Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, May 5, 2014    

Spring has sprung! Forsythia bushes and daffodils are ablaze in radiant yellow in my front yard, and everywhere else are blooming azaleas, cherries, and magnolias. Although we deplored the late arrival of spring, the new book Walden Warming by Richard Primack points out that based on Henry David Thoreau's detailed documentation at Walden about 160 years ago, warming temperatures have accelerated spring to as much as six weeks earlier in 2012! As Justin Gillis queried in Tuesday's New York Times, what do we owe future generations to avert the catastrophic consequences of global warming and climate change?


Best wishes to graduating Chemistry student Amanda Stubbs, an Endeavor Scholar who received an American Institute of Chemists Award and was admitted to the PhD program at MIT! Congratulations to Professor Jeanne Leffers for a recently released book she co-authored with Dr. Michele Upvall titled Global Health Nursing! Thank you to Professor Stacy Latt Savage and her first-year students in 3D Sculpture for creating a whimsical and heart-warming sheep sculpture ensemble that were displayed on the campus meadow! Bravo, Professor royal hartigan who received his second Fulbright Award, this time at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana! Kudos to Mwalim DaPhunkee Professor for the "Best Male Jazz" award at the Urban Music Awards on April 27! Congratulations to Dean Mary Lu Bilek and her administrative staff for the enthusiastic turnout at the Justice Bridge event at the Law School!


The Deans, Cabinet members, and I, together with our donors Bob and Jeanne Leduc, traversed the SouthCoast on April 29 on our Annual Community Engagement Tour organized by Professor Matt Roy and Deirdre Healy of the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement. At each stop, we were animated by the inspiring work of our faculty and students. Professors Annica Cox, Memory Holloway, and Shannon Jenkins, as well as students Patrick McCarthy, Melissa Wesember, and Sharon Kumar, reflected on the insights they gained in feeding the hungry with produce harvested from the YMCA farm. Imagine the impact in one year of 800 UMass Dartmouth students who assist in the harvest and distribution of 70,000 pounds of food to the needy.


Professor Lisa Maya Knauer served as a translator and facilitator to assist Director Adrian Ventura during our visit to the Centro Communitario de Trabajadores in New Bedford. Our Law School immigration clinic Professor Irene Scharf and her students were in court on behalf of their Mayan immigrant clients.


At the Sgt. Carney Academy, Professors Godwin Ariguzo, alumna Gilce Gomes, coordinator Maria Ready, and students Sydney Callan, Ruth Santos, Catherine-Anne St. Pierre, Melissa Sherry, and Nick Botelho recounted their life-changing experiences in tutoring and mentoring children. Our alumni Brooke Baptiste, Brian Pastori, Siggy Meilus, and Jennifer Velarde, along with Professors Carlos Benavides and Michael Griffin and student Ravin Sinead Small-Brown discussed how they assist low-income individuals in preparing income tax returns, advocate for public transportation, provide ESL tutoring, and facilitate community entrepreneurs in starting small businesses.


Thank you to Engineering Associate Dean Ram Balasubramanian and Professors Andrea Klimt, Tian Xhou, and Maureen Hall for partnering with BMC Durfee High School Director Cynthia Grammer, Guidance Counselor Kim Napolitano, and teachers Mark Carvalho, and Ryan Fitzgerald; as well as students Natalie Allen, Lauren D'Alessandro, Deanna Filsinger, Jordan Grace, Arlene Baldwin, Alejandro Lopez, and Scott Girard who are involved in multiple initiatives including mentorship, art, photography, pre-college preparation, and others.


At the Marine Museum in Fall River, we heard student leader Jacob Miller and Professors Thomas Stubblefield, Paula Rioux, and Cristina Mehrtens explain their historical research, cataloguing, and other service-learning work to assist in the preservation and display of artifacts, ship models, and memorabilia for the community. Kudos to all of you who are making a huge difference!


May 6-12 is National Nurses Week, so let us salute Dean Jim Fain, our Nursing faculty and students, as well as the 2.7 million RNs and 738,400 LPNs in the United States. As Lewis Thomas wrote in the book The Youngest Science, "My discovery, as a patient... is that the institution is held together, glued together, enabled to function as an organism, by the nurses and nobody else."


Have a good week, everyone!

Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth