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UMass Presents President's Public Service Awards for 2006

University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson today announced the six winners of the 2006 President's Public Service Awards.  The awards are presented annually to faculty members from the university's Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester campuses who have been nominated by the chancellors of their respective campuses for providing exemplary public service to the Commonwealth. 

"The work of these faculty members epitomizes the level of excellence we strive for every day in attempting to honor our historic mission of education, research and public service, as the Commonwealth's public university," said UMass President Jack M. Wilson.  "Their passion for their fields of expertise is transmitted to their students, their colleagues, their local communities, the nation and the world. We are proud to recognize them today and to claim them as members of the UMass community."

President Wilson added, "These professors and their UMass colleagues often receive national and even international recognition, and we want to let them know that we, right here at home, appreciate their outstanding efforts."

UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Stephen P. Tocco praised the award winners, noting: "The expertise, talents and ingenuity of these faculty members are major factors in making UMass such an attractive place to study, for both undergraduate and graduate students. Prospective students know that they will have many opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research early in their academic careers with professors such as these." 

Since the inception of the President's Public Service Awards in 1998, a total of 53 UMass professors have received the honor.

This year's President's Public Service Award winners are:

  • Professor Nathaniel Whitaker, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UMass Amherst: For initiating an enrichment program for African-American students in the town of Amherst in grades three to 10 that enables those students to build their math skills through regular, on-campus tutoring, creating a strong link between the local community and the campus;
  • Associate Professor Hannah Sevian, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, UMass Boston: For her commitment to providing science education of the highest quality to all students, especially those in urban public school systems.  She is the Principal Investigator for the Boston Science Partnership, a $12.5 million National Science Foundation-financed project designed to improve science achievement for students in grades six to 12 in the Boston Public Schools;
  • Professor Sharon Sousa, College of Nursing, UMass Dartmouth:  For her significant contributions throughout her career to the SouthCoast region's ability to address the needs of people with a variety of mental disorders;
  • Dean John Ting, College of Engineering, UMass Lowell:  For his scholarly achievements and for his exemplary role as a university leader.  He has been the driving force behind UMass Lowell's successful effort to obtain more than $1 million in National Science Foundation funding to infuse Service Learning throughout the entire College of Engineering;
  • Professor John Duffy, College of Mechanical Engineering, UMass Lowell: 
    For being a longtime advocate of solar power and of sustainable energy systems and for coordinating the Village Empowerment Project, through which engineering students provide lighting, water purification and vaccine refrigeration systems for villagers in the Peruvian Andes;
  • Assistant Professor Elaine Martin, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, UMass Medical School, Worcester:  For her achievements as Librarian for the medical school's Lamar Soutter Library, including the development of the UMassHealthNet Web site that provides general healthcare information for central and western Massachusetts.  She also secured a $6 million grant for the library when it was designated as the New England Regional Medical Library for 2006 through the GoLocal project of the National Library of Medicine.

The University of Massachusetts educates more than 57,000 students each year at its five campuses statewide and has more than 350,000 alumni, more than 210,000 of whom are residents of Massachusetts.



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