UMass Flex
UMass Flex

Student FLEXperience

Saffron Student Story

FLEXperience: Amplifying Student Voices

The Student FLEXperience expands the UMass Amherst student experience by sharing digital stories focused on the overarching theme of Belonging and Access: How Digital Technology Can Solve Obstacles.

Over the course of four months, students wrote scripts, recorded audio narrations, and collected visual content to develop digital stories. These stories focus on experiences throughout the pandemic as well as the use of technology to find community, access education, and engage with the campus.

FLEXperience Digital Stories

Still Singing: Navigating Music Studies in a Virtual Classroom

Gilbert Wermeling shares his experience navigating the challenges of studying music during a global pandemic.

By Gilbert Wermeling​, M.M. Choral Conducting, College of Humanities and Fine Arts (May 2023)​

The Portable Classroom: A Military Service Member’s Experience

Jakob Gokey shares how UMass Flex made it possible for him to continue his education full time while serving overseas.

By Jakob Gokey​​, B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in International Relations, University Without Walls (Spring 2023) and Master of Public Policy, School of Public Policy (February 2024)​

Finding Connections & Community

As a commuter student, utilizing technology and support from her colleagues at UMass Amherst has allowed Jazmine Chan to find her own community, while continuing her studies and being a caregiver for her dad.

By Jazmine Chan​​, PhD Health Promotion & Policy: Community Health Education, School of Public Health & Health Sciences (May 2025)​​

Figuring It Out: Amelia Talluri

Amelia Talluri shares her experiences navigating through school and life as the first child of multicultural immigrants.

By Amelia Talluri​​, B.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Business Minor (May 2025)​

The Impact of Technology

Chiruza Muhimuzi shares the challenges he encountered as a refugee while learning English and how he leveraged technology to continue his studies at UMass Amherst.

By Chiruza Muhimuzi​​, B.S. Biology, College of Natural Sciences (2025)​​

Bringing Family Closer Together

Having flexible access to her classes at UMass Amherst improved Daria’s relationship with her family, especially with her father after he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

By Daria Agrba​​, B.S Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Natural Sciences (May 2023)​​

Experience With Digital Technology: Improving Accessibility at University and Beyond

Saffron, an autistic undergraduate student, discusses how they’re better able to access more equal educational and social opportunities at their university by taking advantage of digital technology.​​​​

By Saffron Turner​​​, B.A. Sociology, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Minor, College of Humanities and Fine Arts (May 2024)​​

Breaking the Barriers: How Auxiliary Technologies Helped Me To Achieve My Dreams

Fatih Cetin opens up about his and his sister's shared experiences, where they faced similar hurdles but took different paths as technology evolved to offer greater accessibility.

By Fatih Cetin​​​​, PhD Political Science, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (June 2024)​​​

Balancing Act: Online College Student and 1st Grade Teacher

During her pandemic year at home, Anna Clune balanced being an online college student while also working as a Spanish immersion school teacher for a 1st grader.

By Anna Clune​​​​, B.S. Spanish and Communications, College of Humanities and Arts (May 2023)​​​

Womanhood in Engineering: Marriage, Motherhood, and Multicultural Backgrounds

Personal experiences from nontraditional women in Engineering, the challenges that come from that, adapting to flexible learning, and overcoming their challenges.

By Bridget Benner​​​​, PhD Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering ​(December 2023)​​​​,
Jonisha Aubain​​​​, PhD Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering ​(May 2026)​​​​​,
and Paola Pimentel Furlanetto​​​​, PhD Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, College of Engineering ​(May 2024)