Heather Fatcheric '15 completed her history degree requirements in January, including an Honors Thesis with Professor Robin Robinson of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at UMass Dartmouth. Heather was a member of the women’s field hockey team, an Iota Delta Nu sorority sister, a Peer Tutor at the Writing and Reading Center, an Orientation Leader, and a Greek Coordinator. She plans to teach History in the Massachusetts Public School System.
The Princeton, MA, resident was recently recognized as one of "29 Who Shine," an elite group of students representing the Commonwealth's 29 public colleges and universities, who were honored for their academic achievements and civic contributions. Heather also received UMass Dartmouth's Lamar E. McClinton Student Leadership award and was named a "Pillar of the Community."
A member of the Corsairs field hockey team, Heather has served as an Orientation leader and coordinator, Greek life coordinator, and writing tutor.
A history major, to understand the state of our world today
I’ve always had an interest in history, and I think it’s really important to be able to understand the reasons and events behind the state of our world today.
The History Department faculty are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and have made all the difference for me at this school. The history faculty genuinely care about their students and go out of their way to share their passions and interests.
Professors Robert Pontbriand and Karen Belmore always went out of their way to make sure I had everything I needed in school. They both sparked a deep interest in the subject for me and taught me a lot about how to study history.
I also feel lucky to have learned from Ilana Offenberger, Brian Williams, and Len Travers. These professors made me want to learn more about their specific fields of expertise and couldn't have been more approachable or better teachers. They’ll stop in the hallway and have a conversation with me about how I’m doing. I wish I had more time to take all of their courses.
Orientation leader & coordinator
I’ve learned that challenging yourself and meeting new people is the best way to grow. I see a lot of new students who completely break out of their shells just from trying something new or talking to someone they’ve just met.
Every Orientation Leader has told new students to get involved and try new things. That's the most valuable piece of advice for all students, including Orientation Leaders themselves. I think the best thing that can happen is Orientation Leaders taking their own advice and trying new things because of their experience with Orientation.
Orientation made me want to become a tutor at the Writing and Reading center, because we had a tutor on staff who made it seem really cool. Orientation also gave me the confidence to talk to anyone I met, and to take on bigger leadership roles like becoming the Greek Coordinator.
Tutoring at the Writing & Reading Center
Being a tutor at the Writing and Reading Center made me grateful for the education I’ve received. It opened my eyes to the importance of education and helped me strengthen my own writing skills.
I served as a collaborative tutor assigned to an ENL 100 class, tutoring small groups and attending class once a week. This experience made me want to become the best tutor I could be and helped foster my commitment to education.
Field hockey: learning the value of dedication & team work
One of the things I’m most grateful for in life is the experience of playing field hockey at UMassD. My coach Nicki Maher is one of the best role models any young woman could have. She taught me how to find a balance between all the commitments in my life, but never accepted anything other than the 100% effort from the team.
Linee Mello-Frost, our assistant coach, is the most patient person I’ve ever met, and she was the backbone of the team. My teammates through the years have been some of the most determined and talented people I’ve met, and I learned just as much from them as I have from my coaches.
I learned the values of dedication, team work, and a positive attitude. I don't think I would've accomplished half of what I had in college if it weren't for the life lessons that field hockey has taught me.
Future plans: become a teacher in the public schools
I plan on earning my master's degree in teaching, because I feel that education is the most important thing for any person. I was given a lot of opportunities because of the education I was lucky enough to receive, and I would love to give that back to my students.