News: Press Releases

March 9, 2017

Framingham native featured in UMass marketing campaign

Jennifer De Leon, UMass Boston '10, discusses writing career

BOSTON – Framingham native Jennifer De Leon is featured in a current University of Massachusetts marketing campaign highlighting the achievements of recent alumni. De Leon, a writer and teacher who received her MFA from UMass Boston in 2010, appears in a video discussing how UMass impacted her writing process and influenced her short story “Home Movie,” which was the Boston Book Festival’s One City One Story selection in 2015.

“During my first semester in the MFA in Creative Writing program, the first story that I turned in was … ‘Home Movie,’ and it tells the story of Eduardo and Linda Ramirez,” De Leon says in the clip. “It was based somewhat on my parents’ experience, moving from Guatemala to Boston — what great soil in which to grow a story.”

De Leon explains that her immigrant parents always championed education as a “set of keys” that could unlock doors, a means of empowerment and advancement. In the video, De Leon says that UMass Boston did indeed help her grow and advance on a number of fronts, from teaching at the university level for the first time to fine-tuning her writing skills.

“I don’t think it was accidental that I came to UMass Boston,” De Leon says. “There are so many threads that I was able to weave together here — the diversity aspect, and I was able to learn so much about the craft of writing. Coming to UMass Boston was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

So far, Jennifer’s video has been viewed more than 300,000 times on platforms including Facebook, Pandora, YouTube, regional news publications and connected TV.

The UMass President’s Office marketing campaign, conducted in collaboration with Boathouse Group, runs through the end of April and includes a total of six videos produced in partnership with Pilgrim Films. Four videos feature inspiring young alumni from across the UMass system, and two feature President Marty Meehan, the first undergraduate alumnus to lead UMass, who discusses the university’s impact on students and their communities.