Distinguished Alumni, Faculty and Friends to Receive Chancellor's Medals at UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts will award Chancellor’s Medals to distinguished faculty, alumni, and friends at an award luncheon Fri. Nov. 3 in room 1009 of the Campus Center from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Chancellor’s Medal is the highest honor the campus bestows on individuals and is given for exemplary and extraordinary service to the University.

Ten medals will be awarded in all. A list of honorees follows.

Charles S. Adams and Patricia H. Crosson, School of Education. Adams joined the University’s department of English in 1964 and transferred to the School of Education in the early 1980s. When he retired in 1999, Adams was director of the school’s higher education program in the department of educational policy, research and administration. Adams helped create innovative undergraduate programs including Project 10, which encourages students to develop an identity in the larger university; the Inquiry Program, which gives students flexibility in choosing their academic paths; and the Patterson Program, which enables 200 first-year students who have yet to choose a major to cultivate self-confidence and friendships based on shared academic experiences.

Crosson, who studied at Smith College and earned a master’s degree in 1972 and a doctorate in 1974 from the UMass School of Education, has held a number of administrative posts at the University. She has been a department chair, deputy provost, and was interim provost from 1994-97. Crosson currently teaches courses in higher education management and policy. She is a former director of the School of Education’s Center for Education Policy.

Kenneth S. Apfel, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Apfel has served as commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA) since 1997. He previously worked in the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President where he was associate director for human resources beginning in 1995. Apfel was assistant secretary for management and budget at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993-95. He served as legislative director to U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., from 1989-93, and as Bradley’s chief staff person for federal social policy from 1982-89. Apfel earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from UMass in 1970. He earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Northeastern University in 1973 and a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin in 1978.

Miriam Usher Chrisman, W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Chrisman is a distinguished historian of the Reformation. She served as an instructor in history at Smith College from 1955-57. Chrisman joined the University in 1962 as an instructor, was named assistant professor in 1963, associate professor in 1968, and professor of early modern history in 1972. She was a Chancellor’s Lecturer in 1985 and retired in 1986. Chrisman earned a bachelor’s degree in 1941, and a master’s degree in 1945 from Smith College; a master’s degree from American University in 1948; and a doctorate from Yale University in 1962. Chrisman and her husband Donald have been avid supporters of the University’s library system.

Raphael P. D’Alonzo, School of Public Health and Health Sciences. D’Alonzo is an associate director in the pharmaceutical division of Procter & Gamble and serves as the company’s primary contact with the University. D’Alonzo is a charter member of the advisory council of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and since 1990 has helped secure nearly $2 million in grants, contracts, and gifts to the University. He earned a doctorate in chemistry from UMass in 1977.

Gilbert Leveille and Carol Leveille, College of Food and Natural Resources. Gilbert Leveille is vice president of the nutritionals division of McNeil Consumers Healthcare. Born in Fall River, he earned a bachelor’s degree from UMass in 1956 and a master’s degree and doctorate from Rutgers University. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Michigan State University where he was professor and chairman of the department of food science and human nutrition from 1971-80. Leveille then became director of nutrition and health sciences at General Foods Corporation and was vice president of research and technical services at RJR Nabisco from 1986-97. Carol Leveille was raised in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn Commercial Business College. She was employed by the Allegheny Power Company before moving to Bethesda, Md., to work at the National Institutes of Health in the offices of the directors of the Office of Contracts and Grants, the Nutrition Coordinating Committee, the Fogarty Internal Center, and the Heart and Lung Institute. In 1976 she was assigned to the staff of the President’s Biomedical Research Panel in Washington, D.C.

Bret Lott, College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Lott is a novelist whose book Jewel was an Oprah’s Book Club Selection in 1999, has more than 2 million copies in print, and has been translated into eight languages. A film version will be broadcast next spring on CBS Television. Born in Los Angeles, Lott earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Long Beach, in 1981, and a master of fine arts from UMass in 1984. He taught at Ohio State University before moving to Charleston, S.C., where he has taught creative writing for 14 years at the College of Charleston and is a writer-in-residence and professor of English. Lott is also on the faculty of the M.F.A. program in writing at Vermont College.

Afaf I. Meleis, School of Nursing. Meleis is a nurse and medical sociologist who has won national and international acclaim. A professor in the department of community health systems in the School of Nursing at the University of California-San Francisco, she is president of the International Council on Women’s Health Issues. After completing her undergraduate nursing education in Egypt at the University of Alexandria, she came to the U.S. as a Rockefeller Fellow and earned a master’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in medical and social psychology from the University of California-Los Angeles. She is the author of more than 200 publications on immigrants’ health, international health, theoretical nursing, and theory development.

James F. Sullivan, Isenberg School of Management. Sullivan is a Springfield native who earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from UMass in 1955. He owned a commercial insurance agency for many years before retiring in 1996. In 1977 he established the James F. Sullivan Awards, two annual scholarships targeted to middle-income juniors and seniors at UMass. In 1983 after the death of his son Kevin, he re-endowed the award and renamed it the Kevin R. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship. In 1999, Sullivan and his wife Sally, pledged $25,000 to the Campaign for the Isenberg School of Management. Since 1978 he has been an active member of the school’s Business Advisory Council and is a UMass Ambassador, was the School of Management 1978 Alumnus of the Year, and received the Alumni Medal in 1980.

Ting-wei Tang, College of Engineering. Tang joined the University in 1968 in the department of electrical and computer engineering and has served three times as its graduate program director. In 1997, he and his wife established the Shirley and Ting-wei Tang Endowment Lecture Series. He served as director of minority graduate student recruitment from 1979-80, and chair of the Research Council from 1986-87. Tang was instrumental in organizing the Minority Engineering Program and served as its first full-time director from 1980-83. He earned his bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University and a master’s degree and doctorate from Brown University.

Orlando L. Taylor, Graduate School. Taylor has been dean of the Howard University Graduate School since 1993 and is a graduate professor in Howard’s School of Communications. Before arriving at Howard in 1973, Taylor was a faculty member at Indiana University and a visiting professor at Stanford University. In 1994-95 he served as interim vice president for academic affairs at Howard, and chaired the department of communication arts and sciences from 1975-80. He served as dean of the School of Communications from 1985-93. He was dean-in-residence at the Council of Graduate Schools in 1996. Taylor earned his bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, a master’s degree from Indiana University and a doctorate from the University of Michigan.