Professors McAlpine, Hunt, Simonds, and Rex Honored

J.P. Goodwin

The recipients of the 2002 Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award (CDSA), the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (CDTA), and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholarship Award (CDSCA) have been announced.

Due to be recognized at Commencement on June 1 are: Professor Monica McAlpine, who will receive the CDSA, Professors David Hunt and A. P. Simonds, who will receive the CDTA, and Professor Michael Rex, who will receive the CDSCA. The professors were chosen after nominations from students and faculty in each category were reviewed by a committee of senior faculty, who passed their recommendations on to Chancellor Jo Ann Gora.

In announcing the awards, Gora stated, “I congratulate Professors McAlpine, Hunt, Simonds, and Rex on their outstanding accomplishments and I commend them to the campus as exemplars of true scholars.”

McAlpine, a professor in the English department, was recognized for her “spectacular record of successful service,” which “culminated over the last decade in the commendable establishment of an annual state-wide conference on undergraduate research, an impressive number of UMass Boston’s students as finalists and winners of top academic fellowships, and, perhaps most important, the expansion, strengthening, and enrichment of the UMass Boston Honors Program.”

“I’m very grateful to get the award,” said McAlpine. “I’ve loved working with the Honors Program. Much of the credit should go to the teachers and students. If they don’t seize the opportunities it won’t come to anything. It’s wonderful to get the award, but to do the work is even more wonderful.”

History professor David Hunt, who received a teaching award, was praised for ” a fascination with trying to recognize and understand those somewhat mysterious qualities that make for good teaching.” His students find him “sharply focused with a balance of intellectual intimacy and authoritative scholarship.”

Hunt stated on receiving the award, “I’m grateful to the students who have taken my classes over the years. And I owe a lot of column comrades and other like-minded faculty who have created a teaching culture at UMass Boston. When I’m in the classroom, I try to live up to the example they set.”

Also due to receive the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award is Political Science Professor A. P. Simonds. “He is rigorous, yet caring and respectful to students, to whom he is endlessly generous with his time. His passion for learning and high standards inspire his students to achieve at levels they would once have thought impossible for themselves,” noted his nomination. His “openness to new tools and pedagogies” was cited as “truly remarkable.”

“I’m thrilled and honored to receive it,” said biology Professor Michael Rex, who received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Scholarship Award. The nominating committee saw his work as having “changed the way marine biologists think about biodiversity.” It was also noted that “he has a very strong grant record and is clearly on the cutting edge of this area of research, and is highly respected by other experts in his field around the world.”