2012 Award Recipients
Recipients of the 2012 Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity
CYNTHIA L. BALDWIN
Professor of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Recognized nationally and internationally for her contributions to veterinary immunology, Cynthia Baldwin has had more than one hundred of her articles and reports published in peer-reviewed journals. They include seminal work on the cellular complexity of the bovine immune system and on the genetic characterization of unconventional immune-recognition structures that determine the efficacy of vaccines for cattle.
Baldwin’s professional standing is attested to by her election as chair of the Brucellosis Research Organization in 1997, and as president of the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists in 2000, by her service as the editor of Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, and as an editorial board member of the International Journal of Veterinary Medicine. She has also served as a USDA Distinguished Lecturer in 2007, and as a member of the scientific organizing committee for the 2013 International Veterinary Immunology Symposium.
Baldwin helped develop and manages the Veterinary Immunologist List, an international organization whose 800-plus members network to solve infectious disease problems. She also leads the USDA-supported U.S. Veterinary Immune Reagents Network, which unites several research groups working to reduce the gap between human and animal health-related research tools.
Education: BA, Hartwick College, 1976; PhD, Cornell University, 1983.
Significant Honors: Fellowship, International Livestock Research Institute, 1997; American Association for Veterinary Immunologists Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist of the Year, 2002; USDA Distinguished Lecturer Award, 2007.
GERALD A. EPSTEIN
Professor of Economics
In the wake of the global financial collapse, major financial institutions have strenuously resisted calls for new, effective financial regulation. Gerald Epstein has emerged as one of the most prominent, informed, and respected voices countering that resistance. For more than 25 years, Epstein has graced UMass Amherst’s Department of Economics as an outstanding researcher, teacher, and administrator. He served two terms as department chair and helped found the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), for which he has served as co-director since its inception.
During the past two years Epstein has exerted a significant impact on policy debates in the U.S. through his leadership role in the development of SAFER, a committee of economists and other experts advocating “Stable, Accountable, Fair, and Efficient Financial Reform.” He has raised $100,000 from major foundations and private donors and has moved quickly to create a credible, professional voice on financial regulation, one reflecting public rather than private interests—making SAFER unique in the United States and, in all likelihood, the world.
Education: BA, Swarthmore College, 1973; MPP, Princeton University, 1975; PhD, Princeton University, 1981.
Significant Honors: Keynote Lecture, Central Bank of Venezuela, 2004; Institute for Economic Thinking Grant, 2010; Keynote Speaker, World Keynes Conference, 2013.
Associate Professor of Art, Architecture, and Art History
Her paintings and drawings reflect Shona Macdonald’s preoccupation with what one critic has called the “confluence of landscape and memory.” Her youth in northeast Scotland deeply infused her earlier art, which incorporated such elements as aerial sketches of the Scottish coast and views of the bleak stretch of highway on which she commuted each day. After Macdonald came to the American midwest to pursue postgraduate work and went on to take on a variety of visiting-artist residencies around the country, her work meditated on the vastness and the empty, overlooked feel of much of the American landscape. More recently she has focused on the random and the everyday, be it piles of snow, laundry, or paper awaiting recycling.
Macdonald’s recent honors include her participation in the interdisciplinary “Science, Social Controversy and Art” conference at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada, in April 2010; exhibiting, teaching, and lecturing in November 2010 at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand; and serving in February 2010 as an invited speaker on the “Painting: Practice as Strategy” panel at the College Art Association’s international conference in New York.
Education: BFA, Glasgow School of Art (UK), 1991; MFA, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1996.
Significant Honors: Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, 2009; Thomas P. Johnson Distinguished Visiting Artist, 2010; Roswell Artist in Residence Fellowship, 2010–11.
Professor of Computer Science
An expert in information extraction and data mining, Andrew McCallum develops the theory, algorithms, and software to comb vast amounts of unstructured text on the web, to which he applies probabilistic reasoning in order to create structured, reliable, machine-understandable databases. He heads the campus’s Computational Social Science Initiative, a cross-disciplinary, collaborative group that addresses the challenges and opportunities presented by collecting, storing, and analyzing large-scale data related to the social world. It offers the expertise needed to create practical solutions to challenges in everything from tracking disease outbreaks to fighting crime and terrorism and confronting climate change.
McCallum headed the UMass Amherst team that beat out 24 others—including those from the University of Wisconsin, Stanford, the University of Tokyo, and Microsoft—in building a system that won three tracks of the BioNLP 2011 Shared Task Competition. He further headed the team that recently wrote and released the MALLET toolkit—computer software for teaching and deploying probabilistic graphic models—now being used by NASA, NSA, IBM, Google, and scores of other institutions.
Education: BA, Dartmouth College, 1989; MS, University of Rochester, 1992; PhD, University of Rochester, 1995.
Significant Honors: NSF Information Technology Research Awards, 2003, 2004; IBM Faculty Partnership Awards, 2004–05, 2005–06; NAS Kavli Fellow, 2007; AAAI Fellow, 2009.
MELINDA A. NOVAK
Professor and Chair of Psychology
Her fellow primatologists around the globe have accorded Melinda Novak the highest respect, esteem, and admiration. She has more than eighty peer-reviewed journal articles and more than twenty chapters to her credit. She has also co-authored four books, three of which deal with improving the well-being of non-human primates and other laboratory animals, a topic on which she is widely judged to be the world’s leading authority. Her work on the factors that underlie self-injurious behavior has attracted attention not only among primatologists but also among veterinarians and clinical researchers studying and treating such behavior in humans. Over the past 15 years Novak has secured nearly $8 million in grant support from the National Institutes of Health.
Novak has been elected to leadership roles in several national and international organizations, including the presidency of the American Society of Primatologists (ASP), which consists of approximately a thousand psychologists, biologists, anthropologists, and veterinarians who focus on the behavior, anatomy, physiology, and genetics of non-human primates. She has also repeatedly served on scientific advisory and review boards at the national level.
Education: BA, University of Connecticut, 1967; MA, University of Wisconsin, 1972;
PhD, University of Wisconsin, 1973.
Significant Honors: President, American Society of Primatologists, 1996–98; Fellow of the American Psychological Association, 2002; Fellow, Association for Psychological Science, 2011; Henry Spira Memorial Lecturer, 2011.