The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Research Centers & Affiliates

Asian & Asian American Studies Certificate Program

Senior Lecturer C.N. Le directs the Asian & Asian American Studies Certificate Program, which is an interdisciplinary program for undergraduate students providing (1) thorough understanding of both Asian and Asian American histories, experiences, and contemporary issues and (2) multi-disciplinary and multi-method research, both of which prepare students for the increasingly diverse, globalized, and interconnected world of the 21st century.

Center for Employment Equity

The Center for Employment Equity works closely with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissio, and has a primary research and policy function of promoting diversity in employment. The center is committed to documenting progress toward our shared national goals of equitable, diverse workplaces, and disseminating the results widely to the public, policymakers, agencies, and the media. Since its founding in 2017, CEE has raised more than two million dollars in research funding from multiple sources including the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as the Kellogg, Gill, Arnold, and Casey Foundations. Donald Tomaskovic-Devey serves as Director for the Center for Employment Equity, and Jasmine Kerrissey, Joya Misra, and Laurel Smith-Doerr are faculty affiliates.

Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies

The Center of Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) promotes research, training, and public engagement on the histories, cultures, and politics of Latin American and Caribbean peoples across the Americas and throughout the world. David Cort, Agustin Lao-Montes, and Millie Thayer are affiliated with the center.

Center for Research on Families

The Center for Research on Families (CRF) actively supports and disseminates social and behavioral sciences research on issues relevant to families. CRF is an interdisciplinary research center whose mission is to build a strong network of faculty with expertise in family research who are able to generate collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects, and to create unique programming to bring research to policy-makers and the public. We have several faculty affiliated with CRF: Michelle BudigNaomi Gerstel, Sanjiv Gupta, Jen Lundquist, Fareen Parvez, Joya Misra, Wenona Rymond-Richmond, and Amy Schalet.

Computational Social Science Initiative

The Computational Social Science Initiative (CSSI) is a cross-disciplinary, collaborative group designed to address the challenges and opportunities presented by collecting, storing, and analyzing large scale data related to the social world. With core faculty coming from disciplines as diverse as computer science, political science, sociology, and statistics, the group brings together the expertise necessary to create practical solutions to modern problems in quantitative social science. James Kitts and Mark Pachucki are part of the core faculty of CSSI, and Jen Lundquist, Tony PaikLaurel Smith-Doerr, and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey serve as faculty associates.

Institute for Social Science Research 

The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) facilitates social science research and methods across the University of Massachusetts. By taking guidance from our research faculty’s interests and supporting their efforts, the Institute draws its dynamic strengths and directions from the evolving enterprise of contemporary social research. ISSR supports the research mission of social science on campus by offering: grant management, qualitative and quantitative research training opportunities, grant mentoring programs, workshops and speakers, methods and data analysis/programming consulting services, and support for interdisciplinary research teams. Sociology faculty Joya Misra and Laurel Smith-Doerr have previously served as the Director for ISSR.

The Labor Center

The Labor Center is both a research institute and leading union-side Labor Studies graduate program. Established in 1964 as the Labor Relations and Research Center, its educational mission is to train and place the next generation of labor activists and leaders. The Center’s faculty conduct national research about work and labor, including research on organizing, strategic campaigns, labor and community coalitions, living wage campaigns, and globalization. Much of this work has been funded by the labor movement. We also offer research services in support of organizing, bargaining, and in the policy arena for regional and local unions and state and central labor bodies. Jasmine Kerrissey currently serves as the Director of the Labor Center, and affiliated faculty include Cedric de LeonClare Hammonds, Tom Juravich, and Eve Weinbaum.

The Psychology of Peace and Violence Program

The Psychology of Peace and Violence Program is designed to facilitate research and intervention regarding group relations and conflict. The program is especially interested in understanding why group relations become hostile and how to promote cooperation and peaceful resolution. Stellan Vinthagen joined the department as the Inaugural Chair in The Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance.

The Public Engagement Project

The Public Engagement Project (PEP) supports and trains faculty members to use their research to contribute to social change, inform public policy, and enrich public debate. Scholars learn new skills from experts and from each other to improve their communication and engagement with the media, community groups, policymakers, and practitioners. Amy Schalet is the Director of the Project and Laurel Smith-Doerr is on the Steering Committee.

The Resistance Studies Initiative

The Resistance Studies Initiative strives to understand the dynamic relations among forms of resistance and power and how they relate to social change. It particularly considers the possibilities and problems, causes and impacts, and lived experiences of unarmed resisters, including those who live in dictatorships or nations under occupation as well as those who suffer discrimination and repression within liberal democracies. We hope to encourage solidarity and dialogue between academics and activists, merging the comparative, critical, and empirical social science developed by engaged academics with the experience-based, practical knowledge so hard won by activists. The Initiative hopes to do all of this by working closely with the other members of the international Resistance Studies Network; energetically encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration with academics at UMass Amherst and elsewhere; maintaining strong ties with activists worldwide, documenting their activities, and providing critical analysis upon request; offering academic courses in Resistance Studies at UMass Amherst; offering resistance-themed workshops, lecture series, and symposiums; publishing the international, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed Journal of Resistance Studies. Stellan Vinthagen is leading the Resistance Studies Initiative.

School of Public Policy

The School of Public Policy provides the University with interdisciplinary public policy research, teaching, and engagement. SPP attracts high-caliber national and international students to its Masters of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) program and new accelerated Masters of Public Policy (MPP) program. Joya Misra and Brian Sargent are joint faculty in SPP and Sociology. Michelle Budig and Naomi Gerstel are faculty associates.

Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

The Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program is both a discipline and an interdisciplinary program. Over the past 30 years, feminist scholarship has developed analytic and methodological tools by which to study and explore women’s lives and constructions of gender from disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. The department has several faculty affiliated with WGSS.