Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, December 16, 2013    

Were you awaiting a comeback by Tom Brady in the last suspenseful seconds of the Patriots-Dolphins game yesterday?  It was a thrill to be at the jam-packed Sun Life Stadium in Miami with UMass System President Caret, BOT Chair Henry Thomas, fellow Chancellors, and our guests Richard LaFrance, Peter Macdonald and Dora Beatty, and alumni Kevin Thibeault and "Tank" Sherman.


This past week from my office, I watched the snowflakes fall steadily and for a while the Paul Rudolph-designed buildings appeared to loom in the middle of a snow globe. The magical scene of winter wonderland evoked lines from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

                  "Over the woodlands brown and bare,

                  Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

                  Silent, and soft, and slow

                  Descends the snow."


We hosted our Board of Trustees and our UMass System President and administrators on December 10-11 for meetings that included presentations and exhibits by our faculty and students. There was a maelstrom of activity associated with the visit, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the large team that executed effectively every minute detail of the preparations.


I was immensely proud of the research presented by Prof. Sigal Gottlieb and Prof. Robert Fisher, with perspective offered by students Zachary Grant and Tiffany Ferreira; the research presentation by Dean Steve Lohrenz with Prof. Changsheng Chen and Prof. Kevin Stokesbury; and the students' creative work shown by Prof. Harvey Goldman. The haunting musical performances on the erhu--the Chinese violin--by Prof. Jing Wang accompanied by Prof. William Riley enchanted everyone.  I also thank Prof. Andy McWain and students Evan McLeod and Alexander Nawrocki for their lively jazz trio performance. Thank you to Provost Mohammad Karim, Vice Provost Magali Carrera and Associate Provost Tesfay Meressi for overseeing all presentations. 


I thank all who displayed exhibits: Dr. Kathleen Elliott and Erin Dacey from the College of Nursing, Law School Dean Mary Lu Bilek and student Cassie Butler; Prof. Godwin Ariguzo with students Bedward Ortiz,  Jona Kokathose, and Micaela Verrelien; Prof. Robin Robinson and student Cassia Gordon; and Prof. Mahzad Hojjat with student Elizabeth Lozano; Engineering student Ben Mitsmenn; Prof. Mehdi Raessi with student Lee Berard; Prof. Lou Goodman with students Dana Brown and James Reilly; Prof. Don Foster and student Helio Matos from the College of Engineering and the IDEA Studio; and Prof. Walaa Mogawer with student Kevin Ryan. 


The Facilities team of Peter Duffy and Michael Hayes, and countless staff members refurbished Woodland Commons for the event. Renee Buisson with Rachel Cocroft, Mike Mahoney, and Mary Avery worked diligently to ensure that posters, signage, presentations, and the overall environment were branded effectively. The team also worked with Deirdre Confar, Jennifer White, Heather Tripp and alumnus Don Burton to develop a superb video that showcased the best of UMass Dartmouth click here. Donna Massano and her CITS team with Chris Frias and Rick Riley ensured ample technology support for the BOT meeting.  Jeff Augustine and Derek Costa with their team members Robin Brow, Liz Martin, Greg Paciulan, Sheldon Straker, Bill Mitchell Jr., Patrick Cotter, Barbara Bettencourt, Kevin Gibbons, Nancy Wiseman, Dionne Gomes, Josh Dubroff attended to logistics meticulously. And above all, the leadership of Renee Buisson and John Hoey behind the scenes made everything near perfect. You rock!


Have you seen the newly renovated Fitness Center where the space has doubled from 8,000 to 16,000 square feet? We have scores of new workout machines and a big, cheerful Corsair logo on a huge wall. I was joined at the grand opening by BOT Vice Chair Maria Furman, Trustee Jim Buonomo, and more than 100 student athletes, our legislators Rep. Chris Markey, Rep. Paul Schmid, and Rep. Steven Howitt, along with Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter and UMass Building Authority Executive Director Katherine Craven. Thank you, Amanda Van Voorhis, Jim Mullins and the team for a smooth and seamless program and to Joe Sullivan for publicizing the event! Will McNamara, a CVPA student, created two videos that were shown at the dedication.


Thank you to Dean Guna, Associate Dean Paul Bacdayan, and Jane Staples for hosting a well-attended internship and career meeting with State Street Financial's Vice President for Talent Acquisition, Richard Curtis.


Have a joyful winter week, everyone.
Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth