University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance

Links

Current News

Student Spotlight: Mahala Dyer Stewart Seeks to Understand How the Decision to Homeschool is Impacted by Class and Race

Mahala Dyer Stewart, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology was selected as one of only two students awarded a $10,000 CRF Dissertation Fellowship in the spring of 2016. Stewart's dissertation seeks to understand if and how the decision to homeschool is impacted by class and race across communities. She hopes that her research will be useful to educators and policy makers by offering insights into why families feel compelled to remove their children from the public-school system, and which families are able to make that choice.

Shannon Roberts (FRS '18-'19) Received 2018 Armstrong Award to Advance Safety in Self-Driving Vehicles

Shannon Roberts (FRS '18-'19) assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and Philip Thomas, assistant professor of computer science, received the 2018 The Armstrong Fund for Science Award. The award includes a grant of $36,000 to support a two-year project which addresses the question of when an automated driving system should warn a human driver that it may have to relinquish control of the vehicle in the near future. Read more here

Rodrigo Dominguez Villegas Accepted into Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods at University of California Berkeley

Rodrigo Dominguez Villegas, a Ph.D. student in the sociology department and recipient of the 2016 CRF $10,000 pre-dissertation award, has been accepted into the first Summer Institute in Migration Research Methods, to be held at University of California Berkeley. The purpose of the Summer Institute is to train a new generation of U.S. migration researchers to leverage existing datasets and learn best-practices for rigorous, new data-collection projects, as well as to provide instruction in cutting edge methodologies particularly relevant to the study of mobile populations. Dominguez Villegas was one of a large pool of highly qualified applicants and as a participant in the program, he will be given the opportunity to receive training from the top migration scholars in the US. Read more about the program here.

From Home Visiting to the Classroom and Back

Risk and Resilience in the Lives of First-Time, Young Parents, an innovative, 3 credit course that was developed and taught at the UMass Springfield Center in the fall of 2017, brought together UMass undergraduates with Healthy Families home visitors from across the state to apply a research-based framework to bear on topics critical to working with young parents. Dr. Maureen-Perry Jenkins, Director of CRF and Professor of Psychology, and Gisele Litalien, Associate Director of CRF, collaborated with Meg Manning and Lee MacKinnon, family training specialists at the Children’s Trust, a statewide agency whose goal is to prevent child abuse. 

Miliann Kang (FRS ’09-’10) Reflects on Progress Toward Full Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Korea

Miliann Kang (FRS ’09-’10), Associate Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies recently published an opinion piece in The Korea Tomes, “Paralympic reflections, 1988-2018.” Kang is currently a Fulbright senior scholar at Ewha Womans University researching family issues in South Korea, including families raising children with disabilities. Kang attended the Summer Paralympics in Seoul in 1988 and compares her experience with the Paralympics held in March 2018, “Much has changed in three decades, but much more has yet to change… In addition to greater sensitivity, various policy changes are needed. The South Korean government should change its system of classifying people solely based on a medical examination without considering environmental factors. Disability activists have been protesting this system for years as restrictive and demeaning.” Read the article here.

Pilsner’s Research Highlighted in Environmental Health Perspectives

Rick Pilsner headshot

J. Richard Pilsner, 2015-16 CRF Family Research Scholar and assistant professor of environmental health sciences, is among the researchers featured in an article on the burgeoning field of sperm epigenetics appearing in the February 2018 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The focus article explores current research trends on paternal environmental exposures and how they might affect the health of his unborn children.

Laura Vandenberg (FRS '15-'16) Publishes Findings Linking Fracking Chemicals to Pre-Cancerous Lesions in Mice

A new study has observed detrimental changes in the mammary glands of female mice following exposure to chemicals used in unconventional oil and natural gas (UOG) extraction methods, which include fracking. The study was published in the journal Endocrinology and was led by Laura Vandenberg, an environmental health researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences. Read more here.

Video: Harvard Medical School Professor, David Grabowski, PhD Presents on Using Market-based Approaches to Encourage High Quality Nursing Home Care

Tay Gavin Lecture Series - The Center for Research on Families welcomed David Grabowski, PhD on February 8, 2018 who presented, "Opportunities and Challenges: Using Market-based Approaches to Encourage High Quality Nursing Home Care."

In his talk, Dr. Grabowski discussed how the quality of nursing home care in the US has been a longstanding policy concern. In response, the use of market-based approaches, like pay-for-performance and quality report cards, has grown in recent years. To date, these programs have been somewhat mixed in terms of improving performance. Dr. Grabowski broadly reviewed the policy issues and discussed several studies focusing on nursing home care and challenges to improving care. Read more about the presentation here.

Laura Vandenberg's (FRS '15-'16) Research Featured in Article Exposing Health Risk Associated with Cash Register Receipts

Taking a receipt from a cashier, ATM or gas station seems like a benign activity however, each time you touch those receipts, you may be exposed to harmful chemicals, since many receipts have a coating of Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol S (BPS), chemicals that may be harmful to our health. Laura Vandenberg studies exposure to endocrine disruptors in mice at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences. Her research has shown that low doses of BPS disrupt maternal behaviors, the brain, and the mammary gland in nursing females. Read the article here.

Pages