The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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It is with sad news that we learn that Professor Emeritus Dean Alfange, Jr. died after a period of ill health on Monday morning, January 1.
Dean earned his BA at Hamilton College, and his PhD at Cornell. After teaching for a few years at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, he joined the faculty here in 1967. He was best known among scholars for his research on American constitutional law and among students for his challenging courses. As he retired, a group of alumni raised sufficient funds to endow the annual Dean Alfange Jr. Lecture on American Constitutionalism. During his time on the faculty he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (a unit later split into distinct humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences colleges) from 1971-75, and doubled as Acting Chair of the Economics Department in 1972-73.  He was also Acting Provost for part of 1975. He will be missed! (Hampshire Gazette Obituary)

Regine A. Spector has co-authored an interdisciplinary article in Earth's Future: "The Paris Agreement and Climate Justice: Inequitable Impacts of Sea Level Rise Associated With Temperature Targets". (Earth's Future, 11/09/22; UMass Press Release 12/13/22)

Annie Tsan, who will be graduating in 2022 from the Department of Political Science at UMass Amherst, has been awarded a 2022 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Rangel Fellowship supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue a career in the Foreign Service. The Rangel Fellowship of $84,000 will support Tsan through a two-year master’s degree in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service, providing extensive professional development opportunities such as internships, mentors and skills training.

Some of the biggest issues to come before the Supreme Court in recent weeks – from affirmative action to LGBTQ rights – have featured a common theme on their dockets: They've drawn the interest of groups with ties to the military. Paul Collins, Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies comments: “It’s not clear that the military briefs have any special influence, but I have a strong sense they likely get closer consideration than the average amicus brief.” (USA Today, 12/13/22)

Andrew March, political science, is scheduled to speak today about the book, “Public Freedoms in the Islamic State,” by Rached Ghannouchi. (Arab America, 12/5/22)

An article about the work of a Reparations Task Force in California cites an April 2021 UMass Poll that found 86% of Black Americans supported compensating the descendants of slaves, compared with 28% of White Americans. (The New York Times, 12/1/22)

The Graduate Certificate in Ethnographic Research offers mutual support, awesome mentors, writing groups, provocative events, and recognition in the form of a certificate for your preparation in ethnographic methods. If you are already pursuing the certificate, please join the community now.

If you are taking courses in ethnographic methods and considering the certificate, please join today. By "joining," you are helping us build community among students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Ethnographic Research, the certificate advisors, and the Ethnography Collective.

Basileus Zeno's article, "The making of sects: Boundary making and the sectarianisation of the Syrian uprising, 2011-2013," which was also the second chapter of his dissertation, has received the 2022 Syrian Studies Association (SSA) Prize for its annual Most Outstanding Article Prize at the 2022 Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting (Dec 1-4). Jadaliyya published an announcement that celebrates the award and includes the committee's citation.

Amber Vayo’s State Reproductive Autonomy Index has been published in Law and Social Inquiry. A large, original data created using a reproductive justice frame, the Index offers ways to map legal pluralism (multiple systems of law that coexist in the same space) and makes the case for reproductive justice not reproductive rights as the dominant discourse surrounding reproductive politics. Additionally, the article calls for more systematic ways of studying health law and policy issues through public health Law methods like Legal Epidemiology. (The States of Inequality: Methods for Mapping Legal Pluralism in Reproductive Autonomy, Law and Social Inquiry)

Lauren and Shannon Roberts (Industrial and Mechanical Engineering) are co-recipients of a 2022-2023 UMass ADVANCE Collaborative Research Seed Fund award for their project, “Understanding cybersecurity risk and resiliency for law enforcement vehicles.” The selection committee notes that "The UMass ADVANCE team was very impressed with the innovative research design and thoughtful and equitable collaboration proposed by Professors Roberts and McCarthy and we look forward to supporting them in this work."

Funded by the National Science Foundation to advance gender equity for faculty, UMass ADVANCE provides resources, recognition and relationship building needed for faculty to build inclusive communities, engage in research collaboration, and participate in shared decision-making. (UMass Adavance Grant's Recipients Fall 2022)