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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

John Silveria is UMass Boston’s Newest Addition


“[At UMass Boston,] you’re serving young adults but also veterans of the military, you’re serving parents… This is a campus where you can experience diversity and to me that’s refreshing.” -John Silveria, Vice Chancellor.

Earlier this year, the University of Massachusetts Boston announced the hiring of the new Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and a new Dean of Students: John Silveria. On Sept. 8, the Mass Media sat with Silveria to ask him about his new role at UMass Boston and his goals for the university.

Silveria grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts and attended UMass Amherst where he studied economics and political science as an undergraduate. After graduating, Silveria later attended Suffolk University for graduate school. It was there that he realized he wanted to work in the administrative field of higher education.

As the new Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Silveria will be in charge of various roles. This includes supervising the Office of the Dean of Students, the office in charge of student advocacy by encouraging students to fulfill their academic and personal goals, according to their website.

As the Dean of Students, Silveria will also be in charge of overseeing and supervising students who are involved in student activities and leadership roles, including the Undergraduate Student Government and other student activities that are offered on campus.

In his third role, Silveria is now also in charge of offering help to students in “Care Programs.” These programs oversee other administrators who report to the Department of Public Safety and Health Services in cases where a student may need personal assistance.

When Mass Media asked for his first impression of the UMass Boston community and its students, Silveria spoke about former and current members of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), saying that “they care passionately about the students here.”

When he attended the Student Orientation Program hosted this past summer, he recognized the diversity of students on campus and noticed that UMass Boston is a “first-generation dominated” school. Silveria said that he also saw a prominent population of transfer students: “You’re serving young adults but also veterans of the military, you’re serving parents… It was truly eye-opening… This is a campus where you can experience diversity… To me, that’s refreshing.”

Silveria mentioned that observing and overseeing the Residential Hall construction project also formulated one of his first impressions of the school. He stated that one of the reasons he picked UMass Boston in particular was because he understood that the school was going through a transition with construction projects.

He then changed directions to mention the budget crisis: “I can understand that this can be a tough time. People can see dirt piles over here and over there, but I see it as ‘that’s going to be green space down the road.’” In regards to observing the construction project, Silveria told the Mass Media that “it was exciting to see that level of participation in and across the institution, in making sure that we were going to create a fabric of the institution… I wanted to be part of this transition,” Silveria emphasized.

In describing his new roles at UMass Boston, Silveria also mentioned one of his goals for the campus. In acknowledging that UMass Boston had not hired a Dean of Students in six years, Silveria stated that in an especially large institution like UMass Boston, he wanted “the office to be accessible to students to answer any questions they have.” Silveria went on to say that he and his team “want students to be successful. That’s a big thing about our role.”