Meet our Student Ambassadors
Is it possible to be in STEM while also being in Honors, playing sports, and having a social life?
"Engineer, nurse, pre-med, you name it, we got it! Honors students are UMass students first and foremost, so anybody can be part of Commonwealth Honors College no matter their major. In fact, the CHC curriculum is designed to seamlessly fit in to any major's curriculum as the requirements are designed to enhance your UMass experience. Personally, I'm double-majoring in Economics and Mathematics, so studying both a STEM field and a social science has kept me busy. My required Honors courses have fit into my schedule well since separate requirements can often be fulfilled out with just one course. I've been able to have plenty of fun at the same time. I go to the gym three to four times a week to work out and a couple other times a week to play basketball. Being in CHC hasn't kept me from fitting those fun times in, especially since the Rec Center is right next door!"
How accessible have your professors been?
"The short answer to that is yes, absolutely! The professors here at UMass are some of the most student-oriented and passionate people I have ever had the pleasure of learning from and with the smaller honors classes forming these connections is even easier. Each professor holds office hours, which is time outside of your regular class meeting set aside for students like you and I to ask clarifying questions, delve further into any class material and related interests or even just stopping in to introduce yourself and say hello. And if stopping by their office in person doesn't work for you, they are always an email away, to ask that question or set up a meeting time that works with your schedule."
How does the Honors curriculum enable students to engage with the Amherst and local community?
"When I joined the UMass Amherst community, I knew I wanted to continue advocacy work in the broader community. Through the Honors College, I discovered the Community Scholars Program—a two-year collaborative classroom experience that integrates social justice coursework and civic engagement through community organizing. I have since been paired with a literacy advocacy organization, and in my second year I worked to build literacy resources across the state of Massachusetts."
What do you do for fun in your free time?
"On the weekends, I love exploring the area and trying to find the hidden gems of Amherst. There are also a wide variety of events hosted on campus. I love to see what intramural sports are holding events and even hopping in sometimes!"
What additional opportunities are available to Honors students at UMass?
"As members of Commonwealth Honors College, we are always UMass students first, so although we are part of the Honors community, that is just another aspect of our academics and life here at UMass. Being in the Commonwealth Honors College allows me to enjoy life in a big university as a UMass student but also get that small college feel in Honors classes. It has also been amazing living in the Honors Residential Community for two years because of how close I am to the library, my classes, the Recreation Center, Roots Café, and other great places to study and spend time on campus. The Honors College also offers many unique events like Pizza & Prof, which brings students and faculty together to make connections and learn more about research opportunities across campus."
What resources are available to me for setting up my schedule and organizing my life?
"ADVISING! ADVISING! ADVISING! Taking advantage of the advising resources provided to students is the best tool when creating your schedule. Advisors are there for the sole purpose of helping ease our experience as students and they are very knowledgeable on what would work best for us. UMass provides advisors in every department and major. I make sure to have at least one meeting per semester with my advisors because they guide me very diligently and help me in both academic and out of school aspects. The advisors at Commonwealth Honors College are well informed on the Honors curriculum and are always happy to assist students in and out of CHC. There are also many peer advisors who are current students and who are in your shoes as a student. Peer advisors are a great resource if you want assistance from a student's perspective."
I'm coming from a smaller high school. What is the transition like to a larger university?
"Coming from a small high school, I was afraid that UMass would be too big and overwhelming for me. As a first-year student, joining a RAP (Residential Academic Program) within the Honors College helped me make friends with my floormates. Additionally, taking small Honors classes allowed me to adjust to college life while giving me the opportunity to make friends with my classmates. Furthermore, participating in clubs such as the HFA (Humanities and Fine Arts) Student Leadership Board gave me a sense of community within my college. Going to Honors events such as Pizza & Prof nights provided me with a way to meet more people in the Honors College as well as get to know UMass faculty better (the free pizza also didn't hurt!)"