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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston receives the Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Award

Innovation+Award
Innovation Award

On Nov. 4 the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) presented the University of Massachusetts Boston with their second annual Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Award (IEP).
The IEP is awarded to colleges and universities members that demonstrate the ability to engage with public and private sector partners with the intentions of economic development. Government Relations and Public Affairs of UMass Boston achieved this through excelling in various operations such as innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent, workforce development, and community development.  
In addition, UMass Boston received the ”Talent” award for its successful promotion of a diverse “STEM” workforce. According to the UMass Boston News this award is given to the recipient who actively promotes the support of educators who are transitioning towards “applied industry-informed IT education; and building an integrated biomedical research and training facility, among many other efforts.”  
This award stands in ovation to the work performed by Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connection (BATEC). BATEC, based at UMass Boston, has the mission to create career passages for economically challenged students from diverse backgrounds. These attempts are achieved through comprehensive partnerships with local high schools and public post-secondary institutions such as community colleges and universities. 
The goal is to connect with the faculty of these institutions to develop innovative curriculum in the fields of Information Technology, Computer Science, Computer Networking and Data Analysis. The innovation doesn’t stop there as the research data collected inspires vital dialogue between both the educators who administering this curriculum and industry professionals who will stand in reception to the many students who will join the workforce upon graduation.  
The success of this program is evident as it has established academic partnerships on a national level in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. Once again reaffirming the ideal that Massachusetts and its institutions of higher education are the nation’s leading academic model. 
“We are a committed group of people who first designate the required tasks ahead of us. We then, with geared adherence to detail, roll up our sleeves, get the work done, and move on,” states John Ciccareli.
When asked what best describes the award winning process that goes on behind the scenes Vice Chancellor John Ciccarelli, in a one word response stated, “cohesion.” In addition he stated that, “cooperation and communication are key components for success in any attempt that involves more than one individual working toward a common goal.”  Kathleen Banfield, Associate Director of the Community Partnerships sector of the department, also weighed in on the methods stating that, “this is a continuous learning process that requires detailed observation, to which we must then stop and value the impact we have on our partners. Even in completion, evaluation is key.”    
Since its establishment in 2008, the Department of Government Relations and Public Affairs has strived to do its job and has developed a unique system that is referenced in all of its practices from hiring, innovation, and implementation. The department attempts perform the duties with a systematic outlook.  
Advancing other universities such as Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, and Virginia Tech this department, having received this recognition, reaffirms UMass Boston’s reputation for innovation on a national platform.  
When asked about the data collection process that goes into consideration (APLU), Chancellor Ciccarelli’s response, “It is strenuous but an effort well accepted as progress must be recorded.” New methods have been implemented so that contributing staff are better able to relay the required data to the department.  
This department stops at no end in its attempts at innovation. Aware of the universities research based agenda, they are now in the process of creating a portal on the internet that will give faculty the opportunity to contribute with data and collaborate with other staff members of corresponding endeavors. This application will surely produce joint ventures amongst staff that will be allowed to part in the very cohesion that has garnered their own success.  
“We like to be in the fray of engagement.”  
Vice Chancellor Ciccareli very humbly stated that “we like to be in the fray of engagement. Although recognition is much appreciated, this is our job and we take much pride in it.” Throughout the entire conversation, Vice Chancellor Cicarelli and Director Banfield restated that this recognition was the fruit of a cohesive team determined to perform the required tasks with innovation in mind.