Community Mourns Loss of Graduate Student, Alumnus Manuel David Matos Diaz

Manuel David Matos Diaz

September 24, 2018

The University of Massachusetts Amherst community is mourning the loss of Manuel David Matos Diaz, a graduate student and Kinesiology alumnus who died of a sudden illness days after the semester began.

Diaz, 36, earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2005 and a master's degree in physiology in 2008. At the time of death, he was a sociology teacher and Ph.D. candidate.

He also served as the grievance coordinator for the Graduate Employee Organization, the union representing graduate students.

"He was a wonderful person," says Professor Emerita of Kinesiology Patty Freedson, who served as department chair at the time. "A gentle soul and very friendly person; he was a strong, passionate advocate for underserved populations."