SBS Newsletter – May 2008
In this issue
New Chancellor Named
Sanders Awarded $300K John Merck Grant
Alum Specializes in Strategic Planning for Educational Institutions
Internship Paves the Road to Reality
Students Receive SBS Scholarships
SBS Alumni Survey Sent
Commencement Images from the SBS Tent
Huston Speaks at Commencement
Badgett Plays Role in Golden State Decision on Nuptials
Tropp Wins Early Career Award from ISPP
STPEC Receives $60,000 Grant for Internships
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Julie Hemment (anthropology) has been awarded a one-month fellowship from the Alekstanteri Institute Visiting Scholar Program, University of Helsinki to work on her project "Youth Organizations, Voluntary Service and the Restructuring of Social Welfare in Russia."
Krista Harper (anthropology) was awarded a Faculty Research Grant of $15,000 to carry out her project "Visualizing Environmental Justice and Community Development: Participatory Media Production and Ethnography in a Hungarian Romani (Gypsy) Neighborhood." Harper's project, which begins in July, will use traditional qualitative methods, visual ethnography techniques, and community-based digital filmmaking to investigate how ethnic, socioeconomic, and environmental inequalities have changed over time in a former milltown in northern Hungary. The FRG provides funding to expand the Emerging Methodologies Instructional Lab, which Harper is developing as a resource for graduate training in visual and digital methodologies in ethnographic and qualitative research.
The Faculty Research Grant program and the University Research Committee are funding a proposal by Andy Papachristos (sociology) to develop a very long network time series on the Chicago mob. To protect the safety of those who work in Thompson Hall, the time series does not extend into the present.
Jan Servaes (communication), chair of the department, spoke at a Harvard University/World Bank Workshop on "The Role of the News Media in the Governance Agenda" at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, in late May. Also, on the invitation of the Kenyan President, he will be presenting the keynote at a seminar for ministers and high-level public servants on "Economic Policy and Development Journalism" in Nairobi this July.
Icek Aizen (psychology) was a visiting fellow at the Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics, Bocconi University in Milan, Italy from May 19-30. During his residency he made a keynote address and led a workshop for participants in the European Union-funded project, “Reproductive Decision Making in a Macro-Micro Perspective.”
Nancy Cohen, adjunct faculty in journalism, has won an Arctic Fellowship for Science Writers at the Marine Biological Lab north of the Arctic Circle. She teaches Radio Broadcasting and Podcasting and is the environmental reporter for WNPR in Connecticut.
We are sad to report that Assistant Professor Anca Romantan (communication) died on April 14, 2008 after a long struggle with lung cancer. She was at home in Arlington, MA, with her husband Cornel Ban and her mother Adrianna Romantan. Romantan, who specialized in the social production of risk, cultures of protest, and cultural political discourses in Europe, received her PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and joined the UMass Amherst faculty in fall 2006. Her appointment to the department was universally received with excitement and a sense of magic, and her energy, courage and commitments to teaching and writing in the course of her illness were a source of sustenance, not only to her but also to those around her. A memorial service took place on campus in mid-May. Click here to access the memorial blog.
Alicia Zitka '08 (communication) of West Springfield has won the title of Kmart's new fashion ambassador in a "style show-off" contest. In addition to winning $10,000 in Kmart gift cards, she will appear in the chain's national Sunday circular June 29. Read the article...
Margaret Bruchac PhD ’07, MA ’03 (anthropology) has accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut. At the Avery Point campus she will teach in the American Studies Department while serving as coordinator of the Native American Studies Program.
Siobhan Hart MA '04 (anthropology), who is a PhD candidate as well, has accepted a visiting lecturer/assistant professor position in the Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University.
Paul H. Douglas '73 (sociology) is retiring as the executive director of the Franklin County (Mass.) Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority after 21 years at the helm. Read more...
Pat Wojtas '74 (economics) of Chelmsford is running for the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts House representing the 2nd Middlesex District. Read more...
Kevin A. Jourdain '93 (political science), a city councilor in Holyoke, is among the Forty Under 40 group of young business people in Western Massachusetts named by Business West Magazine. A lifelong Holyoke resident, Jourdain has made a career out of giving back to the community. Fifteen years ago, he secured a piece of Holyoke history when, at age 22, he became the youngest person ever elected to the City Council. Now 36, he’s an at-large councilor, a seasoned veteran of Western Mass. politics, and an individual with a strong commitment to this industrial city and its future. Read more...
John Hanley '92 (economics), owner of Body Mind Systems in Stoneham, Mass., holds a Fourth Degree Black Belt. Body Mind Systems is a comprehensive martial arts training system that teaches 8 martial arts which encompass the foundations of all martial arts styles. The school teaches Kung Fu, Bagua Zhang, Tai Chi, Judo, Taekwondo, Aikido, traditional Asian weapons and Samurai to adults and children, aged 4 and older. Hanley is an Assistant Regional Instructor who oversees additional Body Mind Systems schools in the Greater Boston area: in Arlington, Marblehead, Roslindale and Woburn. See their website for hours and class times.
Democrat Ed O'Reilly '75 (legal studies) of Gloucester is running against incumbent John Kerry. "His vote for the Iraq War got me into the race," O'Reilly says. "I once raised money, supported, voted for John Kerry. I've just come to the conclusion, like many people: after 20-plus years in the United States senate, John Kerry is out of touch with people in Massachusetts. It's as simple as that. Coming out here [to Western Mass] today, I had to fill my gas tank. Believe me, the last thing I am is out of touch." Read the article in the Springfield Republican. Read a profile...
George Epstein '48 (engineering and supporter of SBS) is a poker champion who is now teaching the game to people with early-Alzheimer's on behalf of the Assistance League Leeza's Place in Hollywood, California. He writes, "We believe that learning and playing poker will provide the mental exercise that helps these people delay and perhaps prevent the final stages of memory loss." Read an article [pdf] about these activities...
SBS in the News
CNN.com [reprinted from Oprah magazine], 5/28/08. Linda Tropp (psychology), director of the psychology of peace and violence concentration, offers advice on waging harmony in everyday life. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/2/08. Tropp is interviewed by a sports columnist about the newfound popularity of the Atlanta Hawks, the NBA team battling with the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks have seldom been considered a playoff caliber team in recent years, and Tropp says fans like to root for underdogs.
National Journal’s hotline blog, 5/22/08. Sheldon Goldman (political science) says the idea of appointing U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court may make sense even though she has no judicial experience. Goldman says many top judges never sat on the bench prior to joining the court. USA Today, 5/12/08. Goldman says President Bill Clinton didn’t appoint federal judges based solely on their ideology, and that has helped retain a solid base of ideological conservatives on the bench that were first appointed by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. He says George W. Bush has also had success in filling federal court vacancies with conservatives. New York Times, International Herald Tribune, 5/7/08. Goldman comments in an article about U.S. Sen. John McCain’s declaration that if he is elected president he will appoint conservative judges similar to those appointed by President George W. Bush. Goldman says McCain’s vow to avoid “activist” judges really means he will appoint judges who will only be activist for conservative causes and policies.
Los Angeles Times, 5/18/08. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration as well as director of research at UCLA's Williams Institute, comments in an article about workplace benefits in California, now that the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage. Badgett was an expert witness in the case and filed an amicus brief as well. Read more...
Philadelphia Daily News, 5/15/08; NPR, 5/14/08. Ray La Raja (political science), author of a history of campaign finance laws, comments in two stories about how U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign debts might have an impact on her future now that it is all but certain she can’t win the Democratic presidential nomination. He also says she may be staying in the race to improve her influence on the upcoming election. Springfield Republican, 5/1/08. La Raja comments in a story about how Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in both the state and national population. He says Hispanic voters will become an increasingly important force in politics.
Asia Times, 5/8/08. An economics column by Max Fraad Wolff, a doctoral student at UMass Amherst, talks about how international markets are indicating that serious economic problems are ahead for the U.S. Another column on 5/31/08 discusses the similarities between the troop surge in Iraq and the credit surge created by the Federal Reserve to blunt the negative impact of the bursting housing bubble in the U.S. and world economies.
Springfield Republican, 5/4/08. Ralph W. Whitehead Jr. (journalism) says it’s not clear that the introduction of a new television news station in the Springfield, Mass. market will dramatically change viewer habits. In mid-June, Fox6 will debut in Springfield with the only 10 p.m. news in the region.
A Word from SBS
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