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Photography by Michael Clark
One of the things I love most about my job is talking with our alumni across the nation and around the globe. It’s surprising how many of those wonderful conversations end in what has become a familiar refrain: We miss Suffolk’s magazine.
I’ve missed it too. The magazine went on an extended hiatus several years ago, and I have felt we needed to bring it back. It helps to better connect us to one another and to share stories of our collective positive impact on the world. Somehow, that seems more important now than ever before. Suffolk University is a powerful force for good.
That has been true since our founding, and it continues today. At no time has that fundamental truth been more essential than at this moment in our nation’s history. In the face of a coronavirus pandemic that has caused untold human suffering and tragedy, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni are addressing the implications of the pandemic directly. Masks on, socially distanced, at times in person, and often virtually, they are leaning in and stepping up to serve others and the broader community.
The pages of the new Suffolk University Magazine are filled with stories of Suffolk Rams rising to the challenge of serving the public good. Faculty have used the pandemic as a teachable moment and inspired students to reflect on their own experience and that of others. Students responded by creating innovative course projects and service-learning opportunities. They developed new ways to tutor, mentor, and read with young children in neighborhood schools, delivered groceries and essential items to families in need, and created online solutions for people who could no longer access critical legal services.
We also are grappling with a simultaneous crisis exacerbated by the pandemic—the awful and relentless plague of racial injustice and inequity in this country. Like the nation, this University has work to do to combat racism and to foster equity and create a more just environment for members of our Black community. This transformative moment requires all of us to act, and our community is doing just that. Suffolk students are leading the conversation within this University, and beyond, to raise awareness of injustices and to create meaningful change.
Working alongside faculty members, Suffolk junior Brianna Franklin is researching inequities in Connecticut through the use of incarceration data and computer mapping systems. Associate Dean of Students Shawn Newton is leading a task force to improve racial equity in his own community of Salem, Massachusetts. Law School alumna Nicole Siino has developed an app to help juvenile defendants gain access to life-altering community-based resources, and alumnus and Trustee Macey Russell is advocating for a national movement to make Black history a part of the K-12 curriculum.
If there is one common theme that runs through the pages of this magazine, it is the relentless desire among Suffolk students, employees, and alumni to serve their communities. We are inspired by the story of real estate developer Tom O’Brien, who believes building community bridges is more important than building structures. And through a journey into the world of politics in the time of a pandemic, we find hope for what could emerge in the future.
It is my pleasure to present to you the new and revived Suffolk University Magazine.