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Undergrad Bobby Johnston receives Goldwater Scholarship

Robert (Bobby) Johnston, a Physics and Engineering major, was recently awarded the Barry S. Goldwater Scholarship. The coveted national scholarship, which was awarded to 252 of the top science and engineering sophomores and juniors in the country, covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, housing and dining for up to $7,500 per year. The junior is currently working on a project with his mentor, physics professor Rory Miskimen, for the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Johnston intends to pursue graduate study in particle physics.

McClements Wins American Oil Chemistry Society Award

David Julian McClements, Food Science, and an internationally recognized expert in the encapsulation and delivery of bioactive components, was honored by the American Oil Chemistry Society recently with its 2016 Scientific Award for work that has "taken the industry to the next level, advanced the quality and depth of the profession and leveraged their knowledge for the benefit of the society." Specifically, McClements says, the award recognizes his research in using structural design principles to engineer foods at the nanoscale to improve their physico-chemical, sensory and nutritional properties.

Whitbourne comments in a CNN story about false memories around the iconic flag-raising photograph from Iwo Jima

Susan K. Whitbourne, Psychological and Brain Sciences, comments in a CNN story about false memories related to recent questions about whether one of the soldiers in the iconic flag-raising photograph from Iwo Jima was actually a participant in the event 70 years ago. She says people can have false memories of events and over time they tend to grow if they are reinforced. Whitbourne says when events happen at times of great stress, when they are given credibility by outside observers and are repeated over time, people can misremember. She also points out that false memories usually aren't products of dishonesty. CNN

Five CNS seniors honored as 21st Century Leaders at Undergraduate Commencement

Five CNS seniors have been named 21st Century Leaders for their exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership and will be honored at Undergraduate Commencement on May 6, 2016. Gregory Barysky majored in Psychology with a mathematics minor. Samantha Giffen double majored in Microbiology and Public Health. Kevin Harrington double majored in Astronomy and Psychology, with a minor in Afro-American studies. Soun Heang Lee majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Abdifatah Omar majored in Biology and Psychology major. Read more

Beltaire receives 2016 University Distinguished Teaching Award

Katherine Beltaire, lecturer in Veterinary and Animal Sciences, received one of four 2016 University Distinguished Teaching Awards, the campus' highest honor for classroom excellence. Read more

Stoffolano and Burand search for bio-control for Narcissus bulb pest

As the daffodil blooming season draws to a close, John Stoffolano, School of Agriculture, John Burand, Microbiology, and undergraduate plant, soil and insect sciences major Jennifer Schaler, are investigating a possible bio-control remedy, a naturally occurring virus, that might help to stop a pest known as the large narcissus bulb fly. Its larvae feed on and destroy many thousands of narcissus bulbs nationwide every year, and it has few natural enemies. Read more

UMass student chapter of the Society of American Foresters wins Quiz Bowl

The UMass student chapter of the Society of American Foresters' quiz bowl team of Monika Sowinska, Eric Brown, Collin Oliver, and Kevin Surdam won the 2016 quiz bowl at the recent New England Society of American Foresters annual conference. Categories for the Jeopardy style quiz included forest ecology, insects and disease, policy, tree identification, silviculture, and timber harvesting. Read more

Brown Butter Caramel Chip is next UMass Amherst ice cream flavor

Local chefs and guest judges chose a brown butter, salted-caramel ice cream with chocolate flakes as the winning flavor developed for this year's competition. The flavor was selected from four created by students for their senior capstone project in professor Sam Nugen’s food processing class. It will become the newest seasonal flavor to be produced and marketed by Maple Valley Creamery of Hadley, which hopes to start offering the new UMass flavor in the next four to six weeks at eateries on campus and in retail outlets across the Commonwealth. Read more

ECo Seniors McElhinney and Green received Academic/Community Transformation (ACT) Awards

Ashley McElhinney '16 and Benjamin Green '16, Environmental Conservation, have received Academic/Community Transformation (ACT) Awards from the Civic Engagement and Service Learning Office. The ACT Award recognizes their leadership, academic excellence, and contribution to a community through a service-learning course or community engaged research project. Read more

Haley Schilling is first UMass Amherst student to receive Beinecke Scholarship

Haley Schilling '17, a mathematics and philosophy major, is the first UMass Amherst student to receive a nationally competitive Beinecke Scholarship, given to highly motivated college juniors to support graduate study in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Each Beinecke scholar receives $4,000 immediately and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. One of 20 students named to receive the award this year, Schilling plans to apply to graduate programs in philosophy and eventually become a professor.

Irschick discusses how he and grad students designed a 3D camera for taking pictures of animals

Duncan J. Irschick, Biology, discusses how he and his graduate students designed a 3D camera system for taking pictures of animals. Read more

Morita identifies new structure in membrane of disease-causing bacteria

Yasu Morita, Microbiology, and his doctoral student Jennifer Hayashi, report an advance in the fundamental knowledge about a model species of a pathogens, Mycobacterium smegmatis, in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Mycobacteria cause a number of dangerous, difficult-to-treat diseases including leprosy and tuberculosis, and progress has been slow in eradicating them. First author Hayashi and Morita demonstrate the existence of a distinct domain, or area, on the bacteria’s plasma membrane that is crucial for the cell’s ability to grow. Read more

Zoeller provides guidance on criteria for endocrine disruptor legislation in Europe

A group of seven independent researchers from universities and research institutions from Europe and the United States, including Thomas Zoeller, Biology, believe they have paved the way to end a nearly three-year-long stalemate over legal requirements by the European Commission to provide criteria identifying endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and put to rest claims of a lack of consensus on the issue among scientists. Read more

Senior Elguenaoui is student speaker for Undergraduate Commencement

Elkhansaa Elguenaoui '16, neuroscience and psychology (minor in biology), was selected as the student speaker at the university's Undergraduate Commencement. She addressed the undergraduate ceremony on Friday, May 6 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium where about 5,500 students received bachelor’s degrees. Featured in the Boston Globe, Elguenaoui says of her four years on campus, that she is most proud of serving as a resident assistant, traveling to Turkey where she taught English and worked as a hospital intern and serving as the president of the Muslim Student Association in 2014. She also participated in interfaith programs on campus as part of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

Attend Maple Valley Creamery's UMass Amherst Ice Cream Flavor Competition on April 27

Food science students in professor Sam Nugen's course, Food Science 563, are once again competing in a taste test to win the honor of inventing the next seasonal UMass Amherst ice cream flavor. The campus community is invited to attend the event at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 in 168C Campus Center, where judges will choose the next UMass Amherst ice cream flavor from among four developed by food science student teams. Read more

Spencer interviewed in Harvard Business Review about her sleep research

Rebecca Spencer, Psychological and Brain Sciences, was interviewed in the Harvard Business Review about her sleep research. Spencer says when people are asked to make a decision and they sleep, they are more likely to recall positive aspects of the decision than people who didn't sleep before making a choice. Harvard Business Review

Rich sees influx of Lone Star ticks in state

Stephen M. Rich, director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, says in 2014 he began seeing Lone Star ticks being sent for testing. The laboratory tests ticks to see if they are carrying a variety of diseases including Lyme disease. Sentinel & Enterprise

2016 D. J. Ban Blerkom Research Scholarship Awards

The 2016 winners of the David J. Van Blerkom Research Scholarship Award are Jonah Chaban '18 Physics, and Kendall Sullivan '18 Physics. Read more

Tropp spoke at congressional briefing about psychology of prejudice and discrimination in the context of immigration

Linda Tropp, psychological and brain sciences, spoke as part of a congressional briefing on the psychology of prejudice and discrimination in the context of immigration, held March 17 in Washington, D.C. Read more

Warren and Healey selected as TIDE Ambassadors

Paige Warren, Environmental Conservation, and Christiane Healey, Biology, have been selected as two of the 2016-17 Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity and Equity (TIDE) Ambassadors through the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD). The TIDE Ambassadors Fellowship is a competitive award program in its inaugural year that recognizes the vital role faculty fulfill in creating an inclusive and equitable college experience for all students. Read more

UMass Amherst establishes new School of Earth and Sustainability

CNS is the home of the new School of Earth and Sustainability (SES), which will serve as a central hub for a suite of academic programs, research, innovation, outreach and extension activities focused on finding solutions to the complex, global environmental challenges of the 21st century. A partnership between the departments of Environmental Conservation and Geosciences and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, the school brings together 18 undergraduate programs and five graduate programs. Faculty associated with SES conduct research on conservation, sustainable agriculture, earth sciences, environmental geography, renewable energy, sustainable building and design, climate sciences, environmental policy and decision-making, and sustainability.

CNS team recieves 2016 'Armstrong Fund for Science' Awards

A team of four CNS researchers are the Armstrong Fund for Science winners for 2016: Li-Jun Ma and Sergey Savinov, both Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, along with Michele Klingbeil and Yasu Morita, Microbiology. The team will use the two-year $40,000 grant to harness the synergistic power of plant antimicrobials and integrate the research interests of their labs to identify novel compounds with antifungal, antitrypanosomal or antibacterial activities. They plan to use the Plant Cell Culture Library (PCCL),a plant cell collection that contains cells from more than 2,200 plant species and is considered one of the largest and most diverse collections of cultured plant materials in the world, which includes cells capable of controlling drug-resistant pathogens.

Gierasch elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Lila Gierasch, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Chemistry was elected as a new member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780, the academy is one of the country's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing and opportunities available to the nation and the world. Members contribute to academy publications and science, engineering and technology policy studies, works on global security and international affairs, the humanities, arts, education and American institutions and the public good. Gierasch says, "I am thrilled and honored to learn that I have been elected to the American Academy and to be included among such accomplished scholars."

Zoeller honored with Endocrine Society Award for Public Service

R. Thomas Zoeller, Biology, has won the Endocrine Society's Laureate Award for Outstanding Public Service Award, with three others, for "public service to the field of endocrinology" and for "their citizenship, outreach and scientific leadership in the area of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC)." The society's announcement says, "These four individuals have worked tirelessly with the endocrine community to communicate to the public, scientists, healthcare professionals and global governments about the role and impacts of EDCs on normal physiology, and how EDCs challenge long-used approaches in identifying toxic substances. Among the varied contributions of these individuals are co-authorship of the 2009 Scientific Statement on EDCs, integration of the topic into the Endocrine Society's scientific offerings, and expansion of the Society's advocacy beyond the U.S. borders."

Anastos is student speaker at Ouimet Scholarship Fund's Annual Banquet

Daniel Anastos '14 AS, a senior majoring in Turfgrass Science and Management, was the student speaker at the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund’s 66th Annual Banquet, held on April 11. After graduation, Anastos starts a job as a second assistant superintendent at a golf course in Idaho. Watch Dan's speech