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Richmond Honored with Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology

Alan M. Richmond, Biology, has received the Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. The national award recognizes sustained commitment to superior teaching effectiveness and mentoring of students in the area of herpetology. Several of his students have gone on to successful careers in the field. In addition to his teaching, Richmond is widely recognized as an expert on New England frogs, salamanders, snakes, and turtles and was instrumental in creating the Massachusetts Herpetological Atlas. He is also herpetology curator for the campus’ Natural History Collections.

Craker interviewed by New England Public Radio about his inability to get federal approval to grow and study marijuana

Lyle Craker, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was interviewed about the difficulties he encountered when he tried and failed to get federal approval to grow marijuana to study possible health benefits of the plant, despite support from the campus administration. New England Public Radio

Young quoted in National Geographic story about the autumnal equinox

The late Judith Young, Astronomy, speaking in 2011, was quoted in a National Geographic story about the autumnal equinox.

Russell and Emrick break electrode barrier with a more efficient, lightweight, inexpensive organic solar cell

Thomas P. Russell and Todd S. Emrick, both Polymer Science and Engineering, and their colleagues have developed a more efficient, easily processable, and lightweight solar cell that can use virtually any metal for the electrode, effectively breaking the so-called electrode barrier. Dailynewsen.com, Phys.org, Powersystemsdesign.com, Azom.com, Science Daily, Photonics Online, EETimes, Solar Daily, Printelectronicsworld.com, SMTOnine, Lab Manager magazine, Industrial Safety and Security Source, News release

Lee is first recipient of Frances and Chou-Chu Hong Graduate Fellowship in Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Hoi Chang Lee, Veterinary and Animal Sciences PhD candidate, was named the first recipient of the Frances and Chou-Chu Hong Graduate Fellowship in Veterinary and Animal Sciences. Lee works with department head Rafael Fissore (right, in photo). The new fellowship was recently established by Jerry C. Hong (’93 ISOM), and Jason I. Hong in honor of their father, Chou-Chu Hong '73 PhD, DVM, who recently stepped down as President of Taiwan’s Level Biotechnology, Inc., and their mother, Frances Hong.

The annual CNS State of the College 2014 kicks off the start of the academic year

The CNS State of the College 2014 was held on September 4 to full crowd of faculty and staff. CNS State of the College 2014 gallery

Brigham-Grette profiled in Daily Hampshire Gazette

Julie Brigham-Grette, Geosciences, is profiled for her new position as chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board and for being chief U.S. scientist for the International Lake El’gygytgyn Drilling Project in Siberia. The article also mentioned other UMass Amherst scientists involved with the study: Isla Castenada, Rob DeConto, and Stephen Burns, all Geosciences. Daily Hampshire Gazette, News release

Croft and Kevrekidis honored at Convocation 2014 with Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity

W. Bruce Croft (left), Computer Science, and Panayotis Kevrekidis, Mathematics and Statistics, were presented with the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity at Faculty Convocation on Sept. 12. Croft is the founding director of the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval, which combines basic research with technology transfer to government and industry partners. Kevrekidis is an applied and computational mathematician who focuses on the nonlinear dynamics of waves in a huge variety of physical contexts.

Cave, Simmons, and Eden join CNS Advising Center staff

Three new people have joined the CNS Advising Office: Carolyn Cave (left) has been named senior assistant dean, Charlana Simmons (middle) has been named the Advising Center's director of student success and diversity, and Cathy Eden (right) is the new academic advisor health profession. Welcome!

Dasgupta named CNS director of faculty equity and inclusion

Nilanjana (Buju) Dasgupta, Psychological and Brain Sciences, has been named director of faculty equity and inclusion. In this newly created position, Dasgupta will work with faculty to develop policies and programs that can be implemented college-wide to increase diversity in the hiring, retention, success, and satisfaction of faculty from underrepresented groups. She will also lead research and assessment of the needs of such faculty, and programs designed to address them; represent CNS to the chancellor’s faculty advisor for diversity and equity; and play an active role in CNS leadership.

UMass Amherst ranked 30th among public universities by U.S. News & World Report

The University of Massachusetts Amherst now ranks among the nation’s top 30 public universities, moving up 10 spots during the past year in the 2015 Best Colleges guide released by U.S. News & World Report. Among all national universities, public and private, UMass Amherst moved up an impressive 15 places this year, from No. 91 to No. 76, tied with eight other schools. News release

Stevens' newest book calls for expanded role of indigenous people's in worldwide conservation planning

A just-published book edited by Stanley F. Stevens, Geosciences, presents the latest original research and surveys transformative new approaches now being considered to enhance the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide to have a stronger voice in shaping conservation and park management policies that affect their traditional lands. The book, “Indigenous Peoples, National Parks and Protected Areas,” was released by the University of Arizona Press. Phys.org, Bio-Medicine, TMCNet.com, News release

Strickland honored for lifetime achievement by American Psychological Association

Bonnie Strickland, Psychological and Brain Sciences professor emerita, has received the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest. The citation notes that Strickland's five decades of research, scholarship, and teaching, "have had a profound effect on the impact of psychology in the public interest" and that her research across unpopular and neglected communities such as black children, social activists, and gays and lesbians, has "legitimized the scientific and scholarly study of previously ignored areas important to persons whose interests are marginalized."

Hazzard featured in article on tomato blight

Ruth Hazzard, UMass Extension, was interviewed for an article on how the blight on tomatoes is affecting some farmers and home gardeners in the region this year. Republican

Chien and colleagues reveal molecular mechanisms crucial for bacteria growth; could lead to new antibiotics

Peter Chien, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and colleagues, have reconstructed how bacteria tightly control their growth and division, a process known as the cell cycle, by specifically destroying key proteins through regulated protein degradation; the results could lead to new antibiotics. As published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. eScience News, Nanowerk, MedIndia.net, Health Canal, Science Codex, Phys.org, Bio-Medicine, Science Daily, Science Newsline, Medindia.com, News release

Davidson, Fletcher, Meyer, and Staros win CTFD teaching fellowships

The UMass Amherst Center for Teaching and Faculty Development (CTFD) has awarded 13 Fellowships for Innovative Teaching to instructors for 2014-15 and four of the recipients are from the College of Natural Sciences: Matt Davidson, Psychological and Brain Sciences; Lena Fletcher, Environmental Conservation; Christiane Healy (Meyer), Biology; and James Staros, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. News release

Stockbridge School interns create herb planter near Isenberg

Joshua Cardin, Joshua Brodeur, Ricardo Orellana, Will Ried, Hannah Peterson, and Ayana LaSalle, undergraduates in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, created an herb spiral planting area near the Isenberg School of Management as part of their summer internship with Physical Plant’s Landscape Management unit. News release

Pocar, Cadonati, and Otis use neutrinos to look into the heart of the sun

Andrea Pocar, Laura Cadonati and doctoral student Keith Otis, all Physics, report in Nature that for the first time they, along with an international team, have directly detected neutrinos created by the “keystone” proton-proton (pp) fusion process going on at the sun’s core. Red Orbit, New York Times, Sudan Vision, Smithsonian magazine, Science 2.0, Physics Today, Daily Mail, Yahoo News, French Tribune, Laboratory Equipment, Christian Science Monitor, Nature World News, Daily Hampshire Gazette, International Business Times, Uncover California, Astronomy.com, Science Newsline, Physics World, Science Daily, Space.com, Science magazine, Electronic Component News, Science Codex, Columbus Dispatch, News Release

DeConto interviewed on Radio New Zealand about the latest findings on Antarctica's melting ice sheets

Robert M. DeConto, Geosciences, was interviewed for the radio program “Our Changing World” about the latest findings on the melting ice sheets in Antarctica and what that may mean for sea levels worldwide. Radio New Zealand

UMass Amherst receives plant cell library donation from Monsanto

UMass Amherst has received a donation of a plant cell library and related equipment from the Monsanto Company, valued at more than $1 million. The library, among the world's largest, contains plant tissues and cells—none genetically modified—from 3,500 species spanning 85 percent of taxonomic orders worldwide. It will be kept in the Life Science Laboratories and used by university researchers and industry partners.

Marlin wins five-year, $536,527 CAREER award from the NSF

Benjamin Marlin, Computer Science, has received a five-year, $536,527 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award to develop machine learning-based tools for analyzing complex, large-scale clinical and mobile health (mHealth) data. His project is designed to help health researchers handle what he calls a "data revolution" of electronic health records. The CAREER award is the NSF's most prestigious award supporting junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Lerman is featured on New England Public Radio story about Neighborhood Nestwatch

Susannah B. Lerman, Environmental Conservation, is featured in a New England Public Radio story about Neighborhood Nestwatch, a study of backyard birds in the area. New England Public Radio

Velasquez featured in CNN Money story about college graduates choosing Silicon Valley over Wall Street

Jorge Velasquez '14, Mathematics and Statistics, and Economics undergraduate, is featured in a story about how college graduates are increasingly drawn to Silicon Valley rather than Wall Street when they seek jobs after graduation. CNN Money, Hartford Business Journal

Muneeruddin wins Global Fellowship Award; will develop tools to characterize the natural diversity of biopharmaceutics

Khaja Muneeruddin, Chemistry doctoral candidate, has been granted a $30,000 2014–2015 Global Fellowship Award from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention. The grant will help fund the development of novel analytical tools to characterize the natural diversity of biopharmaceutics, and will be conducted under the guidance of Muneeruddin’s faculty advisor, Igor Kaltrashov. PharmExec.com, Phys.org, News-Medical.net

Riley interviewed in story about the use and abuse of antibiotics

Margaret A. Riley, Biology, says antibiotics can be a problem because they kill all bacteria in the body, good and bad, in a story about the use and abuse of antibiotics. Naturalnews.com