Mary Dougherty

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Mary Dougherty became the third director of UMass Press in 2014.  Before coming to UMass, she worked at both Bedford/St. Martin’s and Houghton Mifflin in Boston.  She earned a PhD in American literature from Rutgers.

Mary collaborates with all members of the Press staff, and she manages the Press’s financial and strategic planning, university relations, and fundraising.  She acquires a few titles each year, focused on biography and memoir, studies of Emily Dickinson, literary studies, and special projects connected to UMass.


Matt Becker

Editor in Chief
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Matt Becker started at UMass Press in 2015. He was previously senior acquisitions editor at the University of Nevada Press and also worked at Wayne State University Press and the Minnesota Historical Society Press. He holds a PhD in American studies from the University of Minnesota.

Matt is interested in acquiring scholarly manuscripts in all areas of American history and society, including those with an interdisciplinary or transnational approach, especially projects that deal with social justice and equity. He also acquires regional trade titles on New England topics. He is the in-house editor for the series Activist Studies of Science and Technology, African American Intellectual History, Childhoods: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Children and Youth, Culture and Politics in the Cold War and Beyond, Journalism and Democracy, Public History in Historical Perspective, and Veterans. With all of his projects, he seeks authors who can write in a style accessible to a wide readership.

Brian Halley

Executive Editor
UMass Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125-3393
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Brian Halley has long been interested in interdisciplinary work that stretches across multiple humanities fields, and possibly beyond. At the Press, Brian manages the series American Popular Music; Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book; Environmental History of the Northeast; Page and Screen; and Native Americans of the Northeast. In addition, Brian co-edits the African-American Intellectual History series and acquires in the fields of gender and sexuality studies, environmental studies, and studies in race and ethnicity. A longtime Boston resident, he is also interested in urban studies and books about the Boston region. 

Production & Design

Sally Nichols

EDP Manager
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Sally Nichols began her career as a production and design artist in 1982 for the Wing Press in Boston. After several years working in print and production for retail companies, she turned to freelancing for magazine and book publishers throughout New England. She joined the UMass Press in 1995 enjoying every aspect of the book making process from working with authors’ final manuscripts, overseeing the editorial, design, and production department, collaborating on design, typesetting manuscripts, managing the press backlist, and directing a talented bank of freelancers.

Rachael DeShano

Managing Editor
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Rachael DeShano joined UMass Press in 2017. She has previously held positions in manuscript editorial at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the University of Kentucky, and Quayside Publishing Group. She holds an MA in English from Boston College and a graduate certificate in social theory from the University of Kentucky. She guides authors through the production process, copyedits promotional materials, and collaborates with a talented bank of freelance editors.

Business & Marketing 

Chelsey Harris

Marketing and Sales Manager
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Chelsey Harris joined UMass Press in 2023 as the marketing and sales manager. Prior to joining UMass, she was the marketing and sales manager for Southern Illinois University Press and worked with the University of Utah Press and Amherst College Press as an independent marketing specialist. While she was earning her MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University, Chelsey began her publishing career as an editorial assistant for the Crab Orchard Review and the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. She is a lifelong book lover and is enthusiastic about coaching authors through marketing, publicity, and sales.

Sarah Doherty

Business and Operations Manager
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Sarah Doherty was excited to join the Press in the spring of 2019, coming from a diverse background in office management, recruitment and hiring, customer service, and massage therapy. She holds her degree in English and religious studies from Mount Holyoke College. A Colorado native, she fell in love with the Valley and has been living here since 2009. She handles the behind-the-scenes operation of the Press, and is responsible for AP/AR, subvention funds, permissions, and royalties.