Welcome back to you, returning students and faculty!
Last week, I received a donation to our Claire T. Carney Library of three children's books illustrated by our accomplished CVPA alumna, Susan Arciero. Titled "Nantucket 1, 2, 3," "Hello Sun," and "The Smiling Stone," the books display Susan's imaginative and delicate artistry. She also illustrated the New York Times bestseller "Sweet Land of Liberty" by author Callista Gingrich. By the way, Susan's brother is Rep. James Arciero of the 2nd Middlesex District, who also graduated from UMassD, having earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1997. When you see them, please thank Susan and Rep. Arciero!
Congratulations to our rapidly rising star Prof. Robert Drew, who has just received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award! With $850,000 funding for five years, Prof. Drew will investigate the symbiotic relationship between clownfish and sea anemones. Remarkably, this is Prof. Drew's third funded research grant in this academic year.
Kudos to Prof. Chad McGuire on the publication of his new book, "Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Coastal Zone: Law and Policy Considerations"! Prof. McGuire was also featured in a Standard Times article yesterday, in which he recommended that local governments adopt rolling zoning ordinances, thus creating districts that move as sea level rises.
On Martin Luther King Day, Prof. Matt Roy and I had the honor of marching with 300 Roosevelt Middle School and UMass Dartmouth students, along with New Bedford Public Schools Superintendent Pia Durkin and Mayor Jon Mitchell, from the school to Gifts To Give. I met our students Naomi Bodoo, Nick Botelho, and Dustin Rodrigues who committed their holiday to service by leading teams that folded, sorted, and packed used clothes for distribution to needy children and adults. What a shining example they set for all of us!
At the ATMC on January 21, we hosted Congressman Joe Kennedy, U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier, and Deputy Director Jim Quigley from Congressman Bill Keating's office to present the DOE's report "Time for the U.S. To Reskill." The report, click here, found that the adult population in the U.S. lagged behind those from other industrialized countries in work and life skills needed to be productive in society.
This week, I joined CAS Dean Jen Riley and Associate Deans Amy Shapiro and Shari Evans in attending the annual conference of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. Recurrent themes in the rich repertoire of presentations were integrative learning, civic engagement, and technological innovations in teaching and learning. What a heartwarming moment it was when the speaker at the opening plenary session, Washington Post columnist and political commentator E.J. Dionne, Jr., who grew up in Fall River, mentioned UMass Dartmouth in his remarks! I share with you the AAC&U program for your perusal, click here.
Interspersed with the AAC&U sessions were our meetings at federal agencies in Washington, D.C., to strengthen UMass Dartmouth's relationships with them and to explore opportunities for faculty researchers and students. Vice Chancellor for Research Lou Goodman and I visited at the Office of Naval Research with Dr. Terri Paluszkiewicz, Dr. David Han, and Dr. Chris Fuller; at the U.S. Surgeon General's Office with Cdr. Patrick Denis - who was my undergraduate student over two decades ago - and at the Department of Energy with Dr. Gerald Geernhart. I was delighted to have dinner with retired Rear Admiral Julia Plotnick, an alumna of our College of Nursing, and her sister Pat. The sisters regaled me with stories of growing up in Fall River, and Julia recounted her humanitarian work in organizing U.S. relief efforts in Sudan, Rwanda, and war-torn and poverty-stricken countries throughout the world.
If you have not already done so, please purchase your ticket to attend the Class of 2014 Dream Gala on Friday, January 31, at 6:00 PM. I hope to see you there. Student leader Josh Encarnacion and the Class of 2014 request your contributions toward the Class of 2014 Scholarship Fund to benefit future students. Would you help them build a legacy?
Have a great week, everyone!