Shakira Fedna sorts pills
Shakira Fedna '23

Shakira Fedna came to UMass Lowell because of the River Hawk Scholars Academy, a support program for first-generation college students.

Everybody you come into contact with in the RHSA wants to see you succeed.
Read More About Shakira Fedna 
Janelle Christopher and her mom, Lorainne.
Janelle Christopher '22

Janelle Christopher started studying at UMass Lowell at the same time as her mom, Lorraine.

We were both first-gen college students at the same time.
Read More About Janelle Christopher 
Jennica Hamm studying on her laptop in the sitting area of Cumnock Hall.
Jennica Hamm '26
Applied Biomedical Sciences

Jennica Hamm was mentored and is now a mentor herself, helping first-year students get acclimated to campus and academic life.

Read More About Jennica Hamm 
Twisha Mohapatra in the audience during Oprah Winfrey's visit to UMass Lowell.
Twisha Mohapatra '21

Twisha Mohapatra says her experiences in the River Hawk Scholars Academy and the Honors College have boosted her confidence, taught her leadership skills and set her up for academic success.

My self-esteem has skyrocketed. I’m a leader now. Before, I never thought of myself as a leader.
Read More About Twisha Mohapatra 

River Hawk Scholars Academy News

  • Two young women blow bubbles through a colorful hoop that another woman is holding

    Meet the Librarian Who is Focused on First-Year Students

    Yolanda Hood, the UMass Lowell Library’s new first-year experience and instruction coordinator, ensures that students know about the resources and services that are available to them to help them succeed.
    Featured Story
  • Kelley-Lawson at chemo with her sister

    This New Year, Kelley Lawson is Grateful for a Fresh Start

    In this new year, Kelley Lawson is grateful for second chances. One year after extensive surgery and chemotherapy for Stage 4 cancer, Lawson shares some of the ways she’s winning this battle, one day at a time.
    Featured Story
  • UML biomedical engineering student Alex Hutchinson in Granada, Spain

    RHSA Expands with Study Abroad, First-Gen Student Conference

    The River Hawk Scholars Academy is expanding its programs for first-generation college students, including adding a study abroad course and a conference organized by students, thanks to federal aid and grants from nonprofits.
    Featured Story
  • A young man in glasses smiles while listening to someone talk in a conference room

    New Program Helps First-Gen Students Find Career Paths

    The River Hawk Scholars Academy’s new Pathways to Career program helps first-generation college students in their junior year take advantage of resources available to them in the Career and Co-op Center.