University of Massachusetts Amherst

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SBS Newsletter – May 2008

In this issue

Robert C. HolubNew Chancellor Named
The board of trustees has approved the selection of Robert C. Holub as chancellor of UMass Amherst. Holub, 58, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville, was one of four finalists for the job. University President Jack Wilson called Holub a “distinguished scholar, a proven administrator” who has a desire to make UMass Amherst into one of the premier public research universities in the country. Max Page, president of the faculty union, says Holub is well prepared to lead UMass Amherst. Robert Manning, chairman of the board of trustees, says Holub is committed to “the very best in undergraduate and graduate education” and understands how the university must serve the state. Read more about Holub...

Lisa Sanders

Sanders Awarded $300K John Merck Grant
Assistant Professor Lisa D. Sanders (psychology) has been awarded a four-year, $300,000 grant by the Boston-based John Merck Fund to support her research on how selective attention deficits contribute to language processing disorders. She is one of two grant recipients selected from 55 applicants nationwide. Read more....

John Stevens

Alum Specializes in Strategic Planning for Educational Institutions
Stevens Strategy, an independent consulting practice specializing in managing the strategic change process at higher and secondary education institutions, is the brainchild of John Stevens ’73 (political science). This venture, launched in 2003, builds on his track record of success and features a large client base, ownership of strategic planning intellectual property, and a highly qualified, competent staff of higher education experts. Read more...

Samantha Frontiera with ABC News crew

Internship Paves the Road to Reality
“Landing an internship requires diligence,” says Samantha Frontiera ’08 (psychology and journalism), who just wrapped up a semester-long production stint at ABC News in New York. Meeting important people, like Barbara Walters and Charlie Gibson, was interesting, but most important, Frontiera says, was the immeasurable experience. “The contacts are awesome. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Carol and Alan LeBovidge at Scholarship eventStudents Receive SBS Scholarships
Congratulations to all of this year's SBS students who earned scholarships for internships, study abroad and meritorious academic achievement. Several individuals whose generosity established some of the awards attended this year's ceremony. Among them were Carol and Alan LeBovidge ’64, pictured at left, who witnessed the inaugural presentation of the Alan L. and Carol S. LeBovidge Undergraduate Research Scholarship. Read more...

sbs logoSBS Alumni Survey Sent
On May 28, the Dean's Office began its first survey of SBS alumni. The survey seeks ideas on higher education in general and alumni experiences at UMass Amherst in particular. Capitalizing on their unique insights as former students at UMass Amherst, the College will use survey results to make improvements for current students. Results will be posted on the SBS website ( and included in an upcoming newsletter. We'll be asking alumni to vote on their favorite ideas. If you haven't received an invitation to the survey and would like to complete it, click here.

Commencement 2008Commencement Images from the SBS Tent
Congratulations to all of this year's SBS students who earned their degrees. Following are informal images captured after the ceremony when graduates, their families and friends came to the SBS tent for a reception and a gift sportpack from the College. View the images...

Katie HustonHuston Speaks at Commencement
Katie Huston (journalism) was this year's commencement speaker. From Royal Oak, Michigan, she has had a stellar career at UMass Amherst. Earlier this year she was one of 40 students nationwide to be named a Marshall Scholar—and the first in more than 30 years from UMass Amherst. In additon, the Alumni Association selected her as a 21st Century Leader, an award that goes to seniors who are academically accomplished and who have contributed to the university by exceptional achievement or have enhanced the reputation of the campus. Listen to Huston's speech. Read more about Huston...

Lee BadgettBadgett Plays Role in Golden State Decision on Nuptials
Professor Lee Badgett (economics and public policy), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration and an expert on the economic characteristics of same-sex couples, played a pivotal role the California court's decision to allow same-sex marriage. Not only did she serve as an expert witness in the case, she also co-authored an amicus brief in support of gay marriage that was used numerous times in the California Supreme Court chief justice's oral arguments on the economic characteristics of same-sex couples. Read more...

Linda TroppTropp Wins Early Career Award from ISPP
Linda Tropp (psychology), director of the Psychology of Peace and Violence Concentration, has received the 2008 Erik Erikson Early Career Award from the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP). Named for the "Father of Psychosocial Development,” the award recognizes and celebrates exceptional achievement and goes to an individual who is a member of ISPP and within a decade of receiving the PhD First awarded in 1982, the list of recipients of the Erikson Award is a compendium of those who are among the most prominent leaders in political psychology today. Read more...

Lee BadgettSTPEC Receives $60,000 Grant for Internships
The Samuel Rubin Foundation has granted $60,000 to the Social Thought and Political Economy Program (STPEC) in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to support undergraduate internships focused on peace and social justice. To graduate, all STPEC majors must complete a three-credit internship. Internships provide invaluable experience that deepens their learning and prepares them for the post-graduation stage of their lives. However, the limited budgets of social justice organizations mean that internships seldom are paid. Read more...

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
MRI Open House.
5:30–7:00 pm. Free and open to the public
170 University Drive, CDH Health Center, Amherst.
The state-of-the-art human bioimaging facility operated by Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and used for research by the UMass Amherst community, will hold an open house for campus faculty, the general public and referring physicians. This facility is well-equipped for non-invasive analyses of tissue function, including but not limited to brain, muscle, and joints using magnetic resonance imaging or MRI (both structural and functional, i.e., fMRI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) techniques. Read more...
Note: Campus researchers may apply for pilot research grants to use the facility through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

Thursday, June 5, 2008
Snap Peas Photovoice Project Reception with Dr. Krista Harper
6:00–8:00 pm. Free and open to the public
Hawks-Hayden Community Room, Meekins Library, 2 Williams St., Williamsburg, MA
Photovoice research places cameras in the hands of community members so that they themselves document their concerns and perspectives. UMass Amherst intern, Lee Ellen Reed, working with Fertile Ground Director Catherine Sands (also a graduate student at the Center for Public Policy and Administration) and Anthropology Professor Krista Harper, coached fifth grade students on documenting and reporting about Fertile Ground garden and local foods educational programs this past spring. An exhibition of student-made photographs will be on display through June 30.

June 9-12
Summer Methodology Workshop
Analyzing Developmental Trajectories (scroll down)
Instructor Daniel Nagin, professor of public policy and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University
Sponsored by the Center for Research on Families in collaboration with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan.

June 23-27
Hierarchical Linear Models I (scroll down)
Instructor: Dr. Aline Sayer, associate professor of psychology and Methodology Program Director at the Center for Research on Families
Sponsored by the Center for Research on Families in collaboration with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan.

July 15-17
Modeling Diary and Dyadic Data (scroll down)
Instructors: Dr. Jean-Philippe Laurenceau, Psychology, University of Delaware; Dr. Niall Bolger, Psychology, Columbia University
Workshop is for social psychologists, family and medical sociologists, gerontologists, social workers, communication researchers, and researchers of marketing and organizational behavior.
Sponsored by the Center for Research on Families

Faculty Notes
Doug Anderton (sociology), director of the Social and Demographic Research Institute (SADRI), has been elected to the Sociological Research Association. SRA's membership numbers about 425. Invitations to membership are extended to a limited number of sociologists each year, based on their long-term careers of distinguished research. Anderton also is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association.

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.

Alumni News
Chris Greer '88 (economics) is an avid sailor who will be participating in the Newport Bermuda Race 2008, beginning June 20. For those interested in his traverse to Bermuda, iBoat will provide satellite tracking from start to finish. Chris writes, "I will be on a Swan 45 named “Devocean,” sail number 45024." Chris is a registered investment advisor specializing in arbitrage, relative value and event-driven investment strategies at Forest Investment Management LLC. He is a partner and managing director of the firm that manages over $1.3 billion for institutional, family office and individual clients throughout the world.

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
American Sociological Review [pdf], June 2008. "Ethnic and Gender Satisfaction in the Military: The Effect of a Meritocratic Institution" by Jennifer Lundquist (sociology) is the feature journal article on the ASA webpage. This article reevaluates traditional racial and gender disparities in the work satisfaction literature by examining the U.S. military, an institution that has ameliorated many racial inequalities while exacerbating gender conflict. The military departs from civilian society in some analytically useful ways, making it a unique, though underutilized, setting for examining inequality. [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
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:
Saige Reisler, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
235 Draper Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9244

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 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