UMass CESL promotes learning for life-long, engaged citizenship, partnering with communities on and off campus to work collectively for a more just society.

The Boltwood Project

Info and Interview sessions happen the second week of each semester and are the ONLY way to be enrolled in the Boltwood course.

The interview sessions for the Spring 2015 semester have not been set. Please check back.

For everyone who is accepted into the course, there is a required evening orientation session (Time and location TBA).

The Spring 2015 class schedule for Boltwood will be posted soon. Please check back.

For information about these sessions and other Boltwood activites contact one of the

2014-2015 Boltwood Coordinators -

Hannah Michlmayer


Shelby Ripa 

What’s the Boltwood Project? The Boltwood Project, offers a student-led Service-Learning course that partners with organizations serving community members with disabilities. It has been part of UMass for 43 years and is now a program offered by UMass CESL.

Over 200 UMass students participate in The Boltwood Project each year! Over 11,000 students have been a part of this program over 4 decades!  

Check here for more info about the  
Boltwood Practicum & Service Sites.

History of The Boltwood Project

For over 40 years UMass has been home to The Boltwood Project, a Service-Learning course that partners with 14 community programs for people with disabilities. 

Since its inception, the project has been directed by the now retired Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning (LARP) professor, Merle Willmann.  Dr. Willmann initiated the program when he was a young professor who could often be found with students at the café on Boltwood Walk (near the current Rao’s). The first 6 participants in the program were students with whom Merle drank coffee and talked about world affairs, such as the Vietnam War and the student led events surrounding it. In honor of their café association, they named their initiative The Boltwood Project and began their service at the now closed Belchertown State Hospital.  

In May 2012, Professor Willmann, long since retired from LARP, retired from directorship of The Boltwood Project.  UMass CESL is proud to be taking up the mantle from Professor Willmann.  Along with the 16 student leaders of this program we look forward to many more years of continued partnership between The Boltwood Project and the local community.

To enroll, you must attend one of the 3 Boltwood Project Info & Interview sessions during the second week of each semester.

This is the ONLY way to be enrolled in the Boltwood practicum course.