UMass Boston Mourns Project ALERTA, TAG Founder

Office of Communications | January 03, 2012
UMass Boston Mourns Project ALERTA, TAG Founder

Lucia Mayerson-David Worked at UMass Boston for Four Decades

The staff of the Institute for Learning and Teaching at the University of Massachusetts Boston is mourning the loss of its director and the founder of two of its programs, Project ALERTA and the Talented and Gifted (TAG) Latino Program. Lucia Mayerson-David passed away December 30 at the age of 64.

After graduating from UMass Boston in 1971 with a degree in economics, Mayerson-David was hired to work with the team planning the Institute for Learning and Teaching. The ILT focuses on university, school, and community partnerships, emphasizing urban and multicultural concerns.

In 1985, with the goal of increasing the retention and graduation rates of Latino students in Boston Public Schools, Mayerson-David founded TAG. Three years later, she founded Project ALERTA, which provides enrichment programs for Latino students and English language learners (ELL) in grades 3 through 5 in the Boston Public Schools for the primary purpose of helping improve their academic skills.

Mayerson-David became executive director of the ILT in 1997. In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama honored Mayerson-David with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in a ceremony at the White House.

“Our campus community has lost a tremendous person and tireless advocate for improving educational opportunity for underserved children,” said UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “We are so proud of Lucia’s work with young Latino and English language learners and in leading our Institute for Learning and Teaching. We are honored that the programs that she founded and nurtured here at the University of Massachusetts Boston—Project ALERTA and the Talented and Gifted Latino Program—have become models for expanding access to education and integral to furthering our urban mission.”

“While we grieve the loss of a dear colleague, we will strive to preserve Lucia’s legacy by continuing her efforts to improve the educational experiences of students in urban schools,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Winston Langley.

Mayerson-David was a member of several inter-collegiate committees and served as chair of the Latino Coalition, a group actively involved in the development of an agenda linking the university to the Latino community. She also was a member of several educational and political committees at the local and state level, including Governor Deval Patrick's Extended Teaching and Learning Time Subcommittee, and she served as vice president of OISTE, the Massachusetts Latino political organization.

About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit

Tags: ilt , project alerta , tag

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