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Alumni

Keep Your People in the Boat: Leadership Lessons from a Tall Ship Officer

Crane Wood Stookey '76
December 18, 2013

What do the great “captains” of business, finance and industry have in common with the great captains of sailing ships? They know how to get the best from their people. How do they do this? You might think that a ship’s captain will rely on the strength of their personality to keep their crew engaged by powerful command. Many do, but the best don’t. Effective leadership, even at sea, lies in creating conditions that allow others to thrive and prosper. It's a practice of generosity that's all about knowing when to step forward and when to step back.

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Stories in Red and Write: Indian Intellectuals During the Early Twentieth Century in American Culture

Kiara Vigil
Assistant Professor of American Studies

October 18, 2013

Kiara Vigil, assistant professor of American Studies, will focus on the work of a Fox Nation anthropologist, William Jones, and his murder in the Philippines during the early imperial period, and then pivot to examine a related, but different, project about the cultural production of a prominent Indian intellectual from the early twentieth century. Looking at Luther Standing Bear, in the context of an emerging film market, she argues we come to new understandings of the roles Native people played both on and off the silver screen. Finally, she will conclude by describing the focus of her next book, which points to the presence of Indians and Indianness within Disneyland during the 1950s. All of these projects are driven by archival research and questions related to the production of knowledge by academic fields in the context of their origins, as well as how we might use this knowledge today to rethink the category of “Indian” within American society and culture. This research contributes to the critical necessity of studying American Indian peoples’ past and present within U.S. history to not only complicate what we think we know but to challenge pervasive narratives that have sought to marginalize and diminish contributions by indigenous peoples and cultures to the modern world.

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Conflict, Gender and Development

Prakarsh Singh
Assistant Professor of Economics

May 30, 2013

What are the effects of violence in developing countries? Assistant professor Prakarsh Singh, a development economist at Amherst College, will present his latest research on the gender-differential welfare impact of the Punjab civil war (1981-1993) that took more than 20,000 lives. The talk will be based on analysis carried out with a unique household-level data set. He will also give an overview of the economics literature of civil conflict as well as gender discrimination in developing countries.

Due to technical difficulties, audio from this lecture is not available.


How Personal Branding Can Change Your Life

Wendy Mantel '76
Master Personal Brand and Career Strategist

April 18, 2013

Personal Branding and Career Strategist, Wendy Mantel helps those of you who are high-potential junior, mid- and senior-level corporate executives to discover the unique and valuable traits that set you apart from others, and how to articulate this--in and outside of work. This increases your visibility, marketability and potential for increased financial and personal reward.

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View an abbreviated version of her presentation.

Below are links to three free REACH quizes--one on how strong your brand is, one on how good you are at networking and one on knowing your brand attributes. 


Memory: Why you're always right and they're always wrong

matthew schulkindMatthew Schulkind
Associate Professor of Psychology

March 22, 2013

If memory worked like a video camera and provided a faithful record of our past experiences, we would never disagree with our friends and family about important events from our pasts. But memory does not work that way, and contrary to what you might think, we might be better off for it. In this talk, he’ll describe how cognitive psychologists think memory works and why we should be glad to accept the imperfections inherent in the system.

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Contemplative Pedagogy and the Transformation of Education

barbezatDaniel P. Barbezat
Professor of Economics

January 23, 2013

Colleges and universities face many great challenges. Increasing costs, a lack of vision and mission, student behavior and rapidly changing educational technologies bring into question the current and future state of post-secondary education. What can we do to face these pressing issues? The use of critical, first-person approaches (introspection, thought experiments, etc.) to teaching can address these problems, providing new ground for students to explore what means most deeply to them while better understanding the material of their courses. In this lecture, Prof. Barbezat describes and explains the use of these practices in his economics courses.

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Black Soldiers, Sexuality and the Civil Rights Movement

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Khary Polk
Robert E. Keiter 1957 Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Black Studies

November 9, 2012

Was the racial integration of the U.S. military an outcome of the civil rights movement, or was it often the other way around? While black soldiers were still dealing with the prejudice of the U.S. military, seeing the world outside U.S. boundaries changed their sense of what was possible, says Khary Polk, the Robert E. Keiter 1957 Postdoctoral Fellow and visiting assistant professor of black studies.  They returned home to fight for improved rights for both civilians and soldiers. Amherst graduates were among those who spearheaded this change: lawyer Charles Hamilton Houston '15 served in World War I and went on to mentor African-American jurists--such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall--who would join him in laying the legal groundwork for the 1954 Supreme Court decision that banned racial segregation in public schools. William H. Hastie '25 was instrumental in advocating for African-American soldiers in World War II. Polk, a self-described "military brat" who lived abroad for much of his childhood, is writing a book on the topic.

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Incarceration, Voting and Human Rights

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Martha Saxton
Professor of History and Women's and Gender Studies and Elizabeth W. Bruss Reader

October 26, 2012

The Human Rights Declaration says that “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.”  Unlike many nations, most of the United States deprive incarcerated men and women of the right to vote, not only when they are serving their time, but also when they are released—sometimes for many years thereafter. This not only violates the human rights of the incarcerated, but also skews state and national elections. Martha Saxton, professor of history and women's and gender studies and Elizabeth W. Bruss Reader, will discuss some of the variety of ways states disenfranchise imprisoned citizens and what the implications are for our political process.

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Comparative Presidencies: Gorbachev, Putin, Obama

taubmanWilliam Taubman
Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus

September 19, 2012

In comparing the presidencies, Prof. Taubman focuses on the role that each president'spersonality plays (or doesn't play) in determining his policies.


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Resilience of the U.S. Economic Recovery Points to Optimism for the Future

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Brian A. Bethune
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

May 24, 2012

The U.S. economy has bounced back from the most serious and disruptive recession in modern post World War II economic history - indeed, the recovery will mark a third anniversary in July 2012. What have been the key features of this recovery? What has been working, what has not been working? Beyond that, however, there are major questions with respect to the strength and sustainability of the recovery. Fiscal consolidation and restraints on government spending remain a significant factor, and will continue to be a factor for the foreseeable future. Uncertainty about the direction of federal tax, spending and regulatory policies is creating uncertainty in the business sector. And yet, the health of the business sector is critical for the recovery. Beyond that, we are seeing a number of structural changes in the economy, particularly in the employment market, and an increasing gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots." There appears to be a major leadership "vacuum" in terms of confronting these deeper structural issues, as the various estates in the economy focus primarily on their narrow self-interests.   

Brian Bethune is a visiting professor of economics and the former chief financial economist for North America and chief economist for Canada at HIS Global Insight. A frequent commentator on economic issues in the media, Bethune received his masters in economics from McMaster University and his doctorate in international economics from the Graduate Institute at University of Geneva.

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Upcoming Events

Amherst Today
April 17 - 18, 2015

Boston - Professor Ronald C. Rosbottom
April 22, 2015 | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Washington, D.C. - Reception with President Biddy Martin
April 24, 2015 | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Atlanta - "5 to 7" by Victor Levin '83
April 25, 2015 | 11:00 a.m.

New York - Create Your Own Masterpiece with Paint Along
April 28, 2015 | 7:30 p.m.

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