Montage of women's faces


Women have powered UMass Lowell since its founding in 1894, when they entered the Lowell Normal School as aspiring teachers for public schools and were taught by pioneering women faculty. As the university expanded over the next 125 years, women’s roles did, too.

Now, under the leadership of Jacquie Moloney, UMass Lowell’s first woman chancellor, women continue to advance across the university community. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting some of our brightest and bluest River Hawks.

These Young Women have Just Begun their Journeys

  • Melanie Sunnerberg
    Finance and Marketing

    Business administration major Melanie Sunnerberg has a passion for finance that she’s honed through a co-op experience at MFS Investment Management and her leadership roles in student organizations.

  • Brigid Archibald

    Brigid Archibald always wanted to be a superhero. Now the editor of the student newspaper, The Connector, she sees journalists as today’s heroes.

  • Shanice Kelly
    Physics and Mechanical Engineering

    Shanice Kelly is a leader in multiple campus clubs because she wants to get more students of color involved in STEM, especially space science programs.

  • Dannalee Watson
    Medical Laboratory Science

    Dannalee Watson loves working in hospital labs, where she analyzes patient samples for signs of disease. She says it’s like being a medical detective.

  • Gifty Kessie
    Mechanical Engineering

    Gifty Kessie takes advantage of opportunities to learn and grow – and then turns around and offers a helping hand to others.

  • Molly Tecce
    Plastics Engineering

    Plastics Engineering major Molly Tecce and partners from the 3D Club leapt into action to make PPE when the pandemic struck.

UMass Lowell Looks to Balance the Scales

UMass Lowell Image

Center for Women & Work

The UMass Lowell Center for Women and Work is a community of scholars who are dedicated to advancing knowledge about the relationship between gender and work through research, enhancing understanding of this relationship through education and training, and challenging inequalities through institutional change.

Visit Center for Women & Work

Making WAVES logo

Making WAVES: Women Academics Valued and Engaged in STEM

Making WAVES is an initiative to increase diversity of faculty in STEM fields funded by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program. The $3.5 million, five-year grant allows researchers to advance the study of gender bias in the workplace.
Mentor points out something to two young women working on project

Research, Academics and Mentoring Pathways (RAMP)

Piloted in 2018, Research, Academics and Mentoring Pathways (RAMP), is a 6-week summer program that provides support to women entering the Francis College of Engineering with coursework, project work, mentoring, and networking with local companies and alumni.

Learn about RAMP

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jaqueline Moloney

Meet Chancellor Jacquie Moloney

For four consecutive years, UMass Lowell has been the highest-ranked educational institution among the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts, according to The Commonwealth Institute and Boston Globe Magazine. Jacquie Moloney, the chancellor of UMass Lowell, is a national leader in innovation in higher education. Appointed by a unanimous vote of the UMass Board of Trustees in 2015, she is the first woman to lead the university since its founding in 1894. Learn more about Chancellor Moloney.

Faculty Members Redefine Women's Work

  • Lucas Abreu with Tom Horgan

    Free Physical Therapy Clinic Provides Care to UML Community

    The Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology opened a pro bono clinic to provide opportunities for students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program to gain more clinical experiences on campus.
    Featured Story
  • Illustration of the link of the gut and brain

    Researchers Study Link Between the Gut and Brain Health

    In a new study published in the Annals of Neurology, Assoc. Prof. of Public Health Natalia Palacios found that healthy, anti-inflammatory bacteria were less abundant among people who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
    Featured Story
  • Lawreta Kankan with counselors Danny Tran, Keanna Bouthsarath and Sierra Goodwin

    Learning is Social: New Program Sets Health Sciences Students up for Success

    The Zuckerberg: Ready, Set, Go! program hosted 20 first-year health sciences majors arrived on campus a week before classes start for social activities, community service and educational and cultural activities to help them get acclimated to campus and the city of Lowell.
    Featured Story
  • Mahdi Garelnabi in research lab

    Study: Women Suffer Worse Heart Disease Outcomes Than Men

    A new analysis of 15 global studies on cardiovascular disease shows that women are diagnosed and treated later than men for cardiac issues, resulting in worse outcomes for women than for men.
    Featured Story
  • Jonghan Kim in Lab

    Biomedical Professor Leads $2.9M Study to Develop Safer Drugs

    Assoc. Prof. Jonghan Kim of the Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences Department is leading a study to develop a long-acting nanoparticle drug that removes iron from the body without harsh side effects.
    Featured Story
  • Rachel Le interviews a research participant

    New Study Analyzes How Neighborhoods Impact the Likeliness of Falls

    A new study led by Prof. of Public Health Wenjun Li, with funding from a $4 million, five-year grant from the National Institute on Aging, will analyze how older people move and use the outdoor space in their communities.
    Featured Story
  • UMass Lowell Public Health Prof. Emerita Margaret Quinn

    Public Health Researcher Makes Home Care Safer for Patients and Aides

    The need for home health care services has never been greater, or more challenging, than during COVID-19. Under a major federal grant, Public Health Prof. Emerita Margaret Quinn, lead researcher for the Safe Home Care Project, is using her expertise to address the hazards that home care aides face.
    Featured Story
  • Assoc. Prof. of Nursing Comfort Enah, UMass Lowell

    Nursing Professor Uses Mobile Apps to Improve Health

    Assoc. Prof. of Nursing Comfort Enah takes a public health, community-based approach to research aimed at improving sexual and reproductive health in underserved communities and low-income countries. She focuses on using mobile apps to improve health outcomes.
    Featured Story
  • Juliette Rooney-Varga talking to a class

    Science Professor Works to Depolarize Climate Change Issue

    Environmental Science Prof. Juliette Rooney-Varga, director of UMass Lowell’s Climate Change Initiative, says we must depolarize the politics of climate change — an issue that President Biden has made a top priority in his new administration.
    Featured Story
  • Fish Lab researchers

    Biology Professor Advances Research on Birth Defects of the Head and Face

    Thanks to a pair of three-year grants totaling more than $612,000 from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Biology Asst. Prof. Jennifer L. Fish is conducting studies to understand how genetic mutations cause birth defects of the head, face and mouth.
    Featured Story
  • Elizabeth Altman speaks during the webinar

    The Workforce is Changing. What Does That Mean for Women?

    Asst. Prof. of Management Elizabeth Altman and Deloitte’s Robin Jones examined how the pandemic is accelerating changes to the future of the workforce, in the first Women’s Leadership Conversation, a new virtual series hosted by UML.
    Featured Story
  • Business Professor Nichalin Summerfield

    Business Professor: Vaccine Delivery Ultimate Test for Supply Chains

    The rush to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to billions of people around the world will challenge supply chain capabilities in unprecedented ways, says Nichalin Summerfield, assistant professor of operations and information systems in the Manning School of Business.
    Featured Story
  • Associate Professor of Management Beth Humberd

    What Can We Learn from the Current ‘She-cession’?

    Assoc. Prof. of Management Beth Humberd examined why working women are being disproportionately impacted by the current “she-cession” and offered signs of hope, in a webinar hosted by the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub.
    Featured Story
  • UMass Lowell Asst. Prof. of Public Health Serena Rajabiun

    Health Professors Target Improved Care for Black Women with HIV

    Asst. Prof. Serena Rajabiun and two other Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences professors are leading a $3.9 million federal grant to help HIV treatment centers improve care for Black women, who have higher infection rates and worse health outcomes because of poverty, stigma and structural racism.
    Featured Story
  • Kirsten Swenson, seated on a "throne" of recycled aluminum at the top of Mierle Laderman Ukeles's public earthwork, "Turnaround/Surround," at Danehy Park in Cambridge.

    Land as Art Lands Art Professor Burkhardt Fellowship

    Armed with a prestigious Burkhardt Fellowship, Assoc. Prof. of Art History Kirsten Swenson will spend the 2021-2022 school year researching and writing about a subject she calls an “obsession” – urban parks designed by artists.
    Featured Story
  • Denise Dunlap speaks from a podium

    In Race for COVID-19 Testing, Business Professor Finds Unique Lane

    Manning School of Business Asst. Prof. Denise Dunlap is studying how entrepreneurial companies are developing COVID-19 testing technologies through her work with RADx, a National Institutes of Health initiative backed by $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funding.
    Featured Story
  • UMass Lowell Education Assoc. Prof. Phitsamay Uy

    Education Faculty Prepare Teachers for Multilingual Students

    UML’s education faculty prepare future teachers for classrooms with multilingual students. The inclusive teaching methods they impart benefit all students, including those with learning disabilities.
    Featured Story
Women's History Month highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women's Day on March 8.