Faculty at UMass Amherst Receive Awards for Teaching, Research and Outreach

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts has announced the names of three faculty members and two teaching assistants who received the 1998-99 Distinguished Teaching Awards; four professors who received Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Awards; four faculty members named recipients of Distinguished Academic Outreach Awards; and two 1999 Outstanding Academic Advisors.

The awards were presented at the annual Awards Banquet held Wed. May 12 in the Campus Center.

Faculty receiving Distinguished Teaching Awards were: Mzamo P. Mangaliso, associate professor of management; Stella L. Volpe, assistant professor of nutrition; and Michael L. Williams, associate professor of geosciences. Teaching assistants receiving the awards were: Melissa Osborne, economics, and Maria-Amaryllis Siniossoglou, art.

The Distinguished Teaching Award is the most prestigious prize awarded by the University for excellence in classroom teaching. All awardees receive a plaque and a monetary award; faculty members receive $3,000, teaching assistants $2,000. Nominations for the awards are made by present and former students to an awards committee, which is comprised of faculty, undergraduate students, and graduate students who were former winners. The committee selects the recipients.

Winners of Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Awards for 1998-99 were: Charles E. Clifton Jr., psychology; Angelika H. Kratzer, linguistics; Edward M. Riseman, computer science; and Lawrence M. Schwartz, biology. All four are nationally and internationally recognized as among the world’s top experts in their fields, according to Interim Vice Chancellor for Research, Frederick W. Byron, who presented the awards.

Samuel F. Conti was the campus’s first vice chancellor for research and played a key role in the University’s development as a major research institution of international reputation. He also helped establish the fellowship awards, renamed for him last year.

Each fellow receives a plaque, a $3,000 honorarium, and a year’s leave from teaching to pursue research, creative work, scholarly attainment, or graduate education. Nominations for fellowships are made by department heads to their respective deans, with final selections made by a committee of the Research Council of the Faculty Senate. Selection is based on outstanding accomplishments and potential for continued excellence.

Recipients of the Distinguished Academic Outreach Awards for 1998-99 were: Ann Forsyth, Henry Lu, and Patricia McGirr, all of the department of landscape architecture and regional planning, and David Schimmel, education.

The outreach awards were established to recognize faculty outreach activities and to demonstrate the high value the campus places on such efforts. Forsyth, Lu, and McGirr, received the award as directors of the Urban Places Project (UPP). Working with community residents, officials, and businesspeople, UPP provides urban design and planning services to low-income neighborhoods in mid-sized communities throughout the commonwealth. The three also won the 1999 President’s Public Service Award from UMass President William M. Bulger. Schimmel was recognized as the director of the University’s Community Service Learning Program, which provides an opportunity for students to combine classroom learning and community service.

Outreach award winners each receive a plaque and an honorarium of $3,000. (Since they are being presented the award as a team, Forsyth, Lu, and McGirr will share the award.) Nominations for the awards are made to the University’s Outreach Council by the deans from each of the campus’s nine schools and colleges. A subcommittee of the council comprised of four faculty members and two administrators selected the recipients on the basis of the scholarly nature of the work involved, its impact on the individuals served, and how the work reflects the integration of teaching, research, and outreach.

Beginning this year, the campus will recognize one faculty member and one staff member as outstanding academic advisors. In the past, only faculty members had been eligible for the award. The 1999 Outstanding Academic Advisor Awards went to Dennis Hanno, associate dean for undergraduate matters at the Isenberg School of Management and assistant professor of accounting and information systems, and Joyce A. Grabon, undergraduate program secretary in the department of history.

Hanno and Grabon each received a plaque and a cash gift of $3,000. Nominations for the awards are submitted to a committee which makes the final selection. In addition, Grabon’s name is also being submitted by the Provost’s Office for national recognition by the National Academic Advising Association.