At UMass, Mike was a History and Political Science Dual Degree Student, in addition to working toward Departmental Honors in History, Departmental Honors in Political Science, Multidisciplinary Honors, and two undergraduate certificates in International Relations and Public Policy and Administration. He returned to UMass in Fall 2016 as a graduate student in the one-year Accelerated Master's of Public Policy Program at the UMass School of Public Policy.
As a transfer student to UMass Amherst, Elena felt that she had limited opportunities, having missed almost two years of relationship-building in the department and at the school. However, she says, "the history department, along with the career development program, helped me to achieve my dreams and current career path."
During his time at UMass, Nick pursued opportunities to enrich himself intellectually and culturally. Inside the classroom, Nick thrived in courses ranging from Latin American to LGBTQ History. Outside the classroom, Nick participated in the Shaha Diversity Theater group by writing scripts and performing plays that centered on issues of social justice. During the summer after his first year, he travelled to Peru to teach English to elementary and middle school students. These experiences enhanced Nick’s understanding of the world and confirmed his passion for education.
From Germany to China to the Caribbean, Michael studied histories near and far. In the process, he learned to recognize and reevaluate the paradigms of his own culture and historical moment. He says: “History allows you to learn about a variety of places and people. You can gain specific knowledge about a particular culture while also developing a broader understanding of how that culture changed over time.”
Joy converted her enthusiasm for archival research into an internship with the Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA) in Northampton, which was part of a UMass Creative Economies Initiative project directed by Professor Julio Capó Jr., History Outreach Director Dr. Jessica Johnson, and UWW Professor Mitch Boucher. For her internship, Joy categorized periodicals, created finding aids, and processed new materials into the SMA’s collection.