Xavier Aparicio

Joash Elijah Audrey Gabriel portrait at the University of Massachusetts

Joash Elijah Audrey Gabriel, a graduating senior in the Commonwealth Honors College, has been selected as the 2023 CHC Senior Speaker at this year's Celebration of Excellence. In her speech, the microbiology and public health major will reflect on the events and experiences that shaped her and her classmates’ time at UMass Amherst. We asked her a few questions to get insight on her time at UMass and what she hopes the audience will get from her speech. Read more.

UMass senior Caelyn works on her laptop at the University of Massachusetts

Completing your thesis is a milestone in the Honors College. As a sophomore, I was curious to find out more about what it's like by hearing from someone who is completing their thesis right now. Luckily, I was able to connect with Caelyn, a senior psychology and English major, to talk about her experience with the thesis.

Read on for a preview of what it's like completing your Honors Thesis!

Portrait of Xavier

Almost everyone has some type of story or motivation of why they chose their major. Whether it be due to basic interest, future prospects, or pursuing their passions. With the multitude of options, I can easily see how it can be difficult to choose. However, I hope that by sharing why I chose my major, those exploring majors can draw insights to find their own path, while those already declared can reflect on why they chose their field.

Blue, white, and yellow rectangles and text reading 2023 Mass URC Information session

Over 70 faculty and undergraduate students met virtually Tuesday, November 29th, to attend the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MassURC) 2023 Info Session. In this session, students were able to hear from three fellow students, conference assistants Anisha Prathi ‘25, Annika Berlin ‘24, and Ava Fiorino ‘24, about the research conference.

Photo of Ximena Gómez at the University of Massachusetts

Students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall on Thursday, November 17th to share pizza and listen to Ximena Gómez, a professor of History of Art and Architecture at UMass Amherst. Gómez presented her talk titled ‘Art History Without Art? Identifying Black and Indigenous Artistic Contributions.’


Sunlight shines in a fall view of the University of Massachusetts

On Tuesday, October 25, the Honors College facilitated a Thesis workshop titled “What I Wish I’d Known: A Panel on the Honors Thesis.” The second installment in this series, the virtual event gave its 40 attendees an insight into the Honors Thesis process from a student perspective.

Headshot Photo of Dr. Ximena Gómez, Professor of Art History

Ximena Gómez will present her Pizza and Prof talk: “Art History Without Art? Identifying Black and Indigenous Artistic Contributions in Colonial Lima,” on November 17th, 2022 at 5 p.m. in the CHC Events Hall East (RSVP online to attend). Gómez is an assistant professor of American Art in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. Her work contends with the absence of Indigenous and Black people in art historical narratives and centers around the pre-invasion and colonial past in Latinx art.


W.E.B. Du Bois in a portrait from 1907

Students, faculty, staff, and other guests gathered in the Student Union Ballroom on Thursday, October 6 for the 2022 Honors Plenary Lecture. The inspiring lecture delivered by professor of sociology and labor studies Cedric de Leon, was received by over 350 attendees.

An audience of University of Massachusetts students and their families sit in the Bromery Center for the Arts

The Frederick C. Tillis Performance Hall was fully packed on Thursday, September 1st, 2022 as students, families, and friends of the Commonwealth Honors College united to commemorate the 2022 Commonwealth Honors College Induction Ceremony.

Jaileen Baptista `22 speaks at a podium during the Celebration of Excellence at the University of Massachusetts

Jaileen Baptista `22, a mathematics and education major, was the student speaker for the 2022 Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) Celebration of Excellence. The event took place at the Mullins Center, on Thursday May 12, 2022 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. The Celebration of Excellence provided each graduating Honors senior with the opportunity to be personally recognized and provided with an official CHC gold stole. Baptista presented her speech during the celebratory night, along with campus leaders like Honors Dean Mari Castañeda, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, and Provost John McCarthy.