UMass Boston

Student Spotlight on Academic Affairs

Student Spotlight on Academic Affairs provides an opportunity for the Provost’s Office to highlight myriad accomplishments throughout the course of the academic year whether it be as a university, college, department, center, institute or individual faculty or staff member. The primary objective is to share more broadly with the campus community the great work that takes place at UMass Boston. We hope you will enjoy reading these stories and look forward to being able tell your story. Thanks to our contributing student author Pancham Shah highlighted below.

Pancham Shah, Class of 2025

Chang headshot

Tina Chang is the inaugural Assistant Provost of Community and Executive Education at UMass Boston, bringing with her a wealth of experience and a dynamic vision for expanding the university's footprint through noncredit learning initiatives. 

Read more about Tina Chang






Baynard headshot 2


In a rapidly evolving educational landscape, the role of leaders is pivotal in shaping the experiences of graduate students. Tracy Baynard, the new Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education at UMass Boston, offers a glimpse into her vision and goals for the Graduate Education Office, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Read more about Tracy Baynard




Venky Venkatachalam


Venky Venkatachalam, PhD, Joined UMass Boston as the Dean of the College of Management for the 2022-2023 academic year, and he has been working daily to ensure his students succeed both inside and outside the classroom. 

Read more about Venky Venkatachalam




Awardees at the William Joiner Institute Gala.

William Joiner Institute, Veteran’s Excellence Award Gala
Read more about the William Joiner Institute gala.





Group of people at the Center Collaborative Leadership 20th anniversary.

Center for Collaborative Leadership - Where Leaders Are Born

On September 22, 2022, the first in-person gathering of the Center for Collaborative Leadership (CCL) took place here at UMass Boston in our Campus Center Ballroom. The theme of the night was centered around the unification and reunion not only with one another but the original mission of the Center, and overall, a more collaborative future. Their first event held after the pandemic was a success with 72 individuals in attendance, including 34 alums making for a small but intimate turnout.


Bo Fernhall

Bo Fernhall, Ph.D., joined the University in August 2022 as the new Dean of the Donna M. and Robert J. Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences. He is originally from Sweden but came to the United States for college and made the decision to stay after completing his degree. For the past twenty years, his experience has varied from being a Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Chair of the Exercise Science Department, and Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs. Most recently he was Dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences and a Professor of Kinesiology and Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago for eleven years.

Read more about Bo Fernhall




Stephanie Walker

Our new Dean of University Libraries, Stephanie Walker has traveled here from North Dakota on a mission, to help us - the students. This is her first time back in Boston since August 2006 when she worked at Harvard University Medical School but her third time being a Dean of Libraries. Walker returned for a few reasons, instead of building from scratch she was excited to be a part of something pre-established. She also knew as a first-generation student herself she could relate to over half of the student population at UMass Boston.

Read more about Stephanie Walker





Robert & Donna Manning

The University of Massachusetts system has received a $50 million cash gift from Robert and Donna Manning. The first $15 million is being distributed to the UMass Boston, College of Nursing and Health Sciences and it’s the largest gift that the university has ever received.

Read about the donation.









This year is newly appointed Dean of Faculty, Professor Rajini Srikanth’s 23rd year at UMass Boston. She started at the university in 1998 as an assistant professor in the English department and was tenured in 2004.

Read about Professor Rajini Srikanth







Susan Gauss


The subject of this week’s Student Spotlight on Academic Affairs is UMass Boston’s Honors College. Although the college was limited to remotely assisting students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honors College has hit the ground running with a transition to in-person learning through multiple ongoing initiatives, a supportive faculty, and an enthusiastic student body. At the helm of Honors College’s drive is Susan Gauss, the interim Dean of the Honors College, and an Associate Professor of Latin American and Iberian Studies.

Read about Susan Gauss