McCormack Speaks

October 31, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

A Double – Christian Weller Publishes Two Reports in a Single Day

by Robert Turner, Senior Fellow

US currency  Though he insists he didn’t mastermind the timing, two significant reports authored by Public Policy and Public Affairs Professor Christian Weller were published on the same day last week.

One could influence the hiring of effective teachers by school departments large and small.

The other could influence Congress. In particular, it could help shape the tax cut debate now building on Capitol Hill. Continue Reading →

October 27, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Measuring Dementia Caregiver Mindset That Can Impact Well-Being at Work

by Meghan Hendricksen, Gerontology PhD candidate

headshot of Lena KunzThe way professional caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia think about dementia can have a significant impact on their well-being at work. The risks of burnout and negative emotions are clear.

Lena Kunz of Groningen University in the Netherlands has conducted research focusing on professional caregivers in Germany, examining different aspects of well-being such as burnout, overall job satisfaction, affective well-being as well as self-reported behavior at work. She developed a new scale measuring the mindsets of those workers while trying to answer the question: What makes a good caregiver good at giving care? Read more on Kunz’ research.

October 24, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Helping a Widow Secure Survivor Pension Benefit: A Pension Action Center Case Study

Pension file folder tabThe Gerontology Institute’s Pension Action Center is part of the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston. It provides free legal assistance to low- and moderate-income workers, retirees and their survivors in the six New England states and Illinois whose pension benefits have been wrongfully denied. This is one in an occasional series of posts about cases the center pursues on behalf of its clients.

A 67-year old widow from Charlestown came to the Pension Action Center with a sad story and a serious problem. Her husband had worked cleaning offices as a member of the Service Employees International Union for over 30 years. But union pension fund officials told her she was not entitled to a survivor’s benefit as a result of his sudden death–just one day after signing forms to begin receiving his pension. Read more on this case study.

This blog was originally posted on the Gerontology Institute blog site.

October 20, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Center for Social Policy’s Research on Cliff Effects Drives Systems Change

two women testifying at the State HouseFor over a decade, the Center for Social Policy has been a pioneer in “cliff effects” research. CSP Senior Research Fellow Randy Albelda has conducted extensive research to show how a small increase in earning can result in the sudden loss of public assistance that can leave a family with lower total net resources–known as the cliff effect. As demonstrated in CSP’s signature On Solid Ground Report, cliff effects are a growing concern due to the rising costs of living, especially housing, coupled with stagnating wages, making it nearly impossible for thousands of low-income working families to make ends meet without supports from public benefits.

Transforming Research into Policy

Consistent with its strong commitment to turn its research efforts into action, the Center for Social Policy is the lead research partner for the On Solid Ground Coalition, a cross-sector group of over 40 partners committed to a research-based, family-centered approach to ensuring access to housing stability and economic mobility for Massachusetts families. Now in its third year, with major support from the Oak Foundation, the coalition is led by CSP, Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), and Homes for Families (HFF). Research Associate Marija Bingulac (Public Policy PhD, ’17), senior project manager of the coalition, ensures alignment between research and advocacy efforts, encouraging cross-regional collaboration, and engaging families impacted by cliff effects. Continue Reading →

October 18, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

McCormack Alumna, Former Asst Vice Chancellor Mary Grant To Lead the Edward M. Kennedy Institute

McCormack Graduate School alumna Mary Grant, PhDMcCormack Graduate School Public Affairs alumna Mary Grant, PhD, has been appointed to lead the Edward M. Kennedy (EMK) Institute for the United States Senate.Grant will take the helm in January 2018 after leaving her current post as chancellor of the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Asheville. She previously served as president of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in the Berkshires.
“We are thrilled to have an outstanding leader like Mary Grant as the new President of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute,” said Victoria Reggie Kennedy, co-founder and president of the institute board. “She has the experience and vision to inspire the next generation of our nation’s leaders and to lead the Institute into its next phase of growth and development. Now, more than ever, we believe it important to fulfill my husband’s vision of engaging Americans, young and old, in active citizenship,” said Kennedy. Read more. 


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