Math professor posthumously honored for public service

Jim Kaput's work cited by UMass president and trustees

University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson and Board of Trustees Chairman James J. Karam presented President’s Public Service Awards to honor seven UMass faculty members on December 2, including a posthumous award to late UMass Dartmouth math professor James Kaput. 

Professor Kaput’s work has become a model of how to integrate scholarship and public service. During the past 15 years, he brought approximately $10 million in research grants, as well as international attention, to the University of Massachusetts. He developed methods that enabled students to learn calculus more easily. Professor Kaput’s SimCalc Project, funded by the National Science foundation, has produced materials that have become nationally available. 

The awards are given annually to honor faculty members who have provided exemplary service to the Commonwealth. 

President Wilson said, “The seven individuals we recognize today are talented professionals who have transmitted their varied expertise into projects that benefit their students, the citizens of the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.” 

Chairman Karam added, “The public service work that they do is what distinguishes the University of Massachusetts from many of the other institutions of higher education in this state. Whenever there is a pressing social need, the University of Massachusetts is ready to answer the call. Their achievements have brought tremendous approbation to the entire University system.” 

UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said, “Jim was a mentor and friend to his faculty colleagues, an inspiration to his students, a devoted husband and father, and a public servant in the best sense of the word. His work has opened new educational doors for thousands of people around the world.” 

The other 2005 winners are: 

  • Professor Nancy Cohen, Nutrition, UMass-Amherst – A founder of the Massachusetts Partnership for Food Safety Education, Dr. Cohen has become a recognized source in disseminating food safety messages throughout the Commonwealth
  • Associate Professor Robert Chen, Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences, UMass-Boston – Noted for his efforts to improve K-12 science education and outreach, he has received national recognition and earned grants from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, among others
  • Assistant Professor Joel Tickner, Community Health and Sustainability, UMass-Lowell – He is an expert on the “Precautionary Principle,” a principle that calls for a proactive approach in preventing harm to human or environmental health. He has helped to create The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow
  • Professor Kenneth L. Applebaum, MD, Clinical Psychiatry, UMass Medical School – Dr. Applebaum is a nationally renowned forensic and correctional psychiatrist who serves as Director of Mental Health for the University of Massachusetts Medical School Correctional Health Program
  • Professor Thomas Roeper, Linguistics, UMass-Amherst – Dr. Roeper has earned both a national and international reputation for his groundbreaking work on a language assessment instrument for language disorders, the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation. His pioneering work seeks to standardize speech and language tests that are linguistically and culturally fair to children who speak a variation of mainstream American English known s African-American English. 

• Professor Joan Arches, Public and Community Service, UMass-Boston – As a member of the Advisory Board for CIRCLE (Center for Immigrant and Refugee Community Leadership and Empowerment), Professor Arches has been a main voice for curricular development. She is a leader in her department in service learning, teaching and community development. 

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