“As a first-year student, I am thrilled to be a Corsair and follow my dreams of attending UMassD,” says Raena Gaston, a biomedical engineering major at the College of Engineering. As part of her major, Raena is focusing on pre-med but realizes there is more to university life than earning a degree. Extracurricular activities play an important role in student life as well as professional development.
“As an admissions ambassador, some of my responsibilities involve giving tours to families who are interested in attending the university. I also help plan campus events and assist with customer service,” says the Taunton, MA native. One challenge Raena says she's had to overcome is mastering the art of public speaking. “Serving as an ambassador for UMassD has made me more confident when speaking. I believe this experience has prepared me for so many professional settings and will help me become more comfortable and articulate throughout my career.”
Raena is also a member of the UMass club called MASSPIRG, a statewide, student-directed, student-funded organization that advocates on behalf of students on issues such as affordable higher education, public health, and the environment. “We do a lot of outreach focused on making our communities better places economically, naturally, and socially,” she says.
Since entering UMass Dartmouth, Raena says she has also had the opportunity to get involved in a first-time networking program where she learned a lot simply through engaging with others for the first time. “Having the opportunity to navigate social circles has been one of the best experiences yet and I know there are more to come,” she says. “I can honestly say that every day spent here so far has helped me flourish academically and socially.”