UMass Amherst Faculty Garner Awards and Fellowships for Research, Teaching, Service and Professional Growth

April 1, 2014

Contact: Wesley Blixt 413/545-0444

AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Amherst faculty members have been honored in the past month with a variety of national awards and fellowships for research, teaching and service in their respective academic fields, as well as for professional growth and development.

Carey Clouse, assistant professor of architecture and landscape architecture, has received a Fulbright FLEX Award from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars to travel to the Indian Himalayas in 2014 to research and prototype designs for high-altitude agricultural use. Working in the regions of Zanskar and Ladakh, Clouse will focus her work on the development of productive design adaptations for communities responding to the impacts of climate change.

History professor Audrey Altstadt has been awarded a yearlong fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. Altstadt was one of 20 fellows selected from a field of 330 applicants. Fellowship winners will work with the Woodrow Wilson Center to turn scholarly research into relevant policy.

Biology professor Tobias Baskin has been awarded a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship from the European Union to support his sabbatical leave at the Centre for Plant Integrative Biology at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom for the 2014-15 academic year.

The fellowships support mid-career and senior scientists doing research within the EU and are highly competitive. Baskin will investigate the cellular dynamics of root growth, taking advantage of advanced microscopes and the centre’s expertise in computer vision.

Amilcar Shabazz, professor of Afro-American studies and faculty advisor to the chancellor for diversity and excellence, has received the National Council for Black Studies’ Presidential Award, conferred at its 38th annual conference on March 8 in Miami.

Shabazz was elected NCBS national secretary in 2012 and, as a life member of the council, has been a member of its national board since 2009. He was lauded as an authority on the history of desegregation of higher education and diversity policies in schools, and as a leading figure in the internationalization of Africana studies.

Assistant professor of history Sarah Cornell is the first historian to receive the 19th Century Scholars Association’s Emerging Scholars Award for her article, “Citizens of Nowhere: Fugitive Slaves and Free African Americans in Mexico, 1833-1857.”

In the article, published in the September 2013 issue of The Journal of American History, Cornell traces the ways southern officials took advantage of Mexican policy, which prevented fugitive slaves from legally residing in Mexico, and how former slaves used multiple strategies to integrate themselves into local communities, carving out a limited, precarious freedom. The award was established in 2007 to recognize an outstanding article or essay published within five years of the author’s doctorate.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society named Bruce Croft, Distinguished Professor in the School of Computer Science, as a recipient of its Technical Achievement Award for “outstanding contributions to information retrieval and the development of search engines.”

The award recognizes contributions in the past 10 to 15 years that significantly promoted technical progress in the field. Croft is founder of the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval, which combines basic research with technology transfer to a variety of government and industry partners.