Raffle Winner for Homecoming Tickets Selected
Congratulations to W. David K. Scott '01 of New York City whose entry into the SBS raffle, advertised in this letter last month, was the winner of 2 free football game and luncheon tickets during homecoming. For all of you who entered, thanks for your time—and better luck in our next giveaway. We hope many SBS alumni are planning to attend homecoming. Prior to the game vs. Rhode Island, visit the SBS representatives in the Alumni Association tent between 11 and 1:00 where lunch will be served. Football and luncheon tickets are available from the Alumni Association. Click here for more information.
Anthropologist Explores Menopause from a Biocultural Perspective
Menopause is a biological reality for all women. Yet the way we think about the cessation of menstruation is influenced by a variety of factors and varies considerably between cultures and individuals. Drawing on her own case studies and comparative data from places around the world, Lynnette Leidy Sievert (anthropology) in her new book, Menopause: A Biocultural Perspective (Rutgers University Press, 2006) explores these variations and suggests that attempts by medical professionals to define the "normal" occurrence of menopause, including its typical onset and symptoms, may not be realistic. Read more...
Global Ed Requirement Connects SBS to the World
In a rapidly changing world, it has become imperative for well-educated students to be globally competent learners. Back in 1999 when the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences made the 15-credit Global Education requirement part of the standard curriculum for all majors, the intent was to bring them into a framework to help them gain knowledge about individuals, societies and cultures while exposing them to diverse cultural perspectives essential to building an understanding of contemporary society and, ultimately, themselves. Read more....
Students Benefit from Summer Improvements, Repairs Totaling More Than $133 Million
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is in the midst of its own “extreme makeover,” with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of renovations, repairs, improvements and new construction projects dotting the campus map as students return for the fall semester.
Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity Honors Boyce and Rayner
Nine professors were honored with the Chancellor's Award for Research and Creative Activity at the Faculty Convocation in September. Among them are James K. Boyce, professor of economics and director of the Political Economy Research Institute’s Program on Development, Peacebuilding, and the Environment, and Keith Rayner, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and director of the Eyetracking Laboratory. Read more...
Convocation Opens Academic Year
Surrounded by the nine faculty being honored for their scholarly and creative accomplishments (see story above), Chancellor John V. Lombardi invoked the image of the "classic American research university" in his state-of-the-campus address, during UMass Amherst's annual Faculty Convocation, September 15. Addressing the audience of faculty, staff, students and friends, Lombardi returned to a theme he has underscored many times since taking office in 2002: the quality of the campus's faculty cadre. Listen to the speech.
Scholar Goes to New Orleans to Heal Wounds Caused by Storm
Ervin Staub, professor emeritus of psychology, has been hired by the Southern Institute for Education and Research, an anti-racism group in New Orleans, to assist them in developing a training program to help people heal from the psychological after effects of Hurricane Katrina, to understand ethnic conflict and to promote reconciliation across racial and class lines. Read more...
Senator Kennedy Visits PERI
The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) welcomed Senator Edward M. Kennedy to its Gordon Hall offices on September 8 for an in-depth discussion on the progress of the living wage movement across the country, and especially the ongoing challenges living wage researchers face. The PERI team also briefed him on their new research projects in environmental economics. Senator Kennedy, an advocate for the well-being of working people and the poor in the United States, has consistently supported PERI's work. Read more about PERI.
Student Receives Fulbright to Study Silk Road Trade
Julia Fan, a doctoral student in anthropology, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to study how Asia’s Silk Road trade affected health and human activity during the Iron and Bronze ages. While conducting her research, Fan will be based at the Frontier Archaeology Center of Jilin University in Changchun, China. Read more....
Outreach to Alumni Is New Staff Member's Top Priority
New to the staff in the dean's office at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is Jackie Brousseau-Pereira, director of external affairs. Reporting directly to Dean Janet Rifkin in this totally new position, she is responsible for building relationships with alumni and connecting them to students and faculty in mutually beneficial ways, primarily through scholarships, internships, and alumni visits to campus. Read more...
Alfange Lecture to Feature Bruce Allen Murphy '73
On Thursday, October 19 the Department of Political Science will present the Dean Alfange, Jr. Lecture in American Constitutionalism at 4:00 p.m. in the Cape Cod Lounge of the Student Union. "Roberts: Save this Honorable Court!" will be presented by Bruce Allen Murphy '73, the Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights at Lafayette College. One of the nation’s foremost authorities on constitutional law, civil rights and liberties, Murphy is also a distinguished author of three major Supreme Court biographies. Read more....
Two SBS Faculty Named Distinguished Faculty Lecturers
For more than 20 years, the campus has celebrated the value of academic excellence through the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. The faculty members chosen for the series receive the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed on individuals for exemplary and extraordinary service to UMass Amherst. This year SBS faculty received two of the four awards: Ethan Katsh (legal studies) and Melinda Novak (psychology). Katsh's lecture, "Law in a Digital World: New Processes for an Age of Conflict and Change," will be held on October 25, 2006 at 4:00 pm in the Massachusetts Room at the Mullins Center, followed by a reception. Novak's lecture will take place in the spring. Watch these pages for details on that lecture as well as more information about the careers of both of these distinguished faculty members.
SBS in the News
Newsday.com, 9/9/06 (from AP). In the article "Archaeological Dig near Casino Suggests Nomads Built Homes," Elizabeth Chilton (chair, anthropology), says the find is prompting archaeologists to dig in places, like hillsides, they once thought pointless. "Archaeologists are now realizing the potential range of places (where) these houses could be found is greater. It implies a little more permanence than we were expecting for that time." Researchers had long believed that the native people who lived in the region about 9,000 years ago were nomadic hunters who moved frequently and did not create permanent living spaces. The article ican be found on the Newsday website and downloaded for a fee.
New York Times, 9/5/06. "When Toddlers Turn on the TV and Actually Learn" by Lisa Guernsey attributes the first use of the term "video deficit" to Daniel R. Anderson (psychology) and Tiffany A. Pempek (both psychology). These nationally recognized leaders in research on the effects of television on very young children coined the term in a 2005 article in American Behavioral Scientist that reviewed literature on young children and television. Read the 2005 article....
WFCR 88.5 FM, 9/14/06. The program "All Things Considered" featured an interview with Christopher Overtree, director of Psychological Services Center. Starting this month, this mental health clinic will be offering low-cost psychological assessments to the public. Overtree says these exams can be helpful in revealing a variety of mental health issues, from learning disabilities to depression. For more information, see the Psychological Services Center website, or listen to the interview.
The Republican (Springfield, Mass.), 9/20/06. "Palmer Intern Rejoins Smola" highlights Matthew Parent, a political science major who is serving as a legislative intern to Rep. Todd M. Smola, R-Palmer. Read the article...
9/25/06. In the article "Royalty Touches All Commoners," Randall Stokes, sociology, notes that each of us is somehow related to royalty if we go back far enough into history. Scientists working with human genetics and evolution have demonstrated that everyone now living shares a single common female ancestor who lived less than 65,000 years ago. So, even if a given person is not directly descended from royalty, there is an absolute certainty that they have ancestors in common with many kings and queens," he said. Read the article... (note, the article indicates that Stokes is chair of the department of sociology. In fact, he is the immediate past chair.)
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
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.