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SBS Newsletter – October 2008

In this issue

Harold D. GrotevantNew Rudd Chair Focuses on Adoption
“In academia no two days are ever alike,” says Harold D. Grotevant, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology and an international leader in the field of adoption. “You might find me working with my research team, writing a paper for a publication, giving a talk to a community group, teaching a class, analyzing data, reviewing journal submissions, writing a grant proposal, or getting acquainted with the many people working on adoption related issues.” Read more...

Ibrahim SalahStudent’s Community Service Helps Downtown Amherst
When students apply what they learn in the classroom to their work with community organizations, the result is Community Service Learning. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences strongly encourages its majors to connect with the community in meaningful and significant ways by addressing community-defined needs. Undergraduates can do community service for credit in a course (many such courses are currently available on campus and at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges as part of the Five College Consortium), as part of a fraternity/sorority or religious group, through a Federal Work-Study job, or just on their own. Take, for example, Ibrahim Salah ’10 (legal studies and political science). Read more...

Jackie HaiHarnessing the Power of Journalism
“I wrote my first story in third grade,” says Jackie Hai ’09 (journalism), “and I’ve been writing ever since.” That’s when she started watching 20/20 on ABC News with her mother as well. “We’d discuss current events, politics, economics, history and philosophy at home. So, when it came time to apply for a major, I naturally gravitated toward journalism. But I’ve added philosophy as a second major, done an independent study in anthropology, and picked up minors in economics and information technology.” Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Robert C. HolubTaking UMass Amherst to the Top Tier
Chancellor Robert C. Holub is profiled in a cover story by Business West. Holub discusses why he decided to leave his job as provost at the University of Tennessee and apply for the top job at UMass Amherst. He also lays out his plans for moving UMass Amherst into the top tier of public research universities in the country and his assessment of the strengths and shortcomings of the campus. Overall, Holub says, schools that are successful in moving into and staying in that top tier do so by achieving a campus-wide commitment to excellence and making sure that standards and performance don’t slip. Read the article...

Deval PatrickGovernor's Sweeping Cuts Include $12 Million for Campus
About $12 million in budget cuts will be made on campus under spending reductions ordered Oct. 15 by Gov. Deval L. Patrick to close the state’s projected $1.4 billion budget gap. In a statement to the campus community, Chancellor Robert C. Holub called the reductions “difficult and painful” and said savings will be achieved through “one-time cuts to campus units and a halt to all hiring except for the most critical, strategic positions.” Read more...

Election 2008On Debate Night, Journalism Classes Aflutter over Twitter
Journalism professors Steve Fox, Scott Brodeur and B.J. Roche had their classes plug in to Twitter during the presidential and vice-presidential debates. The classes—Politics, Journalism and the Web; Multimedia Journalism; and Writing for the Web—made tweets to a group feed throughout the debates. Students posted remarks and questions to the topics and received instant feedback from classmates and professors, without having to leave their dorm. For instance, alexa_m tweeted, “Today my boss said she heard that the questions would be softballs tonight or Palin wouldn’t come. Any truth to that?” and her professor Steve Fox immediately responded, “Good question by Alexa — did Ifill do a good job as moderator or was this softball practice?” Read more...

Disruptive childPsych Services Center Offers Parents Program for Changing Challenging Behavior in Children
Parents! Do you struggle with your child’s difficult behaviors? The Psychological Services Center on campus can help you reduce conflict, increase positive interactions, and promote family harmony. Whether because of ADHD or other reasons, disruptive behavior can get in the way of family harmony, success in school, and even friendships. Learn the skills you need as a parent to help change these challenging behaviors in the company of other parents who understand! This group is for families with children aged 6–10 (childcare is not available). Read more...

Robert N. PollinPollin Discusses 'Green Growth' in Distinguished Faculty Lecture
Robert N. Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, presented the first of the 2008–09 Distinguished Faculty Lectures on Monday, Oct. 20. He spoke on “How Green Growth Can Revive the Economy.” Following his lecture, Pollin was honored with the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed on individuals for exemplary and extraordinary service to the campus. Read more...

London BridgeScholarships for Spring Study Abroad
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences strongly encourages SBS majors to study abroad for a semester or two, or at least for a summer. Study abroad allows students to immerse themselves in another culture, broadening their perspectives and introducing them to a global community. UMass Amherst offers a wide variety of international exchange and overseas study programs through the International Programs Office, and SBS offers a few scholarships, that are funded by alumni contributions, to help underwrite some of the costs associated with these programs. Applications for students who are planning on studying abroad for the Spring 2009 semester are now available online [pdf]. Don't delay. The deadline for applications is November 14. Alumni: if you are interested in contributing to scholarships, please give now online, or contact Saige Reisler, SBS director of development, at 413.545.7187.

Upcoming Events
Monday, November 3, 2008
National Book Award nominee Joan Wickersham will present on her new memoir The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order
Bartlett Hall, Room 61, 5:00–6:00 p.m.
The author of a previous novel, The Paper Anniversary, Wickersham has received rave notices for her new book which has been called “artful, vivid and classic” by Publisher’s Weekly and “beautifully written” by Library Journal. The L.A. Times said that Wickersham “exposes the whole messy territory of inheritance, of what our families leave us, the treacherous role of genetics and psychology and unhappiness.” The Suicide Index has been named one of five finalists for the 2008 National Book Award in the category of nonfiction, the winner to be announced in November.
Sponsored by the Journalism Program.

Monday, November 3, 2008
Public Forum about the Upcoming Elections
12:00–1:30 p.m., Campus Center Room 168c; Open to the campus and wider community.
What are your thoughts, as a member of the campus community or a citizen, about the coming elections? Please share them in a public forum. Featured will be brief introductory remarks by four faculty in the sociology department—David Cort, Sanjiv Gupta, Jen Lundquist, and Amy Schalet—on representations of race and gender, sexual and reproductive politics, affirmative action, and the financial crisis. Then an open mike discussion will take place among members of the audience.
Organized by the Public Engagement Project (PEP), a collaboration between the Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA), the Center for Research on Families (CRF), the Psychology of Peace and Violence Concentration, and Sociology. PEP supports faculty members who want to take their research outside of the academy through engagement with the media, community groups, policymakers, and others.

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series
W. Steven Barnett, Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research. Rutgers University
“Early Education, Parenting Education, and Parent Involvement: What Works and What Doesn't”
4:00 p.m., 620 Thompson Hall. Free and open to the public.
The Tay Gavin Erickson Lecture Series, begun in 1999 through the Center for Research on Families, brings nationally recognized speakers with expertise in family research to campus each year. Sponsored by the Center for Research on Families and the Center for Public Policy and Administration

Faculty Notes
Peter Haas (political science) has been selected as the Karl W. Deutsch Guest Professor at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB) in Berlin. The professorship honors the life and accomplishments of one of its long-time directors, Karl W. Deutsch (1912–92). Deutsch emigrated to the United States in 1938 and was a professor of political science at a number of American universities, the last being Harvard. The award goes to social scientists with strong research records or promising projects in comparative social and political research—a field in which Karl W. Deutsch was a pioneer. During Haas' time in Berlin during 2009 he will work on projects about the evolution of international environmental governance, including his book “Improving Climate Change Governance.”

Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, estimates that 2.5 million green jobs could be created over the next 10 years with an investment of $150 billion per year. Pollin testified last month before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. He also testified before the House Committee on Education and Labor, which held a hearing on “Building an Economic Recovery Package: Creating and Preserving Jobs in America.” Read more...

In October Tim Barker, Katie Dambach and Mitch Mulholland (anthropology) participated in the 2nd Annual Family Archaeology Fair at the Boston Museum of Science, sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America and the Boston Museum of Science. The department's two tables were filled with PowerPoint presentations, posters, artifacts and replicas, and the group presented Massachusetts archaeology to about 1,500 students and teachers from the Boston area.

Snap Peas project showing compost area"Snap Peas," an exhibition of photos taken by Western Mass 5th graders, will be on view at the State House from Nov. 3–7, 2008. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the PhotoVoice Lab on campus, facilitated by Krista Harper (anthropology and public policy); Fertile Ground, a farm-to-school program that creates awareness of good food, nutrition, and preservation of local farmland; and the Williamsburg Elementary School. The Photo Voice Lab, one of several new methodologies under development in the Emerging Methods Workgroup on campus, places cameras in the hands of community members so that they can document concerns and perspectives. "Snap Peas" was developed and conducted by CPPA graduate student and Fertile Ground director, Catherine Sands, Prof. Harper, and Lee Ellen Reed, an undergraduate anthropology student.

On November 19–20, 2008, Professor Harold D. Grotevant, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology and a leading expert in the field of adoption, will be presenting in two sessions at the I International Adoption Congress in Lisbon Portugal: Child Development and Adoption and From Evaluation of Prospective Adoptive Parents to Final Adoption. The I International Adoption Congress strives to bring understanding and new ideas related to national and international adoption, to better understand the limitations and constraints associated with adoption, and to find ways for improving welfare of these children. General objectives of the event include addressing the reality of adoption in Portugal and limitations of the social response that children and families face; reviewing the concept of adoption; reflecting on distinct international realities; promoting alternative answers for full adoption; and motivating international adoption by exploring this concept.

Sara Lennox (STPEC), director of German and Scandinavian Studies and president of the German Studies Association, presided over the GSA’s 32nd annual conference held Oct. 2-5 in St. Paul, Minn. A number of faculty and graduate students played active roles at the national meeting.

Alumni News
Jazz musician Avery Sharpe '76 (economics) and his trio are working with students in the Community Music School in his hometown of Springfield. Sharpe is also involved with the Renaissance Program, which works with incarcerated teens. Read more...

Former UMass football player James Ihedigbo ’07 (sociology) has made the active roster of the NFL's New York Jets. He expects to play Sunday,November 5 against the Buffalo Bills. Read more...

Gene Dias '88 (journalism) is director of community relations for the Philadelphia Phillies. Four other UMass Amherst alumni are also affiliated with the team. Read more...

Amy [Patricia] MacKinnon '90 (political science) has published her first novel. In Tethered she works with a dark theme [fear of the dark] as a way toward meaning and wholeness— even toward faith— and taps a private, inner part of herself. "People who know me and who read the book are shocked," she said in an interview at her home in Marshfield, MA. "They don't know this side of me." Read article about the book and MacKinnon in the Boston Globe. Amy adds, "Jeff Sedgwick's [political science] class completely turned my life around for the better. He made an offhand remark, stating I was one of his best students. I was flabbergasted. Before that, I had no confidence in my academic abilities whatsoever and my grades reflected it. After, I consistently made dean's list."

Christina [Sokoloff] Severin '89 (social thought and political economy) is executive director of Network Health, the group that provides health insurance coverage to those eligible for Massachusetts' Commonwealth Care program, which was established through a 2006 legislative act. The nonprofit, with its Network Health Together plan, is also one of four to cover a portion of the state’s Medicaid population through MassHealth. Read a profile in the Boston Herald.

Mohamed Ibrahim (a.k.a. Mohamed Elgadi) '99 (economics) wrote, "I currently work at ServiceNet, Inc. [in Northampton, MA] and thought that [SBS] students might want to check our website for job opportunities. There are always openings—full time and part time."

Wes Golumb '74 (sociology), coordinator of Lakes Region Community College's Energy Services and Technology Department, has been appointed to New Hampshire's new Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Board. Read more...

SBS in the News
Washington Times, 10/29/08. Richard Wolff (economics) comments on why charges that U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is a socialist are political rhetoric designed to scare voters. Wolff says Obama has not articulated any of the key elements that define socialism and points out that the existing tax system already redistributes wealth to the benefit of some and the detriment of other Americans.

New York Times, 10/29/08 [requires subscription]. Sheldon Goldman (political science) says recent Republican appointees to federal appeals courts have nudged the law to the right in cases where they could exercise some discretion. Over time, he said, such moves can result in “enormous influence.”

Springfield Republican, 10/26/08. Howard Ziff (journalism) says Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” and his “profound sense of what was happening in American popular culture” helped shape his later career in the film industry., 10/24/08. Nancy Folbre (economics), a member of the Economists’ Policy Group on Women’s Issues, made up of economics professors and researchers from 25 US universities, says the group rated the presidential candidates on issues that affect women. “We’re tired of hearing about the 'Joes,' as in six-pack and Plumber, and want more attention paid to the 'Joannes' – the women in our economy who earn less money and shoulder more family responsibility than men,” she says. Democrat Barack Obama earned a B; Republican John McCain got a D.

Market Oracle [U.K.], 10/20/08. Robert Pollin (economics) is interviewed about a wide range of subjects related to the current economic problems in the national and global markets. Boston Globe, 10/21/08. Pollin is quoted in a column about how investing in green jobs could act as a strong stimulus to the national economy.

Boston Herald, 10/18/08. Derek Khanna '10 (political science and history), executive political director of the Massachusetts Alliance of College Republicans, has launched a website that encourages Samuel J. “Joe the Plumber” Werzelbacher of Ohio to run for Congress. [Arizona], 10/19/08. David Kotz (economics) comments about how deregulation of financial markets set the stage for the economic crisis that has hit global markets. Kotz says when finance is deregulated, it leads to speculation., 10/15/08. Daniel Anderson (psychology) comments on why some people have trouble paying attention. He says if one’s attention is constantly being broken or diverted, you have to go back and reconstruct what you have been thinking, causing lost time and sometimes lost insights. (Note: the link to Forbes has a brief introduction before connecting to the selected page.) [Kalamazoo, Mich.], 10/15/08. A review of the book How Do We Spend Our Time includes special emphasis on a chapter written by Nancy Folbre (economics) and graduate research assistant Jayoung Yoon, titled “The Value of Unpaid Child Care in the United States in 2003.” The book was edited by Jean Kimmel of Western Michigan University., 10/12/08. A report written by James Boyce and Leonce Ndikumana (economics) finds that capital flight from sub-Saharan Africa runs between $20 billion and $28 billion per year.

Washington Post, 10/9/08. In the OpEd section, Amy Schalet (sociology) poses this question to Sarah Palin: "Should public school students be taught that contraception and condoms can prevent unintended pregnancy and disease?" The column has been reprinted in papers across the county and sparked debate., 10/2/08. Brian Schaffner (political science) is referenced by Alex Koppelman in his article about why it might be too early to tell how the election will turn out. (Note: the link to has a brief introduction before connecting to the selected page.)

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:
Saige Reisler, Director of Development
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
235 Draper Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9244

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, director of communications and marketing. If you wish to add your name to the mailing list, or if you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us. 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