This We Believe 2016

UMass Dartmouth uses essay contest to engage new students in campus values.

Sarah reads her essay at podium on Convocation day 2016
Sarah Murphy reading her essay

For the second year in a row, UMass Dartmouth’s Academic Affairs and Student Affairs departments continue to significantly engage new students in UMass Dartmouth’s values.

This We Believe—UMass Dartmouth, which was modeled after the NPR broadcast, This I Believe, requires first-year students to read selections from the This I Believe website and then craft a 500-word essay about what they believe and share it on the University’s blog. Faculty and staff were also asked to submit essays.

“We believe that the campus culture is enriched if the UMass Dartmouth community participates in this project,” Cynthia Cummings, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs said. “Our goal is to tie these postings into UMass Dartmouth’s values of community, diversity, collaboration, learning, civic engagement, and more.”

UMass Dartmouth’s Provost Office selected three of the top essays to be read by the students who wrote them at the Convocation Ceremony on September 6.

Winners of contest standing above This We Believe sign
Kayci Richardson and Alexandra Joseph

Students chosen to read their “This I Believe” essay

Alexandra Joseph, Arts & Sciences undeclared

“My Dream” 

I believe that even though all of us look different we are all still the same. Be respectful and always humble. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, rich or poor. Your grave is still going to be 6 feet. So make your mark while you’re here and make a difference and always fight against what is wrong and speak your mind on issues even when others do not seem to care. 

Kayci Richardson, Arts & Sciences undeclared

“I am Not My Depression” 

I am not my depression. I believe that I am more than my mental illness. I believe that my depression cannot rule my life. I believe in my own will to overcome the negativity in my mind and overthrow the pessimism that penetrates my being. 

Sarah Murphy, History major

“Beauty or Brains?” 

Women are resilient, intelligent, strong AND beautiful. I believe that I can wear my favorite red lipstick and still graduate with a college degree. Any woman who wants to show off her good looks while solving calculus should be able to do so. I’ll take them all, beauty and brains. 

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UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant, public research university dedicated to engaged learning and innovative research resulting in personal and lifelong student success. The University serves as an intellectual catalyst for economic, social, and cultural transformation on a global, national, and regional scale.


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