Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Meliou Receives 2024 ADVANCE Faculty Peer Mentoring Grant

Alexandra Meliou
Alexandra Meliou

Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences Associate Chair of Faculty Development & Associate Professor Alexandra Meliou has been announced as a Spring 2024 ADVANCE Faculty Peer Mentor Award recipient. The award, administered by the UMass ADVANCE program, recognizes the work faculty members perform in mentoring and supporting their colleagues' professional development and success and is given to one faculty member from each college at UMass Amherst.  

Acknowledging her strong support of early-career faculty, Meliou's nomination letters cite her as "an insightful mentor" who is "always eager to help junior faculty find their way to success" and claim her "support is invaluable to junior faculty, who are often too overwhelmed by teaching and service duties to keep pace with grant writing." The award acknowledges her "strong and critical work toward demystifying the challenges facing junior faculty and helping them along the path to success." 

Meliou has organized formal and informal mentoring opportunities, including a semester-long study group for writing NSF CAREER proposals and weekly lunches for early-career faculty to learn about, discuss, and collect advice from their peers and senior faculty.  

"Mentorship certainly plays an important role in the professional development of our faculty, but it is also central in building our faculty community, enhancing our sense of belonging, and making us invested in each other's success," she says.  

The winners were selected from a competitive pool of nominees and honored by Senior Vice Provost of Equity & Inclusion Wilmore Webley and Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Mike Malone during the ADVANCE annual Distinguished Lecture on March 27. The event also celebrated the group winners of the 2024 Equitable Practices in Collaboration (EPiC), which acknowledges ADVANCE-funded groups for their exemplary equitable collaboration practices. Among the two winning groups was Black Women United, co-chaired by CICS Senior Teaching Faculty Cheryl Swanier.  

UMass ADVANCE is funded by a five-year, $3.1 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant. It seeks to transform the campus through meaningful collaboration by cultivating faculty equity, inclusion, and success. 

"I feel honored to be recognized with the Faculty Peer Mentoring Award, and I am grateful to my colleagues for tirelessly and selflessly contributing their time and energy to our mentoring efforts," says Meliou. "The success of our programs ultimately comes down to their valuable contributions!" 

Meliou joined the CICS faculty as an assistant professor in 2012. She has received multiple recognitions for research, teaching, and service, including an ACM SIGMID Research Highlight Award, an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and a Lilly Fellowship for Teaching Excellence.