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 1999-2000 Distinguished Teaching Awards; four professors who will receive Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowships Awards; and two faculty members who will receive Distinguished Academic Outreach Awards. In addition, the University has also announced two recipients of the 1999-2000 Outstanding Academic Advisor Award.

Those receiving Distinguished Teaching Awards are: classics professor Marios Philippides, associate professor of chemistry William Vining, and communication professor Sut Jhally. Teaching assistants receiving the award are Steven Symington of environmental sciences, and Thomas Kealey of the English Writing Program.

Considered the most prestigious prize on campus for excellence in classroom teaching, the Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA) was established in 1962 as the Metawampe Award. The honor includes a plaque and a monetary award of $3,000 for faculty and $2,000 for teaching assistants. The names of DTA recipients are also inscribed on monuments in the Lincoln Campus Center and the award winners are recognized at Undergraduate Commencement. Nominations for the awards are made by current and former students to a committee comprised of faculty, undergraduates, and previous graduate student winners of the prize. The committee makes the award selections.

The Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship recipients are: professor William E. Bemis, biology; professor Todd K. Fuller, natural resources conservation; professor Thomas J. McCarthy, polymer science and engineering; and professor Richard Yarde, art.

Fellowship recipients receive a cash award of $3,000 and a year''s leave from teaching to pursue graduate education, research, creative work or activities related to scholarly attainment. Nominations for the fellowships are made by department heads to their respective deans with final selections made by a committee of the Faculty Senate''s Research Council. Selection is based on demonstrably outstanding accomplishment, and potential for continued excellence in research and scholarly or creative activity.

The Distinguished Outreach Award winners are: anthropology professor Art Keene, and professor John Mullin of landscape architecture and regional planning. Both professors receive a plaque and $3,000.

Two Distinguished Outreach Awards are given each year to recognize excellence in academic outreach, and honor faculty and professional staff who excel in that component of the University''s mission. Nominations for the awards are solicited from school and college deans. A subcommittee of the Outreach Council selects 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 Outstanding Academic Advisors are: Sandra Pirrello and Bruce Byers.

Pirrello is the assistant director of the Arts and Sciences Advising Center, where she serves as coordinator of the Foreign Language Testing Program. Byers is the academic coordinator for the biology department.

Like the Distinguished Teaching Award honorees, the top advisors are given a plaque and a $3,000 cash prize.

The awards will be presented at the annual Awards Banquet this evening, May 11, at the Campus Center.