The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Why Public Engagement?

As citizens and as scholars, we have an interest in today’s debates about public policy, conversations about the state of the world, and imagining a different future. Read more about the Public Engagement Projects' Mission and Vision

Upcoming Events

The Public Engagement Project invites applications from UMass faculty for the Spring 2020 Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship

Do you want to share your research with audiences beyond the academy, write an effective op-ed or policy brief, testify before Congress, or work with community and professional groups?

The Public Engagement Project invites applications from UMass faculty for the Spring 2020 Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship. As a Public Engagement Faculty Fellow, you’ll develop a fellowship plan tailored to your expertise and aspirations for reaching broader publics. You will receive technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences, cultivating networks to reach those publics, and workshopping your policy brief, blog, op-ed piece, or other public engagement products. 

For more information, click here. 

 

Public Engagement in the Age of Social Media
October 1, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Campus Center Room 174-76, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Social media can be a valuable tool for public engagement. But navigating the social media landscape can also be intimidating for many. How do you build a following? How do you write a Tweet that will resonate with everyday people? How do you deal with ‘trolls’?

Please join us for a panel and discussion on the use of social media for public engagement, highlighting strategies for knowing and growing your audience, effective messaging, handling controversy, and exploring the professional impacts of a social media presence.  

2015 PEP Fellow, Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta, leads statewide network to increase and diversify STEM workforce.

2015 PEP Fellow, Nilanjana “Buju” Dasgupta, using a recent three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and IDS affiliates, has created a team of leaders across the Commonwealth “to break down these silos and build a multi-institutional partnership,” she says. This research-practice partnership will connect computer science and engineering educators with social scientists who study barriers facing students and their solutions, she points out. It will also reach out to education staff who provide out-of-class support, outreach organizations offering out-of-school learning opportunities, and industry partners who hire and develop talent in technology and engineering. Read more here

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, quoted in Washington Post story on the best materials for reusable water bottles.

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, says in the Washington Post that until more research is done on various plastics, glass and metal are the best materials for reusable water bottles. Zoeller has studied the chemical effects of bisphenol A (BPA) which has been linked to hormonal disruptions in humans. He says bisphenol S, often used as an alternative to BPA, has not really been studied in humans and some animal studies suggest it could be disruptive as well.

The Public Engagement Project invites applications from UMass faculty for the Spring 2020 Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship

Do you want to share your research with audiences beyond the academy, write an effective op-ed or policy brief, testify before Congress, or work with community and professional groups?

The Public Engagement Project invites applications from UMass faculty for the Spring 2020 Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship. As a Public Engagement Faculty Fellow, you’ll develop a fellowship plan tailored to your expertise and aspirations for reaching broader publics. You will receive technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences, cultivating networks to reach those publics, and workshopping your policy brief, blog, op-ed piece, or other public engagement products. 

For more information, click here. 

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, comments in EcoWatch on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement about changes to its mammal testing policy

Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, comments in EcoWatch on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement that it will stop conducting or funding studies that involve testing on mammals by 2035.  He says, “If you exclusively depend on in vitro toxicology or mathematical modeling, you're going to miss all the different interactions that happen in a physiological system — whether in rat, mouse, human, or a fetus. You simply cannot replicate that.”

Elizabeth A. Evans, 2018 PEP Fellow, is interviewed on Connecting Point about a new pilot program studying opioid treatment in seven jails in Massachusetts.

Elizabeth A. Evans, 2018 PEP Fellow, is interviewed on the local public affairs program Connecting Point about a new pilot program that will study opioid treatment in seven jails in Massachusetts. Evans had created a similar program for inmates at the jails in Hampshire and Franklin counties. She says the addition of more jails to the program is being done as part of a new state law that has just taken effect and will allow officials who run these facilities to share information on what practices have been shown to work well.

2018 PEP Fellow, Karen Kurczynski, launches “Making Art Yours,” a new program in collaboration with the University Museum of Contemporary Art this Fall

2018 PEP Fellow, Karen Kurczynski, will launch “Making Art Yours,” a new program in collaboration with the University Museum of Contemporary Art. Funded in part by a Campus Climate Grant, the project will gather small groups of students - about ten each, including students of color, first-generation college students, and others who may not feel like the art museum is “their” space, into the UMCA for a personal conversation about art. Read more here.

2018 PEP Fellow, Elizabeth Evans, research on obstacles to treating opioid use disorder with medication featured in Medicine News Line

In an effort to find ways to improve long-term outcomes for people with opioid use disorder, 2018 PEP Fellow, Elizabeth Evans set out to study the obstacles to treating this chronic condition with an effective medication, buprenorphine-naloxone. “Very few people with opioid use disorder ever get treatment for it – 10 percent or less,” says Evans in a Medicine News Line story. “Of those who do, few remain in treatment long enough to really benefit from it.” In a newly published paper in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, lead author Evans and colleagues identify factors that inhibit the long-term use of buprenorphine, which was approved in 2002 by the FDA to treat opioid use disorder. Story also featured in News Medical Life SciencesScience CodexBusiness WestHealio, MassLive, and Boston Globe.

Julie Brigham-Grette, 2017 PEP Fellow, participated in “On Point” discussion about climate changes in the Arctic

Julie Brigham-Grette, 2017 PEP Fellow, participated in the radio program “On Point” on Aug. 16 as part of a discussion of climate changes in the Arctic. According to the program, the accelerated sea loss caused by the warming planet has raised the stakes for the region.

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