University of Massachusetts Amherst

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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SBS Newsletter – November/December 2007

In this issue

Jackie Dorfman

Top Recruiter Now, Financial Analyst Then
“I don’t actually plan my life,” Jackie Dorfman ’82 (economics) comments, “but I do take advantage of opportunities as they come my way.” Today she is the manager of human resources for Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York, a leader in sophisticated, international legal services, serving the most successful companies in the world with their high-stakes matters and transactions.

Jeremy Hollister

Alum Makes Creative Waves
Is it possible to land a huge corporate ad campaign using mostly Popsicle sticks and glitter pens? Ask Jeremy Hollister ’96 (political science), founder, president and creative director of Plus et Plus, an innovative creative services studio in New York, and he’ll point to their JetBlue account. Since 2002 Plus et Plus has made a big name for itself in visual design and direction, editing, visual effects, animation, product design, and production. Read more...

Stephen Taylor

Huston Named Marshall Scholar
Katie Huston '08 (journalism) is one of 40 students nationwide this year to be awarded a Marshall Scholarship—the first UMass Amherst student in thirty years to receive one. The Marshall Scholarship funds two or three years of graduate study at any British university. Created by British Parliament in honor of General George C. Marshall as an enduring gesture of thanks from the people of Britain for U.S. assistance received after World War II, it is one of the most competitive and prestigious merit scholarships available to graduating American seniors. Read more...

John Moynihan

Leading the Way in Information Security and Internal Audit
“To succeed professionally requires foresight, regardless of your pursuits,” says John Moynihan ’83 (economics), Deputy Commissioner of the Inspectional Services Division (ISD) and Internal Control Officer with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). He oversees DOR’s Office of Internal Affairs, the Office of Internal Audit, and the Information Security Unit. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Alan LeBovidgeAlum Tapped to Run Mass Turnpike Authority
Alan LeBovidge '64 (economics), replaced in June as commissioner of revenue by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, is in line for an even higher-profile job: running the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen forwarded LeBovidge's name in mid-November to the Turnpike board to become the agency's executive director, succeeding Mary Jane O'Meara, who has been interim director since the summer. LeBovidge is a member of the SBS Sean's Advisory Board. Read the Boston Globe article...

Alan LeBovidgeReflections on Career in Psychology
“I knew I was going to be a psychologist from the time I was five years old,” says Stephen Taylor ’88 (psychology). “I was always the guy everyone came to with a problem to sort out. There was no epiphany, it was simply my calling." Today Taylor, who earned his MA and PhD in clinical psychology from Hofstra, has a small private practice out of his home in Plainview, NY (on Long Island), dealing mostly with family issues, but also with athletes who are striving for peak performance. Read more...

Vinnie MalhotraReporting Back
It’s late afternoon, only hours away from airtime, when a breaking story comes into ABC News in New York City. Phones are ringing throughout the newsroom as reporters race off to the airport with instructions in hand. Vinnie Malhotra ’97 (communication and sociology), executive producer of ABC News’ weekend news content, soaks it all in while reviewing the program’s line-up and discussing the needed changes with the news anchor, Charlie Gibson. Read more...

Kara CunninghamUMass Amherst Offers Strong Foundation
“When I came to campus as a freshman,” says Kara Cunningham ’08 (anthropology and journalism), “I didn’t have any strong direction that I wanted to pursue. UMass Amherst has helped me find things that I’m passionate about, things that will be my foundation as I think about what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.” Read more...

Baby with brain scan equipmentFine-tuning the Brain
Infants refine and narrow their ability to discriminate between things they see and hear in their first year, revealing what appears to be a decline in ability at a time when most other skills and functions are dramatically increasing, says Lisa S. Scott, assistant professor of psychology. Read more in

Harream Purdie and Edgar ChenLabor Studies Students Awarded AFL-CIO Scholarships
Two graduate students from the Labor Studies Program have been selected to receive the Union Leaders of the Future Scholarship from the Union Plus program of the AFL-CIO. Harream Purdie and Edgar Chen are both working towards their master’s degrees through the Labor Relations and Research Center. A third award winner, Amanda Rasmussen, will also use her Union Leaders Scholarship to pursue studies at the center. Read more...

Friday Night Lights book jacketJournalism Builds Community Ties
Journalism Lecturer B.J. Roche and the Journalism Program Lecture Series on Broadcast and the Media invited an English class and the newspaper staff from Springfield's Commerce High School to the November 14 lecture by Pulitzer Prize winner H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger, author of the best-selling book Friday Night Lights. Made into an award-winning movie, it has also become a hit NBC television show. Read more...

UMass Amherst sealAnnouncing: Communication Department’s “Alumni Wall of Fame”
We want you! The Communication Department is inviting all of our alumni to participate in a new initiative for mentoring our current undergraduates. The “Alumni Wall of Fame” will be a rotating exhibit posted in our new lounge on the third floor of Machmer Hall. Our undergraduates may not realize the full range of careers that Communication alumni go on to. This display is meant to inspire and inform them. If you are interested in sharing your post-graduation career trajectory with current undergrads, please send us your picture (preferably a large digital file), résumé and/or personal bio. We will enter this information into an alumni database to be made available through our “Alumni Wall of Fame.” Students will be able to browse the exhibit and consider the wide variety of options that await them. Please contact us by email at: with your materials, or for more information.

Rossi lecture posterFirst Rossi Lecture Available on Streaming Video
On October 18, the Department of Sociology proudly presented the first annual Alice S. and Peter H. Rossi Lecture. "The Great American Prayer Scandal: Why Americans Pray" was presented by Father Andrew Greeley, priest, novelist, syndicated columnist, and sociologist at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona. To view the video of the program's introductions and Greeley's presentation, click here. Read more about Greeley...

Faculty Notes
The 6th UN Forum on Online Dispute Resolution took place in Hong Kong in December. This first ODR Forum in Asia featured presentations by individuals from China, Malaysia, India, Korea, the Phillipines, and Hong Kong. UMass Amherst faculty with National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution on campus gave presentations: Leah Wing (legal studies) spoke about the role of technology in her murals project in Northern Ireland, and Ethan Katsh (legal studies) discussed his views on the future of ODR.

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.

Alumni News
Gerald D. McLellan '57 (economics), a former probate and family judge, has written Old City Hall, a novel which tells the story of a corrupt and morally bankrupt governor and other characters in Boston politics. McLellan is a Holyoke native who was appointed to the bench in 1972 and later went into private family law practice in Boston. Read the article in Springfield Republican... For more about the book itself, click here.

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 Jones adds, "If anyone would like to receive a personalized copy, you can order direct through me ( 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
Parade Magazine, 12/16/07. Preofessor Emeritus Ervin Staub (psychology) says families need to consider what they can afford when making decisions about how much to give to charities. Read more..., 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, 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;, 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
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 and their affiliated Centers and Institutes. With 38,000 alumni, 5,000 current undergraduate majors, and 500 graduate students, SBS is the largest of UMass Amherst’s colleges. 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. 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:
James Mallet, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
236 Draper Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9244
(413) 577-1700

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.

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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