A feature story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the event held to mark the summer solstice sunset among the standing stones of the UMass Amherst Sunwheel on June 20. Built in the 1990s as a project of late UMass astronomy professor Judith Young, the Sunwheel is made up of rocks that mark the directions in which the sun and moon rise and fall at different times of the year. At the hour-long gatherings, which draw about 100 people, Stephen Schneider, Astronomy, explained the astronomical cause of the sun’s solstice or standstill. This refers to the fact that the sun appears to rise at a fixed spot on the northeast horizon and to set in a fixed northwest direction for more than a week, as marked by the tallest stones in the Sunwheel. Daily Hampshire Gazette, Read more

The University of Massachusetts was responsible for $6.2 billion in economic activity in Massachusetts last year—a record high—and helped to support more than 43,000 jobs statewide, President Marty Meehan announced today. "UMass educates more students than any college or university in the commonwealth and is one of the state's three largest research universities, but it also has a profound impact on the Massachusetts economy based on the scope and reach of its operations," President Meehan said. "UMass is a vital economic engine for the commonwealth," he added, "and its impact is felt in every community and by virtually every family across Massachusetts." Read more

Six undergraduate students in the Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) program are now working at paid internships with Massachusetts life science and energy technology firms for the summer, at Anika Therapeutics of Bedford, Waters Corp. of Milford and Boston-Power, Inc. of Westborough. Read more

The Board of Trustees voted June 15 to award and appoint tenure. The newly tenured CNS faculty members are: Bethany Bradley, Environmental Conservation; Krista Gile, Mathematics and Statistics; Simi T. Hoque, Environmental Conservation; Thomas Maresca, Biology; Luke Remage-Healey, Psychological and Brain Sciences and Jeffrey Starns, Psychological and Brain Sciences. Appointed as professors with tenure were Kirby Deater-Deckard, Psychological and Brain Sciences and Jody Jellison, Biology. Read more

Scott Auerbach and Justin Fermann, Chemistry, and co-directors of the Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) program, facilitated an invited workshop at Yale University earlier this month during a conference entitled "Globalizing the Liberal Arts." The conference focused on innovation in college-level liberal arts and science education, bringing thought leaders from around the U.S. to inform a curricular revision at Yale-NUS College, a satellite institution located in Singapore and co-founded by Yale University and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Read more