Around the Pond
The Future's So Bright
The Prince of Pages
The Changing Face of Beauty
Campaigns: Good for What Ails Us?
|Exchange: To and from the editors
|All the letters all the time
Impressed with magazine
You and your staff are to be congratulated on the spring and fall issues of UMass Amherst magazine. They are by far the best publications I have ever received from UMass.
Other than the class notes, which contain less and less of interest as the years pass by, I have found very little I cared to read in alumni publications. This has been unfortunate, especially for alumni who live out of state.
You are doing a fine job of telling us interesting things about alumni as well as about interesting things that are happening on campus.
Chancellor Lombardi seems to be doing great things!
Keep up the good work!
George Hamel ’41
Ocean City, MD
Weight - an interesting and important issue
I graduated from UMass in 1968 and in 1969 received a Masters Degree from Columbia University in counseling. I have a counseling practice in Yarmouth, Maine called Weighty Issues. Therefore, I found your articles on body image and weight very interesting. I currently teach at the University of Southern Maine classes on weight, body image and eating disorders. I also lead a support group, called Weighty Matters, at the local healthcare facility as well as reaching out in many other ways in the community. If you would ever like more information in regards to my work for future articles, please let me know. This is a very important issue for women and now even more and more for men. Thank you for addressing it.
Joyce Sarat White '68
Cumberland Foreside, ME
Constructive Revolution at UMass
It is with joy and enthusiasm that I read UMass Amherst has entered a new era in administrative leadership. From the outset, I have been a supporter of Chancellor John Lombardi's vision and leadership style. Despite continuous struggles with budget cutbacks and realignment of state legislature priorities, Chancellor Lombardi is infusing a high-caliber commitment to excellence mentality into the faculty and student body. By now, it is well documented that he contributed to the current outstanding academic reputation of the University of Florida.
Indeed, the productive and constructive revolution is happening at UMass. Plans for growth are underway both in the areas of Physical Plant and Student Enrollment. Congruent to the growth strategies is a well articulated campaign to recruit and hire first-rate faculty across the nation. Where the Chancellor and his colleagues should be most commended is that they are pursuing these initiatives in the midst of economic hardship for the Commonwealth. Alumni can read, can feel, and can see, that there is renewed optimism on campus and a fresh strategic plan going forward into the 21st Century.
The UMass Family should continue to strive towards a common goal; positioning the Flagship campus within the same breadth and stature as our nation's top Public Universities: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Virginia, Charlottesville. We can, and we must do better. As the author Deborah Klenotic pointed out, "The sea change to come at UMass Amherst has already begun."
Kofi Cash '00
WMUA - A Positive UMass Experience
In your last issue, Christine Ericson wrote concerning the article “Bacherman
Fund Remembers a Broadcasting Maverick”. She complained that Scott Bacherman and Marc Berman didn’t allow her to do a four-hour show of women’s music insisting instead she be the football board engineer.
I felt compelled to write, as my experience at WMUA was completely
different from hers. Initially, I worked on a women’s show with other women
from a women’s media class. Eventually, I became involved in most areas of
the station, from DJing to production. Scott and Marc were extremely
supportive of any area I chose to pursue.
As program director, once Scott was convinced you were capable (board
training, audition tape, etc.), he gave you a shift – usually an overnight to
start out. I will always be thankful for the time I spent at WMUA. It was
the best experience I had at UMASS. My very positive experiences with Scott and Marc were similar to that of many others I knew at WMUA at the time.
Scott is greatly missed by many.
Mary (Lawson) Donahue '75
Curreri - Red Sox not Cardinal
Just a note to correct an item in the Fall 2004 issue regarding Minuteman catcher Frank Curreri – you are correct that he spent the summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League, but he played for the Y-D Red Sox, not the Orleans Cardinals; it was Frank’s battery mate, pitcher Matt Torra, who played for Orleans.
Frank had an outstanding season and was an East Division all Star; he was named to the final league all-star team and also won the John Claffey Award for the top New England prospect. He helped the Red Sox win the Cape League title, and after the season ended in mid-August he did sign with the Diamondbacks.
Thanks for an excellent publication.
Sue Horton ’69
General Manager Orleans Cardinals Baseball Club
UMies ARE Everywhere!
I had to laugh at the irony in the picture of Katie LeBesco standing in
front of a billboard advertising Cortislim (pg. 39). Cortislim was invented
by my brother-in-law, Dr. Shawn Talbott, a UMass-Amherst graduate (Masters
degree, exercise science). It just goes to show that UMies are
Lee-Anne (Lortie) Saccone ’87, ’93
The statement that Rod Hart makes, that Bush as experienced a "smashing military victory," is the most insupportable bit of commentary I have read this election season. The purported reason to go to war – weapons of mass destruction – was not supported by the facts before or after our attack on Iraq. The claim of "mission accomplished" completely belies the profound unrest and violence that is mounting in Iraq. Hart's statement is a testament to the power of ideology to blind humans to the objective facts.
Cynthia McPherson Frantz ’96G, ’00G
Inspirational UMass Women
Today I shared the fine pages of the UMass Amherst alumni magazine, Fall 2004 issue, with my 10 and 13 year old daughters. The fall issue really spoke to me. Both of my daughters are potential beauty pageant winners with their own unique look, just like Michaela Gagne who graced the cover of this issue. My kids also have shelves of athletic trophies too. They have the benefit of a world that accepts women more for who they are, and I am happy that I helped to change attitudes about female beauty over the last 30 years.
Next, as I flipped through the magazine I noticed the photo of the UMass women's crew team. This too is another example of female beauty and strength. I rowed for UMass from 1976-1978 and it was the best athletic experience I ever had. Thank you UMass.! It was great to hear about the successful season the team had this year. I am still loyal to UMass Crew and my kids even wear my UM rowing tank top, from way back when. Last, I read the "Future's So Bright" article, highlighting the advances at the University. I am overjoyed to hear about the ongoing success of the Amherst campus. However, I need to make a correction to the page 30 initiatives that are listed. The bachelor's degree program in public health cited in the article is not new, since I hold a UMass B.S. in Public Health from 1978. This program is being reinstated, and this academic offering will be a small contribution toward developing skilled personnel that can address the many unmet public health care needs that exist at home and abroad.
Deborah Picciuto '78
Deerfield Descendant Writes
I enjoyed the article "Setting the Record Straight The truth about the 1704 raid on Deerfield" because I am a descendant of Godfrey Nims through his daughter Thankful. At the time of the raid she was living in a home that was built into the side of a hill. The snowstorm completely covered the house and it was not seen by the raiding party. She along with her infant daughter and husband apparently awoke the following morning not aware of what had happened. Also a descendant of John Sheldon whose wife was fatally shot though the front door of the Indian House.
Donald Robinson ’66, ’84G
I liked your online article on recent work on the Deerfield Incident of 1704. I was surprised, however, that author Faye Wolfe neglected to mention UMass History Professor Alice Nash in her discussion of UMass affiliates reconsidering the event.
Not only did Professor Nash teach a course based on the Raid, in which UMass student participants retraced the journey to Montreal of the original captives as part of the class but she has just returned from spending the year teaching on a Fulbright Scholarship in Montreal where she retraced the journey from North to South, including bringing the French Canadian students to the early presentation of Harley Erdman's opera production. In fact, it was the French Canadian students' comments on the stereotyped presentation of a French Fur Trapper in the opera that encouraged Erdman to revise the character.
I just thought you might want to include all the work being done on the Event at UMass in your article.
Laura L. Lovett
Department of History
I just finished reading the latest UMass Alumni magazine and said WOW! It was by far the best UMass Alumni magainze that I have read since I graduated in 1986. The articles were articulate, interesting and in depth. It was great to see articles about successful UMass graduates such as Pam Liebman. The article on Bill Cosby was fabulous. I was especially impressed with such well written stories regarding alumni outside of the Pioneer Valley. Past magazines seemed to contain many local alumni, I found it very interesting to hear about the successful alumni who have left the area. Thank you and keep up the great work!
Katherine (Kane) Farrington '86
Overland Park, Kansas
Homeopathy - Mumbo Jumbo?
I have just read Martha Trudeau's letter. To say that I am horrified is far too mild. Is it some sort of joke I'm not getting?
I direct Martha Trudeau, RN, MPA, to the James Randi Web site www.randi.org). On it, she will find a $1 million paranormal challenge. If she can show "evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event" she will receive $1 million from the James Randi Foundation. I'm pretty sure demonstration of a working system of homeopathy would satisfy those conditions. But best to check with Mr. Randi first.
I also direct Trudeau to the quackwatch.org site http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/homeo.html), which explains how diluted the standard preparations of homeopathic "cures" are:
A 30X dilution means that the original substance has been diluted 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times. Assuming that a cubic centimeter of water contains 15 drops, this number is greater than the number of drops of water that would fill a container more than 50 times the size of the Earth. Imagine placing a drop of red dye into such a container so that it disperses evenly. Homeopathy's "law of infinitesimals" is the equivalent of saying that any drop of water subsequently removed from that container will possess an essence of redness. Robert L. Park, Ph.D., a prominent physicist who is executive director of The American Physical Society, has noted that since the least amount of a substance in a solution is one molecule, a 30C solution would have to have at least one molecule of the original substance dissolved in a minimum of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of water. This would require a container more than 30,000,000,000 times the size of the Earth.
As Trudeau invokes the mumbo-jumbo of the Law of Similars, Law of Potency, and Law of Proving in her letter, I invite her to reply to this forum with a list of peer-reviewed articles concerning double-blind experiments concerning these "laws" showing that they actually exist outside of the minds of those who believe in this fakery. I'm willing to believe that there must be one or two UMass students who could be press-ganged into running a double-blind test to attempt to reproduce the results of whatever reports Trudeau might uncover.
I certainly agree that homeopathy has "waned in popularity due to various reasons, not the least of which was and remains the preference for the quick cure of expensive drugs." More people prefer to pay for a cure than prefer to pay for not being cured. And although I'm sure that homeopathy can cure bloated wallet syndrome, I, personally, wouldn't mind being burdened with that horrible affliction.
Trudeau's usage of Prince Charles as a supporter of homeopathy is also baffling to me. Exactly what are the Prince's medical credentials? Is it Dr. Prince Charles, or Prince Charles, M.D.? Does he operate on the commoners? Does Prince Charles have any medical or scientific training of any kind? Is he trained in homeopathy? Has he performed any tests on it? Does he have any business being brought into this discussion other than for making the feeble-minded think that, golly-gee, there must be something to this homeopathy stuff after all.
I sincerely hope that I do not require medical attention anytime in the foreseeable future if Martha Trudeau is an example of the sort of nurse I'd be getting. And I'd love to know what school gave her an RN. I must avoid that place - and its graduates - like The Plague.
And speaking of plagues, here's a simple test. Martha and I can sit down and both be injected with a couple of dread diseases: polio, smallpox, plague, etc. Martha can whip out her dilutions and guzzle away. I'll take the standard treatments according to rigid, cruel Western Medicine. I'll even let her pick the diseases, so that she can't argue that homeopathy lacks a treatment for condition X, Y or Z (It certainly lacks a treatment for the horrible affliction of stupidity). Whoever's still standing at the end of the month wins the argument.
And Martha can go first. In fact, if she survives, using only her bottles of expensive placebo, I'll accept the rightness of her arguments then and there.
I hope that this magazine will actually take a few minutes next time to consider what sort of image it's trying to put forth to the alumni before running screeds from the superstitious and gullible. My degree from UMass means a lot to me. It will cease to have meaning when my school becomes something one step removed from a phrenology clinic.
Alex Dering '91
Life Would Be Easier With a PHD
I read with interest the article about Bill Cosby and the article that Janine Roberts wrote. Both their doctorates were listed as Ph.D’s yet both came through the School of Education. I was in the master’s degree program in Psychological Education with a concentration in Family Therapy and Group Work when Janine was in the doctoral program and I then continued on in the doctoral program. I always thought my degree was an Ed.D. It seems ironic that the UMass alumni magazine would make such an error or do I really have a Ph.D.? It would make life easier for me because there are people who don’t understand the Ed.D. degree. However, in the interests of accuracy, I shall sign my name with the degrees I think I have.
Carol L. Sachs ’80G, ’90G
Homeopathic Medicine and Poison
The Spring 2004 article, "The Power of Poison" describes Dr. Edward Calabrese's "maligned and kicked around" hormesis theory. I understand why his theory has been "marginalized" because, from what I read in the brief description, it is exactly the same as the marginalized form of medicine, homeopathy. Although Dr. Calabrese's interest was piqued in 1966, the practice he describes has been around for hundreds of years.
Samuel Hahneman, a German physician, rediscovered homeopathy in the early 1800s. Hippocrates had practiced homeopathy, as had other ancient physicians, but it had dropped from use for many centuries. It was fairly popular in the U.S. during the early part of the 20th century. This form of medicine waned in popularity due to various reasons, not the least of which was and remains the preference for the quick cure of expensive drugs. In South America and Europe, homeopathy is commonly practiced, and it was dubbed by Prince Charles "complementary medicine" because of its use as an adjunct to contemporary medical practice.
Homeopathy is based on the Law of Similars, meaning that a substance that in large doses causes the symptoms of an illness in a healthy person, will, in tiny doses relieve the same symptoms in an ill person. Creating the symptoms in a healthy person is called a Proving. Homeopathic remedies have few side effects because of the Law of Potency; substances are diluted and vigorously shaken which enhances the healing effects and diminishes the adverse effects. Although there are few adverse effects to the remedies, there may be a short term worsening of symptoms. This is called an Aggrevation and is part of the process of the body healing itself. In brief, two basic principles are "Like heals like" and "The more dilute, the higher the potency."
I support Dr. Calabrese's work, particulary if he is advancing the research in this area, but to prevent him from re-inventing the wheel I would suggest that he become versed in homeopathy.
Martha Trudeau, RN, MPA
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