Senator Elizabeth Warren made her first campus visit on Jan. 22, taking time to meet with administrators, faculty and students as part of her swing through western Massachusetts.
Warren was greeted by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Michael F. Malone and Vice Chancellor for University Relations John Kennedy at the new Life Sciences Laboratories building, where she met with professors Patty Freedson, kinesiology, and Kenneth Carter, polymer science and engineering. Freedson and Carter explained the importance of federal government funding for research on campus, and how UMass uses those funds to help create real-world applications for some of science’s most cutting-edge discoveries. Warren was also treated to a brief tour of one of the Life Science Laboratories’ state-of-the-art labs by Sandra Petersen, professor of veterinary and animal sciences.
Warren later moved next door to the Integrated Sciences Building to lead a roundtable discussion with a group of students on the topic of student debt and the cost of higher education. The senator and chancellor listened to the comments and concerns of more than a dozen students, and provided their thoughts on the future of higher education and the steps needed to be taken by the federal government to help make college education more accessible and affordable.
Accompanying the senator during her visit were UMass Amherst alumni Roger Lau, Jeremiah Thompson and Jason Burrell, all of whom currently serve as members of her staff.