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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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Mother’s Appreciation Banquet

A young girl looks up to her mother, both physically and metaphorically.




UMass Boston’s first annual Mother’s Banquet, honoring its students who are mothers, occurred on April 27 at the Ryan Lounge in the McCormack Building. An event co-hosted by the Women’s Center, the Black Student Center, and ARMS Center, it aimed to highlight the remarkable accomplishments of UMass Boston students who juggle school, work, and children.

Tia Castellano, Black Student Center’s coordinator and UMass Boston senior in Africana Studies, greeted the attendees with a heartfelt reading of Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman.” The poem expressed the pride in womanhood that most of the crowd shared. The first keynote speaker was Kelly Meehan, assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. She spoke about the hard work and persistence that she and other mothers had to put into earning their degrees. Meehan mentioned that her proudest moment was her graduation, attended by her entire family. “Family support,” she emphasized, “is vital.”

After a humorous video of a woman singing about the troubles of motherhood, a fancy dinner was served with a live jazz band setting the mood. Liliana Mickle, special assistant to the Vice Provost, then spoke about her struggles when it came to balancing motherhood with attending college. She said she was so preoccupied with motherhood when she applied to colleges that she did not look into the schools at all. Only one of the three schools she applied to even had her major, and that was UMass Boston. “I am very grateful for all of the opportunities UMass Boston has provided me, and how considerate they were of my status as a mother,” she said.

Throughout the banquet, formally dressed waiters served the honored guests, and at the end of the evening, passed out flowers to them after the closing speech.