This January, I started an internship with the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, supporting the 21st Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival. The theme of this year’s festival is called “Reality Narratives.”  The theme is particularly exciting for me because of my Honors Project in narrative non-fiction. Each film features a story that exemplifies the intersection between creativity and reality, exploring the “blurred boundaries between documentary and fiction,” from the stationary camera-guided tour of... Read More
Valley Gives is an annual event that was established to help support western Massachusetts non-profit organizations. For 24 hours, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties come together for special events and an online campaign to make gifts to their favorite local charities. Every gift that is made has a significant impact because all the participating non-profits are eligible to win cash awards based on how much money they can raise.     Last year, more than 6,000 individuals donated over $1 million through this... Read More
For the past few years, I’ve had one of the most interesting jobs to attempt to have a conversation about. When you tell people, “I work in shows at Six Flags,” a number of questions come up.  “What shows do you do?” “Do you dance?” “Do you wear the costumes?” So, what is it that I actually do? Allow me to show you.   Right now, Six Flags is celebrating the fall with its annual Fright Fest program. As you enter the turnstile, you’re greeted not with cheery pop music, but with grating organ tunes and Michael... Read More
The first week at UMass Amherst is an exciting time and students are always extremely eager to get involved. Get involved? How do I do that? Thankfully, UMass has got you covered, so here we go!   The Activities Expo, held this year on September 3, 2013 during first week, consists of hundreds of informational tables, and even more student representatives from every registered student organization (RSO) on campus. You should attend because you can: Sign up for the e-mail list... Read More
Last year after the Undergraduate Research Conference I wrote a blog post about how exciting it was to learn about the research that my fellow undergrads had been working on all year.  If you haven’t heard of the Conference or if you’re not sure what it is, check out that post - I was similarly unsure before last year.    I got to explore the posters and panel presentations again this year, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I learned about Germany’s model for sustainability and the obstacles a similar program... Read More
My name is Dylan Brewer and I am the Music Director and PR Coordinator for TEDxUMassAmherst. I’m sure just about everyone knows about TED talks, but it wasn’t until I kind of fell on board with the team that I really joined the cult. My phenomenal mentor and Capstone advisor Michael Schurter seems to always be on the look out for getting the right people in touch with each other, and this is how I met Nate Tepper, whom I eventually found out had received a license to curate the first ever TED talk here on campus... Read More
Hello, my name is Hunter Parent-Wetmore, I'm a Public Health major here at UMass, and I worked with the UMass Amherst PR/Media team for Advocacy Day. I'm writing this with two purposes in mind; the first is to tell you what exactly happened at Advocacy Day, and the second is to explain to you why it matters.   On Advocacy Day, over 600 students, faculty, and staff of the public colleges and universities across the Commonwealth gathered at the State House to demand more funding for public higher education, and for... Read More
For the past three years, Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) has hosted an annual Goodie Auction. The Goodie Auction was developed to assist in obtaining funds for the University’s UMass Amherst Community Campaign (UMACC). The UMACC is designed as an opportunity for UMass Amherst employees and retirees to share in the spirit of giving, in order to assist those who might be experiencing hardship or temporary crisis in their lives and to support private, non-profit health and human services and environmental... Read More
It’s easy to come to a large school like UMass and feel like you can’t make much of a difference. There are just so many people and so many events it’s easy to get lost in how things are. Honestly, I’ve never been satisfied with that.   I first learned about the Nearly Naked Mile at a conference that I attended with the Student Alumni Association in Nashville, Tennessee. Indiana University and Iowa State were presenting and I was shocked. I had never heard of such a thing. They let people do that? Just run through... Read More
New England is a great place to go to school - out-of-staters, I’m looking at you.     I’m from Massachusetts, so arriving at UMass didn’t involve a lot of traveling for me. Eastern and Western MA are kind of like different worlds, but not anything so drastic as I imagine the comparisons to, say, Georgia might be.  

In any case, I might be a little biased, but this time of year always reminds me how much I love New England - and not just because the changing leaves are absolutely beautiful.  
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