March 2016
Liberal Arts alumnus succeeds in science management 
Two years ago, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI) Board of Trustees  appointed Michael R. Souza as president of HARI. A 1996 UMass Dartmouth graduate with a bachelor's degree in Humanities and Social Science (HSS), Souza oversees the day-to-day operations of the association, as well as advocates for Rhode Island hospitals and helps to influence public opinion and legislative outcomes. "The association collaborates with all Rhode Island hospitals and helps advocate for them on many local and state issues," Souza said. "For example, we help the hospitals deal with and fight budget cuts proposed by the governor."
Mike began fighting budget cuts and working with RI hospitals in 2009, after he had earned his Master of Science management degree from Bridgewater State College. At the time, he was the vice president of finance and senior vice president, who had the experience the association needed. "Mike's background and skills in hospital finance and reimbursement have strengthened the association," said the HARI Board of Trustees. "He brings vision, determination and a sense of humor to his work."
Mike's vision and determination began long before his work with HARI. Mike, a roll-up-your-sleeves type of guy, attended UMassD as a commuter from Fairhaven, MA. He worked part-time, owned a landscaping business, and went into property management. "I had the drive to do the best that I could and try to see the big picture," Souza said. "You can get so stuck in the weeds that you forget to see your goals."
Just like his goals, Mike's undergraduate education has helped him stay focused and successful. Twenty years later, the skills Mike learned as a Humanities and Social Science major (now called a Liberal Arts major) allow him to be an effective president. "In the liberal arts, it's not just about being able to write appropriately," he said. "It's about being able to take a large amount of information and make it smaller, it's about being able to summarize a 5-page document into bullet points, and it's about taking what you've put on paper and communicating that to others." 
Political Science professors say going local wins in party politics
With the presidential election 8 months away, Political Science professors Doug Roscoe and Shannon Jenkins just released their newest book which  demonstrates that party organization has remained critically important in American politics, especially at the local level. Local Party Organizations in the Twenty-First Century, published by State University of New York Press (SUNY Press), examines the central role of local political parties and the "electoral payoff" for candidates who are helped by more active parties at the local level.
Roscoe and Jenkins  utilized data collected from more than 1,100 local parties in forty-eight states, and learned about the changes in the local parties. "One of the key patterns we find in our data is a shift in local party activity toward more grass-roots activities like canvassing, placing lawn signs, voter registration and so on," Roscoe said. "Local parties are doing more with this kind of volunteer labor. We think this reflects an adaptation to a changing environment. More and more, candidates are coming back to the ground game."
Their research, which began as a pilot survey in 2008, was fully developed and in full swing by 2010. Roscoe and Jenkins borrowed from management theory and looked at the organizational culture of local political parties. They found that local parties are a valuable resource for campaigns, and local party activists are effective contributors to the campaigns they work for.

And according to Jenkins, local parties are  highly  adaptable.  "One of the key themes of our book is that political parties are remarkably adaptive organizations," Professor Jenkins said. "They have survived numerous challenges to their survival - the introduction of the secret ballot, the direct primary, and campaign finance to name a few. Despite this, they continue to remain relevant to candidates, politicians, and voters. The political landscape will continue to evolve, and so will political parties."
Emeritus Chancellor Professor of History Dr. Gerard Koot prepares for his 17th NEH summer seminar
On June 26th, Emeritus Chancellor Professor of History Dr. Gerard Koot begins his 17th National Endowment H summer seminar. The 5-week seminar, " The Dutch Republic And Britain: The Making Of A European World Economy" focuses on the economic rise of the Dutch Republic and the rise of Britain as the first industrial nation. The purpose is to investigate how a region of Northwestern Europe became the first in the world to develop a modern economy of sustained economic growth. The seminar is geared towards teachers in all areas, such as history, literature, art history, and  economics.

Over the years, his seminars have allowed more than 250 school teachers, selected from a national pools of applicants, to spend five weeks studying the origin and development of Europe's first modern economies. For Dr. Koot, he believes there is a devaluing of the importance of spending time on a subject. "My career wasn't just about scholarships," Koot said. "I believed in teaching just as much as research."

This belief still holds true for Dr. Koot. As a retired professor, he is still very involved in his field and with the UMass Dartmouth community. "When a historian retires, they don't stop being a historian," Koot said. In fact, Dr. Koot remains very committed to teaching. Over the last couple of years, he has taught in the Lifelong Learning Institute that caters to older adults. "I'm very committed to the mission of working with people in an area to improve the lives of people in that area," Koot said.  
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