Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, June 2, 2014    
Do you know that in the forest right here on campus, there are four nature trails that have been mapped out, complete with interpretive signs describing the points of interest and plaques denoting the names of trees? And do you know that all these were accomplished through the Sustainability classes taught by our Professor Robert Darst in a project called The Living Classroom

On May 20, Professor Darst, Professor Tara Rajaniemi, Jamie Jacquart, Amy Mangold and I traversed the one-mile Cardinal Trail, part of The Living Classroom, and found the lush, verdant scenery a delightful treasure. We came upon a vernal pool -- an ephemeral body of water that forms in the spring and dries up in the summer -- and Jamie found a tiny wood frog. If you wish to wander through this trail, begin in the area behind the spectator stand at Cressy Field. Enjoy!


This past May 17 was the 60th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision on Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing racial segregation in schools:

"We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

Unmistakably a turning point in the quest for civil rights and social justice, Brown v. Board of Education signaled the dismantling of racial barriers and the promotion of inclusiveness in public education. While much progress has been made, we have a long way to go in eradicating educational disparities. In a region where educational attainment lags behind the Commonwealth, what can we do today to advance the promise of Brown v. Board of Education?


Kudos to Dean Mary Lu Bilek of the Law School, who served as moderator at the Democratic Party's gubernatorial candidates forum at the Zeiterion Theater on May 24. Our new Student Trustee Jacob Miller was there, along with Trustee Mardee Xifaras, Mayor Jon Mitchell, and Senator Mark Montigny, as well as Representatives Chris Markey, Tony Cabral, and Paul Schmid. Yes, UMass Dartmouth was mentioned several times during the discussion, as candidates recognized our role in increasing educational attainment and catalyzing economic innovation.


Congratulations to Sara Dalton, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in Mathematics Education on May 24 under the direction of Professor Stephen Hegedus!


Hats off to SMAST Professor Pingguo He, who organized in collaboration with NOAA and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries the recent International Council for Exploration of the Seas (ICES) Workshop on fish behavior and acoustic science held in New Bedford. There were 140 participants from all over the world who participated in this conference.


Kudos to Cecilia Amaral Figuereido, a PhD candidate in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies and currently a teacher at Dartmouth High School for her book Ary dos Santos: The Voice of Resistance to the Salazar Dictatorship, which was published in Portugal. The book is based on Cecilia's Master's thesis.


We were visited the week before last by a Nursing faculty delegation from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, founded in 1611 and the oldest university in Asia. Our Filipino visitors were Professors Genecar Pe-Benito, Florence Navidad, Marica Estrada, and Margaret Natividad. Endeavor scholar Paula Cruz, who graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Nursing recently, initiated the dialogue regarding an international university partnership when she visited the Philippines. Professor Elizabeth Chin traveled to Manila as well, and now the UST faculty reciprocated with their trip. We look forward to this collaboration as the College of Nursing enhances an educational environment that fosters a vision for global health.


Congratulations to Dean Adrian Tio for having been appointed Co-Chair of the New Bedford Seaport Cultural District Executive Committee for a term of two years!


Everywhere now, including on campus, is a profusion of color from late spring's blooming flowers. My favorites are azaleas in white, pink, red, and purple; as well as brilliant white and pink spirea, purple lilacs, violet irises, and multicolored zinnias. What enchantment!       


Have a good week, everyone,

Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth