News: Featured Stories

January 23, 2015

Meehan Earns Living the Dream Award

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  • Lowell
Meehan’s dedication to equality and diversity recognized at MLK event.

As Chancellor, Marty Meehan has made it a priority to both increase diversity on campus and ensure that there are equal opportunities for all students, staff and faculty. For his public service, including his efforts as assistant district attorney and then congressman, Meehan was awarded the 2015 Living the Dream Award at the 17th annual “Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” event in Lowell. The gathering raises money for the Lura Smith Family Scholarship at Middlesex Community College.

Recent events, such as the killing of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man, and the grand jury’s decision to not indict his shooter, police officer Darren Wilson, in Missouri have sparked a nationwide conversation about racial inequality and violence. As a result, the celebration’s focus on education and youth empowerment struck a chord with many in attendance.

"I think all of us will agree that throughout the world and even in the United States there is still injustice," said Meehan upon receiving the award at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. "I think it is important today, as we think of the legacy of Dr. King, to think of our own responsibility to speak out against injustice."
Increasing Diversity on Campus to Benefit All

Since Meehan became chancellor of UMass Lowell in 2007, diversity has grown at the university. More than 21 percent of students are members of underrepresented groups and 1,300 international students are enrolled. Meehan, who is a vocal supporter for diversity in education, has made increasing opportunities for all students, regardless of background, a priority.

Under the chancellor’s direction, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) has worked with several partners toward these goals. There are now 37 cultural and spiritual student groups with new ones forming each semester, including career-focused organizations like the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting. 

OMA worked with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to develop the Multicultural Overnight Program, which welcomes prospective students to campus and has led many participants to join the university. The office has also worked with the Office of Alumni Affairs to engage diverse alumni through the Black Alumni Network and the Multicultural Alumni Network, building a stronger alumni community and identifying opportunities for students of many backgrounds.

Meanwhile, the university has become a leader in diverse student leadership development. In 2013, the university hosted the Student Social Justice Training Institute, a highly selective national student leadership conference that brings together 50 students of all cultures to develop their interest and skills in social justice. The university also developed the Diversity Peer Educator program, which has trained 114 students to promote inclusion on campus and beyond.

Faculty and staff have also become more diverse, with more than 13 percent now coming from underrepresented groups. OMA worked with the Department of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Outreach to establish the Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Learning and Development program, which offers workshops on bystander awareness, developing cultural competence and other areas to continue building a comfortable and welcoming campus community for all.

Increasing Diversity on Campus to Benefit All

Since Meehan became chancellor of UMass Lowell in 2007, diversity has grown at the university. More than 21 percent of students are members of underrepresented groups and 1,300 international students are enrolled. Meehan, who is a vocal supporter for diversity in education, has made increasing opportunities for all students, regardless of background, a priority.

Under the chancellor’s direction, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) has worked with several partners toward these goals. There are now 37 cultural and spiritual student groups with new ones forming each semester, including career-focused organizations like the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting. 

OMA worked with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to develop the Multicultural Overnight Program, which welcomes prospective students to campus and has led many participants to join the university. The office has also worked with the Office of Alumni Affairs to engage diverse alumni through the Black Alumni Network and the Multicultural Alumni Network, building a stronger alumni community and identifying opportunities for students of many backgrounds.

Meanwhile, the university has become a leader in diverse student leadership development. In 2013, the university hosted the Student Social Justice Training Institute, a highly selective national student leadership conference that brings together 50 students of all cultures to develop their interest and skills in social justice. The university also developed the Diversity Peer Educator program, which has trained 114 students to promote inclusion on campus and beyond.

Faculty and staff have also become more diverse, with more than 13 percent now coming from underrepresented groups. OMA worked with the Department of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Outreach to establish the Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Learning and Development program, which offers workshops on bystander awareness, developing cultural competence and other areas to continue building a comfortable and welcoming campus community for all.
 

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