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2018 MLK Semester of Service Student Awards support community service initiatives

Student awards and Chancellor’s Awards will be presented at Jan. 22 Martin Luther King Day observance

  image of Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at a podium outdoors in front of a large crowd

The MLK Semester of Service Student Award recipients are announced annually on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The award program is inspired by the late civil rights leader's call to service. 

Recipients of the 2018 MLK Semester of Service Student Awards at UMass Medical School will use the $500 awards to facilitate a student day of service to Worcester community organizations; maintain a STEM enrichment program for middle school students; and continue a program that assists young men of color who want to pursue careers in medicine.

Students will accept the awards at the 30th annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at UMass Medical School on Monday, Jan. 22. All members of the UMMS and UMass Memorial Medical Center communities are invited to attend.

The MLK Semester of Service Student Award program is a community service initiative that enhances UMMS students’ health care education as they extend the institution’s impact and reach in the communities that surround the Worcester campus. With funding from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and oversight by the Community Engagement Committee, the program is now in its eighth year.

The 2018 MLK Semester of Service Student Award projects are:

STEM Start Program
Students: Brittany Dacier, SOM ’21; Nadia Eshraghi, SOM ’21; and Christine Hebert, SOM ’21

Project description: This program provides a diverse group of middle school girls with access to hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enrichment activities. Students will design and implement four monthly after-school sessions.

Community partners: Worcester East Middle School and the Worcester Pipeline Collaborative

Young Men of Today: Medical Professionals of Tomorrow
Students:Michael Buckner, SOM ’18; Kayla Elliott, SOM ’19; Marian Younge, SOM ’19; Pawan Mathew, SOM ’20; Fatoumata Bah, SOM ’20; Kevin O’Connor, SOM ’20; Anupama Singh, SOM ’20; Krist Tase, SOM ’20; and Arielle Stopa, SOM ’20

Project description: This legacy program exposes young men of color to health care career opportunities, emphasizing mentorship for the high school students from UMMS faculty, medical students and residents.

Community partners: North High School, the Worcester Pipeline Collaborative and the Student National Medical Association

Day of Service, Night of Fun
Students: Jugert Bango, SOM ’21; Jonathan Kassira, SOM ’21; Elisabeth McGovern, SOM ’21; and Katherine Sadaniantz, SOM ’21

Project description: UMMS students will be recruited for volunteer shifts at numerous Greater Worcester organizations. Following the day of volunteering, the students will be invited to gather for a “Night of Fun” mixer at a local venue.

Community partners: North Quadrant Support Services; Worcester Public Schools; Worcester Public Library; United Way; Working For Worcester; Ecotarium; Mass Audubon Broad Brook Meadow Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary; Boys and Girls Club of Worcester; UMMS Learning Community Legacy Projects; Community Harvest Project; Worcester Homeless Shelters and Services; and Academic Health Collaborative of Worcester

In addition to the student awards, presentation of the Chancellor’s Awards for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Civility and Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity are on the program for the Jan. 22 tribute. Actor, director and motivational speaker Phil Darius Wallace will deliver the keynote address “From the Heart of a King.” The event takes place in the Faculty Conference Room from noon to 1 p.m., with lunch available at 11:30 a.m.