Our Place at UMass Lowell

  • Video by Alfonso Velasquez
    UMass Lowell seniors reflect on the connections they have made with their favorite places on campus.

Seniors Reflect on Finding their Place, Creating a Legacy



College changes you. It’s one of life’s universal truths. Whether it’s personal or intellectual growth, fresh perspectives or new relationships, college years are guaranteed to bring about transformation. For many people there’s a tipping point – an experience, or a person who makes all the difference. Maybe it’s a professor who opens the door to new ideas. Or volunteer work or a campus club that leads to the discovery of a newfound passion or an internship that prompts a change in career plans. 

As the Class of 2016 prepares for Commencement, we asked some of our graduates to reflect on their big moments at UMass Lowell. They told us how they found their place here and what legacy they’d like to leave.

Zachary Zuber '16
Exercise Physiology

Greek Life

"I have been president of Sigma Beta Rho for the past three years and my vision has been to show people that Greeks can be more than they are portrayed in the media. We hosted nearly 20 events over the past year, from fundraisers to entertainment to cultural and events celebrating inclusivity. Greek life can be impactful on campus. I hope Greek life will one day be the number one source of on-campus activity."
Nandana Penukonda '16
Business Administration

Get Involved

“I found my place at UMass Lowell by meeting my professor Deborah Finch my freshman year. While I didn't realize it at the time, she was someone who opened up a world of opportunities. I got involved in the Dean's Student Leadership Council and become the Peer Mentor Coordinator for the Manning School of Business.”
Regina Alongi '16
Music Business

Living-Learning Communities

"One of the best choices I made was living in Living Allegro, a Living-Learning Community composed solely of students who are passionate about music. At first, I thought I might not meet students outside the music department. It never mattered. On my floor, students could practice their instruments until midnight (some went later, and they know who they are) and work together on music homework as a 20-person group. We even celebrated holidays, ordering Wingsgiving platters from Wings Over Lowell. I made lifelong friends and bonded on a deeper level with some amazing human beings."
Erneston Maurissaint '16

Shared Goals

"I found my place at UMass Lowell by finding good friends who had the same mind-set as me. I was determined to succeed and not get lost in the party scene. I had my fun but having friends who wanted the same thing as I did – to become a nurse – made it much easier."
Brittny Maravelias '16
Criminal Justice

No One Left Behind

"Sophomore year, I met my best friend and roommate, transfer student Sarah Herrick, and she joined me to start No One Left Behind, a group to raise awareness on domestic and sexual violence, as well as related issues like body confidence and mental health. It is my legacy at UMass Lowell. Through the group, I met some amazing people and built lasting relationships. I am extremely proud of the events we've been able to put on and how we've been able to make them bigger and better every time. Luckily, we have two passionate young women who will be taking on the organization now that Sarah and I are graduating."
Kevin Boyle '16
Marketing, hockey goalie now in Anaheim Ducks organization

Home Ice

“I almost quit hockey before I came here. But having the opportunity to transfer here and be a River Hawk, I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made. There’s no better feeling than playing in front of the crowd here and being that last line of defense in the crease. I’m so thankful that I have the opportunity to further my hockey career.”
William Boag '16
Computer Science

Honors College

"I found my place through the Honors College. In my first honors seminar, there was a group of really talented and smart students that created the Honors Ambassador Council. I joined that my first year. Also that year, I took two introduction to Computer Science courses with Prof. Jim Canning, and the two of us became quite close. The Honors College offers amazing opportunities."
Alexandra Sneider '16
Chemical Engineering

Believe in Yourself

"It is important to believe in yourself, ask for help often and dare yourself to contribute. I would like to leave my fellow students with a quote I try to live by from Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: 'The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.'"
Jenna Freitas '16
Graphic Design

Field of Dreams

"I like to say I didn't find UMass Lowell, UMass Lowell found me. I never considered going to school here until I met field hockey head coach, Shannon Hlebichuk at a camp the summer before my senior year of high school. After following the team online for a season I signed my letter of intent in February 2011 and was anxious to become a River Hawk myself. Along with being a student-athlete, community involvement was also important to me and I found good friends being a part of student government, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the American Institute for Graphic Artists and working in the student activities office."