Campus Notes for The Point Issue #17

Office of Communications | January 19, 2011
Campus Notes for The Point Issue #17


Marc Prou, associate professor of Africana studies, convened the 22nd Annual Conference of the Haitian Studies Association at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island from Nov 11-13, 2010.  The conference theme was Haiti, History, Healing: Facing the Challenges of Reconstruction, and was attended by more than 275 scholars and researchers from more than a dozen countries.

Julie A. Nelson, associate professor of economics, gave an invited public lecture on the topic "For Love or Money: Current issues in the Economics of Care" at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, Japan, on January 18, 2011.

Maura Mast, associate vice provost for undergraduate studies and associate professor of mathematics, co-organized the panel discussion “Forty Years of Women in the Mathematical Sciences: Looking Back and Looking Forward” at the Joint Mathematics Meetings held in New Orleans in January 2011. In November 2010, she gave a special session talk on “Magnetic Geodesics in two-step Nilmanifolds” at the 2010 fall central section meeting of the American Mathematical Society held at the University of Notre Dame.

Ann Blum, associate professor of Hispanic studies, presented her paper “Legal and Social Fatherhood in Mid-Nineteenth Century Mexico City” at the Conference on Latin American History, held in conjunction with the American Historical Association meetings in Boston, January 6-9, 2011.


Thomas O'Grady, professor of English, has an article, "What in a Name? The Rocky De Valera Story," in the latest issue of The Recorder: the Journal of the American Irish Historical Society. He also has a poem, "Magritte," in the latest issue of the British poetry journal Agenda.

Jalal Alamgir, associate professor of political science, has published a book chapter: “Myanmar/Burma: International Trade and Domestic Power under an ‘Isolationist’ Identity,” in Burma or Myanmar? The Struggle for National Identity (Singapore and London: World Scientific, 2010; pp 231-258).

Siamak Movahedi, professor of sociology, had his paper, “Death, Fantasy, and the Politics of Self-Destruction,” republished in the Italian journal I Problemic Della Pedagogia in late 2010 (No. 4-6 2009; pp 307-333).

Bela Török, associate professor of chemistry, Timothy Dransfield, assistant professor of chemistry, and Aleksandra Rudnitskaya, a recent graduate of the PhD Program in Green Chemistry, have published the article "A B3LYP/6-31+G(d) study of the reaction pathways and conformational preference in a model Chichibabin reaction" in the journal Computational and Theoretical Chemistry (2011, 963 (1), 191-199).

Joy Morgan, assistant survey research supervisor for the Center for Survey Research, published the article "Psychosocial development and compliance in vocational rehabilitation: A pilot study," in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation (Volume 33, 2010; pp 159-166).


Françoise Carré, research director of the Center for Social Policy, has been awarded $14,974 by the Russell Sage Foundation for the project “Retail Work Round the Globe.”

Alix Cantave, associate director of the Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture, has been awarded $15,000 from the Foundation to Promote Open Society to support the “Haiti Higher Education Consortium Meeting.”

Wei Ding, assistant professor of computer science, has been awarded $19,786 by The Ohio State University Research Foundation for the project "Outreach:  Crater Seeker for Mars and Beyond.” The prime sponsor is NASA.

Allen Gontz, assistant professor of environmental, earth, and ocean sciences, has been awarded $8,636 from the Apex Companies for the “New Bedford Harbor Submerged Cultural Heritage Survey.”

Debra Hart, educational coordinator of the Institute for Community Inclusion, has been awarded $75,000 by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission for the project “FY2011 Transition Works.”

Patricia Monteith, radio manager of WUMB, has been awarded $177,956 by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the form of a “2011 Community Service Grant.”

Bela Torok, associate professor of chemistry, has been awarded $28,000 by the Rosztoczy Foundation to support Anna Tomin, who will conduct research under Torok’s mentorship.


Ann Blum, associate professor of Hispanic studies, received Honorable Mention from the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH) for her book, Domestic Economies: Family, Work, and Welfare in Mexico City, 1884-1943 (University of Nebraska Press, 2009).

Wei Zhang, associate professor of chemistry, received a Visiting Lecture Award from the Chemistry Research Promotion Center in Taiwan, and gave three seminars at National Tsinghua University, National Chiao Tung University, and National Taiwan University on fluorous chemistry and green chemistry.

Jack Wiggin, director of the Urban Harbors Institute, was presented with a Visionary Award by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment on December 8th for his leadership, expertise, and accomplishments in watershed, coastal and ocean management, and for his leadership in building and maintaining partnerships of diverse interests to advance coastal policy and planning.

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network’s Boston Regional Office & Minority Business Center at UMass Boston is pleased to announce that one of its clients, Pearl’s Premium, recently won a $50,000 cash prize in the MassChallenge statewide business competition. Pearl’s makes a premium environmentally-conscious grass seed that can be purchased at Whole Foods stores. The UMass Boston SBDC is a free business assistance program providing entrepreneurs with free business advisory services, educational programs, and financing assistance. The Center recently moved from the 5th floor of McCormack Hall to space on the 3rd floor of Wheatley Hall.


Daniel Gidron, adjunct professor of performing arts, directed William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the UMass Boson McCormack Theatre, December 8-11, and Terry Johnson's Hysteria for the Nora Theatre Company at Central Square Theater in Cambridge January 6-30.

In November 2010, the Urban Harbors Institute and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management completed another successful COASTSWEEP season. COASTSWEEP is the state’s annual volunteer-based marine debris removal program and is part of an international cleanup effort coordinated by the Ocean Conservancy. This year 2,930 volunteers removed over 20,400 pounds of debris from the Massachusetts marine and coastal environment.

WUMB Radio announcer Dick Pleasants was honored by more than a dozen folk musicians on January 7 at  A Pleasant(s) Evening at the Sanders Theatre: A Tribute to Dick Pleasants from his Friends. The show was sold out. Proceeds from the concert go toward the WUMB Capital Campaign.

Tags: campus notes , research , teaching , the point

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