Meet Our Alumni
Deena Cummings '13
Major: Management, BS
Hometown: Foxboro, MA
Service: Army National Guard, Staff Sergeant – water purification and finance
“I re-enlisted three times, and have every intention of retiring from service well after 20 years.”
“Being a veteran and a student can be a little challenging,” she says. “I tended to look at world issues differently than people who never served...” And she feels the challenges are greater for those serving while studying. “Sometimes (my) training got in the way of school, and not all professors were understanding....” In fact, scheduling was a determining factor when she came to choosing a major – she found she needed a major that offered classes with evening options.
Scheduling was also central to Deena’s appreciation of the Campus Center, where she could find study places, food and other facilities at times later in the day.
Danny Hernandez, ‘11
Major: Management and Economics
Service: U.S. Army, Sergeant
Danny served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also took courses at the University of Alaska, and Cameron University in Oklahoma while on active duty. In his mid-twenties, after returning from deployment, he had a new perspective on things and, he says, “a new focus,” but still lacked the confidence to actually apply to a college. Fortunately, a connection at a VFW organization led him to a Veterans Upward Bound program where he was able to achieve the confidence to apply and get accepted to UMass Boston.
Now, with a degree in management from UMass Boston, experience as a tax examiner for the Department of Revenue, and a number of years with the Mass Bay Commuter Rail system, Danny credits some serendipity, his military service, and UMass Boston with supporting his success. Danny also says, “My family is my number one focus.” His wife (a fellow soldier whom he met in Iraq), and their three daughters bear testament to that.
Giving to UMass Boston
Your gift to the Veterans Support Fund helps veterans embrace a strong start or return to studies at UMass Boston.