SBS Newsletter – May 2009
In this issue
Be Part of the Rifkin Legacy
Feldman Named Interim Dean
Ambitious Questions Deserve Multidisciplinary Answers
Students Receive SBS Scholarships
NCDG and STS Initiative Awarded NSF Grant to Build National Beta Site
SBS Presents Outstanding Teaching Awards
Faulkner's New Book Explores Sociology of Jazz Repertoire
Blaustein is President-elect of Neuroendocrinology Society
Amherst Ranked Top College Town in North America
Lacrosse Attackman Brings Intensity
Based in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Center for Public Policy and Administration, the Science, Technology & Society Initiative is a catalyst for inter-disciplinary, collaborative research among the natural, physical and social sciences, engineering and public policy and a locus of engagement with governments, NGOs, business and civil society. Much of STS's work is international in scope reflecting the global nature of science and technology. The Initiative builds on and amplifies faculty research interests. Read about recent research, teaching and engagement activities in the most recent STS newsletter.
Alex Sajkovic '80 (STPEC), owner of ASN Stone that supplies eco-friendly building materials for homes, museums, hotels, and malls, also appeared in the spring 2009 issue of UMass Amherst Magazine in "Sustainable Style."
"Finishing Touches" in UMass Amherst Magazine features Rebecca Ridley '93 (economics), owner of the Davis Funeral Home in Roxbury Mass. It discusses how she got started in the business right after graduation. Although she carries on the traditions started by her mentor, from whom she bought the business in 2001, Ridley is constantly attuned to trends and changes in her industry.
Glenn Ruga '81 (STPEC), a graphic designer in Concord, Mass., runs socialdocumentary.net, a website devoted to showcasing documentary photography exhibits from around the world. SDN uses the power of photography to create global awareness.
David Barbato '94 (economics), who cofounded the recruiting company Talent Retriever, LLC in Burlington, Mass., with his wife Cheryl '92, made the Boston Business Journal's "40 Under 40" list of business leaders for 2008. Talent Retriever has twice landed on the Journal's Best Places to Work list.
Anne Buchanan '77 (anthropology) is coauthor of The Mermaid's Tale: Four Billion Years of Cooperation in the Making of Living Things (Harvard University Press 2009) with her husband Kenneth M. Weiss. She is a senior research scientist in anthropology at Penn State.
John Gartner '82 MS, '85 PhD (psychology), a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, is author of In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography (St. Martin's Press, 2008). The American Library Association's Booklist named it one of the best adult books (biography) of 2008.
John Chapin '87 (political science), a consultant, speaker and sales trainer, co-wrote Sales Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive How To Guide on Selling (Eagle View Publishing, 2009).
Robert Lacey '06 PhD (poitical science), who teaches at Iona College, wrote American Pragmatism and Democratic Faith (Northern Illinois University Press, 2008) that traces the history and legacy of participatory democracy.
Karen Kullgren '79 (political science) is contributing editor of Washington Woman and Washington Parent magazines in the DC metro area. She has a monthly essay column in Washington Woman called "Grace in the Gray Areas." She is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared extensively in publications from The Washington Post to Organic Style. Karen has taught writing to adults and children in the U.S. and abroad, including journaling and poetry. She transitioned to this after getting her MA in East Asian studies and then having a career in Asian studies which included being vice president of the US-China Business Council and deputy director general of the US Committee of the Pacific Basin Economic Council. "I'm a big believer in career transformations!"
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SBS in the News
Boston Globe, 6/1/09. Madeleine Blais (journalism) writes a column advising the Obamas on things to know about Martha’s Vineyard, where the first family is reportedly going to spend its vacation this summer. Boston Globe, 5/25/09. Blais writes a column about the advice she is giving her graduating students this year as they head into a difficult job market and a changing news media landscape.
Boston Globe Magazine, 5/31/09. Zac Bissonnette '11 (legal studies) writes a column about why he’ll be able to graduate without any student debt. A key element is the lower cost of attending UMass Amherst, he says. Read more about Bissonnette.
Springfield Republican, 5/31/09; News & Observer [N.C.], 5/30/09. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration and research director for the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, comments in a story about the fifth year anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. A study co-authored by Badgett says the state has seen a $111 million increase in economic activity in the past five years related to the new marriage law. An editorial also cites Badgett’s study. NPR’s On Point, 5/27/09; Detroit News, 5/27/09; Christian Science Monitor, 5/26/09. Badgett is interviewed about the state of gay marriage in Massachusetts and its economic impact. Boston.com [from AP], Boston Herald, 5/17/09. A study co-authored by Badgett says the more than 12,000 same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts during the past five years have added more than $111 million to the state’s economy. A second study finds that young, highly educated people in same-sex relationships were 2.5 times more likely to move to the state because it has legalized same-sex marriage.
Newsday, 5/28/09. Sheldon Goldman (political science) says U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and Samuel Alito, a current member of the court, share a number of similarities. Both are Roman Catholic, from the New York metropolitan area and have remained close to their ethnic roots, Goldman says. But in the end, he says, Alito is more consistently conservative than Sotomayor is solidly liberal. Washington Independent, 5/27/09. Goldman says Republican members of the U.S. Senate face a difficult choice in how they respond to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. He says if the GOP senators attack Sotomayor, whom he describes as a qualified Hispanic female nominee, and there is no disqualifying information revealed about her in the confirmation hearings, they could further damage their party with women and Hispanic voters. Detroit News, 5/17/09. Goldman (political science) comments about the chances Gov. Jennifer Granholm has of being nominated to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is one of three women believed to the President Barack Obama’s short list of candidates. Goldman says he thinks a well-qualified Hispanic woman would have the best chance at the nomination. New York Times, 5/10/09. Goldman comments in a story about how political and judicial observers are looking through President Barack Obama’s voting record in the Senate on judges for clues to what kind of person he will nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court. Associated Press, Otago Daily Times [New Zealand], 5/5/09. Goldman says elevating Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be the point man for the GOP in the Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nominee to succeed David Souter on the Supreme Court may not play well symbolically. Goldman, an expert on federal judicial nominees, says Sessions is a very conservative Southern senator who represents the far right wing of the party. Naming a more moderate Republican to be the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will handle the nomination, might be a better idea, Goldman says, if the Republicans are serious about remaking their image with the electorate.
U.S. News & World Report, 5/18/09. Robert Feldman (psychology), dean of SBS and author of The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships to be released this summer, comments in a story about why people lie. “We use lies to grease the wheels of social discourse. It’s socially useful to tell lies,” Feldman says. He adds, however, that a balance is required, because people who constantly lie quickly earn a reputation for being untrustworthy and will get tuned out.
Boston Globe, 5/17/09. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is featuring a film “Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood,” by Sut Jhally (communication), director of the Media Education Project in Northampton.
Asia Times, 5/14/09. Max Fraad Wolf, a UMass doctoral student, writes an economic column about how the Chinese economy is functioning in response to the global economic slowdown.
Springfield Republican, 5/12/09. Two artists from Northern Ireland are expected to visit UMass Amherst to paint a mural with the theme of truth and reconciliation next fall after plans to bring them to the campus this spring failed when one artist was denied a visa to enter the U.S. Staff members for U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal of Springfield are working to get the visa problems resolved. For more about the mural project, which is sponsored by SBS, Legal Studies, and the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and the Psychology of Peace and Violence Concentration, among others, click here.
Toronto Star, 5/9/09. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, says most of the jobs created in the green-energy sector will be relatively well paying positions. The story looks at how alternative energy will be a boost for the economy in Ontario.
New York Times, 5/7/09. Nancy Folbre (economics) discusses the $122,611 cost of doing mother's work, as estimated by Salary.com based on its 9th annual survey. Although mothers’ unpaid work has been ignored, underestimated and devalued for so long, she argues that the salary figure is too high and points out that an overestimate of the replacement costs of a mother’s services does mothers a disservice.
Inside Higher Ed, 5/4/09. Prof. Emeritus Guenter Lewy (political science) is seeking millions in damages from the Southern Poverty Law Center for intense criticism the group leveled at him for his 2005 book, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide, that says the slaughter of Armenians during World War I was not genocide. Lewy says the facts surrounding those events are open to debate. The government of Turkey, which denies participating in genocide against the Armenians, has supported Lewy.
A Word from SBS
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