Announcing the winners of the UMassD Believes Essay Contest
A long-standing tradition features the stories of first-year students as they enter the campus community
UMass Dartmouth recently announced the winners of the UMassD Believes Provost Writing Contest. Modeled after NPR’s This I Believe, the contest rewards four notable incoming students for their 500-word statements about what matters most to them. The larger incoming Class of 2027 wrote blog posts and interacted with each other through comments, allowing students to reflect on themselves, learn about and from each other, and join the conversation about student life at UMassD.
Students were given the opportunity to submit their belief statements, which were evaluated in a competitive, blind review selection process. The following students were honored to have their essays selected for first, second, and third place or honorable mention:
First place – “Truth” by June Melvin
A first-year biochemistry student from Berkley, Massachusetts
Over time, I realized that there are people who will make you feel good about being who you are, and who will either accept you for who you are, or learn to do so over time. I was much happier after transitioning and I learned that if no one was really hurt, being me was worth the slight discomfort of others.
Second place – “The Power of Compassion” by Mary Goodrow
A first-year bioengineering student from Northbridge, Massachusetts
It is difficult to show self-compassion in times of depression, anxiety or negative thoughts. It’s hard to repeat the words we say to our friends as advice. It’s hard to get to the therapist’s office. It can be extremely difficult not to give up on yourself. But believing in the power of compassion means we can look in the mirror and say, “I’m proud of you, too.”
Third place – “A cruel world worth saving” by Adry Cimbron
First year animation and game arts student from New Bedford, Massachusetts
The undeniable truth is that the world is cruel, but it is up to humanity to make this world a better place. However, we can only achieve this together. One person can create a ripple, and two or more can create a wave. Therefore let us join hands, man and man. We can make this world a better place, no matter how long it takes.
Honorable Mention – “Using Sport for Social Justice” by Mark Hemment
A first-year business management student from Newton, Massachusetts
Sports gave (and still gives) athletes a platform to promote social justice and raise awareness. In turn, it sparked a movement that encouraged countless people (both in and out of the sports world) to join the fight for change.
UMassD Believes, formerly This We Believe, was launched in 2015 by the Department of Academic and Student Affairs to engage new students with the values of UMass Dartmouth. Professor Meghan J. Fair has led the program since 2016.
“Alcohol scholar. Hardcore tv junkie. Wannabe bacon enthusiast. Twitter fanatic. Subtly charming travel guru. Pop culture specialist.”