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John W. McCormack School
of Policy and Global Studies
Transitions, Continuity, and Change
Dean's Message
Dean Rita Kiki Edozie
The Webster dictionary defines the word transition as the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. Returning from three semesters of remote learning and virtual working, fall 2021 marks several historic transitions at the John W McCormack School of Policy and Global Studies. Our current newsletter edition captures a transitional period – from May 2021 to date – where several changes occurred. In May, we ended a full academic year of virtual learning.

In July, we lost our beloved colleague, Senior Fellow of Practice, Robert “Bob” Turner, who passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer. Read the Boston Globe’s memorial tribute to Bob here. Later in July, McCormack bade farewell to its former highly accomplished Dean, David Cash, who served in that capacity for six years (2015-2021). In August, after serving the college as its Associate Dean for four years, I assumed the role of interim Dean, marking a new chapter at our small college-school that was once described by the Boston Herald (2010) as a “gift that keeps giving”! In the line of three previous Deans before me, (Steve Crosby, Ira Jackson, David Cash), I look forward to leveraging the rich legacies that they have used to build the McCormack School to become the “gift” today that the Herald described it as in 2010.

Nonetheless, given the incredulous political, social, and economic times that we contemporaneously find ourselves in in 2021- locally, nationally, and globally- particularly after a historic 2020 Presidential election and 2021 Boston Mayoral change of guard, as well as a global pandemic that stubbornly persists in taking the lives of so many; my leadership must mark a new chapter as well. In this regard, I hope to also fulfill McCormack’s (the late congressman and the college here at UMass Boston endowed in his name) vision of change and aspiration. You can read more about that vision herein the subsequent digital pages of the newsletter. Also read about many other remarkable accomplishments and events achieved and organized by McCormack students, faculty, staff, and community friends in recent past months. - Rita Kiki Edozie, Dean (interim)
McCormack Making a Difference
Interim Dean Rita "Kiki" Edozie
Faculty Spotlights
The start of a new academic year is a time of excitement, new beginnings, and reflection for students, faculty, and staff alike. This year, the McCormack Graduate School (MGS) is proud to celebrate a familiar face stepping into a new role – Rita Kiki Edozie, PhD has been appointed as Interim Dean and will begin her tenure at the start of the fall semester. Edozie will be the fourth dean of MGS and is the first woman, person of color, and academic to hold the deanship.
Over the summer, the McCormack Graduate School community lost a talented teammate, invaluable fountain of wisdom, and a kind soul with the passing of Robert (Bob) Turner just months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The role the professor as mentor has been identified as a crucial part of helping graduate students enjoy and successfully complete their degrees. At McCormack, we recognize faculty who are extraordinary mentors.
Staff Spotlight

Program Managers are key members of the administrative team creating a welcoming, nurturing environment in which faculty and students can do their best work. In her ten years with the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governances Leigh Murphy has built robust systems and processes to support current students as well as to market and promote the program to potential recruits.
Namesh Killemsetty, PhD, 2021 Public Book Award: Brittany Dhooge, MA, International Relations Convocation Award Excellence; Krystal Kittle, PhD, 100th Person to Successfully Defend Dissertation and earn a PhD in Gerontology; Lindsey McMahan, PhD, Recipient
Student Success

A look at some of the accomplishments of four McCormack Graduate School students recognized with Dean’s Office Student Success program awards at the 2021 End of Year Celebration and Awards Ceremony.
vincent and robin loporchio
McCormack Donors Support Student Success

Through the generosity of Robin and Vincent LoPorchio, G ’89, two McCormack Graduate School students were each award $5000 stipends to support their summer internships in the Massachusetts State House.
Peggy wood and mccormack deans office staff

On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, one day after Peggy Wood's birthday the Robert G. Wood Committee convened its first meeting after the University shutdown as a result of the Global Pandemic. The committee celebrated Peggy Wood's 90th birthday. The committee will honor the memory of former Chair, the late Bob Turner, next Spring. The new Chair is Charles Ruberto, Dean's Senior Program Officer and Fellow at McCormack.

Pictured from left to right: Christopher Graham, Michael Johnson, Charles Ruberto, Frannie Wood, Rita Kiki Edozie, and Peggy Wood in the middle.
Events and Engagement
updated flier for the welcome event friday october 29
Africa scholars attendees dean kiki edozie and provost Joseph Berger
Professor rita kiki edozie provost joseph berger and professor Nadia Ali

Calling all faculty, students, staff, alumni, and the entire McCormack community! It's not too late to mark our historic "return" to campus this fall 2021. Come join us in paying tribute to former McCormack Dean, David Cash, and meet our new Dean (interim) Kiki Edozie. Please see the flyer attached and mark your calendars to attend our Welcome and Tribute Event on October 29, 2021, from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm! Come hear from our keynote speakers McCormack MPA alum and UMass Boston’s Chief of Police, Donald Baynard, and Global Governance and Human Security Ph.D. alumnus and Visiting Professor at Providence College, Jason McSparren. It's a HyFlex event - Register to attend in person (University Hall - Room Y02-2310) or by Zoom. Register today, click the link in the flyer! Follow us on Twitter @mccormackgrad to stay connected.

Held on Friday, October 22, 2021, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The Africa Scholars Forum (ASF) Welcome Event and Business Meeting was the first Hyflex event (in-person and zoom streaming) held at UMass Boston since returning to campus post-pandemic, this fall 2021. The cross-campus program welcomed the new academic year with a keynote address by Dr. Godwin Murunga who is the 7th Executive Secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) titled,“Decolonizing African Education: Its Role in Transforming the Continent.” During his talk, Murunga emphasized the need for the African continent to transition from decolonization to decoloniality. Provost Joseph Berger also joined the discussion and reflected on his contributions to educational leadership in Malawi and noted the need to maintain a connection with Africa and to promote an exchange of knowledge and learning. During the Business meeting, Dean (Interim) and Chair of the forum, Dr. Rita Kiki Edozie invited Murunga to discuss areas of future collaboration between CODESRIA and the ASF.
Boston Mayoral Debate Michelle Wu and Anissa George as well as panelists and dean kiki edozie
panelist boston mayoral debate
McCormack cohosts final Boston mayoral debate with the Boston Globe, WBUR, and WCVB


On October 25th, 2021, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and the entire McCormack community convened in a Boston Mayoral debate panel discussion and watch party, featuring Rita Kiki Edozie, Erin O’Brien, and Paul Watanabe along with student panelists Tim Cronin and Janelle Fassi. Topics ranging from Kim Janey's loss and the black community, defunding the police, rent control, wealth inequality and corruption in Boston, and Marty Walsh's legacy.
Centers and Institutes Delivering Impact

Tune in for a fascinating discussion of the work of the Gerontology Institute and public policy with Director Len Fishman, JD and Elizabeth Chen, PhD, MBA, MPH, Secretary of the Executive Office for Elder Affairs.
Upcoming Events
People in the clouds on a building holding lights.

Event Date: December 2, 2021 @ 5:00PM
Location: Online

This presentation focuses on the work of the Conflict Early Warning Analytics & Policy Project (CEWAP) that has been analyzing events data for conflict early warning and early response (CEWER) to identify ways to systematically address both operational as well as structural early warning and early response needs for addressing violent domestic extremism and its underlying political belief system in the USA. 
stock image of people facing forward listening to a speaker

Event Date: November 4, 2021, 11:00AM - 12:00PM

Attend a 1-hour info session with the program director, Eben Weitzman. The session will include a program overview, a review of the application procedure, and an opportunity to ask questions. Click register now to fill out a brief survey and the program will send you details about how to sign up for the info session and other opportunities to get to know the Conflict Resolution program, including observing a class.
 Computer keyboard key with the word learning and an open book on it

Event Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2021, 1-2

Attend an info session with the International Relations program director, Joseph Brown. The session will include a program overview, a review of the application procedure, and an opportunity to ask questions. Click register now to fill out a brief survey and the program will send you details about how to sign up for the info session and other opportunities to get to know the International Relations program.

Professor Robert Taylor
Harold R. Johnson and Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work, University of Michigan, MI and Co-director for the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research

Topic: "Social Support and Social Isolation in Black Americans"

Event Date: November 19, 2021, 3:00-4:30pm on Zoom
Dean's Office Student Success Logo

DOSS Town Hall

Theme: "Hyflex Learning and Hybrid Working in the Post-Pandemic University Era"

Date: Friday, December 3, 2021
Location: (in-person and Zoom)
Time: TBA
McCormack Graduate School Newsletter Editorial Board
Jennifir Huston
Christopher Graham
Charles Ruberto
Rita Kiki Edozie
John W. McCormack Graduate School
of Policy and Global Studies
University of Massachusetts Boston