River Hawks Ready to Roll as New Semester Begins

With the start of the spring semester, River Hawks are reviewing their 2023 to-do lists and getting ready to dive in. We checked in with members of the UML community to see what tops their lists. Whether they are focused on personal growth, professional development or just having fun, our River Hawks are ready to roll.      

Sarah Perry

Think Positive

Sarah Perry ’23

Graduate student and research assistant, Department of Plastics Engineering
“My goal for 2023 is to continue having a positive mindset, with an emphasis on speaking positively. Words are powerful, and they can help anyone visualize success much easier. I also want to read more books.”
Allison Estell

Make Music

Allison Estell

Director of the University Library and a member of the Boston Civic Symphony (she plays viola, but her participation has been on pause due to the pandemic)
“I hope to return to playing more music with people. Playing music is wonderfully immersive and makes me feel like myself. Plus, I miss my orchestra friends.”
Patrick Drane measures the diameter of a baseball

Minor Changes, Big Plans

Patrick Drane ’00, ’03

Assistant Director of the UML Baseball Research Center and technical program manager for the Department of Mechanical Engineering
“Among my top priorities for 2023 is the launch of two academic minors – Sports Studies and Sports Engineering. Faculty and staff from across the campus have worked together to develop these two minors through our Sports Collaborative for Open Research and Education, or SCORE, initiative.  The Sports Engineering minor will be the first of its kind to be offered in the U.S., further establishing UMass Lowell as an international leader in this field.”
Linda Lak

Strike a Balance

Linda Lak

Senior public health major

“I want to quiet my mind by spending less time scrolling on my phone and social media. I want to read more, organize my living space and develop a more balanced life with school, part-time work and leisure time.”

Marquzes Ford

Ace Study Habits

Marquzes Ford

First-year computer science major
“In my room, it’s easy to put aside studying and play my video games because they’re right there.  But I want to stay focused more on my coursework and find new places to study on campus like University Crossing.”
Maddie Gear

Act Like a Pro

Maddie Gear

Junior business major with a co-op job at CarGurus
“One thing I hope to achieve during my co-op experience is to gain confidence in the professional work environment. I also want to practice the networking skills that I have learned at UMass Lowell.”
Grace Chen

Moving Forward by Degrees

Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen

Assistant Professor, Plastics Engineering
“My top priority to accomplish for 2023 is to graduate my first Ph.D. students – three of them are expected to graduate this year. This is an important milestone for me, as they represent the hard work my lab has been doing in the past few years!”
Tanya Kieu

Résumé Redux

Tanya Kieu

Junior honors mathematics major with UTeach minor
“It was hard for me to keep up with changing my résumé because I did a lot this past year, so I’m going to try to get my résumé done.” 
Troy Lafond

Get a Job

Troy Lafond

Senior English major and editor-in-chief of The Connector
“By the end of the year, I’m hoping that I can find myself a full-time writing position, or even part-time. I just want to be able to apply what I’ve learned in school to the real world.”
Elizabeth Gacek

Savor the Last Semester

Elizabeth Gacek

Senior nutritional sciences major
“I can't wait to attend hockey games, group fitness classes and graduation with my friends in our last semester together. We’ve played a huge role in each other's undergraduate experiences, and it is so crazy seeing it come to an end so soon.”
Ruben Sanca

Use Tech to Be More Human

Ruben Sança ’09, ’11 

Director of Student Life and Well-being
“I hope to use more technology where possible – and needed – to automate tasks both at home and at work. By doing this, I hope to carve out more time to create more of those intentional and meaningful relationships with others that cannot be replaced by technology.”
Jasmina Burek

Manuscripts, Mentoring and Teaching 

Jasmina Burek

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
“Three things will be my top priority for 2023: First, be productive in terms of writing manuscripts and grant proposals, because until new grants come rolling in, those seed funds are shrinking rapidly.
“Second, work on new research publications as well as mentor and support my graduate students.
 “And third, teach a new interdisciplinary, project-based course, Life Cycle Sustainability, in which undergraduate and graduate students will assess the environmental and social sustainability of the supply chain, business, activity or product relevant to their field or personal interest.”