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Chair and Professor of Classics Kenneth Rothwell received the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Friday's commencement exercises (Christian Arthur/Boston)
May 27, 2017

UMass Boston chancellor honors faculty at 2017 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony

  • Boston

Three outstanding faculty members were presented with Chancellor’s Awards for Distinguished Teaching, Scholarship and Service during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at TD Garden on Friday.

Chair and Professor of Classics Kenneth Rothwell received the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching. Rothwell, who has taught at UMass Boston for more than 20 years, has taught all levels of Greek and Latin, as well as courses in literature, religion, political thought, art history, and philosophy. As department chair for 15 of the last 18 years, he developed curricula, guided new courses through governance, and helped build the graduate program that started in 2011. One student wrote, "Professor Rothwell has that rare gift, the ability to take difficult subjects and make them not just manageable, but enjoyable." A colleague wrote, “My own teaching has been greatly influenced by Ken, whose work ethic … and devotion to students have stood as models for me.”

Professor of Physics Maxim Olchanyi received the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship. Olchanyi has acquired international renown for his work in quantum mechanics, cold atomic systems, quantum gasses, integrable systems, and non-equilibrium quantum phenomena. More than 50 of his papers have been published over the past 25 years, including 18 in high-impact journals. Two of his papers have accumulated more than 1,000 citations each. He has brought in more than $1.3 million in new grants since joining UMass Boston in 2007. His colleagues have stated that he “is an undisputed leader in quantum gas theory and many-body physics,” that his “willingness to reach across departmental boundaries, and to invest the time and effort needed to develop a common language with researchers from another discipline, is unusual,” that “no researcher has done more to raise the research profile of our Physics Department [and] his presence at UMass Boston has made us an internationally known and respected program,” and that he “is a continuous source of joy and excitement. Maxim is no ordinary mind, and brings a colorful touch to any activity in which he takes part.”

Associate Professor of Nursing Linda Dumas received the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Service. For more than 30 years, she has played an important leadership role on campus as a highly regarded nurse practitioner in the area of adult medicine, creating programs specifically designed to introduce young students of color or from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to the intellectual, professional, and service opportunities available within the field of nursing. The impact realized through her broad and deep service to UMass Boston's nursing students, health oriented colleagues, community health organization partners, and the nursing profession is clearly evident. She has received the Community Service Award from the Action for Boston Community Development (1997); the Distinguished Practitioner Award from the National Academies of Practice (1997); the Professional Development Award from the Massachusetts Women in Public Higher Education (1999); and the Heart of Nursing Award from the Theta Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (2007).