For me, summer is always a time of creativity. You're out of classes and don't have to worry about grades or deadlines, so your brain is free to explore and create. Summer is the time when we love to read big novels, travel to beautiful places, grow colorful flowers, and maybe try our hand at a type of art we haven't tried before.
Last week, I left work and walked to Hampshire Dining Commons, my absolute favorite dining hall on campus, to meet up with two former Jump! students who I got to know last summer while working as a Student Activities Coordinator for UMass Summer Programs. Jump! is a 4-week summer program for incoming undergrads at UMass Amherst that gives students a head start on everything from college credits to campus life. Jason Zhuo and Nick Pontes are both friendly, outgoing students whose presence in the Jump! program was nothing but positive, so I was excited to see them again!
During summer 2015, UMass Amherst hosted several students from the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, a one-year, non-degree program funded by the government of Brazil for Brazilian students to study abroad in the United States.
The Human Health & Movement (Kinesiology) pre-college program was bigger than ever this summer, with 17 students who came to UMass Amherst from all over the country to learn about fitness, nutrition, and exercise science. Taught by Tom St. Laurent, the 2-week program gave students hands-on experience in what it's like to major in Kinesiology at one of the top universities for studying health & physical fitness (2nd in the nation according to USA Today).
New this summer was our pre-college program for young entrepreneurs -- fittingly called Entrepreneurship Everywhere -- as students from as far away as Colombia and China, as well as California, gained new entrepreneurial skills and experiences to put to use literally across the world! Students worked in teams to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems and worked toward launching their ideas for products, businesses, nonprofits and organizations.
A highlight of our final day at UMass Amherst Summer Pre-College was watching a series of scenes and soliloquies from the Performing Shakespeare class, presented in the sunny outdoor amphitheater at the Integrated Sciences Building. Taught by Matteo Pangallo, junior fellow at Harvard, the students took on challenging roles from plays such as Macbeth, Twelfth Night, and Much Ado About Nothing, and really impressed the audience with their performances -- all put together in just two weeks on campus.
We have many great summer's-end photos to share, but first we want to dedicate this post to you, our Summer Pre-College students. This summer the program drew a large, diverse group of high school students from over a dozen countries and 23 states with a wide range of interests and backgrounds who came together on the UMass Amherst campus to explore college academics and college life. We are grateful to each and every one of you for being a part of the program and we were truly impressed with the work you showed at your final presentations. Thank you for making summer 2015 great.