The faculty and staff of the Graduate Programs in Conflict Resolution are saddened with the death of Joseph Morrissey, a young and accomplished alumnus of their department.
Morrissey, a 2005 graduate of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, was manager of the State Street Foundation for North America and Asia Pacific. In this role, he oversaw the foundation’s philanthropic activities across the North American and Asia Pacific regions. Additionally, he directed the foundation’s grant making operations worldwide, spanning thirty eight locations across twenty five countries. Under his leadership, the foundation’s primary focus was on initiatives to help disadvantaged populations obtain the skills required to compete in 21st century knowledge-based economy.
According to Eben Weitzman, department chair, “Joe was a fine young man - bright, enthusiastic, gregarious, generous with his classmates, and devoted to making a difference and a contribution to the world he lived in.”
Dean Ira A. Jackson, who took the helm of the college in early January, offered his condolences to Morrissey’s wife, Cristina, and their two boys, Tristan and Samuel. In a letter of March 18, he wrote, “I am a new dean and didn’t have the chance and privilege to get to know Joe personally but I simply wanted you to know that Joe’s legacy lives on here at his alma mater. He was proud to call himself a UMass Boston grad and we were and remain proud to call him one of our own.”
In addition to his professional activities at State Street, Morrissey had a deep commitment to volunteer with the youth of Boston through his Outside the Box/Inside the Ring project. Co-created by Morrissey during his final year of graduate studies, Outside the Ring a 10-lesson conflict resolution curriculum initially targeted at the middle-school level. Today, it serves a variety of audiences including classroom teachers, policymakers (e.g., school administrators, school boards, legislators), youth and peer leaders, researchers, and non-governmental organizations. It is designed to be activity driven and free for non-commercial, educational use.
Joseph Morrissey will be remembered in high esteem by the UMass Boston community. Jackson notes, “He serves as a role model for what we want our graduates to become and to stand for.”
Morrissey also earned his bachelor’s degree at UMass Boston and completed the Emerging Leaders Program in our College of Management.