Top UMass Amherst Students, Award-Winning Faculty To Be Honored at Football Halftime Ceremonies

Amherst, Mass. – Some of the top students in the nation, and the internationally known faculty who teach them, will be celebrated this Saturday, Oct. 4 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Bringing together athleticism with academics, the university will applaud the recent achievements of faculty and students when the Minuteman take on Delaware at McGuirk Stadium.

Chancellor Robert C. Holub will acknowledge faculty who recently received the 2008 Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Research and Creative Activity. He will also celebrate undergraduate recipients of the Welch Scholarship. This full, four-year scholarship, named for John F. Welch, Jr., the former chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Company, who graduated from UMass Amherst in 1957, is awarded to students entering either the Isenberg School of Management or the College of Engineering.

Seven faculty members recently received a 2008 Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Research and Creative Activity. Soren Bisgaard, the Eugene M. Isenberg Professor of Integrative Studies and Technology Management, is known internationally for his work in applied statistics and quality management. Laurie R. Godfrey, professor of anthropology, a three-time recipient of National Science Foundation grants, has spent decades studying the evolution of Malagasy lemurs. Victor R. Lesser, professor of computer science, is a leading researcher in his field, with a major research focus on the control and organization of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Thomas J. McCarthy, professor, polymer science and engineering, has been instrumental in the growth of the university’s renowned polymer science and engineering department, receiving millions of dollars in grants, and, as inventor or co-inventor, securing six U.S. patents. David Julian McClements, Fergus M. Clydesdale Professor of Food Science, conducts groundbreaking work in the study of food emulsions, encapsulation and functional coatings for foods and has received more than $4.6 million in research funding. George N. Parks, professor of Music, created the nationally acclaimed Minuteman Marching Band, which has received the most prestigious honor bestowed upon college bands, the Louis C. Sudler Trophy. Donald F. Towsley, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, a pioneer with numerous “firsts” to his name, from the foundations of computer networking to audio and video streaming, and detecting Internet worms.

Eight Welch Scholars from the Isenberg School of Management will also be acknowledged. In 2003, Jennifer Hills of West Newbury received the first Welch Scholarship from the Isenberg School of Management. She graduated summa cum laude in 2007, earning a B.B.A. in Finance with a minor in German. Adam Ferrarini of Wilbraham graduated in 2008, summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA majoring in finance and English. Kyle Johnson of Rockport is a senior studying finance and economics. Timothy Alden of Charlton is a junior accounting major. Igor Dobrusin, a native of Ukraine, graduated from Needham High School and is a sophomore in the Isenberg School of Management with a second major in philosophy. First-year Welch Scholars include Daniel Burke of Sandwich; Laura Surdek, who graduated from the Boston Latin School; and Patrick Witz of East Longmeadow. Five Welch Scholars are currently studying in the College of Engineering. Stephan Adams of Turbotville, Pa., is a junior majoring in electrical engineering. Joseph Bliss of Medway is a sophomore mechanical engineering major. First-year Welch Scholars include Rebecca Guihan of Melrose, Kevin Cunningham from Braintree and Nicholas Jacek of Tyngsboro. Recent graduates include Jeffrey Eisenhaure of Tewksbury and Matthew Antolini of Melrose, both mechanical engineering majors.