HIGHER EDUCATION

Hannah Tran-Trinh is a 2017 graduate of UMass Amherst.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Commentator Hannah Tran-Trinh graduated last week from UMass Amherst. She says she learned a lot there, but the best lessons were hard-won.

I grew up in Boston. My friends were quite the colorful bunch, but I never thought twice about the fact that we were a diverse group of kids. I just loved feeling comfortable. Being a part of something I felt I belonged to.

But then I showed up in western Mass. and it was the whitest place I'd ever seen.

Western New England University in Springfield awarded 581 bachelor degrees during its commencement ceremony in 2015.
File Photo / MassLive

Western New England University is looking into statements allegedly posted by a member of the women's lacrosse team calling on President Trump to "build that wall."

Friday was Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, a Mexican holiday celebrating the country's victory in a battle against the French in 1862. In the U.S., it's become a celebration of Mexican American culture.

Dr. Nettie Maria Stevens
Carnegie Institution of Washington / Creative Commons

A pivotal but unheralded scientist is getting a building named after her at Westfield State University on Friday.

More than a hundred years ago, Westfield alum Nettie Stevens was studying beetle chromosomes when she noticed a critical difference between males and females.

"She noticed that one chromosome was smaller than the other, and because of that research, we were able to then apply that to the human genome as well," said Westfield biology professor Jennifer Hanselman.

UMass Amherst denied Kalsang Nangpa's request to carry the Tibetan flag during a special part of the university's commencement ceremony.
Submitted Photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette

Graduation at UMass Amherst is less than two weeks a way. One senior, a public health major from Medford, wants to carry the Tibetan flag in a parade of flags, but the university says no.

A promotional graphic used by UMass in the two days between Pat Kelsey agreeing to become the new head basketball coach -- and when he backed out of the deal.
Screen Shot / Email from UMass Athletics

UMass officials seem to have a learned a lesson, after the school's first choice for men's basketball coach backed out of his deal.

Shortly before his introductory press conference last month, coach Pat Kelsey told UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford that he'd changed his mind and didn't want the job.

That evening, a clearly distraught Bamford told reporters that Kelsey had signed a memorandum of understanding -- essentially a pre-contract -- and might owe UMass a lot of money for backing out of the deal.

The Lord Jeffery Inn is owned by Amherst College.
Karen Brown / NEPR

With the selection of the Mammoths as the new school mascot, Amherst College has mostly closed the book on the controversial "Lord Jeff." One exception: a hotel owned by the school.

It's been 14 months since Amherst College decided to get rid of the mascot and rename the Lord Jeffery Inn, which sits next to the town common.

Lord Jeffery Amherst was a British general who suggested biological warfare against Native Americans.

Graphic of an Amherst College baseball cap on the skeleton of a Columbian mammoth, which is on display at the school's natural history museum.
Screen shot from mascot video / Amherst College

Amherst College said its new mascot will be the Mammoths. The selection replaces Lord Jeff -- which the school's board banished from campus 14 months ago.

The search for a new mascot followed protests on campus last school year. One demand from protesters was to get rid of Lord Jeff, named after Lord Jeffery Amherst, a British General who suggested using biological warfare against Native Americans.

A promotional graphic used by UMass in the two days between Pat Kelsey agreeing to become the new head basketball coach -- and when he backed out of the deal.
Screen Shot / Email from UMass Athletics

No word yet from UMass on whether it will try to force Pat Kelsey to pay a $1 million buyout contained in his agreement with the school.

Kelsey signed a letter of intent  last week to lead the UMass men's basketball team, but backed out of the job just a half-hour before an introductory press conference Thursday afternoon.

UMass Athletic Director Ryan Mamford told reporters he didn't know if or when the university will get that money.

The campus of UMass Amherst.
File photo / The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hate groups are on the rise in the U.S. and they increasingly see college campuses as prime recruiting ground.

UMass Amherst and Holyoke Community College are just two of dozens of college campuses to have been targeted by white nationalist propaganda in recent months. But finding the right way to respond to these groups can present a challenge to college administrators.

Paul Keleher / Creative Commons

Students at Holy Cross will gather next week to better understand the history behind the name of the college’s mascot and school newspaper.

Some on campus have pointed out that “The Crusader” is also the name of a newspaper affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. And it’s not like the Crusades are all that popular either.

Kevin Madigan from the Harvard Divinity School said the meaning of the word “Crusader” has evolved since Holy Cross adopted it in 1925.