The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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A group of eighteen students spent Monday, March 24 interacting with diplomats, foreign officials, and professional staff at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Led by Ambassador and Political Science Professor Armen Baibourtian, the trip was a part of a growing series of professional development and career preparatory activities sponsored by the Department of Political Science.

Kabir Thatte ’16, knows the value of internships. Although he is only finishing up his sophomore year at UMass, he has already interned with Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Joe Kennedy for Congress, the Town of Medfield, and, most recently, the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C.

“Internships are gateways into the true experience of working a job,” he says. “They are a win-win situation. You have the opportunity to receive credits while simultaneously building professional skill sets.”

PhD candidate Claire Brault has been selected as a 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award recipient. The honor is granted to only two graduate students from across the University each year and is the highest teaching honor bestowed on teaching assistants and associates at the University.

PhD candidate Melinda Tarsi has been named a Fellow with the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society (IUS-AFS).

IUS-AFS is a forum for the interchange and assessment of research and scholarship in the social and behavioral sciences dealing with the military establishment and civil-military relations. 

It is with great pleasure that the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences announces the Provost’s appointment of John A. Hird to the position of Interim Dean. He will begin his responsibilities on April 1 when Dean Robert S. Feldman assumes the role of Deputy Chancellor at UMass Amherst.

Legal Studies Professors Leah Wing and Ethan Katsh are part of a delegation from the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR) to serve as invited observers to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group III on Online Dispute Resolution from March 24-28, 2014.

Jane Fountain, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, has been named to the "Top Federal 100" by Federal Computer Weekly (FCW). Professor Fountain is one of only two academics to make the list.

"Federal IT would not function without people like this year's Fed 100," says FCW. "And at a time when optimism can be hard to muster in government, their stories are a refreshing reminder of what one person can make possible"

Ray La Raja, Associate Professor of Political Science, is one of six faculty named as fellows of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). Professor La Raja will spend the 2014-2015 academic year “Exploring Reforms to Improve U.S. Democracy.” 

As a fellow, Professor La Raja will benefit from a year-long seminar designed to bolster reserach grant proposals and from consultation with other nationally-recognized experts in his field. 

Dianne Pfundstein, Assistant Professor of Political Science, has been tapped by the US Army, the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, and the US State Department's Institute for Training and Development to share her expertise on US security policy since the Cold War.

Tatishe Nteta, Assistant Professor of Political Science, has been named a Family Research Scholar by the Center for Research on Families (CRF) at UMass Amherst for the 2014-2015 academic year. 

As a fellow, Professor Nteta will work on his project, The Political Effects of Children: Public Opinion, Political Behavior, and the Transformative Impact of Fatherhood.