The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Current News

Linda Tropp (FRS '09-'10) and Michelle Budig (FRS '06-'07) Among Six Faculty Named Chancellor Leadership Fellows for 2019

Six faculty have been awarded Chancellor’s Leadership Fellowships for 2019, according to John McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and Anna Branch, associate chancellor for equity and inclusion.

Lori Goldner, professor of physics, is working with McCarthy in academic affairs. Two fellows, Melissa Wooten, associate professor of sociology and Linda Tropp, professor of social psychology, are working with associate chancellor Anna Branch in the office of equity and inclusion. Jennifer Ross, professor of physics, Angela de Oliveira, associate professor of resource economics and Karen Helfer, chair and professor of communication disorders, will work with Michelle Budig, vice provost for faculty development in the office of faculty development. 

These fellowships seek to cultivate future campus leaders by offering a half-time, one-year, temporary appointment to an administrative area on campus and by providing shadowing and mentoring from the leaders of the host units. In addition, fellows are expected to launch a significant program during the fellowship year. Read more here.

Scholar Feature: Mark Pachucki (FRS '18-'19) Researches Pubertal Timing, Social Networks and Pro and Anti-social Behaviors

If you are someone who develops earlier than your peers, will that affect your choice of friend groups? Will you end up selecting friends that are more similar in appearance, ones that are going through puberty at the same time as you? Mark Pachucki, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and the UMass Computational Social Science Institute, believes that there may be important connections between pubertal timing, social networks and pro and anti-social behaviors. 

UMass Amherst Moves Up to No. 26 Among Public Universities in U.S. News Ranking

The University of Massachusetts Amherst ranks among the nation’s top public universities, climbing this year to No. 26 in the Best Colleges 2019 guide published by U.S. News & World Report. The 2019 ranking for UMass Amherst continues an extraordinary rise over the past decade, from No. 52 in 2010 to this year’s No. 26 as a top ranking college. The Commonwealth’s flagship campus stands out as one of the most improved top-tier public universities in America.

Student Spotlight: Hallie Brown examines impacts of parenting and inhibitory control on two-year-olds at-risk for ADHD

“Some kids don’t grow out of their terrible twos. I want to know why that is,” says Hallie Brown, the recipient of a $10,000 Pre-dissertation Fellowship from the Center for Research on Families (CRF). Brown is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences working in Dr. Lisa Harvey’s Early Behavior Development Lab. Brown is in the fourth year of the program. Her research focuses on the trajectory of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms in two-year-old children. Brown’s interests lie in cognitive processes, memory and attention, and self-inhibitive behavior.

Sarah Lowe (Pre-Dissertation Fellowship '17) Receives $57,500 National Geographic Grant

In 2017, Sarah Lowe was awarded the CRF $10,000 Pre-Dissertation Fellowship for her research with the Bhutanese Society of Western MassachusettsSarah has recently received a National Geographic Grant to facilitate her dissertation research on the coping mechanisms of undocumented immigrants in order to increase resiliency in these communities and understand migration policies through the lived experiences of immigrants.

Katherine Reeves (FRS '14-'15) Publishes Large Study That Fails to Link Phthalates and Increased Breast Cancer Risk

In the largest study to date on phthalates and postmenopausal breast cancer, Katherine Reeves, a University of Massachusetts Amherst cancer epidemiology researcher found no association between breast cancer risk and exposure to the plasticizing and solvent chemicals used in such common products as shampoo, makeup, vinyl flooring, toys, medical devices and car interiors.

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the research “rules out any extreme increase in risk,” but still leaves open the question of whether some relationship exists between phthalate exposure and breast cancer, says Katherine Reeves, associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. Read more here

CRF/Children's Trust Class at Mount Ida

The Center for Research on Families is excited to help bring one of our new initiatives to UMass’s new Mount Ida Campus in Newton this spring.

Risk and Resilience in the Lives of Young Families is an innovative course that CRF helped develop through a unique partnership with the Children’s Trust, a statewide agency whose goal is to prevent child abuse. Children’s Trust funds and provides training and support for Healthy Families programs across the state. The Psychology course was taught for the first time in Springfield in Fall of 2017 and it is now being taught at the Mount Ida campus during the 2019 Spring semester.

Maureen Perry-Jenkins, CRF Director Spoke on Panel for Community Engaged Research Workshop

In partnership with the Center for Research on Families, Project ACCCES, Healthy Development Initiative, the Institute for Diversity Sciences, the Center for Community Health Equity Research (CCHER) offered an intensive all-day training on principles and ethics of community-engaged research. The training was held on January 17, 2019 at UMass Springfield. Maureen Perry-Jenkins was a speaker on the panel discussion: Learning from Researcher Community Partnerships, along with Joni Beck Brewer, from Square One in which they discussed their ongoing research in Springfield which aims to reduce depression and stress among low-income new mothers and their partners early in pregnancy. The all-day workshop included trainers from Project ACCCES, a collaboration of the Public Health Institute of Western MA and Baystate, Motherwoman, and Boston Medical Center, and provided hands-on activities and engaging stories about successful research partnerships.

Jamie Rowen (FRS '17-'18), Selected for Prestigious CAREER Award from Nation Science Foundation

Jamie Rowen (FRS '17-'18), assistant professor of political science and legal studies, has been selected for one of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) most prestigious awards — the CAREER Award, the highest recognition NSF gives to early-career faculty. The five-year, $500,000 grant will support Rowen’s research into Veteran’s Treatment Courts (VTCs) – a program that emerged as one response to a growing concern that veterans are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, and have unique, unmet, needs. Read more here.