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SBS Newsletter – September 2008

In this issue

Janet RifkinDean Rifkin to Step Down
Janet Rifkin, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has announced that she will be stepping down from her post at the end of this academic year. Rifkin has led SBS since 2002 and has been described by the Provost as an “an outstanding leader, administrator, and colleague who has advocated for her faculty, staff and students effectively. She has promoted the activities of the College to internal and external audiences alike and has successfully raised the profile of the College.” Read more about Rifkin's career at UMass Amherst....

Mike ProutStudent Participates in Beijing Paralympics
Like many people in the United States, Mike Prout '09 (social thought and political economy) was glued to the television each time Michael Phelps swam en route to his record eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics in August. But unlike most viewers, Prout watched the pool, knowing that a few weeks later he too would be swimming in the Water Cube, the same venue that produced so many records at the Olympics. Read more...

Jane FountainFountain Appointed to World Economic Forum’s Future of Governments Council
Jane Fountain, professor of political science and public policy, director of the National Center for Digital Government, and director of the Science, Technology and Society Initiative, has been appointed to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Governments. Fountain is one of only fourteen experts worldwide selected for membership on the Council, which is charged to examine how governments globally might better adapt to the rapid pace of technological change while building or maintaining transparency, accountability, and civil society. Read more...

Power Up for Success participant

Power Up for Success!
The surveys are in: 98% of UMass Amherst first-year students who have participated in Power Up for College Success! would recommend this program to other entering students. This year more than 300 students enrolled in this fun, three-day orientation to campus, just before the start of the academic year. Developed in 2002 by Robert S. Feldman, professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, this one-credit program helps students make a successful transition from high school to UMass Amherst. Read more...

And other topics of interest...

Robert C. HolubFaculty Give Holub Standing O
Chancellor Robert C. Holub’s address to the faculty convocation received a standing ovation and has received favorable coverage in media. Holub told the faculty the strengths of the Amherst campus are its faculty, students, staff and the ongoing construction work to modernize buildings and infrastructure. He also promised to continue to stress research as a key part of his goal to improve the national standing of UMass Amherst. Holub called for improvements in graduate programs and the hiring of more faculty. He asked that faculty and staff to be forward looking and to put aside past complaints. View the video of his speech.

new SBS students at convocation receptionFirst New Student Convocation Offers Advice
On Friday, September 12, 2008, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences held its first Convocation. Nearly 200 new SBS students attended this first-time event, hosted by Dean Janet Rifkin and designed to help them make the most of their UMass Amherst experience. Anthropology professor Art Keene spoke with them about opportunities to do community service learning. Tammy Rahhal, chief undergraduate advisor and lecturer in psychology, addressed the importance of academic advising. Associate Dean Robert Feldman spoke about other opportunities within SBS, including study abroad and research assistance. Students also heard from Samantha Frontiera ’08 (psychology and journalism) who spoke movingly about her own UMass Amherst experience, that included study abroad and an internship for “20/20 Primetime.” A number of faculty attended the event and the subsequent reception to meet students and answer any questions.

Boston Globe LogoAmherst Wire Goes Global
"If you have any doubts about the power of UMass Amherst students when they hook up with the web, this should alleviate them," writes BJ Roche (journalism). "Jackie Hai ’09, editor of Amherst Wire [a student-run project of the journalism department at UMass Amherst, dedicated to covering national and global issues from a local perspective] was talking with her mom on the phone over the weekend of September 26 about the economic crisis, and mom suggested she do a story. The team went to work, calling several economics professors, then interviewing and videotaping them. Steve Fox (journalism) advised, and around noon on September 30, I sent the link to an old pal at the Boston Globe who is now head of new media. He called back within minutes after I sent the link and said, 'This is great, can we link to it?' By 2:00 p.m. UMass Amherst journalism students went global. We should all be proud!" Click here to connect to the site.

Julie HemmentNSF Grant Goes to Anthropologist Hemment
Assistant Professor Julie Hemment (anthropology) has been awarded an $82,495 grant from the National Science Foundation Cultural Anthropology program for her project,"Youth Organizations, Voluntary Service and the Restructuring of Social Welfare in Russia." Contingent on the first year's performance, she has also been awarded an additional $50,505 for a second year of support. Read more....

Amy ShaletSociologist Speaks about Adolescent Sexuality
Assistant Professor Amy Schalet (sociology), a faculty affiliate in the Center for Research on Families, is well known for her research on adolescent sexual health, which includes comparative studies of teen sexuality in the U.S. and the Netherlands. Back in 2004 her article, "Must We Fear Adolescent Sexuality?" was named Medscape General Medicine's Best Article in Ob/GYN and Women's Health. Then, in 2006 and again this year, she was a featured speaker at the U.S. National STD Prevention Conference (in Jacksonville and Chicago). This summer STD Prevention Online posted a podcast interview with Schalet about her research on adolescent sexuality. Click here to listen to and/or download the mp3.

Dan KayAlum Lawyer Among Survivor: Gabon Contestants
When Survivor: Gabon premiered on Thursday, September 25, 2008, Dan Kay '99 (political science) was among the18 contestants vying for the $1 million prize that goes to the last survivor. Kay has come a long way from his blue-collar roots in in Walpole, Massachusetts. Always involved in athletics, especially football, skiing and track, he played on a varsity football team in high school, which has a long tradition of winning and helped shape his strong work-ethic. Read more...

SBS logoMore Alumni Survey Results
At the end of May, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences invited more than 12,000 alumni to participate in an online survey. With a respectable 20% response rate, the survey has offered some very interesting insights. Last month we shared some results from open-ended questions; this month we offer a more analytical look. Read more... [pdf]

Wall StreetAttention Students: Intro to Wall Street Presentation
Ever wonder what people mean by “Wall Street”? Have you read about two companies merging but wondered how the whole deal came together? Do you feel that you could work with companies to invest in new technologies and projects? Then come to an info-session, presented by Chris McCabe '81 (political science), at the Isenberg School of Management, room 112, Wednesday, October 8 at 5:30 pm. Read more...

Upcoming Events
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture
"Confessions of a Late Starter"
Marianne A. Ferber, Professor Emerita of Economics and Women's Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Marianne A. Ferber, was born in Czechoslovakia in 1923, emigrated to Canada in 1938, obtained her BA degree at MacMaster University, and her PhD at the University of Chicago. She was visiting scholar at Stanford University in 1984 and visiting Professor at Radcliffe 1993-95. Ferber is co-author of The Economics of Women, Men and Work, co-editor of Beyond Economic Man, its sequel Feminist Economics Today, co-editor of Work and Family: Policies for a Changing Work Force, and author or co-author of numerous other publications. She has been active in American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP), was a founding member and second president of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE), and president of the Midwest Economics Association (MEA).
4:00 p.m., Gordon Hall
The Philip Gamble Memorial Lectureship Endowment was established by Israel Rogosa '42 and other family and friends in memory of Philip Gamble, a member of the economics faculty from 1935-71 and chair of the department from 1942-65. The fund supports an annual lecture series featuring a prominent economist. Previous speakers in this series have included John Kenneth Galbraith, Joseph Stiglitz, John Nash, James Tobin, Kenneth Arrow, Robert Solow, Barbara Bergmann, Lani Guinier, Robert Reich and Robert Shiller.Sponsored by the Department of Economics

Saturday, October 18, 2008
First Annual UMass Amherst Distinguished Speakers Series
Political Science Professor Ray La Raja, who specializes in American politics and election reform, will discuss the upcoming presidential election. His talk is titled, "Will the 2008 Presidential Election Change Politics?"
1:00 pm, Campus Center, Room 804-08
Space is limited, so reserve your seat before October 13 by contacting Angela Westerling at 413-577-1202 or send an email.
The UMass Amherst Distinguished Speakers Series, managed by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, highlights the College's latest faculty accomplishments in various fields of study. It has been made possible by an endowment established by Robert C. Cole, Jr. '59 (psychology) and Margaret A. Cole. He retired in 2000 as the CEO of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Delaware.

Monday, October 20, 2008
Distinguished Faculty Lecture: Robert Pollin, professor of economics and codirector of the Political Economy Research Institute
"How Green Growth Can Revive the Economy"
Following his talk, Professor Pollin will receive the Chancellor's Medal.
4:00 p.m., Massachusetts Room, Mullins Center; reception to follow. Free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost.

Thursday–Friday, October 30–31, 2008
Conference: Women and Work: Choices and Constraints
The focus will be on key workplace challenges for women in the 21st century by reconsidering the notion of "opting out." The conference will bring together experts in the field to consider factors that lead women to leave the workforce and why it can difficult for them to re-enter the workforce. The goal is not only to highlight the issues and challenges for employed women but to also to engage in discussions that focus on solutions and supports for women that then can inform workplace policies.
Keynote address: “Opt Out or Pushed Out: The Real Deal Re Women and Work” by Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law and Director of the Center for WorkLife Law; October 30, 7:00 p.m., Campus Center Reading Room. Free and open to all.
Workshop: Panel Sessions. October 31, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; 917 Campus Center. Registration required. Click here for details, panel topics, presenters, and registration information.
Sponsored by the Center for Research on Families

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) is going to Lisbon in October to consult with the Mario Soares Foundation to prepare background documents for the iLisbon Meeting on Ocean Governance (December 6, 2008). He has also been awarded the Karl Deutsch Professorship at the Wissenschaftcentrum Berlin for the fall 2009 term.

Professor Lynnette Leidy Sievert (anthropology) received a Vasomotor Symptoms Research Award from the North American Menopause Society during their meetings September 24-27. The award is given to "an individual whose research has made a significant contribution toward increasing the understanding of menopause-related vasomotor symptoms [hot flashes and night sweats]."

Betsy Krause (anthropology) is Program Chair elect for the Society for the Anthropology of Europe board. In her role as an SAE official, she will coordinate the section's program within the annual AAA meetings. She also as been selected as a Fellow in the 2008-09 Interdisciplinary Seminar in the Humanities and Fine Arts (ISHA) at UMass Amherst on Public Thought, Public Art, Public Effect.

At the 2008 American Political Science Association annual meeting, the Information Technology & Politics (ITP) section announced that Professor Stuart Shulman received the "Best Research Software Award" for his Coding Analysis Toolkit (CAT) software. This award recognizes work in software, other than statistical software, by a member of APSA, which best contributes to the furtherance of research in the field. CAT was designed to use keystrokes and automation to clarify and speed-up the coding, validation, or consensus adjudication process. Special attention was paid during the design process to minimizing the role of the computer mouse, thereby streamlining the physical and mental tasks in the coding and analysis process.

Frederic Schaffer (political science) has published The Hidden Costs of Clean Election Reform. Read more...

Dean Robinson (political science) received a 2008 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for his research entitled "Infant Mortality, Black-White Disparities and State Social Policy."

Assistant Professsor Angelica Bernal (political science) received a Diversity Grant from the General Education Council for her new course entitled "Power."

Dan Clawson and Naomi Gerstel (sociology) have been awarded $34,000 by the Sloan Foundation for a study of "Unofficial Flexibility: An Analysis of Actual Day-to-Day Schedules."

Andy Papachristos (sociology) is co-investigator (with David Kirk, University of Maryland) on a new National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant: "The Structural and Cultural Dynamics of Neighborhood Violence.”

Alumni News
Veteran Jon Schnauber ’07 (sociology), who served in Afghanistan before attending college, recently participated in a roundtable discussion at Holyoke Community College on veterans and education that was filmed for a Japanese television documentary."A lot of times (veterans) go to school because it seems like a natural progression from one institution, the military, to another institution, academe," Schnauber said. But making an easy transition from service to study is hard. The cost of attending (even with veterans' benefits) and feelings of isolation among their peers are real barriers. Things started getting easier for Schnauber when he started talking about his experiences and found a receptive audience in students and professors. Before he graduated, Schnauber co-founded the Veterans and Service Members Association, an organization that seeks to aid veterans in the transition to academic life.

An article about Dimarie Camareno '06 (psychology and Spanish) of Springfield discusses how she was able to convert her internship obtained through the UMass-Amherst Field Experience office into a full-time position at the New England Adolescent Research Institute (NEARI) in Holyoke. Camareno is site coordinator for the Jump-Start after-school program and is a part-time electives teacher in the school, with classes as diverse as Cultures in the Pioneer Valley to art classes specifically for female students. She is looking forward to pursuing a master's degree in social work soon. Read the article.

Bob Paine '82, PhD '94 (anthropology) has been promoted to professor at Texas Tech University. His areas of research include human skeletal biology, forensic anthropology, histology of bone, paleopathology, human evolution, primate behavior & morphology. Read more...

SBS in the News
Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/26/08. Elizabeth S. Chilton (anthropology) comments in an article about how some professors use job coaches to keep them on top of their research projects. Chilton says that anonymity, provided in her case by an online writing group, helps limit the embarrassment some feel at having difficulties finishing projects.

ABC News, 9/24/08; New Scientist, 9/22/08;, 9/23/08. Primatologist Agnes Lacreuse (psychology) comments about new research that show chimpanzees can match faces of group members with photos of their behinds. The ability, researchers say, shows that chimps carry around mental representations with "whole body" detail of chimps they have encountered. Lacreuse says more work needs to be done in the field to see if this process is gender specific as well.

Asia Times, 9/20/08. A column by Max Fraad Wolff, a doctoral student in economics, warns that the U.S. economic system is imperiled by recent shocks to national and world markets.

Valley Advocate, 9/18/08. Sut Jhally, communication and founder of the Media Education Foundation in Northampton, is profiled for his work on teaching students about the media and how to think critically.

San Francisco Bay Guardian, 9/17/08. Dan Clawson (sociology) comments about turmoil in the Service Employees International Union in California and how that is affecting its impact on the coming Presidential election.

U.S. News & World Report, 9/16/08; Reuters, [Va.], Daily Journal of Commerce [Portland, Oreg.], 9/10/08; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Oregonian, 9/9/08. A Political Economy Research Institute report says that if the U.S. government invests $100 billion over two years, it would create 2 million “green” jobs in industries such as steel and construction to jump-start the economy. Robert Pollin, co-director of PERI, says many of the jobs created would be in the construction sector where about 800,000 jobs have been lost in the last two years. The plan also details a "green economic recovery program" that invests in retrofitting buildings, expanding mass transit and freight rail lines, and expanding production of wind power, solar power and advanced biofuels. To read more about the Green Recovery Program and to access the full report, click here.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 9/6/08. Sheldon Goldman (political science) comments on the removal of a U.S. District Court judge from a high-profile case in Pennsylvania by a U.S. Court of Appeals. Goldman says this is very rare and is a disciplinary action.

Boston Globe, 9/4/08. Assistant Professor Tatishe M. Nteta (political science) co-authors a letter-to-the-editor on the media attention given to the out-of-wedlock pregnancy of the daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The writers note that the teen pregnancy rates for African-American girls and Latinas are three times higher than that of whites, but neither receives much notice.

Huffington Post, 9/3/08. An article by M.V. Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, discusses a new study that she co-authored, released this month by the Williams Institute at UCLA. The report analyzes administrative data over the past ten years from eleven states on the various forms of legal recognition offered to same-sex couples and points out that once the marriage option is made available, as in Massachusetts and California, same-sex couples eagerly jump at it, as opposed to civil unions and domestic partnerships.

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