People

Roberta Marvin
Roberta M. Marvin, associate professor of musicology at the University of Iowa, has been named professor and chair of the department of music and dance, effective Sept. 1. She is replacing Jeff Cox, who is retiring after 11 years as department chair. Marvin is an active researcher and scholar, a...
Isabelle G. (Decker) Graves, 94, of Ashfield, retired principal bookkeeper in chemical engineering, died Aug. 5. Born in Sunderland on May 25, 1922, she attended local schools and was a commercial college graduate. She joined UMass Amherst in 1969 and worked in chemical engineering until retiring...
Jonathan Skolnik

Jonathan Skolnik of German and Scandinavian studies will serve as interim director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies following the retirement of founding director James E. Young at the end of the summer.

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Nellie Perchak
Nellie M. Perchak, 97, of Sunderland, a retired assistant cook in the dining halls, died July 31. Born in Hadley, she was educated in the Hadley school system. She joined the campus staff in 1962 as a part-time kitchen helper and held a number of positions, including dining room attendant and...
Audrey Altstadt
History professor Audrey Altstadt is the author of a new book examining the ways in which the early Soviet Union attempted to mold the culture of Azerbaijan in the south Caucasus in its own image. “The Politics of Culture in Soviet Azerbaijan, 1920-1940,” published by Routledge, looks...
Chelsea Plimpton
Chelsea Plimpton, who pitched for Fordham University and coached at Towson, Fordham and Marist, has joined the softball staff as pitching coach. “Chelsea Plimpton is a tremendous addition to our staff and the UMass family,” head coach Kristi Stefanoni said. “She’s played...
Julie Brigham-Grette
Julie Brigham-Grette, geosciences department head and chair of the U.S. National Academy Polar Research Board, was recently named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), an honor given to individual members “who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in...
Dong Wang
Two faculty members from the department of biochemistry and molecular biology were recognized for their research at the 17th International Congress of the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (MPMI) in Portland, Ore. Dong Wang, an expert in the symbiotic interactions...
TreaAndrea M. Russworm
The English department’s TreaAndrea M. Russworm is an editor of a new collection of essays focusing on the highly varied and sometimes controversial work of writer, producer, director, actor and gospel songwriter Tyler Perry. Perry, who created and sometimes performs as Madea, an elderly...
Students with drone
A team of electrical engineering students has won top honors from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Airport Cooperative Research Program’s University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. The winning design creates a virtual “geofence,” similar to an invisible...

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