McCormack Speaks

September 21, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Pension Action Center Director Cautions on Electronic Delivery of Pension Documents

by Steven Syre
this blog originally appeared in the Gerontology Institute Blog

WASHINGTON – Routine documents and notifications, once dropped in the mail by companies and other organizations, are often sent off electronically or stored on a website now. The obvious reasons: convenience, simplicity, and savings.

But is that a good way to handle the important documents related to retirees and their pension benefits?

“Absolutely not,” said Jeanne Medeiros, director of the Pension Action Center at the Gerontology Institute, part of UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School. In testimony before the ERISA Advisory Council, she said electronic delivery of those documents would create a host of practical problems for beneficiaries. Read more.

September 17, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Ethiopia and the Green Economy

by Michael Denney, PhD candidate in Global Governance and Human Security.

earthThis is my 5th trip to Ethiopia, and my 3rd stint living here doing research and working on development projects, such as sustainable business development and youth climate negotiation workshops. Each time I return to Addis Ababa, the capitol city, it seems that the whole country has transformed. Where there were once dirt roads, there are paved multilevel thoroughfares. Informal housing has been replaced by dozens of new high-rises, malls, and restaurants; the former occupants of which now reside in government-built condominium developments that have sprung up all around the city. The skyline has forever changed, as a new electric light rail systems silently weaves through seemingly endless construction projects. As a relative newcomer to Ethiopia, it is always shocking to come back and see what has changed. I cannot imagine what it feels like to have lived here over the past 15 years ~10% annual economic growth that is quickly propelling Ethiopia to middle income country status. Continue Reading →

September 14, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

McCormack Alumna Gerontology Natalie Leland Receives $4.7M Contract for Dementia Care Research

this post originally appeared on the Gerontology Institute Blog

Natalie Leland headshotA research team led by UMass Boston Gerontology alumna Natalie Leland, PhD has received a $4.7 million contract to compare the effectiveness of two care delivery models for nursing home residents living with dementia.

The contract from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will fund a five-year study comparing care models at 80 nursing homes in 10 geographic regions across the United States. More than 700,000 Americans residing in nursing homes live with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Read more.

September 12, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Kenya’s Fresh Election Ruling: Just Another Installment in a Highly Contested Process

By Jeremiah Ogondo Asaka
PhD candidate in Global Governance and Human Security

ballot boxKenya’s 2017 general election has been one of the most litigated general elections since the country’s first multiparty poll in 1992.

Just weeks before Election Day the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was still embroiled in court battles. In fact, days before the vote, it appeared in court at least twice.

In the first instance Kenya’s main opposition coalition – the National Super Alliance – alongside the Thirdway Alliance Party of Kenya challenged IEBC’s award of a ballot printing tender to Al Ghurair – a Dubai based firm.

The High Court of Kenya ruled for the plaintiffs effectively barring Al-Ghurair from printing the presidential ballot papers. Continue Reading →

September 10, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Rio de Janeiro and the Threats of Violence, Poverty, and Drugs


by David Matz, Professor Emeritus of Conflict Resolution

Brazilian favelaI have just returned from a one-week visit to Rio. The city faces the Atlantic Ocean, has gorgeous beaches, and is surrounded by quickly rising mountains. It is an excellent tourist destination with many great restaurants and upscale malls. I was accompanied (hosted) by my friend Liz Leeds who has spent much of her professional life working there. We spent most of our time talking with Liz’s friends who work, as she has, in public security, police reform, and community organizing.

In addition to the beauty of parts of the city, Rio’s most striking feature is its violence. It is everywhere, it is sharply increasing, and it is naturally on everyone’s mind. In the last year there have been 60,000 homicides in Brazil (population 210,000,000), and 90 murdered policemen in Rio. One ranking lists Brazil as #1 in violence.

Allow me to share a few of my experiences: Continue Reading →

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