The University of Massachusetts Boston earned national recognition last week for its support of university employees serving in the Massachusetts National Guard and Reserve.
UMass Boston was honored last week with an Above and Beyond Award from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the U.S. Defense Department. The award recognizes employers “who provide extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who … have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Thomas Boyle, the chairman of ESGR in Massachusetts.
ESGR first recognized UMass Boston in May, when Associate Dean of Students Mark Jannoni won a “Patriot Award" for his work on behalf of enlisted students.
“Student veterans had come to my office looking for advice on how to work with professors around excused absences when they had to fulfill military obligations,” Jannoni said.
Collaborating with the students and Paul Dyson, a lecturer in the English department, Jannoni devised a policy for students trying to balance school and service. After the student veterans nominated Jannoni for the Patriot Award, ESGR submitted the information to its Above and Beyond committee, which gives 25 annual awards to institutions that offer extraordinary support to military members. UMass Boston was named as an honoree on August 9.
“I am honored and humbled to have my work recognized not only by the Secretary of Defense, but the students here at UMass Boston,” Jannoni said. “The Above and Beyond award was bestowed to UMass Boston because of the commitment that the university has to ensuring that our veteran students, who have dedicated their lives serving our country, are supported and have positive experiences on campus as they transition back to civilian life.”