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Kevin L. Young, associate professor of political science, has been appointed associate director of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) for the 2018-19 academic year. He replaces Henry Renski, associate professor of regional planning, who is completing a three-year term.  

Tatishe Nteta, political science, is interviewed on the PBS podcast Code Switch about how he and his colleagues found that racial animus and prejudice were the strongest factor influencing whether fans thought top college players, who are mostly African American, should be paid.


Alternative Spring Break brings Academic Fellows to DC for networking and professional development opportunities The University of Massachusetts Academic Fellows Program (AFP) embarked on its inaugural Alternative Spring Break trip to Washington, DC from March 9-13, taking 19 AFP participants to the nation’s capital. The AFP brings specialized opportunities and programs for first generation and ALANA undergraduate students in the UMass College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Alasdair S. Roberts, director of the School of Public Policy, writes an essay in The Conversation where he argues that the idea of American exceptionalism – that the country has a mission and character that makes it different from other nations – doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. 

An op-ed co-authored by Brian Schaffner and Jesse Rhodes, political science, says analysts of the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections are missing a key group: the more than 4 million voters, disproportionately young and black, who supported Obama and didn’t vote in 2016. 

Paul Musgrave, political science, comments on ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his tenure as the nation’s top diplomat. “Tillerson would be at or near the bottom of the list of secretaries of state, not just in the post-Second World War world but in the record of US secretaries of state,” says Musgrave.

We caught up with Nathalie Amazan '20 to talk about the work she does on campus in a leadership capacity. Nathalie is a political science and legal studies major, the newly elected Vice President of the UMass Amherst Student Government Association, the co-founder of the UMass Prison Abolition Collective, and works at the Stonewall Center where she does trainings around queer and trans identities and terminologies. She is also a member of the SBS Academic Fellows program and works at theCenter for Education Policy & Advocacy (CEPA).

Alasdair S. Roberts, director of the School of Public Policy and faculty at the Department of Political Science, writes an essay in The Conversation about the role realism plays in international and domestic politics. He says the current political situation is “difficult but not unusual” and says a sense of fragility is the norm. 

Sheldon Goldman, political science, says a federal judicial nominee who left several controversial items off her disclosure form to the Senate Judiciary Committee should raise concerns. “Is this an oversight or is this strategic withholding of information?” Goldman asks. “If it’s strategic, that raises very serious questions. Whether the Senate Judiciary Republicans majority find that troubling or not, I don’t know.”

A news story about ideological and political discord within the Democratic Party notes that polling done by Brian F. Schaffner, political science, found that 12 percent of voters who supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary ended up voting for Donald Trump in the November election against Hillary Clinton.