The Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Award is designed to reward leaders of courage, conviction, and selflessness who have devoted their time and talent to helping the University of Massachusetts to accomplish its goals. Recognizing that leadership may be found anywhere, faculty, coaches, and staff of the University of Massachusetts are encouraged to apply. The award will alternate between a faculty member (when it is termed the chair) and a coach/staff member (when it is termed the prize). In 2026, the Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Award will be awarded to a University of Massachusetts faculty member.

The Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Award equals $100,000 for two years. Each year, the awardee will receive $30,000 to support research, teaching or service linked to a demonstration of leadership and an award stipend of $20,000. The recipient will be selected by a committee consisting of the Chancellor of the Lowell campus; representatives designated by each Chancellor in the University of Massachusetts system, including Lowell, and the President of the University of Massachusetts or the president's designee. The committee will be chaired by the Provost of the Lowell campus.

The committee will grant awards bi-annually to faculty, coach or staff of exemplary character, high standards, and the proven ability to lead others at the university, nationally, or internationally in their field of research, in teaching or in service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Awardees will have distinguished themselves through their commitment to the goals and mission of the University of Massachusetts, as well as public education more generally.

Award Criteria

The Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Award has three primary aims:

  1. To foster leadership by rewarding faculty and staff of good character and high standards who have distinguished themselves in service to the University
  2. To encourage leadership by focusing attention upon leadership’s profound importance to the future of public higher education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  3. To celebrate service to the University by fostering dialogue among the University campuses about their shared mission, and further collaboration of their collective goals


1.  Fill out the application. Upload the Word document.

Three questions to answer:

  1. Considering Roy Zuckerberg’s vision of leadership and award criteria described above, tell the committee why you should be chosen for the 2024 Zuckerberg Award?
  2. If chosen, how will the prize funds help support your research, teaching and/or service?
  3. What will be the intended outcomes of the award activities?

Be sure your name, title, campus and email are on the Word document.

Add condensed CV as the last page.

Application should be no more than 5 pages in total. This includes answers and condensed CV.

Do not provided letters of support.

If you have questions, please reach out to Candyce Carragher


Friday, March 6, 2026

Past Winners

Heather Makrez Allen, Ph.D., Executive Director of Alumni & Donor Relations at UMass Lowell.

Joya Misra, Ph.D. - UMass Amherst: Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Director of the Institute for Social Science Research

Rebecca Herst, Director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston.

Christopher Niezrecki - UMass Lowell: Professor and Chair, Mechanical Engineering

Michelle Goncalves - UMass Amherst: Executive Director, UMass Women into Leadership and Executive Assistant, Chancellor’s Office

Raymond S. Bradley, Ph.D. – UMass Amherst: Distinguished Professor, Director of the Climate Research Center and Co-Director of the Northeast Climate Science Center

Juli Parker, Ph.D. – UMass Dartmouth: Director for the Center for Women Gender and Sexuality

Jeannette Riley, Ph.D. – UMass Dartmouth: Professor of Women’s Studies and Chairperson of English

Ms. Debra-Nicole Huber – UMass Lowell: Director of Instrumental Music Outreach and Associate Director of University Bands

Carole C. Upshur, Ed.D – UMass Medical School: Associate Dean and Professor of UMMS

Esther Kingston-Mann, Ph.D. – UMass Boston: Professor of History