SBS Newsletter – May 2010
In this issue
Zoo Designer Focuses on Making a Difference
Setting Sights on Career in Public Sector
SBS Senior Celebration Honors Hundreds
Students Receive SBS Scholarships
Tenth Annual Roif Award in Film Studies
Public Art on a Roll
Pitcher Plourde Gets Top Honors, Breaks Records
Student Creates Commencement Stole to Honor Veterans and Enlistees
Alumni Association Travel Packages to UMass vs. Michigan Football Game
In response to the death of Professor Emeritus Larry Pinkham and the establishment of the Lawrence Dana Pinkham Memorial Scholarship, Bernard T. Davidow '78 (journalism) wrote, "Larry Pinkham was my first journalism professor, and he made a lasting impression. I remember his talking about being a cub wire-service reporter, tagging along with former President Harry Truman, holding fast to his jacket so he wouldn't miss a quote. I remember, too, his thoughtful editing of early class assignments. Something must have sunk in, because I've been able to make a living in newspapers for 32 years now.
Timothy Dooling '95 (political science), who graduated from New England School of Law in 2001 and is deputy chief of legal counsel at the Massachusetts Parole Board in Natick, was featured in the Mass Lawyers Weekly (4/19/10) as one of the 20 "Up & Coming" Massachusetts Lawyers. Read more... [pdf]
Ramil Maharramov '06 MPA, a consultant in the management and development Industry, discusses relations between the U.S. and Azerbaijan. Read more in News.Az.com, 5/5/10.
Please send us your news! Also, view upcoming alumni events, sponsored by the Alumni Assocation, 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.
The 3,000-acre Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA, one of the oldest and most extensively studied forest landscapes in North America, will be the focus of work this summer by the Anthropology Department’s Field School in Archaeology. Field school activities will focus on pre-contact and historic period studies at Harvard University’s Long Term Ecological Research Program at the forest. Read more...
Professor Emeritus Julius Fabos (landscape architecture and regional planning) was named a fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture at its mid-May annual conference in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The honor is considered especially significant in that the council, which traces its beginnings to 1920, is composed of virtually all of the programs of landscape architecture in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Read more...
In 2009 the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/64/236 [pdf], agreeing to hold a UN Conference on Sustainable Development—also referred to as Rio+20 or Rio 20—in Brazil in 2012. In mid-May Peter M. Haas (political science) attended the conference's first planning meeting in New York. The conference will address the green economy, within the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction, and institutional framework for sustainable development.
Journalism Professor Madeleine Blais and Journalism Adjunct John Katzenbach were invited by the State Department to serve as cultural ambassadors to Argentina. Katzenbach writes psychological thrillers that are popular in the U.S., but in Spanish-speaking countries have elevated him to "literary rock star" status. He spoke to an audience of more than a thousand people at the annual book fair, the third largest in the world. (Click here to see Katzenbach being escorted by four Argentine police officers away from a book signing that lasted hours to the venue where he took questions from a journalist, James Lipton-style.) Blais also gave a talk entitled: "Depending on the Kindness of Strangers: Interviewing Tennessee Williams." Both faculty members visited with journalism and English students on a variety of campuses, spoke with Fulbright scholars in Uruguay and met with David Nelson, the U.S. ambassador in Uruguay, and Vilma Martinez, the U.S. Ambassador in Argentina.
Assistant Professor David Mednicoff (public policy), associate director of the Social Thought and Political Economy Program, spoke about his research on the rule of law in Arab societies as part of an inaugural conference, Political Reform in the Arab World: Problems and Prospects, held at Stanford University in May. Read more...
SBS in the News
Associated Press, 5/14/10. In a story discussing why Asian-Americans seldom aspired to become lawyers until recently, Sheldon Goldman (political science) says racial prejudice certainly played a role. However, now it’s the lack of political networking and relative difficulty of mobilizing political interest groups in the Asian community that likely play a larger role.
WFCR, 5/12/10. Ralph W. Whitehead Jr. (journalism) comments on a recent political poll that shows support for Gov. Deval Patrick is increasing at the same time the percentage of voters backing independent candidate Tim Cahill is dropping. Whitehead says this is good news for the governor, and may indicate that attacks on Cahill from the Republican Governor’s Association are working. Republican Charles Baker’s support in the poll remained even with other recent polling.
BusinessWest, 5/10/10. B.J. Roche (journalism) says the ever-changing media market means that many aspiring journalists need to create their own jobs because traditional positions in newsrooms and television studios are disappearing. Students in Roche’s “Entrepreneurial Journalism” course spend a semester trying to build a web-based journalistic enterprise into a business. Alumni Marty Dobrow and Julie Robenhymer also comment on the need for today’s journalists to possess a variety of skills, including audio and video production, photography and using social-media technologies. Boston Globe, 5/2/10. Roche writes a long feature story on entrepreneurship courses at colleges in the region. Such offerings aren't just for business majors anymore, she notes, and says that at UMass Amherst such offerings attract more than 100 students from 30 different majors. UMass Amherst alumnus Derek Lyman, who formed a company while at school in 2005, and Conor White-Sullivan '10 (anthropology), who recently helped create the website Localocracy, are featured.
Firedoglake.com, 5/10/10. Economists Gerald Epstein, chair of the department, and Jane D’Arista (Political Economy Research Institute) offer comments on efforts in Congress to bring more regulation and transparency to derivative trading by large banks. They support such moves and say it is a key to meaningful reform of the financial sector.
Huffington Post, 5/5/10. A column promoting breaking up large banks cites research, done by economists Gerald Epstein, James Crotty and PhD candidate Iren Levina at the Political Economy Research Institute, on financial industry concentration. Their research shows that between 1993 and 2009, the top five commercial banks in the U.S. went from having 16.56% of total bank assets to 45.23%. The top five investment banks had 36.43% of overall revenue in 1993 and 65.61% by 2009, they say.
Rabble.ca [Vancouver, Canada], 5/4/10. Krista Harper (anthropology) is interviewed by a Red Eye Radio journalist about how the ascendance of right-wing political parties in Hungary’s recent elections coincides with an increase in violence against Roma, people also referred to as Gypsies. Says Harper, "Many of you have probably heard me say a lot of what I say in the interview, but the journalist interspersed clips of me and my former student/now colleague David Boromisza Habashi ’08 PhD (communication), who studies the Hungarian far right. It's an artifact of our work together, in a way."
New York Times, 5/3/10. Nancy Folbre (economics) writes about how regulating toxic financial assets is similar to regulating toxic chemicals, noteing that in the case of the latter, current laws aren’t doing a very good job of protecting the public. She cites work done at the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass Amherst that publishes a list of top polluters each year as a way to make the critical information available and understandable. Overall, she concludes that transparency is a good thing, but isn’t always the best way to control toxic substances or assets.
Psychology Today, 5/3/10. A story on lying makes reference to the 1999 study done by Robert Feldman, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which found the most popular kids in schools were also the best liars.
Keene Sentinel, 4/30/10. Students in Jeffrey Goller’s landscape architecture class have developed plans for beautifying Gilbo Avenue in downtown Keene, N.H., as a class project. The assignment also was meant to provide green space and environmentally friendly drainage of storm water runoff.
Mother Jones, 4/30/10. Jane D’Arista (Political Economy Research Institute) is interviewed about how the so-called Volcker Rule, a proposed ban on proprietary trading by banks, would help reform the financial sector.
A Word from SBS
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