The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Awards & Recognitions

Recognitions of Excellence. Opportunities to Make an Impact.

UMass and the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences offer funding and awards to both recognize the excellent work of our faculty as educators and researchers, and to provide them with the means with which to to achieve this excellence. These various awards recognize faculty for their outstanding research, teaching prowess, creative work, eminence in their fields, and community outreach.

We take great pride in our outstanding faculty. Every year, professors in SBS are awarded some of the most prestigious honors in UMass. Recently, the following members of our community were recognized:

Distinguished Teacher: Claudio Moreira, Communication

This award honors pedagogical excellence and is unique among University of Massachusetts honors as being entirely student-driven. Only current students and alumni may nominate faculty members and the selection process involves continued input from students. Each year, the university receives over 100 nominations, and only four are selected. It is the highest recognition of teaching awarded by UMass.

As an educator, Claudio Moreira is known for challenging his students to develop their knowledge and skills in their work. His reputation as an exceptional professor has led to his classes being standing room-only as students clamor for the experience of learning from him. He has been described as “inspiring”, “influential”, “eye-opening”, and “motivating”, and has instilled a passion for righting social injustices in many. Claudio has opened the eyes of his students, providing them with an expanded worldview and greater sense of empathy.  Claudio was also the recipient of the 2015 SBS Outstanding Teacher Award.

Samuel F. Conti Fellowship: Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Sociology

Conti Fellows are chosen based on their record of outstanding accomplishments in research and creative activity and on their potential for continued excellence.  Accomplishments in research and creative activity as a UMass Amherst faculty member are paramount in the selection process. This is the most coveted research award given on campus.

Don Tomaskovic-Devey's research focuses on the processes that generate workplace inequality. His research encompasses the impact of financialization on U.S. income distribution, workplace desegregation and equal opportunity, network models of labor market structure, and relational inequality as a theoretical and empirical project. His long-term agenda is to work with others to move the social science of inequality to a more fully relational and organizational stance. He is advancing this agenda through studies of jobs and workplaces, as well as social relationships between jobs within workplaces and the social relationships that link organizations to each other.

Chancellor's Leadership Fellowship: Kathy Roberts Forde, Journalism

The Chancellor’s Leadership Fellows program seeks to cultivate future campus leaders by offering a half-time, one-year, temporary appointment to an administrative area on campus, and by providing shadowing and mentoring from the leaders of the host units. In addition, fellows are expected to launch a significant program during their fellowship year.

Forde will be working with Enobong (Anna) Branch, Associate Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, to help develop a strategic communications plan for the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and will be working to promote and increase the capacity of the campus community to understand and engage across differences.

“Kathy brings leadership experience from her time as journalism department chair and a deep understanding of the role of communication in building community,” says Branch. “Her scholarship on the role of the news media and communication in struggles for racial justice informs the perspective she brings to our office.”