Sunday, November 7, 2021

Had a Great Time Speaking at the Chancellor's Donor Appreciation Breakfast at UMass Amherst

Yesterday, I had the great honor of being the invited faculty speaker at the Chancellor's Donor Appreciation Breakfast at UMass Amherst.  This weekend was Homecoming Weekend, so that added to the festive atmosphere. Plus, this was the first time since the pandemic was declared that I was speaking to an audience (not including my class)  in person. There were about 300 in attendance and the event took place in the beautifully renovated Student Union. 

The program of the event is below.

It was wonderful to be seated with Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and student speaker Shelby Casimir plus a distinguished PhD alum, Dr. Sherwood, and his wife. My husband accompanied me.

The title of my presentation was: From Supernetworks to Supply Chains in the Pandemic.
The slide deck of my presentation can be downloaded here.

In my presentation, I spoke about amazing students and alums and also the inspiration for the Supernetworks book, and the establishment of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks 20 years ago.  I acknowledged Jack Smith Jr., who endowed the first chaired professorship that I held at the Isenberg School of Management, and also the Isenberg family. I was appointed the Eugene M. Isenberg Chair in Integrative Studies on April 14, 2021, a tremendous honor. Given the number of individuals that came up to me after the program, I believe that the audience enjoyed my presentation. I had hoped to inspire and to share my gratitude for the support!  And, of course, speaking about supply chains and our research on them in the pandemic is a passion of mine from the inclusion of labor to be able to quantify impacts of associated disruptions to our work on blood supply chains and influencing policy.  I also spoke about how much I have enjoyed writing OpEds in the pandemic to inform the public and decision-makers and how speaking to the media, whether for print, TV or radio has also enriched public discourse and outreach. 

Shelby Casimir and I enjoyed being photographed with the Chancellor (photo above). Shelby gave a very moving speech about the challenges of being a student in the pandemic and how she overcame the challenges. The Chancellor, as a super cheerleader of the university, spoke of the many accomplishments as well as major recent donations received.

It was wonderful to be entertained not only by a trio at the beginning of the breakfast and by a contingent of the famous UMass Marching Band towards the end.

It was extra special to see my Isenberg School colleagues, Vice Chancellor Nef Walker and Finance Professor Mila Sherman.
I acknowledged the leadership of the Isenberg School, including Deans Tom O'Brien, Mark Fuller, and, now, Anne Massey.

It was a truly memorable event enjoyed tremendously be all! The resilience of the faculty, administrators, staff, and especially students at UMass Amherst in the pandemic has been remarkable. We all gain from the great strength of the community at this outstanding research university.