The University

UMass Boston: Discovering Your Future

J. Keith Motley, PhD, UMass Boston Chancellor | March 18, 2011

As I was reminded again last week, an education from the University of Massachusetts Boston can take you to unexpected places.

Last Tuesday UMass Boston students James Louis, Sandra Derstine, and Carly Hopwood found themselves up-close and personal with President Barack Obama as he discussed the future of American education.

Louis and Derstine are teaching biology and history, respectively, at TechBoston Academy as part of UMass Boston’s Teach Next Year program. Students participating in Teach Next Year study and lead classes at TechBoston Academy and Dorchester Academy, while earning their Massachusetts teachers’ licenses and master’s degrees. Hopwood is a school counseling intern on a field assignment at TechBoston from our College of Education and Human Development in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology.

TechBoston Academy was selected for a presidential visit as a model for academic success. With the help of UMass Boston graduates and students, the pilot school consistently outperforms other Boston Public Schools in retention, graduation, and college attendance rates. I’m proud of our students’ and graduates’ work and awed by the opportunities they’ve seized to make a difference. And I’m pleased that their educational path led them to meet the President of the United States.

You see, an education at UMass Boston can take you many places. It can land you in a canoe on the Neponset River helping high school students measure water pollution as you prepare for a career in conservation. You could find yourself leading a book club at the Boston Public Library while studying English, conducting research for a world-renowned advocate for peace while studying political science, working for a leading Boston hospital while studying to become a nurse, or interning at a social networking startup downtown through our Venture Development Center while earning a management degree.

You could even find yourself in a small village in Kenya, as a number of our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences have, setting up mobile health clinics to test for heart disease among the local population.

Whatever your intended path, at UMass Boston you’ll find world-class faculty members who are dedicated to your success, a diverse and motivated student body, and opportunities to do hands-on learning along the way. Our urban mission and location means that as a UMass Boston student, you’ll be helping us reach out and change the world: In every field we offer, there are chances to do real work with real people that improves our communities and opens opportunities for your own success.

And who knows? You could be among the next UMass Boston students to meet the president – or be the first to become president. Our deadline for freshman applications is April 1, 2011. We’d love to have you on campus. Find out how you can join us at