Irene Depina

Irene DePina

Major:  Crime and Justice Studies

Hometown: Boston, MA

"Not only am I a part of UMass Dartmouth, UMD is a part of me."
What have you learned that's made a difference to you?

I have learned to challenge myself. Everyone gets nervous and anxious, but I constantly remind myself to just take a deep breath and dive in. When I studied abroad in Lisbon, Fall 2012, I was extremely nervous because I was going alone.


When I returned, I noticed a newfound confidence that I gained from studying abroad. I learned a new culture firsthand and learned a new language. Learning to adapt to a strange environment was quite scary but ultimately worthwhile once I became comfortable with the country. The experience expanded my horizons and views of the world.


Having the opportunity to learn how another country manages their citizens, schools, and businesses was extremely meaningful and scholastic.

Tell us about something you were involved with here and how it's changed you.

The Cape Verdean Student Association stole my heart the day I stepped onto this campus, so in my freshmen year I joined CVSA.


My second year, I was elected Activities Coordinator, and then for my third and fourth years, I was proud to be the President of CVSA.


Working with the executive board as well as the members to organize meetings, fundraising events, activities, and community service projects, local and abroad, was always a challenge, yet a rewarding one. As President, I took pride in our efforts to educate students, faculty, and the community with fun events. I enjoyed connecting with the school community through the CVSA events.

CVSA helped me become a better public speaker, problem solver, and leader.

What advice would you like to share with future students?

School spirit is essential to all universities. Knowing how busy students may get with academics, I’d still recommend that students get involved and participate in school events and join clubs or organizations.


If I had never joined CVSA or participated in any other campus events, my experience here would have been mediocre. Instead, I've made lifetime colleagues here.

I’d advocate to "Be UMD," step out of your comfort zone, and get the full UMD experience!

What makes UMass Dartmouth special?

UMD offers resources for students to flourish and then some, as first year students yearn to feel a part of a community. When I began school, I was welcomed into the UMD community with warm and open arms. Although no relationships are perfect, my relationship with UMD is an amazing one. I was able to be a part of many sub-families within UMD, including CVSA.

My time here has been an amazing learning experience. Thus, not only am I a part of UMass Dartmouth, UMD is a part of me.