Service project

Navajo Language Academy

The Navajo Language Academy is a non-profit educational organization committed to promoting the scientific study and preservation of the Navajo language. Since 1997, Navajo linguistics workshops for language teachers and scholars have been held every summer. The NLA covers complicated areas of grammar and teach students how to apply scientific methods to language studies. UMass Amherst is represented on the NLA's board of directors.

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.

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.

Center for Women and Community

The Everywoman’s Center changed its name to The Center for Women and Community in September of 2012. CWC supports and encourages women and is a nationally recognized leader in achieving gender equity. The center offers services to people of all genders throughout the campus and the greater community. These services include information, referral, counseling, training, support groups and education in many areas. Individual counseling, crisis intervention and rape crisis services are offered for Hampshire County, the Five Colleges and UMass Amherst.

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.

Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders is a student run organization driven to help local and international communities create sustainable solutions to improve their quality of life and future. EWB aims to develop, fundraise, construct and implement tools necessary for communities to help themselves. The student chapter at UMass Amherst has managed projects in Ghana and Kenya to help develop sustainable methods for clean water.

VAS-Y Fille!

The VAS-Y Fille! Project, which began in the summer of 2013 aims to enroll 5,000 girls in primary and early secondary schools to help increase girls’ access to education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The International Rescue Committee project, Save the Children, and Catholic Relief Services are working as a consortium to implement evaluation studies throughout VAS-Y Fille! Provinces.

Futurescape City Tours

Futurescape City Tours is a national public engagement project that enables citizens to explore how new technologies are changing their cities. Springfield, MA, was one of six participating cities in 2013. In addition to UMass/CPPA, partners included the Center for Nanotechnology and Society at Arizona State University, the Loka Institute, the Springfield Science Museum, Putnam Technical High School, the UMass Design Center, and U.S Congressman Richard Neal’s office, among others.

Massachusetts Native American Trail Project

Native American Trail project is a collaborative effort to develop a website of maps of/for/by multiple Native American communities, where each community will share with the public their historical and contemporary cultural heritage. The Commission of Indian Affairs and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will work directly with Native American communities to develop the content and technology for each group. Each Native American community will be responsible for decisions concerning the content and presentation of the content on their site/link.

Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP)

This research provides design/build services to a village in North India, where, due to chronic drought caused by climate change, an entire community is moving to a new site. Faculty work with villagers through community design charettes to help envision this process and plan with digital tools. In addition to drafting master plan documentation and various community land infrastructure, locals are engaged to construct new prototypes on the community space in the new village.

Leadership and Teacher Development

The Leadership and Teacher Development project is a comprehensive teacher education reform in the Middle East’s West Bank and Gaza. The project aims to improve classroom instruction, policies within the Ministry of Education departments and enhance pre-service teacher education. The Center for International Education (CIE) was awarded a $1 million from AMIDEAST, with USAID West Bank & Gaza funding to help implement enhancement and assessment programs such as the Teacher Education Enhancement Program and Teacher Performance Assessment System.

Higher Education Project

The Higher Education Project (HEP) is part of a long term program undertaking the challenge of building and strengthening the national quality system of higher education throughout Afghanistan. With the USAIDs’ support and managed by the UMass Center for International Education (CIE), HEP has been able to implement solutions to rehabilitate and develop Afghanistan’s education system.

Science Quest

High school students in grades 10-12 from across the Northeast and beyond are encouraged to visit the UMass Amherst campus to engage in hands-on science activities, demonstrations and guided lab tours. Students are allowed to select their own schedule of mini-classes offered to explore physics labs and learn more about science. A panel of UMass undergraduate science students are available to talk about their experiences as a science major and an admission representative will briefly present and answer questions about preparing for college/applying to UMass.

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.

Water Geographies: Conflict & Sustainability

Water Geographies: Conflict & Sustainability is a service-learning course which aims to connect students with people’s active efforts to learn about and protect water, and to help students make a difference in water-related issues they care about. To this end, students undertake two action projects of their choice, which constitutes about one-third of their grade.

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.

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!

Field School in Heritage Archaeology

The field school recently partnered with the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site, an organization in Great Barrington supporting the development of a community wide plan to celebrate the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s project to present the African American history of Franklin County, and with the Pan African History Museum USA of Springfield a community based museum that presents the African American history of the Springfield area. In the past we have also worked with Historic Deerfield, Inc., a regional museum of New England history.

Sustainable Infrastructure Systems

Challenges that state and local public works directors face in providing essential infrastructure services (e.g. water, sewer, transportation, utilities) while at the same time satisfying state and local sustainability goals related to the environment, economic development, fiscal responsibility, and public safety are the foci of this course . Several state and local officials serve as guest lecturers, and in some instances they subsequently work with the students on their term team projects addressing a local problem in their community.

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.

Nano Test Strips for Drinking Water Tests in Pakistan

Chemist Vincent Rotello will develop, test and deploy new, sensitive, reliable and affordable inkjet-printed, nanoparticle-based test strips for detecting disease-causing bacteria in drinking water, with researchers at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan. Rotello will address drinking water safety in Lahore, the largest city in the nation’s Punjab region, where it is estimated that more than 60 percent of water sources in the city are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and rates even higher in rural areas.

Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program

The Provost's Committee on Service-Learning runs a Faculty Fellows program to help faculty develop new service-learning classes. The purpose of this fellowship, available to faculty from all departments, is to help faculty integrate best practices in service-learning into a course so that members of a community benefit from the service and so that students' service experiences enhance their academic learning.

Master of Science in Design & Historic Preservation

The Design & Historic Preservation Master of Science program uses Hancock Shaker Village, one of the largest and best preserved Shaker sites in the nation, as a primary study site. The Shaker’s deep-seated commitment to sustainability in building, living and farming is the philosophical ground for the program’s curriculum. Students learn and expand their skills in architectural design, historic preservation, construction, restoration, town planning, as well as their understanding of historic site management while working closely with leading preservationists in the state and region.

Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance

The Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance seeks to increase the number and diversity of students in the pipeline to computing and computing-intensive degrees by supporting state-level computing education reforms. ECEP works closely with many national organizations, relies on and deploys experts in computing education, promotes state-level computer science education reform, trains educators to provide professional development in computing, supports summer computing camps, and offers advice and tools in higher education transfer and program evaluation.