Senior Profile: Saliha Bayrak '23

Saliha BayrakWhat advice would you give to incoming UMass students or freshman year you?
My advice to incoming students: try everything, but don't force anything. When you get on campus, try to be involved with a bunch of different student organizations. Odds are, unless you're really lucky, you're not going to find your community and niche right away. If something doesn't feel right, you don't have to stick with it. If you try 10 different things, you will eventually find a community of people you feel at home with, and something that sparks and carries a passion for you throughout your college experience. 

Senior Profile: Austin Lozada '23

Austin LozadaTell us about the research you’ve been involved in or your honors thesis:
Working with Dr. Leidner and Linda Isbell while actively serving in the Air Force, I conducted research on what motivates individuals to join the military from a psychological point of view, and how this relates to each person's satisfaction with life having served. 

Senior Profile: Sherley Mejia '23

Sherley MejiaHow did your experiences in a club, activity, or academic field shape who you are today?
My involvement in the Psychology Dept. has provided me with various opportunities for growth. As a Research Assistant, I acquired analytical and research skills. Additionally, As a Teaching Assistant and Peer Mentor, I was able to develop my communication, collaboration, and leadership skills. Lastly, being part of the BioPioneers Residential Academic Program (RAP) allowed like-minded people, which gave me a sense of belonging and community.

2023 Senior Awards

senior award winners pose together outside at UMass

Student Award
Ashleigh Frank Outstanding Overall Senior Award
Maxwell Weinberg Outstanding Thesis Award
Austin Lozada Berni Leidner Exceptional Achievement Award
Melissa Anderson Outstanding Senior Service Award
Sherley Mejia Outstanding Senior Service Award
James Duffy Teaching Assistant Appreciation Award
Naomi Lynn Small Research Assistant Appreciation Award
Olachi Unaka Research Assistant Appreciation Award
Abigail Greene Outstanding Internship Contribution
Emily Kaye Academic Excellence Award

Hear what some of our senior award winners had to say about their UMass experience:


2023 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Every spring we're proud to showcase undergraduate research in a poster-fest attended by students and faculty alike. Check out some tweets and posters from our talented students, summing up their extraordinary projects!

Van Le presenting poster

Are there mental health stigmas in the Emergency Department (ED)? We found that individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorder experienced a wide range of positive and negative experiences when accessing physical healthcare in the ED, and their stories provide a basis for future healthcare research, practice, and policies. Van Le

PBS Students Attend Autism Connections Conference

students gather around conference table

Students in the Developmental Science Program and the Developmental Disabilities and Human Services specialization traveled to Springfield for the Autism Connections Conference on April 27. The day-long educational conference brings together agency and education professionals, families, parents, caregivers, individuals with autism, sponsors and exhibitors to build knowledge, inspire and make meaningful connections.

Nilanjana Dasgupta Assists National Academics with Study on Dismantling Exclusion in STEM

Nilanjana DasguptaNilanjana Dasgupta, provost professor of psychological and brain sciences and director of the Institute of Diversity Sciences at UMass Amherst, has spent the last year working with The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to identify and circulate the best principles and practices for organizations to use in advancing antiracism, diversity, equity and inclusion in the sciences, technology, engineering, math and medicine, both within and beyond higher education. The results of Dasgupta and her colleagues’ work was recently published as a consensus study, freely available from the National Academies.