Thanksgiving & Winter Break with Your Student

Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break are fast approaching, and for many students and their families, this can be an unexpected time of transition after a busy semester. Whether your student has been away living on or near campus or has been commuting from home, there are things you and your student can do to help make the transition a safe, happy, and healthy time for all.

  1. Family Expectations: Set family expectations for breaks and holidays now. Your student has spent the last semester building a sense of independence, learning to advocate for themselves, and learning more about who they are. They might have different expectations around being at home and what that means in terms of rules (especially regarding things like curfew). Talk to your student about these expectations and set mutual expectations for their time at home.
  • Scheduled vs. Free Time: Your student has had a very busy semester and most likely has been pulled in many different directions. Give your student a chance to just chill, catch up on sleep, and relax. At the same time, five weeks of completely unstructured time might be overwhelming. Encourage your student to make a plan or list of things they would like to accomplish over winter break.
  • Celebrate Accomplishments: Finishing the semester is a huge accomplishment, especially when you think about all of the stress and anxiety that returning to campus this fall brought to many students. Be sure to take some time to celebrate making it through by going to a favorite restaurant, visiting a favorite place, or just by getting together with friends and family that your student might not have seen in a while.
  • Mental Health & Wellness: Sometimes people can experience a worsening of symptoms regarding their mental health during this time of year. Be open to talking to your student about how they are feeling, and check in with your student periodically. Remember that resources are still available to them, even during winter breaks.

We hope that you and your student have a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving Break & Winter Break!

UMass Lowell Food Pantry

As we approach the holiday season and a time of giving, the Office of Student & Family Support Services welcomes any donations to the UML Food Pantry.  You may either make a monetary donation and/or order off the Amazon Wish List.  We strongly recommend ordering from the Amazon Wish List.  Items that are ordered from it automatically get sent to campus.  A list of top items that are always in need for the food pantry has also been included. 

Amazon Wish List:

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1Y0VI18GQBIEV?ref_=wl_share

Top Needs for the Food Pantry:

  • Snacks (granola bars, fruit snacks, protein bars,etc.)
  • Canned Tuna
  • Pancake Mix
  • Soup
    • Tomato
    • Vegetable Soup
    • Variety of soups
  • Personal Care
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Body Wash

You can still add items from Amazon, if they are not on the Wish List, but you just need to make sure the shipping address is the following:

UML Food Pantry

University Crossing, Suite 200

220 Pawtucket Street

Lowell, MA 01854

If you would like to make a monetary contribution, the link has been provided: https://www.givecampus.com/schools/UniversityofMassachusettsLowell/umass-lowell-student-emergency-fund#updates

Halloween Letter to Students

October 29, 2021

Dear Students,

We hope you are doing well during this busy time of year.  With Halloween and Thanksgiving just around the corner, we hope you are able to find some time to relax and have fun.  We encourage you to be safe and thoughtful about your choices during Halloween.  If you choose to dress up for Halloween, please think about how your choices affect other people.  As UMass Lowell River Hawks, we pride ourselves in being a community that cares for one another.  In a shared effort of mutual respect, we invite you to actively participate and look out for one another. 

If you see a friend dressed in a costume that is disrespectful to someone’s culture, consider saying something to them.  If you see someone that needs medical attention, please call for help.  If you engage in sexual behavior, do so with consent and mutual respect.  We hope that Halloween is a time where our community can have fun and participate in many wonderful fall activities.  It should not be a time when our community is harmed.

Safety reminders:

–        Do not include toy or fake weapons as part of your costume.  Toy and fake weapons can easily be confused for real weapons.

–        Wear something that you can move in easily and does not impair your vision.

–        Follow campus and off-campus rules and make safety a priority.

–        Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know or leave your drink unattended.

–        Binge drinking is dangerous and can lead to much bigger problems than waking up with a hangover.

–        Never drink and drive and never accept a ride from someone that has been drinking.

–        Make plans with friends to arrive and leave parties, events and programs together.

–        Be sure your phone is fully charged before going out.

–        Have the number to campus police (978-934-2398) in your phone.  For emergencies, dial 978-934-4911.

–        Keep cash on you for transportation or emergencies.

–        Trust your instincts.  On Halloween, or any other night, if something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut.  Leave the party, don’t take the drink, or say no to whatever is making you uncomfortable.  Your safety is more important than upsetting a friend.

Stay safe and have fun!

-Division of Academic and Student Affairs

Encourage Your Student to Lead where they Live!

Residence Life Leadership Opportunities

Is your student ready to lead where they live? There are many ways your student can get involved in the residence halls! This post offers an overview about applying to be a Resident Advisor and about opportunities to join the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH)!

Resident Advisor Position:

The Office of Residence Life is excited to announce that it will be launching the application process for the Resident Advisor (RA) position for the 2022-2023 Academic Year in the month of October. Resident Advisors are leaders on the campus and are responsible for building community in their assigned residence hall. The Resident Advisor position is one of the best leadership positions on campus, and provides an opportunity for students to help their fellow River Hawks learn, change and grow as they live on campus.

Information about the application process, and dates for information sessions held in late October and early November to learn more about the position will be updated on our Resident Advisor website soon.

Resident Advisors are required to have attended UMass Lowell for a year (first year students are eligible to apply in this process for the position for next year). RAs are required to maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA. RAs also move back to campus about 2 weeks prior to the start of the semester for Residential Advisor Leadership Development. RAs may not participate in a time-intensive program such as an internship, co-op or student teaching in their first semester in the role.

Benefits of the position include a variety of leadership experience that can be shown on a resume such as event planning, crisis management, confrontation and mediation. In exchange for the Resident Advisor responsibilities, students receive a housing waiver for a single bedroom (can be in a suite or apartment with other residents) and a meal plan.  

If you have any questions about the Resident Advisor position, please contact Jonathan Bragg

What is RHA?

UML’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) is a student run, on-campus residence hall governing body. Each residence hall has a hall council made up of representatives from the residents living in the hall. The hall council gives residents a chance to make a difference in their community. Each hall council also gains feedback from residents about ways they wish to see their halls improve. Members within RHA will gain valuable leadership skills, problem-solving skills, time management skills, project management skills, and learn how to better advocate for themselves and others on a variety of on-campus issues that affect the residential student experience. Also, did you know that as a resident living on-campus, you’re automatically a member?!

Want to learn more about creating positive change in the residence halls? Please email us at RHA@uml.edu.

What is NRHH?

The National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) is the premiere honorary supported by the leading international organization advocating for the interests and welfare of residence hall students, while also providing opportunities for their personal growth and development. NRHH strives to provide recognition for individuals who have contributed to the advancement of college and university housing.

Here at UML, we are named the Mill City Chapter of NRHH and we focus on recognition and service. NRHH members meet weekly in the residence halls to facilitate recognition projects to honor and thank the hard-working members of our campus community. Like our sister organization, RHA, we support the vision of the National Association of College and University Residence Halls, Incorporated (NACURH), the largest student-led international organization to date who support a network of RHAs and NRHHs around the world!

Want to learn more about joining our Mill City Chapter? Please email is at NRHH@uml.edu.

Cooperative Education Program (Co-Op)

About Co-op:

The Professional Cooperative Education Program at UML provides full-time undergraduate students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge by applying what they have learned to real-world work experience. Students participate in paid full-time work experience while maintaining their status as a full-time student and don’t pay tuition, since they are not taking classes during this time. The program structure includes three phases: Professional Development Seminar, Co-op Experience and Assessment. The Professional Development Seminar is a graded one credit course that prepares the student for the co-op search and experience. Upon successful completion of the seminar, the student is eligible to go participate in a 6 or 3 month paid experience. Once the student returns to campus, they complete a graded assessment class to fulfill the program requirements. Some students will take advantage of doing a second co-op as long as they can complete program requirements prior to graduating. 

Program Eligibility:

Students eligible for co-op are full-time, undergraduate, sophomores and above in the Colleges of Engineering, Sciences and Business. Students must also be in good academic standing and submit an application the semester before they wish to begin the program. Application information can be found on our website and the application is open for the Spring ’22 program.

Partnerships with Employers:

Our relationship with employer partners continues to grow each year. Each semester, new positions are posted on Handshake, our job board for students and alumni. Co-op positions are only available to students in the co-op program and the majority of students will participate in a 6 month experience. Some of our premier partners include Raytheon, UKG, MFS, Pfizer, P&G and Dell.

Academic Credit:

Students earn 1 credit in the Professional Development Seminar Course and anywhere from 1 to 3 credits in the Assessment Course depending on the length of the co-op experience and their academic program. Credits are applied differently based on the student’s major. Consult with the Cooperative Education department to determine how the credits will be applied in your student’s respective college.

What can your student do to learn more?

Encourage your Riverhawk to learn more about the Co-op Program by attending an upcoming information session, join a daily “Drop-In” session or make an appointment with a co-op advisor. All of which can be found on our website: Professional Cooperative Education | Student Affairs & University Events | UMass Lowell (uml.edu)

Student Testimonials:

“My co-op experience really helped me learn and understand what it takes to work in a professional laboratory. My co-op took place at a small startup, which means I got the opportunity to work closely with professional engineers and scientists on advanced projects using equipment I didn’t even know existed. If it weren’t for the co-op program, I don’t think I would have found this small company, nor would I have been able to learn as much as I did in a 6-month period. Overall, my experience was great, and I was even offered extended employment after my 6-month period was finished!”

-Derek Lovejoy, Junior, Chemical Engineering

“Thanks to my experiences in the co-op program, my career path has never been more clear. I have obtained and refined skills in the finance and marketing fields that I didn’t think was possible at this stage of my academic career. I highly recommend the co-op program to anyone looking to enhance their skills and better prepare themselves for life post college.” 

-Mark Maloomian, Senior, Finance Concentration: Business

“I believe the co-op experience was the most important part of my journey at UMass Lowell. I was able to work at a great company, like Bose Corporation, to gain real working experience.”

-Anonymous, Computer Science student

Health Services & Counseling

Health Services Updates:

First a big thank you for your work as families to get your students vaccinated against COVID-19.  Vaccinations and for the time being continued use of requiring face coverings has been instrumental to having our campus return to the vibrant place we all want to have it be.

We are pleased to once again offer on campus flu clinics through the month of October into early November so your student can get protected against the flu.  You can find information on the dates/times for at this link.  Students will need to bring their UML ID, and insurance card to the clinic and pre-registration is strongly encouraged. 

This is also a good time to make sure your student is well stocked with over the counter medications and supplies just in case they get sick while away from home.  These include:

Antacid (TUMS)

Antibiotic ointment (Neosporin)

Anti-diarrheal (Pepto Bismol, Immodium AD)

Antihistamine (Benadryl, Loratadine/Claritin)

Anti-inflammatory/pain reliever (Ibuprofen, Aleve)

Anti-itch (Calamine or Sarna lotion)

Cough suppressant (Delsym)/ expectorant (Mucinex)

Decongestant (Sudafed, Phenylephrine)

Hydrocortisone cream 1%

Non-aspirin pain/fever reliever (Acetaminophen)

Saline nasal spray

Throat lozenges

Ace bandage / Assorted bandaids

Ice Pack (gel reusable)

Thermometer           

In addition there are many short term common illnesses that don’t require a visit to any provider where self-care is the first step towards getting better.  Here’s a guide to self care for common illnesses that might be handy for you and your student

Counseling Services:

Remind your students that it is all too common to feel less than yourself when you’re an emerging adult, and that seeking help is important.  Information about promoting positive mental health can be found at the UMatter2 link, With the access to teletherapy greatly increased, please encourage your student to continue their ongoing relationship with a provider if they see one at home so that they don’t have interruption to care but do remember that students can call Counseling Services if they want to talked to a licensed therapist from our staff.

Families are reminded that students in need of in the moment mental health crisis counseling always have access to the on call clinician by calling 855-890-2879.

River Hawk Family Update Email 9.17.2021

*This email was sent to the Parent & Family distribution list on 9.17.2021.*

Greetings River Hawk Families!

We hope that this email finds you well! It is time for our next Family Update Email! We hope that this email provides useful information for you and your student.

Opportunities & Information for Parents & Families:

  • UML is hosting an online book discussion with an award winning author, poet and faculty member Sandra Lim. Professor Lim was recently featured on page 8 of our summer 2021 UML Magazine.  Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in an engaging and insightful discussion on Thursday, September 23 at 4 p.m. (ET)https://bit.ly/2XYrKgc
  • Consider joining the River Hawk Family Association! Find out more about this opportunity and apply on the Family Programs website!
  • Join Family Programs at the upcoming Homecoming & Family Weekend, October 15 to 17! Stop by River Hawk Way from 3pm to 6pm to play Family Bingo, or register to attend the Family Reception at the Hockey Game! Check out the entire schedule & events on the Homecoming & Family Weekend website!
  • The Centers for Learning, Advising, and Student Success has a variety of support services and programs to help meet your student’s academic needs. Check out the attached flyer for more information!

Opportunities & Information for Your Student:

  • Homecoming Fall Ball: Thursday, October 14, 2021, University Crossing, 9:00pm to 12:00am – Your student can join the Office of Student Activities & Leadership for the Fall Ball! Students can get dressed up and dance the night away with friends. The night will include casino games, food, mocktails, and dancing. Free for all UML students, formal attire encouraged!
  • River Hawk Rally: Friday, October 15, 2021, CRC Turf, 4:00pm to 6:00pm – River Hawk Rally is free and open to all UML students! We are #UnitedInBlue! Students can wear their River Hawk best and come out to help fellow hockey fans kick off Homecoming Weekend. Free food, giveaways, interactive games, and even a celebrity meet and greet! Join us for the home-opener hockey game following the River Hawk Rally.
  • Tutoring is available to all students (no cost or charge) through the Centers for Learning, Advising, & Student Success. Students can view the Tutoring Schedule to see available options. If a course is not listed in the schedule, students can submit a Tutoring Request Form. Tutoring is offered on both north and south campus, as well as in Fox Hall and the Inn & Conference Center.

Upcoming Important Dates:

  • October 11: Indigenous People Day, University Closed
  • October 15: Spring 2022 schedule of classes will be viewable to students in SIS
  • October 15-17: Homecoming & Family Weekend

Please let us know if we can answer any questions or be of any assistance! Have a safe and happy weekend!

Many thanks,

Marshall Greenleaf

Academic Resources

At this point in the semester, your student has most likely written papers, turned in assignments, or has taken tests and quizzes (and if they haven’t done any of these, they’re coming). Adjusting to college level course work is an adjustment and success doesn’t always happen immediately. If your student needs any assistance or support in the classes, there are a variety of resources that you can encourage them to utilize!

The Centers for Learning, Advising, & Student Success offers many programs and resources for your student. This includes tutoring, advising, and workshops on a variety of topics, including study skills and time management. Download their flier for a full description of resources offered by CLASS!

You and your student can also view a list of resources on the River Hawk Family Resource Hub, with more info and links to offices and programs that can help your student be academically successful.

If your student encounters any issues or problems in one of their classes, encourage them to contact their professor directly to set up a time to discuss the issue. Sometimes students might feel intimidated about reaching out, but professors are there to help your student learn and can work with your student to find solutions.

Our #1 piece of advice to students when it comes to academics is to reach out early before any problem or issue grows. Staff and faculty know that this is a big part of their transition to college and that there might be some bumps in the road. As parents and family members, encouraging your student to use these resources is important, and can be a big help in making your student feel comfortable and confident with reaching out.

River Hawk Family Update Email 9.03.2021

*This email was sent to the Parent & Family Distribution List on 9.03.2021.*

Greetings River Hawk Families!

We hope that this email finds you well! It is time for our next Family Update Email! We hope that this email provides useful information for you and your student.

Opportunities & Information for Parents & Families:

  • UML is hosting an online book discussion with an award winning author, poet and faculty member Sandra Lim. Professor Lim was recently featured on page 8 of our summer 2021 UML Magazine.  Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in an engaging and insightful discussion on Thursday, September 23 at 4 p.m. (ET). https://bit.ly/2XYrKgc
  • Check out the latest edition of UML Family Program’s blog “News to the Nest!” This month’s blog discusses ways you can help your student manage their transition to college and how you can encourage them to get involved on campus.
  • UMass Lowell’s Food Pantry is open and ready to serve students and the university community. The Food Pantry welcomes any donations, and is especially looking for donations of individually wrapped snacks, breakfast items, school supplies, and hygiene products like soap, shampoo, conditioner, and shaving essentials. If you are interested in donating, you can order from the Food Pantry’s Amazon Wish List and have items automatically shipped to the UML Campus.
  • Consider joining the River Hawk Family Association! Find out more about this opportunity and apply on the Family Programs website!

Opportunities & Information for Students:

  • Leaders in Action is a leadership development program designed to fast-track the development of soft skills that are crucial for students in navigating their college career. During the offered workshops, students will work on personal, group and community skills and earn a leadership certificate at the end of the program. There is no complicated application required, just sign up at www.uml.edu/leadersinaction.
  • Students with food allergies or special dietary needs are encouraged to contact University Dining’s campus dietitian at dietitian@uml.edu.  This is a great resource for students to gain education on how to have a safe and fulfilling dining experience.  Additional information can be found at www.uml.edu/dining
  • Tutoring is available to all students (no cost or charge) through the Centers for Learning, Advising, & Student Success. Students can view the Tutoring Schedule to see available options. If a course is not listed in the schedule, students can submit a Tutoring Request Form.

Upcoming Important Dates:

  • September 6: Labor Day, University Closed
  • September 15: Last day to add a course or drop a course without record. If your student has any questions about this, they can contact their advisor or email advisement@uml.edu.
  • October 15-17: Homecoming & Family Weekend

If we can help track down any information or answer any questions, please let us know. We wish everyone a safe and happy start of the academic year.

Your Student is Here…Now What?!?!

The year has started and your student has begun their life as a college student. Whether your student lives on campus or commutes, the transition is a big one and can come with a lot of feelings…excitement, worry, nervousness, anxiety, hope…and those feelings can sometimes be tough for your student to manage.

So what do you do if your student calls you and is upset? Maybe they’re feeling homesick or feeling like they’re not fitting in or haven’t found their place at the university. Maybe they’re worried classes will be too hard and they’re afraid of not doing well. As parents, family members, and supporters, there are several ways you can encourage and support your student as they work through these feelings and their transition to college.

  1. Don’t Panic! All of these feelings are completely natural and are feelings that most college students experience at some point in their transition. Entering into a new environment can be awkward and feel uncomfortable. Listen to your student vent and give them a chance to express how they’re feeling, and know that what they are going through is normal.
  2. Encourage Your Student to Get Involved! The #1 way to help your student successfully transition into college is to encourage them to get connected on campus. This could mean:
  • It’s really tough, but avoid being the problem solver or the urge to come to the rescue! We know it can be hard to watch your student deal with uncomfortable feelings, but challenge your student to put themselves out there and find their “home” on campus. If you can, avoid having them come home for extra visits, and avoid the urge to come to campus to visit them (if they live on campus). They’ll figure out how to navigate their new environment if they have the opportunity (and challenge) to do so.
  • Let them feel the support from home! Send your student a care package or card if they do not live with you. If your student still lives at home and commutes, surprise them with a nice note in their bag or pack them a special snack. Your student will feel better about the transition with reminders of how much they are loved at home and that they have a solid foundation of people rooting for them.
  • You know your student. While all students can struggle with the transition to college, you know your student best and know what to expect from their behavior and reactions. If your student is having an especially hard time, there are resources on campus to help them through it. Encourage your student to speak to someone from the counseling center. If you’re worried about your student’s mental wellness and safety, also consider reaching out to the STARs program.

There is an entire campus community here for you and your student! Please always reach out to us if you need anything!