UMass Amherst Faculty Members Recognized for Teaching, Research and Outreach

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts has announced the names of three professors and two teaching assistants who will receive 1997-98 Distinguished Teaching Awards; three professors who will receive Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Awards; and three faculty members who will receive Distinguished Academic Outreach Awards, presented for the first time this year. In addition, the University has also announced the 1998 Outstanding Academic Advisor.

Those receiving Distinguished Teaching Awards are: Laurie R. Godfrey, professor of anthropology; Robert B. Hallock, professor of physics and astronomy; and Stephen A. Resnick, professor of economics. Teaching assistants chosen for Distinguished Teaching Awards are: Nele Hempel, Germanic languages and literatures; and Jorge E. Gonzalez, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Distinguished Teaching Award is the most prestigious prize awarded by the University for excellence in classroom teaching. All awardees are given 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 the 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 are: Paul R. Cohen, computer science; Michael F. Doherty, chemical engineering; and Barbara A. Osborne, veterinary and animal sciences.

The faculty fellowship awards were renamed this year in honor of Samuel F. Conti, who helped to establish them. Conti was the campus’s first vice chancellor for research and played a key role in establishing the University as a major research institution of international reputation.

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 demonstrably outstanding accomplishments and potential for continued excellence.

Recipients of the newly created Distinguished Academic Outreach Awards for 1997-98 are: M. Christine King and Josephine Ryan, School of Nursing; and Ronald Prokopy, College of Food and Natural Resources.

The outreach awards have been established to recognize faculty outreach activities and to demonstrate the high value the campus places on such efforts, according to Stephen Demski, interim vice provost of outreach. King and Ryan will receive the award as a team for improving the health of the state’s K-12 students through their work with the UMass-Simmons School Health Institute and in creating and managing a school-based health clinic at Putnam Vocational High School in Springfield. Prokopy is being recognized for improving agriculture management and environmental quality, particularly through the practice of Integrated Pest Management.

Outreach award winners each receive a plaque and an honorarium of $3,000. (Since they are being presented the award as a team, King and Ryan will share the honorarium.) 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.

The 1998 Outstanding Academic Advisor is Marjorie Abel, advisor and instructor for the University Without Walls program. Abel will receive a plaque and a cash gift of $3,000. Nominations for the award are submitted to a committee which makes the final selection. Abel’s name is also being submitted by the Provost’s Office for national recognition by the National Academic Advising Association.

The awards will be presented at the annual Awards Banquet this evening, May 14, at the Campus Center.