Outstanding teaching, research and outreach honored

The highest standards in teaching, research, outreach and invention among members of the faculty were recognized April 29 at the UMass Honors dinner held as part of Founders Week.

Four faculty members and two graduate students have been chosen to receive the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor awarded on campus for excellence in teaching and learning.

The tenure system faculty winners are Christian Appy, History, Elizabeth Connor, Biology, and Robert Nakosteen, Operations and Information Management. The non-tenure system faculty honoree was Catherine Benincasa, Mathematics and Statistics.

Graduate teaching assistants receiving the Distinguished Teaching Award at a separate Graduate School luncheon are Edward Erikson and Alix Olson, both of Political Science.

Established in 1962, the DTA is regarded as the campus’s most prestigious prize for classroom instruction. The prizes include a cash award and the names of the winners are inscribed on permanent displays and the recipients are recognized during Undergraduate Commencement.

Nominations for the award are made by current and former undergraduates to a committee of undergraduates, faculty members and graduate students (many of whom are previous winners of the prize), which makes the final award decisions.

Also honored were the recipients of Distinguished Academic Outreach Awards. Elena Carbone, Nutrition, received the Distinguished Academic Outreach Research Award, while Margaret Riley, Biology, received the Distinguished Academic Outreach Teaching Award.

The Distinguished Academic Outreach Awards, established in 1997, recognize and encourage superlative individual achievement in outreach as an incentive to further community engagement on the part of the academic enterprise. Recipients receive a cash award.

Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowships this year went to Lee Badgett, Economics and Public Policy and Administration; Jeffrey D. Blaustein, Psychology, and Fred Feldman, Philosophy.

The fellowships honor faculty for their outstanding accomplishments and promote continued excellence in research and scholarly and creative activity. Fellows receive a cash award and a year’s leave of absence to concentrate on activities related to graduate education, research, creative work and scholarly attainment. The fellowship program is supported by the deans and the vice chancellor for Research and Engagement.