Twisha Mohapatra

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Twisha Mohapatra, a sophomore at our university, has made notable contributions in addressing the needs of first-generation college students on our campus. During this time, she has been active in the River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA), a program that supports first-generation student success at UMass Lowell and is run through our Provost's Office. Through her work with the RHSA, she earned one of only nine positions for 2018-2019 as an RHSA Peer Leader, serving as an ally and mentor for the first-generation college students. She is currently co-leading a research effort that conducts focus groups to help assess the impact of the RHSA and potentially other important student-focused initiatives. As part of the training she received on student-led focus group methodology, Twisha will now work with our Director of Curriculum Assessment and Accreditation and the Faculty Director of the RHSA to lead the way in using what she has learned to train other students in this approach. Twisha truly has been an important part of the RHSA's success and we anticipate even greater achievements in her future. She has made a real difference in the lives of first-generation students on our campus.

Jaqueline Moloney
Chancellor
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Personal Statement

When I started school as a freshman at UMass Lowell I was not aware of all the disadvantages first-generation students face. I started hearing personal stories from friends who were first-generation students and I started to realize the major setbacks they encounter in college. I became a peer leader for the River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA) at UMass Lowell to become actively engaged in helping these students. The RHSA is a program that promotes the success of freshman first-generation college students by providing peer leaders. These peer leaders help students navigate their way through college, including functioning as a support group for students. My experience as a Peer Leader has shown me the value of peer mentorship in guiding freshman students to avoid mistakes I had made my first year. Additionally, I am a part of the pilot program for student-led focus groups to address community issues at UMass Lowell. Currently we are working on improving the RHSA for the following school year to better meet the needs of students. My future goals include continuing to work on the student-led focus groups to better improve the university community and obtaining a Masters of Business Management.

Twisha Mohapatra
Business Administration with a Concentration in Management; Psychology Minor: Class of 2021
written 2019

2019 Fellows Alphabetical by Institution

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Sarah Lutes, UNC Asheville Seda Sahin, Univeristy of Connecticut Bernardo Villarreal Rodríguez, Universidad de Monterrey Elizabeth Paige, University of Baltimore Itzel Velazquez, University of Central Arkansas Jordan Borenstein, University of Central Florida Hunter Caudillo, University of Central Oklahoma Delali Nenonene, University of Dayton April Singleton, University of Delaware Amanda Wittebort, University of Denver Mikaela Lopez, University of Houston-Downtown Nicolas Robledo, University of Illinois at Chicago Natalie Benson, University of Indianapolis Jocelyn Roof, University of Iowa Kaitlyn Frick, University of Kentucky Dyamond Gray, University of La Verne Sarah Nichols, University of Maine at Augusta Maheen Haq, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Madison LaCure, University of Massachusetts - Boston Marvens Pierre, University of Massachusetts Amherst Elizabeth Anusauskas, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Twisha Mohapatra, University of Massachusetts Lowell Shravya Jasti, University of Miami Jalen Rose, University of Michigan-Dearborn Robert Harper, University of Minnesota Danielle Friz, University of Missouri - St. Louis Daisy Ward, University of Montana Adrianna Pittman, University of Montana Western Lizbeth Perez Hernandez, University of Nebraska Omaha Kaitlin Griffin, University of New Hampshire Joyce Yao, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Yesika Sorto Andino, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Adriana Zarate, University of North Georgia Hector Robledo, University of North Texas at Dallas Malaika Michel-Fuller, University of Northern Colorado Sashay Carroll, University of Northern Iowa Carson Ball, University of Oklahoma Carter Gale, University of Pennsylvania John Farris, University of Redlands Mary-Kate McGeary, University of Rhode Island Lina Tori Jan, University of Richmond Nina Schneider, University of San DIego Nyteia Tyler, University of San Francisco Karen Padilla, University of South Carolina Beaufort Danica Leaphart, University of South Carolina, Columbia Andrew Spencer, University of St. Thomas Shaneika Bowra, University of the District of Columbia Livia Karoui, University of the South Jordyn Gaurkee, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Emiliana Lopez, University of Wisconsin - Madison Zach Atkins, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Madison Hale, University of Wisconsin-Superior
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