Three UMass Economists Selected for INET Inaugural Grants Program
For its Inaugural Grants Program, the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) has selected 27 projects to address many of the most challenging issues facing economics today. Two are spearheaded by three UMass economists: Arindrajit Dube, Gerald Epstein and James Crotty. Read more...
World Economic Forum Names Fountain Council Chair
This past summer the World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Geneva, Switzerland, appointed Jane Fountain (political science and public policy) chair of Global Advisory Council on the Future of Government. Fountain, who is director of the National Center for Digital Government (NCDG) on campus and the interdisciplinary Science, Technology and Society Initiative, served as a Global Advisory Council member of the WEF for two years before receiving this significant leadership appointment. Read more...
Political Science Class Conducts Election Day Exit Poll and Analysis
Exit polls. Ever wonder how they work? Professor Brian Schaffner (political science) is an expert on survey research, a regular contributor to Pollster.com, and has made it his business to lead 17 students in his class, Political Polling and Survey Research, through the process of developing, conducting and analyzing an exit poll of voters during the 2010 election.” Read more...
Applications Sought for Dean's Student Advisory Council
Meet with the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences several times each semester and discuss issues related to academic and campus life. Act as liaison to visiting alumni, represent the College at occasional events, and meet with prospective students.
This is a competitive application process. Deadline to apply: Tuesday, November 23, 2010. More information...
SBS Dean Appoints Faculty to Oversee Program Innovation and Diversity Issues
Developing new College programs and increasing diversity among faculty, staff and the student body are top priorities for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In the interest of moving SBS forward in these areas, Dean Robert S. Feldman has appointed Associate Professor Ray La Raja (political science) as the SBS Director of Program Innovation and Associate Professor Mari Castañeda (communication) as the SBS Director of Diversity Advancement. Read more...
Polls Changing as Cell Phones Replace Land Lines, says Schaffner
Political polling in the U.S. is undergoing significant changes because of the growing popularity of cell phones and the diminishing number of Americans with traditional land lines, says Brian F. Schaffner (political science). Read more... Watch Channel 22 news clip...
Alumni Win Fulbright Scholarships for International Teaching and Research
Five alumni, including Leif Walcutt '10 (journalism), have been awarded Fulbright scholarships for international studies for this academic year. They are among more than 1,500 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad during the 2010-11 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Read more...
Conference Gets Rave Reviews
On Friday, October 8, 2010 the first annual New England Conference for Student Success took place at the
Campus Center. Attended by a sell-out crowd of 300 from 61 institutions of higher education and a number of vendors, the conference focused on effective strategies for educating the whole student and was co-sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and McGraw-Hill Publishers. This conference brought together regional faculty and administrators, as well as professional staff in academic and student affairs, to share practices that help students succeed in higher education. Read more...
UMass Amherst Ranked 4th Nationally in Federal Gilman Scholarships
UMass received the fourth-largest number of Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for study abroad of all campuses nationwide—16 overall, including SBS students Jonathan Johanntoberns-Tabb (political science/history), Zachary Kingston (landscape architecture), Clare Marks (political science/Japanese), and Stephen Oleski (economics/political science). Gilman Scholarships range from $3,500 to $5,000 per semester. Read more...
Media Taps Sociologist for Expertise on Teen Sex
Amy Schalet (sociology) has been featured in the national news quite a bit lately, including Time's website, Salon, The Society Pages, and more. Her report "Sex, Love, and Autonomy in the Teenage Sleepover" compares the forbidding and fearful American view of premarital teen sex with the much more relaxed Dutch attitudes and that country'smuch lower rate of STDs and pregnancies. Schalet will be giving the opening plenary at the California Adolescent Health Conference in October and the annual webinar for the Academy of American Pediatrics' Adolescent Health Partnership in November. Says acting department chair Joya Misra, "I'm delighted with the reception of her work. Amy is a major influence on understandings of adolescent sexual health." Read more about Schalet. Click here to read her report.
SBS Majors: WIN AN iPAD!
Join us for the Second Annual Wing Thing on Thursday, September 16 from 4-6 pm. You'll get
great food (wings, chili and chips, sandwiches, cake and cookies [vegetarian options available], giveaways, achance to win a brand-new iPad, and an opportunity to meet your faculty and learn about campus resources. Please let us know you are coming so we have enough food for everyone. Click here for more info and registration info.
Feldman Named Distinguished Alumnus
Dean Robert Feldman received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, Wesleyan University, in recognition of outstanding achievement and service. His citation read, in part, "You have made major contributions to our understanding of nonverbal communication, strategies for success in college and the use of technology in the classroom. You also have written highly successful textbooks for introductory and social psychology courses.... For your devotion to the scholar-teacher model and for the positive impact you have had on generations of students, your field and our understanding of ourselves, Wesleyan is proud to proclaim you a Distinguished Alumnus." Read more about Dean Feldman.
Legal Studies Pioneer Dies
Prof. Emeritus John Bonsignore (legal studies) died August 16. In 1998 he retired after nearly 30 years teaching in the legal studies, a first-in-the-nation-program he helped form in 1973. Bonsignore began his teaching career at St. Cloud State University (1963–67), followed by Western Illinois University (1967–69), before finding his home at UMass Amherst. HIs insatiable passion for reading and writing never flagged; at the time of his death Bonsignore was working on the ninth edition of Before the Law, a textbook he co-authored with his UMass colleagues. Read more...
Learning from Nine Years of Gay Marriage in the Netherlands
Listen to the August 18 interview with Professor Lee Badgett (economics), director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, on NPR's "The Takeaway." Her book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (NYU Press), won the 2010 Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological Associations' 44th Division.
Want Prosperity? Fund Public Services, Says PERI Study
Massachusetts, and the rest of the New England states, can no longer afford to spend scarce resources on tax credits and other business giveaways. Instead, the region needs to focus its economic development efforts on rebuilding neglected infrastructure and improving education for people at all levels, from pre-school youngsters to older adult workers. Those are the conclusions of a new study by economist Jeffrey Thompson of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). Read more...
Brian Schaffner to Speak at Alumni Gathering in Boston
The third annual Cole Lecture at the UMass Club in Boston on September 23, 2010 will feature Professor Brian Schaffner, speaking on Public Opinion and Politics. Schaffner’s research interests focus on American
with a particular concentration on political campaigns,
elections, and public opinion.
A frequent contributor to Pollster.com, he has served as a program officer
for the political
science program at the National Science Foundation, is
co-author of Politics, Parties, and Elections in America (6th edition), and
he recently co-editor of Winning With Words: The
Origins and Impact of Political Framing. For more information about this alumni networking opportunity, click here.
Juravich Discusses Book on Radio
First in his CD, released in 2007, and now in his book, At the Altar of the Bottom Line, Tom Juravich (labor studies), accomplished labor activist, singer, and songwriter, paints a compelling picture of the state of the labor movement in the U.S. By describing the lives of ordinary people and the common struggles they face to secure a decent wage, he elucidates the larger issues of corporate-led globalization and the declining power of unions that confront American workers. Listen to interview [mp3] on Between the Lines radio newsmagazine. Visit Juravich's website for more information on the book and the CD.
Students 4 Real Blog for UMass
Of the five student bloggers for UMass Amherst, "real students who tell it like it is," three are SBS majors. Amar Anosike '11 (political science/journalism) of Cambridge, MA, Jessica Kemp '11 (journalism) of Sturbridge, MA, and Jack DeManche '11 (communication) of Uxbridge, MA.
Reading these blogs definitely gives perspective to the UMass experience! Take a look.
Badgett Book Wins Distinguished Book Award
The Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgender Issues (Division 44, American Psychological
Association) selected When Gay People Get Married by Lee Badgett (economics) director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, for the Distinguished Book
Award this year. The award recognizes works that have made a significant contribution to the field of LGBT psychology. It will be presented on August 14 at the 118th Convention of the American Psychological Association in San Diego. Read an interview with Badgett about the book.
Sociology Moves Discipline Forward in Leadership Roles
The Sociology Department at UMass Amherst is one of the highest ranked departments in the United States: 31st in the nation, as determined by US News and World Reports’ latest assessment of more than 12,000 programs. In addition to a strong portfolio of research publications and one of the best records of support from the National Science Foundation Sociology program in the nation, Sociology is distinguished by an exceptional contribution to disciplinary governance. This year Professor Robert Zussman was elected President of the Eastern Sociological Association; next year he will organize the annual meeting and, of course, deliver the presidential address. Read more...
UMass Develops New iPhone App to Help Save Gulf Wildlife
Thanks to a team of UMass researchers, iPhone users who come upon oiled birds and other wildlife in the Gulf Coast region can immediately transmit the location and a photo to animal rescue networks using a free new iPhone app, MoGO, for Mobile Gulf Observatory. The idea for the new app came to Charlie Schweik, associate director of the National Center for Digital Government, part of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Already working on invasive species mapping with computer scientist Deepak Ganesan, an expert in mobile phone and sensor systems, Schweik thought that experience might prove useful for inventorying damage in the Gulf. Read more and listen to story....
International Relations Club/Model UN Wins Outstanding RSO, Continues Tradition of Excellence
Recently, at the fourth annual Sammies Award Ceremony, sponsored by the Center for Student Development on campus, the International Relations Club/Model UN received the Outstanding Registered Student Organization (RSO) of the year.
SBS Senior Celebration Honors Hundreds
The mood was festive, the weather near perfect, and spirits high when the first SBS Senior Celebration took place on May 15. Designed to offer special recognition to individual members of the Class of 2010, the program was upbeat, engaging and celebratory. The processional into the football stadium, by department, was set to lively Dixieland Jazz music and the audience got into the spirit immediately, clapping in time and cheering the 650 graduates and many faculty members. Read more, view pictures, see video.
Student Creates Commencement Stole to Honor Veterans and Enlistees
At commencement ceremonies in mid-May, graduating students donned special scarves to signify their service in the U.S. armed forces. And it's about time, noted Jeffrey D. Axton '11 (sociology), a 27-year-old Army sergeant who designed the stole for graduating UMass students who are military veterans or enlisted men and women. "The stole not only represents the service member, but at graduation people will see it— it puts an image in the public's eye," Axton says. "For me, it was one of those things, how come no one else has done this? So I took the initiative." Read more...
Students Receive SBS Scholarships
Congratulations to all of this year's SBS students who earned scholarships for internships, study abroad and meritorious academic achievement. Each of these scholarships is funded through private gifts. If it were not for the generous support of alumni and friends, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences would be unable to acknowledge these remarkable students and contribute to their undergraduate educations. At the Awards Ceremony on May 8 at the Campus Center, several donors were in attendance. Read more...
Pitcher Plourde Gets Top Honors, Breaks Records
Softball phenom Sara Plourde '12 (sociology) was named Atlantic 10 pitcher of the year. Ranking among nation's elite in season strikeouts, Plourde broke the UMass single-season record for strikeouts, surpassing Danielle Henderson's 1999 mark of 465. Early in May, in a one-hit 10-K shutout of Temple, Plourde broke the school-record for wins in a season with her 35th, passing Brandice Balschmiter's mark of 34 in 2009. The sophomore also eclipsed the 500-strikeout mark for the season, becoming just the 11th pitcher in NCAA history to do so. She did not allow a single run to conference opponents in 15 innings, while fanning 29.The Minutewomen finish the conference schedule with a 17-0-1 record to claim the Atlantic 10 regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Championship hosted by UMass, May 13–15. Read Boston Globe article. Springfield Republican article. Plourde stats.
Public Art on a Roll
Next time you are cycling in Turners Falls, MA—a community, incidentally, that is becoming increasingly becoming well known for its fine bikes routes—don’t hesitate to park your bike on a graceful and whimsical piece of public sculpture. That, in fact, is what it’s there for, and it is what Associate Professor Annaliese Bischoff (landscape architecture and regional planning) designed it to be. Bischoff’s design was chosen in juried competition sponsored by community-based Turners Falls RiverCulture. It was inspired, according to RiverCulture’s director Lisa Davol, by the historic bounty of salmon in the Connecticut River and Greek theater masks. The work offers beauty and whimsy while providing a functional place for bikers to park their wheels as they refuel and explore the village's cultural offerings. Read more...
Tenth Annual Roif Award in Film Studies Awarded
The Tenth Annual Michael S. Roif Award in Film Studies was presented in May to undergraduate certificate students in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies. First place went to Mariel Adams ’12 (psychology) who was director/cinematographer/editor of the documentary “Without Regard.” Jeromie Whalen ’10 (history) won second place for the documentary “Purgatory: Historical Analysis of the Belchertown State Schools” (producer/co-director/editor/co-cinematographer). Read more...
Recovery Act Supports Unique Internship Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a long history of hiring interns to work on biological, habitat restoration and visitor services projects. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enabled the Service’s Northeast Regional Office in Hadley, Mass., to offer a different type of internship experience this year. The office, which leads communications for the region, used Recovery Act funding to create an undergraduate internship program in partnership with UMass Amherst. Read more...
Journalism Major Wins First UMass Video Contest
Tonya Eckert '10 (journalism) from Hatboro, Pa., is the winner of the grand prize in the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s first-ever SMART Student Video Contest. The competition challenged students to create a unique 1–3-minute video demonstrating why UMass Amherst is a smart place to receive an education. Judges evaluated the entries based on how effectively the video communicated the theme, how engaging and entertaining each video was, and its overall creative and technical excellence. Read more and view video...
Alum to Deliver Distinguished Lecture in Anthropology
Carole Counihan '76 MA, '81 PhD (anthropology), professor of anthropology at Millersville University, will be on campus on April 23 to present the Distinguished Lecture in the Anthropology of Europe. She is the author of several books: Around the Tuscan Table (2004), The Anthropology of Food and the Body (1999), and Life is Like a Tortilla (2009). Read more...
The Art and Artists of Healing
UMass Amherst unveiled an extraordinary mural April 5, 2010, as part of the multi-year The Art of Conflict Transformation in the North of Ireland/Northern Ireland event series. Two artists-in-residence from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine, worked with UMass students to examine the role of art in the centuries-old conflict and the transformation to peace. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences was among the sponsors of the event, organized largely by Leah Wing (legal studies). View the video of the unveiling, along with commentary by Congressman Richard Neal.
Summer Student Internship Opportunity
Are you interested in a career in the financial services area? A summer 2010 internship opportunity is now available at Cowen and Company. The selected student will work with alumnus, Todd Ackerman ’93
(economics), managing director and the head of the institutional sales
desk in Boston. He says, “This opportunity could
provide a good introduction to a boutique investment bank and could be the
perfect stepping stone for a strong student....” Deadline for application: April 29. Read more and download application.
Film Series: How Democracy Works Now—Immigration Reform
A special film series, How Democracy Works Now, is coming to the Five College area. The April 12 to 15 showings mark the first time it has been shown on any college campus. The Five College Tour: How Democracy Works Now features five of the 12 episodes, which are based around more than 1,400 hours of footage in a political world that few ever see. Hampshire College sociology and American studies professor Wilson Valentín-Escobar worked with the filmmakers and colleagues across the consortium to arrange the tour. Read more and view schedule.
Pinkham Memorial Scholarship Established
The Lawrence Dana Pinkham Memorial Scholarship has been established to support Journalism students who study abroad. Pinkham, a former chair of Journalism who died February 28, was instrumental in developing journalism education in both China and India. "It seems especially appropriate to help UMass Journalism majors broaden their horizons in Larry's memory," says Karen List, Journalism Program director. Read more...
NCDG Student Research Grants Available
The National Center for Digital Government (NCDG) is pleased to announce its 2010-11 Student Research Grants (SRG). University of Massachusetts Amherst undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply.
The NCDG SRG supports student research at UMass Amherst that examines the intersection of information and communication technologies, policy, and government.
Requests for funding up to $1,000 will be considered. Click here for instructions and an application form. Deadline is May 15.
Artists-in-Residence Examine Irish Conflict and Transformation to Peace through Art
For conflict transformation to succeed, a mutual story about the future must emerge. Muralists Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine, former enemies in the war in the north/Northern Ireland, are looking together at the future and have combined their talents to create shared narratives through public art. This spring they will be artists-in-residence on campus, taking part in a number of events, including publicly painting a mural for the University as part of the Art of Conflict Transformation, a multi-year series of events coordinated by Leah Wing (legal studies). Read more....
Students Use Spring Break to Serve Others
More than 80 UMass Amherst students will spend next week in rural Virginia assisting two separate local organizations with community designed projects in low-income, largely African American communities. The effort is part of a long standing curricular alternative spring break sponsored by the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation (UACT), based in the Anthropology Department. Read more...
NSF Grant Funds Anthro Research Experience for Students
The National Science Foundation has awarded $149,500 to the Department of Anthropology for implementation of "Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces (CHESS)." Principle Investigators Krista Harper and Jacqueline Urla will direct this three-year International Research Experience for Students (IRES) project that will allow fifteen undergraduate and graduate students from UMass Amherst and the Five Colleges consortium to participate. Three cohorts of students, selected by Harper and Urla, will conduct systematic, comparative research around the theme of critical heritage anthropology in collaboration with the graduate program in Cultural Management at the University of Barcelona in Spain. Read more...
Sports Journalism Concentration Apps for Fall
Beginning in the Fall 2010 semester, a Sports Journalism Concentration will be available to journalism majors. Pending approval by the Faculty Senate, the program will offer four courses, each relating to a different aspect of sports journalism: Sports Journalism, The Role of Images in Sports, The Politics of Sports, and The Business of Sports. For more information on these courses and the application process, click here. The application deadline is March 22. In addition, join the Sports Journalism Concentration Facebook Page.
Center for Heritage and Society Pinpoints Intangibles Worth Saving
Heritage isn't just found in museums. "It's all around us," says Elizabeth S. Chilton, director of the university's new Center for Heritage and Society and chair of the anthropology department. And it's quietly slipping away without much consideration for what should be preserved and what should fade. Buildings, paintings and monuments are obvious candidates. But items more ordinary and less tangible are also part of our heritage. Political graffiti on a stop sign? Heritage. Your family's chocolate chip cookie recipe? Heritage. Jump-rope mantras about Ms. Suzy sung during recess? That's heritage, too. Read more...
Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival Opens
The Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies announces the 17th Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, “Cinematic
Cities." Thirteen entertaining and
provocative selections, continuing through May, include productions from France, Brazil, the U.K.,
Germany, Afghanistan, Israel, Jamaica, Portugal, Italy and the U.S. With
its long-standing dedication to contemporary multicultural visual arts,
the Festival showcases newly restored silents, documentaries and short
subjects, as well as the latest award-winning features from the
international circuit. Free and open to the public at UMass Amherst and
in the Five Colleges. Read more...
Students: Win Money!
Calling all UMass students: Enter the UMass Amherst SMART video contest. Create a one- to three-minute video about why UMass Amherst is SMART and win cash prizes. Make a documentary, music video, animation; it’s up to you. Just have fun and show the world your smarts! Deadline: March 1. GO UMass! Read more...
Senior Wins on Wheel of Fortune
On January 18, 2010 Ben Skinner '10 (communication) proved he's a whiz with words on the syndicated quiz show "Wheel of Fortune." As Vanna White tapped out the letters on the game board, Skinner spun his way to $12,800 in cash and prizes, including a $5,000 trip to St. Martin, as his mother, Ann, his grandmother Betty and his girlfriend Lisa looked on. Read more... This comes right on the heels of the December 30 appearance of Justin Gagnon (journalism). Although Gagnon didn't win, he doubled his annual salary in 30 minutes. Read more...
Competition for Student Awards in Family Research
The Center for Research on Families is pleased to announce the annual
competition for Graduate and Undergraduate Student Awards in Family Research. Application deadline: March 1, 2010. The program provides support to students and faculty for their
undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines of study, and enables
the acknowledgment of outstanding student research on family issues. Read more...
Campus among 100 'Best Value' Schools
UMass Amherst is among the “100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2009-10,” according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. For out-of-state students, UMass Amherst is 49th on its measure of high quality education and affordability. Kiplinger’s also ranks the campus 79th in overall value for in-state residents. Kiplinger’s bases its rankings on a combination of academics and affordability. Using data on more than 500 schools, the magazine weighs academic quality, cost and financial aid to develop its top 100 rankings. Read more...
Heintz on Structural Deficits
On January 5, 2010, the Real News Network aired an interview with James Heintz (Political Economy Research Institute) in which he discusses how to address structural deficits in state and local governments as a way to deal with high unemployment. He says planning budgets in longer cycles and using federal funding to boost state economies can be helpful. View the video.
Professor Offers Insights on Yemen
In an interview that appeared in New American Media on December 31, Jillian Schwedler (political science), author of Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen, offers insights on what is going on among fundamentalist clerics and the government in Yemen. She says the nation has extremists, but a basic concern is that the government has lost control of large areas where Islamic radicals may operate.