John Higginson Receives 2020 ADVANCE Faculty Mentoring Award and Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award
Friday, April 24, 2020
Friday, April 24, 2020
John Higginson from the Department of History is one of seven inaugural winners of the prestigious UMass ADVANCE Faculty Mentoring Award, and one of three winners of the university-wide of the 2020 Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award.
The ADVANCE award honors a faculty member from each college whose mentoring ensures that faculty members excel in their careers, and it helps develop a more inclusive environment at the university. Higginson has regularly, and without comment, mentored colleagues across his college, ensuring that they have the information and tools they need to succeed in their careers. Mentees describe his thoughtful engagement with their work, his practical support for their publishing, and his consistent generosity of spirit, while always advocating for diversity and inclusion. One mentee refers to his ability to share “his extensive knowledge … while still encouraging them to find their own voice.”
Barbara Krauthamer, professor of history, dean of the graduate school and senior vice provost for interdisciplinary programs and innovation at UMass Amherst, nominated Higginson for the ADVANCE award. She remarked, “Professor Higginson has been a dedicated mentor to many junior faculty in the history department as well as other departments across campus. He is a brilliant scholar and a generous colleague who’s always available to share ideas and provide meaningful insights, guidance and support”
In addition, Higginson also received the highly-competitive Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, which recognizes faculty members for the indispensable work they perform in guiding graduate students to academic and professional success. This award emphasizes the vital educational role faculty play in teaching and advising graduate students outside the classroom, and recognizes faculty members who excel as graduate mentors, particularly by advancing the development of students as scientists, scholars, teachers, artists, or professionals; by implementing an innovative or large-scale plan to positively impact graduate students or graduate education at UMass; and/or by contributing to the growth of students who are not their advisees.
Jason Moralee, history department graduate program director, describes Higginson as “the consummate humanist. He combines intellectual rigor, empathy, and his immense learning to lift up his colleagues. He challenges us to think more deeply, to write across disciplinary boundaries, and to turn our own assumptions about the past upside down.”