The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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UMass Amherst has selected 10 members of the Class of 2020 as 21st Century Leaders for their exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership. Leaders include Nathalie Amazan, Commonwealth Honors College, double major in political science and legal studies; Racquel BitarCommonwealth Honors College, minor in anthropology; and Timothy Scalona, Commonwealth Honors College, double major in political science and a BDIC in policy, journalism and storytelling.

An article stating that President Trump’s judicial appointments will have long-lasting impacts on healthcare, voting rights, criminal justice and climate quotes Sheldon Goldman. He says, “The change is happening before our very eyes.”

Paul Collins is quoted in a column on Joe Biden’s possible choices for a running mate and options for filling U.S. Supreme Court vacancies if elected president. Collins says Biden, who has pledged to nominate a Black woman to the court, should consider U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, and U.S. District Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson. (The Boston Globe, 4/28/20;  News Office assistance)

Congratulations to Sid Issar, graduate student at the Department of Political Science whose article, "Listening to Black Lives Matter: Racial Capitalism and the Critique of Neoliberalism" was recently published in Contemporary Political Theory.

In the middle of a global pandemic crisis, Professor Carpenter analyzes different regions in Africa and their response to pandemics - she says "What they share is a relatively low incidence of the coronavirus and a strong, proactive and coordinated response to the crisis." She mentioned three major factors for Africa's preparedness and key elements the U.S. can learn from.

Professor La Raja and Brian Schaffner analyze political leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Crises often give rise to new public attitudes, and the response to coronavirus is no different."

Since 1961, the University of Massachusetts has presented the Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA) to instructors who demonstrate exemplary teaching at the highest institutional level. This campus-wide honor is the only student-initiated award on campus. Leah Wing, senior lecturer of legal studies, received this award from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Congratulations to Leah Wing!

On March 1st, 2019 Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the appointment of Stefanie Costa Leabo as the city's new Chief Data Officer (CDO) to lead the Analytics Team within the Department of Innovation and Technology. Stefanie is a graduate of UMass Amherst with a B.A. in Political Science and History. “Data doesn't tell the entire story but it can be a really useful tool in the toolbox to make sure what you're doing is leading you on the right track” said Costa Leabo ‘10. “It's really important to increase access to data and make sure people have the information that their own programs are generating." 

Professor Rowen ​has spent the past four years studying veterans with substance use and mental health disorders in the criminal justice system. "This work revealed gaps in health care and financial support for veterans, even though they have the best publicly funded benefits in the country", she said. In this article, Professor Rowen cites the danger of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on veteran homelessness, lack of health care, delay in receiving financial support, and even death.

Congratulations to Timothy Pachirat, whose book, Every Twelve Seconds, was selected by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the "Best Scholarly Books of the Decade."

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