Awards & Recognitions

Recognitions of Excellence. Opportunities to Make an Impact.

UMass and the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences offer funding and awards to both recognize the excellent work of our faculty as educators and researchers, and to provide them with the means with which to to achieve this excellence. These various awards recognize faculty for their outstanding research, teaching prowess, creative work, eminence in their fields, and community outreach.

We take great pride in our outstanding faculty. Every year, professors in SBS are awarded some of the most prestigious honors in UMass. In 2016 alone, the following members of our community were recognized:

Distinguished Teacher: Claudio Moreira, Communication

This award honors pedagogical excellence and is unique among University of Massachusetts honors as being entirely student-driven. Only current students and alumni may nominate faculty members and the selection process involves continued input from students. Each year, the university receives over 100 nominations, and only four are selected. It is the highest recognition of teaching awarded by UMass.

As an educator, Claudio Moreira is known for challenging his students to develop their knowledge and skills in their work. His reputation as an exceptional professor has led to his classes being standing room-only as students clamor for the experience of learning from him. He has been described as “inspiring”, “influential”, “eye-opening”, and “motivating”, and has instilled a passion for righting social injustices in many. Claudio has opened the eyes of his students, providing them with an expanded worldview and greater sense of empathy.  Claudio was also the recipient of the 2015 SBS Outstanding Teacher Award.

Samuel F. Conti Fellowship: Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Sociology

Conti Fellows are chosen based on their record of outstanding accomplishments in research and creative activity and on their potential for continued excellence.  Accomplishments in research and creative activity as a UMass Amherst faculty member are paramount in the selection process. This is the most coveted research award given on campus.

Don Tomaskovic-Devey's research focuses on the processes that generate workplace inequality. His research encompasses the impact of financialization on U.S. income distribution, workplace desegregation and equal opportunity, network models of labor market structure, and relational inequality as a theoretical and empirical project. His long-term agenda is to work with others to move the social science of inequality to a more fully relational and organizational stance. He is advancing this agenda through studies of jobs and workplaces, as well as social relationships between jobs within workplaces and the social relationships that link organizations to each other.

Distinguished Community Engagement Award: Emiliana Cruz, Anthropology

This award recognizes and encourage superlative individual achievement in outreach as an incentive to further community engagement on the part of the academic enterprise. In recognizing excellence in engaged scholarship, the University of Massachusetts Amherst joins other universities that demonstrate commitment to the social, geographic, economic, cultural, and environmental betterment of the communities they serve. 

Emiliana Cruz, a linguistic anthropologist, focuses on the documentation and preservation of the Chatino languages of Oaxaca, Mexico. She has been integral to the creation of pedagogical materials that will enable members of the Chatino community to preserve their language and cultural integrity, and she is the founder of The Chatino Language Documentation Project, which aims to document and revitalize Chatino languages. She also leads an annual tone workshop for linguists.