The University of Massachusetts Amherst

SBS Awards

SBS Outstanding Mentor Award

The SBS Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes and encourages faculty who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to mentorship of students. The intent of the award is to celebrate faculty who have effectively guided students at UMass individually or more broadly through the creation of mentoring communities or building infrastructure for the mentorship of graduate students and/or undergraduate students. Award recipients will receive an award of $1000. One award will be made each year.

Examples of mentorship:

  • Creating a respectful and supportive environment to help mentees move forward in their career, scholarship, and/or teaching goals.
  • Helping mentees take full advantage of institutional, academic and professional opportunities.
  • Embracing a philosophy of diversity and inclusion inside academia and a commitment to integrating mentees into the broader culture of the discipline.
  • Demonstrating leadership and initiative at the program level to improve mentorship access and quality for mentees. Facilitating a mentorship community, whether formal or informal, that enhances or expands mentorship opportunities.

Award Eligibility

Nominees must be faculty members at any stage of their career who fit the criteria described above. Nominators may recognize the many forms that mentorship can take.

Award Timeline

The previous deadline for nominations was March 26, 2021. The upcoming deadline is March 25, 2022.

Nomination Criteria

Nominations may be submitted by current and former students, staff or faculty. The nomination process is designed to be similar to the Graduate School’s Mentor Award process so that submissions can be sent to SBS if they were not selected by the Graduate School. Nominations should include the following:

  • Letter of nomination from nominating person.
  • Nominee's CV.
  • Three to five additional letters of support from current and former students, staff, and/or faculty.


SBS Outstanding Mentor Award past recipients

SBS Outstanding Research Award

The SBS Outstanding Research Award was introduced in the spring of 2016 and recognizes distinguished achievement in scholarship and research. Award recipients will receive a $1,000 prize and a plaque at an SBS event.

Award Eligibility

Tenure line faculty at all ranks are eligible for the award. Self-nominations are welcome, as well as nominations from faculty peers, Departmental Personnel Committees, and Department Chairs. The types of achievement envisioned should be within the last five years and include:

  • The winning of a prestigious prize.
  • Receipt of distinguished awards from one's peers.
  • Receipt of a major grant.
  • Noteworthy publications in the field.

Award Timeline

The previous deadline for nominations was March 26, 2021. The upcoming deadline is March 25, 2022.

Nomination Criteria

  • Letter of nomination from nominating person.
  • Nominee's CV.
  • Scholarly materials sufficient to allow evaluation of the nominee's merits.


SBS Outstanding Research Award past recipients

SBS Outstanding Staff Award

The SBS Outstanding Staff Award was instituted in 2015 to recognize the contributions and impact of SBS staff members. Recipients have demonstrated impact through one or more of the following:

  • Growth in areas of responsibility.
  • Improved a work process or system that significantly increased efficiency or resulted in a fiscal savings.
  • Performed duties with superior integrity and dedication.
  • Favorably represents their office, administrative unit, SBS, and university.
  • Fosters collaboration.
  • Creates a positive and motivating work environment.

The previous deadline for nominations was March 26, 2021. The upcoming deadline is March 25, 2022.


SBS Outstanding Staff Award past recipients.

SBS Outstanding Teaching Award

The SBS Outstanding Teaching Award was instituted in 1995 to augment the University Distinguished Teaching Award by recognizing a larger number of talented teachers within SBS. Candidates for the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award are nominated by their peers and selected by the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award Committee, which is chaired by the Senior Associate Dean for Education and Student Development.

Nomination Eligibility

Each program in the college is invited to nominate one candidate for the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award. The programs are: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Journalism, Landscape Architecture, Legal Studies, Political Science, Resource Economics, Social Thought and Political Economy, Sociology, Sustainable Community Development, and the School of Public Policy.

Nominations are made by department personnel committees and/or department chairs.

Any full-time faculty member who has been a member of SBS for a minimum of three years and who has taught at least two semesters before being nominated.

Faculty who have received the Distinguished Teaching Award or the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award within the past five years are not eligible.

Award Timeline

The previous deadline for nominations was February 22, 2021. The upcoming deadline for nominations is February 11, 2022.

Nomination Package

The nomination package must include the following documents:

  • One nomination letter signed by the personnel committee chair and/or department chair. The letter should include an explanation of the department's procedures for evaluating teaching and how the nominee’s record reaches the level of outstanding.
  • Summary of teaching activities from the last 3 Annual Reports. In addition to credits and enrollments in courses, the summary may include activities such as: advising, mentoring, program administration, curriculum and/or teaching innovations, etc.
  • Samples of course syllabi.
  • Quantitative evaluations of teaching for the past 3 years. Please include percentage of students responding for each course. If only qualitative evaluations are available, indicate the percentage responding for each course and submit all student evaluations for each course, not just selected samples.

The following documents are recommended, but not required:

  • Qualitative evaluations of teaching from past 3 years. Please submit a maximum of a five-page summary of student comments. Please do not submit all written evaluations.
  • A maximum of five letters of support from students and/or faculty colleagues. Please be sure that the letters focus on the nominee’s teaching, mentoring, and related activities.


SBS Outstanding Teaching Award past recipients.

SBS Senior Lecturer Professional Improvement Fellowship

The SBS Senior Lecturer Professional Improvement Fellowship provides a one-semester release for select non-tenure-track faculty in the College who have achieved the rank of Senior Lecturer or above, to engage in professional improvement activities that directly relate to their job responsibilities and/or advance important initiatives of the College or their department.

Each recipient shall, upon completion of the fellowship, file a detailed report of their activities with their Department Chair and Dean.

Award Eligibility

Applicants must have achieved the rank of Senior Lecturer or Senior Lecturer II to apply.

Award Timeline

The deadline for applications was October 18, 2019.

Application Criteria

Applications must include a CV, a current job description, and a detailed fellowship proposal.

The proposal should describe how the fellowship will be used to develop and expand the applicant’s expertise and future contributions to the College or their department. In evaluating applications, the College will prioritize activities that advance the mission of the College, its departments, and programs.

Potential Senior Lecturer Professional Improvement projects include:

  • A project to revamp a large general education course to significantly increase student engagement and provide more experiential learning.
  • A project to study and introduce best practices to increase retention of students from underrepresented groups in the major.
  • A project to use data from the EAB Student Success Collaborative to provide more intentional advising to students in the major.
  • A project to study and introduce best practices for assessing students’ achievement of learning goals.
  • A project to revise the curriculum in the major to provide for-credit internships based at the Mount Ida Campus.
  • A project to revise the curriculum in the major to provide year-round education, so students can complete their degrees more quickly or free up time for internships or coops.
  • A project that develops strategies for integrating academic, experiential, and professional development competencies and reflection (SBS Pathways) into course design.

Contact Mary Ann Libardi, SBS Director of Personnel, for application details.