The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Maddie Bottasso

Maddie Bottasso's picture


Hi, my name is Maddie Bottasso and I am currently a sophomore communication major at University of Massachusetts Amherst. I'm from a small town in central Massachusetts with a graduating class of only 95 people, so coming to a college with 23,000 undergraduates was definitely a big change. I am very interested in digital media, video production, and marketing, and am excited to learn more about these topics as an intern at the Undergraduate Admissions Office this semester. 

Where do you live on campus?

I live in the Southwest residential area on campus in a standard double room. Southwest is known as the "city" within our campus because of the five tall high-rise towers and how many students are housed in this one area. I love living in Southwest because two of the dining halls, Berkshire (my favorite dining hall) and Hampshire are located right here in Southwest. It is also just a quick walk to class, the library, and the rec center, which is very convenient. There is a sense of independent living on my own in my residence area, but at the same time a big sense of community and kindness for everyone living around me.

What's something that most people don't know or assume wrongly about your major?

When I first tell people that my major is communication, a lot of people assume that I chose my major because it's "the easiest major" and I just wanted to pick something that I wouldn't have to work too hard in, but this is definitely not the case. Communication is a fast-growing and very important part of our world. With digital media and social media becoming such a large part of everyone's lives, it is important to keep up with this growth and learn more about how it affects us as a society. I have already learned a lot about media, film, and social media in my classes — and can't wait to learn more.

What's the most interesting class you've taken at UMass and why?

The most interesting class I have taken so far at UMass Amherst was Communication 121: Intro to Media and Culture. I took this class first semester of my freshman year, and it really helped to give me clarity on what I would like to study for the next four years. I found it very interesting to learn about different types of digital media and how these types of media affect the society that we live in. From radio and TV, to social media, each form of digital media impacts us in every aspect of our lives, sometimes in ways we don't even realize.

My Content

UMass Then and Now

University of Massachusetts student and her parents (both UMass alums) standing outside with the Old Chapel and the library in the background. Text: UMass Then and Now

If I took a time machine back about 30 years I would recognize some very familiar faces walking the same streets of UMass that I walk today. Two of these being my own parents! Both of my parents were undergraduates at UMass Amherst in the early '90s, where they met and graduated with degrees in education and engineering. 

Life in a RAP!

Southwest Towers at UMass Amherst. Text: Life in a RAP (Residential Acadenic Program)

When I attended New Student Orientation the summer before my freshman year at the University of Massachusetts Amherst I heard people talking about being in a RAP (no not the genre of music). A RAP at UMass stands for a Residential Academic Program, and it is a popular program for freshman. A RAP allows you to choose the exact building you will live in your first year on campus and take one class first semester with a group of people who live on your floor who have the same major or similar interests as you.

Club Culture: UMass Dance Company

UMass Dance Company Performing at UFest

UMass Dance Company

The UMass Dance Company is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) on campus dedicated to bringing together experienced dancers who are looking for something fun and easygoing, but also willing to put in time and commitment to work hard on their dances. The UMass Dance Company is completely student run, showcasing all student-made choreography. We spoke to Olivia, a sophomore member of the company, about why she's so happy to be a part of such an amazing group of dancers and people.