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Digest: Volume 3, Issue 3
June 2014


Robert F. Leduc '78 Asks Graduates to "Share Your Wealth"  

At this year's commencement for the Charlton College of Business, Robert F. Leduc '78 returned to UMass Dartmouth, his alma mater, to deliver the main address and received an honorary doctorate degree in business.

Robert Leduc is a Fall River native, who with his sister, were the first in his family to attend college. After graduating from UMass Dartmouth in 1978 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, he started his career as an engineer at Pratt & Whitney.

‌Mr. Leduc enjoyed a 36-year career at United Technologies Corporation, and retired in 2014 after serving 10 years as the president of Hamilton Sunstrand Flight Systems. Through the years at Pratt & Whitney, he rose through positions of increasing responsibility to become executive vice president and chief operating officer of United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney business unit in 2000. During his tenure with the corporation, he served as chief operating officer, executive vice president, and then president of Commercial Engines, Pratt's largest business segment. He has been a leader in the aircraft industry for decades. Mr. Leduc also served as a board member of the Wings Club.

Since his retirement, Mr. Leduc is currently serving as an advisor at Advent International, one of the world's largest international private equity firms.

To the graduating class, Mr. Leduc offered them five pieces of advice: 1. To continually question so that they can better understand; 2. To know what is inside the box when they are thinking outside the box; 3. To not be afraid of failure; 4. to respect their colleagues and customers; and 5. to live with integrity, both morally and ethically. He attributed these five pieces of advice as his building blocks of leadership.

Robert Leduc is also known for his commitment to giving back to his alma mater and to the community. Since 2010, he has‌served as a trustee of the UMass Dartmouth Foundation. He and his wife, Jeanne, founded the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement in 2011 to encourage students to apply their learning to benefit their communities. Through Robert Leduc's encouragement, United Technologies Corp./Aerospace Systems has sponsored a College of Engineering Capstone Senior Design Project for the past two academic years.

To end his address, he counseled the graduates that their careers were only a small part of their lives. He asked them to share their wealth because there is no greater cause then helping others. In receiving his honorary degree, Mr. Leduc serves as a civically-engaged role model. In his address, he exemplified what it means to be a leader.

Editor's Note: To watch the Charlton College of Business' commencement, please click here. Mr. Robert Leduc's speech starts at the 1:09:14 marker.

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UMass Dartmouth Student
Receives Prestigious Newman Award

This article originally appeared in
The Standard Times on
June 8 2014
Click here to read the original article

UMass Dartmouth junior Jacob Miller, a dual Political Science and English major with a minor in Leadership and Civic Engagement, is a recipient of the 2014 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows Award. This prestigious award recognizes student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community. Students were selected based on their public involvement and motivation to create lasting change, actions that inspire not only their fellow students, but their entire campus and surrounding communities. Jacob joins a group of 197 student leaders from colleges nationwide who have been recognized.

"Jacob is well-deserving of the Newman Civic Fellows Award and I'd like to congratulate him on his achievements," said Massachusetts State Representative William Straus. "Although he has many accomplishments to-date, I'm sure this is just the beginning of Jacob's commitment to learning and assisting residents throughout the Commonwealth and I look forward to hearing much more about his successes in the future."

Jacob was recently elected by his peers as Student Trustee to serve on the University of Massachusetts Board Of Trustees. Jacob has also served in various capacities in student government, including Class of 2016 Senator and Recording Secretary. In addition, he serves as the Student Coordinator for UMass Dartmouth's community service collaborative SouthCoast Serves.

Jacob is a Fairhaven native, and his active involvement in local civic engagement initiatives have helped improve the SouthCoast community. Jacob has played an integral role in the restoration of Tonnessen Square Park in New Bedford; establishment of the New Bedford Seaport Cultural District by the Massachusetts Cultural Council Board; development of a service-learning curriculum for the Dartmouth Public School system; and creation of a new student meal plan which includes three downtown New Bedford eateries. While serving as a legislative intern for Senator Mark Montigny, Jacob worked diligently to help pass healthcare legislation which made it easier for students to remain with their less-expensive plans under the state's Health Connector.

The Newman Civic Fellows Award is named for Dr. Frank Newman, one of the founders of Campus Compact, who dedicated his life to creating opportunities for student civic learning and engagement. Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents -representing some 6 million students - who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation.

Editor's Note: Jacob Miller is also an Endeavor scholar and one of last year's recipients of the Dukakis Internship.

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Endeavor Students Showcase
How They are Changing the World

On April 24, 2014, UMass Dartmouth Endeavor Scholars presented at the "Endeavor to Change the World" event, which took place on campus at Woodland Commons. The evening included presentations by Endeavor Leadership Scholars and portfolio reviews showcasing how Endeavors scholars are changing the world.

The Endeavor Scholars program was established in 2010 as a result of a gift from an anonymous donor. Focused on expanding educational opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities, the Endeavor Scholarship rewards academic merit and leadership capability and provides recipients with a full-cost scholarship for eight semesters. As part of this program, awardees must fully engage in academic, as well as co-curricular activities, and reside in a living/learning environment on-campus with other Endeavor Scholars.

In addition to rigorous academic programming, the Endeavor Scholars spend many hours in leadership training/classes and community service. Each student must complete a Change Agent Project - a capstone project, in which they design and implement a program, event, or research project related to their passion for community service. The awardees represent a broad socio-economic range and academic interest. Mentorship and collaboration are critical underpinnings of this program's success.

At the event, the Class of 2014 Endeavor Scholars presented their portfolios and Change Agent projects by way of poster presentations throughout the event. The Poster Presentations covered diverse topics, from Reinventing the Remembrance Tree to Hope for Hospice. For a complete list of students who presented and their presentations and capstone projects, please click here.

The Endeavor Scholars program relies on partnerships at the local, regional, statewide, national, and international level to support students' efforts to be change agents. The Endeavor Scholar Program's partners include Our Sisters' School, ArtWorks!, RAW Haiti, Buttonwood Park Zoo, local K-12 schools, Boys & Girls Club of America, Ocean Explorium, YWCA SouthCoast, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Partners in Development, Inc.

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Congratulations to
This Year's Waxler Award Recipients!

This year, two UMass Dartmouth Seniors were the recipients of the Jonathan Blake Waxler Prize for Social Justice - Caitlin Moakley from Boston, and Marven Rhode-Hyppolite from Lynn - for their outstanding commitment to social change.

Marven Rhode-Hyppolite

Nominated for his involvement as a member of UMD PHENOM, a grass-roots organization of constituencies in Massachusetts public higher education and his position as President of the Student Government Association, Marven always "shows up". One of his contributions is the open forum where student issues are heard. He supports the activities of other campus groups and allies. For example, he testified at the State House in July 2013 in support of legislation that would allow all 5 UMass Student Trustees full voting rights. According to Professor Colleen Avedikian, Marven has demonstrated a commitment to educational opportunities, community involvement, and empowering students during his career as a UMass Dartmouth student. State Representative Christopher Markey also nominated Marven for the award, stating Marven "is committed to his University and his fellow classmates."


Caitlin Moakley

Outside of Habitat for Humanity, Caitlin also worked with on-campus dining locations to offer healthier options. Last‌‌semester, Caitlin was given the opportunity to speak in front of students, faculty, and staff during an open forum held by the Student Government Association. Caitlin spoke to the audience about the importance of more plant-based options and the benefits of having more sustainable food options on campus. Thanks to Caitlin and Campus Services, the University now has properly-labeled food items (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free); proper signage at the food carts; and a wider range of healthier options available all across campus.Known for her service as the President of the UMass Dartmouth Habitat for Humanity (HFH) club, Caitlin planned their annual Alternative Spring Break trip in 2013 that engaged 20 students on a trip to Cape Fear in Wilmington, NC. She also encouraged the club to be more involved in local opportunities and to bring justice to our community.

The Jonathan Blake Waxler Memorial Prize for Social Justice was established in 1996 to honor the memory of the beloved son of UMD English professor, Robert Waxler and his wife Linda. The prize recognizes students who have exhibited a dedication to social activism, advocacy, community organizing, or civic engagement as a way of enhancing the dignity of all people. The spirit of the prize is founded on Jonathan's belief and vision for a democratic society and his commitment to social justice, especially for those less fortunate than himself.

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