Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, December 23, 2013    

By the time you read this, my family and I will be in the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas - with its pink sand beaches and spectacular coral reefs - for a week of fishing, boating, snorkeling and simply relaxing. One of the seven books I intend to read is Positive Psychology of Love, co-edited by our very own Prof. Mahzad Hojjat, a Yale-educated social psychologist who conducts research on love, satisfaction, betrayal, and forgiveness in friendships and romantic relationships. Think about how our lives can be more fulfilling if we enhance our relationships with those we love. 


Cicero once wrote, "History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity." Last week at Dartmouth Access Television, I was fascinated to watch vignettes about the town of Dartmouth's historic landmarks that were created - in collaboration with local historians - by our 15 undergraduate students in History 201 with Prof. Cristina Mehrtens. The vignettes will be featured in the media as part of the 350th anniversary celebration of Dartmouth, which was incorporated in 1664. Kudos to Prof. Mehrtens and her team of students!


As part of our holiday festivities, what a delight to have enjoyed the musical concert presented by our Music Department led by Prof. Ron Sherwin. There were joyful performances by Prof. Jamie Eckert and our student percussion ensemble, Prof. Andy McWain and our student jazz ensemble, as well as Prof. Tian Xhou and our student choir. What a thrill to hear Van Riley's saxophone solo of "Angels We Have Heard On High," the whimsical and imaginative percussion performance of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Ballet," and the angelic voices of the choir singing "Do You Hear What I Hear?"!


Did you see the Robert Karam campanile illuminated in festive red and green before the concert and then in Corsair blue and gold afterwards? We are indebted to the inimitable Michael Hayes who rose to this challenge and made the lighting happen even at short notice. And Bob Karam was here to see it!


Have you marveled like me at the brilliant winter sunsets in vivid topaz, garnet, amethyst, and sapphire hues?  Did you know that pure air scatters light - a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering - with its spectrum of colors, more effectively than air containing tropospheric dust and haze? We are fortunate to live where we have clear and unadulterated air that does not subdue or attenuate the light and colors of sunsets. Enjoy!


Congratulations to Prof. Vanni Bucci in the Department of Biology and his co-authors for two new publications: "Ecological Modeling from Time-Series Inference: Insight into Dynamics and Stability of Intestinal Microbiota" in PLOS Computational Biology and the second one released just a week ago, "Emergence of Spatial Structure in the Tumor Microenvironment due to the Warburg Effect" in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.


Our cup overflows! We also have 15 Electrical and Computer Engineering students who made the top 10 percent among 363 participants in Massachusetts in the Cyber Aces Championship. Thank you to Prof. Hong Liu for supporting our students in this elite security competition with the top cyber talent in the state.


How amazing to meet yet another accomplished alumnus who visited us for the first time since he graduated from our Accounting program in 1989! He is Jeff Duchemin, CEO of Harvard Bioscience; his global company manufactures and markets life sciences and regenerative medicine products and devices.


I am grateful to each and every one of you for your conscientious efforts to serve our campus community and to build a stronger UMass Dartmouth. As many of you return home for the holidays to be with family and friends, I wish for you the gifts of joy, peace, and love! 


Gone fishing,

Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth