Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, July 28, 2014    

Purple tomatoes are growing in the hanging garden atop the passageway between Foster Building and the Campus Center! Purple tomatoes contain anthocyanins, natural pigments like those found in blueberries - flavonoid compounds believed to have health-promoting properties. Thanks to the ingenious work, part of the UMass Dartmouth Living Gallery project, of landscape artist and designer John McCormack, the hanging garden is thriving with cascading vines and blossoms of riotous colors, a sweet fragrance sometimes wafting down to unsuspecting passersby.


Congratulations to Dean Mary Lu Bilek, Trustee Mardee Xifaras, and the Law School for serving as co-sponsors of the recent conference "Law Schools, Technology and Access to Justice" with the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and the Kauffman Foundation. The conference engaged law schools across the country in a discussion about educating law students to develop technologically assisted practices to provide affordable legal services to underrepresented clients, businesses, and entrepreneurs.  


Kudos to Sidafa Conde, a graduate student pursuing his PhD in Engineering and Applied Science, for two exceptional achievements! First, Sidafa was selected to participate in the national 2014-2015 Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Scholars Program, designed to enable students from underrepresented groups to learn more about high-performance computing, network with researchers and professional leaders, and take part with a cohort of student peers to establish a community of academic leaders. Second, Sidafa was chosen to partake this summer in the Brown-Kobe Joint Simulation School, part of the Virtual Institute in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (VI-MSS) and the National Science Foundation's "Sciences Across Virtual Institutes Initiative." This summer, Sidafa will spend one week at Brown University and one week at Kobe University in Japan for lectures and training in high-performance computing.


Congratulations to the faculty members, students, and recent graduates whose abstracts were accepted for paper or poster presentation at the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) 20th Annual Conference with the theme "Universities as Anchor Institutions: Driving Change" in Syracuse, New York, in October 2014. They are Professors Pamela Karimi, Kathryn Kavanagh, Lisa Maya Knauer, Christina Mehrtens, Juli Parker, Morgan Peters, Matt Roy, Mark Santow, and myself; as well as students and alumni Donald Dow, Jacob Miller, and Emily Reinauer. We are proud of you!


Hats off to Master of Fine Arts students and recent graduates Jessica Benzaquen, Monica Guerra, Jessica Heikes, JoAnna Hickman, Amanda Kralovic, Leslie Machlin, Xi Nan, Cuong Sy, and Jennifer Wood who were selected to participate in the 2014 Boston Young Contemporaries Exhibition! They are nine among 75 young artists from MFA programs across New England whose work was deemed exceptional for this juried exhibition.  


We hosted another successful fundraiser for the Barney Frank Archive to support the indexing and digitization of the more than 500 boxes of former Congressman Frank's papers. Our legislators including Representatives Chris Markey, Antonio Cabral, and Paul Schmid, as well as Senators Mark Montigny and Mark Pacheco, and Mayor Jon Mitchell were present. Thank you to Vice Chancellor Lee Williams, Georgiana Goulding, and the Advancement team for organizing the event and generating $43,000 in proceeds!


Last Thursday, I joined my colleagues President Jack Sbrega of Bristol Community College, President Charles Wall of Massasoit Community College, Executive Vice President Fred Clark of Bridgewater State University, and President John Cox of Cape Cod Community College at a day-long Connect Higher Education Partnership retreat at the National Academy of Sciences Center at Woods Hole. Our discourse centered on Connect's main strategic goal in the next few years to increase educational attainment and college completion in the region.


On Friday, Provost Karim and I toured our campus buildings with Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management Peter Duffy, Director of Facilities Planning Michael Hayes, Jeffrey Louro, and their team to assess progress on the refurbishment of our facilities in preparation for the new and fast approaching academic year. We encountered so many of our conscientious staff at work, and I wish to thank them for the physical transformation of our campus.


Enjoy another glorious summer week!

Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth