UMass System Awards Five 2023 Manning Prizes for Excellence in Teaching

UMass Lowell psychology Associate Professor Stephanie Block
UMass Lowell psychology Associate Professor Stephanie Block is the university's 2023 recipient of the Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching.


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For her exceptional dedication to students and the university, UMass Lowell is proud to champion Stephanie D. Block as one of five recipients of the 2023 Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching

An associate professor in applied developmental psychology in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Block’s research examines child maltreatment and encompasses her training in developmental and applied science and public health. 

Her work focuses on children in the legal system, the effect of trauma on children’s well-being and memory of emotional events, and the prevention of child maltreatment. Recent studies of Block’s were funded by the National Institute of Justice and examined prosecutorial decisions in cases of child sexual abuse. Her firm belief is that scientific research should influence the law and public policy to bring about optimal societal change.

She has taught at UMass Lowell since Fall 2011, contributing to the department’s undergraduate and graduate courses, the Honors College, and serving as the faculty adviser to the NAVIGATORS club – a student club she co-founded to help students in need of additional support to “navigate” college.

Block is an American Psychological Association (APA) fellow, president of APA’s Division 37, the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, former president of Division 37’s Section on Child Maltreatment, and an editorial board member of the journal Child Maltreatment. She serves on the board of directors for the Massachusetts Children’s Alliance and has trained judges, social workers, and other professionals on topics related to child welfare. 

Now in its seventh year, UMass Lowell alumni Robert ’84, ’11 (H) and Donna Manning ’85, ’91, ’11 (H) established the Manning Prize to honor UMass professors who excel in teaching and service.  

“As first-generation college graduates, Donna and I felt the positive impact faculty role models had on us as we were beginning our journey, so we’re proud to recognize these five exemplary teachers who are inspiring the next generation of UMass students.”  

UMass President Marty Meehan is deeply grateful for the continued support and generosity of the Mannings to the university. 

“Rob and Donna have built a distinguished legacy of paying it forward through their philanthropy that funds student scholarships, honors our world-class faculty and supports modern facilities across the UMass system,” he said.

Faculty member award winners — one from each UMass campus — will receive $10,000 awards in recognition of their deep commitment to academic excellence.