UMass Lowell government relations associate Colleen Brady’s path to the University wound its way from Bolton, England through the school system in Lowell. After graduating high school, Brady selected UMass Lowell for its proximity to her mom in Lowell.
Thanks to a month-long internship in Washington, D.C. during her freshman year, Brady ‘02, who majored in criminal justice
and political science, “caught the political bug” and took a senator seat in student government, but she had greater ambitions. “I wanted to be class president,” she recalls. “I was up against a sorority sister who would normally get all the Greek votes, so I campaigned like crazy.” It paid off when Brady was elected in a landslide victory.
Becoming a Resident Adviser
for three years made her dream to live on campus a reality. “[It] really changed my experience and I made a lot of friends as a result,” she says. The honors student also took graduate courses to get a head start on a master’s in criminal justice, which she completed in 2004. Working as a Teaching Assistant in the department, she traded hard work for free tuition and a stipend.
With a master’s degree from UMass Lowell, and a law degree from Mass School of Law (2009), Brady “did some soul searching,” to decide where to take her career. Thinking about when she felt most fulfilled, she says, “It wasn’t even a question. I immediately thought of UMass Lowell. It’s an awesome community of brilliant people and I knew I wanted to be a part of that again.”
Working for her alma mater since 2011, she couldn’t be happier. “UMass Lowell was a great place when I was a student here, but it’s changed so much since. Our standards have gone up; there’s more to offer; it’s more diverse. It’s wonderful that I get to be a part of it,” says Brady. The primary responsibilities of her job have Brady working closely with the Chancellor’s Office to promote UMass Lowell’s mission, events and campus projects to internal audiences and local, state and federal governments. It’s an opportunity for Brady to forge bonds between the UMass Lowell community and various government officials. “My job is more of an art than a science. I love the fact that the projects I work on have such variety to them; it keeps me on my toes, and allows me to develop a large cache of skills that will help me to grow in my career,” she says.