Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, August 11, 2014    
Driving past the bridge on Little River Road this last sultry Saturday afternoon, we paused admiringly at the breathtaking view of the estuary, and watching a gleeful passel of young boys ready to swoop down into the water for a refreshing swim, I thought Gerard Manley Hopkins' "Epithalamion" captured the moment:
"This garland of their gambols flashes in his breast
  Into such a sudden zest
  of summertime joys ..."

Last Monday, Provost Karim, our Cabinet members and Dean Kimberly Christopher joined me at a press conference announcing the launch of our Navitas international student program at the Cherry & Webb Building in downtown Fall River. In attendance were Mayor Will Flanagan - a UMass Dartmouth alumnus - and Representatives Alan Silvia, Carole Fiola, and Paul Schmid; Fall River Councilor Jasiel Correia II, Fall River Office of Economic Development Executive Vice President Ken Fiola, and Fall River Chamber of Commerce President Robert Mellion; as well as Navitas officials Beverly Hudson, Patrick Van Rooyen, and their team. Thank you to our international students from Zimbabwe, Russia, China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam for their presence. I convey my gratitude to Vice Provost Magali Carrera and Navitas Executive Director Mary Fleming for their steadfast collaboration resulting in the growth of this program.

Searching for unicorns! Did you read the Wall Street Journal article "Big Data's High-Priests of Algorithm" (click here) last week that addressed the burgeoning demand for PhD-prepared data scientists in industry and the relative rarity of potential hires? I was struck by the statistic cited that in 2012, there were only 2,500 PhD degrees awarded in the U.S. in Statistics, Biostatistics, Particle Physics, and Computer Science, disciplines where data scientists are recruited. On the verge of publicly launching UMassDTransform2020, can you think of innovative ways in which UMass Dartmouth can respond to this acute need?

Plaudits to Professor Suzanne Schireson, whose painting Sound the Lobster Claw was selected for the forthcoming National Small Oil Painting Exhibition 2014 at the Wichita Center for the Arts! The juror for the exhibition is Anthony Benton Gude, grandson of the famous muralist Thomas Hart Benton.

Congratulations to SMAST Dean Steve Lohrenz and his research team for having been awarded $228,000 of a $1.2 million NASA research grant in partnership with scientists from Auburn University, University of Delaware, and North Carolina State University! This study, a continuation of prior research associated with the NASA Carbon Monitoring System, will examine land and ocean interactions that influence the ocean's ability to absorb carbon dioxide and will have important implications for ocean acidification and its adverse impact on marine organisms.               

Do you know that we have 29 undergraduate students and two graduate students who hail from Lawrence? On August 1, I had the pleasure of visiting this multicultural and multiethnic city north of Boston at the invitation of UMass System Trustee Zoila Gomez, who co-hosted a meeting with Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera at Northern Essex Community College with President Lane Glen, NECC Lawrence Campus Director Dr. Noemi Custodia-Lora, and Lawrence Public Schools Chief Operating Officer Anne Marie Stronach. We discussed ways to augment the college pipeline for Lawrence students, to develop articulation agreements, and to partner with NECC and LPS in STEM and other areas.

Enjoy the treasures of summer! As the novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder wrote, "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."

Have a glorious week,
Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth