UMass Amherst to Unveil Monuments Honoring Distinguished Teachers on May 12

AMHERST, Mass. - On May 12 from 4 to 6 p.m., two monuments will be unveiled on the concourse level of the University of Massachusetts Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center. One monument honors faculty members who have received the Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA). The other honors teaching assistants who have won the same award. The DTA is the University’s highest award for teaching excellence. The event is free and open to the public.

The monuments, which will be permanent, were designed by students as a class assignment for Interior Design II, taught by assistant art professor Ray Kinoshita and Annick Porter. The winning designs were the result of a juried competition featuring a panel of faculty and staff.

Tonia D’Introno designed the faculty site, which uses anodized aluminum name plates on hinged panels attached to a curved wall. The display will be covered with Plexiglass and lit from above. It is located near the stairwell. Lilly Donohue designed the teaching assistant display, which uses three large, nickel-plated steel sheets attached to the wall with poles. It is located near the entrance to the Graduate Student Lounge.

Kinoshita said the project was initiated in the fall semester after a proposal by psychology professor Richard Halgin, who saw a similar display at Duke University. Halgin discussed the concept with others on the DTA steering committee, which endorsed the project. Elizabeth Dale, director of businesses and facilities services in the Campus Center, agreed to provide space for the monuments in the Campus Center and all the labor costs, with carpentry staff doing the installation and much of the actual construction.

Students were given a $10,000 budget for materials and instructed to consider the long-term maintenance needed for their designs, as well as space for future names.

During the spring, the student designers researched and selected different types of lighting and mounting equipment, metal sheeting, engravers, and etchers. They also visited local factories to watch as metal sheets were cut to match their designs.

NOTE: Reporters wanting further information should contact Ray Kinoshita at 256-1253 or 545-6957, or Nancy Kahn, Provost’s Office, at 545-2554.