Sonia Nieto of Amherst Named UMass Amherst Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Sonia Nieto

AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass Amherst Alumni Association will recognize Sonia Nieto ’79 Ed.D., of Amherst, with a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award on April 23 at the Massachusetts State House. The Distinguished Alumni Awards are the highest honor bestowed by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association on alumni, faculty and friends.

Nieto is a professor emerita of language, literacy and culture in the UMass Amherst College of Education. She has devoted her professional life to questions of diversity, equity and social justice in education and is the author of the best-selling textbook “Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education.” The book is used in teacher education programs around the world and is credited with defining the education field during the 20th century because of its wide range of research and approach to difficult theoretical issues.

Alumni Association President Andrew MacDougall ’95 will present the Distinguished Alumni Awards on April 23 at noon in the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. MacDougall will also present the Distinguished Alumni Award to Pierre Bushel ’84, the Distinguished Alumni Service Award to Beth Davalos ’90 and Rafael Guzman’88, the Distinguished Young Alumni Award to Gary Bernice ’07, ’10 M.A., and the Distinguished Faculty Award to Sally Powers.

Event sponsors include Mercer Consumer, a service of Mercer Health & Benefits Administration LLC, and Coca-Cola, with sponsor contributions supporting the UMass Amherst Alumni Association’s Leaders in the Making Scholarship Endowment Fund.  

The UMass Amherst Alumni Association represents and serves a network of more than 242,000 alumni worldwide and reflects an active and powerful community that generates positive outcomes for the university. For over 140 years, the Alumni Association has played an integral role in the university’s success and mounting reputation. The Association serves as a gateway for students and alumni to build relationships with each other and the university. Through campus traditions, alumni networks, awards and scholarships, professional development programs and volunteer opportunities, the Alumni Association creates an engaging environment that enriches the student and alumni experience.