Recognizing a program that's 'for the benefit of all'
Kurt Schultz '14 receives inaugural Mahoney Alumni Award
Now in the third year of his studies at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, Kurt Schultz (biochemistry and molecular biology) was part of the first cohort of graduates from the iCons Program. This award is the first of its kind to recognize iCons graduates who demonstrate their continued engagement with the program, as well as the application of the iCons skillset in their careers after graduation. Schultz received $5,000 and a crystal trophy.
The UMass iCons program (Integrated Concentration in Science) recruits students across a diverse range of science and engineering disciplines to identify global problems and find cutting-edge solutions.
Schultz says, "the iCons program taught me that nearly all the time it requires an interdisciplinary approach to solve the most intractable problems of our time." Michele Pugnaire, Professor Emerita at UMMS sees that reflected in Schultz's academic career there, in particular "his passion for and talent in advancing integration, promoting peer-to-peer collaboration, breaking down silos, and working in diverse, collaborative teams to address pressing, 'real world' problems." One of Schultz's current projects integrates the biomedical sciences with clinical care of patients with immunotherapy research pertaining to melanoma tumors in a humanized mouse model, working with both a surgical oncologist and a basic scientist.
The prize is named after brothers William, Richard, and Robert Mahoney who all received their degrees in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and have become leaders in their own industries and served as high-level alumni advisers on campus. The Mahoney brothers' commitment to student success is seen in their extraordinary efforts to personally mentor students and train other alumni to do the same, while their family legacy of giving and involvement is seen far and wide throughout the campus.
"ICons will always be a way of life for me," says Schultz. "I have high expectations for all those who graduate from the program. May our combined efforts be for the benefit of all."