A look back at 2011 news and highlights

December 31, 2011

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.



Summer reading, building, thinking at UMD

August 1, 2011

In just a month the 2011-2012 academic year will begin with faculty and students returning to campus. It seems like we just sent off the class of 2011, including the first-ever graduates of our School of Law. Since that memorable commencement weekend, much has been happening. Here’s an update:

libraryrenderingThe Claire T. Carney Library renovation is accelerating. The highly visible demolition of the front overhang, office and book re-locations, and other major construction activities make clear the massive scope of this transformational project. Visit the library renovation web site for more details.

The new University Studies program for students entering in the fall of 2012 has been launched. The program is a cornerstone of UMass Dartmouth’s Commitment to Student Learning.

Speaking of books, our summer reading project for first year students is well underway. This year’s book is Malcom Gladwell’s Blink, a study of the “kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye.” Join the conversation on the Blink Blog.

Speaking of books…again. Congratulations to Professors Robert Waxler (English) and Maureen Hall (Education) on the release of their new book urging a return to the teaching of great literature as a way to educate citizens in the web-consumed 21st century. More

DuarteScholarship_003We announced the establishment of a $50,000 scholarship fund in the name of Sean D. Duarte, a 2004 civil engineering graduate who passed away last September. More

The really smart and innovative folks over at Computer and IT Services continue to find new ways to connect us to each other. They are currently working to expand long-range wireless connectivity, fine-tune the campus mobile app, build a virtual computer lab, and offer customized web portals. More

freedomfestival2011The Bristol County Savings Bank Freedom Festival drew 20,000 people to campus for a July 1 extravaganza of music, fireworks and family fun. More

Congrats to the Charlton College of Business Net Impact chapter, which received international attention for its efforts to promote sustainable business practice. More

The Center for University, School and Community Partnerships secured a $96,000 grant to assist Lakeville-Freetown schools in strengthening early literacy programs. More

That is just a sample of the activity. We’ll have more to report next week.

New Dean for School of Marine Sciences & Technology at Umass Dartmouth

January 13, 2011

A week ago, the Umass Dartmouth School of Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) named Steven Lohrenz the new Dean or the program starting in July 2011.

Lohrenz joins the University after with experience from the University of Southern Mississippi as the chair person of their Department of Marine Sciences. Steven also worked as part of a respond team for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year. He has also served on multiple national organizations including the Board of Governors for the Consortium of Oceanographic Research and Education. Lohrenz earned his doctorate in biological oceanography from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth.

One of the  major projects on Lohrenz’s plate upon joining the Umass Dartmouth community will be the expansion of SMAST  program to a facility in New Bedford. “Our marine and coastal environments are critically important to the economy and well-being of the region and the nation…SMAST has and will continue to play a key role in improving understanding and awareness of marine environments and processes, in facilitating stewardship of marine resources, and in contributing to the continued growth of marine technology industries.” stated Lohrenz.


UMD Professor Publishes Tales of America’s Notorious

December 29, 2010


If you’ve taken English 101 at UMass Dartmouth, there is a chance J. North Conway taught you how to use the correct MLA writing style. And he should know.

In addition to being a dedicated lecturer at UMass Dartmouth, Conway is noted for his book King of Heists, based on the greatest bank robbery in American history. It follows the story of George Leslie who is credited with conducting 80 percent of bank robberies in the country from 1869-1978. The book has received rave reviews and was chosen as a finalist for the 2009 Book of the Year Award by ForeWord, named one of the top five books of Summer 2009 by Reader’s Digest, and was selected as recommended reading by the Barnes & noble Book Club.

Most recently, Conway finished The Big Policeman, a reprise to King of Heists. However, instead of following known robber, Leslie, The Big Policeman follows the remarkable career of “America’s First, Most Ruthless, and Greatest Detective,” Thomas Byrnes. Byrnes is recognized for solving high -profile cases such as capturing Manhattan’s Jack the Ripper copy-cat killer, and solving the mystery behind George Leslie’s most famous bank heist, as explained in Conway’s previous book.

Conway is the author of 11 books,  eight of which are non-fiction.  His literary accomplishments also include a number of poems published in a variety of literary journals and anthologies. He has also had several articles published in well know publications such as Cape Cod Life and Encyclopedia of New England. Conway’s experience extends over 20 years, including his time working as a newspaper reporter and editor as publications such as The Taunton Daily Gazette, The Providence Journal, The Waltham Daily News, and The Attleboro Sun.

Conway has no intention on stopping here. He will soon be working on his third edition to the Leslie/ Byrne story.

Ambassador Young to speak at MLK breakfast

December 23, 2010

BE047239Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, who stood side by side with Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, will be the featured speaker at UMass Dartmouth’s 9th annual MLK breakfast on January 28 at 8:30 a.m. at the University’s Woodland Commons. “Andrew Young is one of the true champions of the civil rights movement and we are very fortunate as a University and as a community to have this opportunity to hear his perspective on both past and current events,” UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. Read more

We’re just getting started!

October 30, 2010

weekendJoin Chancellor MacCormack, faculty, students and staff on a video tour of our campus. Play video

Take a walk in UMD forest Nov. 3

October 29, 2010

foliageJoin Rupert Grantham, Forester with Walden Forest Conservation, on Nov. 3 at noon as he leads a tour of the campus forest looking at forest cover types, land-use history and other unique features. More

Partnership with U.S. Army aimed to enhance textile industry competitiveness

October 29, 2010

flagUMass Dartmouth engineering faculty and students are working with the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center to develop digital high-speed textile printing processes and technology that will produce specialized camouflage clothing and equipment that will help soldiers blend with the landscape and minimize heat transfer, making them invisible to infrared sensors. More

Marine renewable energy initiative launched

October 29, 2010

marinerenewableThe SouthCoast congressional delegation has joined, state officials in support of UMass Dartmouth’s plans to develop a 300 square mile marine renewable energy technology test bed in ocean waters just south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. More

Get ready for Alumni & Family Weekend

September 14, 2010

alumfamilyRegister today for the Sept. 24-26 Alumni & Family Weekend, which will feature art shows, classes, breakfast with the deans and provost, a tour of UMass Law and, of course the UMD v. Plymouth State football game.