The Many Faces of Generosity at Isenberg

March 30, 2012

Undergraduate Leadership

"Giving blood is tangible; when you combine that with the knowledge that every pint supports three lives, your generosity becomes deeply and immediately gratifying," observes Jack Welch scholar Daniel Burke '12, who is copresident of Isenberg's Undergraduate Leadership Council (ULead). Last October, the student group, which has 65 active members from every Isenberg department, teamed up with the Red Cross to organize and staff a campus-wide blood drive at the Mullins Center. Thorough savvy marketing around campus, ULead attracted 70 donors (many of them from Isenberg) to the four-hour annual event.


ULead's generous involvement with the local community generates a wealth of activities. Its members periodically assemble food and personal care packages for distribution to families by Amherst's Survival Center. They also participate in causes like the annual Rays of Hope Walk & Run in Springfield, which raises contributions and consciousness that combat breast cancer.


Burke and other ULead members are also active as Big Brothers and Big Sisters. On March 3rd and 4th, they and their Little Brothers and Sisters participated in the Hampshire County Big Brothers Big Sisters annual Bowl-a-Thon fund raiser. "Our commitment, though, goes way beyond that," notes Burke.  "Most weeks, I spend 3 hours-often on campus--with my "little brother," swimming, shooting hoops, and playing racquetball in the Cage and having all-you-can-eat meals in the dining commons. I also help out with math and other homework. For me, making a difference in a young person's life is as good as it gets." 


MBA Generosity

In October, five Isenberg MBA students practiced teamwork and generosity in a Habitat for Humanity project in Florence, Massachusetts. The student team-Adam Crossley, Rebecca Zeitlin, Spirit Joseph, David Caldes, and Eric Nickerson-spent a day preparing sideboards for a single-family home. "Working together in a hands-on physical project gives you a tangible feeling of accomplishment, especially when it benefits others," observed Crossley, who is president of Isenberg's Graduate Business Association, which recruited the students for the project. "GBA joins forces with Habitat once or twice a year," he continues. "Each time we learn different skills, but helping local families remains a constant." 


MBA students helping out with Habitat for HumanityMBA Students helping out with a Habitat for Humanity project. 


During the semester GBA students also ran their own clothing drive on behalf of a local women's shelter and the Amherst Survival Center. And in December, twelve MBA students participated in Northampton's annual 5 K Hot Chocolate Run, which raises funds and awareness for Safe Passage, a Hampshire County organization that provides shelter, counseling, and advocacy services to women and children who have experienced domestic violence.


MBA students also gave generously of their time and business prowess as pro bono board members with five community nonprofit organizations: the Amherst Survival Center, Amherst A Better Chance, the Youth Action Coalition, and the Amherst Educational Foundation.  The students participated through UMass Amherst's chapter of Net Impact, which leverages business for maximum positive social and environmental impact.


Generosity's Many Faces

  • Members of Isenberg's Undergraduate Leadership Council (ULead) assembled reusable grocery bags of donated food from their food drive for distribution to families by Amherst's Survival Center.
  • Three Isenberg students --Alissar Taremi '12, Candice Tong '12, and Derek Monson '14-participated in the annual UMass Amherst Sisters on the Runway fashion show, in support of domestic violence prevention and the nonprofit Northampton shelter, Safe Passage.
  • McCormack Sport Management's annual Super Cuts SoccerFest community competition in April will collect soccer balls for Kick for Nick, for their distribution by American soldiers to underprivileged Iraqi children. 
  • Linda Peters, a faculty member in Isenberg's online MBA program, coordinated nonconstruction volunteers who helped build a home for a needy family in Springfield. The project was featured last fall on the ABC series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
  • Seth Rothberg '13, (sport management), coordinates fund-raising events and raises awareness to combat Huntington's disease.
  • Through the student organization, Net Impact, Sudhir Radhakrishna '12 and Mark Spinosa '12 offered hours of pro bono consulting to a local fair-trade café start-up.
  • UMass Amherst scholar-athlete Meghan Collins '12 (marketing) was honored by the campus for her accomplishments on the soccer field, in the classroom, and at the Amherst Survival Center.
  • Isenberg's Women in Business (WIB), a student group, is a perennial supporter of Protect our Breasts, an organization founded by Isenberg marketing lecturer Cynthia Barstow, which combats cancer in women through prevention.  WIB's activities on behalf of the organization include fundraising, event sponsorship, and social networking.
  • The Accounting Association, a student club, ran a two-day bake sale in support of the Cookies for Kids Foundation.
  • A Sport Management class collected nonperishable food, filling a stock car on behalf of Amherst's Survival Center.
  • Isenberg faculty members Glenn Caffery and Graham GalIsenberg faculty members Glenn Caffery and Graham GalLast summer, Glenn Caffery, a lecturer in Resource Economics, ran 3,300 miles across the United States to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's research. Graham Gal, an associate professor of accounting, biked 200 miles across Massachusetts of August 6 to on behalf of The Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
  • Stephen Jefferson, a lecturer in sport management, administered a pledge against violence toward women to over 200 Isenberg & UMass Amherst male students during halftime at a UMass Amherst men's varsity basketball game.
  • Michael Capano '13 (finance) was co-chair of UDance, a 10-hour dance marathon that raised $16,500 for the Bay State Children's Hospital.
  •  In December, Isenberg's chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs conducted its annual Dress for Success clothing drive on behalf of nonprofit organizations in the local community.
  • Through the nonprofit Boltwood project, Julianne Konjoian '13 (marketing) supervises ten volunteers who help out weekly at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy, a postsecondary school providing young adults with learning and developmental disabilities.
  • Melcolm Ruffin '13 and Tiffany Hartford '12 (sport management) did fund raising and established a scholarship in memory of Kristian Rose, Jr. '12, a McCormack major who died last summer.
  • Kathleen Keegan '13 (marketing) is cofounder of UMass Amherst Community Kitchen, a registered student organization that helps stock community soup kitchens and food pantries.