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Mitch Boucher Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

May 10, 2024

We are proud to announce that UWW Department of Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Lecturer Mitch Boucher has won the 2023–2024 Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA)

Throughout his UMass career, Boucher has consistently been known as an unfailing supporter of the students he teaches and advises, modeling a dedication to equity and clear communication. This translates into his classroom practice, as noted by a former student in their letter of support for his nomination, “Mitch excels at creating an environment in his classes where students not only feel like they can trust him, but where we can trust our peers to treat one another respectfully. In fact, I think that this ability to foster a safe and supportive space for students to not only grow in, but to lift each other up is the most incredible gift that Mitch has as an educator. He leads by example, encouraging his students to be interested and become invested in each other’s success.”

Boucher consistently receives excellent student reviews, with comments that range from “I love Mitch's inclusive educational framework, genuine interest and passion that is tangible in his teaching style and personalized compassionate relationship with each student,” to sentiments like, “he made me feel comfortable showing my vulnerability without being judged or made to feel stupid,” and “he is very graceful in his teaching. He is gentle with every student and meets everyone where they are.”

In addition to his teaching, this year Boucher began acting as the UWW-IS representative on a team developing the Paraeducator to Teacher Pathway Program in partnership with the UMass Amherst College of Education, as well as the Springfield and Holyoke public school systems, a partnership initiated in part by former UWW-IS Department Chair Jacqueline Castledine. He is also the co-founder of our department's Social Justice Residency weekend, serving for eight years as a member of the organizing committee and a teaching facilitator for the weekend-long program now held in-person and online at the UMass Amherst Center at Springfield.

Each year, a select number of faculty and graduate teaching assistants are awarded the DTA based on nominations submitted by students and a competitive selection process by a committee of former DTA recipients. Awarded yearly by the University of Massachusetts since 1961, the DTA is the only student-initiated campus-wide award for exemplary teaching.