Creating community for under-represented students
SBS RISE—Remedying Inequity through Student Engagement—creates community and provides specialized academic programs and support for underrepresented students within the College. Part of SBS Pathways (the advising office for the College) the program is focused on serving undergraduates who identify as first-generation, Black, Indigenous, or other Persons of Color (BIPOC) and/or those who come from low-income backgrounds. Students do not need to submit an application to participate in SBS RISE events or opportunities, as they are automatically a member of the community by opting to major in an SBS program.
How to Get Involved
Students identifying as first-generation, BIPOC, or low-income are welcome to participate in any SBS RISE event or opportunity—no application is necessary! The first step to getting involved is to follow SBS RISE on Instagram or Twitter for the latest information on professional development opportunities, events, and other resources. Watch your inbox for the weekly SBS RISE newsletter, which contains helpful information and guidance on navigating your university experience. The program regularly hosts workshops on topics like scholarship opportunities; ways to maximize your education through research, leadership, study abroad, civic engagement, and leadership; preparing for graduate school; and planning for your post-graduation career.
SBS RISE Initiatives
Summer Research Assistantships: The Center for Justice, Law, and Societies (CJLS) and SBS RISE created the Summer Research Assistantship program to help undergraduate students gain real-world research experience. Each summer, students can apply to work with a UMass Amherst faculty member as a research assistant. As part of the experience, students learn various research methods and techniques, network with other students and faculty, and gain skills that are beneficial for both graduate school and future employment. Applications for the program generally open in March.
Student Aid Society's Laptop Initiative: Having a laptop is a necessity for college students, making it easier to take classes and complete assignments. Through our Student Aid Society, students in need are able to receive a laptop by applying through the program. Applications for this program generally open in August.
Diversity Fellows: Each academic year, 8 to 10 students are selected to serve as diversity fellows, creating projects and events that are meant to build community and provide resources to the SBS RISE community at large. Diversity fellows gain valuable professional development and leadership skills as part of the program and are expected to enroll in a one-credit course with Felicia Griffin-Fennel, director of SBS RISE. Applications to become a fellow generally open in March for participation during the following academic year.
Mentoring Program: Learning how to navigate academic and social life at UMass Amherst can be challenging for new students. SBS RISE pairs mentors and mentees to share information and experiences on handling academics, meeting new friends, and getting involved on campus. Those interested in becoming a mentor can apply here, while those seeking a mentor should apply here.