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Scholars in the News: May 2015

CRF Scholars in the News: May 2015

The Center for Research on Families is pleased to share a roundup of the recent accolades earned by our affiliates from the Family Research Scholars (FRS) program, both current and past!

Dr. Sally Powers (CRF Director ’03-13)

Dr. Sally Powers, former CRF director, was the recipient of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award. Dr. Powers, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UMass Amherst since 1988 and Associate Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, is a world-renowned scholar whose research has shown how depression and anxiety are influenced by social, behavioral and biological risk factors. Dr. Powers served as faculty director of the Center for Research on Families from 2003 to 2013, where she worked tirelessly to raise the profile of CRF through federal funding while bringing in more than $200,000 in student research fellowships.

Dr. Powers has had a lengthy career in service to families, which began prior to arriving at UMass. From 1978-83, she was the associate director of the Adolescent and Family Development Project at the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston. Her support of family research later continued as a director at the Laboratory of Developmental Psychopathology at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA from 1987-91. Her previous research has been funded by NSF, NIMH, NICHD, the William T. Grant Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. At UMass, Dr. Powers has been awarded a Conti Faculty Fellowship for excellence in research and the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Lecturers. In 2010, she was appointed to the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council Committee on the Science of Research on Families.

Dr. Jonathan Rosa (FRS ’13-14)

Dr. Jonathan Rosa, assistant professor of anthropology, has recently received the prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for his work in Latina/o studies. Rosa will spend the 2015-16 academic year in residence at Northwestern University, where he will complete his book entitled Looking like a Language, Sounding like a Race: Exclusion and Ingenuity in the Learning of Latina/o Identities. His scholarly work at UMass Amherst, as in this new publication, focuses on the “interplay between race, language and education” in urban public schools and their surrounding communities. The Ford Foundation’s mission is to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties, maximize the educational benefits of diversity and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Additionally, Dr. Rosa’s work to strengthen relationships between Holyoke Community College, UMass Amherst and the local community has received recognition in the form of a $150,000 “Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Finally, Dr. Rosa appeared on a panel hosted by MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry on Saturday, May 10 to discuss frameworks for transforming racial justice. Dr. Rosa has become a regular panelist on MSNBC since his time as a Family Research Scholar.

Dr. Lisa Sanders (FRS ’14-15)

The academic journal Attention, Perception and Psychophysics has recently honored Dr. Lisa Sanders with the position of Associate Editor. Published by the Springer group, the journal solicits manuscripts from a broad array of cognitive psychology disciplines. In this capacity Dr. Sanders, an associate professor in psychological and brain sciences at UMass Amherst, will select reviewers for and make decisions about submissions that are relevant to the specific content areas in her program of research—auditory perception, auditory selective attention and speech perception, as well as music perception and “other aspects of language processing” that affect language learning, development and category acquisition.

If you’re an FRS alum with recent news, especially if it relates to a grant, study or research accomplishment that arose directly from your time as a CRF scholar, please email with a synopsis of the highlight or a copy of your most recent AFR.