Admissions & Financial Aid

Meet Our Students

Frank Murray

Major: History
Minor: Criminal justice
Hometown: Boston, MA
Service: United States Marine Corps Sergeant

Why did you volunteer?

“I volunteered because my father had been in the service, so had my uncles.”

Where were you deployed? What was it like?

“I was deployed for most of my four years of active service. I spent most of my time in the Mediterranean training in Northern Africa and Southern Europe. I served in Kosovo, Central African Republic, and Kuwait. I have had the opportunity to be in Vatican City for midnight Mass, Israel on their Holocaust Memorial Day and have traversed both the Panama and Suez Canal.”

What was it like being a veteran and a student at UMass Boston?

“I work full time….I think most veterans view the opportunity for a college education with greater import. It is a mission to get the degree. The Marine Corps prepared me to face the challenges of school and work, the discipline to carry both.”

What do you like best about UMass Boston?

“I have enjoyed almost all of my classes here. I have had the luck of finding incredible teachers who have really taken an interest and have me looking forward towards a graduate degree and the possibility of studying in England.”

Any favorite teachers or experiences here?

“The History Department has some remarkable people here. I especially need to thank Professor Jonathan Chu and Professor Mary Ann Brink in the department and Professor Gerard Horgan in the criminal justice department. They have been challenging and supportive, and just great teachers.”


Travis Weiner

Majors: Environmental studies and criminal justice
Minor: Political science
Hometown: Upton, MA
Service: Army's 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 502nd Infantry Regiment;           
Sergeant. Machine Gunner, Company Radio Telephone Operator, and Infantry Fire Team Leader

What was it like being a veteran and a student at UMass Boston?

“Being a veteran and a UMass Boston student has been both an interesting and fulfilling experience. On the one hand, I am eternally grateful for the respect, praise, and understanding of the university community (students, staff, professors), and my fellow veterans. On the other, …I don't need/don't want my military experience to define me….”

Why did you volunteer?

“I volunteered to serve for a host of reasons, including but not limited to my idealistic desire to serve my country, promote democracy, help the needy, kill the bad guys, be a part of history, and win awards/badges/medals, and prove myself as a man.”

Where were you deployed? What was it like?

“I was deployed twice to Iraq, 2005-06, and 2007-08. The first time was worse than the second. It was surreal. Brief words/descriptions don't do it justice, but suffice to say it was unlike anything I expected. Confusing, Chaotic, Terrifying, Dull, Boring, Exciting, Infuriating….”

Any favorite teachers or experiences here?

“I had many classes and teachers that greatly, greatly influenced my time here. To mention but a few, War and American Culture with Paul Atwood, Evolutionary Biology, Intro to Environmental Policy and Management (Prof. Duff), Intro to Earth/Ocean/Environmental Sciences (Prof. Chen), The 60's, Criminology (Prof. Bersani), Genocide (Prof. Weiner), Criminology Capstone (Prof. Stern) and Moral and Social problems are only a few of the tremendously influential courses and professors I had during my time here.”

What do you like best about UMass Boston?

“What I like best about UMass Boston is the diversity and age of the student body and the professors. Learning from individual stories, personal experience, and life histories is invaluable….I found it a serious academic institution whereby if you showed professors that you were serious about your education, they would go ABOVE AND BEYOND to help you with the classes, your life, resumes, applications, job searches, internships, and on and on.”

“I learned about Big Brothers Big Sisters at the volunteer fair, 2009, for example - been with them ever since. “

What else would you like the world to know about you or veterans or the military?

“War is confusing, brutal, and insane. War often brings out the worst in people far more often than it brings out the best….I met many, many noble, good people in. Some men that were ten times the man I am, as skilled, brave, and tough as any man could ever be….I would urge individuals to check out organizations such as Iraq Vets Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and to read the works of Noam Chomsky, Tim O'Brien, Andrew Bacevich, Paul Atwood, Chris Hedges, and others, all decorated veterans, journalists, and academics who have written honestly about America, war, and the military.” 


  • Veterans Affairs ›
  • Campus Center, 4th Floor
  • 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • No appointment necessary
  • Phone: 617.287.5890
  • Fax: 617.287.6242

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