HFA Student Profile: Zachary Zuber
Zack Zuber '14, HFA Leadership Board President and History major, discusses getting involved in the HFA Leadership Board and taking advantage of all the travel opportunities available at UMass.
Where are you from?
I’m from the small beach town of Westport, MA, known for Horseneck Beach.
Why did you decide to attend UMass?
Honestly, UMass wasn’t my first choice but it was the best financial choice. Plus, the more I researched the university, the more excited I became. As a big university, UMass offers so many more opportunities than the average college. I interned abroad the summer after my first year here. At how many colleges can you do that? I have also had two cousins graduate from UMass and I’m currently studying with three more. UMass has become a family thing!
What’s your major and why did you choose it?
I am double majoring in History and a BDIC of International Affairs, Security and Diplomacy. I entered UMass as a History major; I have always liked history and my history teachers. When I was looking at universities, I was also looking for good international relations programs which led me to develop my own BDIC last semester. I hope to work in the State Department’s Foreign Service in the future. I am also a Commonwealth Honors College student and a member of the International Scholars Program.
You’re the president of the HFA Leadership Board. How’d you get involved and what are your duties?
The HFA Leadership Board was Kelly Gray’s project which began in September 2010. I remember getting an email from Kelly during the beginning of my first year and being really excited for the opportunity to gain leadership experience and be actively involved on campus. After many meetings of defining what the group was, its goals and initial programing, I became Co-President with Addie Harrington. We led the group meetings, created agendas and supervised the direction of programs. As more of an idea brainstormer, I led the programming and shared administration duties with Addie. We ended the year with “Chill Zone” an extremely successful de-stressing event during Finals week. Last semester we hosted more events and programs but our highlight event was our Skate night at the Mullins Center where we sponsored a free night of ice-skating with raffles, food and beverages for hundreds of students. The event also raised money for the Amherst Survival Center.
We lost many group members to graduation and study abroad including Addie which gave me the chance to work with Evan Heller as Co-President. Since then my role has transformed more into a mentoring and supervising role to prepare Evan and the board for the upcoming year. This year has also been great for HFA Leaders. We began the U-Chat series where students have the chance to eat and chat with HFA faculty such as Dr. Farrell and Professor O’Brian from the English department. We are currently raising money for Relay for Life, planning programs for next year and preparing for the upcoming guided tour to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Have you held any student leadership positions before?
Not until HFA Leadership Board. I was always involved in leadership groups like National Honors Society and student government but was never confident that I could be a leader. Since then however, I have been a Minutemover, John Adams Associate and have also become a Peer Mentor in Emerson Hall.
You’ll be studying abroad next year
where will you be studying?
I’m studying at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I will be in the Program of Argentine and Latin American Studies where I will be enrolled in international business, Latin American history and culture, Spanish and U.S.-Latin American Relations.
What made you choose Argentina?
I chose Argentina because I think it is the most interesting Spanish speaking country in Latin America. I hope to become fluent or near fluent in Spanish by the end of the program which is why I also chose a home-stay option.
You’ll also be on domestic exchange—where in the U.S. will you be studying?
After I return from Argentina in late November, I will be preparing for my second semester of junior year at The University of Hawaii at Hilo. This will be my third cultural experience while attending UMass. If I have learned anything from the past two years, it is to take advantage of every opportunity that you can.
Which class has been your favorite at UMass so far and why?
Greek Mythology with Classics Professor Anthony Tuck has been, by far, my favorite course at UMass. His witty humor and unique lecturing style makse his class one of a kind and makes students want to come to class and pay attention. It was the only big lecture class I know of that was still very full on friday afternoons even before holidays and vacations. I enjoyed his class so much that I went to Vescovado, Italia with him to intern at the Poggio Civitate Archeological Field School. After seven weeks under the Tuscan sun I came back more confident with a strong case of the travel bug.
What do you think you’ll miss most about UMass when you’re away?
I will definitely miss family and friends the most but also all the campus events and organizations that I have participated in.