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On Aug. 26, 2020, ahead of the Massachusetts primary election, three expert panelists from the UMass College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) participated in a webinar that examined the upcoming primary and general elections and policy issues through an interdisciplinary lens. Introduction: Dean John Hird, UMass Amherst College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Panelists: Stephanie Murray '18, POLITICO Massachusetts Playbook Author Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science & Director of UMass Poll Jesse Rhodes, Chair and Professor of Political Science & Associate Director of UMass Poll Moderator Jennifer Lundquist, Senior Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development, Professor of Sociology.

If you missed the webinar, watch it here or read the full event recap.

A new Congressionally requested report released by a panel including Jane Fountain, director of the National Center for Digital Government at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, recommends that the Department’s Office of Space Commerce (OSC) continue to lead collaborative federal efforts to improve the safety and sustainability of the space domain and bolster American leadership in space. The report also recommends that Congress act swiftly to enact appropriations and authorizations for OSC’s work, underscoring the urgent nature of the issue. (UMass News, 08/25/2020)

Allegations against Mayor Alex Morse sought to use a moral panic for political gain. Such manipulations of public sentiment not only harm their intended target, though: they can set back decades of progressive politics. (Boston Review, 8/25/2020)

UMass ADVANCE is pleased to announce the 2020-2021 cohort of ADVANCE Faculty Fellows. The 39 selected faculty, each representing different departments, will be partnering with the UMass ADVANCE leadership team to promote gender equity for faculty at UMass. Through a combination of research, programming, and interventions UMass ADVANCE seeks to understand and address systemic and intersectional inequalities to lay the groundwork for a fairer, more equitable, diverse and inclusive campus. 

Results from a University of Massachusetts/WCVB poll released Aug. 14 show that 23% of Massachusetts residents polled are in favor of changing Native American symbols on the Massachusetts flag and 78% of those polled fear a second wave of COVID-19.  (WWLPWWLPNews office release)

Paul Musgrave, political science, has written a column about how President Trump has “weaponized” the art of wasting everyone’s time, issuing proclamations that lead his opponents to scramble and invest valuable time, energy and money in an effort to resist proposals that may come to nothing anyway. (The Washington Post, 8/14/20)

A new poll from UMass Amherst and WCVB questioned Massachusetts registered voters about the presidential election and the direction of the country and the commonwealth.  Respondents were asked, if the presidential election were held today, who would you vote for? Sixty-one percent of respondents said former Vice President Joe Biden, while 28% chose President Donald Trump. A combined 9% said “other” or they were not sure. Two percent of respondents said they probably wouldn’t vote. (WCVB-TVMSNBC; 8/13/20)

A new UMass Amherst / WCVB poll shows incumbent Sen. Edward Markey leading challenger Rep. Joseph Kennedy III by 15 points in the Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary, notably expanding Markey’s lead since the last time the race was polled by UMass Amherst in February“With three weeks until Election Day, a majority of the Commonwealth’s likely Democratic voters have thrown their support behind incumbent Senator Edward Markey in his primary race against Representative Joseph Kennedy III,” says Tatishe Nteta, associate professor of political science and director of the poll. (WCVB, MassLive, WBSM Radio [New Bedford], 8/12/20; News Office release)

Two exemplary staff members have been recognized this spring for their outstanding work in the UMass Amherst College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). Amy Grieger, undergraduate program advisor for the Department of Political Science, and Hind Elkalai, administrative assistant for the Department of Political Science, were chosen by their peers from a pool of deserving nominees.

The Outstanding Staff Award is presented to staff who have made a positive impact on SBS by fostering creativity, collaboration, integrity, and innovative work processes or systems.

Justin Gross, UMass political science, and Joshua Braun, journalism, appeared on the program “Connecting Point” to discuss the ranked-choice voting ballot question in Massachusetts and the history of the press in the United States, respectively.

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