2020 Scholarship Award Recognition

2020 Scholarship Award Recognition


Congratulations to over 200

Commonwealth Honors College Scholarship Award Recipients


Welcome to our virtual celebration of Commonwealth Honors College scholarship recipients for the 2020–2021 academic year. Although we were not able to gather in person, as we traditionally do, we feel it is important to celebrate our students’ accomplishments and recognize the donors who have supported them on their Honors academic journey.

Mari Castañeda, Dean

Welcome to the virtual 2020 Commonwealth Honors College Scholarship Awards Celebration




In the past twenty years since the UMass Amherst Honors Program became Commonwealth Honors College, donors have played a key role in bringing life to the College’s commitment to educational access.


 200+ Donor-funded Scholarships

The number of awards given yearly has risen from twelve when the college began. 



$350,000+ total in awards 

Commonwealth Honors College scholarships supplement each students' regular financial aid award from the university. 




The Honors College is deeply grateful to alumni, parents, and friends who choose to honor their own experiences by investing in the next generation of talented and motivated students


It Takes a Village to Remove Obstacles

Honors College donor Tina Brown-Stevenson shares her passion for staying engaged and working together to address challenges.

Commonwealth Honors College’s donor-funded scholarships recognize outstanding students for their academic excellence as well as their:

Pursuit of problem-solving research   ▪   Involvement in extracurricular activities   ▪   Leadership   ▪   Contributions to our communities   ▪   Future ambitions


Discovering My Life's Passion

Scholarship recipient Isabelle Domingos '21, charts her Honors journey and how the opportunities she has had shapes her future.


Commonwealth Honors College Scholarship Award Recipients

This year’s scholarship recipients represent a diverse cross-section of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst undergraduate population. 


67 Majors  ▪  8 Schools and Colleges

  • College of Engineering

  • College of Humanities & Fine Arts

  • College of Information & Computer Sciences

  • College of Natural Sciences

  • College of Nursing

  • College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

  • Isenberg School of Management

  • School of Public Health & Health Science

From STEM fields to social sciences, visual and performing arts, and more, scholarship recipients have created a living and learning community that prioritizes academic exploration and knowledge sharing. Their interests and perspectives are varied, bringing immeasurable value to the Honors experience. Scholarship recipients run the gamut from first-generation college students to those with extended family histories at UMass Amherst. They all continue to deepen the college’s legacy.


The complete list of scholarship recipients highlights the direct impact of donor gifts on individual Commonwealth Honors College students and the achievements and promise of those students. Donors also provide support for the College more broadlywhether for new and innovative courses, the ever-popular “Pizza and Prof Nights” (now re-imagined as “Dinner and Dining” in our remote learning environment), distinguished speakers, or support for undergraduate research. Indeed, without them, the Commonwealth Honors College experience would be very different for our students.


This Is Honors

Honor students shape their individual Honors experience by calling upon their intellectual curiosity to shape their ambitions and tackle societal challenges.  We continue to be inspired by each student's story and their desire to bringing about change, to invent, to reimagine, and to keep learning. 


Joseph and Elizabeth Rountree Merit Scholarship Recipient

“I don’t want to just sit here and watch amazing boys and men suffer because they don’t think they can get the help they need."

Paula recalls how her feminist ideals are shaping her Honors research plans and her work toward equality. 

ryan duggan

Class of 1941 Humanitarian Award Recipient

“Because bees pollinate crops, they not only make those crops produce better quality fruits and vegetables, but more of them.”

Ryan serves as president of the UMass Beekeeping Club and a Massachusetts honey ambassador in the Essex County Beekeeper’s Association. 


Melvin Howard Scholarship Recipient

“It’s not that you’re just giving, you’re also taking, which shaped my whole perspective with what I want to do with volunteering and working with nonprofits. There’s a certain balance in it if you’re a bit more reflective with your thoughts.”

Suma enjoyed her service-learning project, teaching English to custodial staff as a part of her Ideas That Change the World seminar.