Elizabeth Paice remembers arriving at UMass Amherst excited to be attending a large university but nervous about making friends. She especially hoped to meet people who, like her, wanted to be challenged academically. Elizabeth chose to reside in a first-year Honors RAP, through which she explored philosophy in such courses as “Medical Ethics.”
In a RAP, she notes, students are like a family: “They care about each other, they go to dinner together every day, and they stay in touch even after the first year. I still have friends from my RAP. ”
Elizabeth loved her first-year residence hall so much that she stayed on afterward, taking on leadership roles, first as a peer academic advisor and then as a peer mentor. As a senior, she connected her academic interests to her work in the residence halls by assisting with RAPs that were focused on political science.
“My Honors RAP experience was one of the most influential experiences I had on campus,” she recalls. “I made more connections than I could have ever imagined—both with older students I looked up to as role models and with younger students I got to mentor. I made a difference when Commonwealth Honors College offered me work mentoring prospective and first-year students.”