At a Glance

Year: '24
Major: Biological Sciences, Economics
Activities: Honors College, Research, Study Abroad, Student Government Association, Pre-Medical Organization, Women in Economics 

Biology BS

As a biology major, you will gain the knowledge, skills and critical thinking needed for a successful career in modern biology and related fields.

Economics BA

The B.A. in Economics program provides training in economic theories and their applications, preparing students to use economic tools to evaluate, understand, and address economic and societal problems.

As a child, Caroline DeSouza ’24 dreamed about being a marine biologist, but the goal did not seem attainable.
“I didn’t know anyone who did marine biology, so I thought that’s not really an option,” the Boxford, Massachusetts, native says. That all changed when she started conducting research with Sarah Gignoux-Wolfsohn, a biological sciences assistant professor who studies marine organisms.
“That research helped me see that this is a career path that I can pursue,” says DeSouza, who double-majored in biological sciences and economics and was a member of the Honors College
Originally on a pre-med track to become a doctor, DeSouza discovered an interest in Gignoux-Wolfsohn’s research on infectious diseases, which inspired her to join the professor’s lab during her junior year.
In the lab, DeSouza processed coral samples to be analyzed for stony coral tissue loss disease. She also traveled to the Colombian island of San Andrés during her senior year to help with field research. While there, she got her diving certification, which was fully funded by a Women Divers Hall of Fame grant.
“It was an amazing experience,” she says. “It really helped make the connection that these are the species I’ve worked with in the lab.”
DeSouza met Gignoux-Wolfsohn’s research collaborators in San Andrés, many of whom are women.
“Seeing that representation made all the difference,” she says. “It made me realize that I can do this for work.”
DeSouza is now a full-time technician for Gignoux-Wolfsohn’s lab.
“It’s exciting that I get to stay here and focus on coral research,” says DeSouza, who completed her honors thesis on the effects of coral bleaching.
The trip to San Andrés was DeSouza’s second time traveling with the university: She previously studied abroad in San Sebastian, Spain, in the summer before her senior year after receiving the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
“We took Spanish-language classes there, and I made so many friends from UMass Lowell and around Europe,” she says.
DeSouza also got involved on and off campus. She joined the Student Government Association, the Pre-Medical Organization and Women in Economics. She also received an Immersive Scholarship, which she used to work at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell starting her first year of college.
“Where I grew up, it was predominantly white, and I never really felt that sense of community,” says DeSouza, who is Brazilian. “At the Boys and Girls Club, I got to be around people who look like me, and the problems that the teens were going through, I had dealt with, so I could understand and help them.”
DeSouza felt that same sense of community at UMass Lowell.
“It’s a diverse and super-welcoming campus,” she says. “I’m really glad that I came here.”


Caroline DeSouza.

“It’s a diverse and super-welcoming campus.”