SBS Newsletter – November, 2009
In this issue
Accidental Author, Serves Army and Air Force, Offers Advice
New Dean Focuses on Undergraduate Experience
PolSci Student Wins Human Rights Award
Sociologists Honored for Excellence in Work-Family Research
Anthropologist Plays Key Role in Return of Native American Remains for Burial
Professor Whitehead Goes to Washington
Big Man on the Big Island
Moti of Amherst
Alum's Music Industry Documentary Released
Campus Considers Design Center in Springfield
Trustee Panel Approves Law School Plan
Public Comment “Toolkit” for Regulatory Agencies Launched
Alice Rossi Dies
New Recreation Center Open for Business
Economics Graduate Alumni Event
Beth Feldman ’90 (communication) is the creator and president of RoleMommy.com, an online community to inspire, entertain and inform today’s busy moms. Through blogs, book and product reviews, news posts and events, the company helps moms stay connected and in touch with their personal and professional aspirations. After an eleven-year career in pubic relations with CBS Communications Group, Feldman found a new niche in the parenting market. Realizing that the blogging community was gaining size and following, she applied her past experience not only to promote parenting content and products on her site, but also to provide exposure to talented bloggers. Read interview with the Alumni Association.
Christian E. Weller PhD '98 (economics) is associate professor of public policy at UMass Boston. This past summer, he was awarded tenure. Read more...
Please send us your news! Also, view upcoming alumni events, sponsored by the Alumni Assocation, on their Events Listing. Also, 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.
Mari Castañeda (communication) was honored on Nov. 19 with the UMass President’s Public Service Award. Castañeda, who received her Ph.D in communication at the University of California, San Diego, in 2000, has worked extensively to create university and community partnerships that benefit the Latino/a population of Holyoke, Mass. Her work with the Community Outreach Partnership Center and as a faculty advisor for Student Bridges allowed Castañeda to advocate for improvement in education, economic development and housing in the Latino/a community in Holyoke, Mass. Read more...
Donald Tomaskovic-Devey (sociology) received a National Science Foundation grant for his project, Finance Sector Income Distribution Dynamics: An Application and Test of Rent Theory. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics) received a grant for a feasibility study for a Community-University Research and Outreach Center from the Albatross Fund.
Jane Fountain (political science and public policy), director of the National Center for Digital Government, has been appointed for a second year to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government. Read more...
The National Center for Digital Government (NCDG) co-sponsored the second Korea-U.S. Information and Communication Technology-Based Policy Forum at the World Bank on November 5, 2009. Leveraging discussions from the first Korea-U.S. Forum held in Seoul, Korea in 2008, this year’s forum provided a unique opportunity for dialog between Korean and U.S. experts on national information technology enablement, green IT, knowledge infrastructure, and job creation in knowledge-based economies. The Forum also acted as the kick-off meeting for a US-Korean committee for cooperation on IT policies. Read more... [pdf]
The book, Making Transnational Feminism: Rural Women, NGO Activists, and Northern Donors in Brazil, by Millie Thayer (sociology) was released in October by Routledge Press.
This tweet about Robert Faulkner (sociology) recently appeared on the UMass Amherst Twitter site: "@Pradia2040 Prof. Faulkner is probably the best professor @UMassAmherst, his lectures are dramatic, filled with gravitas. Funny too! Soc 342 take it."
Jan Servaes (communication), director of the SBS Center, Communication for Sustainable Social Change (CSSC), recently keynoted two international conferences and was appointed an honorary guest professor at the Huazhong University of Technology and Science in China. Read more...
The US Embassy in Tunis facilitated a telelecture and Q/A session that David Mednicoff (public policy) conducted in late October from Dubois on "globalization and law" to 40 Tunisian graduate law students in a program on Common Law. Says Mednicoff, "They seemed to like the session, and it looks as if I'll be doing a second teleconference in December on the US Supreme Court, as well as hearing their insights on Obama's policy in the Middle East. My STPEC Senior seminar this semester also is including two networked sessions on human rights across cultures with a class from the American University of Cairo."
SBS in the News
Middle East North Africa Financial Network, 11/24/09. Nancy Folbre (economics) says professional and managerial workers may end up hurting their career trajectories if they take time out of the labor market to care for young children. She says the reality is that parents who take off more than a short time are penalized for it. New York Times, 11/2/09. A column by Folbre discusses why Wall Street firms continue giving hefty bonuses to managers and traders, so-called “rainmakers,” even when the companies aren’t making a profit. She cites a recent study by James Crotty (economics) that says top management at such firms aren’t paid according to market forces, but enjoy the benefit of a system where they have significant influence on boards of directors, who determine pay rates.
USA Today, 11/16/09. C.N. Le (sociology) says working class Asians, especially immigrants, will accept most any job just to make money, in part because they don’t associate their work with their identity and self-esteem. The story notes that this and other factors have helped keep unemployment among Asians lower than for other ethnic groups.
Boston Globe, 11/15/09. Lisa Saunders (economics) says she is currently undecided on which candidate she will support in the upcoming Dec. 8 primary election for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat. The story focuses on Shutesbury, a small local town that traditionally has high voter participation.
MarketingWeek, 11/12/09. "Who Needs to Lie When You've Got Psychology" discusses the role of lying in marketing referencing Dean Robert Feldman's research and his book, The Liar in Your Life, several times. It notes, “If Feldman [is] to be believed, we don’t have to be liars to work in advertising. We simply have to create the circumstances in which consumers do the lying to themselves.” Feldman's book continues to receive lots of coverage. Go to his website for details.
Boston Globe, 11/12/09. A sport feature notes that Derek Kellogg, men’s basketball coach, has asked Ricky Harris '10 (communication), the team’s leading scorer, to step up his game for the coming season. Kellogg says he's urging Harris to take a more visible leadership role on the team and expects he’ll do just that.
Star-Ledger [Newark], 11/10/09. Brian Schaffner (political science) comments in a story about why some robo-polls of voters in New Jersey were more accurate than conventional polling in predicting the outcome of the recent election for governor.
New York Times, 11/8/09. M.V. Lee Badgett, comments in two stories in the New York Times. She says employees with domestic partner benefits paid $1,100 more in taxes, on average, than married employees. The issue has been raised because a provision in the House-passed health care bill would have the effect of lowering that tax burden. New York Times Magazine, 11/8/09. Badgett says same-sex couples are less likely to impose gender-based expectations on their children.
NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” 11/7/09. Ray La Raja (political science) comments in a story about whether fundraising for the coming 2010 mid-term congressional elections will keep pace with the enormous sums raised by President Barack Obama’s campaign in the last presidential cycle. La Raja says it’s possible to see that flood of campaign money again, especially for candidates who take sharp ideological positions or are very charismatic.
Springfield Republican, 11/5/09. Hashim “Big City” Bailey '11 (sociology), a 6-foot-10 junior center for the men’s basketball team, is profiled.
Inter Press Service News Agency, 11/2/09. James Heintz '01 (economics), research associate professor with Political Economy Research Institute, says investment in energy efficient buildings and upgrading of the electrical infrastructure of the country will create jobs and help boost the sagging national economy.
Washington Post, 11/2/09. An article by emeritus professor Paul Hollander (sociology) discusses the fall of Soviet communism and lessons that can be drawn from those events. He argues that people who are motivated by lofty ideals can still inflict great suffering on others with a clear conscience and that in the end, human nature precludes utopian social arrangements.
A Word from SBS
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