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SBS Newsletter – November/December 2006

In this issue

Jeffrey Blaustein

Neuroendocrinologist Named Editor-in-Chief of Top Journal
After a yearlong search process, the Endocrine Society has announced that Jeffrey D. Blaustein '73, '77 PhD (psychology), professor and head of the Behavioral Neuroscience Division of the Psychology Department has been named editor-in-chief of Endocrinology for a five-year term beginning in 2008. Read more...

Suzanne Morse

Public Awareness Communicator Shares Experiences
Business success comes from identifying your target audiences and reaching them with your message. But what if your target audiences aren't listening? Is there a better way to reach them? Do you need government officials to hear your message? Do you need the media to report your story? These are the kinds of questions Suzanne Morse ’95 (journalism) deals with on a daily basis at Boston's O’Neill and Associates as an associate director in the communications practice. Read more...

Psychologist Keeps NFL Players Mentally Fit
NFL football and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst aren’t your everyday word-association partners. Enter Sara A. Hickmann ’04 PhD (psychology). As manager of the NFL’s Career Transition in Player Development, as well as coordinator of the Players Assistance and Personal Conduct programs, she helps individuals perform at the top of their game. Read more...

Ventura Perez

Biological Anthropologist Examines Violence/Cultural Processes Using Human Remains
The road to being a tenure-track biological anthropologist in UMass Amherst’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences was not a super-highway for Ventura Perez '00 MA, '05 PhD (anthropology); it was more like a winding mountain path. The recipient of the UMass Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005 when he was still a graduate assistant working toward his PhD, Perez says, “I’m the first in my family to go to college. Read more....

And other topics of interest...

football fansFootball Goes for National Championship
Football fans: don't miss UMass Amherst vs. Appalachian State in the Division 1-AA football championship finals, Friday, December 15 at 8 p.m. Being played in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it will be aired on ESPN2, and in the Boston area on WATD 95.9 FM. Appalachian State is the defending champion; the Minutemen won the title in 1998. Earlier this week, two UMass Amherst players were named to The Associated Press Division I-AA All-America first team: James Ihedigbo, safety; and Alex Miller, center. Steve Baylark, the third player in A-10 history to rush for 1,000 yards in four straight seasons, was chosen for the second team. Appalachian State placed four players on the All-America first team and two on the third team. Go Minutemen.

Sut JhallyJhally's 'Reel Bad Arabs' Part of Dubai Film Festival
Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, a documentary directed by Professor Sut Jhally (communication), will be shown at the Dubai Film Festival in the United Arab Emirates the week of December 11. The 50-minute film is based on Arab-American film authority Jack Shaheen’s book of the same title, examines film portrayals of Arabs, and includes numerous clips and commentary from films of past decades to the present. Read more...

spider catching grasshopperJakob Awarded Fulbright to Study Jumping Spiders in New Zealand
Psychology professor Elizabeth M. Jakob will spend six months in New Zealand studying jumping spiders and how they track prey with their eyes. The research is supported by a grant from the Fulbright Scholar Program. Jakob will spend the spring semester at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, working with collaborating researcher Robert Jackson. Read more...

Jane FountainFountain Keynotes International Semantic Web Conference
Political Science and Public Policy Professor Jane E. Fountain gave a Keynote Address at the 5th International Semantic Web Conference in Athens, GA on November 8, 2006. Fountain’s talk, “The Semantic Web and Networked Governance: Promise and Challenges,” discussed how the structures and processes of the state are becoming increasingly aligned with the structures and processes of the Semantic Web through “electronic government” initiatives. Read more and view the video...

Elnara Eynullayeva

Student Says Campus is Land of Opportunities
Having moved three times during high school, Elnara Eynullayeva ’07 (economics and Japanese language and literature) viewed her collegiate experience as an opportunity to be rooted in one place for at least four years. Ultimately, however, she did choose to do a study abroad program at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. “I was always interested in different languages and cultures,” she says, pointing out the she is originally from Azerbaijan. Read more...

Stephanie Feuer-Beck

Recent Grad Reflects on UMass Amherst Influences and Opportunities
"I came to UMass Amherst because it was just the right distance from home,” says Stephanie Feuer-Beck ’06 (psychology and elementary education), who hails from Brookline, Massachusetts. “It offers something for everyone, and I felt that with so much going on, certainly I’d have room to grow.” Feuer-Beck was right. “ Read more....

Massachusetts State HouseState Colleges are Alum's Focus
Kenneth M. Lemanski '76 (political science), a six-term state legislator who was vice chair of the House Ways and Means Committee before retiring in 1991, is the new executive officer for the state Council of Presidents of Massachusetts State Colleges. According to the Springfield Republican (11/19/06), the Chicopee, Mass., native who most recently was associate vice chancellor at UMass Boston, is now a consultant who advocates on Beacon Hill and in the business community for the presidents of the nine state colleges. Read the article...

Jen Lundquist, Michelle Budig, Krista Harper and Katies McDermott after the Spirit of Women 5K runFaculty Women Run for Med Center
Ever wonder what faculty do outside academe? For Jennifer Lundquist (sociology), Michelle Budig (sociology), Krista Harper (anthropology), and Katie McDermott (Center for Public Policy and Administration) the answer this fall was running. They were among the 91 women donning on their running shoes to participate in the third annual "Spirit of Women" 5K run and walk in Greenfield, sponsored by Health New England. Funds raised by this road race help fund women's health services at Franklin Medical Center, including mammography, special rehab programs, education and outreach. Read more...

David PakmanYoung Alumnus Creates and Hosts Syndicated Radio Show
Midweek Politics with David Pakman, produced by David Pakman '06 (communication and economics) and Louis Motamedi, hit the radio airwaves in August 2005 via WXOJ-Valley Free Radio in Northampton, Massachusetts. And now the show is on a roll. Recently syndicated on the Pacifica Radio Network, it airs on multiple stations nationwide. You can catch it on alternate Wednesdays locally at 7 pm on 103.3FM, and every week on ten other Pacifica radio stations, including Radio Free Moscow in Moscow, Idaho. Read more...

nocturnal lemurAnthropologists' Research Determines Genetic Relationship of Lemurs
A team of researchers has found that nocturnal lemurs thought to belong to different species because of their strikingly different coat colors are not only genetically alike, but belong to the same species.The team, which includes Anthropology professor Laurie R. Godfrey and graduate student Emilienne Rasoazanabary, has just published its findings in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. Read more...

poster session at Center for Research on Families methodology conferenceCRF's International Conference on Analysis Methods Draws Crowd
In October the Center for Research on Families (CRF) held an international conference for researchers on “New Methods for the Analysis of Family and Dyadic Processes.” Because of the special structure of family data, nontraditional methods are necessary for appropriate analysis, but graduate programs typically do not include these specialized methods in their courses of study. Combine that with an explosion of research in the area of clustered or multilevel methods during the past decade, and one finds the demand for learning new methodologies exceedingly high. This comprehensive forum, developed by CRF, was among the first to address this pressing need. Read more...

Alum is New Trustee, Part-time Legal Scholar, Full-time Mom
Jennifer C. Braceras ’89 (communication), a newly appointed trustee who was named one of Massachusetts top 10 lawyers in 2000 and is the mother of four, enjoys being a contrarian. For starters, she is a Republican in a Democratic state and likes it that way. "If I lived in Alabama, I'd probably be a Democrat," Braceras says, noting too that politics has no place in the trustees’ boardroom. I don't care if someone is liberal or conservative. We're there because we care about the university." Read more...

John V. LombardiLombardi on Institutional Comparisons
A column by UMass Amherst Chancellor John Lombardi (InsideHigherEd, 11/9/06) discusses college rankings, noting that real accountability comes when we develop specific measures to assess performance of comparable institutions on the same dimensions. "We know that everyone loves to know who is No. 1," writes Lombardi, "but in truth no university is No. 1 over all. Instead, some of us are good at some things, and others are good at others. These may overlap, they may conflict, and they may reinforce particular results that some part of our constituency seeks. Sometimes when we see the pursuit of No. 1, we often suspect a device to advance a particular political or academic agenda while avoiding the harder task of improving specific results..." Read the article...

SBS in the News
Boston Globe, 12/4/06 "New Dawn for UMass." Editorial says UMass is challenging elite universities, bolstered by funds generated through research. UMass is preparing to soar, despite past budget cuts, the editorial says; the least the next governor and Legislature can do is not clip its wings. Read the article...

Springfield Republican lbannerheadSpringfield Republican, 11/10/06. Lindsay Miller, a senior psychology major, assisted by Rebecca Ready, assistant professor of psychology, is the primary investigator of a study on helping spousal caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients and how the disease affects marriages. "We know a lot about Alzheimer's, but not a lot about how it impacts relationships," says Miller, who is undertaking the study as part of her honors thesis and seeking participants for the one-time interview, and filling out a questionnaire about their relationship and caregiving experience. To participate, call (413) 577-1167. Read the article.

New York Times bannerheadNew York Times, 12/3/06 Janice Irvine, sociology, says the public is both outraged and finds pleasure in outrageous behavior by movie stars and other celebrities who push the limits of acceptable conduct and taste. Such behavior also generates huge publicity that suits the celebrities. Read the article... (requires TimesSelect or purchase after public access time period expires).
11/5/06 Amy Mayer, visiting lecturer in journalism, writes at length about her experience with the Maine Coast Semester, which combines farm work and communal living with traditional college-prep academics. Read the article. (requires TimesSelect or purchase).

Chicago Times bannerheadChicago Tribune, 11/5/06 Research done by M.V. Lee Badgett (economics) is cited in a column that argues same-sex marriage isn’t a threat to traditional marriage. Commenting on data from Scandinavia and the Netherlands, she says, "Divorce rates have not risen since the passage of partnership laws, and marriage rates have remained stable or actually increased." It's true that out-of-wedlock births have increased, but they were increasing long before this change, and, Badgett reports, they increased just as fast in the countries that don't sanction same-sex unions. Read the article...

New York Sun bannerheadNew York Sun, 10/26/06 An lengthy article by Professor Emeritus Paul Hollander (sociology) recounts his life in and escape from Hungary, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. In summation, he notes, "After the excitements of growing up in Hungary, surviving both Nazism and Communism, and witnessing the Revolution, I led a settled and secure academic life. I have an American wife, a daughter, a dog and a cat, and two kayaks. I have published books critical of anti-Americanism but that does not mean that I am uncritical of everything in this society, far from it....My life in the West deepened the conviction that personal freedom has a reality and meaning that can be truly appreciated only by those who have had to live under circumstances defined by its absence." 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:
Eric Yates, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
202 South College
150 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9274
(413) 577-1700

We welcome feedback related to this newsletter, the college in general, or specific concerns. 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