The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Amel Ahmed, Associate Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, is quoted in an article exploring the possibility that the U.S. Congress may be able to pass multi-trillion dollar infrastructure and clean energy bills. “Infrastructural spending is sound economic policy and it’s also very popular. It may prove divisive to pass through budget reconciliation, but I do not see it hurting Democrats in 2022. That said, I think there are still opportunities to build bipartisan support,” she said. (The National Interest, 3/13/21)

A new UMass Amherst/WCVB-TV Poll surveyed Massachusetts residents regarding their views on the impacts the COVID pandemic has had on their lives, including the schooling of their children and working remotely. (WCVB-TV Boston, 3/12/21; News Office release)

A team of UMass Amherst researchers from the department of political science and the legal studies program have been awarded a three-year, $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Law and Science Program to study law and legality in LGBTQ+ media. The investigators will work with a diverse team of graduate and undergraduate students to examine how legal issues rise and fall on the agendas of LGBTQ+ media, how the legal consciousness of the LGBTQ+ community develops over time, and how legal decisions influence public awareness and attitudes toward law and legal actors.

Charli Carpenter, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, is interviewed about the Biden administration’s temporary limits on counterterrorism drone strikes outside of active battlefields.  She says, “There’s going to be a much higher level of oversight, it will make drones harder to use, and weaponized drones will only be used in the most extreme cases.”  From March to April of this year, Carpenter is a guest researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt. (World Politics Review, 3/10/21)

Less Than One-Quarter of Massachusetts Residents Have Received COVID Vaccine Shots According to New UMass Amherst / WCVB Poll. Survey shows more than 20% probably or definitely will not get the vaccine, while Governor Baker receives split marks on overseeing vaccine distribution.

Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at UMass Amherst, was featured in a Wall Street Journal article on how interest groups and corporations lobby the Supreme Court and the limitations of the Court’s rules for this type of engagement. Collins explained that the Court’s financial disclosure rule “is very easy to evade. Wealthy individuals and corporations can donate money to an interest group, it puts that money in a general fund, and then uses the general fund to file an amicus brief. And that donation doesn’t fall under the Supreme Court’s current disclosure rules.” (WSJ, 3/6/2021)

Raymond La Raja, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, is quoted in a column asking if former President Trump is getting ready to run again. La Raja said, “He gains nothing by announcing so soon. Everyone knows he is the front runner and he has major support in the electorate that few can match. By holding off, he makes it harder for others to calibrate their decisions and raise money.” (National Interest, 3/1/21)

Hussein Abdi, a junior UMass Amherst Political Science major and advocate for increasing voter turnout, is one of the candidates for an open seat on the Springfield City Council. Abdi is the founder of 413Vote. (MassLive)

Amber Vayo, Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at UMass Amherst, writes in Ms. Magazine about hospitals pushing pregnant women into unnecessary cesarean sections through policies known as vaginal-birth-after-cesarean. Vayo is specializing in reproductive justice and public law. (Ms. Magazine, 2/25/21)

Nationally-ranked soccer player and UMass alumna Briana Scurry is profiled in a women’s success feature in Face 2 Face Africa.  Scurry remains the only Black female soccer player to be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She has been immortalized in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in different capacities, notably among the Title IX exhibit.  Scurry earned an athletic scholarship to UMass Amherst and majored in political science. While in college, Scurry was the 1993 National Collegiate Goalkeeper of the Year. (Face 2 Face Africa, 2/25/21)