Sorcinelli receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Mary Deane Sorcinelli, College of Education professor and Associate Provost for Faculty Development, received a 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. This award honors alumni with national and/or international distinction who have translated their UMass Amherst experience into distinguished achievement in the public, business or professional realms, and have shown service to UMass Amherst in the financial, volunteer, or advocacy sectors.

Sorcinelli is the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. Prior to joining UMass Amherst, she served as director of the office of faculty development at Indiana University Bloomington.

The Center for Teaching and Faculty Development (CTFD) supports the professional development of faculty across all career stages and disciplines with a wide range of programs and resources focused on teaching, mentoring, scholarly writing, career advancement, and work/life balance.  For 25 years, through her dedicated work in the Center, Sorcinelli has served early career, midcareer, senior faculty and the teaching culture of UMass Amherst. 

Under Sorcinelli’s leadership, the CTFD is the proud recipient of The Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education's 2011 Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Educational Development, an honor given in recognition of CTFD's work on an Andrew W. Mellon Mutual Mentoring Initiative.  The Center also was cited as a Model Faculty Development Program in the U.S. and Canada (2006), and was awarded two  Innovation Awards from the POD Network for work on faculty mentoring and diversity  (2007, 2002), and a 2000 national Hesburgh Award for Faculty Development to Enhance Undergraduate Teaching and Learning. 

Sorcinelli is a well-known researcher in the areas of academic careers, faculty professional development, teaching and learning and the evaluation of teaching.  She has written over 100 articles, book chapters and books in a wide range of sources. 

Sorcinelli has directed a number of grant-funded research projects aimed at supporting UMass Amherst faculty.   She is currently Co-PI of a second $400,000 grant from the Andrew W.  Mellon Foundation to support a campus-wide Mutual Mentoring Initiative.  Between 2006-2012, the initiative has served the mentoring needs of 422 faculty, approximately one-third of the total full-time faculty at UMass Amherst. Fifty-three percent of all faculty of color on the UMass campus have participated, as have 48% of all female faculty.

Sorcinelli has participated actively in her profession.  In 2006 she was honored with the Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award for outstanding lifetime achievement and leadership in the enhancement of teaching, learning and faculty development.  She also served as President/Executive Board Member of the POD Network, 2000-2004 and as Senior Scholar to the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) from 1999-2001. 

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