News Highlights

9th Annual iCons Senior Expo Features Research Finding From Largest Graduating Class

Image of the Class of 2022

On Thursday, May 5, the UMass Integrated Concentration in STEM (iCons) Program gathered together their largest graduating class at the 9th Annual iCons Senior Exposition. The graduating cohort, known as the “9th Bit,” is the largest group yet to complete the rigorous four-year certificate program, with 36 students graduating the program in 2022.

A Legacy of Sustainability Research

Sbalbi and Tay | A Legacy of Sustainability Research

Amidst the fleeting bodies going in and out of Post and Bean Cafe, you may notice two students sitting at a table. A usual sight, sure. Their locked-in gaze to the computer screen is an experience many students that have passed through the University of Massachusetts Amherst have shared. But, it is what lies behind those two students’ screens that sets them apart.

Impact Nano Partners with iCons to Bolster Western Mass Economy

UMass iCons and Impact Nano | picture of student interns

Several students from UMass Amherst will engage in summer internships with Impact Nano, a new high-tech company in the Pioneer Valley. Impact Nano has partnered with the UMass iCons Program to provide development opportunities for promising undergraduates majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through summer internships and part-time work throughout the year.

Sarah Kaunfer Receives 21st Century Leader Award

Sarah Kaunfer | 21st Century Leader Award

There is a particular energy behind some researchers that is hard to describe. It is most prominently felt in the way that they speak. When someone sits down with them and they are able to intricately describe their area of study without over-complicating it or getting lost in their own words, it becomes infectious to want to learn more.

Sarah Kaunfer, the winner of a UMass Amherst 21st Century Leader Award, is one of those researchers.

iCons Announces New Crowley-Nowick Award for iCons Student Leadership and Philanthropy

2023 Crowley-Nowick Scholars

We are happy to announce the 2022 recipients of the Crowley-Nowick Award: Kathryn “Kitty” Lovell ’23 (Civil Engineering) and Ravid Inbar ’23 (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Psychology).

Emily Leonard, iCons Senior, Receives UMass Rising Researcher Award

Emily Leonard | Rising Researcher

We are thrilled to share that iCons senior, Emily Leonard ‘22 (Biomedicine/Biosystems track) has been chosen as a Spring 2022 UMass Rising Researcher.

Jack Moody `21: Preparing for Leadership

UMass iCons | Jack Moody 2021

The war in Ukraine has put the specter of cyberattacks squarely back on the map, especially after the attack on European satellites severely hampered Ukrainian intelligence gathering.

But who’s protecting us from such attacks and what special training do they need? The story of Jack Moody, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and its iCons Program, answers this important question.

Brady Bell and Alaska, An Innovative Combination

Brady knee deep in the vegetation

There is no doubt that UMass’ sphere of influence spreads far beyond the Pioneer Valley. Alumni, understandably, live and work all over the world. The same is true for the research interests of the current students. One may not expect that research to spread as far north as the Arctic, but indeed it does. Our highlight is on one Brady Bell. A civil and environmental engineering major currently in their junior year and on the Renewable Energy track in iCons, Brady took part in a five-year-long research project funded by the National Science Foundation, along with a helping hand from Dr. Colin Gleason (Civil and Environmental Engineer, UMass Amherst).

Research Reports iCons Supports Student Independence

iCons students looking over case study materials

A research team reported on the effectiveness of the UMass iCons Program, an interdisciplinary certificate in real-world problem-solving for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and business majors. The article – published in the Journal of College Science Teaching – was co-authored by Martina Nieswandt, the associate vice chancellor for research and engagement and a professor in the College of Education at UMass Amherst, and by Stephanie Purington, a former Ph.D. student at UMass Amherst and now a lecturer in the education department at Marist College.

Light`s iCons Journey Continues

Photo of UMass iCons instructor and alumna, Erica Light

As both an iCons graduate, the most recent recipient of the Mahoney Alumni Award for iCons, and an instructor of the new iCons course, ICONS 390BH Integrated Discovery Lab in Biomedicine, Erica Light has made a name for herself in the program.