Cordeiro Receives Manning Prize for Teaching Excellence

Associate professor of nutrition Lorraine Cordeiro

Lorraine Cordeiro. Photo by isabelladellolio.com

June 7, 2022

Lorraine Cordeiro, associate professor in nutrition and director of the Center for Research on Families at UMass Amherst, was one of five UMass system faculty to receive the 2022 Manning Prize for Teaching Excellence. The prize, which recognizes exemplary dedication to students and the university, comes with a $10,000 award in recognition of faculty commitment to academic excellence.

The announcement was made recently by UMass President Marty Meehan and Rob and Donna Manning, UMass Lowell alumni who established the prize.

A community-engaged scholar, Cordeiro describes herself as “an educator, a scientist, a first-generation college graduate, a U.S. immigrant, a woman, a cancer survivor, a multigenerational caregiver, and a community volunteer.” She has been at the forefront of leading efforts for major curricula changes, new pedagogical approaches, and her department’s efforts in implementing and assessing holistic faculty teaching evaluation.

Cordeiro has been nominated consistently for teaching awards; she is the recipient of the university’s 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award and the College Outstanding Teacher Award from UMass Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences in 2013.

Her chair describes her as “an exceptional educator” who “reaches far beyond the classroom, impacting the university learning environment, systems and the greater community” and “a true advocate for her students.” Her colleagues characterize her as “an inspiration” and “an incredible resource” who “chooses work that is meaningful and impactful and throws everything she has into it.”

Cordeiro’s students speak of the tremendous impact she has had on their lives and her deep commitment to racial justice evidenced by her “fearlessness in talking about social issues” and her “ability and willingness to tackle difficult topics with poise, humility, and humanity.” As one student said, Cordeiro “brought back humanity into life and education” and another highlighted how she “truly impacted all of us, for life.”

The Mannings established the Manning Prize in 2016 to honor UMass professors who excel in teaching and service. With the selection of this year’s honorees, 35 UMass faculty members now have the distinct honor of being Manning Prize recipients.

All full-time, tenured and non-tenured faculty members are eligible to receive the Manning Prize. Each campus determines its own nomination and selection process, but that process must include student and peer input to ensure that the selected faculty members meet the criteria of being superb teachers and exemplary members of the campus community. 

“We are delighted to honor these five faculty members whose exemplary commitment to their students truly makes UMass shine as a national model of excellence and opportunity,” said Rob Manning, a 1984 graduate of UMass Lowell and current chair of the UMass Board of Trustees. “Donna and I are immensely grateful for the teachers and mentors we encountered when we were students, so we’re happy to highlight these faculty members for their powerful impact on the students’ university experience.”

“Rob and Donna know first-hand how UMass faculty, through their inspiring teaching and mentorship, transform the lives of our students,” said UMass President Meehan. “We are deeply grateful to the Mannings for their generosity aimed at diversifying the next generation of UMass students, expanding our world-class facilities, and honoring our outstanding faculty members. The impact of their philanthropy will be felt across UMass for generations to come.”

In addition to Cordeiro, other 2022 Manning Prize winners include Hugh Charles O’Connell, professor of English and director of the College of Liberal Arts composition program at UMass Boston; Jennifer Wilson Mulnix, professor and chair of the philosophy department at UMass Dartmouth; Pang-Yen Fan, professor of medicine at UMass Chan Medical School; and Khalilah Reddie, associate professor of organic chemistry at UMass Lowell.