In a Business Insider article about people who still collect unemployment insurance system even after finding work, economics professor Walter Nicholson affirmed U.S. Labor Department statistics that indicate few of these cases involve intentional fraud. “It’s kind of like people who make honest mistakes on their income taxes, but if the employer doesn’t speak up, and the state keeps paying, how are they to know they’re wrong?” he asked. Read the full article here.
Robert Romer, professor emeritus in physics at Amherst College, and historian of the town of Amherst, spoke with local newspapers about his efforts to honor the contributions of black soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War. On Sept. 18, a ceremony at Amherst’s West Cemetery recognized members of the Massachusetts 5th Cavalry, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, and Genalvin Marse, a member of the Connecticut 29th Colored Infantry whose gravestone was erected by "the boys of Chi Psi" at Amherst College. Read more here and here.
Hadley Arkes, Ney Professor of Jurisprudence at Amherst College, weighed in on the Sept. 7 Republican debates in an online column for the National Review. “Rick Perry persuaded me that he was not scary, and that he won’t be seen as scary by the vast public,” he said. Read more here.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette spoke with Ursula Olender, director of Amherst's career center, for a piece advising graduates on their first steps into the working world. She said liberal arts schools provide important skills for the new job seekers: "When you think about the skills that it takes to advance your career, the people who tend to get promoted into managerial positions tend to be people who are communicating effectively,” she said. “These are people who are thinking outside the box and are creative problem-solvers and people who can manage people and money. People who have that foundation tend to move up in a very efficient way."
Peter Lobdell, senior resident artist for Amherst’s Theater department, spoke with the Daily Hampshire Gazette about his one-man show, “Scherzando,” which he was to perform Sept. 8-10 at the college. “I just really felt it was time for me to put myself out there, in the danger zone once again,” he said. Read more here.
Amy A. Ford, program coordinator of film and media studies at Amherst, spoke with the Daily Hampshire Gazette about the increasing trend of television programs produced for the Web. "I think it just comes along with the changing technologies that we live with today," she said. "Everybody wants to watch things when they want to watch them, when it fits in with their lives.” It’s also cheaper to produce, she said.
In a special edition of Wisconsin Public Radio’s To the Best of Our Knowledge, Professor of Physics Arthur Zajonc helped host Jim Fleming grapple with the question “Can Science Be Sacred?” A long time practitioner of meditation, Zajonc says that Einstein's idea of god is common to many top scientists. Listen here.
University at Buffalo English professor Joseph Conte writes in the Buffalo News about Amherst law professor Lawrence Douglas’s new book, The Vices. He lumps it favorably into the genre beloved by academics: “An academic novel that satirizes the follies and pretentions of the very same people teachers have spent weeks staring at across a conference table.” Read the full review here. For those craving more about Douglas’ fiction, check out this article about The Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo, his new parody of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.
Law professor Lawrence Douglas spoke with Dan Ephron at The Daily Beast about how it’s getting harder for ousted dictators to find quiet islands or palatial estates to retire to, thanks to the increasingly powerful International Criminal Court. “Once the ICC brings charges, you’re basically harboring a fugitive and not just allowing a cushy retirement for a former strongman,” he said. Read more about where old strongmen go to die here.
Political science professor Javier Corrales spoke with the UK newspaper about Venezuela President Hugo Chavez’s recent cancer diagnosis and treatment. “Chávez could do miracles, including raising the appeal of even mediocre personalities. But, thus far, he continues to prefer being president than campaign chief for someone else,” he was quoted as saying.