Faculty Recognition and Awards

The bedrock of the UMass College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is our impassioned, inspired, and intellectually diverse faculty. We’re renowned for innovative and inspirational teaching, world-class research, and global influence. 

Enobong (Anna) Branch, associate professor of sociology, has been appointed as Chancellor Subbaswamy's new faculty advisor for diversity and excellence.

In this role, Branch will serve on the Campus Leadership Council, representing Chancellor Subbaswamy to all campus groups, committees and councils involved in advancing diversity. She will be responsible for working with various groups such as the Faculty Senate Status of Diversity Council and the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Committee, as well as members of the senior administration, staff, faculty and students, to develop and implement appropriate academic initiatives to advance the campus’s diversity goals. READ MORE


Don Tomaskovic-Devey was awarded 2016-17 Conti Faculty Fellowship. This award allows faculty members to exclusively focus on their research or creative activities by providing a one-year release from teaching and service duties in addition to a cash award.

Fellows are chosen based on their record of outstanding accomplishments in research and creative activity and their potential for continued excellence, particularly with regard to the project that would be undertaken during the fellowship period. Accomplishments in research and creative activity as a UMass Amherst faculty member are paramount. READ MORE


Jasmine Kerrissey, assistant professor of sociology and labor studies, received the 2016-17 Lilly Fellows for Teaching Excellence. This competitive fellowship allows junior faculty to enhance their teaching abilities through bi-weekly seminars, workshops and collaboration with mentors around UMass.

The fellows attend bi-weekly seminars on pedagogy, develop a new course or substantially redesign an existing one, assess their teaching and their students’ learning through classroom visits, work with mentors to anticipate many of the challenges and rewards of faculty life at UMass Amherst, and design a teaching-focused workshop or program to share the benefits of the Lilly Fellowship with colleagues at the department, school-college, or campus-wide level. READ MORE


Michelle Budig won the 2016-17 SBS’s Dean’s Research Excellence Award thanks to her outstanding scholarship and research in the areas of gender inequality in labor markets, work and family conflict, feminist theory, and contingent labor and self-employment. Budig has been a highly influential figure in the social scientific understanding of gender inequality in the labor force in the developed world. In the past five years, she has received a multitude of awards and honors, and her work has been extensively drawn upon by policy makers and researchers. 


Laurel Smith-Doerr, director of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), and graduate research assistants Sharla Alegria and Tim Sacco were invited to present their research on diversity in science teams at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

They demonstrated that the literature shows that diversity is associated with increased productivity, creativity, innovation, problem solving and research quality, but only in environments that are sufficiently integrated to allow full participation from all group members. When stereotyping and biases are strong, minority group members are often unable to fully participate, and the positive effects of team diversity cannot be realized. READ MORE