UMass Lowell’s Block Receives 2023 Manning Prize; Work Focuses on Children in Legal System

UMass Lowell Associate Professor Stephanie D. Block. (Courtesy photograph.)

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UMass Lowell Associate Professor Stephanie D. Block is the UMass Lowell recipient of the 2023 Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Block teaches in applied developmental psychology in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Her 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. The University reports her belief is that scientific research should influence the law and public policy to bring about optimal societal change.

Now in its seventh year, UMass Lowell alumni Robert and Donna Manning established the Manning Prize to honor UMass professors who excel in teaching and service. Faculty member award winners — one from each UMass campus —receive $10,000 awards in recognition of their deep commitment to academic excellence.

Block has taught at UMass Lowell since the fall of 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.

She is an American Psychological Association 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.

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