Isenberg’s wonderful Class of 2021 includes several award winners at the school and university level:
UMass Amherst named nine students 2021 Rising Researchers based on their accomplishments at the university. One of those, Solomon Siskund, majored in sport management and sociology, and is staying with McCormack to begin the MS program in sport management.
As a Black student-athlete on the university’s football team Suskind noticed that some of his non-white friends and teammates were experiencing microagressions, depression, and feelings of isolation. He teamed up with Desiree Oliver ’21, a player on the UMass women’s basketball team, to conduct a research project called “Analysis of the Black Student-Athlete Experience at a Predominantly White Institution.” Responses to their 47-question survey showed that non-white student athletes experience culture shock, anxiety, and depression at significantly higher rates than their white counterparts.
“That is something we’ve seen first-hand, but it goes unsaid,” Suskind says. “And we hadn’t seen hard data. To finally see the numbers confirms what’s going on.”
Suskind and Oliver inaugurated a campus Call to Action Research Fair and made formal recommendations for change to the university and UMass Athletics, including inclusive community groups, mental health education awareness, and transformational experiences for student-athletes.
“We’ve already seen some progress in Athletics, such as new safe spaces for our Black athletes and the hiring of a director of sports psychology,” Suskind says. Read more here. [https://www.umass.edu/researchnext/researcher/genius-meets-grit]
Jack Welch Scholar
21st Century Leaders Award
Alumni Association Senior Leadership Award
An important tradition and annual recognition, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association honor graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to our UMass Amherst community with the Senior Leadership Award.
Alannah Scardino, double-major in sport management and social thought, and political economy, was identified by Isenberg's Dean and chosen as this year's award winner.
Sarah Bloznalis of Upton, Mass., a Commonwealth Honors College student who double-majored in business management and political science, will speak. While a student, Bloznalis wrote her honors thesis on the timely topic of “The Rise of the Blue Wave: The Changing Tides of Voter Suppression in Georgia.” After graduation, she has accepted a position at Workhuman in Framingham, Mass., as a content marketing coordinator.
To read about Class of 2021 recipients of Isenberg awards, click here. [https://www.isenberg.umass.edu/programs/undergraduate/senior-celebration-2021/awards ]