Andrew Ambrosino, Computer Science, Business minor
“We tell students they can get a great deal here and be part of an excellent community.”
Andrew Ambrosino chose UMass Lowell because of the “startup mentality” he found on campus. New construction, growing student groups, expanded programs, strong financial aid and support for student ideas made him excited to start. Being part of the Commonwealth Honors Program
gives him access to the resources and connections to make big things happen.
“Between honors housing, the engaging classes and the culture, it’s a really great community to be part of,” says Ambrosino. “I've made some of my best friends in the Honors program.”
Ambrosino wants other high-achieving students to have the same experiences he’s enjoying at the University. In April 2013 he and three others hosted a Welcome Day Honors After Party
for prospective honors students with help from many departments and members of the Honors Ambassadors program they created.
“Our goal was to make the case for UMass Lowell and convince these students they could get a great deal here and be part of an excellent community,” Ambrosino says. “We received great feedback and heard from many students that we helped them decide to come here next year.”
This desire to help people and solve issues also influences Ambrosino’s computer science
studies. Instead of making the next Facebook or Foursquare, he wants to use his development and design skills to solve social issues.
“I want to use technology to make something that’s really meaningful, something people can go interact with and learn from,” Ambrosino says. “Facebook is great, but what problem does it solve? They’ll make the case that it makes people more connected, and that’s good, but there are bigger problems to fix.”
He’s already helped the Navy and Coast Guard through a job at MITRE and won a portion of an Innocentive
crowd-solving competition by designing easy and helpful features for video communication tools. Ambrosino is also designing a more intuitive degree progress program for community colleges in another Innocentive project to help students navigate educational choices.
Ambrosino feels he made the right choice in coming to UMass Lowell. Being part of the Honors program has solidified that, especially as he learns more about his classmates.
“I’m so pleasantly surprised by everyone. I expected the Honors housing to be more engineering
heavy but it’s very diverse and everyone seems to have their own thing,” says Ambrosino. “While I’m going to work at Google and Microsoft in summer 2013, a kid down the hall busks in Cambridge making good money and plays at the Hard Rock Café with other honors students.”
No matter the topic, the program’s startup mentality is still strongly influencing Ambrosino and his friends.
“People here are just generally supportive of students starting big projects and events and helping us with them. They just say ‘Go!’”