Fellowship launched in memory of UMass grad Samya Rose Stumo, who died in plane crash



A GoFundMe page has raised more than $78,000 for a memorial fellowship in honor of Samya Stumo, the 2015 graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst who was among the 157 passengers killed when an Ethiopian jetliner crashed shortly after takeoff on March 10, 2019.

The just-launched Samya Rose Stumo Memorial Fellowship for Global Health was created by family members of the 24-year-old who grew up in the Berkshires as well as colleagues at ThinkWell. The nonprofit works internationally with low- and middle-income countries on ways to finance the delivery of quality health care to their populations.

Stumo had been hired as an analyst for strategic planning in primary health care and was headed to Uganda for her first project with ThinkWell when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Ethiopia capital of Addis Abba.

The plane, a Boeing 737 Max 8, was bound for Nairobi, Kenya, with passengers from at least 35 countries aboard. It was the second such crash within four months for the Boeing 737 Max 8 and shortly afterward the widely-used aircraft was grounded worldwide from flying passengers and only recently allowed by most countries to return to service.

Stumo’s parents have filed a lawsuit against Chicago-based Boeing and Rosemount Aerospace Inc. Other lawsuits have been filed against Boeing for the October 2018 crash of a Boeing 737 that happened shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, and killed 189 people.

Stumo, who earned a master’s degree from the University of Copenhagen School of Global Health in 2018, had worked as program assistant for the Five College Program during her senior year at UMass where her undergraduate degree was a dual one anthropology and Spanish.

She had also earned a certificate in culture, health and science from UMass, and had worked as a research consultant in Europe as part of the health systems research team at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.

A 2010 graduate of Mount Everett Regional School in Sheffield where she was raised, Stumo was a granddaughter of Laura Nader, a noted anthropologist and sister of consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

Fellows, initially from Kenya, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, will be part of an inaugural one-year program in which they will receive a stipend and be mentored in their proposed global health project by ThinkWell in-country experts. Application deadline is April 26.

The fellowship is implemented by ThinkWell Institute and governed by the Stumo family who had said $80,000 in donations would help launch the program.

The GoFundMe Page hopes to raise $300,000 for the program.



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