The UMass Lowell Honors College Symposium is a non-credit, non-graded, optional way for Honors College students to satisfy H4, H5, or H6 honors course requirements. The symposium consists of three units throughout the semester, one per month. The Symposium requires approximately 8-10 hours of engagement. The Honors College Symposium is classified as an Honors Experiential Learning Opportunity (HELO).

Note: if you waived H1 and H2, you cannot use a HELO to cover a Commonwealth Honors requirement. You must have 18 credits of honors coursework to graduate with Commonwealth Honors.

Submit the Honors Symposium Registration Form before the end of Add/Drop to register for the Honors Symposium. You will then be added to the Honors Symposium Blackboard and the Honors Symposium track course.

Honors Symposium on Social Gastronomy, Food, Community and Culture

The Fall 2024 Honors Symposium encourages us to explore the world of food in the City of Lowell through conversations with local chefs, farmers, and entrepreneurs. Learn about Lowell through food stories. Gain valuable knowledge from the experiences of members of our community who have turned their passion for food into businesses and nonprofits. Discover how food can be used as a powerful tool for positive change, sustainability, and social good, providing connection and belonging.

Social Gastronomy in Lowell, Massachusetts, is a blend of culinary exploration, community building, cultural appreciation, social impact, entrepreneurship and storytelling that connects people, celebrates diversity, and drives positive change.

Principal Requirements

Attend three discussion sessions, 4-6 p.m. at the Allen House on South Campus (dates subject to change based on speaker availability).

  • Friday, September 20
  • Friday October 18
  • Wednesday November 2

Execute a persuasive audio commentary* or poster.

Questions or to sign up, contact by email:

Responsibilities of the Honors Students

Each student must:

  1. Sign up for the Symposium by completing and submitting the Honors Symposium Registration Form before the end of Add/Drop.
  2. Read articles about all speakers. We want the speaker sessions to be a discussion, so having this background knowledge will help you be able to participate in the discussion and gain a better understanding of the topic.
  3. Attend, be on time, be fully prepared, and be fully engaged in all symposium discussion sessions.
  4. Write and record a final *Audio Commentary. Please create an audio file, Title your commentary (a title that gets at what your main argument is) and submit it through the course Blackboard shell. The Audio Commentary assignment is due by the final day of classes.

Note: you may also create a one-slide poster of your main argument. If you create a poster submit it through Blackboard.

*The Audio Commentary is an opportunity for you to share what you thought and make an argument about one (or more) of the topics discussed during the Symposium. Based on everything you have read and heard, what is your most important takeaway? You heard the speakers make their arguments, now it is your turn to make yours. Think about how you might persuade others - make your case. This is your time to reflect on the last three months and discuss them.

  • Your Audio Commentary or Poster is due by the last regular class meeting day of semester.
  • Please name the file: FIRSTname_LASTname_SymposiumSemesteryear (Example: Sally_Smith_SymposiumSpring2024).

You will receive a Satisfactory(S) or Unsatisfactory (U) for the course, which will show up on your transcript.

Note: Failure to fulfill all the above requirements on time will result in the student receiving an Unsatisfactory (U) grade for the Symposium and thereby not receiving credit for the H4, H5, or H6 honors requirement.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email: