August 22, 2013

Standard-Times: After seeing what SMAST does, Sen. Warren promises to be an ally

By Steve DeCosta
August 22, 2013

Elizabeth Warren visited New Bedford Thursday looking for ammunition.

After 75 minutes of easy but engaged banter with students and scientists at UMass Dartmouth's School for Marine Science and Technology, she left feeling a stronger commitment to federal programs that encourage higher education and marine research.

And she said she felt more secure in her ability to argue her positions and influence her colleagues.

"The advantage of getting a firsthand look is that when I go back to Washington and talk to other senators, I've got good, concrete examples of what's going on and why it's making a difference," Warren said. "I'm going to be able to go back and talk about the impact of sequestration" and other budget cuts.

"I'm going to be a good partner down in Washington," Warren said. "That's my job. They can't do this work without funding. They can't do this work without someone who believes in them. That's what I'm here for.

"If we don't support this at the federal level, we're going to lose all the benefits of what you're doing," she told a group of about a dozen graduate students.

"I know it's frustrating when they're cutting back on what you're able to do," she said. "If we keep cutting and keep cutting, how many young scientists are going to say they're not going to keep doing it?"

Warren was led on a tour of the SMAST building, which is scheduled to be expanded, by Dean Steve Lohrenz and was accompanied by UMD Chancellor Divina Grossman, state Rep. Christopher Markey, D-Dartmouth, and others.

Read the full story here.