations throughout the country. For profile of Juravich, click here.

Carol Heim (economics and public policy) participated in a Research and Policy Analysis Roundtable on "Land Use and Growth in the West," held in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy/Sonoran Institute Joint Venture, the roundtable brought together academics, practitioners, and public officials to identify critical issues in the U.S. West relating to land-use planning, urban form and development patterns, and land and water conservation, and to discuss potential research topics and policy questions upon which the Joint Venture might focus its efforts.

David W. Samuels (anthropology) has been named a fellow of the National Humanities Center for 2007-08. He is one of 37 scholars from 27 colleges and universities chosen to be part of this year’s class of fellows. Located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, the center awards more than $1.4 million in fellowship grants that allow scholars to take leave from their normal academic duties and pursue research. Samuels' interest is in relationships between various forms of human symbolic expression, and in finding new ways of linking linguistic anthropology and semiotics to anthropological aesthetics. Read more about the National Humanities Center...

Amy Schalet (sociology) presented "Changing our Paradigm for Understanding Adolescent Sexual Health" at a mini-forum on adolescent sexuality, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health,  Division of STD Prevention and STD/HIV Prevention Training Center of New England. During this past academic year Schalet also was keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Coalition of STD-Directors (affiliated with the CDC) in San Diego. She spoke at the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health (Columbia University School of Public Health) in New York and offered a seminar for researchers and affiliates (from other divisions) at the Division of STD-prevention of the CDC in Atlanta. For a profile of Schalet, click here.

In May at the annual Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change conference in Amsterdam, Peter Haas (political science) presented a keynote address on “Governance Prospects Post Kyoto” and conducted a master-class for the Marie Curie European Summer School on Earth System Governance.

Alumni News
Former UMass Amherst hockey player Peter G. Trovato '05 (journalism, political science), founder of the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, says there are 45 children in the state whose fathers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fund pays to help those children attend college. Read more...

Welles Hatch '82 (economics) is vice president and CFO on Linear Air. Linear Air offers some regular routes and private air charter services to more than 500 destinations, with personalized service, flexibility and convenience for reasonable fares. The concept is simple. With Linear Air, travellers go point-to-point, starting at a small airport and flying direct to their destination. Read more about Linear Air.

Carroll G. Lamb MA '74 (anthropology) is the executive director of The Institute of Black Invention & Technology, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of the achievements and contributions of Black inventors, innovators and scientists. Lamb's career includes nearly 30 years in human resources management. He was also a professional photographer for several years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Howard University. Read more...

Gloucester lawyer Edward O’Reilly '75 (legal studies) plans to run against U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry in next year’s Democratic primary election. Read more...

Martha Simpson '76 (communication) is head of Children's Services at the Stratford (Conn.) Library Association. She has just published her fifth book, Bringing Classes into the Public Library: A Handbook for Librarians (McFarland), coauthored with Lucretia I. Duwel. Read more...

Bob Goldman '78 (economics), creator, owner and publisher of GoodHealthNewEngland.com in Portland, Maine, writes, "Hi there fellow UMies. I invite all of you to check out the redesigned www.GoodHealthNewEngland.com. It's a site I created myself and want to spread the word to EVERYONE. The website is a work in progress, just like you. New articles and new health care and wellness providers appear on the site regularly. Your feedback is most welcome."

Michael A. Marzelli '06 (communication) has been named sports editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial. Read more...

Do you have news you'd like to share? Send it to the SBS Newsletter.

SBS in the News
Washington Post, 5/29/07. In a story about marriage, Naomi Gerstel (sociology) is broadly referenced. It used to be that marriage (especially the arranged variety) was an institution that sought to extend community ties, broaden one's network of allies, friends and benefactors. Contrary to the wisdom of Republicans and Democrats and virtually every authority in the country who view marriage as the linchpin of social and community ties, Gerstel has found that modern marriage actually tends to reduce community ties, noting that it is really about two people setting themselves apart from the larger community and from family members. Read more...

FortWayne.com, 5/29/07. Wherever you go, it’s safe to assume a camera or microphone lurks. Assume that its operator has no sense of discretion – even if it’s your friends and family. In this age of no privacy, technology has brought us to a legal limbo, and it will take some court activity to settle what privacy means in the age of YouTube. Alan Gaitenby (legal studies) says professors should expect some students will post videos about them on sites such as YouTube, and in many cases they won’t be flattering. Read more...

The Advocate (Stamford, Conn.), 5/26/07. William Densmore (journalism), project director for the Media Giraffe Project, comments about the collapsed efforts of the Tribune Company to sell the Advocate and Greenwich Time, two newspapers in Connecticut. In a joint announcement, the Tribune Company and Gannett said the March agreement was terminated after Gannett declined to assume the contract between Tribune and the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America. The union represents 34 Advocate newsroom employees. Read more...

Television and New Media, 5/07. An article by Mari Castañeda (communication and public policy) entitled “The Complicated Transition to Broadcast Digital Television in the United States” examines three major policy issues surrounding the transition to broadcast digital television (B-DTV): digital transmission and programming, interoperability and compatibility, and copyright protection. The full article can be accessed from the abstract for a fee (free to Sage Journals Online members).

Springfield Republican, 5/22/07. Economists fear that if the cost of fuel stays too high for too long, the entire economy could feel the impact, through increased inflation. "All prices will be affected," said Diane P. Flaherty (economics). Read more...
5/19/07. By mid-century, demographers say, America's so-called minorities will likely be in the majority. A recently released U.S. Census Bureau report shows that America's minority population—including Asians, blacks, Hispanics and Latinos—numbered 100.7 million on July 1, 2006, more than a third of the entire U. S. population of 299.4 million and more than the populations of all but 11 countries. Donald Tomaskovic-Devey (sociology) says, "Social scientists have long known that the U.S. is increasingly a multiracial society....This will require us to think about the society in broader, more complex ways than we often do. For people to be competent citizens, politicians and managers, they will have to adapt...to this complexity and embrace it." Prof. Emeritus Gene L. Fisher (sociology) is also quoted. Read more...

New York Times, 5/17/07. Ralph Whitehead (journalism) comments in a story about what presidential candidates do and don’t include on their political resumes. For example, Mitt Romney promotes his experience as a governor, but often is coy about where he governed. In campaign ads running in early primary states, Romney says he was “the Republican governor who turned around a Democratic state” and “vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations.” But you would never know where. Says Whitehead, “Romney is trying to say that he foiled a robbery in a brothel, the brothel being Massachusetts. But the question people will ask is, what was he doing in the brothel in the first place?”

Seattle Times (from the Chicago Tribune), 5/7/07. One-fifth of infants and toddlers under age 2 have a television in their bedrooms, according to a new study that suggests saturation with media could affect brain development as more shows start to target America's youngest children. Daniel Anderson (psychology) says a historic change is under way in television viewing by small children. New polling finds that children now start watching television at age 9 months as opposed to age 3 in 1961. Read the article...

A Word from SBS
This e-letter has been created for alumni and friends of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SBS includes the departments and programs of Anthropology, Communication, 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 programs 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:
James Mallet, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
236 Draper Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9244
(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, marketing and communication specialist. If you wish to add your name to the mailing list, or if you wish to unsubscribe, please write to the SBS Newsletter. 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
http://www.umass.edu/sbs/