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Meet Nancy Chomitz, the assistant director of advising at the Commonwealth Honors College. From choosing classes to finishing your Honors Thesis, she sets you up for success in the Honors curriculum throughout your entire time here. 

Chomitz went to UMass Amherst for her undergraduate degree, where she worked at CHC as a peer advisor and peer advising coordinator. “CHC was always near and dear to my heart because it gave me a lot of transformative opportunities when I was a student here.” 

An academic advisor speaks with a University of Massachusetts student

She went to New York City following her time at UMass, getting her master's in psychological counseling with a specialization in school counseling, and working in a high school as a college counselor. 

“I always knew that I wanted to work with students in some capacity. I always say that I'm never going to be an 'X', but I can't wait to help someone else become those things,” Chomitz explained. 

She decided to move away from NYC and come back to western Massachusetts, which is when she found the position with Honors Advising. 

“The stars kind of aligned and this position opened up a little while after I moved here, so it felt like a good fit and they decided it was also a good fit,” she said. 

Coming back to UMass as a professional staff member was “definitely a different experience” for Chomitz. “It’s a perk to have the nice foundational knowledge already…I know I'm a little older, but I still loosely remember a lot of the curriculum and what it means to be a UMass student, so it gives me really good insight,” she said.

The Academic Advising team for Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts

In her role in Honors Advising, Chomitz has learned a lot more about the behind-the-scenes work for advising and how every department is operating and is connected. A lot of her job is assisting the director of advising, LizAnette Pérez-LeBoeuf.

“The main portion of my role is supervising the peer advising team, so I do all of their training, all of their hiring, and all of their general supervision and management,” she explained.

Another aspect to it is working with students directly through one-on-one meetings, group advising sessions, and even by hosting events. “It's interesting to hear what's going on in students’ lives and to provide support, resources, and any clarification that we can,” said Chomitz. 

Her favorite part of the job is working with the student staff. “CHC peer advising was such an important part of my experience at UMass, it's really wonderful to be a part of that larger picture and hopefully support someone else in that same experience,” she explained. 

Chomitz also described how one of the highlights of this role is that she can work with students from a variety of departments and majors. ”I don't know anything about biomedical engineering, but I get to see students do that. I just read a thesis proposal that was all about microbiology and didn’t know what much of it meant, but it looked really cool and that's so exciting that the student doing the thesis is so excited,” she explained. 

“There's very few opportunities where you can do this level of connecting across majors and departments,” Chomitz added. 

The peer advisors in Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts sit outdoors on campus
The Peer Advising team, Photo: Eva Trainer

As for the future, she hopes that the Honors College becomes whatever students want or need it to be. “I want it to be a really fulfilling place for anyone to dive deep into their interests and have the resources and opportunities to do whatever they want to do,” she said. 

Her advice to students? “Come talk to us!” She said that the advisors’ job is to converse with students and support them in any way they can, so she urges everyone to make use of that resource, whether that's venting about something or connecting you to an opportunity you may have not heard of.

“I really do think the Honors College can be what you want it to be and there is a lot of flexibility,” Chomitz said. She added, “It's this really cool way to enrich your interests and your passions, and we're really excited to help get you there.” 

Nancy Chomitz is one of many staff being highlighted through this series. Learn more about the Honors College Team online. 

Article posted in Community for Faculty , Staff , Prospective students , and Current students