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The Vijay Bhagavan Teaching Assistant of Distinction Award

Photo of Vijay BhagavanVijay Bhagavan was a graduate student in the Department of Resource Economics from 1992 to 1994 and an undergraduate at UMass before that. He was an outstanding student whose Master's thesis was published as “Concentration Change and Countervailing Power in the U.S. Food Manufacturing Industries” in 1996 by the Review of Industrial Organization. He was known for his generosity, his late nights at the office, and his unflagging good humor.

Vijay is remembered by faculty, his graduate student colleagues, and his undergraduate students for his effervescence and optimism. Times may have been hard, but never so difficult as to stifle his spontaneous roar of laughter or a comment of “No Problem”. After all, despite the petty tribulations of the day, life is good, isn’t it? Vijay traveled the hallways making everyone in his path feel better, providing a sense of perspective and a love of life.

These attributes made him the model Teaching Assistant. Vijay was equally passionate in his love for humanity in general, the New England Patriots, and virtually any individual he came in contact with. Imagine how fortunate the undergraduate, perhaps far from home for the first time, perhaps with troubles of her or his own to deal with, to have Vijay as a teacher. Vijay struggled early as an undergraduate, persevered, and became a model of strength as his confidence matured. He related to his students as individuals, could recognize the special problems they were sometimes having, and would help them both academically and spiritually.

Vijay was the greatest, and so are the Teaching Assistants of Distinction named in his memory. This award is endowed through the generosity of Vijay's parents, Anuradha and V.S. (Manny) Bhagavan, in memory of their beloved son.

Give to the Resource Economics Department in Honor of Vijay Bhagavan

To make a contribution, call the Development Office at 866-450-UMASS or visit to contribute online. Be sure to designate that your gift is to the Resource Economics Department for the Vijay Bhagavan Memorial Award of Distinction.

(If giving on line, under Gift Allocation, Allocation 1 go to the bottom of the list and click on "Other, enter below." Then enter "Resource Economics Vijay Bhagavan Memorial Award of Distinction Fund.") Thank you!

The Vijay Bhagavan Teaching Assistant of Distinction Award Recipients

2012, Christopher Ryan Podkowka
Award Ceremony document
camera icon View slide show

2011, Jonathan Farland and Scott Magnoni camera icon View slide show

2010, Christopher Burns and Bilal Janjua camera icon View slide show

2009, Brenton Sellati camera icon View slide show

2008, Linus Nyiwul camera icon View slide show

2007, Nikolaos Zirogiannis and Leah Shen camera icon View Slide Show

2006, Hillary Gelardi >>Spotlight

2005, Chunxiang (Lisa) Li >>Spotlight

2004, Michael Kruzewski

2003, Michael Salemme

2002, Sirisha Naidu

2001, Peter Manolakos

2000, Erin Mastrangelo and Sarah White

1999, Carlos Chavez-Rebolledo

1998, Juan Camilo Cardenas