Happy First-Generation Celebration Day!

happy first-generation celebration day!

Every year, colleges and universities across the country celebrate the accomplishments of first-generation college students. If you’re the first person in your family to attend college, this day is to celebrate you.

This year, we’re celebrating in style!

Making college education accessible is top-of-mind here at UMass Lowell. We were proud to receive recognition as a First-Gen Forward Advisory Institution by the Center for First-Generation Student Success this past summer. And even though this honor reminds us of how far we’ve come, we know that there is still more to do and more voices to hear.

That’s why we’re constantly striving to develop supports and services to help students succeed.

Here are some more ways we’re supporting our first-generation students at UMass Lowell:

  • The River Hawk Scholars Academy promotes academic success and fosters active campus engagement for full-time, first-year students who identify as first-generation college students
  • UMass Lowell has a rich tradition of welcoming and supporting first-generation college students. A number of faculty and staff on campus were first-generation students themselves and advocate for their success
  • The Launch! Summer Program provides incoming first-year students with a choose your own adventure approach to transitioning to university life

That’s just a sampling of many ways we’re helping our students achieve their goals in college. You should know that we’re here to help you before you’re even admitted to UMass Lowell. Join us at our regular community discussions with high school students, Empower Hour: Supporting Access, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity. We cannot stress how much we want to help students succeed in college.

Check this out: What happens to your application after you click “submit”?

The 2020 election is just days away. Are you ready?

the 2020 presidential election is just days away. are you ready?

The 2020 Presidential Election is just days away, and many UMass Lowell students are casting their ballots for the first time. We want to ensure that they (and you, if you’re eligible to vote) go into the polling booths as informed voters. UMass Lowell is a leader in political polling, and we have a lot of experts on campus here to help voters navigate the voting process.

Here are some ways UMass Lowell students are preparing for the election:

  • They’re registering to attend a virtual discussion with our top political science professors, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney and UMass President Marty Meehan
  • They’re double checking resources we’ve shared on everything they need to help get through election day
  • They’re thinking about the issues and studying the polls about the upcoming election compiled by UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion

 UMass Lowell students are inquisitive and active participants in their community and country, and we’re proud to support them. We’re excited to support so many as they vote during this truly historic election.

Check this out: New UML presidential poll lets you choose: Death by meteor or status quo

What’s online learning really like?

what's online learning really like?

Like many colleges and universities, UMass Lowell converted most instruction this fall to online formats. We know that switching to online learning is a cause of concern for many, but we’ve also been leaders in online education for over 25 years – so we’ve had time to get pretty good at it.

As proof, I talked with Professor Keith Mitchell about how supports his online students.

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Let’s talk about test scores

Way back in 2015, UMass Lowell became the first public university in New England to offer a No Test Option for applicants. Lowering the barriers to education for students who have the ability to succeed in college is something we pride ourselves in. That’s why, this year, we’re also giving you the chance to self-report your SAT and ACT scores.

let's talk test scores at umass lowell

No Test Option

We know that test center closings and cancellations are a cause of concern. The good news is that we’ve offered a No Test Option to applicants for years. At this point, it’s a long established and totally acceptable way to apply to UMass Lowell. If you’re thinking of applying with the No Test Option, know that you can apply to all majors and you’re eligible for scholarships.

Learn more about the No Test Option.

Self-Reported Test Scores

Since you have a limited number of schools you can send test scores to free of charge, we want to remove the financial burden of sending your scores to us, too. You will only need to submit official test scores if you are admitted to UMass Lowell and choose to enroll.

Learn more about self-reporting your SAT and ACT scores.

Have questions?

We’re a quick email away and are happy to answer any questions you have!

Check this out: What happens to your application after you click “submit”?

Virtual tour, but make it personal

virtual tour summer 2020 meet the tour guides

The UMass Lowell campus might be closed, but that doesn’t mean you need to press pause on exploring your options for the future! We may not be physically on campus, but there are plenty of virtual opportunities to help you connect with us, like our student-led virtual tours.

During our student-led virtual tours, you will have the chance to chat with a current UML student for an hour about their experiences here as they lead you through the virtual tour. It’s the perfect way to get personalized and one-on-one answers to your questions and learn more about UMass Lowell. All from the comfort of your home.

Meet the people behind the student-led virtual tours

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Self-Care Sunday: How to meditate (tips and tricks)

We’re all about taking a few minutes to center our minds and start the new week full of positive vibes. Today, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for meditating on your own.

how to meditate, meditation tips and tricks

The good thing about meditation is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home (it works out since we’re all stuck at home right now and campus is closed). Anyone can meditate, and you only need a few minutes a day to benefit.

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Self-Care Sunday: Coloring across UML’s campus

color the uml campus

Taking up new and relaxing hobbies is great for self-care. With everything going on right now, lowkey activities like baking, coloring and cross-stitch are having moments.

Unable to get your hands on a coloring book? No worries. I created a handful of coloring pages of major campus landmarks. All you need to color your way across the UMass Lowell campus is a printer and some coloring supplies.

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Self-Care Sunday: Staying active and healthy with household items

staying active and healthy diy gym household items

Staying active at this time is a big ask for most of us. But it’s probably the highest-ranking self-care task you can do for yourself. Some good news: UML’s Campus Recreation Center (a.k.a. CRC or the Campus Rec Center) has you covered.

Certified Functional Strength Coach and CRC Fitness Instructor, Rebecca Olivieri (who is also working on Ph.D. in Physical Therapy at UML), recorded herself doing a fitness routine with everyday household items.

Don’t have a full gym in your house? No problem.

Rebecca’s DIY gym is fantastic. You’ll be able to get your heart rate going—easy-peasy—with these five exercises that target your core, legs and arms.

Our videographer, Alfonso, spruced up the video so you could follow along.

Staying active with household items: The Routine

There are five exercises in this routine. Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one.

Once you finish 12 reps of all five exercises, rest for 60 seconds. This should be an active rest for recovery—don’t come to a complete stop. You don’t need to do anything intense—light movement will work (walk around a bit, step side to side, etc.).

You should work through the routine three times all together. Obviously, only workout within your comfort range and ability—don’t feel bad about doing less reps or taking a longer break after you finish the five exercises.

1. Single Arm Swings

What you’ll need: A jug of laundry detergent

How many reps: 12

2. Backpack Squats

What you’ll need: Your backpack filled with some textbooks

How many reps: 12

3. Backpack Good Mornings

What you’ll need: Your backpack filled with some textbooks

How many reps: 12

4. Canned Food High Plank Stacking

What you’ll need: Two cans of food

How many reps: 12

5. Basketball Russian Twists

What you’ll need: A basketball, soccer ball, volleyball or something similar

How many reps: 12

Check out more of Alfonso’s videos.

Good luck. You got this. See you next week!

Miss last week’s Self-Care Sunday? Catch up here.

Self-Care Sunday: Get some fresh air at these local outdoor recreation spots

self-care sunday: get some fresh air at these local outdoor recreation spots
Photo by Ed Brennen

Spring isn’t on hold just because we’re all practicing social distancing. The daffodils are in bloom and trees are starting to bud. I’m sure if you look outside your window, you’ll see signs of spring and pops of color.  

This week, take some time to go outdoors. Walk a trail, sit on your stoop, smell some flowers—just spend time outside. It’s a literal breath of fresh air and can do wonders for your mental well-being. 

And if you’re local, you’re in luck. Not only has the Campus Recreation Center gone virtual, they’ve also updated their list of local outdoor recreation places to visit.

Local outdoor recreation spots

In this list, you’ll find information about local nature trails, bike paths, river walks and rock climbing spots you can visit. Most of it is within walking distance of the UMass Lowell campus. There are also places you can visit that are within 10 miles of campus as well.

*Check that the parks are open before you go— some places may have limited facilities operational. For example, a quick peak at the Nashua River Rail Trail’s website tells you that they’ve closed their restrooms, visitor center, playgrounds, etc.

The list includes outdoor spots in the following towns and cities:

  • Lowell, MA
  • Dracut, MA
  • Chelmsford, MA
  • Westford, MA
  • Tyngsboro, MA
  • Andover, MA
  • Carlisle, MA
  • Acton, MA
  • Billerica, MA
  • Lawrence, MA
  • Littleton, MA
  • Windham, NH

We’re fortunate in New England that spring came early this year. Take some time to enjoy the nice weather this weekend at these local spots or in your own backyard!

Want to see more Self-Care Sunday? Check out all the posts.

See you next Sunday!