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Fall comes to campus

SBS Newsletter – September, 2009

In this issue

Irma McClaurinFrom Poetry to Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement
A 30-year veteran activist-scholar, administrator, teacher and writer, Irma McClaurin ’89 MA, ’93 PhD (anthropology) believes in meeting society’s challenges head-on. Described as “intellectual enthusiasm and personal commitment personified,” she most recently has delved into the work of changing a small piece of the world in Minneapolis’s Northside, an area that, compared to the region, has had more than its share of bad news. Read more...

Jerry EpsteinProgressive Economist Leads Department, Helps Set Economic Policy
Like many children of the 1960s, Jerry Epstein, new chair of the Department of Economics and co-director (and co-founder) of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), came into adulthood wanting to make the world a better place. “Since economics is one of the key driving forces of our social and political life, I realized that to understand the world and try to change it, I would need to learn more about it ,” Epstein reflects. “That’s why I chose economics, along with political science, as my undergraduate course of study at Swarthmore College.” Read more...

William McGuinnessA Commitment to Journalism
Let there be no doubt: William McGuinness ’10 (journalism), editor-in-chief of the Daily Collegian, is serious about journalism. “I’ve started my future,” he says. “It’s a simple plan: find something you love and do it as long as you can. Obviously, I’d like to find a place where people will intensively read what I write—an audience that cares. I guess I’ve been something of a journalism Calvinist: work hard, work towards perfection, and see what happens.” Read more...

SBS Majors at the Wing ThingWing Thing Welcomes Students, Celebrates Advising Center
The SBS Wing Thing on Thursday, September 24 was a huge success. Besides welcoming hundreds of majors in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the party celebrated the grand opening of the new SBS Advising Center in 128 Thompson Hall. Students enjoyed great food and the a capella tunes of the Dynamics, visited the Advising Center and learned more about opportunities SBS offers. In addition, everyone had a chance to win a brand new iPod touch. Congratulations to the raffle winner, Jason Burrell '11 (legal studies) of Boston. View pictures of the event.

And other topics of interest...

Mari CastanedaPublic Service Award to Honor Castañeda
Professor Mari Castañeda (communication) has been selected as a recipient of the UMass President's Public Service Award for 2009, in recognition of her work with low-income citizens in education, economic development and housing and her dedication to the Community Outreach Partnership Center in Holyoke, which she helped develop. Castañeda will be celebrated with four other recipients from across the UMass system, at a lunch in Boston in November. Read more...

Janet RifkinAssociation for Conflict Resolution to Honor Rifkin
Professor Emeritus Janet Rifkin (legal studies) will be honored next month by the Association for Conflict Resolution for her pioneering contributions to alternative dispute resolution, assessment of potential flaws in the field’s theories and practice, and leadership in conflict resolution studies. Read more...

Fall into Success logoFall Into Success Kick-off Event
Students, it is never too early to start working on your career! On Tuesday, October 6, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Campus Career Advisory Team at UMass Amherst will kick off October’s Fall into Success series for students with an event on the library lawn. In addition to a video competition on “Why hire U?” (with the grand prize of an iTouch), students can have their resumes reviewed, sign up for mock interviews and participate in a variety of career-related events. Read more...

scales of justiceStudent/Alumni Networking Event: Networking with Attorneys
Students, come meet and network with College of Social and Behavioral Sciences alumni working in the field of law at 5:30 on October 22 in the new SBS Advising Center, 128 Thompson Tower. This is your opportunity to ask about their practice, what law school is "really like" and what the future holds for the employment market. To maximize the opportunity for individual connections, we will use a "speed-networking" format. Pizza will be provided, but seating is limited. Sign up today.

YouTube logo UMass on YouTube
Have you visited YouTube lately? Be sure to go to the UMass Amherst channel that features a host of videos all about UMass Amherst. From the Concrete Canoe Competition to UMass Alumni Mentoring to the UMass Spirit of Sam Football Team Bobble Head Spot, don't miss these fun and informative clips that cover the array of life on campus.

US News Best CollegesUMass Amherst Among Top Public Universities
The University of Massachusetts Amherst again ranks among the nation’s top public national universities, according to the 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges, released by U.S. News & World Report. In the Top Public National Universities category, UMass Amherst ranks No. 54 in the country. Among all National Universities, the university ranks No. 106, along with three other institutions. In the magazine’s National Universities category there are 262 universities that offer a wide range of undergraduate majors as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. Many, such as UMass Amherst, strongly emphasize research. “UMass Amherst has received recognition from many quarters recently for its excellence in teaching, research and community engagement,” says UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert Holub. “We provide a superb education and outstanding value to students and their families….”

Upcoming Events
Check out the Events Calendar on the SBS website. There you'll find a listing of upcoming events related to the programs and departments in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences of interest to alumni, students, faculty and/or friends. View it by week, by month, or as a listing.

Faculty/Department Notes
Fred Schaffer (political science) has been elected chair of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) Concepts and Methods Committee. Read more...

As a member of the “Committee to Investigate the Relationship between Threatening Communications and Actual Behavior” within the Intelligence Division of the U.S. Secret Service, Assistant Professor Stuart Shulman (political science) helped develop a two-day workshop in September on the relationship between threatening communication sent to Secret Service protectees and actual behavior. The workshop marked a first step toward examining communication factors and sparking a new research initiative within the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC). Read more...[pdf]

Assistant Professor Maryann Barakso (political science) has been elected president of the American Political Science Association (APSA) Women & Politics Research Section. She will be the program chair of the section for APSA in 2010 before serving as the President in 2010-2011.

Steve Fox (journalism) participated on a panel recently at the Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop, Online News Association, talking about "When the News Find You Through Social Media." The panel dissected issues of competition, accuracy and ethics to consider when using social networking sites in reporting. Watch a video of the event.

The 12th Online Dispute Resolutio (ODR) Cyberweek online conference, sponsored by the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (legal studies), will be held October 26–30, 2009. This is an all-online set of discussions, simulations, demonstrations and other activities. Among the special activities planned for this year's Cyberweek is an exploration of ethics and ODR that will be coordinated with the Committee on Ethics of the American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution. Click here for more information about Cyberweek activities.

Emeritus Professor Paul Hollander (sociology) was a panelist in a Sept. 21 conference at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., on freedom and prosperity in Eastern Europe two decades after the collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall. He discussed the evolution of institutions and ideology in the post-communist era. Click here for more information and a podcast.

RIchard Wolff (economics) has published Capitalism Hits the Fan, a book of short, 1000-word essays on the history and dimensions of the current economic crisis as well as government responses and political implications. The essays, published from 2005 through mid-2009 on the Monthly Review webzine, have been edited with new introductions for maximum clarity, brevity, and accessibility to many audiences. Described in a review as "A breathtakingly clear analysis that breaks down the root causes of today’s economic crisis," the book, Wolff suggests, might be useful for teaching purposes as well. To watch a video about the book and to order, click either on the website of the publisher, Interlink Books, or the author.

As the Karl Deutsch Visiting Professor at the Wisseschaftszentrum Berlin from Oct. 9 through Dec. 24, Peter M. Haas (political science) will work on a book manuscript on the evolution of multilateral environmental governance. In addition, he will be a keynote speaker at the Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change and participate in the Berlin conference on Functional Differentiation in World Politics.

For his new CD, “Altar of the Bottom Line,” and a forthcoming book by the same name, singer-songwriter Tom Juravich (labor studies) draws upon the struggles and dreams of workers detailed in more than 100 interviews conducted over the past five years. Read more...

Alumni News
Gov. Deval Patrick has appointed Worcester native Jeffrey B. Mullan '83 (environmental design) to be Secretary and CEO of MassDOT, the new transportation agency created by reform legislation designed to streamline the state’s transportation agencies. Mullan is currently the executive director of the soon-to-be abolished Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. Read more on WBUR.

The Salem News published a profile of Anissa Talantikite '09, who is a Fulbright Fellow in Morocco. Read more...

Melinda Katz '87 (political science) is running for city controller in New York City. Read more...

Ward McCarthy '73 (economics) is the new chief financial economist and managing director in fixed income at Jefferies & Co., one of 18 primary dealers that trade with the Federal Reserve. Read more on

James Foudy '68 (government/history), publisher of the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, MA, will receive the Yankee Quill Award for his contribution to New England journalism. The presentation is Nov. 13 in Lawrence at the New England Society of Newspaper Editors conference.

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.

SBS in the News
Asia Times, 9/30/09. An economics column by Max Fraad Wolff (economics), a doctoral student at UMass Amherst, talks about how as economic recovery is just beginning, many people, who have lost jobs and see their incomes and financial resources shrinking, are angry. He argues that the economic recovery appears to be skewed in favor of the wealthy, prompting growing unrest among those people and groups who feel left out.

New York Times, 9/28/09. Nancy Folbre (economics) writes about why health insurance reform is a woman’s issue. She argues that women generally need more health care than men because of the demands of pregnancy and family planning and because women often are the primary caregivers for children. Women also serve as health providers in families, she says. Time, 9/16/09. Folbre comments in a story about how some economists are questioning the value of the gross domestic product, or GDP, a statistic that measures wealth. An increasing GDP has long been viewed as a critical measure of national and international well-being. Folbre says growth isn’t a bad thing, but it also doesn’t have to mean the accumulation of “more stuff.” Folbre was a member of a 24-person panel called the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress that looked at the GDP. New York Times blog, 9/8/09. Folbre writes a column about lessons learned in the last year since the financial meltdown and one of its key events, the failure of Lehman Brothers. Folbre says one key thing economists have gotten wrong is the relationship between the economy and what we generically call “the market.”, 9/28/09. Richard Wolff (economics) says worker productivity increased by more than 6% in 2009, even as unemployment increased. He says the figures show that employers got a large increase in output from workers, but pay didn’t keep pace. National Post, 9/19/09. Wolff, who has found his ideas about dismantling capitalism in favor of a form of Marxism are much more accepted following the recent economic meltdown, is profiled.

The Hill, 9/8/09. C.N. Le (sociology) comments in a story about why there are so few Asian-Americans serving in Congress.

Business West, 08/31/09. Tom Juravich (labor studies) comments in a story about the Employee Free Choice Act, the pending bill that would centralize the process by which employees join unions. Juravich says unions are beneficial to American workers, who do not have rights granted through citizenship, as in Western Europe.

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 degree-granting departments and programs of Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Journalism, Labor Studies, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP), Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), and Sociology. Among our ranks are 38,600 alumni, 3,800 undergraduate majors, and 560 graduate students. In addition to its departments, SBS is home to numerous centers and research institutions. Through the general education courses that SBS offers, the College’s 200 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. Or, send a check to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Draper Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 40 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9244. Questions? Contact James Mallet, 413.545.3945.

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