SBS Newsletter – November/December 2007
In this issue
Top Recruiter Now, Financial Analyst Then
Alum Makes Creative Waves
Huston Named Marshall Scholar
Leading the Way in Information Security and Internal Audit
Alum Tapped to Run Mass Turnpike Authority
Reflections on Career in Psychology
UMass Amherst Offers Strong Foundation
Fine-tuning the Brain
Labor Studies Students Awarded AFL-CIO Scholarships
Journalism Builds Community Ties
Announcing: Communication Department’s “Alumni Wall of Fame”
First Rossi Lecture Available on Streaming Video
The popular media of film and television surround us daily with images of evil—images that have often gone critically unexamined. Now, Martin F. Norden (communication) has pulled together a lively and provocative collection of essays in The Changing Face of Evil in Film and Television (Editions Rodopi) that address the changing representation of evil in a broad spectrum. They include a variety of philosophical and critical perspectives on works ranging from the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock and the preternatural horror films Halloween and Friday the 13th to the understated documentary Human Remains and television coverage of the immediate post-9/11 period. For more on the book, click here. Norden also served as a jury member for the biennial “Wie Wir Leben!” (“The Way We Live!”) international short film festival held Nov. 7-10 in Munich, Germany. Sponsored by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Behinderung und Medien (Disability and Media Association), the festival included entries from Russia, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lebanon, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Thailand, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. Norden was spokesperson for the jury during the awards ceremony, held at the Munich Film Museum.
The Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association has presented Krista Harper (anthropology and public policy) with a $500 award for her project, "Visualizing Environmental Justice and Community Development." She plans to use the funding for a participatory documentary film project with a team of young people from a Romani (Gypsy) community organization in northern Hungary in summer 2008. For more about Harper, click here.
A recent Oprah show gave a wide audience to results from a study conducted by Lee Badgett (CPPA director & economics) and Gary Gates at the Williams Institute. The report, entitled "Adoption and Foster Care by Gay and Lesbian Parents in the United States," provides new information on GLB adoption and foster care targeted to child welfare policymakers, social service agencies, and social workers.
J. Michael Oakes PhD '91 (sociology), who was one of Professor Doug Anderton's research assistants in the Social and Demographic Research Institute (SADRI), was tenured at the University of Minnesota this year in the School of Public Health, division of Epidemiology and Community Health. He also was named one of five McKnight Presidential Fellows. The McKnight Presidential Fellows Program is targeted at the most promising faculty who have been newly granted tenure and promotion to associate professor, to recognize their accomplishments and support their ongoing research and scholarship. Candidates are considered for these awards at the conclusion of the regular promotion and tenure review process each year. Oakes' research interests center around quantitative methodology, social epidemiology and research ethics. Current projects include the identification of neighborhood effects, casual inference, and the measurement of socioeconomic status in health research. Read more...
Jaqueline (Jackie) F. Jones '57 and '70 (sociology) wrote, "In June I attended my 50th Reunion on campus and was impressed with all the changes! Great to be back. Your newsletter reminds me of all that UMass Amherst alumni do everywhere!" Jones, who has won several awards for her poetry and her non-fiction writing, has completed a book/DVD project about Lake Norman in the Charlotte, NC, area where she lives. She notes, "It fits all lakes everywhere and the comfort and magic they offer." Created with artist Virginia C. Quillen, Lake Reflections includes a DVD that allows the reader/listener to experience what it is like to live on a lake through original paintings (by Quillen), poetry (by Jones), music and inviting lake sounds. For more info, go to www.lakereflectionsbook.com. Jones adds, "If anyone would like to receive a personalized copy, you can order direct through me (Jjretpal@aol.com). I'd love to be able to connect with anyone from UMass for any reason!" A copy of the book is on display at the UMass Amherst bookstore.
Sut Jhally (communication) spoke at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Berkshire County on Nov. 7 on “Information Anxiety: Media Rites.” Acknowledging that an online Google search for "newspaper" yields about 185,000,000 Web sites, Jhally spoke about teaching media literacy, and sorting through the swamp of sources.
Journalism alumni now have a place on that program's website. To read about a number of alumni, click here.
Do you have news you'd like to share? Send it to the SBS Newsletter today.
SBS in the News
AlterNet.org, 12/6/07. A study co-authored by Stephanie Luce (labor studies) finds that Wal-Mart could increase its minimum wage to $10 per hour and significantly boost the well-being of its low-income workers with little impact on shoppers. The study was coauthored with Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and colleagues Arindrajit Dube and Dave Graham-Squire. Read more...
Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/30/07. Elizabeth S. Chilton (anthropology) agrees with a new study that calls for a paradigm shift in how doctoral programs in the social sciences are run. The programs need to take into account changes in the job market and early career prospects. The study says those who earn doctorates in the social sciences eventually find jobs in their chosen field, but face many early career challenges on the way. Read the article...
The Washington Post, 11/25/07. Associate Dean Robert Feldman (psychology) comments in an article about why people lie. The average person reportedly lies two to three times within one 10-minute conversation. Read the article...
Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/23/07. A letter to the editor by Michael O. Sugerman (anthropology) comments about an essay concerning child care in America. He points out that in the era of “mommy wars,” when mothers are faced with the decision to work or to stay home with their children, the role of the father in the equation should not be underestimated. Read the article... (Scroll down to the second letter.)
NPR "Day to Day," 11/20/07. Daniel Anderson (psychology) was interviewed about the recent release of old episodes of the children’s program “Sesame Street” on DVD and a warning that some of the material in them may not be suitable for pre-school children. Potentially objectionable subjects in the old shows were that Bert and Ernie lived together and Cookie Monster frequently gobbled carb-filled desserts, but Anderson says these are adult concerns and children probably didn’t understand or care about them. Anderson was a consultant on the show. Read more and listen.
Baltimore Sun, 11/29/07. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration and research director of the Williams Institute at UCLA, discusses the tax benefits Maryland could secure if the state allows gay marriages. A recent study, Badgett says, shows that Maryland would realize a net tax increase of $3.2 million each year from gay marriages. Read the article. Also, in Onlineathens.com, 11/18/07, Badgett says businesses and other organizations that offer domestic partner benefits see their costs increase only 1 percent to 2 percent. The University Council at the University of Georgia has renewed its calls to the state’s regents to support such benefits. Read the article...
Associated Press, beginning 11/16/07 and continuing into December in major news media outlets. A study by Sanjiv Gupta (sociology), which finds that married women in two-income families do one hour less in housework per week for each $7,500 they earn in their annual income, has received national coverage. The research finds that women’s pay alone is the determining factor in how much housework they do, and isn’t related to how much the husband earns. Gupta says his work shows that women who earn significant salaries have a stronger say in how they spend their time. Read the Globe article... Gupta was also interviewed on WFCR public radio. Listen to the mp3.
Springfield Republican, 11/14/07. Coverage of the conference “Mind the Gap: Summit for Women and Technology” held on campus that focused on why women are largely ignoring careers in IT. The fact is that only 16% of jobs in this high-paying field are held by women, down from 29% in 1994. The story includes comments from Jane E. Fountain (political science and public policy), director of the National Center for Digital Government and Michele Desautels, a graduate student in public policy and organizer of the event. Read the article...
Business Daily Africa, 11/13/07; Eastandard.net, 11/12/07. A study conducted by Robert Pollin, James Heintz and Mwangi wa Githinji, of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), says Kenya could double the number of office jobs it has to offer each year by spending more on loans for the poor and on infrastructure. Read more...
A Word from SBS
Gifts from alumni and friends are vital to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. A recently published booklet that outlines why private funding is important to the College's future is now available online. 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:
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 write to the SBS Newsletter. If you have had a change of address, email or other personal information, you can update it online (scroll down). 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.