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2019 MLK Semester of Service Student Awards support community service initiatives

Awards will be presented at Jan. 28 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance

UMass Medical School Communications

January 21, 2019
  The 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Award student projects will be recognized at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute on Jan. 28.
  The 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Award student projects will be recognized at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute on Jan. 28. 

Recipients of the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Student Awards at UMass Medical School will use the $500 awards to continue a STEM enrichment program for middle school girls, educate Worcester college students about consent and overall sexual health, and conduct a project with a Worcester refugee support organization that creatively addresses challenges in young refugees’ lives.

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.

The 2019 MLK Semester of Service Student Award projects are:

STEM Start: Engaging Worcester Girls in Science and Technology

Students: Maimuna Ahmad, SOM ’22; Delia Sanders, SOM ’22

Project description: This program is designed to provide a diverse group of middle school girls with access to hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enrichment activities. Each session focuses on a different discipline, including biology, physics, chemistry and engineering.

Community partners: Worcester East Middle School

The Worcester Consent Project

Students: Alice Kennedy, SOM ’22; Shervin Rezaei, SOM ’22; Carly Herbert, MD/PhD candidate; Abiola Ogunsola, MD/PhD candidate

Project description: The goal of this project is to educate students at six Worcester area colleges through consent clinics led by UMMS students. The clinics will offer education on the necessity of obtaining consent, features of healthy relationships, emergency support for a victim of sexual assault, and resources available on each campus for referrals and/or reporting.

Community partners: Assumption College, Becker College, The College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Worcester State University

Making Worcester Home

Students: Meme Tran, SOM ’19; Pooja Gupta, SOM ’21; Anushay Mistry, SOM ’22

Project description: UMMS students will work with refugee youth leaders to change the narrative about refugees and immigrants in Worcester. During the course of the program with assistance from the Department of Urban Studies at Worcester State University, the youth will use storytelling, oral history, photography and mapping to describe problems they face and find a solution.

Community partners: Worcester Refugee Assistance Project and Worcester State University

Students will accept the awards at the 30th annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at UMass Medical School. The celebration of service focuses on the legacy of Dr. King by highlighting the importance of service. The theme incorporates Dr. King’s message that “everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

In addition to the student awards, the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity and Civility will be honored. MSNBC political commentator Jason Johnson, PhD, professor of politics and journalism at Morgan State University, will deliver the keynote address.  

All members of the UMMS and UMass Memorial Health Care communities are invited to attend the event, from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, in the Faculty Conference Room. Lunch will be available at 11:30 a.m. RSVP to