Alumni Association News
Why You Should Love Polymers
Where There's Spark
Falling for Shelburne Falls
Where Are They Now?
Lessons in the Sand
|Exchange: To and from the editors
|All the letters all the time
Keeping Up With a Global Economy
The fall issue of UMass contained a 'smarting' reply from Steve Garbowit, Hamden CT, about outsourcing. Steve obviously, is a victim of an irreversible renaissance that America has been undergoing for the last decade. What all of us (including Steve) must understand is that for every $1.00 the US spends on global sourcing, we get $1.25 in return. This economy-boosting fact is proven and there are studies to back it up. The greatness of our American nation lies in accepting the new order and adapting to change. We all know, that in the end, the American consumer will always pay for quality at the most competitive price - be it back-office work or automobile manufacturing. In the early 80's we didn't accept and implement automation and robotics technology in a timely manner.
We, as a nation, languished below the technology curve in upgrading the quality of our auto industry. The Japanese took full advantage of that opportunity and flooded our highways with quality cars which they sold at highly competitive prices. Today they are here to stay & that market share that once belonged to the US auto industry is lost for ever! We must learn from our past mistakes. A stitch in time saves nine. The old adage about embracing technology on time is something we learned at the Automation & Robotics Laboratory in the UMass Engineering Quad. It applies today as it did 18 years ago: "If you don't do it, someone else will; And that someone will kill your business".
In today's global economy, the option to outsource is no longer an "if", but a resounding "when".
Saqib Alladin '88G
Bridge of Flowers Cartetaker
It is always a pleasure to read about Shelburne falls, and certainly wonderful to live there (Ben Barnhart’s photographs are splendid!). Since much is made of the Bridge of Flowers it’s only fair to point out that much credit should go to Elaine Parmett ’95G who plays a very active role in the Shelburne Falls Area Woman’s Club. The Bridge of Flowers was initiated by the Club in 1929, which continues to lovingly oversee its care and maintenance.
Christin Courture ’75
Shelburne Falls and New York City
Cheaper Way to Beat the Heat
Reading “Going Up,” it was a surprise to learn that the newest residence halls will have air-conditioning, an expensive amenity that will be used only in summer. It would seem cheaper and simpler to install windows which open and to encourage the residents to adapt. Anyone who has spent both summer and winter in the area knows that, come November, you grow nostalgic for the hot August nights when you slept naked.
Jane Pereira ’70
Class Notes—Not the Place for Fanatics
I am always excited to receive my UMass magazine. The first thing I turn to is class notes. It’s nice to see what everyone is doing. As a proud grad of a university in a blue state, a lifelong resident of another (New York) and a card carrying Bush hater, I was offended by John Laraway’s remarks. Everyone is entitled to their right-wing religious fanaticism, but class notes is not the place for it.
Robin Weinstein-Alpert ’89
Bronx, New York
Phonies Take Off
Soon after your publication of my new business, Phonies LLC, in your 2006 winter edition, my product was selected by ESPN and appeared on Cold Pizza. Coincidence? In fact, Minuteman “Sam” is highlighted in the ESPN clip. Some old alumni contacted me too! Thanks again, I am budding and will keep you informed.
Frank Sykes ’90
Adventurous Spirit will be missed
In the winter issue of the UMass magazine on page 68 there is a great article “Up, Up, and Away!”. It tells of two of my classmates, Roma Levy and Nancy Luce Van Epps. Roma was at our 65th reunion last June. Nancy was my roommate our freshman year and I have kept in touch with her all these years. I always send a Christmas card and this year it was returned DEC. She was of an adventurous spirit also. I will miss hearing from her.
Carolyn (Monk) Myrick ’40
Temple, New Hampshire
Greetings from Texas
To All UMass Bandos:
I was your janitor in Old Chapel, home of the marching band from 1980 to 1994. Now living in San Antonio, Texas. Just turned 76 — my best wishes to all members and directors Mr. Parks and Mr. Hannon.
San Antonio, Texas
Seeing both sides
Thank you for your story on Shelburne Falls. I graduated UMASS with an MFA in 1980 and returned to the area, moving to Shelburne Falls in 1988. My experience was a true eye-opener.
Having lived in inner cities most of my life, I thought I was moving to a rural community with an artistic bent and looked forward to the change. I met with a head-on view of rural poverty and people with major domestic challenges and scarred lives. My neighbors were in bar brawls; occasionally there was a domestic violence case where I was asked to come in and patch someone up because I was a veterinarian and the offending parties had no health insurance. Unfortunately, someone living behind me in subsidized housing inadvertently rolled over on her infant and the infant died.
My dogs were held at gunpoint. There was a horrible murder of a young girl in Greenfield, "Freddie style." I believe that was some kind of horror movie. My house and surrounding area was the focal point of the manhunt.
As a city girl, I moved to Shelburne Falls and was met with more difficult challenges than I faced as a nameless person on a street. I was mugged, violated, and robbed in New York but I saw the underbelly of rural Massachusetts in Shelburne Falls.
I am hoping the arts thrive in Shelburne Falls and adjoining towns. I also hope that people in need seek and find help.
With great respect for all our communities and the people who live in them,
Deborah (Beechert) Lichtenberg ’80G
The Meaning of Scientific Integrity
Your winter 2006 issue was, as usual, outstanding. One article, however, was a tad disturbing…giving food for thought. I refer to “Science Under Siege.”
Kevin Knobloch ’78 of the Union of Concerned Scientists apparently got his degree without having taken a course in logic. He asserts that the UCS’s mission is “protecting the earth and human life” by “addressing the biggest threats to these like global warming, nuclear proliferation, and the global food supply.” His program of “scientific integrity” desperately needs to acknowledge that it is “human” life which is exacerbating global warming and only “human” life which has developed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
Animal species other than homo sapiens are not similarly guilty! Walt Kelly’s much missed comic strip years ago found Pogo Possum profoundly pronouncing “We have met the enemy, it is us.”
Ergo, if scientific integrity is to have meaning it needs to concern itself also with the protection of the defenseless innocents of other species as well as the human one.
Vic Urbaitis ’56
Hendersonville, North Carolina
In Pursuit of Scientific Truths
The recent article about Kevin Knobloch and the Union of Concerned Scientists made clear the problem…with science. Dr. Knobloch’s assertion that science is the best tool we have to pursue the truth and is the bedrock of a participatory democracy is more than just arrogant and myopic, it is plainly false. Consider, for instance, the “self-evident” truths put forward in our Declaration of Independence (the bedrock of our participatory democracy) regarding equality and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Science reveals little about these truths. What about mercy, compassion, justice, beauty, or love? If science is so much about truth, why is it that more than 30% of scientists have been reported to lie and cheat (Nature, June 2005)?
Science is not the only finder or guardian of truth. In fact, science is so limited that those truths that are self-evident—truths that provide meaning and purpose to life—cannot be explained by the scientific method. And thank goodness for that!
Jeffrey C. Ives ’92G
Ithaca, New York
We enjoyed the articles about alpacas and our village of Shelburne Falls. Coincidentally, one of the village’s newest businesses is Eddie’s Wheels, manufacturer of mobility carts for disabled animals. We are also the only maker of carts for alpacas afflicted by meningeal worms. There is a feature story about Ben, a disabled alpaca, on our web site - www.eddieswheels.com.
More Young Alumni, Please!
Your magazine is great and I read it religiously but I feel it overlooks the importance of young alumni. For example, I am one of, if not the, youngest founding member of the Alumni Club in Boston and one of the youngest Life members of the Alumni Association. I often feel like I’m surrounded by old people (though I don’t mind) and I feel like the alumni magazine needs to cultivate the younger spirit of the recent graduates. You should highlight those of us that are doing well and taking the time to promote the fact that they are proud graduates. Even though we have just graduated, we young alumni are out there working with the likes of Boston College and Cornell graduates, and are proud of our education and what it has allowed us to do.
I work for the Executive Compensation Group, a premier financial services firm in Boston. We work hand in hand with MassMutual and alongside people from the most prestigious colleges and universities.
I think young executives would get a boost from more support from the alumni magazine.
John Bartolo ’04
Adoption Issue Hits a Nerve
This past weekend I was reading your magazine. My husband Robert ’69 is an alumnus and the adoption issue hit a nerve. I may be of some help to this grant generously donated by the Rudd family. I grew up in an upper middleclass neighborhood and was given all the privileges of private school, country clubs, etc. and a loving family. At age 16 I got pregnant and ignored it and ended up having a child at age 17. I put the child up for adoption and last year, 27 years later, I received a phone call. It has been a difficult year but wonderful at the same time. Even though I cannot speak for her I am sure I should participate in the study. I am happy to answer any questions or be a part of a focus group.
Keene, New York
Praise, compliments and kudos for the excellent Winter 2006 UMass Amherst magazine! The cover caught my immediate attention, and I especially enjoyed the “Why You Should Love Polymers” story.
As I read the article, surprise! There was a brief story regarding the development and study of medical stent implants!
What a wonderful way to “catch up” on the department of polymer science and engineering. My last work was a as senior scientist at Sovereign Specialty Polymers, Seabrook, New Hampshire, for the past 27 years.
In July 2006, I incorporated myself as a consultant and I have been doing polymer R&D in several different areas.
My most interesting current work is research and process development in the area of drug eluting cardiac stents, associated polymer development, polymer bonding to exotic metals, solid drug migration through solid polymers and a variety of associated medical work. For a number of years, I did R&D in kidney dialysis for Baxter Healthcare, as a supplier of specialty polymers. Our management terms our research in cardiac stent implants both evolutionary and revolutionary. We also do a number of other medical R&D and process development activities.
I am a graduate of UMass Amherst with a chemistry degree and I have taught advanced chemistry subjects at UMass Lowell in their evening program for thirty years. As they say, there is no better way to learn a subject in depth as to teach it. I taught polymer chemistry, advanced organic, industrial chemistry and chemical applications. The days seem to grow shorter as time passes. Where is Einstein and Time Dilation when one needs it?
You may recall that I opened a polymer plant in Korea in 1990, got introduced to a lovely young Filipina in the Philippines, and we were married in 1992. We have tow sons, Jerrel (age 7) and Brent (age 5). Both boys are into several sports as well as excellent school work, and there never seems to be enough hours in the day!
My special congratulations to UMass Amherst for the prodigious accomplishment with the department of polymer science and engineering.
Keep up the excellent reporting, interesting articles and overall excellence!
Harold Garey ’60
Shelburne's Rebirth Lauded
Friary’s article, “Falling For Shelburne Falls,” brought back many memories. Following my graduation from UMass in 1963, I lived in the Falls and taught in the local high school until it closed in 1967 when Shelburne joined the Mohawk Trail Regional School District. I joined the faculty at the new high school where I remained for two years until returning to UMass to earn my doctorate.
In those days, Shelburne Falls was in insulated, conservative community with few options for its high school graduates. Most went to work in the one remaining textile mill in Colrain, or a cutlery factory in Shelburne Falls, or farmed. Greenfield Community College had just opened but attracted few of Shelburne’s young, and UMass was not really seen as an option. Town politics were dominated by a few old line families and there was tremendous social pressure to conform to their thinking as to how the town and its churches and schools should be run. I recall one young minister being encouraged to leave town after beginning a sex education program. As well, I recall Orwell’s 1984 was banned from the high school curriculum because it allegedly encouraged communism, a total misreading of the text. In that year, I remember a student asking me during class if it was true that I was a communist Jew.
Despite the obvious constraints that a liberal leaning, young and unmarried teacher felt, Shelburne Falls had a beauty and simplicity that I found very difficult to leave. I made many friends there and have always felt welcomed when I’ve made return visits. I was glad to learn that the town has had a rebirth and is home to so many UMass alumni.
Paul H. Levy ’63, ’66G, ’71G
Silver Spring, Maryland
The music of Shelburne Falls
I enjoyed your article about the magic of Shelburne Falls. I wish it had included some reference to the Mohawk Trail Concerts, a concert series now celebrating its 36th anniversary and an artistic staple of that community. Arnold and Ruth Black, founders of the MTC were long time residents of Shelburne Falls and so are several of its board of directors. Although the concerts take place at the Federated Church in Charlemont a large portion of the audience are residents of Shelburne Falls and vicinity. MTC’s outreach school program has brought music to the school children of Shelburne Falls and surrounding towns. Many of the artists performing on these series are either faculty or students at UMass and Five College music departments.
Professor Emerita UMass Music Department
Perfect Hair; Sore Teeth
When at age seven, I made my first visit to a dentist; I had four cavities, but my hair was perfect. My family may have skimped on basic preventive dental care, but not on hairdressing. Nowadays, I see a dentist twice a year, quite by chance, a fellow UMass alumnus. Reading “Shear Genius,” however, about a hair salon for children, was enough to make my teeth ache.
Jane Shaw Pereira ’70
UMass—helping to reduce greenhouse gases
We enjoyed many articles in the fall issue of the UMass Amherst magazine, most notably “Never Mind the Weather? By Eric Goldscheider. The excellent scientific research by scientist Ray Bradley, Steve Burns, and Francisco Da Cruz is a significant contribution to the international consensus that global warming is occurring and its relationship to our overuse of fossil fuels. Global warming threatens the ability of the planet to support life and this important work is a credit to UMass, the Commonwealth and our country.
We feel that UMass has a great opportunity to do something locally to combat these increased greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. Recently the UMass Amherst magazine ran an article on the new state-of-the-art power plant, which is a gas/oil fired plant replacing the present coal plant. Gas supplies however are declining and this year alone gas prices have doubled (Boston Globe 10/4/05). While switching the campus from coal to natural gas provides a significant reduction in greenhouse gasses, the campus can do better. Purchasing oil and gas means we send serious money outside the Commonwealth.
We understand also that to address this economic issue and also the concerns with the use of fossil fuels, the UMass physical plant conducted a feasibility study looking at firing one of four boilers with biomass, a locally abundant and renewable fuel that generates no net greenhouse gases. We applaud this decision to look at biomass as an energy source, and feel it is a good choice both environmentally and economically for the campus and the western Massachusetts economy.
We wonder about the status of the biomass feasibility study and whether UMass will lead the Commonwealth on a sustainable future.
Bruce A. Spencer ’64, ’67G, New Salem
Gordon Boyce ’82, Belchertown
Dwayne Breger ’94G, Amherst
Shame on you for your story, “Never Mind the Weather?” (Fall, 2005).
Recently, UMass Magazine has come under fire by some for accepting money from Coca Cola. I submit that while there is no shame in that, there IS shame in publishing this puff piece from Greenpeace and The Sierra Club under the sub-header, “At the Climate System Research Center, the question isn’t if the globe is warming, but how much and to what end?”
That’s just great. Of COURSE the question is whether, in the long run, the Earth is warming, and the argument is hardly one between avuncular, Prius-driving, well-meaning professors out to save the world on one side, and ignorant, red-necked NASCAR fans who probably all belong to the NRA and own 472 cubic inch V-8 Ford pickups (with Confederate flags in the back window) on the other.
The university is supposed to be a place where orthodoxy is challenged, not a warm lap of comfortable, politically correct groupthink. UMass magazine might as well have included with each copy a DVD of cheesy scifi flick, “The Day After Tomorrow.” Why not? Al Gore called it “the most important movie of his lifetime,” and after all, Al Gore invented the Internet. And meteorology. And electricity.
In 1975, Newsweek Magazine ran a cover story called, “Global Cooling,” in which it shrieked that we would all soon find ourselves caught mid-step inside a glacier like spiders in amber unless we immediately did something to stop it. Sadly, Global Warming is simply the latest campus fad by which The Enlightened may lead the poor, stupid masses to the politically correct Green Path. Sadder still is that UMass would be home for such an uncritical acceptance of the latest fad from the professional tree kissers and other similarly uncritical thinkers.
Ken Sherman ’68, ‘75G
North Grafton, Massachusetts
Kudos to magazine
I am writing to say that I am finding the Fall '05 issue of UMass Amherst magazine to be a pleasure. The selection of alumni stories is compelling, and some of the photography and writing is especially good. I found myself next to Faye Wolf at a meeting, telling her that whoever is making changes in this publication is doing a good job, before I discovered that she was a contributor. In fact I had just scanned –and dog-eared for a careful read–the Wye's World article that Faye wrote. This is an issue that I will return to again and again before it hits the recycling bin, and that has not been my experience in the past.
I will actually look forward to my next issue. Thank you.
Sue Wiggin '03
Funky UMass is Right On
I want to compliment Kirin Makker, author of the article "In Praise of Concrete," (Zip 01003 Fall 2005). I entered UMASS in '76 as a nontraditional student (28 yrs old). I took advantage of the Five College Program, and thoroughly enjoyed my experiences at Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke and Smith Colleges. However, I totally agree with Kirin that if UMASS is "not funky and on the edge of what's possible, then what are we?" The Fine Arts Center was just completed when I began, and I totally loved being in and about its cool and commanding architecture. It inspired me to join the chorus and take music theory, while studying journalism. The new-age cubes in front of the Campus Hotel conjured futuristic possibilities for many of us. Mostly, it was the contrast between some of our "ivy halls," and the modern designs that made the campus exciting. UMASS has a wonderful history, but also continues to be a vanguard into the future. Thanks, Kirin, for your delightful take on the "state of the art."
C. Veronica Guerra-Varno '80
Faithful Reader Writes
This is my first letter to the UMass alumni magazine but I’m all excited about the fall 2005 issue. I’ve been a faithful reader ever since I graduated in 1957 but this issue tops them all. I was delighted by the wealth of material about so many UMass grads. All of the articles you highlighted from page 21 through page 57 were especially informative. I even enjoyed the letters to the editor articles.
Keep up the good work.
I, incidentally, was a public relations writer myself for companies like IBM, The Prudential Insurance company and others. I retired six years ago.
p.s. I hope that some of my Theta Chi fraternity brothers will see this letter and take the time to write to me at 24 Astor Way, So. Yarmouth, 02664.
Dick Sexton, ’57
So. Yarmouth, Mass.
Your article, “A very grey matter,” contains a minor error: Brian Burrell is a lecturer in the department of math and statistics.
Math and Statistics
I finally got to sit down and read the printed UMass Amherst article about the “Fab Four.” What a great story of four wonderful alumni. Thank you for making this type of story available to other employees, alumni, and friends of the University.
Greg Brown, Director
UMass Amherst Multicultural
Department of Corrections
Alive and Well
I would like to address an error on page 79 in the spring 2005 issue of UMass Amherst magazine. I would like to let my UMass friends know that the reporting of my death was in fact premature. Robert E. Radowicz of Sunderland was my father so the reporting error can be easily understood. Dad died at the Leahey Clinic in Burlington after a courageous battle with a rare and deadly form of blood cancer.
If there are any folks out there who remember me from my Industrial Engineering/ Operations Research classes, the Ski Club, or my time in Van Meter, I want you to know I’m still alive and well and living in Maine. Feel free to drop me a line to catch up.
Bob Radowicz ’81
Too Far West
I think your magazine is a professional production. I just started reading my brother’s copy; he is James Taseos ’75. In your winter issue there was a photo of a man wearing a UMass jersey at a New England Patriot’s game. The caption said he had gone to San Diego to follow the Patriots. Actually, the stadium in your magazine photo was the Arizona State University stadium in Tempe, which the Arizona Cardinals use. The Patriots were at the Tempe site on September 19, 2004.
Senatorial Flip Flop
Once again, you folks have produced a truly fine magazine with a good assortment of features, well written and edited, nicely laid out and accompanied by fine photos. Believe me, it’s appreciated.
I don’t like to be the one to find errors (especially in my own work), but I am obliged to point out one I happened to notice in the photo caption on page 37. You’ve reversed the identifications of former Sen. Sam Nunn and Sen. Richard Lugar.
This is nothing compared to the screw-up I made in my early days as a reporter in 1961 on the Middletown Times Herald Record, in New York, where I nailed the difficult last name of the deceased in an obituary, but managed to get the wrong first name, thereby killing the man’s brother in print.
Soldier on, folks.
Alan Lupo, Class of ’59
The Zeal Thing
Our mailbag overflowed with reaction to Coca-Cola ads appearing in the last two issues, and also to letters written in protest of the ads, and our editor’s response. Here is a mere sampling.
A Horrible Choice
I graduated from the College of Engineering in 1991, and enjoyed my last two years at UMass living in Butterfield. Just as a comment, I’m equally disturbed, as many others seem to be, by not one but two full-page ads for Coca-Cola!! I mean really, the product itself is pure enamel-rotting garbage and the company’s policies and practices are quite suspect!! For the only commercial advertising in the magazine Coca-Cola is surely a horrible choice.
Chris Moran ’91
Jackson Hole, WY
Work on Your Conscience
I was very much disappointed in your editorial in the spring issue of UMass Amherst magazine. I feel compelled to point out what I believe you already know—but I’ll say it anyway.
The editorial about Coke was very disingenuous. Just because what a huge global corporation does is LEGAL does not make it ethical, moral, or right. After four years of Bush Administration’s “disassembling” (sic) (that means “to lie” to use his own words), you can’t really believe that what you said had any ring of truth to it. You sidestepped the issues. Paige Bridgen’s letter was good, but Mary McClintock’s was the last word on the subject, as far as I’m concerned. I do give you credit for at least printing them.
If you need coke’s money to send out UMass Amherst magazine, then please, cancel sending my copy. I do not say “my subscription” because as you know, nobody actually subscribes.
And work on your conscience—if you really believed what you wrote, your UMass education was sorely lacking critical thinking skill development.
Raymond Paquette ’80
A Matter of Choice
Hear-hear to you for your reply in “A Question of Ethics” in the spring issue. I read this article with interest—then I found the comments “Can Coca-Cola...”
I’m often in a seat of criticism about having a consumer relationship with Coke. As a public school administrator, I researched the advantages and disadvantages of offering Coke and other carbonated beverages and their non-carbonated beverages to middle and high school students. After reviewing the benefits and disadvantages (bad press Coke and school have) to administration, we concluded that the relationship with our local Coca-Cola vendor in Greenfield, Mass., offered more for our school and students than not offering them.
We researched what the company could offer us and most importantly we concluded that it offered the students choices—choices about selecting products. The vending machines located in the cafeteria offer only non-carbonated beverages—Dasani water, Powerade and juices—during academic hours. In fact, water is the biggest seller. The carbonated vending machines are activated once the academic day concludes, offering the students/customers options—choices they must make. What was not available on campus the students drove uptown to purchase. We preferred the convenience for students, and the commission earnings from the sales. Our school has been able to support many student-related activities, plus be the recipient of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), and enjoy material items, i.e., scoreboards, that our school’s operating budget would not allow.
We believe it is important for us to educate our students on wise choices. Like UMass being able to mail UMass Amherst magazine because of Coke revenue, our public school benefits too.
Glad you supported your research. Glad you continue to run Coke ads.
Christine Radzinski Nosel ’78
Outsourced but not Outsmarted
As a UMASS grad, Vietnam vet, and general supporter of the campus life and what it represents, I was saddened and shocked to read your article in the spring issue regarding Vivek Paul ’82 and Wipro. His rhetoric about outsourcing is such an obvious smokescreen about the truth of the matter.
I am ashamed we went to the same university. He has paid back the America that welcomed him by putting thousands of American skilled workers, including myself and many others, out of work or forcing us to find new careers. There are countless Americans who have suffered because our government allows companies like Wipro to take advantage of an uneven playing field.
I actually speak from experience after having personally dealt with his company. He is a trusted partner as long as you play by his rules, not the fair ones. He and his ilk are a disgrace to the university.
Stephen Garbowit ’73
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All the letters all the time