On Friday, November 14, UMass Boston honored seven student researchers with Kingston-Mann Student Achievement Awards for Excellence in Diversity/Inclusion Scholarship. Among this year’s honorees is Jacqueline Perry, a 2014 graduate of UMass Boston. Other winners of 2014 Kingston-Mann Awards are students from UMass Dartmouth, Lesley University, Emmanuel College, and Rhode Island College.
The Kingston-Mann Student Achievement Awards reward and celebrate undergraduate research that focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion. They are intended to encourage students to discover their potential as researchers, recognizing that students can be producers as well as receivers of research and knowledge. The awards are named for and are the brainchild of Esther Kingston-Mann, professor emerita of history at UMass Boston.
Jacqueline Perry and her fellow award recipients were honored at a ceremony on Friday. Perry is an English and biology double major from Hanover, Massachusetts. Her award is in recognition of her senior English honors thesis, which analyzes the works of Sui Sin Far, the first author of Asian descent to publish fiction in North America.
“She was the first author to write about the Asian American experience, and I found reading her stories to be very inspiring,” says Perry, who is now earning a master’s degree in public health at Brown University. Perry says that working on her English honors thesis gave her valuable skills that she expects to use throughout her career.
“I do this research in public health to be able to advocate for the places that need change. Learning how to write and communicate is so valuable, and I’m glad to have done this thesis.”
Blanche Wiesen Cook was the keynote speaker at Friday’s event. Wiesen Cook is the best-selling biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt, Distinguished Professor of History and Women’s Studies at the John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.