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Nugen receives $500,000 grant from USDA to improve food safety

Sam Nugen, Food Science, has received a $495,950 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to improve food safety. Nugen has designed new techniques with Amanda Kinchla and doctoral student Juhong Chen, both Food Science, and Vincent Rotello, Chemistry, that should help food manufacturers avoid costly waiting for safety tests before products can be sold. Azonano.com, Phys.org, Nanowerk, Food Engineering, ChemEurope.com, Foodqualitynews.com, Republican, News release

UMass Amherst named state champion in the 2014 Northeast Business Leaders for Energy Efficiency Recognition Program

UMass Amherst has been named state champion in the 2014 Northeast Business Leaders for Energy Efficiency Recognition Program. The award, given by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), honors one institutional energy customer from each state in the Northeast for its commitment to sustainable innovation and for contributions in keeping the region a national leader in accelerating energy efficiency. Republican, News release

Croft wins IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award

W. Bruce Croft, Computer Science, has been awarded the IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award. He was one of 13 scientists given the award. Techweb.com, MLive.com

Bezanilla's research on how cells grow in moss featured on LiveScience.com

Magdalena Bezanilla, Biology, looks at how cells grow in moss as a way to understand the general process of cell growth, as featured on LiveScience.com.

Russell given honorary doctorate from the Université​ catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Thomas Russell, Polymer Science and Engineering, has received an honorary doctorate from the Université​ catholique de Louvain in Belgium. News release

UMass Amherst joint project reveals new image of stars beginning to form in the Serpens Cloud Core

A joint venture between UMass Amherst, the California Institute of Technology, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has resulted in a new image of stars beginning to form in the Serpens Cloud Core; the image has been released by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) project. Space Fellowship

Vinthagen named inaugural holder of endowed chair in the study of nonviolent direct action and civil resistance

Stellan Vinthagen, an internationally known Swedish peace activist and educator in conflict transformation and civil disobedience, has been named the inaugural holder of an endowed chair in the study of nonviolent direct action and civil resistance. Vinthagen will also become an integral member of the university’s Psychology of Peace and Violence Program, and lead the program’s expansion to address issues of nonviolent action and civil resistance. A $2.8 million endowment from an anonymous family committed to social justice will fund the position and related activities, and support scientific research that can provide guidance to those who seek to improve their societies through nonviolence.

Bernecker receives National Research Service Award from NIMH

Samantha Bernecker, doctoral candidate, Psychology, has been selected for a two-year, $54,826 National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health for her dissertation work titled “Crowdsourcing Mental Health with a Web-Based Peer-Delivered Intervention.” News release

Hu and Albertson find mutation of a single gene can change feeding strategies, not just shape of skull and jaw

Yinan Hu, doctoral candidate, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Craig Albertson, Biology, have found that a mutation in a single gene during development of cichlid fish not only changes the shape of the fish’s skull and jaw, but can also cause differences in feeding strategies to exploit different ecological niches, as published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. MedIndia, Science Newsline, Science Codex, Astrobiology magazine, News release

Crosby and Irschick interviewed in story about Geckskin

Alfred Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Duncan Irschick, Biology, are featured in a story about Geckskin, the reusable adhesive they've created. QMed.com, HuffPost, Americanlivewire.com, Newsnet5.com, News release

Mohn and Miller discuss ticks and tick-borne illnesses on Connecting Point

William Mohn, Microbiology, and Lora Miller, Environmental Conservation, undergraduates who work at the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, run by Stephen Rich, Microbiology, discuss their work on ticks and tick-borne illnesses on Connecting Point, WGBY-TV. WGBY-TV

Staudinger's research on the feeding ecologies of sperm whales is featured

Michelle Staudinger, Environmental Conservation, and colleagues offer a better understanding of the feeding ecologies of two very rare sperm whale species in waters off the southeast U.S. coast, as reported in Research Next. Research Next

Winners of the 2014 CNS Faculty and Staff Awards are celebrated

Congratulations to the 2014 CNS Faculty and Staff Award winners! Feted at a reception that included colleagues, family, and introductions from department and school heads and chairs, the honorees are: Ramesh K. Sitaraman, Computer Science, and Elsbeth L. Walker, Biology (Outstanding Teacher); Duncan J. Irschick, Biology (Outstanding Research); Elizabeth R. Dumont, Biology (Outstanding Service/Outreach); Bruce E. Byers, Biology (Outstanding Advisor); and Ann E. Adams Cairl, Physics, and Kelley Strickland, Microbiology (Outstanding Staff).

Watkins profiled in article about nanotech manufacturing and the assembly line of the future

James Watkins, Polymer Science and Engineering, and director of the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, is profiled discussing nanotech manufacturing and the assembly line of the future. World Industrial Reporter

Watkins and the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing subject of NSF video

James Watkins, Polymer Science and Engineering, and the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), were featured in a video created by the NSF that showcases how the center brings nanotechnology to industrial-scale manufacturing through a process called hierarchical manufacturing. National Science Foundation, News release

Spencer comments at length on new study linking sleep apnea to hearing loss

Rebecca Spencer, Psychology, commented at length on a new study that indicates sleep apnea may be linked to hearing loss. MSN.com, U.S. News & World Report, Newsday, HealthDay

Elkinton's work releasing parasitic insects to combat winter moth caterpillars is reported

Joseph Elkinton, Environmental Conservation, is leading a team of researchers who are releasing parasitic insects to combat winter moth caterpillars that have been destroying trees in New England, as reported in the Boston Globe and WJAR-TV Providence, R.I. WJAR-TV Providence, Boston Globe, East Providence Patch, News release

Rawlins interviewed on Connecting Point about climate assessment report

Michael Rawlins, Geosciences, and Climate System Research Center manager, discussed the recent Federal National Climate Assessment Report, which foresees major changes in the weather if there is no reduction in fossil fuel use, on WGBY's Connecting Point. Connecting Point

Vittum honored by Stockbridge Alumni Turf Group

Pat Vittum, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and interim director, Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, was honored for her service to the turf industry by the Stockbridge Alumni Turf Group. News release

Tropp discusses race-based discrimination at Congressional seminar

Linda Tropp, Psychology, spoke in Washington, D.C., on “The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination,” as part of the second Congressional Seminar Series, held by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). Tropp (third from left, with SPSSI staff) discussed the subtle ways race-based discrimination continues to affect everyday interactions and policy. The Psychological Insights into Legislative Issues series is co-sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), and aims to inform salient policy debates with the best of recent psychological research. Tropp is also director of the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program.

Clark writes opinion piece about lice in NYT's Room for Debate column

John Clark, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, contributed an opinion piece to an online debate forum about policies regarding schoolchildren with lice. New York Times

Hatch profiled in Gazette about flipped learning

Heath Hatch, Physics, is profiled about his love of flipped learning, where direct instruction takes place with individuals and the group learning takes place outside the classroom or online. Daily Hampshire Gazette

Kurt Schultz '14 among the ‘29 Who Shine’ honored at State House

Kurt Schultz '14, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was honored at the State House during the state Department of Higher Education’s 29 Who Shine ceremony saluting public campus graduates for their civic and academic achievements. Schultz, a member of iCons and one of 10 students recognized at Commencement as a 21st Century Leader, founded UCAN, a community service network connecting UMass Amherst students with volunteer opportunities in the Amherst schools.

The iCons partnership with Waters Corp. is profiled in Boston Business Journal

The academic partnership between students in the iCons program and Waters Corp., based in Milford, Mass., was profiled. Waters Corp. committed to working with the students in the spring semester and providing two internships over the summer, in addition to making a financial commitment. Boston Business Journal

McIntire wins 2014 Chancellor's Citation Award

Shawn McIntire, Cold Spring Orchards, was one of 10 UMass Amherst staff members who received the Chancellor’s Citation Award this year. Center for Agriculture, Family and the Environment newsletter, News release