Award Winners

Each year Women for UMass Amherst makes awards to campus projects and programs vetted by the WFUM Steering Committee with input by donors, to the Women for UMass Amherst Fund.  In the fall of 2015, the seven campus projects below were chosen to receive a portion of the $35,000 available. An additional $2,300 was contributed to the Women for UMass Amherst Endowment to fund future projects

Empowering UMass Students and the Chicopee Community with Permaculture Gardens received $3,500 to support UMass’s involvement in the Stefanik Elementary School Permaculture Garden Project in Chicopee, MA. In the fall of 2014 a new local food initiative called ChicopeeFRESH was launched in Chicopee public schools to teach students about why local food is important and to serve them healthful and appetizing “home cooked” meals that increase their capacity to learn and be successful inside and outside of the classroom. To allow students to create a personal connection with their food, a small school garden was created at the Stefanik Elementary School in June 2015. Chicopee Food Services and UMass Permaculture students are partnering to expand this garden program for the upcoming school year.

June Jordan/Feminist Poetics Symposium The department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies received $4,500 to support this symposium. The symposium will celebrate the work and activism of Black feminist poet and scholar June Jordan by highlighting the intellectual and artistic contributions of scholars, artists, and activists who extend Jordan’s legacy of feminist poetics. This one- to two-day symposium will take place March 11-12, 2016, and will be organized by the departments of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies and Afro-American Studies.

Women of Isenberg Conference The Isenberg Women in Business student group received $7,500 to support the Women of Isenberg Conference, specifically to help cover the costs of food, programs, and space rental. The Women of Isenberg Conference connects current students and faculty with alumnae to build a support network and community of empowerment for collegiate women in business. The conference serves as a platform to share experiences, foster confidence, create relationships, and communicate about the challenges women face in the classroom and in the workplace. Last year’s conference, which WFUM supported, attracted 200 attendees. This year, they hope to expand to accommodate 300 attendees.

National Arts Policy Archive and Library Internship Program The Arts Extension Service, a program of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, received $1,700 for the National Arts Policy Archive and Library Internship Program. The program will provide the opportunity for students to intern in Washington D.C. for the summer of 2016 with the United States’ three most important national arts organizations: the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and the National Assembly of State Arts Associations. Interns will work with these organizations to select materials for NAPAAL, develop materials to be used in AES courses, and promote the collection via the AES and NAPAAL websites.

Stonewall Center’s 30th Anniversary Events The Stonewall Center received $3,000 to bring Black transgender activist Janet Mock, former editor of Marie Claire and current MSNBC host, to campus as part of the Stonewall Center’s 30th anniversary events. The Stonewall Center provides support, resources, programming, and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA) and allied students, staff, and faculty at UMass Amherst and for the larger Pioneer Valley.

UMass Oral History Lab The UMass Oral History Lab received $7,500 for supplies such as area rugs and other sound dampening objects, lighting, tables and comfortable seating for students, interviewees, and the narrators who chose to share their stories with us at the newly created UMass Oral History Lab. The UMass Oral History Lab is a new venture serving to bring together students, scholars, and the public to collaboratively build oral history projects. Oral history involves the recording and preservation of historically informed interviews. This can result in permanently archived transcripts, audio and video recordings, as well as unique interpretive materials such as documentary films, museum exhibits, and radio programs.

Women in Design Lecture Series The Department of Architecture received $5,000 to support a spring 2016 lecture series titled “Women in Design” to celebrate the launch of the new department. The goal of the Women in Design lecture series is to recognize and celebrate the professional and personal accomplishments of women in the field of architecture and design. Funding will provide travel and honoraria for nationally celebrated design practitioners to visit campus, interact with students and deliver a public lecture.