2022 2022: Year in Review: Top stories of 2022
Year in Review: Top stories of 2022

A year full of momentum, accomplishments, and successes

What a year! 2022 flew by at UMass Dartmouth! Check out this quick recap to see some of the highlights.

The new year is almost here, and as campus gears up for 2023, take some time to reflect on all the amazing things that happened in 2022. Through student, faculty, staff, and alumni success and accomplishments, the University continued to build momentum. We can’t wait to see what happens next year!

Faculty and student research team uncover mysteries of black holes

Assistant Professor Scott Field (Mathematics) and graduate students Tousif Islam and Feroz H. Shaik found the first evidence of a black hole moving at high-speed, clocked at roughly 3 million miles per hour, caused by a collision between two black holes. "We weren't setting out to look for this," said Field. "There were about 90 signals we were analyzing and this one led to a brand-new discovery."

Nursing faculty awarded grant to develop training in the treatment of opioid use disorder

College of Nursing & Health Sciences faculty members Professor Mary McCurry, Associate Professor Monika Schuler, Associate Professor Jennifer Viveiros, Assistant Professor Shannon Avery-Desmarais, and Assistant Professor Mirinda Tyo were part of a research team that was awarded a two-year $595,485 grant from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE). Their research aims to develop an evidence-based toolkit of high-fidelity simulations for college nursing students to address stigma toward populations with opioid use disorder.

$4.3M grant received for continuation of marine technology research

The grant will fund projects that focus on supporting the blue economy and offshore wind sectors through remote underwater sensing, battery performance for autonomous vehicles, oxidation mitigation for naval vessels, predictive modeling algorithms, and the use of autonomous vehicles to survey coastal environments. This most recent award is the third in a series that includes $8.8M in previous funding for marine technology research.

Men's Basketball reaches Sweet Sixteen round in NCAA D3 tournament

After dominating the regular season and beating Nazareth College in the round of 32, the team won the second-most games in program history (26-4) and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008-09. The Corsairs faced the overall number one seed Randolph–Macon College, who ended a historic season for the Men's team. 

Physics student becomes first-ever recipient of Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Mckenzie Ferrari '23 was named a 2022 Goldwater Scholar, becoming the first recipient of the prestigious recognition in UMass Dartmouth's history. Congress established the highly competitive scholarship in 1986 in honor of Senator Barry Goldwater. Ferrari received the award for her research accomplishments in astrophysics. "Being named a Goldwater Scholar has already connected me with thousands of previous Scholars, all of whom are willing to share advice about their careers and provide support to younger students. I hope to take what I learn from them and give back to the UMassD community," says Ferrari.

McKenzie Ferrari student headshot
Mckenzie Ferrari named the University's first-ever Goldwater Scholar

Historic $73M investment in LARTS

State funding provided UMassD with $73M to upgrade the campus's main academic facility, the Liberal Arts Building (LARTS). This funding will enhance classrooms, labs, offices, and student meeting spaces. The project will also address deferred maintenance needs in the campus's most trafficked building, which contains classrooms that support many programs in STEM fields, the humanities, social sciences, and student support centers.

Class of 2022 celebrates during Commencement Ceremonies

The University held Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2022. Family, friends, faculty, and staff crowded the Cressy Football Field to hear inspiring speeches and cheer on the graduates as they crossed the stage. The University conferred 1,800 undergraduate and graduate degrees on students representing 257 cities and towns in Massachusetts, 39 states, and 32 countries.

$750K in funding to support hands-on learning internships in growing offshore wind industry

Students from across the region will now have career-relevant paid internships and experiential learning opportunities in the offshore wind industry through a program entitled Closing the Experience Gap. This growing economic sector in nearby waters will bring 120 students together for project-based learning with industry experts.

University ranked #1 for student voting amongst Massachusetts public institutions

Washington Monthly named UMassD one of America's Best Colleges for Student Voting through voting engagement data. UMass Dartmouth ranked #2 in Massachusetts and was #1 for public institutions in Massachusetts. Also, the campus is now home to a voting precinct for the Town of Dartmouth, making voting even easier for students.

Medical Laboratory Science program receives $750,000 to diversify the life sciences

With a 100% employment rate and a 100% pass rate on MLS professional certification, UMass Dartmouth's MLS program is ranked as one of the top programs in the country and one of the most diverse science programs on campus. The funding will help update student learning laboratory facilities so students can work on equipment that will benefit them in the future to fulfill life science workforce needs.

Program rankings climb in latest U.S. News & World Report

The University was once again a leader in the Top Performers on Social Mobility, ranking 69 in the nation and 2 in Massachusetts. But this year saw academic programs spotlighted. The Charlton College of Business ranked 144 in the country for Top Business Programs, up from 195 in 2020. The College of Engineering climbed ten spots to 137 in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. The College of Nursing & Health Sciences moved up three spots to 93 in the Undergraduate Nursing Program.

Biodegradability Lab to study microplastics opens at SMAST

The $1.2M state-of-the-art research, learning, and product development laboratory in the School for Marine Science & Technology supports the development of biodegradable materials and ocean-safe plastics. The lab was designed to measure the biodegradation of products in environmental systems where plastic waste persists, including landfills, oceans, wastewater, soil, and compost.

UMassBRUT campaign wins Docomomo US Modernism in America Award

The collaborative campaign between UMass Dartmouth and UMass Amherst received a Docomomo US Modernism in America Inventory/Survey Award of Excellence for its efforts to raise awareness and appreciation of the significant Brutalist structures that shape much of both campuses.

UMass Law faculty and students head to Joint Base Cape Cod to assist migrants

In September, when nearly 50 migrants from Venezuela were transported to Joint Base Cape Cod (JBCC) after being flown to nearby Martha's Vineyard, Professor Hillary Farber, Assistant Professor Roni Amit, and two Spanish-speaking law students Isabel Gonzalez and Carolina Echavarria sprang into action. The group provided legal assistance, interviewed, researched, and contacted lawyers to take the cases of the immigrants.

Astronaut Scott Tingle '87 returns to campus to meet senior engineering majors
NASA Astronaut Scott Tingle '87 signs autographs and poses for pictures with students

Astronaut Scott Tingle returns to campus to discuss importance of STEM

Mechanical engineering alum and NASA astronaut Scott Tingle '87, Captain, U.S. Navy (retired), visited his alma mater to recap his mission to the international space station, shared how his education in STEM prepared him for his career, and answered questions about working for NASA, attending graduate school, his favorite classes, and reusable rockets.

Women’s Volleyball has historic season 

After wrapping up one of the best regular seasons in program history, the three-seed Corsairs hosted a playoff match for the first time since 2001. Though the team was upset in the first round, Emily Pogorelec became the first Little East Conference (LEC) Defensive Player of the Year and second Rookie of the Year in program history, sophomore Kate Wade was selected First Team All-LEC, and Head Coach Justin Turco is the second LEC Coach of the Year in program history.

Charlton College of Business hosts multiple entrepreneurial events during Global Entrepreneur Week

This fall, the Charlton College of Business revived the Corsair Idea Challenge, which awarded $500, $300, and $200 cash prizes to engineering and business majors looking to fund innovative products and services. Simultaneously, the college hosted the SouthCoast region's Global Entrepreneurship Week activities, highlighted by five UMassD students of Downtown NB, a New Bedford-specific restaurant review app.

Blue & Gold Weekend features reunions, inaugurations, and UMassD pride

On October 14 and 15, UMass Dartmouth held its annual Blue & Gold Weekend homecoming celebration that saw thousands of students, families, alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the SouthCoast community come to campus. The weekend was full of fun with food trucks, carnival games, a DJ, student performances, and matches by Corsair Athletics teams. At the end of the night, the 5th Quarter party had live music while a fantastic fireworks display towered over campus. The weekend also featured the Inauguration of Chancellor Fuller as the sixth Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth since the campus joined the UMass System.

BGW Family posing on walkway
Blue & Gold Weekend brought together the entire UMassD community, including parents and families

Diversity & Career Conference held on campus to give opportunities to diverse students eager to break into business and tech careers

Tribe Academy’s Diversity & Career Conference, one of the region's most dynamic and engaging diversity-focused career events for college students and early career professionals, connected more than 150 diverse students with top corporations in tech, finance, and like Dell Technologies, Wayfair, Fidelity Investments, Amica Insurance, and more. The session included keynote addresses from experienced corporate leaders who have advanced their careers and a panel featuring early-career professionals of color.

For 11th year in a row, University named one of the nation's most sustainable colleges

Once again, UMass Dartmouth has been named one of the nation's most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges: 2023 Edition. One of the most recent sustainability projects was the replacement of 22,000 outdated light bulbs, which were updated to high-efficiency LED bulbs that will reduce the University’s greenhouse gas emissions by 3%.

Football wins League Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance

The Corsairs became the 2022 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Champions for the first time in program history and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. During the regular season, the team possessed the 15th highest-powered offenses in the nation, averaging 42.1 points per game, and had the best defense in the MASCAC, allowing only 18.8 points per game. The Corsairs ended their season in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Ithaca College.

SMAST student returns from the North Pole

Just in time for the holidays, marine science and technology master’s student Marcia Campbell returned from the North Pole. Campbell spent nearly two months collecting carbon levels in the ocean at different latitudes on the way to and from the Pole. As one of the planet’s key carbon sinks, monitoring the Pole’s carbon levels is vital.