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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Kingston-Mann Award Winners Announced

Every fall the Annual Kingston-Mann Student Achievement Awards are announced, honoring original research by undergraduates in New England colleges and universities. Eight Top Honors and several Honorable Mentions are selected each year from a pool of New England students who conduct research that makes “a valuable contribution to diversity/inclusion scholarship by expanding our understanding of ideas and experiences that have not always been acknowledged or recognized by traditional disciplines.” The program rewards undergraduate projects centered on issues of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and culture. This year the honorees included two students from UMass Boston.

Jose Luiz Prado-Filho was a Top Honor winner for his research paper Goddridge et al. v. Department of Public Health et al: The Role of Litigation in the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. His project examined how social movements use the law to try to promote their goals. “It was a really comprehensive thesis,” said Elizabeth Bussiere, Chair of the Department of Political Science and faculty adviser for Prado-Filho’s project. “He presented different theories of law and politics, different views on whether or not the courts could be effective in making social change, and he showed how, at least in this instance, the courts were extremely effective.”

Lydia Grinnell received Honorable Mention for her work Knights of the Rail, which “tells the story of the first Black union movement in the United States-of men who worked on the railroads and formed the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925.” Counted among those who have been employed as rail workers are such men as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Professor Bussiere described the award as a significant achievement. “I think the award is validation for serious scholarly work by students,” she said. “Doing a serious research paper-like a senior honors thesis, irrespective of the award-that, in and of itself, can be a really transformative experience for some students. Students learn a lot about research, writing and analysis, but they also learn a lot about themselves. As faculty, it’s very satisfying to see someone you’ve had in class go out there and do a really important piece of research and draw their own conclusions. It’s very fulfilling.”

The Students as Scholars Awards Banquet ceremony was held at UMass Boston to honor winning students from a number of universities, such as UMass Darmouth, Rhode Island College, Lesley University and the University of New Hampshire, among others. Chancellor Keith Motley gave opening remarks, and social and community activist Hubie Jones attended the ceremony as Guest Speaker.

Also present was Esther Kingston-Mann, for whom the award is named. A professor of American Studies at UMass Boston, Kingston-Mann has conducted extensive research and authored many publications on issues of Russian society and poverty, and is a fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. She has also done a great deal of work on teaching development. Kingston-Mann was director of UMass Boston’s Center for the Improvement of Teaching and is founding-director of The New England Center for Inclusive Teaching. Both organizations work to improve teaching experiences through the use of student/faculty collaboration and peer mentoring.