Wear Your Debt Day Speakout

It is time we start making the burden of student debt visible!
Join us on Thursday, April 23rd for Wear Your Debt Day for a speakout and rally against the outstanding cost of higher education by making our debt visible and speaking out about the ways this debt affects our lives.

Average debt levels for all graduating seniors with student loans rose to $29,400 in 2012 and has been on the rise since, but we are here to remind you that you are not alone in this fight. Whether you have student debt yourself or know of someone who has it, we are gathering to demand more public funding for higher education. Creating solidarity among students is crucial in making a difference. Make a difference with us.

EVEN IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND THE EVENT, PLEASE JOIN US in wearing your debt throughout the day.

Keep an eye out for tables in the Student Union & Campus Center for materials!

If you do not have debt please come regardless to show your support for accessible and affordable education!

This event is organized by:

CEPA: Access and Affordability Core Team
The MASSPIRG Higher Education campaign

Learn More Here

Do you want to be the Commencement speaker?!

What are your thoughts as a graduating senior? Would you like to share them with your classmates, family and friends? If so, you are invited to submit a speech proposal for consideration as the Student Commencement Speaker! All 2015 graduating Amherst seniors are eligible. Your proposed speech must be written by you as an individual, no group or collaborative submissions. It should be of general interest to graduating seniors as well as to parents and other guests. It may address your impressions and experiences, both academic and extra-curricular as well as your thoughts as you look to the future.

Students who are interested in giving the commencement address at the main commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8 in the stadium have until Tuesday, February 3 at 4:30 pm to submit a proposal.

We encourage all of you to submit! We’d love to brag about a Polsci or Legal Studies major receiving the honor!

More information can be found here.

Writing Placement Test

English Writing 112
Writing Placement Test
Wednesday, December 4th at 5:30 pm, Bartlett 206.

Students are required to take the test before they can register into EnglWrit 112 college writing. Students that have taken EnglWrit 111, basic writing do not have to take this test. Registration for the test is not needed.

For more info, visit www.umass.edu/writingprogram

Interesting in enrolling in EngWrit112 next semester? Then you need to take the writing placement test!

The Writing Program will be giving the “Writing Placement Test” on the following dates.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
5:30 – 6:30
Bartlett 206

Thursday, November 7, 2013
6:00 – 7:00
Bartlett 206

Since another testing date this year cannot be promised, students wishing to register into EngWrit 112 (college writing) for Spring 2014, need to take the test in November. Students that took this test during freshman orientation do not have to take it.

The next testing date will be on the first day of classes, January 2014

Nominate Your Favorite Instructor!

Do you know an exceptional professor or teaching assistant/associate? Nominate him or her for a Distinguished Teaching Award!  The Distinguished Teaching Award is the highest recognition of instructors at UMass, so show some love by nominating your favorite instructor.

To nominate an instructor:

  • Write a brief letter describing why your nominee should receive a Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • Include your name, email address, mailing address, and signature.
  • Submit via email to dta@provost.umass.edu OR fax to 413-545-3829 OR deliver to 301 Goodell.
  • Submit your nomination no later than Friday, October 18.

If you have any questions, call the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development at 413-545-5142.

Speak at Commencement!

Apply to be the 2013 Undergraduate Student Commencement Speaker and share your thoughts as a graduating senior!

Who is eligible:  Graduating Amherst campus senior, Class of 2013

Subject matter: Your proposed speech must be written by you as an individual, no group or collaborative submissions. It should be of general interest to graduating seniors as well as to parents and other guests.  It may address your impressions and experiences, both academic and extra-curricular. It may express your thoughts as your look to the future.

Format: Submit approximately two typed pages, double-spaced, or the equivalent of three to four minutes speaking time. Speeches exceeding this limit will not be considered.

Selection process: A non-voting staff person will delete the name of each author after which a committee of students (majority), staff, and faculty will review the proposals.  Three to five individuals will be invited to audition before the committee in March, after which the speaker will be selected.

Deadline: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.

More information is available here.

21st Century Leader Awards

Do you think you are a good candidate for the 21st Century Leaders Award? Talk to your professors and ask to be nominated!

The award  recognizes the strong academic record and exemplary achievement of undergraduate students who further distinguished their intellectual accomplishments, and enhanced the reputation of the University by contributing to the campus community through their leadership skills, academic achievements, community service, and artistic or athletic accomplishments.

Nominees, who must be graduating seniors in 2013, will be characterized by their determination to fulfill their academic potential and achieve personal goals. They will be recognized for high academic performance and for the prestige and honor they bring to the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, February 8, 2013 by 5:00 p.m.

More information is available here. 

Writing Placement Exam, January 22

The Writing Program will be administering the writing placement exam, which does not require registration:

– Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013, 6:00pm-7:00pm, Location: Tobin 204

This test is important, as students must take this course to be placed into College Writing (Englwrit 112), which, along with Basic Writing (Englwrit 111), must be satisfied to graduate. Students will take this test to determine which of the two is appropriate for them.

It consists in writing an essay in response to a short excerpt.

Placement essays should demonstrate clear organization, relevant support and examples, and an adequate understanding of sentence structure.

While you will mostly likely be placed into Basic Writing or College Writing, a few students may be waived from both based on their performance, but will not receive credit for this waiver.

For more information, contact Deirdre Vinyard, Placement Officer and Deputy Director of the Writing Program. For more information on the placement test, see this webpage.

Undergraduate Research Conference

Each year, the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducts an undergraduate research conference, with representation from an incredible amount of majors and students, many of which will be coming from other schools in Massachusetts. This year’s conference will happen on April 26, 2013, in the UMass Campus Center. In Spring 2012, there were 3 presentations from Political Science majors, and 1 from legal studies. The conference is a forum for the presentation many types of work, including:

– Thesis research
– Creative work in the visual and performing arts
– Independent study
– Community service
– Study abroad experiences

This conference is an opportunity to give you real experience in conducting research and presenting the results in a larger forum, which will help you to enhance the strength of your resume. In addition, the scope and area of your project has few limits, and can be presented in two different formats, which can be done individually or as a group: a poster presentation or an oral presentation.

Previously, there were 4 steps to apply to this conference. Exact details may be found here, when they update the exact steps:

1) Find a faculty sponsor– all projects must have a faculty member to work with you
2) Decide on the format, both in terms of poster/oral, and in terms of individual/group.
3) Register for the conference by February 13th. Registration will open in early January. This will require you to fill out an application, with the information you have collected about your faculty sponsor, the format of your presentation, and who is in your group.
4) By February 13th, the group leader or individual presenter will have to submit an abstract related to your topic.

Finally, all the information you could need related to this conference can be found on the Honors College’s website, which will soon be updated for the 2013 conference..

Feed Phil A. Pig on December 5th

Phil A. Pig, an initiative started by the UMass Alumni Association, as well as other organizations who are interested in encouraging giving back to UMass, will be running the Final Piggy BankIt Roundup of the semester on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, from 10 AM to 2 PM, on the Campus Center Concourse.

This program is designed to help students by collecting change. They will have pig-shaped cookies, drawings for cool UMass stuff, and gift cards from local companies. All proceeds from the Piggy BankIt Roundup go towards the Piggy BankIt Scholarship, a scholarship for students.

Don’t forget that all donations from students will be matched, dollar for dollar, by the UMass Amherst Foundation Board.