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“Every voice is important and should be heard, especially when you want to understand what alumni and students value most about their UMass experience,” says the newly-appointed president of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association, Michaella Morzuch ’03, ’08 MPPA. “One of my goals is to ensure that the Alumni Association’s programs and services are meeting alumni needs and represent the priorities of our UMass community.”  Read more...
“I’ve been far less troubled in my life by the fact that I can’t walk than by all the barriers that I encounter in the world,” says longtime disability rights advocate Laura Rauscher ’82, ’00 MEd. “For so many of us with disabilities, a lot of the difficulties we encounter are social constructions that can and should change. The Americans with Disabilities Act has been phenomenally important in moving toward that goal.” Read more...

As president and chief executive officer of the global medical technology firm Anika Therapeutics, Charles Sherwood ’72 MA, ’77 PhD is invested in the sciences at UMass Amherst. He supports the Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) program and is involved in research, faculty development and industry relations through the College of Natural Sciences. Read more...

“People are not expressing themselves at their highest level,” says Susan Callender ’86, founder of the etiquette training firm Oh My Gauche! “They are far too concerned with appearing easygoing and casual in their communications and professional presentation when in fact, this is a delineating factor between those who get the jobs they want and those who are left behind.”  Read more...

There is a burgeoning conversation about sexual assault and relationship abuse in this country. Central to this discussion is Jackson Katz ’82─educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender and violence. Katz is the founder and director of the Long Beach, California-based MVP Strategies, which provides gender violence prevention education and training.  Read more...

Seventy years after American forces invaded the Philippine island of Cebu during World War ll, David Colamaria ’94 stood beside a monument to the brave soldiers who retook the island from the Japanese army. The Massachusetts Army National Guard’s 182nd Infantry Regiment took part in the amphibious assault in March 1945, with Colamaria’s grandfather among them. Read more...

No one tells you about being a mom. Yes, there are parenting books, magazines and websites galore, but they lack the frontline accounts, from exasperation to exhilaration, that you can only get from a mother. Enter Mamalode. What started as a local magazine, co-founded by Dori Gilels ’91, is now a multi-media company for moms, by moms. Read more...

Though soft-spoken, Razia Karim ’17 MEd is resolute in her goal to change the lives of Afghan women through education. “Change is happening and there is increasing support for women’s education,” the graduate student says, “but there are still many cultural barriers preventing women from participating in higher learning and many other aspects of society.” Read more...
Newly graduated from UMass Amherst and working his first job in advertising, Kenji Summers ’08 had never traveled abroad. Realizing that he was missing an important life experience, he got his first passport and celebrated his 23rd birthday in Barcelona, Spain. The trip sparked a passion in Summers for international travel, cultural exchange and self-awareness that he continues to impart to other young people through his organization, Passport Life. Read more...

The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it will soon decide whether all 50 states must allow same-sex marriage. This impending decision is the culmination of years of work by advocates like Fran Hutchins ’13 MBA, MPPA who are fighting for equal rights for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Read More ...

“Music is the most effective form of communication because it affects more than just the intellect,” says cultural historian and author Dennis McNally ’78 PhD. In his new book, On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom, he depicts the long relationship between white people and black music that has shifted mainstream culture. Read More...