Assistant Professor Melissa Baker received the College Outstanding Teacher Award this year for her teaching effectiveness, positive impact on her students and overall outstanding performance.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst College Outstanding Teacher Award (COTA) recognizes excellence in teaching and expands, at the college level, the recognition already provided by the University Distinguished Teaching Award Program. Each college, faculty or school selects outstanding faculty members for the COTA, who are recognized at Commencement.
Melissa Baker, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Isenberg. She received her B.S. from Cornell University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Prior to becoming a professor, Melissa worked as a manager for Brio Bravo Restaurant Group. She teaches courses in Foodservice Management and Service Experience Management. Her research focuses on service failure and recovery, customer complaining, and appearance and impression formation. She is also the advisor to the only hospitality honor society on campus, Eta Sigma Delta. In addition, her research has been published in the top tier hospitality and marketing journals.
"(Professors Baker) is the best teacher I've ever had at UMass and I've purposefully taken one of her classes each year at school." says Casey Gover '16, co-president of Isenberg Women in Business. "I look to her not only as a knowledgeable professor, but as one of my mentors. Whether it be about academics, our careers, or life, Professor Baker takes the time to listen to her students. She has always gone above and beyond for us.”
Emily Donaldson ’16 also congratulates and thanks Professor Baker for her continued support. “Dr. Baker has been an instrumental part of my academic career. Not only has she supported me and the rest of her students, but she has inspired me to always ‘beware the status quo’ and to produce the best quality of work. She makes an effort to not just know her students by name, but to give them the most impactful and applicable lessons that we can use in the industry. Dr. Baker has greatly influenced the successes I have had at UMass and is a professor that has been one of my biggest advocates since day one.”