February 2012


David Fleming wins 2012 CCCC Outstanding Book Award

Professor David Fleming, English, has just won one of two 2012 Outstanding Book Awards awarded by the Conference on College Composition and Communication for his book, From Form to Meaning: Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1957-1974. He will be presented with the award in March at the 2012 CCCC Convention in St. Louis. Congrats!


New Yorker Calls Peter Gizzi's Poetry "Ecstatic and Profound"

Professor Peter Gizzi of the English department was recently the subject of an admiring review in the New Yorker for his recently release book of poems, Threshold Songs. In it, the reviewer describes Gizzi as a "lunch-pail mystic, and once ecstatic and profound." and compares his poetry to that of Emily Dickinson, Whitman and Jack Spicer. More...


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January 2012


Linguistics Undergrad Wins Honors Grant

Undergraduate student Christopher Garry '13 has received a $1000 research grant from the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Commonwealth Honors College for building a system to record vertical movement of the larynx during speech. Chris is a computer engineering major who came to the Phonetics Lab last spring with an interest in getting practical research experience. He will present the results of this project at the Undergraduate Research Conference later this spring. Linguistics Professor John Kingston is his mentor in this research project. More...


Tracy is named Chu Tian Scholar

Afro-American Studies professor Steven C. Tracy has been awarded the Chu Tian Scholar Fellowship Award ("The Sky of Chu Kingdom Award") by the Hubei Provincial Department of Education in China and officially named Lecture Professor of the Chu Tian Program. More...


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December 2011


Two Music Students Chosen to Participate in the Mentor Program of the Jazz Education Network

Jeffrey Schneider and Micah Maurio have been selected to participate in the Mentor Program of the Jazz Education Network (JEN). This new initiative, starting in 2012, is designed for aspiring student jazz artists nation-wide. The JEN Mentor Program will pair worthy college/university jazz students who are on a serious track toward a career in music performance, education or the business of music & the arts with experts in their chosen field. The resulting mentor/student relationship will provide the student with an advisor and sounding board for one year.

Both students are taking a Master of Music in Jazz Composition and Arranging in the Jazz & African-American Music Studies Program of the Department of Music & Dance. Jeffrey Schneider is in his first year and Micah Maurio is in his second year of the degree program.


Gilles Vonsattel's Honens Recital listed on Best Classical Albums of 2011


Assistant Professor of Music, Gilles Vonsattel's newest album, Honens Recital featuring works by Ravel, Debussy, Holliger and Honegger was recently named one of the top ten classical albums of 2011 by Time Out New York. They say the "suave Gallic program stood out both for liquid beauty...and for imaginative programming." Read the list here. You can also read his faculty profile here.


Associate Professor Ben-Ur named Fellow-in-Residence


Associate Professor Aviva Ben-Ur of the Judaic and Near Eastern Studies Department has been named a fellow-in-residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for the spring 2013 semester. She will participate in the 2012-2013 research theme group "Dutch Atlantic Connections." Ben-Ur will also be working on her book manuscript "Eurafrican Identity in a Jewish Society: Suriname, 1650-1863." More...


"Stars," released by DEFA Film Library, picked for Jewish studies conference

The restored Holocaust classic "Stars" is among eight films selected for the film festival accompanying the annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies, which took place in Washington D.C., Dec. 18-20. The film, an East German/Bulgarian co-production that won the Special Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959, was screened at the conference on Monday, Dec. 19. It was restored and released last spring by the campus-based DEFA Film Library. More...


Arts Extension Service receives Partners for Livable Communities Award

The Arts Extension Service received the Quarter Century of Service award from the Partners for Livable Communities at its annual dinner, "A Celebration of Vision and Community Spirit," on December 15th in Washington DC. Throughout its 35 years of existence, Partners for Livable Communities’ awards programs have helped define its role in America as the premier livability resource and have selected projects and people as famous as United States presidents or as humble as a small town newspaper editor to recognize them for their significant contributions in making the world a better place for all people. Said Interim Director Dee Boyle-Clapp, "It is with great pleasure that we accept this award. We are deeply grateful for recognition of our nearly 40 years of service to the arts, artists, local arts agencies, and to the field of arts management." More...


Girl with the Dragon-Ship Tattoo? Origins of Nordic vengeance studied


The Scandinavian Studies program has received $17,000 grant from the Nordic Council for a 2012 series of presentations on the theme "Vengeance and Violence in Scandinavian Life and Culture." The topic is designed to examine possible discursive and ideological parallels between the ancient Norse legal system, in which personal revenge was an accepted form of justice, and contemporary violence in Scandinavia. More...



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November 2011


The Met Resets a Gem

Art History faculty member Walter Denny has been working extensively with the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a $50-million renovation, including 15 galleries devoted to "The Arts of Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia." In what is almost a new museum within the museum, visitors will view some 1200 of the Met's nearly 12,000 Arab-Islamic works arranged not chronologically from past to present, but rather as a kind of geographical traverse across places and cultures. More...


Assistant Professor of Linguistics wins Early Career Award

Congrats to Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Seth Cable for winning the Linguistics Society of America Early Career Award! This award is given for a new scholar who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of linguistics.


Associate Professor Martha Taunton named 2012 Higher Education Art Educator of the Year

Associate Professor of Art Education in the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History, Martha Taunton has just been named the 2012 Higher Education Art Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Art Education Association! She received her award on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at the Massachusetts Art Education Association's Fall Conference.


Focusing on history, believing in preservation, in tornado's wake

To wade into the newly inflicted chaos of a tornado fully focused on historic preservation - that is, to dive headlong into the critical moment, with an eye toward the span of community history - takes something rare and special.

It takes something, perhaps, like the campus's still-new Historic Preservation Graduate Program, which has been awarded the second annual Preservation Massachusetts "Community Spirit Award" for the efforts of its students following June's tornadoes in documenting historic damage in Springfield. Read more...


Sabina Murray's Tales of the New World named Oprah's Book of the Week

Congratulations to English Professor Sabina Murray! Her new collection, Tales of the New World has been named Book of the Week by the editors at O and Oprah.com. They called the collection "unsettling" and "lavish" and say "...the historical details here are fascinating..." Read the review here!

Tales of the New World was also reviewed in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly!


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October 2011


UMass Linguistics leads the pack

Talk about dominating the pack. The nationally ranked Linguistics Department didn't leave much room for anyone else as four faculty members and a Ph.D. graduate of the program were among the 10 new fellows chosen by the Linguistic Society of America (LSA). The newly elected fellows are professors Alice Harris and Angelika Kratzer, Distinguished University Professor John McCarthy and Elisabeth O. Selkirk, professor emerita. Irene Heim, who received her doctorate from UMass Amherst in 1982, was also elected. She is currently a faculty member at MIT. More...


Former UMass Amherst Jazz Student Wins International Jazz Composition Contest

Congrats to Susumu Watanabe, a former graduate student at UMass in jazz composition/arranging for winning the National Band Association's 2011 Young Composers Jazz Composition Contest! His winning piece, Duodecim, will be performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago in December. While at UMass, he studied with Professors Jeffrey W. Holmes and Frederick Tillis and was the director of Jazz Lab Ensembles. He also performed in Jazz Ensemble I and the Studio Orchestra. More...


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September 2011


Curtain Theater Fully Renovated

The Fine Arts Center's Curtain Theater's renovations were finished this September. As Penny Remsen reports in the February 2012 newsletter, "The old substandard lighting grid was replaced with a state-of-the-art wire-tension grid complete with all new lighting positions, electrical raceways, and circuits. The permanent seating risers and stair units were replaced with an attractive flexible seating system..." Also, some of the mezzanine walls were removed to add more flexibility to the space. More...


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June 2011


U.S. appoints Thomas Krajeski as ambassador in Bahrain

Alumnus Thomas C. Krajeski, Class of '75 (Russian), has been appointed to be the new U.S. ambassador to Bahrain. He is currently the senior vice president of the National Defense University. Read the In the Loop article here, and the Gulf News article here. You can also read our alumni profile of him here.


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May 2011


UMass Amherst Selects Timothy T. Anderson as New Director of the Minuteman Marching Band

Timothy T. Anderson has been named director of the Minuteman Marching Band at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, following a national search. Anderson comes to UMass Amherst from California State University, Fresno, where he served as director of its marching band for the past five years. Read the full story here.



2010-2011 Faculty and Staff Award Recipients

Congratulations to all award recipients and thanks to the CHFA community for sharing in the celebration of our colleague's accomplishments!

Outstanding Accomplishments in Research: Laura Doyle, English & Lyn Frazier, Linguistics

College Outstanding Teaching Awards: Lisa Green, Linguistics & Anna Lisa Taylor, History

Distinguished Staff Service Award: Jean Ball, History

Distinguished Faculty Service Award: Laura Lovett, History

Exceptional Contributions by a Faculty Member Emeritus: Bruce Laurie, History


Congratulations to the 2011 Scholarship and Award Recipients!

Congrats to all the students who received scholarships and rewards. They are:

College of Humanities & Fine Arts Achievement Awards
Samantha Alonso, French
Rachel P. Aylward, Dance/ Marketing
Gregory R. Blair, Music
Margaret G. Clayton, English/French
Katherine R. DeVane, German/Linguistics
Rachel Drummey, English/Pre-Med
Matthew A. Duggan, History/Economics
Kelly J. Fuller, Linguistics/Political Science
Leah A. Hollrock, Studio Art/Art History
Melanie K. Keyes, Spanish/Chinese
Stephanie A. Ladroga, English
David T. Marcus, Philosophy
Caroline Marsden, Chinese/Philosophy
Daniel L. McDonald, History/Political Science
Michaela G. Miragliotta, Spanish/Political Science
Annika H. Mitchell, History/Political Science
Sherry X. Ng, Architecture+Design
John B. Norcross, Classics/Philosophy
Caitlin M. Pow, Spanish/Anthropology
Christina J. Reppert, Dance
Samantha K. Ryan, Spanish/English
Tylar A. Suckau, English/Pre-Med
Shawn J. Thomas, History
Michelle L. Wade, English
Clara R. Wool, Middle Eastern Studies/Environmental Design
Sophia J. Zaman, WGGS/Political Science

Humanities & Fine Arts Opportunity Award
Clara R. Wool, Middle Eastern Studies
Sophia J. Zaman, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies

Class of 1933 Scholarship
Samantha Alonso, French
Katherine R. DeVane, German
Melanie K. Keyes, Spanish

Class of 1940 Creative Writing Award
Jonah S. Vorspan-Stein, Fiction
Steve Charles, Poetry

Class of 1945 Merit Scholarship
Daniel L. McDonald, History

Class of 1976 Humanities Scholarship
Rachael Birch, Classics

Luise Bronner Scholarship
Michaela G. Miragliotta, Spanish
Samantha K. Ryan, Spanish

Frank Prentice Rand Scholarship
Rachel P. Aylward, Dance
Gregory R. Blair, Music

Robert D. and Nancy M. Gordon Scholarship in the Fine Arts
Kimberly Carlino

Henry & Jean Hall Humanities & Fine Arts Scholarship
Kelly J. Fuller, Linguistics
Leah A. Hollrock, Studio Arts
Sherry X. Ng, Architecture+Design

Charles Mark Scholarship for the Study of Foreign Languages
Alyssa Stenson

Oxford Summer Program Scholarship
Elizabeth C. Adams
Thamyris F. Tavares de Almeida
Robin K. Garabedian
Lindsay E. Smith
Michelle L. Wade


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April 2011


English Professors help launch a new Amherst-based literary magazine

Professors of English, Sabina Murray and John Hennessey will both be involved in the launching of a new literary magazine, called The Common. John Hennessey will be the poetry editor and Sabina Murray is a board member, contributor, and book review editor at the new magazine.


Professor of Music awarded Whiting Foundation Grant

Professor Felipe Salles was awarded a Whiting Foundation grant to travel to Uganda for two weeks in August. He will study the music of Uganda and develop new course materials for the classes he teaches and the ensembles he conducts in the African-American and Jazz Studies area of the UMass Amherst Music & Dance Department. The grant enables Salles to accept the invitation from Teach and Tour Sojourners, an international exchange program for teachers.

Remembering Gareth Matthews


Professor Gareth Matthews of the Philosophy department died last weekend at the age of 82. Gary was a member of the Philosophy department for more than 40 years and was a pioneer in thinking, writing, and teaching about philosophy and children. He will be missed. His memorial notice is here.




Julie Hayes inducted into l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques

Interim dean of the College of Humanities & Fine Arts, Julie Hayes, has been inducted as chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by Christophe Guilhou, the French Consul Général in Boston. The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is the oldest of the French "ministerial" orders (coming right after the "national orders," such as the Legion of Honor and the Order of the Liberation). It was founded by Napoleon in 1806 to honor educators and scholars and since 1866 has been open to foreign nationals for their "contributions to French culture." More...


New CD by UMass Amherst Music Faculty

A new CD of orchestral music by Charles Bestor, Professor Emeritus and former Head of the UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance, will be released by Albany Records on April 1.

This will be Bestor's third solo album with thirteen other works appearing on various CD anthologies.


The creation of the new CD, which has been a year in the making, is very much a UMass collaboration. On the disk, Professor Lanfranco Marcelletti, Jr., Director of the University Orchestra, conducts the Cayuga (New York) Chamber Orchestra, for which he also serves as Music Director. Professor of Horn Laura Klock and Professor of Voice William Hite, a tenor, appear as soloists in Bestor's Concerto for Horn and Orchestra and his Requiem. Both works were premiered in recent years by the University Orchestra with Marcelletti conducting.


The recording also includes Symphony No. 1: "Three Ways of Looking at the Night" and The Long Goodbye -- the title work of the album. The Long Goodbye was also performed at UMass Amherst in a version by Bestor for the Wind Ensemble.


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March 2011


Art History alum, Dawn Barrett selected as president of MassArt

Dawn Barrett '78, an alum of UMass' Art History department, was selected as the next president of Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Previously, she had been the Dean of Architecture and Design at Rhode Island School of Design. More...


Jay Berkovitz awarded Whiting Fellowship

Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, Jay Berkovitz was awarded a 2011 Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship for his project titled "On Common Ground: Religious and Civil Law in Modern Israel."


Winners from the UMass Amherst Department of Music & Dance

The UMass Amherst Department of Music & Dance is on a winning streak. Congrats to these students!

At the National Trumpet Competition, held this year at George Mason University in March, undergraduate Steve Felix ’12 won second place in the Undergraduate Solo Division and Graduate student in Jazz Composition Micah Maurio MM ’12 took third place in the Jazz category. Nate Wilson MM ’12 and alumnus Andrew Stetson MM ’11 were semi-finalists.

The UMass Amherst Festival Horn Ensemble performed at the Northeast Horn Festival on March 19th at the University of New Hampshire. Ensemble performers were: Julia Cavagnaro ’13, Bethany Croxton ’13, Catherine Hill ’12, Allison Ingraham ’13, Kevin Martins ’11, Nicole Poisson ’14, Michael Poulin ’11 and Jaclyn Ziegenfus ’11. At one point, alumna Dana Mandell ’10 joined in the performances. Hill made it to the finals, and Cavagnaro was the winner in the solo competition category.

Three undergraduate Music Education students were selected as Collegiate Ambassadors for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association All-State Conference, held in Boston March 24-26: Ann Dorgan ’12, Anat Hochberg ’11 and Andrew Scoglio ’13. The Collegiate Ambassadors, selected through a competitive process, represented UMass Amherst and its Music & Dance Department to all attendees at the Conference.

Jazz Saxophonist Gregory Blair ’12 was chosen to represent UMass Amherst at the International Association of Schools of Jazz meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil from July 3- 8. He will perform as part of an international student combo, and attend masterclasses, clinics, rehearsals and lectures. Greg will be joined by one of his UMass Amherst professors, Felipe Salles, who was selected to lecture and perform.


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February 2011


Judaic Studies professor awarded inaugural NEH Senior Scholar Fellowship

Jay R. Berkovitz, Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, has been awarded the inaugural National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Scholar Fellowship. He will be spending 2011-2012 at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, where he will be working on his research project, “Protocols of Justice: Family, Community and Law in Early Modern France,” which is based on the records of the Metz rabbinic court during the years 1771 to 1789.

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January 2011


Remembering Robert Griffith

Robert Griffith, a former history professor currently serving as chair of the history department at American University, died Jan. 24. Griffith taught at UMass Amherst for 18 years and chaired the history department from 1983-87. Among those paying tribute in his obituary are retired history professors Bruce Laurie, Ron Story and Roland Sarti. More...


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December 2010


Martin Espada named USA Fellow

United States Artists has named the English Department's Martin Espada, a USA fellow, and awarded him a $50,000 grant for artistic excellence. A former tenant lawyer, Espada has been called "the Latino poet of his generation" and, by Sandra Cisneros, "the Pablo Neruda of North American authors." Click here to read more & view Espada's video feature, "Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper."


Remembering Billy Taylor

Alumnus Billy Taylor, an internationally known jazz pianist, composer and music educator who co-founded UMass Amherst’s Jazz in July program, died Dec. 28 in Manhattan at the age of 89. Taylor earned a doctorate in music education from UMass in 1975. In 1987, he was appointed a Wilmer D. Barrett Professor in the department of music and dance. Taylor retired two years ago from Jazz in July, which he helped start in 1982 with fellow faculty members Fred Tillis and the late Max Roach. Among those paying tribute to Taylor this week were Tillis, Jeffrey W. Holmes, music professor and director of jazz and African-American music studies, and former faculty member Archie Shepp. Read more in the following: New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Republican, NPR, 12/29/10)





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November 2010


Congratulations to Marla Miller's Betsy Ross and the Making of America

History professor, Marla Miller's book "Betsy Ross and the Making of America" has received a $10,000 "Recognition of Excellence" prize as one of three finalists in the 2010 Cundill Prize in History competition at McGill University, the world's richest historical literature prize. More...


Steven Tracy named Spotlight Scholar

Congratulations to Professor Steven Tracy who has been chosen as November's UMass Amherst Spotlight Scholar.  The Spotlight Scholar program is new this semester and it's designed to acknowledge  and publicize campus faculty and their professional accomplishments. Professor Tracy is being recognized as an accomplished Afro-American scholar, specifically for his writing and research on the blues and African-American literature, his designation as a Fulbright Foundation Senior Specialist, and his efforts to establish international collaborations between the Afro-Am department and Chinese universities.More...


Emerita Professor of German passes away

Eva Schiffer, 85, of Amherst, emerita professor of German and former member of the Amherst Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee, died Nov. 10. She was an animal rights activist and beloved and inspirational figure in Amherst, the town that was her "second family." More...


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October 2010


Justin Townsend '97 lights Broadway show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Justin Townsend '97, a proud UMass Theater alumnus, is the lighting designer for the hotly-anticipated Broadway show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. The show ran to rave reviews off Broadway earlier in the year and is now transferring. Previews begin September 20 and the official opening is Oct. 13. This is his first Broadway show.

Justin was part of the production's off Broadway creative team. He has been busy designing off Broadway and regionally for some time. He is the 2006 USITT Rising Star Award winner and is a member of the Obie Award winning Theatre of a Two Headed Calf. He teaches at Northeastern University.

Read the NY Times review here and here!


Vice Provost for International Programs to step down

Vice Provost for International Programs Frank Hugus is stepping down next semester to return to German and Scandinavian Studies, Provost James Staros has announced. Staros praised Hugus for his "dedicated service as vice provost for a period that has spanned three administrations and has provided a strong foundation for future success." Hugus oversaw international programs for eight years. More...


A Moveable Feast in The Boston Globe

Associate professor in the Art & Art History department, Joseph Krupczynski's public project "A Moveable Feast" was featured in The Boston Globe's article about Table for Ten. More...



Emeritus English Professor, Stan Koehler, passes away at 95

Stan Koehler, emeritus professor of English, poet and author of a study of William Carlos Williams, died on Oct. 7 at age 95 in Northampton. He was a founding member of The Massachusetts Review, director of the Writer’s Workshop at the Chautauqua Institute and poet laureate at the UMass Renaissance Center. A funeral service is scheduled for Oct. 16 at Amherst’s First Congregational Church. More...


Architecture grad lauded in assessing 'Green Building' assessors

Recent Master of Architecture graduate Tracie Reed has been awarded the American Institute of Architecture Students Student Research Award for her outstanding work in the field of green building. More...




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September 2010


Remembering George Parks

Music Professor, George Parks, 57, passed away on September 16 after suffering a heart attack in Ohio. He was the UMass Minuteman Band director for 33 years and was en route to Ann Arbor, MI with the Minuteman Band when he passed. The UMass community mourns the loss of a talented, beloved member of the Music faculty and UMass Athletics. Here is the UMass Memorial page.




Julie Candler Hayes named Interim Dean of the College of Humanities & Fine Arts

Professor Julie C. Hayes has been named Interim Dean of the College of Humanities & Fine Arts after Joel W. Martin stepped down from his position as dean to become the Vice Provost for Faculty and Dean of the Faculty at UMass. Read her biohere.



David Dillon, accomplished lecturer in Architecture + Design, dies

David Dillon, an architecture critic of The Dallas Morning News and a lecturer in UMass's Architecture + Design program since 2007, died June 3rd of a heart attack at his home in Amherst, Mass. He was 68.

As a lecturer in the UMass Architecture + Design Program, David taught Junior Year Writing, Philosophy of Architecture and Design, Research Forum, and Modern Architecture. In addition, he directed independent studies, advised students, contributed to faculty meetings and retreats, served on critique and thesis review committees, and advanced the interests of the Architecture + Design Program and the Department in countless ways. His students always responded positively to his guidance and example.

Read his obituary in the Dallas Morning News here.


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June 2010



Valerie Martin, MFA '74, receives Louisiana Writer Award for 2010

Alumna and former teacher Valerie Martin has been named the recipient of the Louisiana Writer Award for 2010. She is being honored by the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana for her contributions to the state's literary heritage. Read more here, or check out our profile of Valerie Martin here.


David Dillon, accomplishe d lecturer in Architecture + Design, dies

David Dillon, an architecture critic of The Dallas Morning News and a lecturer in UMass's Architecture + Design program since 2007, died June 3rd of a heart attack at his home in Amherst, Mass. He  was 68.

As a lecturer in the UMass Architecture + Design Program, David taught Junior Year Writing, Philosophy of Architecture and Design, Research Forum, and Modern Architecture. In addition, he directed independent studies, advised students, contributed to faculty meetings and retreats, served on critique and thesis review committees, and advanced the interests of the Architecture + Design Program and the Department in countless ways. His st udents always responded positively to his guidance and example.

Read his obituary in the D allas Morning News here.


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April 2010


Paul Harding '92 wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Congratulations to Paul Harding, A.B. 1992! He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with his debut novel, Tinkers published by Bellevue Literary Press. More...

Read about it in the Boston Globe.

Read about it in the New York Times.


$1500 Donated to Minuteman Marching Band's building fund

The committee that organized Amherst’s 250th celebration donated $1,500 in surplus funds to the Minuteman Marching Band’s building fund. The committee was impressed with the band’s performance during the anniversary parade in September. More...


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February 2010


Linguists Honored By Students and Colleagues

Two Linguistics Department faculty recently received books written in their honor by former students and colleagues. These Festschriften, as they are known, are traditionally presented to a scholar who has advised many PhD students over the course of a long career.

On the occasion of her retirement after more than 35 years of service to the University, Elisabeth O. Selkirk, professor emerita of linguistics, received a Festschrift entitled Prosody Matters: Essays in Honor of Lisa Selkirk, edited by alumni Toni Borowsky (PhD 1986), Shigeto Kawahara (PhD 2007), Takahito Shinya (PhD 2009), and Mariko Sugahara (PhD 2003).

John J. McCarthy, distinguished professor and head of the Linguistics Department, received a Festschrift entitled Phonological Argumentation: Essays on Evidence and Motivation. Edited by Steve Parker (PhD 2002), it contains original papers focusing on phonological argumentation, set within the framework of Optimality Theory. It recognizes McCarthy’s influence as a teacher and major proponent of this theory.

Phonological Argumentation was published this month by Equinox (London). Prosody Matters will appear under the Equinox imprint in March, 2011. More...


DEFA films honored for the first time at Berlinale

This year, DEFA films were honored for the first time at the Berlin film festival known as the Berlinale. Read about it in Spiegel Online and Rantrave.com!


UMass exhibit on green architecture featured in The Boston Globe

 "Greening the Valley: Sustainable Architecture in the Pioneer Valley," a new exhibition at UMass' University Gallery was featured in The Boston Globe. The exhibit promotes sustainable architecture and attempts to educate the public about sustainable options for existing architecture. Read more here.


Milosevic at the Hague featured in American Theatre

UMass Theater professor, Milan Dragicevich's play "Milosevic at the Hague" is featured in the February 2010 issue of American Theatre. The article is written by the actor who plays Milosevic, Kermit Dunkelberg, with a sidebar piece written by Milan Dragicevich. Download the PDF here.


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January 2010


New Year's News from CHFA's Dean Martin

Joel Martin, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, has accepted an offer to serve as vice provost for academic personnel and dean of the faculty, effective next month, according to Provost James V. Staros.

Read the In the Loop article

Read Dean Martin's letter


Richardson wins national award for history blog

History professor Heather Cox Richardson has received a Cliopatria Award for History Blogging from the History News Network.

“Richardson’s Rules of Order,” which began running last March on The Historical Society blog, won the award in the “best series of posts” category. “Richardson’s Rules” is a handbook for students and reflects her thoughts on the study and teaching of history. The posts cover a variety of topics, including writing research papers, taking notes, appropriate behavior in classrooms and other insights. More...




December 2009


Choreographer, dance educator Chuck Davis awarded honorary degree

Charles “Chuck” Davis, the internationally renowned founder and artistic director of the African American Dance Ensemble and the New York-based festival DanceAfrica, was awarded an honorary doctorate Dec. 3 during a ceremony held in the Bernie Dallas Room in Goodell Hall. More...

Watch the video!


Theater Alumna, Lián Amaris in The New York Times

Lián Amaris, a theater alumna of UMass, wrote and acted in a monologue called,  "Swimming to Spaulding", inspired by Spaulding Gray's "Swimming to Cambodia." Read about the process of writing and producing it here. Read the NYTimes review here. And here's an excerpt from the piece.


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November 2009


Marta the Divine: Director & Translator summoned to Oxford

The Theater Department is pleased to announce that translator Harley Erdman and Director Gina Kaufman's paper, "Marta the Divine on Stage Today: Refundición and Casting Anew," has been accepted for the 2010 Out of the Wings Symposium, "Spanish Golden Age Drama in Translation and Performance," at Oxford University in March 2010. They will both be traveling to Oxford to give the Marta presentation. The Department of Theater presented the world premiere of the English translation and adaptation of Marta the Divine in November. More....

See Marta in El Paso!

UMass Dance Program gifted with historic dance photography

The UMass Department of Dance was named the recipient of 38 historic dance images taken by the late photographer Barbara Morgan. Barbara Morgan photographed modern dance in the 1930s and 40s, establishing the first American archive documenting the life force and rhythmic vitality of this significant period in the development of modern dance. More....

Read about it in DanceTeacher magazine!


UMass MFA Program is fourth in the nation

The Master of Fine Arts Program for Poets and Writers is among the best graduate creative writing programs in the country, according to Poets & Writers Magazine. The rankings, which appeared in the magazine’s November/December issue, place UMass Amherst 4th in poetry and 5th in fiction to tie with the University of Texas at Austin for No. 4 on the list of top 50 programs. More....


German & Scandinavian Studies (GSS) garners grant

The Scandinavian Studies working group in GSS (James Cathey, Kyle Frackman, Sherrill Harbison, and Skyler Arndt-Briggs), with the help of Eric Einhorn (Political Science), has been awarded a grant of 100,000 Danish Kroner (ca. $20,000) from the Coordinating Committee for Nordic Studies Abroad (Samarbetsnämnden för Nordenundervisning i utlandet), the maximum available. The grant activity will comprise a yearlong schedule of Scandinavian-related events in the fields of, for example, film, literature, music, anthropology, geosciences, and design. Some of the distinguishing features of the UMass grant proposal were the varied subject areas and the plan to film the events for use in an online Scandinavian Studies "info bank."


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October 2009

Professor Cathy Portuges awarded Hungary's highest cultural honor

Hungary’s Ministry of Culture and Education last last month honored Catherine Portuges, professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, for her contributions on behalf of the country’s cinema and for enriching cultural relations between Hungary and other nations. In recognition of her work, Portuges was presented the Pro Cultura Hungarica Medal, Hungary’s highest cultural honor for a non-Hungarian. The medal was awarded Oct. 31 in London by Borbála Czakó, Hungary’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. More....


Actor and Alum Bill Pullman takes UMass Theater Students on a Whirlwind Tour of Broadway

The chance to see a show on Broadway is pretty exciting for a student, but the chance to hang out with the star of the show and get career advice from him? That's what 12 theater students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst got to do for a weekend in October.

Actor and UMass Amherst Department of Theater alum Bill Pullman, who has kept in touch with UMass as his star has risen in the film and theater worlds, invited a group of the UMass theater department's most promising actors, designers, and technicians to New York for an intensive weekend that included meetings with top theater professionals, behind-the-scenes opportunities, and top-quality theater. The group also got to see him perform alongside Julia Stiles in David Mamet's Oleanna on Broadway. More...


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