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Special Projects

Academy for New Legislators

The UMass Donahue Institute, with the UMass President's Office, the Office of the State Senate President, and the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, hosts the Academy for New Legislators following the election in Massachusetts of new legislators every two years.

Both newly elected legislators and those elected to office during the previous term participate in this three-day event at the University's Amherst Campus. The program serves to prepare these officials for their new responsibilities and ensure a smooth transition into the Legislature. Featured presenters include the University President, the President of the Massachusetts Senate and the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

University faculty and staff members join nationally recognized experts in their fields to deliver lectures and lead discussions on subjects such as:

  • Service and Leadership
  • Interviewing Tools and Techniques for Broadcast Media
  • The Massachusetts Economy
  • Polling and Press Communications

Legislators and State House staff members offer valuable insights on such topics as:

  • Legislative Budget Process
  • Life as a Freshman Legislator
  • Rules of the House and Senate
  • Simulated Committee Hearing and Legislative Session
  • Legislative Ethics

For more information, contact:

Sheryl Jablonski
(413) 545-0003

J. Lynn Griesemer
Associate Vice President for Economic Development, UMass
(413) 545-0001

Massachusetts STEM Summit

In 2004, following the US Department of Education’s National Summits on Mathematics and Science, Massachusetts launched the nation’s first STEM Summit. Since that time, leaders and practitioners from the state’s education, business and government sectors continue to gather annually at the Summit to discuss policy and share information, projects, and ideas.

The 2013 Massachusetts STEM Summit, held at Gillette Stadium on November 13th, was the largest to date. Approximately 1,200 attendees, presenters, and exhibitors gathered to celebrate 10 years of statewide collaboration. Panel presentations and plenary sessions addressed the goals, plans and progress of STEM education. Sessions covered the entire education spectrum, workforce development, economic development, and other key policy issues faced by the Commonwealth. More than 40 innovative curricula and programs were exhibited in the Summit’s Resource Room, a new feature of the Summit where attendees networked with peers and shared experiences throughout the day.

The Summit is organized annually by the UMass Donahue Institute, the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable.

To learn more about the Massachusetts STEM Summit, go to, where you can also join a mailing list to receive notifications about next year’s Summit.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative

The University of Massachusetts P-16 STEM Initiative is a leadership and development program designed to:

  • Grow more STEM competent/interested college graduates.
  • Nurture a student STEM pipeline starting in the elementary grades.
  • Bridge the current elementary, secondary and higher education gap by connecting the entire STEM educational enterprise.

Emphasis is on university and school faculty collaboration to develop and enhance curriculum and instruction reflecting the current best thinking in STEM; redesigning teacher preparation and in-service programs; collecting and maintaining up to date information about proven models; and working with all the stakeholders and key policy makers to develop a statewide plan which avoids unnecessary duplication and fills significant gaps.


For more information, contact:

J. Lynn Griesemer
Associate Vice President for Economic Development, UMass
(413) 545-0001

VA Medical Center

The UMass Donahue Institute provides consultation and services to the Center for Information Dissemination and Education Resources (CIDER), a VA Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D) national Resource Center.

CIDER's mission is to improve the health and care of veterans by disseminating important HSR&D findings and information to policy makers, managers, clinicians, and researchers throughout VA and the broader health care community.

The goal of CIDER's dissemination and education efforts is to support and encourage the use of research evidence in policy and practice decisions aimed at improving the quality of patient care and outcomes.

Visit the CIDER website.

For more information, contact:

Geraldine McGlynn
Director, Center for Information Dissemination and Education Resources, VA Boston Healthcare System
(857) 364-4944


For more information, contact:

J. Lynn Griesemer
Associate Vice President for Economic Development, UMass
(413) 545-0001

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