News: Featured Stories

Photo by: Colleen Locke
May 26, 2016

Meet the Members of the Class of 2016


  • Boston

Before the commencement exercises began for the UMass Boston students graduating with advanced degrees, UMass Boston Today caught up with some of them. 

Carolyn Ray

Carolyn Ray, who earned her master's degree in special education Thursday, said the names on her mortarboard sum up why she earned her degree: Anna, Madison, Tucker, and Lillian: "This is why I'm walking today. I think we should never stop learning. That's what my husband and I try to instill in our kids." Ray, who is from Milton, is a full-time teacher in Hingham.

Graduates of the history master's program

Paige Kinder said she chose to decorate her mortarboard with flowers because she wanted to set the tone for a fun day. She says she and her fellow history master's students have become close, and already have plans to hang out after graduation. Their first get-together? Planned for Friday.

Graduates from the School for the Environment

Lauren Laskey, Monica Ortiz, Hayley Schiebel (front row), Edward Saenz, and Zachary Mertz are the first to carry the School for the Environment banner. Scheibel is a PhD student who established the Theta Epilson chapter of the Honor Society Sigma Gamma Epilson on campus; the other students earned their master's degrees in environmental science. Laskey says her favorite thing about UMass Boston is the people; Scheibel, who will be beginning her post-doctorate study at Brown, says her favorite thing about UMass Boston was the Integrated Sciences Complex, which opened last year.

College of Education and Human Development graduates pose for a selfie.

Early childhood graduates Jasmine Lee, Princess Bryant, and Shewit Ghebremichael pose for a selfie. Through the Teach Next Year program, Bryant and Ghebremichael have jobs lined up for next year. Lee will be teaching at UP Academy in Dorchester and Bryant will be teaching at Ellis Memorial in the Back Bay.

UMass Boston Today also caught up with students who earned bachelor's degrees before Friday's undergraduate ceremony at the TD Garden. 

Eddel Alamos is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He's in the Air Force National Guard and came to Boston for school. He works in IT for the military, but said his "heart has always been with health, health sciences," so he studied exercise and health sciences at UMass Boston. Alamos is now headed to Regis University to study another aspect of the health field—nursing. He says his favorite part of UMass Boston is the diversity. "UMass Boston has a big group of people—people from all over the world. That's what I like," he said.

Stephanie Canavan

Stephanie Canavan of Somerville finished her exercise and health sciences coursework in December 2015, which is why she put 12.31.15 on her mortarboard. She said she wanted to finish her coursework in 2015, and she did! There was also a message there for her stepdad, who has raised her since she was 3. "I feel like today is not just for me, it's for me and him. I can't bring him down here, so I figured I'd bring him down here on my hat and just say a little shout out, 'Thanks, Dad!'" Canavan is currently working as a teacher's aide, and she is going to pursue a master's in applied behavioral analysis, working with kids on the autism spectrum.

Claudine Charles

Claudine Charles got a internship at The Home for Little Wanderers through UMass Boston, and she's turning it into a full-time job. Charles earned her bachelor's degree in human services from the College of Public and Community Service.

Two College of Liberal Arts graduates on Snapchat

When we met up with criminal justice majors Aristotle Cabot-Booras of Boston and Tommy DiNatale of Avon, they were looking at a Snapchat story from DiNatale's friend, who found DiNatale's name in the commencement program. DiNatale said he came to UMass Boston because of the professors. "They're the best," he said. Cabot-Booras and DiNatale would like to get jobs as police officers. "The world is ours," DiNatale said.

Luiselenna Soto-Paez

Luiselenna Soto-Paez showed off her Venezuelan heritage on her mortarboard. She came to the College of Management from Caracas. "UMass Boston was my first choice. I worked while I went to school. I worked in Boston. It was great. It gave me a chance to work in Boston and manage going to school at the same time." She's now working for State Street, a job she found through UMass Boston. "This is a very diverse school, so getting to work with different types of people was really good experience for the future."

School for the Environment graduates

Jordan Alves, Rachel Vincent, and Michael Patten all earned environmental science degrees from the School for the Environment, and say their favorite part of UMass Boston was--you guessed it--the environment. "To say, 'Oh, let's go to the lab.' 'OK, we're there,'" Vincent said. Vincent also pointed out that when they started at UMass Boston, they were part of the Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences Department under the College of Science and Mathematics; they graduated from a school focused solely on their area of study.

Benjamin Carter

Biology major Benjamin Carter got a chance to carry the banner for the Honors College, walking as one group this year. Like the School for the Environment, the Honors College was established in 2013. This year, there were a record 88 Honors College scholars. Carter is taking a gap year before going to medical school; he wants to be a doctor.

Moriah Cummings

UMass Boston is all in the family for Honors College student and sociology major Moriah Cummings. Both her mother and grandmother were Beacons. She's going to be applying to architectural firms; eventually she'd like to do urban planning.