SBS Newsletter – November 2008
In this issue
Sociologists Address Race, Gender and Inequality in South Africa
Anthropologist Assembles and Copies Skeleton of Extinct Lemur
Scholarships and Hard Work Make Student’s Dream a Reality
Sociologist Receives Fulbright for Sexuality Studies
Chancellor Details Plans, New Process for Faculty Hiring
Budget Cuts Loom
Sociologist's Book Examines Economic Success of West Indian Immigrants
Students Rock Election Night '08
Professors Consider Obama Win
Free Memory Screening at Psych Services Center
Linebacker is Player of the Week—Again
Conference Championships Abound
Monday–Tuesday, December 8–9, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Brian Schaffner (political science), an analyst for Pollster.com, said in a Fox News post-election piece that most polling organizations were quite accurate in how they tracked the presidential election this year. "For a pollster, it comes down to bragging rights. If you were close you did good. There's a significant difference between a 5 to 6-point win and a 10-point win." He also was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, noting that national political polls that didn’t dial cell phones were actually a bit more accurate than those that did.
BigDialog.org, a cross-partisan partnership of academics, bloggers, and e-communities, is run by the eCitizen Foundation in partnership with MIT's eCitizen Architecture Program, techPresident.com, Pajamas Media, blip.tv, change.org, voterwatch, UsefulArts.us, civics.com, and the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, headed by Ethan Katsh (legal studies). BigDialogue.com is accepting video and text questions for President-Elect Obama as well as votes on current entries through early December, and they hope to see replies from the President-Elect in December. The questioners behind the top three questions wil be flown to MIT in mid-December, receive a tour of the MIT Media Lab, and engage in a networked event with the Obama transition team, subject to the terms and conditions found on the eCitizen Foundation's website.
The Department of Anthropology was well represented at the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting in San Francisco. Heidi Bauer-Clapp, was chair of and participant in "Using the Past to Understand the Future: Bioarchaeology and Forensics"; Siobhan Hart, was co-organizer of and participant in "Lost in Transition: Decolonizing Indigenous Histories"; Bob Paynter presented "The Four Fields of Anthropology through the Lens of Anthropological Archaeology," part of the Presidential Panel "Beyond Toleration and Lip-Service: Toward a Mutually Engaged Anthropology," and participated in the discussion of "Radical Archaeology as Critical Anthropology: Papers Honoring Thomas C. Patterson"; Martin Wobst was an invited discussant in "The NAGPRA: Triumphs, Trials and Tribulations"; Julie Woods and Elizabeth Chilton, co-authors of "Continuities and Changes in Native Ceramic Technologies in the Middle Connecticut River Valley, Massachusetts," presented an overview of their work.
The Chancellor's Budget Planning Task Force includes 14 faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate. Among them are three from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences: Mari Castañeda (communication), Robert Pollin, (economics), and Ralph Whitehead (journalism). Says Chancellor Holub, "While this committee is important, I want us to keep the lines of communication to the entire campus open, and I encourage you to share thoughts, reactions, ideas and suggestions going forward via the special budget website....We’’ll be sharing these ideas with the committee and with others. It is critical that we all contribute to our institution’s success. I know these are difficult times, but I do believe that together we can emerge as a stronger community and an even better university, and I’m encouraged by the passion and support that UMass Amherst has in its faculty, staff and students."
Students from UMass Amherst conversed with more than 100 Kurdish students over a video link from Iraq on Nov. 3, thanks to a project run by the Civic Initiative at the UMass Donahue Institute. Director and Visiting Scholar Michael T. Hannahan (political science) hosted the event in Iraq, where he was traveling from 10/26 through 11/9 to lecture at several univerisites, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Visiting Scholar Lonce Sandy-Bailey '06 PhD (political science) was on hand at UMass Amherst to direct the discussions. In addition to talking about the U.S. presidential election, there were comments and questions about the how long U.S. armed forces should stay in Iraq and whether Kurdistan should become its own country.
In Miami Christopher I. Hughes '93 (STPEC) is cofounder, president and CEO of thinkkingmedia.com, a marketing, media relations, engagement and sampling collaborative. After ten years with HBO and Ogilvy & Mather in New York, Hughes joined forces with his business partner and is working with clients like Disney/Buena Vista Entertainment, Miramax Home Entertainment, and Toyota/Infiniti/Scion. In 2006 Success South Florida Magazine named him to the 40 Under 40 Most Prominent Black Professionals.
In 2006 Michelle S. Butler '00 (communication and Spanish) founded the Women's Business Center of California that supports the successful growth of entrepreneurs. She is an entrepreneur at heart, whose inspiration comes from finding challenging and cutting-edge projects and turning them into reality. Founder of a number of unique ventures, Butler was among the first to enter into legal and direct trade between the U.S. and Cuba. Her goal is to help others, particularly women, achieve their entrepreneurial goals and reach their full potential in regards to business ownership. Last year she was named to the 40 under 40 by San Diego Metopolitan Magazine.
After their three children died in a car crash in 1992, John Moritz '80 (economics) and his wife Libby found solace and renewal from this incredible loss by helping orphans. The Moritzes established the nonprofit Hearts of the Father Outreach in 1994. Since then, they've distributed over $2 million to help more than 1,000 orphans in seven developing countries. And they adopted a little girl from China. Last year People Magazine featured the Moritzes in their Heroes Among Us section. Read the article...
BusinessWeek has named Jeff Cassidy '07 (ISOM), Boris Revsin '08 (interdisciplinary) and Jared Stenquist '07 (communication), who founded CampusLive.com in Amherst a year and a half ago, among their top 25 Best Young Entrepreneurs for 2008. CampusLive.com is now be customized for 18 campuses around the country. The business, which employs five full-timers as well as interns, had just over $100,000 in revenues in 2007 and is negotiating a $1.25 million seed round with a group of angel investors. It is expected to be profitable by January. Read more...
Keith Wright '89 (political science, Spanish), who now teaches in Springfield, MA, says he traveled around the country for about a dozen years, but on a particularly beautiful weekend came back to western Massachusetts and decided to stay. "There were beautiful, puffy white clouds in the sky and everything was a vibrant green....I knew it was time to return home." Read article in the Springfield Republican...
Please send us your news!
SBS in the News
Reuters, 11/28/08. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, says Massachusetts and Connecticut, which have legalized gay marriage, will receive an economic benefit from California’s rejection of a gay marriage as the two states develop a niche market for same-sex marriages. Badgett estimates Massachusetts will see 32,200 same-sex marriages in the next three years, generating about $111 million in new economic activity.
Aljazeera.net, 11/23/08. Gerald Friedman (economics) comments in a story about the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru where U.S. President George W. Bush defended his reliance on free-market ideology. Friedman says the Chicago School of Economics, which is the ideological underpinning for Bush’s economic views, has lost favor on Wall Street and that deregulation has been largely discredited. Aljazeera.net, 11/4/08. Friedman comments in a story about the decline in influence of the University of Chicago’s economic ideology that has been a powerful force in U.S. government and business circles for the past several decades.
Dollars & Sense, 11/18/08. A column by David Kotz (economics) discusses how the current financial crisis will have an effect on ordinary people and how they conduct their lives. He says it is an opportunity to readjust the economy to a more realistic and productive model.
Alternet.org, 11/11/08. Gerald Epstein (economics) comments in a story about the “financialization” of the U.S. economy, where financial markets, institutions and motives are becoming an ever-larger and more important part of how we conduct business and trade.
PBS, 11/7/08. Emeritus Professor Sam Bowles (economics) is interviewed for the PBS program “The Business Desk” on what good can come from the current international financial crisis. Host Paul Solman, noting that only a small segment of the interview was included in the show, offers a link the entire video of the interview, noting that it is a "fascinating case for the negative economic consequences of inequality." [scroll down]
Boston Herald, 11/10/08. Tom Juravich (labor studies) says the election of Barack Obama to the presidency is good news for organized labor. He also says the current economic crisis can be another opportunity for labor.
Kansas City Star, 11/6/08. Sut Jhally (communication) comments in a story about how Barack Obama’s election as president might affect race relations in the U.S.
Americanprogress.org, 11/13/08. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, rebuts criticism of a report he co-authored on how investing in green jobs in the U.S. economy can boost economic activity and help clean up the environment. Wall Street Journal, 11/7/08. Pollin comments in a story about whether Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to create many new jobs in the U.S. economy by spending large sums on green energy stands up to scrutiny. Pollin is working on a new study of the issue but argues that green industries create many more jobs than they displace.
New York Times, 11/06/08. In the article "Tolerance Over Race Can Spread, Studies Find,"about the election of Barack Obama, Linda Tropp (psychology), director of the Psychology of Peace and Violence Concentratio, says, “It’s important to remember that implicit biases are out there, absolutely; but I think that that’s only half the story. With broader changes in the society at large, people can also become more willing to reach across racial boundaries, and that goes for both minorities and whites.” Tropp also says the willingness to be more tolerant has to be weighed against biases that remain in our society.
Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, 11/6/08. Ray La Raja and Tatishe Nteta (political science) comment on Barack Obama’s election as president. La Raja says Obama has learned from his friend Gov. Deval Patrick the value of getting his new administration organized as early as possible. Nteta says Obama’s election will help eliminate racism in American society, but that change will still take time. What Obama’s election does clearly signal, Nteta says, is that the old-style politics of racial identity as practiced by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson no longer will work.
Poynter.org, 11/3/08. Steve Fox (journalism) is noted as one of the people organizing an electronic feed on the Twitter service to report on any voting irregularities around the country during voting in the national election.
A Word from SBS
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