Graduate Student Ceremony: May 25, 2017; Undergraduate Student Ceremony: May 26, 2017

Maps & Directions

Distinguished Scholarship, Teaching & Service Awards

The University of Massachusetts Boston is rightly recognized for the excellence of its faculty. Each year at commencement, we celebrate the accomplishments of faculty members who have made exceptional contributions in the three primary areas of faculty responsibility by presenting the Chancellor’s Awards for Distinguished Scholarship, Teaching, and Service.

Professor David L. Levy, Department of Management and Marketing

Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship

Professor Levy, as noted by one of his external colleagues, “has been an exemplary scholar and public intellectual, and his contributions to the University of Massachusetts Boston have been outstanding and internationally visible.” His Department Personnel Committee (DPC) agrees, stating that his research is “stellar and widely cited” and that he has made substantive contributions to several related fields around the issues of climate change and sustainability. Since 1991, Professor Levy has served on the faculty of the College of Management, where, over the course of his tenure, he has also served as associate dean for the college’s graduate programs and research, chair of the Department of Management and Marketing, and founding director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness. He has played a central role building a strong and prestigious research group, Organizations and Social Change (OSC). He has written two books and 29 widely cited scholarly articles, many of which have been in top academic journals. Professor Levy has raised nearly $4,500,000 in external grants and has an H index of 34. His research is concerned with how businesses function in the context of pressing social issues such as climate change and globalization. In 2011, he was the recipient of the prestigious Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award for his trailblazing work on these topics. Professor Levy’s nominating committee characterized him as “by far the most widely cited faculty member of the UMass Boston College of Management, and his citation record is comparable with top scholars at elite universities,” noting that “the OSC research group and PhD program would be unthinkable without the persistent and innovative work of Dr. Levy over his 25 years of service to UMass Boston.” The DPC believes that both their college and the university owe a great deal to Professor Levy’s dedication to excellence, which has helped the university become a research-focused academic institution.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholarship Award Committee

Jean Rhodes, College of Liberal Arts, Psychology (committee chair)

Jacqueline Fawcett, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nursing

Sharon Horne, College of Education and Human Development, Counseling and School Psychology

D.V.G.L.N. Rao, College of Science and Mathematics, Physics

Christian Weller, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, Public Policy and Public Affairs


Professor Shirley Suet-ling Tang, Asian American Studies Program and School for Global Inclusion and Social Development

Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching

As an associate professor in the Asian American Studies Program and the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, Professor Tang has taught 16 distinct courses over the past decade, with student evaluations averaging a 4.8 on a 5-point scale in both “rate the instructor” and “rate the course” categories. Her Department Personnel Committee (DPC) states that her “teaching record is impressive, both because of the breadth of interdisciplinary subject matter content and the range of pedagogical approaches needed to be effective in courses ranging from 100-level first-year general education seminars … to upper-level documentary production and advanced applied research courses.” Professor Tang’s signature digital storytelling course, Asian American Media Literacy, has received national acclaim. The undergraduate students’ co-productions from the course have been selected as winning entrants or finalists in the Short Films category of the Annual Boston Asian-American Film Festival every year since 2011. Their digital story products are also utilized as educational resources for classes, training workshops, conference presentations, and local and national research archives. According to her DPC, Professor Tang’s “teaching approaches are consistently highlighted for being student-centered, holistic, and resourceful. Students praise not only her extraordinary pedagogical skills in the classroom, but also her serious dedication toward their individual and collective mentoring.” This sentiment is reflected in letters from her former students, one in particular who states that, “I would not be the person I am today without the mentorship of Professor Tang. Seeing her passion, care, and commitment to students has inspired me to pursue a PhD in order to work with underserved and underrepresented students, with hopes of having the kind of impact that she has had on our lives.”

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award Committee

Erik Blaser, College of Liberal Arts, Psychology (committee chair)

Jay Dee, College of Education and Human Development, Leadership in Education

Raymond Liu, College of Management, Management and Marketing

Scott Maisano, College of Liberal Arts, English

Mickaella Perina, College of Liberal Arts, Philosophy

Brian White, College of Science and Mathematics, Biology

Professor Jan E. Mutchler, Department of Gerontology

Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service

Professor Mutchler is an exemplar of the public scholar: her research illuminates matters of great importance and her service helps people, organizations, and governments understand and address the needs of their communities during a time of unparalleled growth in the senior population. Her Department Personnel Committee (DPC) states, “Jan has become the leading scholar in Massachusetts, helping communities understand and prepare for the demographic changes ahead.” She created the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging (CSDRA) in 2012. As the center’s director, Professor Mutchler combines service, research, and teaching to deliver a broad array of public service through research, publications, and presentations in academic and policymaking settings, as well as direct with municipalities, non-government organizations, and other agencies across the Commonwealth. One of her undergraduate interns said, “Jan encourages us, the interns…to ask any questions we might have in regard to the data collection as well as the project as a whole. She thought it was vitally important that we not only did our jobs but we understood why we were doing them.” Professor Mutchler and her team have worked with the City of Boston to conduct extensive outreach to gather and analyze the input of thousands of seniors via community meetings and surveys, as part of the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Cities initiative. According to her DPC, “this extensive effort to record the concerns, desires, and aspirations of Boston’s seniors for their city is unique among major cities in the U.S…. It reflects Jan’s qualities as an investigator—her humility, the respect she accords students and subjects, and a genuine desire to hear what others have to say.” Over the past two years, CSDRA has completed 10 municipal needs assessments with several more to come. Under her leadership, more municipalities find the center’s services accessible and affordable through the UMass Boston Gerontology Institute, reinforcing the university’s reputation, usefulness, and long-term impact in helping Massachusetts communities thoughtfully and cost-effectively navigate an unprecedented demographic change.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award Committee

William Robinson, College of Science and Mathematics, School for the Environment (committee chair)

Denise Patmon, College of Education and Human Development, Curriculum and Instruction

Heidi Stanish, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Exercise and Health Sciences

Paul Watanabe, College of Liberal Arts, Political Science