Senior Series 2022: Meet This Year's Graduating Class
In celebration of the UMass Amherst Class of 2022, we asked a handful of graduating seniors to share their stories in their own words as part of the university's fourth annual Senior Series. These students — nominated by peers, faculty, and staff — are already making their mark on the world. Check out their inspiring and heartfelt stories below.
UMass Amherst students Sophia Apteker, Emily Harding, Elienishka Ramos Torres, Aishah Tolentino, and Oyade Onifade interviewed the seniors for this project.
This is Your Class of 2022
Emily Su Bin Ko is a film studies, philosophy, French, and psychology (CNS) major, and a research assistant for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts' digital humanities project Gynocine. In addition, she has served as a peer advisor, lead host of the UMassterclass podcast, film curator assistant, and member of the organizing committee of the International Conference on Videographic Criticism presented by the Film Studies Program.
Cecilia Cipullo is an Italian studies major and a member of the Commonwealth Honors College. Her honors thesis is on writing for comedy television — she is creating a mockumentary called The Daily Bell. She is a part of Mission Improvable, one of the improv groups on campus in the UMass Comedy League.
Hannah Gold is a psychology and public health major and senior captain of the women's rowing team. They have also served as lead peer mentor and undergraduate administrative assistant for the Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (MAICEI) program, which provides students aged 18-21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to have a college experience alongside their nondisabled peers.
Brian Katcher was a life flight paramedic for just under 16 years, overseeing air medical crews consisting of paramedics, nurses, mechanics, and pilots. Prior to that, he worked as a paramedic on a ground ambulance. After graduating, he is considering pursuing a career in emergency management and continuing to teach the next generation of paramedics.
Daniel Keating Jr. is an Isenberg undergraduate Student Advisory Committee leader, UMass Surf Club board member, Gilman scholar, People Against Loneliness (PALs) co-founder, UMass Dining student ambassador, and a twice-featured transfer student success podcast guest and panelist.
Chloe McLean is a senior in the Department of Art specializing in painting. She creates large-scale oil on canvas works that highlight the human spirit and have mass appeal. McLean has a strong work ethic and a passion for art and film. Her latest exhibit, Today Tomorrow, is on view at Herter Gallery.
A biomedical engineering major and mathematics minor, Aladdin Mohammed started working in a research lab during his freshman year and is currently finalizing his independent research project. In addition, he is involved with numerous student groups on campus, including the National Society of Black Engineers, UMass Brotherly Union, Black Student Union, UMass’s NAACP chapter, and the African Student Union.
KieuLy Nguyen is an English major with a minor in Information Technology. She has worked as an editorial assistant for UMass Magazine, a marketing assistant at UMass Store, marketing communications intern at BioPrep Solutions, LLC, research assistant for Pompeii Artistic Landscape Project, speech editor at TEDx Amherst, and for the UMass Amherst edition of the Hult Prize.
Michael (Mike) O’Malley is a talented singer, actor, theater major, and the music director for the Doo Wop Shop, the oldest all-male-identifying a cappella group on campus. A Star Wars and Phantom of the Opera fan, O'Malley has been involved with the UMass Amherst Department of Theater's Rights of Spring festival, as well as many Doo Wop Shop and theater performances throughout his time at the university.
Keleigh Pereira is a University Without Walls student, mother of two, and the program director of Three-County Continuum Care for Community Action Pioneer Valley. A housing equity and HUD regulations expert, she has been fighting for housing rights for 15 years. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact — a program of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts designed to train women to run for office — and was a Commissioner for the Hampshire-Franklin Commission on the Status of Women and Girls for Massachusetts. Her ultimate dream is to someday be a legislator.
Ananth and Sid Preetham are twins, computer science majors, roommates, and are starting an AI tech startup based out of their apartment. In addition, they are course assistants in the College of Information and Computer Sciences, research assistants at the Pompeii Artistic Landscape Project, and involved in the Entrepreneurship Club and the Berthiaume Center.
A first-generation, low-income Haitian-American student, Sari Saint-Hilaire served as the president of First Generation Low-Income Student Partnership (FLIP) and led as an residential assistant (RA) on the sixth floor of Dickinson Hall in Orchard Hill Residential Hall. In the fall, she will be attending Harvard Graduate School of Education.
A world-class, renowned trumpet player in the University Without Walls program, Bijon Watson has a career as a musician and educator that spans more than 25 years and has taken him around the globe to perform. He has performed, recorded, and toured with such acts as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Natalie Cole, Justin Timberlake, and more.
Then and Now: Senior Series
Now in its fourth year, the UMass Amherst Senior Series celebrates the remarkable stories of the university's graduating class. Take a peek at the stories from the last four years below.