Forces beyond nations

first_imgIn February, Jason Beckfield was named a full professor of sociology at Harvard, where he had labored in the junior faculty trenches for five years.“It was a relief you cannot imagine,” said Beckfield, a modest, rangy 35-year-old and the father of two, “an instantaneous lowering of blood pressure.”Beckfield got his introduction to sociology at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University), where his favorite professor barked out brilliant lectures and often showed up in class still dressed for duck hunting. Said Beckfield of Harvard, “This is not the place I expected to land.”Yet his academic path was remarkable and lucky, said Beckfield, beginning with the public schools in his native Joplin, Mo. “At every grade,” he remembered, “I was fortunate to have very good teachers.” Most of all, there was the steadying influence of his parents — the late Albert Beckfield, an accountant, and his wife Cathy, a bank loan assistant.Despite solid academics in Joplin, Beckfield was a freshman in college before he had heard of sociology. He took a memorable survey course taught by Jack Mitchell, the duck hunter. “He was extremely intimidating,” he said of the man who was to inspire a life’s work. “He was big man — gruff, severe, and a compelling lecturer.”Beckfield sampled English, biology, astronomy, anthropology, and journalism. But the siren call of sociology won. Mitchell left his young student with a senior-year gift: intensive seminars in classic and contemporary social theory that gave him an exceptional grounding for the Ph.D. program at Indiana University. “I still have those notes,” said Beckfield.He spent one of his seven doctoral years helping his adviser, Professor Art Alderson, complete an intensive social network analysis of selected cities around the world. “It was a very important moment in graduate school,” said Beckfield. “It completely changed the way I thought about globalization.”Social network analysis is the complex, data-driven study of how nodes (individuals) and ties (relationships) relate to one another. Conceptually, this key analytical tool dates to the 1930s, but it only took off in the ’90s, when computing power could finally cope with massive data sets. Beckfield is a fan of the technique’s fluid intersections with physics, neuroscience, statistics, and other disciplines.The complex equations and fulsome quantitative data of social network analysis underlie his chief research: regionalization initiatives like the European Union (EU). Entities like the EU are increasingly common – new economic, political, and social hybrids of national and global ties. In a book he will finish writing this year, Beckfield wonders: Does the EU, for one, create patterns of inequality?“The political and economic fates of a large number of people are increasingly bound up in regions,” he said. “We should be paying a lot more attention than we are.”It’s all so new. Beckfield called regional unions like the EU “supranational entities” that are “completely fascinating society-building experiments.”Among those EU-like experiments are the Common Market of the Southern Cone, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Economic Community of West African States. The one anomaly is the North American Free Trade Agreement, said Beckfield, since it is based on “economic integration without political integration.”While regional models of interchange knit together fresh alliances, the old order of nation-to-nation interchange is unraveling. “The factors that influence people’s lives are less coupled to the nation-state than they were before,” said Beckfield, describing a global sea change that Columbia University sociologist Saskia Sassen calls “denationalization.” (She and Beckfield were colleagues at the University of Chicago, where he first taught.)In the face of these changes, it’s important to conceptualize “what regionalized forms of social organization look like,” said Beckfield, and to understand what it means for “a nation-state to be integrated into something that exists above it.”The idea of globalization helps us understand grand patterns, said Beckfield. But it is more accurate to think of the world as a place of multiplying supranational regions: densely woven networks of social, economic, and political ties that exceed national boundaries.The world is not the globalized “flat world” popularized by writer Thomas Friedman, said Beckfield. “The metaphor I like better — it’s not my own — is that the world is ‘spiky,’ increasingly fragmented and increasingly unequal.”last_img read more

Forest duo set for Newcastle switch

first_img Darlow joined Forest in 2006 after being released by Aston Villa’s academy as a teenager. Some impressive displays last season saw Premier League scouts flock to the City Ground to watch him, with Liverpool and Spurs thought to be particularly keen. He emerged as the club’s number one back in 2012 and has gone on to make 67 first-team appearances. The acquisition of Lascelles and Darlow takes Newcastle manager Alan Pardew’s number of new signings up to nine, with the Forest duo following Facundo Ferreyra, Siem de Jong, Daryl Janmaat, Emmanual Riviere, Jack Colback, Ayoze Perez and Remy Cabella to St James’ Park. Pearce, who spent two years at Newcastle towards the end of his playing career, only last week insisted that none of his young stars would be sold unless it was right for the club. On Monday evening he told the Nottingham Post: “We had an offer from Newcastle, that I was made aware of last week, in regards to the two players going there. “The figures that were mentioned, by the representative of our club – I said I would not do that deal, when I was asked the question. “I thought I could push their value up and that they would be worth more in the long run. “The first I heard today about things was when Jamaal Lascelles came in and told me that he had a medical at 2pm at Newcastle. “That disappointed me greatly.” Academy product Lascelles has been on the radar of the country’s big clubs for a few years now. Forest turned down an offer from Arsenal in 2011, while in January this year Everton were fined £45,000 and warned as to their future conduct after making an unauthorised approach for the player in 2010. More recently, Tottenham have been linked with a move for the England Under-21 international who became a first-team regular for the Reds last season. Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce has confirmed that Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow are set to sign for Newcastle. The deal will see both players remain at the City Ground for the 2014/15 season as part of a loan arrangement between the two clubs, but the Reds boss insists the highly-rated pair have been allowed to leave against his advice. Central defender Lascelles, 20, and goalkeeper Darlow, 23, have been tracked by several Barclays Premier League clubs but the Magpies have won the race to secure their signatures – reportedly paying Forest in the region of £5million. Press Associationlast_img read more

At Buffalo, Katie Kolinski takes a step toward her coaching dream

first_img Published on February 12, 2019 at 11:48 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments UPDATED: Feb. 13, 2019 at 3:31 p.m.BUFFALO — It’s 11:27 a.m. on Jan. 16 and Katie Kolinski had a lot on her mind. She walked through the sliding doors into Wegmans on Transit Road, grabbed a shopping cart and rehearsed her list: oranges, juice boxes, water bottles. At the front of the store, she stopped at a small mountain of orange crates, scanned a few options and lifted one that looked good.“I wear a lot of hats in this job,” she said. She drove her cart into the produce section. “This is where I play manager.”Kolinski, the director of operations for Buffalo women’s basketball, does a little bit of everything. From the team bench, she dishes out snippets to players during games. She can’t run drills in practice, due to NCAA rules, but she watches closely and relays her encouragement to players. She participates during coaches meetings, with a close eye on UB head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, a former Syracuse star. She sets up team meals, plans bus rides and books the team hotel. And occasionally makes Wegmans runs.She served as an SU student manager for four years, and she was the first woman head manager in Syracuse men’s basketball history. She became SU’s first woman graduate assistant for the men’s team, a role she filled from 2016-18. Last spring, Kolinski completed her sixth season at SU and earned her master’s degree from the School of Education.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut then she needed a job. She applied to a number of Division I programs, and three women’s programs interviewed her for assistant coaching gigs. She was rejected by all three. Last summer, she got a chance at UB, and the person who legendary head coach Nancy Lieberman called “a damn good coach” took a step toward her coaching dream.“I love being here with coach Jack and the program,” Kolinski said in her office last month. “I see little things in how a program runs that could help me be a coach, because I’ve gotten to the point in life where I just want to coach. Being away from the court for a year, I’m really itching to be on that court.”Growing up in the West Genesee Central School District, Kolinski was a varsity guard and 3-point shooter. She considered playing at a community college or walking on at SU, but she decided to try to join Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim’s program. As a timid freshman at SU, she applied to be a student manager. Kolinski was one of a few selected that year and fell in love with working out players, rebounding and gathering towels.After hanging around Syracuse practices long enough, then-Syracuse associate head coach Mike Hopkins one day told her that she’d be a great coach one day. He urged her to coach anywhere, regardless of the level. He also reflected on his early years, when he started out as an SU assistant coach earning $15,000 per year while living in a fraternity house. His message to her: ascension in coaching takes time.“Hop helped me find my way,” Kolinski said. “When he could tell I was having a bad day, he’d say, ‘Katie, suck it up, your energy matters every day!’ He gave me a lot of confidence in myself.” At the forefront of her dream is a focus on developing players into the best they can be. SU assistant coach Gerry McNamara said she held her own with the SU bigs, pushing them with training pads. She didn’t relent in post drills against players who stood more than a foot taller.But her ability to elevate the mood of a locker room may be greater. Junior shooting guard Tyus Battle noted her positivity as her defining characteristic: She’d tap players on the shoulder after a bad game or text them the next morning asking to work out.Former Syracuse women’s basketball star Brittney Sykes, now with the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, loved training with Kolinski. Even while a SU student manager, Kolinski made time to train players on the women’s team. She picked up Sykes from her apartment and rebounded for her. Kolinski helped tweak her shot through form shooting drills. “You got this! Come on!” she urged Sykes, who said she wants Kolinski to coach her children.“She can connect with players in a way coaches can’t,” said Syracuse senior point guard Frank Howard. “It’s different when it’s coming from a female. You’re more open to listening. You also listen because she knows the game. There’s no doubt in my mind Katie will be successful, because she’s too genuine. What she says comes from a good place.”Kolinski placed a bobblehead of Breanna Stewart, the 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year, beside her computer. In Syracuse, she’s worked out the four-time college national champion. “Sum it Up: A Thousand and Ninety-Eight Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective,” a book by legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt, and a Syracuse Final Four ring sit on her shelf. A picture of Kolinski with SU players Michael Gbinije, Tyler Roberson and Paschal Chukwu hangs on the wall.Among Kolinski’s other mentors are some of the biggest names in the game: Boeheim — who said she “worked as hard as anybody here” — plus Lieberman, Stewart and Becky Hammon, the NBA’s first female assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. When Kolinski reached out to Hammon, she encouraged her to spend long hours in the film room and try to get a job in the NBA’s developmental league.“There’s no skipping steps to move up, it’s a super competitive field,” Hammon wrote to Kolinski. “You have to be persistent, determined, resilient, and have a great way about you with the players. At the end of the day, a player vouching for you is a strong testament to your work. Blessings, Coach Hammon.”Kolinski knows the odds are stacked up against her. But her goal isn’t to prove that women can thrive in male-dominated positions. Her quest isn’t about making money or obtaining the prestige of well-known names in basketball. It’s about defining herself in the game she’s devoted her life to.Every day in her office, Kolinski sees a signed basketball from Lieberman, the Hall of Famer who’s broken convention as a player and a coach — the first female head coach in the NBA’s development league and the second female assistant coach in the NBA. The ball reads: “Katie — a future head B-Ball coach. Many blessings, Nancy.”“A lot of people said I couldn’t be the first female head manager at Syracuse or the first female Syracuse grad assistant,” Kolinski said. “I’ve made my own path.”CLARIFICATION: In a previous version of this post, the information Katie Kolinski relayed to the players was unclear. She only communicates encouragement.last_img read more