2022 2022: Philosophy Professor receives Manning Prize for teaching excellence
Philosophy Professor receives Manning Prize for teaching excellence

Professor Jennifer Wilson Mulnix recognized for exemplary teaching and service

Professor Mulnix outdoors

UMass Dartmouth Professor of Philosophy and Chairperson of the Philosophy Department, Dr. Jennifer Wilson Mulnix, was awarded the 2022 Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Mulnix was chosen for her dedication to the broader university community and her participation  in various faculty fellowships and grants focused on improving teaching and learning. One faculty member from each UMass campus was chosen and each will receive a $10,000 award in recognition of their exceptional teaching and commitment to their students.

“We are delighted to honor these five faculty members whose exemplary commitment to their students truly makes UMass shine as a national model of excellence and opportunity,” said Rob Manning, a 1984 graduate of UMass Lowell and current chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees. “Donna and I are immensely grateful for the teachers and mentors we encountered when we were students, so we’re happy to highlight these faculty members for their powerful impact on the students’ university experience.”

UMass Lowell alumni Rob and Donna Manning established the Manning Prize in 2016 to honor UMass professors who excel in teaching and service. With the selection of this year’s honorees, thirty-five UMass faculty members now have the distinct honor of being Manning Prize recipients.

“Rob and Donna know first-hand how UMass faculty, through their inspiring teaching and mentorship, transform the lives of our students,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “We are deeply grateful to the Mannings for their generosity aimed at diversifying the next generation of UMass students, expanding our world-class facilities, and honoring our outstanding faculty members. The impact of their philanthropy will be felt across UMass for generations to come.”

Mulnix’s pedagogical strategies incorporate a learner-centered approach to teaching, carefully informed by research-based best practices, and her innovative curriculum encourages transformative learning experiences both within and beyond the classroom.  

“I am incredibly grateful to receive this prestigious honor, especially knowing how many high-quality teachers there are at UMassD. Much of my career has been dedicated to the advancement of teaching and learning and to my university community, so I am honored to receive the Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching,” said Mulnix.

Mulnix has served in national leadership roles within the American Philosophical Association, and as the  President of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, where she actively worked to mentor and train philosophy teachers, improve the quality of teaching philosophy, and facilitate the development of future philosophers. Much of her current research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and the philosophy of happiness and well-being.

“Dr. Mulnix’s classes draw connections between popular culture, philosophy, and the human condition,” said Pauline Entin, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Last semester, she taught a class that used episodes and scenes from the Netflix series Black Mirror to explore philosophical questions surrounding uses of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and other dilemmas that have been amplified by modern technology.”

Other winners from the UMass System include Lorraine Cordeiro from UMass Amherst, Hugh Charles O’Connell from UMass Boston, Khalilah Reddie from UMass Lowell, and Pang-Yen Fan from UMass Chan Medical School.