Internship Opportunity with Mass Republicans

September 18th, 2014 by jfahey


See below for an internship opportunity this election cycle in Massachusetts with the GOP.

“Massachusetts Victory Offices are looking for bright, enthusiastic and politically engaged individuals to help invigorate the Republican Party’s grassroots efforts this election cycle.

If you’re looking for a resume building campaign experience, apply now to help out the Massachusetts Victory Office, located at 420 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA. As a field intern, your responsibilities will include:

  • Aiding in grassroots operations such as door to door canvassing and phone banking work to enhance the Mass Victory voter file and database
  • Coordinating and staffing campaign events
  • Assisting in volunteer recruitment

To apply, please send a resume and a brief cover letter to”

For more info about the Mass Victory campaign, please visit their website. 

Career Carnival!

September 16th, 2014 by jfahey

Step Right Up: The annual Career Carnival is this Wednesday (9/17) outside Goodell. This is an engaging and lighthearted way for students to get up and running with career development activities!

Some of the activities include:

Resumania: Get your resume reviewed in time for the Fall Career Fairs.

Look Into the Crystal Ball: Talk to a Career Advisor about your future!

Also featuring games and prizes, with free popcorn and ice cream!

Wednesday, Sept. 17th, 1-4 P.M outside of Goodell: rain location in Career Services, 511 Goodell Hall.

PolSci Rep for Student Conference on US Affairs–Deadline 9/24!

September 16th, 2014 by jfahey

The Department of Political Science will once again send one or two students to the 64th annual Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA) at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.  Interested students must be juniors or seniors (by credit), Political Science majors, and apply by 9/24.

Participants will have an opportunity to discuss pressing foreign policy issues with peers from other schools, including the cadets at West Point and hear from prominent speakers.  This year’s theme is “What’s the Worst that Could Happen? The Politics and Policy of Crisis Management.”

The department will cover conference costs, but you will need to arrange your own transportation. (Students typically carpool together and the Dept. reimburses for mileage). The Military Academy’s campus is on the Hudson River a bit north of Newburgh. Public transportation is possible, but a car is easiest. This year’s conference will start in the evening on Wednesday, 12 November and end on Saturday, 15 November.

If you are interested in attending SCUSA, please e-mail a statement of interest and attach a short essay (no more than 700 words) explaining how participation in the conference would enhance your studies and pursuit of career aspirations to Professor MJ Peterson ( by midnight on Wednesday, September 24th.

Read more about past participant experiences here: (2014) and (2013).

For more information about the Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA,) visit their website here.

Email Etiquette: How to Email a Professor

September 10th, 2014 by sadler

As the semester begins and your GMail fills up with countless emails that you may or may not have time to read, it is worthwhile to brush up on your email etiquette, especially when sending emails to professors.  If you want to be taken seriously and respected by your professors, read and heed!

The majority of teachers have certain expectations from messages they receive from students. These professors and instructors will expect a student’s level of communications to reflect professionalism and proper tone, no matter how adept they are at using technology. If the teacher’s title is “Assistant Professor,” “Associate Professor,” or “Professor” you should use the standard described below. The titles of “lecturer,” “visiting assistant professor,” or “visiting lecturer” usually designate adjunct faculty, and in writing to teachers at this level you should use the same standard. If you would like to learn more about the standard for composing an email to a professor or see example emails, please click here.

According to wikiHow, the following outlines the standard for composing an email to a professor or instructor:

  • Read the syllabus. Often times, the question you would like to ask has already been answered in the material the professor has provided at the beginning of class. Requesting a professor go over this again makes you look like you are not a serious student and only harms your cause.
  • Make sure email is really the best way to communicate your issue. Email is often much more time consuming than an actual conversation. It generally takes longer to compose word-processed text than to say it. Even if the email is short and quick for you to deploy, the response for which you are asking can be time-consuming for the professor. For example, emailing a professor to ask “what did I miss?” is not OK. You are basically expecting the professor to take the time to write up an entire class just for you. Also, don’t email to ask about your grades. In the US, FERPA laws mean many universities have instructed professors not to send grade information via email. (Plus grades are better discussed in person. Go to the professor’s office hours or make an appointment where you can sit down together and review your work. Then the professor can show you exactly where in the assignment you fell short. Also, you are more likely to come across as interested in learning rather than being a grade grubber just whining to get extra points.) Whenever possible, try to have a “live”, synchronous conversation with your professor. A general rule-of-thumb is: if it is going to take your professor longer to type out a reply to your email than to say it, reconsider your using email. Make use of the professor’s office hours, where you will most likely get an immediate response. Or, if the office hours do not work for you, make an appointment to visit either by phone or in-person at another time. Reserve email for short exchanges.
  • Use your academic account. People are deluged with emails every day, and by using your school account, you will have a better chance of avoiding the spam filter, or your professor skipping right over your email because it is from an unknown address.
  • Include a meaningful subject line. While this is true of every email you send (that you wish to be read), it is especially important when you are attempting to communicate with somebody whose day is busy enough as it is.
    • If your professor does not already have a preferred convention, then a good default is to start with your course department, number, and section (or day and time of course), and then the topic of your email. For example, “PSYC100 Section XX: Question about data collection for project” would be an excellent way fill in the subject line. With your academic account and your well-titled subject, the professor knows who you are and exactly what you want, even before clicking “Open.” This information helps the professor organize and prioritize student emails. Including the section info is especially important for professors who teach multiple sections of the same course. If you cannot remember your section number, then give the day and time the course meets (PSYC1001 MW @ 2 p.m.). Naming the subject of the course may be almost as useless as a blank email, imagine if a good portion of your job was researching and teaching psychology topics, and an email arrives in your inbox titled “psychology”.
  • Always use a greeting. Do not begin with “Hey” or similar colloquialisms. Generally speaking, you should use “Dear Professor Last-name.” If the instructor does not have a PhD, remember that “Mrs.” is appropriate only for married women who prefer it (and that many female academics do not take their husband’s name). “Ms.” is safer, especially if you do not know the instructor’s marital status, and is often preferred regardless.
    • If he or she signs the reply with a first name, it is still best to address him or her as “Dr. Last-name” or “Professor Last-name” in an email. Do not use the professor’s first name unless you have been explicitly invited to do so. Also, please spell your professor’s name correctly.
  • Briefly and politely state the reason why you are emailing. Offer only as much information as is relevant to the situation and likely to interest the professor. Get to the point right away. You should not begin by providing your name in the body of the message. The professor should already know your name from the email headings and from the signature of your message. Not only is such information redundant, but it also makes you sound like an 8-year-old writing to his or her first pen pal if you begin “Hello. My name is….” Instead, get to the point of why you are writing. Be sure to include the name or number of the course (including section info) that you are writing about, in the email as well as in the subject line. This information is worth including in the body of the email because some email programs, like Gmail, do not show the subject once you leave the inbox.
  • If you are emailing with a problem, suggest a solution.  Be considerate of how your solution might create additional work for the professor. For example, you may say, “If you are unable to give me notes for the material, is there another student in your 101 class that you might be able to direct me to who can help instead?”
  • Sign it with your name and your student ID number. Even if you know that your professor knows you by name, use first and last name and include your course and section information below your name. You will save him or her from having to figure out what course and section you are talking about if he or she needs to look up something about the course in order to answer your question
  • Read it over. If you do not have spell-check on your email, then you can copy the message, paste it into a word-processing program, and run spell-check there. Consider not only the mechanics, but also what you have said. Strive for a polite tone, concise language, and clear purpose.
  • If the issue is touchy or the email long, ask someone else to read it, too. Ask if your reader would be offended by such an email if it were directed at him or her.
  • Allow adequate time for a reply. If you are sending only a piece of information (“I have the flu and will not be in class on Tuesday, but Sue will turn in my paper for me.”), then the professor may not consider a reply necessary. In this case, you are done.
  • Once a reply has been received, acknowledge it. A simple “Thank you,” may be enough. If necessary, write a more extensive email using these same guidelines to achieve a professional effect. If the case is not being adequately resolved by email, then ask for an appointment to meet in person.

Additional Tips:

  • Use the words “please” and “thank you”–they really help and are universally appreciated
  • Try to contact a peer first if the purpose of your email is to find out what you missed when absent.
  • Recognize that requests that may take only a few seconds to write and send may take much longer to fulfill. If you want a grade calculated, or a full breakdown of what you missed during an absence, or anything else that may be labor intensive, then offer to come to office hours if the professor prefers.
  • Being polite does not mean being a pushover. If you have a need, make it known. While you should not make a demand, you can certainly make a suggestion. For example, if you have surgery scheduled on the day of the final, then you should do more than merely state your conflict. You should offer to take the exam early, request an incomplete, offer to submit a final project in place of the exam, or present whatever other idea you think would solve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction. Be sure to remain open to other suggestions, as the professor may have ideas of his or her own.
  • Leave enough time for a response. Some professors do not work on campus every day and may not have Internet access at home, so you may need to wait a few days.
  • Follow up. If more than a few days have passed and you have not gotten a response, then it is appropriate to politely ask if the professor received your email and had time to consider what you wrote. It may be more effective to follow up by phone or by an office visit. Do not be afraid to speak up or send a reminder.

Dean’s Student Advisory Council Nominations

September 4th, 2014 by jfahey

The Dean’s Student Advisory Council is looking for political science and legal studies majors to represent the students of each department for the upcoming academic year. Students who serve on the council meet several times each semester with the Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and serve as a liaison between the Dean and the students on issues of academic and campus life. They also serve in a variety of other roles, including representing the college at various events; meeting with prospective students; attending lectures and more. The position is a great opportunity to serve the departments of Legal Studies and Political science  and the greater campus community, and develop valuable professional skills.

Students who wish to serve on the council must be nominated by a representative of the department. Students who wish to be nominated for the position should email Michelle Goncalves at with a description of their qualifications and why they wish to serve on the board by 9 A.M on September 17th.

Good luck!

SBS Study Abroad Scholarship (Spring 2015)

September 4th, 2014 by jfahey

Are you thinking about, or are currently applying to a study abroad program for Spring of 2015?

If you’re a member of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, we can help! Read below about a scholarship opportunity that can help offset the cost of going abroad:

“SBS Spring Study Abroad Award

Provides approximately 20 scholarships to SBS undergraduate students who plan to study abroad in Spring 2014. Average award = $1,000
Deadline: Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Applications and more information can be found here:

Cole Undergraduate Research Award Scholarship

September 4th, 2014 by jfahey

The Political Science Department is pleased to offer the following scholarship for a student who is actively working in research at UMass:

The Cole Undergraduate Research Award supports an undergraduate student who is working as research assistant with a UMass Amherst faculty member in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Preference goes to candidates who are conducting original research that has the potential to address current social problems.

Deadline: Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Applications and more information can be found here:


Open Course in Environmental Monitoring Technologies

September 3rd, 2014 by jfahey

Looking for a course that will challenge and engage you, while developing new technologies that can help in better monitoring and understanding the environment? This course is for you! “NRC497M / PPA497MS. Applications in “Do-It-Together” Environmental Monitoring Technologies:A Flipped, Service Learning, “Makerspace” Course” is taught by Professor Charlie Schweik, and the syllabus can be found here. The course will contain a variety of service learning and group learning opportunities, including mentoring Amherst middle schoolers and developing brand new technology.  According to Professor Schweik, “Examples might be (1) trying to develop a GPS-collar and datalogger to track an animal; (2) the use of balloon or kites and cameras and GIS to search for invasive plants (do-it-yourself remote sensing); (3) the development of a device that logs the temperature or some other environmental parameter in a building; or anything you might like to implement!” Please contact with any questions. Happy first week of school!

Vote the Valley Event (Free Tickets for 10 Students!)

September 3rd, 2014 by jfahey

The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) is hosting a wonderful networking opportunity called “Vote the Valley” for students and elected officials this September 18th, at the Sheraton Hotel in Springfield MA (overlooking downtown and the Springfield Clock). This event will bring together elected officials and candidates for office together in a business networking opportunity that will provide students with an opportunity to connect with some of the most influential policymakers in the region. For more information about the event itself, contact Ed Nuñez at (413) 374-9943 or 

Students interested in attending the event most provide their own transportation, but the tickets for the first ten students will be purchased by the department. Those interested should RSVP at the link hereVote the Valley 2014 Save the Date Card Jpeg

One-Night Opportunity as Election Agent with Reuters

August 31st, 2014 by jfahey

Below is a message from Brianna Rigert of Headway Workforce Solutions in Raleigh, NC regarding a one-night opportunity collecting election data on September 9th (the night of the primary elections in Massachusetts.) A great way to (quickly!) add to your resume!

“My name is Brianna Rigert and I currently work at Headway Workforce Solutions in Raleigh, NC as a Sourcing Specialist. We are currently working with Reuters and IPSOS for the upcoming Primary Elections in Massachusetts on September 9th. Reuters is seeking someone to collect election data on election night. We are paying the individual $100 for an one night only event on September 9th, plus $25 for every successful referral that gets hired. This would be a great opportunity for students in Political Science to add to their resumes! Professors could even offer it as extra credit! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! We are trying to get the word out!

Job Description:

This year, Reuters and Ipsos are changing the way America learns about Election results. Voters all over the country will learn about election outcomes faster than ever thanks to an innovative, technology-driven approach to reporting the vote count.

We’re offering you the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the democratic process and take part in reporting the news that your local community, state, and the whole nation will be waiting for!

As an Election Agent for Ipsos and Reuters, you’ll use credentials awarded by Reuters to go behind the scene at your local election center and gather the vote count from County election officials. Once you receive the vote count, you’ll quickly (and easily) enter the results into a specially designed mobile application and send the news off to Reuters.

Working as an Election Agent for Ipsos/Reuters is a great opportunity for anyone looking to participate in reporting a crucial political event. It’s a great way to make some extra money while participating in a great cause.

There are only three requirements to be eligible for consideration as an Election Agent:

  • You have to be 18 years old
  • You must own a smart-phone and/or tablet with data plan and be able to operate it proficiently
  • You must be available for a one day project

You will love working as an Election Agent because you will:

  • Get a behind the scenes look at how news agencies report the vote count on election night
  • Earn a flat rate of $100 for this event
  • Gain experience working as a credential agent for Reuters, an internationally recognized news agency

As an Election Agent for Reuters you will:

  • Apply online (2 mins)
  • Do a brief phone screen with one of our Recruiters (5 mins)
  • Speak with one of our Hiring Managers (5 mins)
  • Fill out on-boarding documents & download the application (5 mins)
  • Complete a brief online training of watching videos (40 mins)
  • Participate in a conference call/run through on September 5th (15-20 mins)
  • Arrive at your assigned location one hour prior to the polls closing and work as an Election Agent on the evening of the Election (4-5 hours)  (*Polls close at 8 PM*)

Primary Election Agent

The flat rate of this job is $100. The rate includes time spent completing documents, online training, conference call, run through, and day of election activities. Also, if you refer candidates and they complete everything and show up the night of the election at their location and do the duties of the primary election agent, you will receive $25 for every successful referral. For example, refer five candidates and four of  them do what they are supposed to do, you will receive an additional $100.

To apply:

(Don’t forget to put my name, Brianna Rigert in the REFERRED BY box)”