Daniel McGee


Kathleen Brown-Perez, a Commonwealth Honors senior lecturer in anthropology, recently received a $2.5 million, four-year grant through the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies program (NAIS).

2020 Awardees

Commonwealth Honors College is happy to celebrate the outstanding achievements of its 2020 scholarship award recipients in the 2020 Commonwealth Honors College Scholarship Award Virtual Celebration. This year, Commonwealth Honors awarded over 200 scholarships totaling more than $350,000.


The Student Advisory Board provides feedback and recommendations to the Dean regarding the College’s teaching, research, and outreach missions, especially as it relates to student success.


Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, the UMass Student Farm Enterprise is still harvesting crops for the Amherst and UMass communities. The Student Farm is a year-long class held through the Stockbridge School of Agriculture where students go through the full farming cycle—from planning and contracting vendors during the winter and early spring, to growing throughout the summer and harvesting in the fall. 

prof crago

Christine Crago, associate professor of resource economics at Commonwealth Honors College, recently received a $6.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a part of a team in the new Elevating Equity Values in the Transition of the Energy (ELEVATE) program at UMass.


On September 30, scientist and author Robin Wall Kimmerer delivered the keynote address of the 2020–21 Feinberg Series entitled “What Does the Earth Ask of Us?” In her lecture, Kimmerer connected Indigenous knowledge and modern science to how we can more successfully conquer the problem of climate change in the world today. More than 2,000 people attended the event.


Scott Auerbach, professor of chemistry and chemical engineering and executive director of the UMass Integrated Concentration in Science program (iCons), delivered the Honors College Plenary Lecture on September 21, 2020. Auerbach’s talk, entitled “Is Racism a Science Problem?”, examined the link between science and racism using empirical and anecdotal evidence.


On August 23, 2020, the Commonwealth Honors College inducted 682 first-year and transfer students in a virtual ceremony. The Honors College Induction Ceremony welcomes new students each year as they begin their academic journey at Commonwealth Honors. This year’s inducted class includes students from twenty-five states and twenty-three countries across many academic disciplines.


Nathan Balk King '23 received a Tikkun Olam Leadership Award for his creation of Model United Nations: Indigenous.


After serving as dean of Commonwealth Honors College for five years, Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina has chosen to transition into a role as faculty professor of English. Gerzina is an award-winning author and expert in Victorian and African American literature, and was inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.