Distinguished Community Engagement Awards

Distinguished Community Engagement Awards

2021 Distinguished Community Engagement Award Call for Nominations

Provost John McCarthy invites nominations for this year’s Distinguished Community Engagement Awards for Research, and Teaching.  This award recognizes individuals within our campus community for their outstanding contributions to community-engaged scholarship and teaching with impacts at the local, regional, national, or international level.

At UMass Amherst, engagement creates a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources within a context of partnership and reciprocity.  Members of the UMass Amherst campus and community partners collaborate in research, teaching, and creative or professional activity in ways that benefit the campus and the academy while at the same time addressing community-defined needs or goals.

Each award recognizes a specific aspect of community engagement:

  • Community-Engaged Research Award: Recognizes a faculty member or librarian for a record of community-engaged research, scholarship, and creative activities, in all disciplines and fields, that contributes to the academy, to UMass Amherst, and to their community partner organizations.
  • Community-Engaged Teaching Award: Recognizes a faculty member or librarian for a record of community-engaged teaching (credit or non-credit) with demonstrated impact in the community and benefits to learners at UMass Amherst

Submission Information and Timeline

  • Combine all components of the nomination packet (see below for details) into a single pdf file following this convention: AwardCategory_LastName_First Name.
  • Competitive nomination packets will include all four components. Nominations that are missing one of more components put the nominee at a disadvantage and are discouraged.
  • Submit the single file via email to: Mary K. Green in the Office of Research Development at mkgreen@umass.edu no later than 5:00 pm on March 26, 2021. 
  • Applicants will be notified of decisions in May 2021

Contact:  For questions about the program, please contact Mary K. Green at: mkgreen@umass.edu 

Awards

  • Award recipients receive a $1000 monetary prize and certificate of merit.

Nominations

  • Nominations are accepted from any eligible member of the UMass Amherst community.

Eligibility

  • Nominees for the research award must be full-time faculty or librarian. Self-nominations are accepted. 
  • Nominees for the teaching award must be full-time faculty or librarians. Self-nominations are accepted. 
  • Nomination of prior recipients of a Community Engaged award: Prior recipients of the Research Award or the Teaching Award are not eligible to be nominated for a second award in the same category. However, they may be nominated in the other category. (See list of prior recipients)

Review Process

  • Nominations will be evaluated through a two-stage process based on the selection criteria below and administered by the Faculty Senate Public Engagement and Outreach Council.  For the initial peer-review, ad hoc reviewers will be selected, based, whenever possible, on relevant experience and expertise. A committee of the Public Engagement and Outreach Council will then evaluate and collectively select nominations to recommend to the Provost, who will make the final determination of awards.

Community-Engaged Research Award

Nominations should consist of:

  • A cover letter (no more than two pages) from the person making the nomination and addressed to the Provost that:
    • Identifies the award category
    • Describes the record of accomplishment in community-engaged research, scholarship, and creative activities of the nominee, addressing the selection criteria listed below.
  • A CV/short biosketch (no more than two pages) which includes professional preparation, academic appointments, research products, recognitions, collaborations or other affiliations that best demonstrate the impact of the faculty member’s engagement contributions.
  • Letter of support from one or more community partner organizations (no more than 2 pages).
  • Additional letters of support and/or other documentation that describe how the engaged research has benefited the community. (maximum of 4 pages total).

Community-Engaged Teaching Award

Nominations should consist of:

  • A cover letter (no more than two pages) from the person making the nomination and addressed to the Provost that:
    • Identifies the award category
    • Describes the record of accomplishment in community-engaged teaching, addressing the selection criteria listed below.
  • A CV/short biosketch (no more than two pages) which includes professional preparation, academic appointments, teaching recognitions, and collaborations or other affiliations that best demonstrate the impact of the faculty member’s engagement contributions.
  • Letter of support from one or more community partner organizations (no more than 2 pages).
  • Additional letters of support and/or other documentation that describe how the engaged teaching has benefited the community. (maximum of 4 pages total).

Selection Criteria

Nominations will be evaluated using the following selection criteria, which are adapted from the campus’ extended definition of community engagement. 

For all categories of awards, nominations should address the following criteria:

  • Establishes and/or sustains collaborative community initiatives
  • Enriches the lives and promotes the well-being of individuals, families, and communities

In addition, nominations should address one or more specific criteria for the relevant category:

Community-Engaged Research Award

  • Addresses societal needs and/or technological challenges faced by MA residents and beyond
  • Adds value to scholarship via authored reports, professional presentations, articles, posters, books, and creative works
  • Encourages entrepreneurial activity, stimulates the economy, or prepares the workforce
  • Informs state, national, and/or international policies

Community-Engaged Teaching Award

  • Works reciprocally with a community partner to expand access to educational opportunities and life-long learning for UMass students and members of the community
  • Advances equitable access to high-quality learning experiences in or across fields
  • Prepares a diverse body of educated, engaged citizens, or prepares the workforce
  • Engages the community through community workshops, forums, trainings, meetings, and/or presentations