Friday, September 30, 2011

Public Health Information Session and Application Deadline

If you are interested in Public Health as a potential major, there will be an upcoming information session on Tuesday Oct 4th from 4:30-6PM, in Lederle Graduate Research Tower Rm 203. You should certainly attend if you intend on applying this semester to Public Health for admission prior to spring enrollment. The deadline to apply to Public Health is October 15th! If you can't make the info session, the Public Health Dept encourages you to go to their Peer Advising Drop-In Center and hear about the major from current Public Health students!

Furthermore, if you have recently joined the Major, it is also an opportunity to get valuable information about opportunities, courses, sequencing classes, and the field in general, so plan to attend the meeting.

RefWorks: What is it and how do I use it?

Attending a RefWorks workshop will teach you how to manage your citations and create automatic bibliographies. 

Click the link above to register for an upcoming session:

W.E.B. Du Bois Library, 1620 (16th floor)
Monday. 10/3 12:15-1:15
Thursday. 10/20 4:00-5:00

Science and Engineering Library, 3rd floor classroom (Lederle Lowrise):
Tuesday 10/11 11:15-12:15
Wednesday 10/26 11:15-12:15
Thursday 11/3 9:30-10:30

Watch our video to learn more!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tip of the Week from Zoë

Welcome to the end of September! Campus is settling into the fall semester by now, and those of us at the Academic Advising Link in the library are here to help. My name is Zoë, and I'm a senior and returning peer adviser. You can always come see me or the other Link staff - Tyler and Ashley - from  4-8pm on Sunday through Thursday nights in the Learning Commons of the library (out back behind the Mac computers, by the Calipari room). We're also going to be posting TIPS OF THE WEEK to keep you thinking.

Many of you are probably wondering about how to be successful in your classes, and maybe also beginning to explore a major or two. And so, here's the...

Tip of the Week: Make connections.

Guys. Get to know your professors and teaching assistants. Go to office hours. Especially in large lectures, most of the other students aren't.

Why? Meeting your instructors is awesome, and it could also help you a lot later on. You'll need recommendations for job, internship, and scholarship applications. You might find the class challenging or see your grade slipping more than you thought, or have some sort of personal emergency. If your professors and teaching assistants know you've been working hard, they'll be more enthusiastic about helping you bounce back.

I've had the same teaching assistant for multiple classes before, so you never know when they'll pop up again in your life.

Also, think about this: missing a few discussion sections and/or lectures can really make a difference to your grade. Go to class! You're paying for it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Upcoming Events 9/26 - 9/30

Tuesday, September 27
Isenberg Career Day 2011, 11:00am - 3:00pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.  Make sure you are prepared to meet with representativesClick here for more information.  Open to all students interested in business.

Wednesday, September 28
Engineering, Natural Sciences and Technology Career Fair 2011, 10:00am - 3:00pm in the Campus Center Auditorium.  Be prepared before arrivingClick here for more information.  Open to all students.

Seeking an Internship?  Attend a Career Services Workshop, 5:30pm – 6:30pm in the Integrated Sciences Building Room 145.

Friday, September 30
The next RefWorks workshop is from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm in the Science and Engineering Library, 3rd floor classroom (Lederle Lowrise).

Don't forget about the Academic Advising Link!  Sundays - Thursdays from 4:00pm - 8:00pm in the Learning Commons in the library.  Meet with peer advisors to get help with SPIRE, discuss majors, find out about academic support options, GenEds and more.  No appointment needed!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Attend a Career Fair? Who Me???

The UMass Amherst Career Services Office sponsors a number of career fairs throughout the year - and several will be happening in the coming week. 

As the Career Services website tells you, many employers use career fairs to promote their job opportunities and to pre-screen applicants. Most of these fairs consist of booths and tables staffed by recruiters and other representatives from each organization. For students, a fair can be an excellent place to gather information about potential employers, make contacts that could lead to a job, learn more about an employer’s application process, and discover new options.

Not sure how to proceed?  Stop by Career Services (5th floor, Goodell), take a look at their website, and/or download their handouts on "Make Your First Professional Contacts at the Career Fair" and "Sell Yourself at the Career Fair" for tips on making the most of these events.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Info About the Writing Center--NOW OPEN

The University Writing Center is OPEN. It is located on the lower level of the W.E.B. DuBois Library. 
Making an Appointment:  Students are strongly encouraged to make an appointment online by going here and clicking on “WCOnline.”  Those visiting the Writing Center for the first time will need to register once in order to create log-in information.  After registering, students can schedule a one-hour appointment but should note that the tutorial session runs 45 minutes, leaving the tutor 15 minutes to do a bit of work after the writer leaves.  Students should come prepared with the assignment prompt, a draft (a print copy or an electronic copy), and any relevant materials.  For more information, please contact the WC via email or 413.577.1293.

A message from the WC Director, Donna LeCourt: The Writing Center is a great resource for any writer, whether struggling with a class assignment or looking for another response to his/her writing.  Every writer needs a reader.  This is a mantra in writing centers, and our tutors will respond to student writing in order to help students develop a draft, clarify an argument’s logic, gain control over sentence structure and grammar, find and own their purpose, and learn to reflect on their writing practices.  Students generally benefit from talking with writing tutors when they are asked to clarify ideas and explain why they made the writing choices that they did.  All writers—whether they love writing, struggle with writing, are mystified by writing, or all of the above—are welcome.
Fall Hours:  Sunday, 12:00-pm-6pm, Monday - Wednesday, 10am-9pm, Thursday, 10am-6pm, Friday, 10am-2pm


The Learning Resource Center (LRC), located on the 10th floor of the library, IS NOW OPEN!  The LRC offers UMass Amherst students free peer-to-peer tutoring in lots of different courses!  You can also participate in Supplemental Instruction sessions for several math, science, and economics courses.  Tutors and Supplemental Instruction Leaders are available Sundays-Thursdays 1:00 PM-10 PM.

Don't wait until you've fallen behind--check out the schedule for your course tutoring times!   

Add/Drop Ends TONIGHT!

Make sure you finalize any changes to your schedule on SPIRE by 10PM tonight!  After today making changes will require additional paperwork.

Need some help?  Undeclared students can see an advisor in 613 Goodell.  Or, any student can stop by the Advising Link in the Learning Commons tonight from 4-8PM.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Upcoming Events 9/19 - 9/23

Welcome to your third week of classes!
Add/Drop ends at 10:00pm on Monday.  If you want to make changes to your schedule after this, you must petition your Dean's Office.  (If you're Undeclared, that's us!)  Check your schedule on SPIRE now and make sure your classes are correct
You have until the Mid-Semester date (Thursday, October 20) to change a course to Pass/Fail.  We'll talk more about that in a few weeks.

The last day to register for a Five College course is Monday.  Forms must be brought to 613 Goodell by 5:00pm.

Explore international programs at the Study and Work Abroad Fair. Monday, September 19 from 4:00pm – 6:00pm in the Student Union Ballroom. 

Learn how to manage your citations and create automatic bibliographies at a RefWorks Workshop. The next one is Thursday, September 22, from 12:00pm – 1:00pm in 1620 Du Bois Library.  RefWorks Workshops are offered throughout the semester and we will explain more about them in the upcoming weeks.

Hopefully you're feeling more comfortable on campus.  You know where your classes are, you're reading your syllabi and filling out your planner.  Maybe you've checked out a few clubs and are going the home games this weekend.  You're creating the balance between work, school and fun.  Don't forget, we're here to help!  If you have questions or worries about your classes, you want to talk about majors, or you're looking for advice on talking to your professors or TAs, make an appointment to meet with an advisor.  Not sure where to go to get help?  Call us at 413 545 2191 and we'll help you get to the right office.   

Use Your Syllabi & Track Your Grades

The syllabus you receive in each course is essentially a contract between you and your instructor - you can use it to manage your time, set your priorities and track your grades throughout the semester.  

Right now, at the start of the semester, you should:
  • Carefully read each syllabus for information about assignments, papers, and tests, and make a note of each in your calendar/time management system.
  • Make sure you understand how your grade will be calculated, and which pieces of evaluation (papers, tests, etc) will have the greatest impact on your final grade.
  • Check for specific requirements that could affect your final grade (e.g. how class absences count, whether you can hand in papers or assignments late - with no penalty, whether there are 'rewrite' policies that allow you to revise a paper or assignment and resubmit it for a higher grade).
For more information about how to be a savvy student and make use of your syllabi, click here and take note of strategy #4.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


You can make changes to your schedule via SPIRE until Monday, September 19th, at 10PM. After that deadline you can no longer add or drop courses through SPIRE--making changes to your schedule will require additional paperwork/permissions.  Double check your schedule on SPIRE and make sure it looks as you expect it should--you don't want to wait until the last minute to make any adjustments. 
A few words of caution: Not attending a class doesn't mean you've dropped it!  If you do still need to make adjustments, use the swap and edit functions whenever possible.  And remember, should you decide to add a class at this point, you will be responsible for any work that has been assigned during the first week and a half of classes--plan accordingly!

As always, if you have any questions about your schedule, you should see an advisor. Undeclared students can set up an appointment by calling (413) 545-2191.  Undergraduate Advising also has Drop-In hours daily from 10:30-11:30am and 3-4:00pm.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Five-College Registration ends soon

Still thinking about taking a course or two at one of the other area colleges this semester?  If so, you better get moving--registration ends Monday, September 19th!  To add a Five-College class you must:
  1. Log on to Spire and under "Enrollment" follow the link for Five-College Enrollment Request.
  2. Print TWO copies of the form.
  3. Attend the course and acquire the instructor's signature on BOTH forms.
  4. Turn the form in to 613 Goodell.
So, if you're still dabbling with the idea of taking Russian at Amherst College or Sustainable Landscaping at Hampshire, don't delay! 

Questions about the process?  Check out the Five-College Interchange website or stop by 613 Goodell.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Business College / Res-Econ Info Sessions!

On Campus Transfer Information Session

Information session for UMass students interested in exploring the Resource Economics major are welcome to attend the following session:

Tuesday September 13th - 5:30 pm
Stockbridge 306


Wednesday September 14th - 1:00 pm
Stockbridge 306

Questions should be directed to:

Donna Spraggon
Chief Undergraduate Advisor
208C Stockbridge Hall

ISOM Info Sessions!


Interested in the BBA (Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Operations Management), Hospitality & Tourism Management or Sport Management majors?

There are two information sessions being offered this week, one on Wednesday, September 14th and the other on Thursday, September 15th.  Both info sessions are in ISOM 206 at 5:30 PM.

Here are some tips to keep in mind if you plan on attending:

1) Get there early! To avoid fighting for a seat or worse, interrupting the session, be sure to get there approximately TEN MINUTES PRIOR to the start time. Treat it like a job interview and be professional--you don't have to wear your haute couture, but you do want to make a good impression!

2) Know which session to attend! Upon arriving, they will direct you to different rooms based on your interests, i.e., BBA, Sports Management, or HTM. Make sure you're in the right place! If you have multiple interests in SOM (both BBA and Sports Management, for example), you should attend an info session for BOTH programs.

Remember! Sports Management requires attendance at one of their info sessions before you can take a Sports Management course!

3) Be informed! Read their website and be familiar with the program you are interested in--as well as procedures for applying. You can find information on applying here.  The links on the right hand side will take you to the applications for the specific departments.

4) Have an Alternate Major in mind! Remember that you will be required to apply in order to gain admission--and that applications, by nature, can be rejected. So it's always a good idea to have an alternate major in mind just in case. For more information on suitable alternates, you can call (413) 545-2191 and make an appointment to see an advisor in our office.

Basic Math Skills (R1) Exemption Test TONIGHT!

The Basic Math Skills (R1) Exemption Test is

tonight at 6:30pm in Marcus 131. 

Bring a #2 pencil, ID, and calculator.

The R1 requirement can no longer be satisfied through the Math Placement Exam. Passing the R1 exam (at least 12 out of 20 correct) will satisfy the R1 requirement for graduation but will not result in the awarding of any credits. There are, however, credit courses that will also satisfy the R1 requirement

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekly Preview and Upcoming Dates

Grab your planners and make some notes!  There's lots going on at the beginning of the semester so make sure you're paying attention to dates and deadlines.  Check out the links below for more information.

R1 (Tier 1) Basic Math Skills Exemption Test is Monday, September 12.  Click here for more information.  If you cannot make it, check the upcoming dates.

The BOLTWOOD Project offers an opportunity for undergraduates to form relationships with other students and also with individuals in our community.  This is a one or two credit community service learning course and you must attend a Recruitment Night in order to register: Monday, September 12, Tuesday, September 13, or Wednesday, September 14 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm in the Student Union Ballroom

Are you interested in learning more about the Resource Economics major?  Be sure to check out their information sessions on Tuesday, September 13 at 5:30pm or Wednesday, September 14 at 1:00pm in Stockbridge 306.

Thinking about applying to programs in the Isenberg School of Management?  Information sessions for the BBA (Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Operations Management), Hospitality and Tourism Management, or Sport Management majors will be held on Wednesday, September 14 and Thursday September 15 at 5:30pm in Isenberg 206.

Writing a research paper?  Do you know how to keep track of your citations and create automatic bibliographies?  Attend a RefWorks Workshop on Wednesday, September 14, from 1:30pm – 2:30pm in room 1680 in the DuBois Library and learn more.

Do you have questions about your schedule?  Not sure about add/dropContact us to make an appointment or stop by the Academic Advising Link!  The Link is located in the Learning Commons in the library and is open from Sunday - Thursday from 4:00pm - 8:00pm.  Don't wait!  Come see us soon! 

Interested in Computer Science?

Meet students in the major, learn about events, jobs, student groups, and opportunities for the coming year.

Today: Friday, September 9, 2011, 3:30 - 5:00 PM
151 Computer Science Building
All Computer Science majors and minors and all students interested in Computer Science are cordially invited.  Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Exemption Test Information

Writing Placement and Exemption Tests:
Tuesday, September 6  ***TONIGHT***
Thursday, October 27
Thursday, November 10
All tests start at 6:00. 
Contact the Writing Program at 413 545 0610 to find out the location.

Basic Math Skills (R1) Exemption Tests:
Monday, September 12
Monday, October 24
Monday, December 5
All tests start at 6:30pm in Marcus 131.

OASIS seminars: there's still some space available . . .

If you're NEW to UMass Amherst and you want to consider taking a 1-credit seminar to help you get settled and set you up to take full advantage of all that the University has to offer, you might want to check out one of the following:

  • UNIV 125 is designed to help first year, undeclared students make a smooth transition to college, identify programs of interest, and be successful at UMass.
  • UNIV 125, Section 8 is a variation of the traditional OASIS seminar, designed to help transfer students hit the ground running.  New transfer students, whether they be undeclared or have a major, can enroll in the course by contacting Undergraduate Advising or the course instructor.  Topics will include adjusting to UMass, maximizing utilization of resources and opportunities, exploring major (for undeclared students), ensuring timely progress to graduation, and positioning for careers/next steps.   
  • UNIV 125V is another variation on the OASIS theme, geared toward students who are veterans.  The topics covered will be similar to the topics covered in the transfer seminar, with additional information about resources and supports available for veterans.   
Click here for a little more information about the OASIS seminars.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Don't forget!

Add/Drop ends Monday September 19th at 10PM.

You can make changes to your schedule via SPIRE until then. After that point you can no longer add or drop courses through SPIRE and it will require additional paperwork/permissions to change your schedule. Don't wait until the last minute to make any necessary adjustments!
And remember, not attending a class doesn't mean you've dropped it! Just to be sure, double check your schedule on Spire before 10PM on Monday to make sure everything looks as you expect it should.
As always, if you have any questions about your schedule, you should see an advisor. Undeclared students can set up an appointment by calling (413) 545-2191.  Undergraduate Advising also has Drop-In hours daily from 10:30-11:30am and 3-4:00pm.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dancing for Non-Majors and Auditions to the Major

Do you dance? 
Interested in applying to the major or participating as a non-major?
Pay attention to these audition deadlines!

Non-majors with no prior dance experience can take DANCE 100, 103, or 106.  These are 2-credit courses.  They are usually closed or waitlisted, so you must go to the first two classes for further information.

Non-majors with prior dance experience can take DANCE 101, 104, or 107.  These are 2-credit courses. They are usually closed or waitlisted, so you must go to the first two classes for further information.

University Dancers, for majors and non-majors, by audition only.  The audition date is Saturday, September 10, location and time TBA.  This will include auditions for other 5-College dance ensembles.  See the Dance Bulliten Board outside the Dance office, Totman 11, for details.

If you are interested in auditioning or reauditioning for the Dance major, the first audition will take place on Friday, October 28 at 10:00am.  Fill out application forms in Totman 11 or visit the Dance Department's website.  There will also be auditions on Friday, Februrary 24 and Friday, March 23 at 9:00am and 2:00pm.

There is no Dance minor.

The Dance Team is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) and is not affiliated with the Dance Department or major.  This team performs at many events on campus and represents the University at the National Dance Alliance collegiate competition held every year in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Contact Ashley Konrad at or 508-308-9510 for more information.

The Ballroom Dance Team is another RSO not affiliated with the Dance Department or major.  Contact Allison Sloto at for more information.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Music for Non-Majors: Important Deadlines and Information

Are you interested in making beautiful music this year? 
Looking for information about how to participate as a non-major? 
Pay attention to these beginning of the semester deadlines!

Ensembles are available to majors and non-majors on an audition basis.  Ensembles involve a 4 to 5 hour per week time commitment in addition to performances.  You must sign up for auditions during the first week of classes.  Sign up sheets are located on various office doors in the Music Department wing of the Fine Arts Center (North Pleasant Street side).  Inquire in the Music Office, room 273 for more information and to pick up audition music.

Some classes are available to non-majors with the instructor's permission.  Attend the first class to speak with the instructor. 
Non-major applied lessons are open to students only by audition during the first week of classes and on a space-available basis (MUSIC APP 116)  If you can demonstrate a moderate proficiency in an instrument of choice (including music reading skills!) you should check with the instructors of these studios to see if spaces are available and to arrange an audition time.  You must also audition for and consequently serve in an instrumental or vocal ensemble if you are accepted for instrumental or voice lessons.  Non-majors receive one-credit, half hour per week lessons.  Most studios also have an arranged one hour per week studio class day/time and location, and this is listed for each section of MUSIC APP 116 on SPIRE.

Visit the Music Department's site to learn more specific information about Music Ensembles.

Have more questions?  Call the Music Office Staff at 413 545 2227, stop by the Fine Arts Center (FAC) room 273 or visit their website.