The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees conferred the title of Distinguished Professor on Stockbridge Director and Professor Baoshan Xing.

The title is awarded to a select and highly accomplished subset of faculty who provide outstanding research, teaching, and/or public service contributions, that are widely recognized nationally, and/or internationally, and who demonstrate an extraordinary level of productivity and impact in his/her field of study that goes well beyond the existing high expectations for full professors on campus, for an extended time.  Such faculty are pre-eminent in their field of study, and are often recognized by professional organizations for their outstanding contributions to the field. 

Professor Xing's nomination received unanimous endorsement from the department personnel committee and the dean.  The nomination was supported by accolades from Xing's colleagues as well as highly respected experts in his field:

"Dr. Xing is one of the most influential scientists (if not the one) in the fields of his work. His research record and impact are simply exceptional."

Baoshan Xing Headshot and Highly Cited Researchers 2022With more than 700 publications, his work has been cited more than 75,000 times by other researchers -- a record unmatched by any faculty member at UMass-Amherst.  Xing has been named a "Highly Cited Researcher" for each of the past 9 years by Clarivate Analytics.

Professor Xing is an internationally recognized expert in Environmental and Soil Chemistry.  His prolific and impactful research centers on the effects and mitigation of chemical pollutants on the environment. 

Xing draws needed attention to the impact and longevity of nanoparticles and micro-plastics, the use of organic matter for sustainable agricultural and environmental protection, and methods for improving food safety.

Diagram of chemical decomposition of plastic in waterA letter supporting his nomination describes his research as "novel, significant, and using state-of-the-art technology {that} greatly impacts and pushes forward the scientific community's knowledge."

Dr. Xing has also pioneered new advanced analytical and microscopic techniques in environmental and soil research -- techniques he has shared with younger scholars through engaged mentorship.  18 MS students, 63 PhD students, 24 postdoctoral researchers, and nearly 100 visiting scholars from outside the US have been trained in Xing Lab, some achieving significant status as full professors at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and universities in China. 

"In my interactions with the dozens of scientists from his group, I've never met a single person that did not speak enthusiastically of Baoshan's exceptional mentorship," writes one colleague.

He also supports many undergraduate students with research grants and numerous summer research projects.  The research done in Xing lab and his collaborators' has attracted several millions of dollars in research grants, nearly $8 million in the last 7 years alone.  The opportunities at Stockbridge, for students to directly participate in cutting-edge research, are unparalleled by other universities, and part of why UMass Amherst is consistently ranked as the #1 Agricultural Sciences University in the U.S., and #5 in the world.

"The appointment is a fitting reflection of Dr. Xing's significant contributions to the interconnected pillars of the University: discovery, education, and engagement," said University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan

"This action reflects his outstanding academic distinction as a scholar and professional, and the high regard in which he is held by his colleagues," declared Meehan.

Professor Xing's focus on agronomy and soil science began as a student in China in the 1980's.  He earned his PhD in Environmental and Soil Chemistry from the University of Alberta, Canada in 1994, and joined the UMass faculty in 1996.  After his promotion to full Professor in 2004, he won the Outstanding Researcher Award from the College of Natural Sciences, and was elected by colleagues in 2021 to serve as the current Director for the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst.

Cover of Environmental Science and Technology JournalIn addition to his deep service to his school and the campus, Dr. Xing has shaped scholarship through his professional service.  He has organized and chaired numerous international conferences and symposia on nanotechnology, biochar, humic materials, and the mitigation of contaminated soils.  He is the editor for three prestigious research journals, and serves on the editorial board for several more. 

"Dr. Xing's professional service record and international recognition clearly speaks for his leadership and indisputable recognition in the scientific community around the world," wrote his evaluators.

His service to the larger scientific community has earned him the highest recognized status of Fellow for several scholarly organizations, including the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and Agronomy Society of America (ASA).

In the view of the Board of Trustees, "Baoshan Xing is a role model for both faculty and students, and it would be a major loss to the university if he were to leave." 

Luckily for us, Director Xing plans to remain at Stockbridge School of Agriculture, where his world-renowned research programs support the training and development of numerous students and future scholars.

Nine other professors were named to distinguished or endowed professorships.