UMass Amherst to Present Distinguished Alumni Awards at State House Ceremony on April 17

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association will present its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards to six honorees on Tuesday, April 17 at 11:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the State House in Boston.

Each year the association honors alumni, faculty and friends who have built on their UMass Amherst experience to attain notable achievements in business, public or community service realms. This year’s recipients are:

Victor Bahl ’97 Ph.D., director of Microsoft’s Mobile Computing Research Center, which focuses on basic and applied research in all areas related to mobile computing. The emphasis is on inter-disciplinary research to address problems, build proof-of-concept systems, engage with academia, publish scientific papers, publish software for the research community, and transfer cutting-edge technologies to Microsoft’s product divisions.

Henry L. Barr ’68, senior partner of the law firm of Barr and Cole in Newton. He has served UMass Amherst as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Center for Public Policy and Administration Advisory Board and the UMass Amherst Foundation. He has also endowed a scholarship fund allowing urban youth from the West End House Boys and Girls Club of Allston to attend UMass Amherst.

Susan Hagedorn ’77, nationally recognized nurse, filmmaker and philanthropist. After a long career as a pediatric and women’s health nurse, Hagedorn founded Seedworks Films to produce and direct films about nursing and social change. She is also the only woman to create an endowed professorship in a public nursing school in New England with the Seedworks Professorship at the UMass Amherst School of Nursing.

George G. Smith Jr. ’02, manager of Global Social Media for the PepsiCo beverage portfolio. He is deeply engaged in the implementation of the Pepsi Refresh Project, which provides grants for refreshing consumer-generated ideas. He is an award-winning social media strategist and has been a featured speaker at national conferences such as South by Southwest, AdTech, Social Media Week and Blog World Expo.

John Stuart Short, senior vice president of global education and country manager of PTC Eastern Europe, which delivers technology-based learning solutions that inspire a new generation of engineers. He is the co-chair of the UMass Amherst Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Industry Advisory Board and serves on the board for the American Society of Engineering K-12 Educators.

Sigrid Bauschinger, Wolfgang Paulsen Professor of German Studies emerita at UMass Amherst. She joined the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in 1968 and served as department head from 1976-79 introducing German studies courses that focused on the historical, political and cultural context of German literature. She is a renowned scholar, author and coordinator of the Amherst Colloquia on German Literature.

The UMass Amherst Alumni Association represents more than 225,000 alumni around the globe and provides programs and services that enhance the student experience and add value to a UMass Amherst degree.

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