Luncheon Honors Faculty, Staff, Student Researchers
January 17, 2012
In his nearly 30 years as the graduate program director for the Department of Computer Science, Dan Simovici has authored, coauthored, and edited 18 books and 145 papers.
Robert Weiner, a professor of political science and graduate program director of international relations, has presented more than 100 papers at scholarly conferences and seminars, and authored or edited more than 20 book chapters, articles, and book reviews since arriving at UMass Boston in 1964.
College of Management senior Daniel Muwamba was awarded the Best Paper Award in the social sub-theme category of the 2011 World Youth Leaders Forum for his analysis, “Nonprofit Organization Service Delivery Amidst the Financial Crisis.”
During a luncheon last month, the Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives (OVPRSI) Zong-Guo Xia recognized the three men, along with all of the university’s faculty, staff, and student researchers. This is the fifth consecutive year the OVPRSI and its subordinate unit, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP), have hosted the event.
“In my twenty years of research administration, I have never seen an institution take the time to say thank you,” said Matthew Meyer, the new associate vice provost for research and director of ORSP.
And there is a lot to be thankful for. Between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011:
- 36 books were published by faculty members, 26 from the College of Liberal Arts alone
- $54 million in external research funding was received, with the Institute of Community Inclusion bringing in $18 million
Xia said that more than 140 graduate and undergraduate students published full-length papers in peer-reviewed journals, books, and conference proceedings in that same period.
“As we move forward, you have an obligation to keep us on track, to make sure we are deeply rooted in our tradition, that we never forget why we are here. We are here because of our students,” Xia told faculty and staff members.
Muwamba, who will graduate in June, said the support he received from UMass Boston faculty was invaluable.
“Without UMass Boston's support I would not have been able to write a paper that was worthy of recognition,” Muwamba said. “I had to work closely with (Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program) Rajini Srikanth and (Honors Coordinator) Joyce Morrissey to make the deadlines. It was a challenge collecting the materials, reading, and proofing them, but with the support of these two fantastic women I was able to go forward with the paper.
“The Office of International and Transnational Affairs was also very helpful in handling the travel preparations so I didn’t have to worry about anything on top of the paper.”
Chancellor J. Keith Motley applauded the university’s efforts, saying that it is because of the innovative and creative approaches UMass Boston faculty takes to teaching that they can successfully compete for public service contracts and research grants.
“Our teaching, our research, our scholarship, our innovative ideas, and our creative pursuits are now and forever intertwined. They are the basis upon why we are fast gaining recognition as one of the nation’s top urban public research universities,” Chancellor Motley said.
“Part of the mission of this university is to see to it that we will insist on combining our approaches and combining our languages—that cognitive diversity be part of what we seek,” added Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Winston Langley.
“We need to remember what distinguishes us from Harvard, MIT, and other prestigious universities,” Xia said. “You chose to be here because of our public and urban mission.”
Xia says goals for 2012 include the expansion and strengthening of the undergraduate research experience, a significant increase in funding for undergraduate research, and the creation of awards for outstanding undergraduate research and undergraduate research mentors.
“In the end, it is up to our graduates to, when they get out of UMass Boston, do what you have been doing,” Xia told the assembled faculty and staff members at the luncheon. “The chain reaction has enormous power. Their accomplishments, their impact across the world, will make us a truly distinguished urban public research university.”
Learn more about the university's research efforts by checking out RISC Quarterly.