Corsairs soar to new heights
With the semester almost over and the new year almost upon us, let's look back at the extraordinary things the UMassD community accomplished in 2023.
On January 10, UMassD hosted a roundtable discussion on climate change, sustainability, and workforce development led by Governor Healey and Lt. Governor Driscoll - their first trip outside the State House since being sworn into office. While on campus, the Governor met with students researching climate change.
Eugénie Ouedraogo, an advocate for affordable child care and nursing student, attended President Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren. "Eugénie is the perfect example of why we need to make bigger investments in child care. She knows firsthand the struggle to find high-quality affordable care," Warren said.
Thousands of students, family, and friends visited campus in May to celebrate the incredible Class of 2023. "After today, we are going into different avenues of life. Some of us will continue our education to be doctors, lawyers, artists, scientists, business executives, nurse practitioners, and so much more. I am proud of all of us. Once a Corsair, always a Corsair!" said student Commencement Speaker Anne Jean ('23).
By beating Eastern Connecticut State, Softball won their first-ever tournament crown. Finishing with at least 30 wins for the second straight season, the Corsairs headed to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 1990.
Senior interior architecture and design (IAD) students partnered with CO-OP, a nonprofit that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to design a complete first-floor renovation, adding ADA and Universal compliant designs to CO-OP headquarters, formerly a warehouse building.
Whether or not you’re into comics, you’ve seen Craig Rousseau’s (’93) work. Rousseau was an illustration student who hand-placed letters on the iconic welcome sign at the entrance to campus before he went on to work with Marvel and DC Comics. Since then, he’s become well-known worldwide for his work on Harley Quinn, Batman Beyond, and Impulse comic books.
Associate Professor Arpita Joardar (Management & Marketing) and Associate Professor Shakhnoza Kayumova (STEM Education & Teacher Development) were named U.S. Fulbright Scholars. The prestigious designation allows recipients to engage in cutting-edge research. Joardar will teach international management at the Indian Institute of Management Indore, and Kayumova will research equity in STEM education in Uzbekistan.
Besides being an SMAST student, Megan Winton is a staff scientist at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, where she tracks Great Whites off the coast of Cape Cod - the densest white shark hotspot in the world. Winton and her team were featured in Nat Geo TV's Sharkfest special "Return of the White Shark" and the documentary "After the Bite," which explores how the increasing shark population has impacted the Cape Cod community.
Students traveled to Akureyri, Iceland, to get practical microbiology fieldwork experience work by collecting microorganism samples and analyzing them in the lab. "The experiences I took away from this trip are invaluable to a graduating biologist," said Aiden Braastad ('23). "Firsthand experience is everything in science, and this trip was exactly that and so much more."
Associate Professor Xiaofei Jia (Chemistry and Biochemistry) and his graduate and undergraduate research team will explore how the virus hides the infection from the immune system to help inform different treatment methods and the creation of potential cures.
A team of engineering students are preparing to take their passion project, the Baja car, on the road. They are working to bring the vehicle to racing standards in time to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers Baja International race in southern California next spring.
Undergrad students who took Finance 301: Financial Analysis managed real money in a fund that performed 7.12% better than the S&P 500, the best performance in the UMass system. Once the fund reaches a certain threshold, the UMass Foundation will take a share of the gains and distribute them as financial aid and scholarships to UMassD students.
UMassD's quickly growing Esports teams have a new headquarters in a former Library equipment storage room that was transformed into a modern, branded arena with 11 new cutting-edge gaming stations. Much of the equipment was donated through a corporate partnership with technology company CDW.
For the second year in a row, the Corsairs finished first in the MASCAC before heading to their second New England Bowl appearance in the last three years. This past season, the team was 9-2 overall and 7-1 in conference play.
The team took home their first-ever league championship after an electrifying season. The Corsairs had their most successful season to date with an overall record of 20-6 and an undefeated LEC record of 8-0 with both a regular season LEC Championship and a Tournament Championship.
With emergency shelters nearing their limit to house migrant families, UMass Law students and faculty assisted the Commonwealth by volunteering alongside state officials as interviewers and interpreters as each family's legal situation was assessed. The screenings also helped to identify the families' needs for additional legal assistance and other resources.