The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Leah Wing and Jennifer Lundquist Win 2018 SBS Outstanding Teaching Awards

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Leah Wing, Senior Lecturer II of Legal Studies and Jennifer Lundquist, Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of Research & Faculty Development, have been awarded this year’s UMass College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award. This award celebrates exceptional teaching, mentoring, and curriculum development efforts, and their impact on students.

Leah WingWing has taught a number of classes since she joined UMass in 1993, including Alternative Dispute Resolution; Irish Peace Process; Irish Peace Process: After the Good Friday Agreement; Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution; and Environmental Justice. Her teaching and research utilize law and society scholarship, and critical race legal theory in particular, to interrogate the relationship between disputing and justice.  Notably, Wing taught the first course in the nation that combined critical race theory with alternative dispute resolution.

Wing’s teaching has made a huge impact on students at UMass. Just recently, several graduates of the legal studies program have pursued careers in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, citing Dr. Wing’s courses as the inspiration for this career choice. An avid advocate for students from diverse backgrounds, Wing regularly encourages undergraduates to pursue careers in the legal profession, and her work in pursuing goals of multiculturalism has been recognized with the UMass Chancellor’s Award for Multiculturalism and through the Kuumba Award in Appreciation of Support and Efforts in Promoting Opportunities in the Field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Minority Professionals. Wing was also instrumental in facilitating the creation of the mural in the Campus Center, as part of The Art of Conflict Transformation in the North of Ireland/Northern Ireland Event Series in 2010.

Jennifer Lundquist

Jennifer Lundquist has been at UMass since 2004, and has most recently taught the undergraduate course Population Studies and the graduate course Teaching Sociology, a class she developed after recognizing that graduate students had very little pedagogical training before becoming teaching assistants. The class’s popularity and effectiveness has transcended the sociology graduate student world, often attended by faculty and graduate students from other departments and colleges. Lundquist’s Population Studies course is also highly popular, with one of her former students noting that “Professor Lundquists' passion for the content of this course was inspiring. She took somewhat depressing topics and taught them in an optimistic fashion. She was frank and straightforward with her lectures, and took on controversial topics confidently. I have truly never had a more interesting class during my tenure at the University, and will remember this course AND professor as my all-time favorite."

"Professors Lundquist and Wing exemplify the best of the outstanding teaching and mentoring that occurs throughout SBS.”
-John Hird, Dean

In addition to teaching, Lundquist greatly values mentorship, and is an active and highly impactful mentor to students.  One of her undergraduate students, Jennifer Szafir, will be joining her in the inaugural SBS Study Abroad experience at the University of Cape Town in South Africa as a teaching assistant for a 4-credit South Africa-focused demography course. Lundquist’s focus on mentorship extends beyond her relationships with students, and she has developed a robust mentorship program for new faculty as well. Participants in the program have noted that the experience has helped them become better faculty members and in creating a sense of community and source of support.

Wing and Lundquist will be recognized for their achievements at the spring Four @ Four faculty research event in April, as well as at the SBS Senior Celebration in May. They will receive a commemorative plaque and an award of $1,000.

"The College is committed to excellence in teaching and mentoring, and Professors Lundquist and Wing exemplify the best of the outstanding teaching and mentoring that occurs throughout SBS,” says Dean of SBS, John Hird. “They inspire us all."