The iCons class of 2024

iCons Program Graduates Largest-ever Cohort, Including First Isenberg School of Management Students

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The UMass Amherst Integrated Concentration in STEM (iCons) Program held its 11th Annual Senior Exposition – the culminating event of the iCons Program – and celebrated significant milestones in the program’s history. The event, held May 13, marked both the awarding of 46 certificates, the largest iCons graduating class to date, as well as the graduation of the first iCons students from the Isenberg School of Management.

UMass iCons began recruiting Isenberg students in Fall 2020, and the first students joined the 11th cohort of iCons. One of those students is Morgan Lance, whose primary major was operations and information management.

“I enjoyed being in iCons as a business student because being with STEM students and using the scientific method to solve problems opened me up to new ways of thinking,” says Lance, who graduated with an iCons certificate in biomedicine/biosystems.

Having business and STEM students collaborate on tackling real-world problems is important because it makes them better problem-solvers and more attractive job candidates, Lance says.

“Often, business programs do not promote jobs that are available in STEM fields like those in biotech,” Lance adds. “Being part of iCons gives you a huge leg up to have experience in science and experimental design. iCons is a great way for business students to bridge this gap in knowledge and stand out against the competition.”

“Being in iCons and being around other iCons students taught me that I can be a business person and, at the same time, remain committed to fighting climate change,” says Sam Saunders, who majored in finance and graduated with an iCons certificate in renewable energy. “I will bring this perspective into my career from day one.”

This year’s Senior Exposition showcased the talents and achievements of the 46 graduates through keynote presentations and poster sessions. The students presented their breakthrough research projects on topics ranging from “teaching teens to drive” to “gardening made easy with AI,” demonstrating their expertise and innovative approaches to solving real-world challenges.

“We are immensely proud of the achievements of these students,” says Jennifer Merton, associate chair and law lecturer coordinator in the Isenberg Department of Management. “The success of these graduates demonstrates the strength of the UMass iCons Program and the future promise in our continued collaboration with iCons on preparing top-notch problem solvers.”