Past Award Recipients

WFUM is proud to have funded 72 projects, totaling over $342,100 during the past 9 years.

Bridge the Gap: Intergenerational Conversations on Racism and Health in Western Mass

In lieu of the Health Equity Summit this year, the group will be conducting a film project intending to link our campus with the community on health equity issues. This film touches on current issues related to people of color and their health including suicide prevention, as well as older generations experiences in the region, and newer immigrant young women's experiences. In addition, students will learn about the local Indigenous community. The hope is to premiere the file both on and off campus with a panel discussion to follow. This film will serve as great support and opportunity to BIPOC students, faculty, and staff as it lifts voices of BIPOC members of our communities, and will offer many ways for continued relationships to form for internships, employment etc.

Center for Research on Families (CRF) Student Research Awards Forum

The Center for Research on Families (CRF) Student Research Forum project aims to develop a pipeline of new family researchers through the recognition, support, and mentoring of student researchers at UMass. Twenty CRF Student Family Researchers will be recognized for their excellence in Family Research and five will be selected to present their research at a Student Family Research Forum. Students will communicate their research to an audience that will include members of CRF’s network of 250+ family researchers, making the event an important networking opportunity as these students advance in family research.

Creative Women Leading Climate Action (CWLCA)

CWLCA symposium provides access, support, and opportunity for UMass Amherst students and alumnae to connect with professionals, faculty, and staff in their field. The symposium focuses on engaging women—transgender, cisgender, gender non-conforming—in building a network towards the shared goal of creative climate action. The Symposium will empower students by providing the opportunity to learn from women in leadership, build awareness of the issues women face, and forge their own network of inspired leaders/peers as they pursue leadership in arts and activism fields. Funding is given for attendee scholarships and daycare, with the remaining funds supporting the keynote speaker and workshops. Click here to view the project outcomes.

CVSA's Cape Verdean Women's Day Celebration

The Cape Verdean Student Alliance (CVSA) have been on campus for 37 years, hosting the annual Cabo Verdean Culture Awareness Week during the spring semester. CVSA is hosting multiple events in recognition of Women’s History Month and Cabo Verdean Women’s Day on March 8.

The theme for the spring 2020 is “Celebrating Cabo Verdean Women’s Milestones” and will include a workshop on wellness and the Cabo Verdean Annual Culture Night to highlight cuisine, music, performances, and keynote speakers. Funding is given for a workshop and the cultural event.

GWIS Speaker Series

The UMass Graduate Women in STEM (GWIS) plan to host a three-part speaker series to educate GWIS members and the UMass community on the topics of social justice and anti-racism with a specific focus on women of color in STEM fields. The goal of this speaker series is to provide GWIS members and the UMass community at large with the tools to be effective and proactive allies in the social justice movement.

Maximizing Alumni Networks for Micro-mentoring PhD Women in STEM During a Global Pandemic: The Covid Effect

Women are underrepresented in STEM and need support during their academic journey to help them persist and thrive. The goal of this project is to connect women in PhD STEM programs with alumni women in STEM through micro-mentoring on a digital platform. This micro-mentorship will support participants’ sense of belonging, self-confidence, and progress toward short-term academic and professional goals in the midst of a global pandemic. WFUM funds will be used for creation of a digital platform, advertising and branding, kickoff and closing social events, and funding for the research.

METAMORPHOSES:  A Literary Arts Workshop & Initiative

This literary-arts workshop and initiative is designed to create space for a blended group of UMass students and women incarcerated in the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center (WCC), a women’s jail in Chicopee. The goal of this project is to collaborate in a 10-week literary arts workshop, leading to the production of METAMORHOSES, a literary arts magazine, and a public reading by contributors. This initiative in magazine production, editing, and writing will lead to the creation of a replicable workshop model and literary-arts publication that will be continued on. This initiative is also designed to inspire student interest in reading and writing literature and poetry; enable them to acquire and develop their skills as poets, writers, and editors; and to connect campus and incarcerated students to an international community of educators and arts practitioners who are committed to dialogue and learning inside prisons and jails.

Multiplicity, a Symposium on the State of Contemporary Architecture

Multiplicity, an international symposium on the state of contemporary architecture, is a sequel to Exactitude. The symposium will host 10 established scholars and practitioners in the field to give focused talks on issues of the built environment and the climate, race, ethnicity and power, and local and global forces that shape architecture. This event aspires to engage conversations on the current state of architecture and, specifically, how it is shaped by three factors: a created environment that needs as much reconfiguring as do new buildings; novel and complex construction techniques that must be absorbed and mastered by architects; and an array of digital media that have dramatically shifted established norms of thought and action. Multiplicity is especially focused on how a host of issues such as codes, regulations, climatic considerations, technological tropes transform and shape the larger context of the architecture project.

She Got G.R.I.T. (Gifted, Resilient, Intense, Tenacious)

This project focuses on positively impacting, uplifting, and empowering female student-athletes to become the next generation of women leaders, in and outside of the sports world. A leadership seminar will offer workshops and networking time with fellow female student-athletes. Former female student-athlete professionals will speak at the workshops. Click here to view the project outcomes.

Smart Woman Securities UMass

The UMass chapter of Smart Woman Securities aims to educate and empower undergraduate women on the financial industry through both technical and soft skill lessons and trips to financial service organizations and conferences. Funding will be for a group trip to the Networking Conference in the fall as well as the lodging and travel expenses for the Boston and New York networking trips in the fall and spring. Click here to view the project outcomes.

UMass Student Cancer Survivors

The UMass Student Cancer Survivors aim to support those affected by cancer through raising funds and awareness for local and national organizations. This project will allow a deeper form of support within UMass and make a difference by physically bringing cancer survivors together. WFUM funds will be used to fund materials needed for bonding activities for these students.

UMass Women into Leadership (UWiL)

UWil addresses the gender gap in politics. Public leadership sits at the foundation of our democracy and influences every sector of society, but current leadership does not reflect the full range of its citizenry often leaving women “without a seat at the table”. Funding will be used for semester workshops for the cohort of 20-25 UWiL students to discuss challenges and opportunities in the public sector as well as for the keynote speaker at the annual symposium—an event that brings together UWiL students with elected officials and public sector leading experts. Click here to view the project outcomes.

We Are For Freedoms

We Are For Freedoms is a student-led interdisciplinary exhibition and public program series at the University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) during spring 2021. The project is in partnership with For Freedoms, a national arts platform for creative civic engagement and direct action. For Freedoms exhibitions and public programs use art to deepen public discussions on social justice issues and core values; and to advocate for equality, dialogue, and civic participation. The project will respond to our current social and political moment to cultivate inspiration, center experiences of women and people of color, focus on social justice, build community, and spur civic participation and action. Click here to view the project outcomes.

Women and BIPOC Communities in Local, State, and International Affairs

In conjunction with the Women of Color Leadership Network, UMass School of Public Policy and UMass Women into Leadership, Women and BIPOC Communities in Local, State, and International Affairs aims to inspire college-aged women and BIPOC to consider public service as a career and to learn about the many career paths available to them in public policy and public service. Funds will be used to for two field trips, one to Boston and one to New York City, where women and BIPOC can interact with people in those fields and eventually envision themselves in positions of political importance.

Women Empowerment & The Hijab

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) plans to bring a woman speaker to campus to talk about her experiences as an entrepreneur and to discuss the challenges that women, who wear a hijab, face in the world today and primarily the work place. The goal of the MSA is for attendees to leave the discussion with the following: “that the wearing of a hijab should not hold back any woman in any way”. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn more about the Islamic culture. The WFUM funded speaker will empower and inspire all women to be strong and confident individuals who have the potential to accomplish whatever they set their mind to. 

Women in Sports

The Muslim Students Association plans to host a speaker who will inspire women to pursue their dreams despite the obstacles they may face. This project will empower women, especially those interested in sports, to achieve their dreams regardless of the gender norms common in our society. Most women experience some level of intersectionality and this speaker will help shed a light on ways to embrace it.

Women in Theatrical Design: Master Class Series and Public Lecture

This project will bring to campus some of the nation’s leading women Designers in lighting, scenic, and sound design, to offer students tools for dealing with hurdles of working in a male-dominated sphere, as well as provide inspirational role models and concrete professional connections that can lead to future successes. The project is comprised of a public lecture and two master classes (one in lighting design and one in sound design). Click here to view the project outcomes.

60 Years of Collecting  

Our 60th anniversary exhibition will celebrate the founding of the University Museum of Contemporary Art’s (UMCA) permanent collection of over 4,000 artworks including prints, drawings, and photographs by contemporary artists. The exhibition will be organized chronologically highlighting works by women and artists of color. Through the perspective of past and current UMCA directors, donors, and artists, it will reveal the museum’s outstanding collection, introduce innovative ways the collection is used as a teaching tool, and focus on initiatives to diversify the collection with work by under-recognized artists.

2020 Women of Isenberg (WoI) Conference

The Women of Isenberg Conference works to foster the next generation of successful female leaders from UMass Amherst. The conference goal is to provide tangible takeaways from the advice and experiences of their keynote speaker, workshop hosts, and panelists while enabling opportunities for connections with alumnae, students, faculty, and sponsorship representatives.

2022 Women of Isenberg Conference

The Women of Isenberg Conference works to foster the next generation of successful female leaders from UMass Amherst, with the focus this year on growth, change and new beginnings. The conference goal is to provide tangible takeaways from the advice and experiences of their keynote speaker, workshop hosts, and panelists while enabling opportunities for connections with alumni, students, faculty, and sponsorship representatives.