- Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
- Governor's Press Office
Media Contact for PHOTO RELEASE: Governor Baker Swears In Dr. Noreen “Chioma” Okwara to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees
Brendan Moss, Press Secretary, Governor's Office
BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker was joined by University of Massachusetts (UMass) President Marty Meehan, UMass leadership and friends, family and colleagues of Dr. Noreen “Chioma” Okwara to swear her in as a member of the UMass Board of Trustees. Dr. Okwara was a recipient of the Charles D. Baker II Scholarship for her time at UMass Boston and at UMass Medical.
“Dr. Okwara is a hardworking and dedicated individual who will bring experience and passion to the University of Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am proud to appoint her to the Board of Trustees and am confident that she will serve with distinction.”
“Dr. Okwara’s commitment and drive she demonstrated as both an undergraduate and a medical student will well serve the Board of Trustees,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said. “Her determination, grace and courage is inspiring and we are pleased she will continue to be a part of the UMass community.”
The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees is a body of 19 voting members including two full time students, the Secretary of Education and 16 appointed members, five of whom are UMass alumni representing each of the UMass campuses.
The Charles D. Baker II Scholarship was established by Governor Baker to honor the memory of his grandfather Charles D. Baker II who never had the opportunity to pursue higher education but served his country and ensured that each of his children were able to go to college.
About Dr. Noreen “Chioma” Okwara:
Dr. Okwara is currently an Internal Medicine Specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She graduated from UMass Medical School in 2017, nearly 10 years after immigrating to Lowell from Kenya at age 17. As a medical student and an undergraduate, Okwara received the Charles D. Baker II Scholarship awarded to students who “approached each day and each challenge with persistence, optimism, and grace.” Upon completing her undergraduate degree in Biology with honors at UMass Boston in 2012, Okwara conducted research on HIV immunoregulation at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland under Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Okwara’s lifelong passion for medicine stems from the tragic death of her 9-year-old brother who was unable to access medical care for injuries suffered in a car accident in their native Kenya.