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SBS Newsletter – October 2006

In this issue

Amy Schalet

Straight Talk About Teen Sex
When Assistant Professor Amy Schalet (sociology) transferred as an undergraduate to Harvard from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Holland, she was surprised by the amount of attention the American media paid to teen sexuality. And that most of the stories conveyed a sense of anguish and quandary. Read more...

Christine Lopes

Alumna Leads Common Cause
“Making the political process a less complicated and intimidating experience lies at the root of my interest in public policy,” says Christine Lopes ’97 (social thought and political economy), newly named executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island. “By tearing down some of the hurdles people face in actively participating in government, we can create a better overall political system," she says. Read more...

Archaeological Field School students screening for objects

Archaeological Field School Finds Native Fort in Deerfield
For thousands of years, long before Europeans arrived in 17th-century New England, the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts was home to many Native American communities. Some traces of Native American occupation in the region, as identified by archaeologists, date back at least 12,000 years, but much of this history is poorly understood. Read more...

Mwangi wa Githinji

Economist Seeks Elimination of Inequality and Poverty
Among new faculty this year in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is Assistant Professor Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji (economics). A Kenyan with an interest in development and the environment, he got the title of his first book from a speech given by countryman J. M. Kariuki., shortly before his assassination. This freedom fighter turned parliamentarian warned that his country was headed in the direction of having “Ten Millionaires and Ten Million Beggars.” Read more....

And other topics of interest...

Daniel Cole and Minuteman friendNew Staff Member Aims to Meet Alumni
The SBS Dean’s Office welcomes Daniel R. Cole ’06 (economics) into the new position of Constituent Relations Associate. Fulfilling one of the Chancellor’s imperatives, Cole is charged with building personal connections with alumni. As he reaches out to them, he’ll share news about exciting developments at UMass Amherst and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Read more...

Ray La RajaLa Raja to Focus on Clean Elections with Two Grants
Assistant Professor Ray La Raja (political science) has been awarded two large grants, totaling approximately $200,000, both from the JEHT Foundation (Justice, Equality, Human Dignity and Tolerance), to look at the potential impact of the Clean Elections law in Connecticut. While it might seem a bit unusual for one person to receive two grants from the same funding organization in the same year, La Raja simply states, “I'm taking advantage of a unique opportunity."

Donal CarbaughCarbaugh Book Wins National Award
Congratulations go to Donal Carbaugh (communication) whose book, Cultures in Conversation, has received the Outstanding Book of the Year Award from the International and Intercultural Communication Division of the National Communication Association. Read more...

Bruce FriendAlumnus Brings Marketing Experience to Campus
On October 23 and 24, alumnus Bruce Friend ’79 (communication), president of Media and Entertainment Insights at OTX (Online Testing eXchange), was on campus to share his expertise with various groups of students. OTX, a pioneer of online research in the entertainment, advertising and consumer packaged goods spaces, is one of the fastest growing market research companies in the United States with over $30 million in revenue. Read more...

Robert J. ShillerWorld Renowned Economist to Address "Irrational Exuberance"
On Tuesday, November 14, the Economics Department will host the annual Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture. This year's featured speaker is Robert J. Shiller, Stanley B. Resor Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, and fellow at the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management. His presentation is entitled "Stock Markets, Real Estate and 'Irrational Exuberance': What is To Be Done?" The presentation will take place at Gordon Hall in the 3rd Floor Conference Room. A public reception in the Gordon Hall Atrium will follow. Read more...

Journalism Students Get National Attention
"Washington Week with Gwen Ifill," in collaboration with its partner UWire (a wire service for collegiate newspapers), each month lists a sampling of outstanding features, commentaries and editorials on its website in the Student Voices section. During October, two articles by Matt Belliveau, written for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian at UMass Amherst, received recognition in the World News and National Issues categories: "University of Massachusetts Professor Wins Nobel Prize" and "U.S. Population Hits 300 Million". For September, the Washington Week listing also included two UMass Amherst student articles, "John Kerry to Speak at U. Massachusetts" by Meghan Murphy in the National Issues section, and "Politicians, Pundits Act like Elementary School Children" by Josh Wilder in the Columns section. Both were written for the Collegian. In additon, Erika Lovley, who's in Washington on a post-grad internship with the Politics and Journalism Semester, is working for the Wall Street Journal. Her article "A Campaign at Home in the Mud" appeared in the newspaper on October 25.

Media GIraffe Project Receives Grant
The MediaGiraffe Project, run by Professors Norm Sims and Bill Densmore, has been awarded a two-year $120,000 grant from the Educational Foundation of America. The grant will support a book about inspirational Media Giraffes ("above-the-crowd individuals" who are making innovative, sustainable use of media by using fresh, effective tools and approaches that empower and inform citizens). In addition, the grant will expand the program's website as an educational and reference resource on media innovation and allow for the preparation of curriculum materials that promote smart media consumption and community involvement for secondary school students. Read more about the Media Giraffe Project...

Gail CollinsAlum Editor of New York Times to Step Down
Gail Collins MA '70 (government, now political science), the first woman to run the editorial page of The New York Times, is stepping down January 1 and will be succeeded by Andrew Rosenthal, the deputy editor of the page. Following a leave of absence to write a book, Collins plans to return to the paper in July as a columnist on the Op-Ed page. Read more...

Ethan KatshInnovator in Online Dispute Resolution Continues Quest for New Processes
“UMass Amherst has been an innovator in the field of legal studies in general, especially in areas related to law and technology,” says Ethan Katsh, professor of legal studies and director of the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution (CITDR). “For those who are interested in these areas, there is no better place to be.” Read more....

SBS in the News
Sunday Times (South Africa), 10/24/06. The article "UN Calls for Subsidised Job Creation" by Mathabo le Roux discusses a report authored by four economics professors from UMass Amherst, calling on South Africa to develop more job creation and government subsidies in some parts of the national economy. Leonce Ndikumana and Robert Pollin are quoted. Read the article...

Associated Press, 10/20/06. Tom Juravich, director of the Labor Center, says a proposal to tie future wage increases to revenue gains offered to a union at the Boston Globe is practically unheard of in other unionized industries. "We've really only seen them in cases of dramatic downturns in the economy when industries are in big trouble," Juravich said. The union has asked the newspaper for new negotiations. Read the article on

Toledo Blade, 10/22/06. Krista Harper (anthropology) was interviewed for an article, entitled "Toledo Area Offered Haven for Refugees of Crushed Revolt" by Ryan Smith, about the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. At the time about 38,000 Hungarians fled to the U.S. The short-lived revolution was the impetus for gradual changes over the years, said Harper, whose specialty is Hungary. Today, recent political unrest in the country was met with demonstrations, not bullets. For many, the events of 1956 still resonate as a tale of courage about people with a passion for freedom. "What they also had was a willingness to put their lives on the line to achieve that goal," she said. "That's pretty rare. That's why it continues to inspire people." Read the article...

Lowell Sun,10/20/06. In the article "FBI: Hate Crimes Down, but Mass. Ranks 4th in Nation" By Evan Lehmann, Roland Chilton (sociology) is quoted on the subject of police officers using "bias indicators," such as racist language or graffiti of a swastika, to determine if a hate crime occurred. He says the indicators often can be vague. A burglar, for example, may use language habits that are appalling but that don't necessarily reflect his motivation for committing a crime. "I think there'd be a lot of cases where it's simply a guess of what the motive was," he said. Read more...

Los Angeles Times, 10/2/06. "Against Single Sex Public Schools " by Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett taps the expertise of Rachel Keen (psychology), one of the foremost researchers in the area of sensory perception in early childhood. Notiing there is no scientific evidence that single-sex classrooms for small children make a significant difference in how they learn, she says, "I cannot point to any definitive article in a peer-reviewed journal that supports major differences in gender for audition and vision during infancy and early childhood.'' Read the article..., 10/6/06. In the article "Sense of Justice Discovered in the Brain" by Helen Phillips, Herb Gintis, emeritus professor of economics, comments about the discovery of a portion of the human brain that controls natural self-interest and deals with morality and fairness. Read the article...

ABC News logoABC News, 10/5/06. In the article "Teenager Admits Lying About Colorado Shooting" by Laura Marquez, Robert Feldman (psychology), associate dean of SBS, offers his expertise to explain what might have motivated Cassidy Grigg, a teenager who lied about his role and whereabouts during the taking of hostages at Platte Canyon High School, in Bailey, Colorado. "There's a slippery slope with lying," Feldman explained. It's likely Grigg "didn't realize what would come of this until it was possibly too late, and there was no easy way out." Often "people feel they should have done more than they did.…One way of compensating is to lie about what actually happened. We learn at a very young age to present ourselves well and are concerned about what others believe," Feldman continued, adding that to accomplish that "we often deceive." 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