Thank you Your generosity keeps every UMass Boston student learning remotely.

Between March 12 and August 31, the Beacon Student Aid Fund has provided financial support awards to 199 students, thanks to your donations. These students and their families can now use the Beacon Student Aid Fund awards for urgent needs like groceries, medications, and a safe place to live. Additionally, 100% of students who have requested a sponsored Chromebook have received the technology they need to stay engaged in their remote coursework.

As the global pandemic continues to impact every aspect of daily life, we know that you and your loved ones feel the strain, and yet you have made it a priority to help our UMass Boston students. Your gifts to our Beacon Student Aid Fund, Scholarship Aid, and areas of greatest need are directly assisting students and their families. Moreover, gifts to every corner of campus ensure that while our operations may remain largely online in 2020, our teaching, research, and community engagement will not falter. Thank you for the resources, hope, and resilience that your gift has imparted.

You may not know them, but they appreciate you.

Unrestricted giving has a HUGE impact

Your gifts to unrestricted designations support countless initiatives, like career-launching student/faculty research and collaboration

When biology major Brianna Leonardo ’19 spent the summer of her senior year doing research with Associate Professor of Engineering Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli, she thought her work could ultimately reduce the over-use of antibiotics. Together they created a paper test able to differentiate between viral infections and bacterial infections, reducing misdiagnoses and improving treatment.

By the spring semester, though, Brianna was using that experience to create a paper-based test to identify oysters contaminated with Vibrio, a bacteria that might cause food poisoning. Developed with Professor of Biology Michael Shiaris and Associate Professor of Sustainability and Food Solutions Michael Tlusty, Brianna’s new application of the paper-testing technology could have a huge economic impact: each year $319 million is lost when commercial oyster beds are shut down out of fear of Vibrio infection.

Thanks to this interdisciplinary research experience, Brianna was well prepared to step into her first job after college, as a clinical research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. Meanwhile, Professor Hamad-Schifferli has pivoted her lab’s research focus to investigate how that same inexpensive paper test might be used for COVID-19 diagnostics.

Learning continues, thanks to you.

Alumna Establishes the Mary Thistle '83 and Family Endowed Scholarship Fund

Ms. Thistle is a College of Management Advisory Board member. Her new fund will provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Management.

This endowed scholarship will have a perpetual and permanent impact on the lives of students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Management by offering financial resources and encouragement through an annual award. Mary will have the opportunity to meet the “Thistle Scholars” at an annual scholarship event.

We acknowledge with gratitude the generous commitment from Mary and thank her for her leadership on the advisory board, her personal and meaningful discussions with students in the Women Beacons of Business Program, and now her generous philanthropic investment and support of students.

Students Rally for One Another

Undergraduate students Gillian Benoit, Steven Marstjepovic, and Nike Asupoto created UMBeTogether as a place for students to connect virtually during isolation. Students can engage around hobbies and interests, make new friends during quarantine, and share resources. The social aspect of college may feel stymied right now, but these students are not taking it lying down.

Read how UMBeTogether is connecting students to share skills and interests remotely.

Beacon Student Aid Fund Delivers Hope

The Beacon Student Aid Fund exists to help students solve an immediate problem through a one-time grant. This fund was created in 2017 to help our most vulnerable students access emergency funds when an unanticipated event occurred, but in the age of COVID-19 the need has increased substantially. Donations directly benefit students as they secure basic needs like food, housing, and medical care. Beacon Student Aid Fund applicants are also connected with financial aid advisors, academic coaching resources, and other support systems throughout the university.

Good News from Columbia Point

Jack Carvalho '92 donates $100,000 to Beacon Student Aid Fund

"'I am very proud to be a Beacon,' Carvalho said. 'So many students are facing a challenging time. I hope that this gift will encourage an outpouring of support from my fellow alumni and friends of UMass Boston to contribute to this fund. We are all in this together; let’s help these kids out.'"

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh creates COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force

"As confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Boston, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a new COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force to provide guidance to the City of Boston on addressing current inequities in data analysis, testing sites, and health care services for Blacks, Latinos, Asians and immigrants."

Important work from the Gastón Institute highlights COVID-19 effects on minority populations

Gastón Institute Releases Key Research About COVID-19 Impact on Massachusetts Latinos

"The race and ethnicity of 35 percent of COVID-19 cases are unknown in Massachusetts. Of the known cases, however, the racial-ethnic disproportionality is evident. Cases among Blacks account for 14.4 percent of the total cases although they account for 7 percent of the state’s population, while Latinos (who make up 12.3 percent of the state’s population) account for 30 percent of all COVID-19 cases. That's higher than the 24 percent when the snapshot below was taken on May 4."

Donor support enables the Gastón Institute to do this incredibly valuable work for the community, shining a light on inequity in the midst of a global health crisis.

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Thank you, Beacons.