INTERVIEW: UMass professor remembers James Foley

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The last known image of slain American journalist James Foley will not be what’s remembered one of his former professors at UMass Amherst. Foley, who obtained his master’s degree from UMass a decade ago, was killed by Islamic militants in the Middle East. His last moments were captured on video, as he was executed by a man in a black hood.

Foley will be remembered by those who knew him as a brave journalist, who shed light on the conflict and politics of places a world away. Professor Noy Holland spoke with 22News about her former student Thursday, recalling Foley as a bright young mind who was always kind to others.

“He has a kind of goofy sense of humor; was exuberant and a very compassionate and involved person,” Holland said.

“I think people who do what they believe they should do and act on their beliefs and their convictions, and have sympathy for other people, are heroes. And so yes, I would call him a hero.”

Play the video above to hear the complete interview.

Foley was captured by the Islamic terrorist group ISIS two years ago in Syria. President Barack Obama spoke about his killing, and said the U.S. government will “continue to confront terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and civility.”

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