A look back at 2011 news and highlights

From cool discoveries to a world snowball-making record, from a Cricket championship to inspirational art works, from new academic programs to new and upgraded facilities, 2011 has been a year of exciting and diverse activity for students, faculty and staff.

The past year capped a decade of transformation of the campus into a powerful innovation engine – a driver of economic and social development that prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace of products and ideas and leverages the discoveries of its faculty to address challenges and opportunities around the world. Among the milestones was the 30th anniversary of the UMass Dartmouth-based SHARE Foundation, which puts the talent and passion of engineering faculty to work developing computer systems to enhance the lives of profoundly disabled people and was featured in today’s Standard-Times newspaper.

Chancellor Jean MacCormack announced she would be retiring at the close of the academic year after leading the campus through a 13-year period of growth in the student population, research  and community engagement.  As UMass Dartmouth ended the year preparing to recruit a new leader, the 5-campus UMass System welcomed one – President Robert Caret.

We enter 2012, a year when the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act will be recognized, considering what the future holds for American universities, but confident that UMass Dartmouth students, faculty and staff will not just persevere, but excel and lead as they always do.

As Chancellor MacCormack noted in her retirement letter to President Caret, “With a first-rate faculty and staff, supportive business and civic community, and students who recognize higher education as the ticket to a good life, there is a strong foundation to build upon.”

Here is a look back at a sampling of the news highlights from 2011:


Plans announced to move forward with Bio-Manufacturing Center.

SouthCoast education advocate and university community service leader honored at MLK breakfast. Lee Blake and Deirdre Healy are 2011 “drum majors for justice.” Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young delivers keynote.

New UMass system president named. Towson University President Robert L. Caret praised by Chancellor MacCormack as a “distinguished and dynamic leader.”

Physics alumnus Eric Holmes ’10,  wins scholarship to Germany exchange program with “most inspirational” project.”

New graduate Certificate in Sustainable Development goes online.


Students break world snowball record. Team rolls 23 foot-plus ice sphere.

Partnership created to address telecommunication industry training needs.

Professors map the global digital divide.

Professor and student combine on study showing that going green promotes employee job satisfaction.

New Bedford Art Museum winter exhibit features CVPA artists and curators.


The Corsairs placed 28 student-athletes on the 2010-11 Little East Conference Fall All-Academic Team.

Judith Klein Art Gallery in New Bedford showcases graduate students.

UMass Dartmouth moves ahead with wind turbine as part of comprehensive effort to reduce energy costs and shrink the campus carbon footprint.


Peer Health Educators named “Outstanding Peer Education Group” In New England. Kelly Ann Boehm (Nursing ’10) named “Outstanding Alumna”.Cape Cod NAACP names professor “Educator of the Year.”

Department of Public Policy poll finds jobs, the cost of health care and the affordability of higher education top the list of policy concerns in the Commonwealth.

Students organize dodgeball fundraiser for Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River.

UMass Dartmouth begins deployment of East Coast’s first University-based long-range mobile wireless broadband (WiMAX) network.

Professor helps develop stock market crash early warning signal.

Alumnus Dr. Bruce Bachand discusses history-making  archaeological discovery.

Role of youth in Middle East change: A conversation with Sherif El-Wakil.

Theatre Company presents Jekyll and Hyde.


First UMass Law degrees awarded. Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland urges 483 graduate students to “reach out and reach back” to those less fortunate.

1,589 undergraduate degrees awarded. UMass President advises graduates, “Never give up. Never give in.”

The Net Impact UMass Dartmouth chapter at the Charlton College of Business was awarded the highest distinction of Gold Chapter in the international Net Impact sustainable business practices organization.

UMass Dartmouth receives national recognition for community service. One of 15 campuses in New England and one of 7 in Massachusetts named “with distinction” to President’s Honor Roll

Public Policy student among the Massachusetts “29 Who Shine.”


English Professor Robert Waxler and Education Professor Maureen Hall book argues that online culture damages students’ ability to achieve understanding, wisdom, and judgment.

UMass Dartmouth to support Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District. Focus will be on improving early literacy instruction and student achievement at the K-3 levels.


The Bristol County Savings Bank Freedom Festival featured Santa Mamba, Entrain, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet and fireworks.

Sean D. Duarte Scholarship launched to support civil engineering students using their education to help others.

Athletic Director Ian Day has announced the addition of women’s intercollegiate sailing as the newest varsity sport in the Corsair Athletic Department. It will become the 26th varsity sport sponsored by the NCAA Division III institution.


Mass. Life Sciences Center/UMass Dartmouth interns and companies highlighted.

Marine Renewable Energy Center conducts first in-ocean technology test in Massachusetts. Plans for UMass-managed offshore test site to be outlined.




New student dining experience unveiled. Ingredients include more choices and flexibility, sustainable practices.

College of Nursing begins recruiting first DNP students.

Discussion of post-apartheid South Africa enlivened by exhibit  including a life-like replica of Nelson Mandela’s prison cell. Hero of South Africa anti-apartheid movement welcomed to campus.

A new study co-authored by Psychology Professor Andrew Revell, a research fellow at the Ora M. DeJesus Gerontology Center, reveals new info on “Senior Moments.”

UMass Dartmouth Ranked #1 Public Regional University In New England By U.S. News & World Report. College of Engineering undergraduate program listed among best in the nation.

Schooner Ernestina’s records, photos, and films documenting fishing, immigration and scientific voyages donated to Claire T. Carney Library.

Chancellor MacCormack calls for renewal of the public higher education covenant, announces retirement.

Cricket Club wins Massachusetts State Championship.


The National Science Foundation awarded $3.5 million to the Center for University, School, and Community Partnerships  and Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education to focus on teacher development and improving teaching strategies in New Bedford, Fall River, and Wareham.

More than three quarters of first group of UMass Law graduates to take the Massachusetts bar exam passed on the first attempt.

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved a new doctoral program in engineering and applied science.

The Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center launched a new smart manufacturing consortium to focus regional effort on increasing the college-educated workforce.

History Professor Bryan Glyn Williams’ Afghanistan field manual for U.S. soldiers went public on the 10-year anniversary of America’s longest war.


The College of Engineering programs earned full accreditation renewal for its degree programs in Civil, Computer, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

The following alumni and a professor were honored for achievement and service: James Karam, ’71; Margaret Xifaras,’78; Gregory Tapis, ’04; Michael Knodler, ’99; Donald Burton ’97; Christopher Markey, JD ’94; Alicia Brown, JD ’11; Dr. Brian Howes.

UMass Dartmouth was one of 18 U.S. colleges and universities chosen by the Institute of International Education for the 2012 Brazil initiative.

Construction continued on the Claire T. Carney Library, which is undergoing a full renovation  designed to transform study and learning spaces.


UMass in Lisbon, a UMass Dartmouth-based program, was launched create a unique study abroad program in the “European City of Year” for students from across the UMass System. The program will actually place UMass faculty in Lisbon to work with Portguese faculty on the program. Thanks to generous donations, the program will be the same cost as a semester on the UMass campus.

Mechanical Engineering Professor Peter Friedman, who spent the last year serving as a Congressional Fellow in the office of Rep. Michael Simpson, R-Idaho, was honored for “job well done” in the official Congressional Record.

After a six-year struggle to acquire property, UMass Dartmouth finalized an agreement with the City of New Bedford that will allow for a major expansion of the School of Marine Sciences and Technology. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012.

Biology major Rachael Bonoan won the prize for having the best presentation at a gathering of southern New England students.

English students and faculty published the second issue of DART, a magazine covering issues and ideas of interest to the UMass Dartmouth community and beyond.

The School of Marine Science and Technology and the University of Sao Paulo Institute of Oceanography signed an agreement creating dual PhD degrees in Oceanography and Marine Sciences. The signing ceremony was held during Governor Deval Patrick’s trade mission to Brazil.



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