Campus Notes for The Point

Office of Communications | December 11, 2011
Campus Notes for The Point

Events and Honors

This year's distinguished scholarly lecture was given by Dr. Augustus A. White III (pictured left), who presented on "What Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Would Want Us To Know About Health Care Disparities" on December 6 in the Campus Center. The event was sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Karen Courtney, a faculty member in the Women in Politics & Public Policy Graduate Program, has been appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to serve on the University of Massachusetts Building Authority. Karen is director of the Foundation For Fair Contracting of Massachusetts, a 1981 graduate of the WPPP program, and teaches two courses in the program, guiding students through their substantive internships.

Wei Ding, assistant professor of computer science, brought the 21 members of UMass Boston's Women-in-Science-Club to the Google Cambridge offices during the CSEdWeek 2011 ( ) on Friday, December 9. Students got to see that computer science and IT jobs are enjoyable during the field trip. The field trip is sponsored by the CAITE ( to promote computer science education and it is has a special focus on minority female students in science majors.

Professor of Literacy Rona Flippo was honored by the International Reading Association (IRA) to be a candidate for their Board of Directors for the 2012-2015 term of office.

For the last six months, Jean McGuire, senior research associate with the Center for Social Policy, has been supporting two national disability policy development efforts focused on addressing complex issues regarding new long term care financing strategies for people with disabilities.  In November, those efforts resulted in two critical national invitational meetings, one in Berkeley, California sponsored collaboratively by the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and the Association of Councils on Aging, and the other in Washington, DC at the Kaiser Family Foundation. In both cases, the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, along with select national organizations, were working collaboratively on opportunities and challenges that have evolved in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

On November 5, Executive Director of the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security Robbin Peach had the opportunity to speak with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta about the institute, its mission, and their areas of mutual concern. Secretary Panetta was positively engaged and supportive of the institute’s work; the institute is pursuing follow-up opportunities with the DoD. Peach has also extended an invitation to the Secretary to be a keynote speaker at the Global Conference for Oceans, Climate, and Security in May 2012.

The International Insurance Society (IIS) has announced that Yung-Ping Chen of UMass Boston is the 2012 winner of the prestigious John S. Bickley Founder’s Award. He will be honored during the gala dinner at the International Insurance Society 48th Annual Seminar, which will take place at the Sofitel Rio Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 17 – 20, 2012.

Professor of Public Policy Michael Ahn was elected as the President-Elect for NECoPA (Northeast Conference on Public Administration), which incorporates various ASPA (American Society for Public Administration) state chapters and academic and public institution members in the Northeast region of the U.S.

Anamarija Frankić, director of the Green Boston Harbor Project (GBH), has been selected to serve a three-year term as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Advisory Council. She also represented the Center at the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17)  to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Durban, South Africa from November 28-December 9. She was a panelist at a conference side event on Climate Change Awareness Raising and Education.

The Center for Governance and Sustainability hosted the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) Author’s Meeting.  The culminating event brought the authors to campus for the roundtable Trajectories to Sustainability: People, Planet and Prosperity on November 3. In addition, the center launched a process of becoming a UNEP Collaborating Center, was designated a ‘knowledge partner’ by the World Bank and published the report from the Workshop on International Environmental Governance, which the center co-organized with the Federal Office for the Environment of Switzerland and the World Trade Institute at the University of Berne in June 2011.

Stephanie Hartwell, professor of sociology, in collaboration with the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and with the support of a grant she received from the American Sociological Association, held a training for survivors of homicide at the First Parish church in Dorchester.  Sixty people attended.

College of Management MBA student Francy Wade '12 was named a Boston Business Journal Innovation All Star.

In the beginning of the fall 2011 semester, a team from Assistant Professor of Marketing Werner Kunz's social media class (MKT 441) represented UMass Boston in the Boston-wide student competition “College Faceoff: Social Media for Social Good.” The goal of the competition was to develop social media strategies for local nonprofit organizations. Team UMass Boston was assigned the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEM).

Lisa Kennedy Sheldon PhD APRN-BC, Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, received the 2011 Health Services Award from the Alumni Association at Saint Anselm College on October 28. The Alumni Awards are presented to Saint Anselm alumni, faculty, staff and special friends in recognition of outstanding achievement or contributions to the College or in their chosen field. The Health Service Award recognizes alumni or friends of the College for exceptional achievement in health care, research, practice, and/or health education.

Presentations, Conferences, Lectures

Aleksander Lust, lecturer of management, presented a paper on "Matter over Mind: Economic History and Market Reform in Eastern Europe" at the 43rd annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association from November 17 to 19 in Philadelphia.  He also served as the chair and discussant on panels on "Welfare States in Transition," "Values, Norms, and Identity in European Politics," and "Issues of Justice in the Global System."

Felicia L. Wilczenski, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development, presented on "Enhancing Educational Technology Skills through Service Learning" at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa, in October.

Professor of Literacy Rona Flippo presented “The Current State of Literacy Education”, and presented her paper, “The Solution That Isn’t A Solution: the Cycle of Testing and Assessment in Today’s Schools” in that symposium, at the Annual Conference of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER) in Richmond, Virginia, November 3-5.

Françoise Carré, director of the Center for Social Policy Research, was invited to join the international scientific council for a French multi-university network of researchers based in the Paris region, named “GESTES” (Research work on work and problems at work).  Responsibilities include academic review and advice for research projects and conferences.

Brandynn Holgate, PhD candidate, represented the Center for Social Policy at the Flex Work Research Centre International Conference in Leuven, Belgium on October 27 and 28. This conference is jointly sponsored by the University of Amsterdam and the European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies. Holgate presented a team paper based on research conducted under the Alternative Staffing Demonstration - a national monitoring and evaluation project funded through the C.S. Mott Foundation and directed by CSP Research Director, Françoise Carré.

Director of the Gerontology Institute Ellen Bruce gave a closing plenary address with Nancy Altman at the 2011 National Aging and Law Institute.  Her topic was “The future of Social Security; What are the options?”

Professors Eben Weitzman and Darren Kew of the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance facilitated a Town Hall meeting for the "Bridges Project" on November 19.  The event, held at the Islamic Center of Boston, Wayland, provided a forum for members of the local Muslim, Arab and Sikh communities to engage with a wide range of law enforcement officials, including the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, the FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for Mass, IRS SAC for Mass, US Marshall for Mass, ICE SAC for Mass and many others, to present, discuss and resolve areas of mutual concern.

UMass Boston gerontology faculty, fellows, and staff presented over 30 papers and posters at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting held in Boston this year.  In addition 17 students and 15 alumni also presented at the conference. The Gerontology Institute and Department hosted a reception at the conference with the four other campuses of UMass. 

Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution Maria Ivanova participated as one of three speakers at a roundtable on International Environmental Governance sponsored by the government of Norway at the United Nations on November 21. The event attracted about 80 governments from the missions in New York. She co-led (with Michael Keating) the McCormack College Conversation,  "Whom Is It Helping Anyway? Globalization and the Crisis in Capitalism” on November 8 and presented on “Global Environmental Governance: the Reform Agenda” at Tufts University on November 29.

Professor Maria Ivanova co-led, with Michael Keating, of the Center for Peace Democracy and Development, the McCormack College Conversation, "Whom Is It Helping Anyway? Globalization and the Crisis in Capitalism”on November 8.

David S. Areford, Associate Professor of Art, delivered a lecture “Seeing Through Tears: The Cummer Mother of Sorrows and Empathy in Detail” at Brown University on October 11, 2011. His visit was cosponsored by the Programs in Medieval Studies and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture.

Lloyd Schwartz, professor of English, attended an Elizabeth Bishop conference in Brazil, celebrating her centennial. He was the keynote speaker, delivering a paper “On Editing Elizabeth Bishop.” He also participated in two panels, “Remembering Elizabeth Bishop” and a reading of her poems in English and Portuguese, with her Brazilian translator.

Associate Professor of English Askold Melnyczuk gave a reading and talk at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago.

Tom Ferguson, professor of political science, spoke at a Ford Foundation conference on financial reform on November 4 in New York; then that same day did a presentation at INET and that evening talked to Occupy Wall Street in Zucotti Park.


Robert Lublin, chair of Performing Arts, published the book Costuming the Shakespearean Stage: Visual Codes of Representation in Early Modern Theatre and Culture.

Lecturer of English Joseph Torra's poem, "Self-Portrait With A Loaf Of Bread" has just been published in an anthology: New Hungers For Old: One-Hundred Years of Italian-American Poetry.

Visiting Professor of English Jill McDonough has had poems in these recently published anthologies:  Collective Brightness:  LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality; Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism in the United States; and Best American Poetry 2011.

Elora Chowdhury, associate professor of Women’s Studies, published a book, Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing Against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh. Albany: State University of New York Press, Praxis: Theory in Action Series, 2011.

Assistant Professor of Sociology Andrea Leverentz published “Being a good daughter and sister: Families of origin in the reentry of African American female ex-prisoners" in Feminist Criminology.

In The News

Stephen Crosby, dean of the McCormack Graduate School, appeared on Emily Rooney’s Radio Show on WBUR on November 7 to discuss state politics.

New Awards Received

Joan Becker, vice provost for Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies, has received a $25,000 grant from the State Street Foundation, and a $10,000 grant from the Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial. These two new grants will provide instructional support for  the Urban Scholars Program. This after-school program for committed middle- and high-school students from the Boston Public Schools to build the skills, muster the drive, and live the experiences that will ensure their success in college.

Keith Bentele, assistant professor of Sociology, has been awarded $17,051 grant by the Russell Sage Foundation for the project "Evaluating the Performance of State Social Safety Nets."

Sheila Fesko, a senior research fellow in the Institute for Community Inclusion, has received a $310,000 grant from Rutgers University as support in FY 2012 for the National Technical Assistance and Research Center to Promote Leadership for Employment for Adults with Disabilities. The prime sponsor is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Gabriel Ghinita, assistant professor of Computer Science, has been awarded a $36,500 grant by Purdue University for the project "Privacy Enhanced Secure Data Provenance." The prime sponsor is the National Science Foundation.

Donaldo Macedo, professor of Applied Linguistics, has received a $1,836,000 four-year grant for the U.S. Department of Education for the instructional and training program "Math Sheltered English Teacher Training Project."

Robbin Peach, executive director of Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and Security, has received a $518,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for the project "Addressing the Human and National Security Threats Emerging from Climate-Induced Changes in Marine Environments."

Marc Pomplun, associate professor of Computer Science, has received a $668,000 three-year, basic research grant from the National Science Foundation to support his project “Semantic Guidance of Visual Attention.”

Wichian Rojanawon, professor of Gerontology, has been awarded $50,000 by the Bernard Osher Foundation as operational support for the UMass Boston Osher Life Long Learning Institute.

Anthony Roman, senior research fellow in the Center for Survey Research, has received a $203,000 grant from the U.S. Census Bureau for the project "Affordable Care Act Pretesting."

Crystal Schaaf, professor of Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences, has been awarded a $62,000 grant by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in support of her project "NOAA's Preparatory Project Program for Albedo Environmental Data Record Validation."

Ilyitch Tabora and Sonnya Espinal of the Institute for Learning and Teaching, College of Education and Human Development have received a $460,000 grant from the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to administer the BPS Talented and Gifted Program. The U.S. Department of Education is the prime sponsor.

Joan Becker, vice provost for Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies, has received a $25,000 grant from the Amelia Peabody Foundation and a $10,000 grant from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Foundation. These two new grants will provide instructional support for  the Urban Scholars Program. This after-school program for committed middle- and high-school students from the Boston Public Schools to build the skills, muster the drive, and live the experiences that will ensure their success in college.

Arthur Eisenkraft, research professor of Science Education, has received a $630,000 four-year grant from Black Hills State University in support of his project “An Examination of Science and Technology Teachers' Conceptual Learning through Concept-Based Engineering.” The National Science Foundation is the prime sponsor.

Winston Langley, provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Joan Becker, vice provost for Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies, have received a $155,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for their initiative "Increasing Graduation Rates and Learning Assessments."

Benyamin Lichtenstein, associate professor of Marketing and Management, has received an $11,875 grant from the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services to carry out the project “Managing Rapid Growth with New Systems: The Case of the Committee for Public Counsel Services.” Impact: Massachusetts

Edward Tronick, university distinguished professor of Psychology, has received a $419,000  two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his project “The Electrophysiological Indices of Infants Memory for a Social Stressor.”

Emily Wiemers, assistant professor of Economics, has received a $62,000 grant from the University of California, Los Angeles to support her project “Aging, Work, and Intergenerational Obligations.” The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is the prime sponsor.

Jack Wiggin, director of the Urban Harbors Institute, has received a $61,000 the nonprofit Third Sector New England in support of the “2011 Ecosystem Health Indicators Conference and Development of Additional Recreational Boating and GIS Maps.”

Tags: augustus white , campus notes

Comment on this story

Comments (0)