Health & Wellness

Active Minds

Active Minds is a national organization that serves as liaison between students and the mental health community. The Active Minds student chapter at UMass Amherst provides campus-wide events and national programs to help remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues by providing leadership opportunities, information and advocacy training. The organization works to encourage students to speak openly about mental health and educate others as well as encourage help-seeking.

Green Latrine Project

The Green Latrine was developed to compost human waste and produce electricity. It aims to prevent water contamination as well as provide a source of electricity, critical in developing countries. The multipurpose invention is called the Microbial Fuel Cell Pit Latrine and has been installed in Ghana in May of 2012 and is currently in active use. Graduate students are currently researching designs that can modify existing latrines. The team hopes to visit its host community in Agona Nyakrom in fall of 2014.

Protect Our Breasts

Protect Our Breasts is a national student-based/experiential learning organization that shares about environmental toxins that contribute to breast cancer. A team of students from different academic specialties come together to research and share the scientific discoveries and safer alternatives to everyday toxins. Protect Our Breasts hosts a variety of events through chapters on different campuses (including UMass/Amherst) throughout the academic year.

Learning for Life

The Center for International Education in coalition with the International Rescue Committee and seven other local NGOs, implemented the Learning for Life project. The goal was to improve the literacy and mathematical skills of women while increasing knowledge about health related concerns in 12 provinces in Afghanistan. Due to the lack of access, this innovative and instructional program helped provide women with basic education to become eligible for training in health professions. Learning centers allowed women to attend classes and use non-formal, gender-sensitive pedagogies.

Tick-Borne Disease Network

The Tick-Borne Disease Network program allows free tick testing to people in 32 Massachusetts towns. The TBDN program is funded through the MA Governor’s office, the first network of its kind, and will increase the volume of people using the service giving researchers in the Laboratory of Medical Zoology on campus more data to work with. More information will help identify ticks, the diseases they are carrying and who is getting sick to help prevent future occurrences. Testing and results will be reported to residents, local boards of health and the state Department of Public Health.

Health and Nutrition Diversity Scholars

Health and Nutrition Diversity Scholars (HANDS) is a program designed to increase the diversity of students in the nutrition field. HANDS Scholars are able to participate in a 1-credit seminar each semester and are given access to tutoring, mentorship and career counseling. Scholars will also be able to participate in nutrition conferences, workshops, research & education opportunities, self-assessment programs and other programs for professional development.

Center for Forensics

Bringing together partners across industry, government, and academia to advance scientific and societal understanding of the issues raised by digital forensics technologies, the Center develops and applies novel research and technology in forensics and privacy to address the interests of society, law, and government. To date, over 4,000 arrests for Internet-based child sexual exploitation have been made based on our research and technology. Since April 2012, more than 85 children have been rescued from sexually abusive situations as a result of cases started with our tools.

Electronic Navigation System for Visually Impaired

PERCEPT is an electronic navigation system that provides verbal directions, electronic signs and a virtual information booth for helping the visually impaired around subway stations. The innovative system can be used with a smartphone through a special application with pre-set instructions and near field communication software (NFC) which allows the phone to communicate with electronic tags installed throughout the station. The system hopes to enhance the perception of the blind and visually impaired in unfamiliar indoor environments.

The Fergus M. Clydesdale Center for Foods for Health and Wellness

The Fergus M. Clydesdale Center for Foods for Health and Wellness brings together scientists, educators, government, policy makers and industry executives to develop and implement innovative solutions to food-related health issues. The Center is a world-class academic research center that consists of state-of-the-art laboratories and instrumentation to conduct research on food components that can improve the health and wellness of our food supply.

Resource Economics Practicum: Food Bank of Western MA

In this service-learning class, students did work to evaluate the adequacy of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits in Western MA in cooperation with the Food Bank of Western MA. They found that the current formula used by SNAP to determine the benefits of participants needs to be updated to capture the experience of people living in Western MA—particularly to reflect food and housing costs that are higher than the national average.

Academic Practice Partnership: Nursing Leaders & Baystate Health

The College of Nursing at UMass & Baystate Health have a partnership designed to address the goals of all partners. This partnership has many outcomes including multiple sustained evidence based educational, clinical practice, and organizational programs. Some examples are three successful dedicated education units (DEUs), new models for Nursing policy review, a systematic evaluation of the Shared Governance Structure, a program evaluation of the Nursing Falls Prevention program, and a new research based individualized Falls Risk Assessment tool.

Advanced Practicum in School Psychology

This Advanced Practicum in School Psychology is centered around engaging with school communities and is the work of the School Outreach Team at the UMass Psychological Services Center. School Psychology doctoral students have the opportunity to engage in both a didactic seminar and as consultants in schools to help schools/districts develop and implement systems of positive behavioral support and data-based decision-making. To date, students have worked in over 20 schools in Western MA in districts such as Amherst, Holyoke, Westfield, Mohawk Trail, Southern Berkshire, etc.

Pioneer Valley Tip Off

The Pioneer Valley Tip Off, organized by students in the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at UMass-Amherst, is a high school basketball tournament at the Curry Hicks Cage. One goal of the Pioneer Valley Tip-Off and its participating schools is to help in the fight against cancer by partnering with Coaches vs Cancer, a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The goal of the program is to raise funds for this organization while also promoting cancer awareness to the Western MA community.

Sport Sales Strategies

Students sell tickets to a high school basketball tournament run by UMASSM, the Sport Management student club, held at the Curry Hicks Cage each December to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program. The tickets are purchased by businesses in towns whose high school teams are playing and then distributed to youth organizations and schools in those towns so children can attend for free on behalf of the local businesses.

Explorations in Psychological Practice

Explorations in Psychological Practice is a service-learning capstone Honors Seminar and provides students opportunities to interact with participants in programs provided by schools or human service agencies; to understand personal reactions to experiences with people different from themselves; and to learn the benefits of civic engagement. The service learning component consists of a practicum placement in a school or human services agency from 6-8 hours a week.

SuperCuts SoccerFest

SuperCuts SoccerFest is organized by the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at UMass Amherst and supported by the Sport Event Management class. Representing one of the leading Sport Management Programs in the world, it is dedicated to organizing and running Supercuts SoccerFest with the utmost professionalism. This program creates a unique setting to bring the community together, promoting healthy competition as well as an active lifestyle, and providing a day full of entertainment and fun for all attendees!

Maternal Newborn Practicum

Students receive course credit for volunteering for a maternal newborn or women's health organization. In 2013, UMass Nursing students volunteered to staff the March of Dimes walk/run on Oct. 27th on campus.

Laboratory in Clinical Psychology: Hampshire County Jail and House of Corrections

Students provide direct services in two settings in this laboratory-based class. In the first, after training to become Certified Decisional Trainers, students meet for weekly sessions to conduct a manual Cognitive Behavior Therapy problem-solving treatment with a person currently incarcerated in the Hampshire County Jail and House of Corrections.

Clinical Nurse Leader Capstone

The courses for the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) masters program involve collaborative Health Care Improvement projects in the students’ communities. The student first collaborates with the nursing and interdisciplinary team to identify an important issue for a patient population, and then the CNL capstone involves the development, implementation and evaluation of an improvement project for this patient population in collaboration with the community partners.

Methods and Materials in Special Education

Training students to develop and implement project based learning to promote science knowledge among students with disabilities is the focus of this class. A substantial number of students partner with an ongoing project with the Holyoke Public Schools to develop and implement programs with students with emotional and behavioral disorders.

ReGreen Springfield

Through our tree advocacy efforts, ReGreen Springfield has collaborated with businesses, community organizations, educational partners and government agencies to promote the reforestation of Springfield, improve growing conditions for trees and engage new allies in tree care and monitoring.

New Worlds of Adoption conference 2014, "Helping Families Overcome Early Adversity"

Children who have experienced foster care and adoption often have early childhood adversities that impact their development and complicate effective parenting. Keynote speaker Dr. Phil Fisher, of the University of Oregon, will discuss the effects of early stressful experiences on children's neurobiological and psychological development. In addition the conference will include panel discussions, topical concurrent sessions and posters displaying research and programs. Stay updated at: umass.edu/adoptionconference.

Heritage Assessment and Community Development, Eleuthera, Bahamas

The Center for Heritage & Society has initiated a partnership with a community development organization on the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas (oneeleuthera.org). We have conducted a pilot research project (Historic Building Survey) in Governor's Harbor, and we have developed a community engagement web portal for use by our partners. Finally, we are now in the development phase of an archaeological survey and excavation project in Millars on the site of a former plantation in collaboration with the descendent community.

Treehouse Foundation of Easthampton

The Rudd Adoption Research Program has been involved with the Treehouse community on many levels. Treehouse is an inter-generational community in which elders and families with youth, who are or were in foster care, live together in an effort to support the youth.