Trustees Award Four Professors Distinction; Award 41 Faculty Tenure

Three UMass Amherst faculty members were named Distinguished Professors, one was awarded a named professorship and 41 were awarded tenure following approval by the Board of Trustees at its Monday, July 20 meeting.

Lisa Green, linguistics; Susan Hankinson, epidemiology; and Prashant Shenoy, College of Information and Computer Sciences; were appointed Distinguished Professors at that meeting. The title Distinguished Professor is conferred on select, highly accomplished faculty who have already achieved the rank of professor and who meet a demanding set of qualifications.

Sundar Krishnamurty, mechanical and industrial engineering, was named to the Ronnie and Eugene M. Isenberg Distinguished Professorship in Engineering at the same meeting.

Prashant Shenoy, College of Information and Computer Sciences

In their letter of nomination, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Provost John McCarthy highlighted Shenoy’s contributions in research, teaching, mentoring and service to UMass Amherst. As they put it, Shenoy “has been a leader in the fields of energy-conserving computing and computing for energy management,” as reflected in his extensive publications, with more than 200 conference papers and 70 journal articles, which have been cited over 20,000 times. Professor Shenoy’s accolades for his research contributions are extensive. His research program has attracted substantial external funding totaling more than $35M from a variety of government agencies and industry. His research impact has been recognized through his election as IEEE Fellow, AAAS Fellow, and ACM Fellow.  According to an external reviewer, Professor Shenoy “has a stellar record of quality and visionary research contributions.”

Sue Hankinson, School of Public Health and Health Sciences

In their letter of nomination, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Provost John McCarthy wrote: “Dr. Hankinson is a world-renowned epidemiologist, specializing in breast cancer prevention, treatment, and biomarker detection.” In the words of one reviewer, “During her exceptionally productive career, Dr. Hankinson has distinguished herself through leadership and vision that have greatly enhanced our understanding of how to prevent breast cancer. Her research continues to shift paradigms.” She has published more than 600 journal articles (including more than 200 since joining UMass Amherst) with 170 as first or last author. With over 28 years of continuous funding for her research, Dr. Hankinson has had an outstanding level of grant productivity, including leadership as Principal Investigator of a P01 and six R01s from the National Institutes of Health, as well as funding from other sources and numerous additional roles as a co-investigator. “Dr. Hankinson is a valued member of our School, University and professional community,” says Anna Maria Siega-Riz, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. “Her sustained research funding over the last 3 decades and numerous high-quality publications that has contributed to her inclusion in the top 1% of citations in her field in 2018 by Web of Science demonstrates her international notoriety and fellow scientist respect for her knowledge and expertise in the field.”

Lisa Green, Humanities and Fine Arts

In their letter of nomination, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Provost John McCarthy wrote: “Lisa Green is widely considered to be the leading specialist in her field of linguistics—African American English.  Her research examines formal language structures, as well as language variation and change, and children’s language acquisition. “She is the author of three monographs, African American English: A Linguistic Introduction (2002); Language and the African American Child (2011); and African American English Through the Years: Getting at the Core Grammar (in preparation, under contract).  One external reviewer described her first book as “the primary text” in her field, her second book as “the landmark work”, and her third book as “the standard” for studying African American English language acquisition.  Another reviewer notes that Professor Green’s work “should be required reading for teachers, principals, school administrators, and all others involved in Pre-K-12 institutions.”  Her preeminence in the field is reflected in her 2016 election as a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America in addition to the many other grants, fellowships, and awards she has received. 

Sundar Krishnamurty, Ronnie & Eugene M. Isenberg Distinguished Professorship in Engineering  

In their letter of nomination, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Provost John McCarthy wrote: “Professor Krishnamurty’s leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and nationally justifies the award of this professorship.” He is a site director for the NSF-sponsored Industry and University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for e-Design, which engages seven academic institutions, 15 member companies, and several federal agencies. In this role, he has attracted significant external funding to the university. He has also engaged in entrepreneurship by translating work from his research group toward commercialization via NSF I-Corps and SBIR grants.

Professor Krishnamurty has also contributed to the campus in many other ways. He maintains an active research program from which 50 students have graduated. He holds several leadership positions on campus, including Associate Director of a center in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences. As department head, he has overseen a growth of the Engineering Management program, which is offered jointly with the Isenberg School of Management.  

Additionally, 41 faculty members were awarded tenure following the board's approval. Those faculty members are: 

  • Courtney Babbitt, biology
  • Michael Becker, linguistics
  • Scott Blinder, political science
  • Virginia M. Closs, classics
  • Rosemary A. Cowell, psychological and brain sciences
  • Katherine L Dixon-Gordon, psychological and brain sciences
  • Elizabeth A. Evans, health promotion and policy
  • Haiying Gao, geosciences
  • Chaitra Gopalappa, mechanical and industrial engineering
  • Christine I. Ho, history of art and architecture
  • Vincent Homer, linguistics
  • Jill R. Hoover, communication disorders
  • Yoon Ju Kang, accounting
  • Matthew J. Katz, sport management
  • David A. Keiser, resource economics
  • Jasmine Kerrissey, sociology
  • Alexandra A. Lauterbach, student development and pupil personnel services
  • Jae-Hwang Lee, mechanical and industrial engineering
  • Sandra B, Litchfield, architecture
  • Subhransu Maji, computer science
  • Robin P. Mandel, art
  • Verena I. Martinez Outschoorn, physics
  • Mazen Naous, English
  • Brendan T. O'Connor, computer science
  • Mark C. Pachucki, sociology
  • Traci Parker, Afro-American studies
  • Sarah L Perry, chemical engineering
  • Leonid A. Pobezinsky, veterinary and animal sciences
  • Douglas R. Rice, political science
  • Kelly Richardson, communication disorders
  • Marianna M. Ritchey, music and dance
  • David Rodriguez Solas, languages, literature and cultures
  • Rong Rong, resource economics
  • Elizabeth A. Sharrow, political science
  • Alena Vasilyeva, communication
  • Vinh Quoc Ocean Vuong, English
  • Matthew J. Westgate, music and dance
  • Jennifer M. Whitehill, health promotion and policy
  • Caroline H. Yang, English
  • Kevin A. Young, history
  • Rodrigo Zamith, journalism