29 Who Shine Award Winners:
State University Students
Kayla is a political science major and a student in the BSU Honors Program. She has participated in two alternative break trips focusing on the issues of poverty and homelessness, participated in student government, served as the student representative on the BSU Foundation, and worked as a student employee for the Campus Center. Kayla has received multiple grants to help fund her research projects on immigration and community service. She has also interned for the Washington Center at the Republican National Convention and at Andre House of Arizona, a hospitality center for the homeless in Phoenix. After graduation, Kayla plans to pursue her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Kayla chose to recognize Beth Goad, Assistant Director of the Rondileau Campus Center. “During my time at BSU, Beth helped to connect me to so many great opportunities and inspired me to pursue a career in higher education. I consider her to not only be a great mentor, but also a truly great friend.”
Matthew’s academic accomplishments have brought national recognition to Fitchburg State University, while his spirit of civic engagement has helped strengthen the bonds between the university and the city in which it resides. A five-time Dean’s List honoree, Matthew took his written and rhetorical skills to the nationwide stage in the American Collegiate Moot Court Association national tournament. He competed with distinction against much larger institutions, winning brief-writing awards in his final two years of competition. On campus, Matthew was elected president of his freshman class, served as student representative to the University’s board of trustees for two years, and was elected president of the Student Government Association. Matthew will earn a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in pre-law.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Matthew chose to recognize Paul Weizer, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Since I enrolled at Fitchburg State, Dr. Weizer has been someone I’ve admired and looked up to greatly, as a teacher, mentor, and friend. His guidance, expertise and willingness to help me succeed both in and out of the classroom have truly impacted my experience as a student for the better.”
Corey is a biochemistry major with a GPA of 3.96. He has financially supported himself during his four years at Framingham State by working long hours as a pharmacy technician and as a chemistry and physics tutor in the Center for Academic Support and Advising. He has conducted research at the Abbott Bioresearch Center in Worcester on projects related to multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, and with his FSU faculty mentor to determine whether polyphenolic compounds can decrease the amount of glucose in the blood for people with type 2 diabetes. Corey has volunteered at the Rhode Island Hospital Dietetics Department and at Ginny’s Food Pantry in Leominster, MA. He will enter the Ph.D. program in biochemistry at Clark University.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Corey chose to recognize Steven J. Cok, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Food Science. “My original major was nutrition, and Dr. Cok brought to light that I have a future in chemistry,” Corey says. “He inspired me to change my major to biochemistry and helped me find an internship at the Abbott Bioresearch Center. He’s also taught me how to be self-reliant in my research.”
Emma has put her passion for community engagement into practice through work with MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships (CACP). This art education major has been a Community Leadership Team member, coordinating design projects, installing artworks with CACP’s Community Exhibitions Initiative, and participating in CACP’s Community-Based Leadership Trainings. Emma has spearheaded collaboration between CACP, Gallery Education, and the Senior Center at ABCD Parker Hill Fenway, a community-based organization. She helped create curriculum and implement programming to reach a low-income audience with limited access to the arts. As a Gallery Education Intern in the Bakalar and Paine galleries, Emma has skillfully assisted in developing curriculum and facilitating gallery experiences for Boston students in grades 4–12. She plans to apply for a position as an AmeriCorps volunteer.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Emma chose to recognize India Clark, Curator of Education, Curatorial Programs. “Committed to quality gallery education, India has been an inspiration to me in her exceptionally thoughtful and creative implementation of school and family programs. She deeply believes in the value of sharing art experiences with the public and works diligently to provide those experiences for our community.”
Doris has been a compassionate, effective mentor for youth in the communities near the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) campus. As an AmeriCorps “Student Leaders in Service” Scholar, Doris served at both the Youth Alive Program and the Rite of Passage Program in Pittsfield, MA, providing support, mentoring and leadership development for young women. Doris also worked at Mohawk Forest in North Adams, a low-income housing community where she provided development activities for youth. She also inspired local youth to stay in school and attend college through her work with the MCLA Pathways Program. Most recently, Doris was awarded the Lift Evr’y Voice Scholarship, allowing her to travel with Semester at Sea, a global study abroad program. She plans to volunteer with AmeriCorps before graduate school, and hopes to one day work in humanitarian law.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Doris chose to recognize Spencer Moser, Coordinator, Center for Service and Citizenship. “Spencer has been very influential in helping me to develop strong leadership skills starting with the L.E.A.D. Academy program as a first-year student.”
Lauren is a marine transportation major who has been named to the Academic Dean’s List for three consecutive years. As Captain of MMA’s Women’s Crew Team she was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for four years. Lauren was also the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Commandant’s Award for superior performance and exceptional contributions toward the Regiment of Cadets. As a junior, Lauren was awarded the position of Squad Leader, responsible for the supervision of approximately 50 freshmen cadets. As a senior, she was named the Regiment’s Training and Retention Cadet Officer, responsible for regulating the academic status and overall morale of the Regiment’s 1200 students. Lauren is also a dedicated volunteer, having worked with the Department of Children and Families, Homes for Troops and Wounded Warrior Project. Her immediate career goal is to sail as a mate on her United States Coast Guard Third Mate license and to keep upgrading her licenses in the coming years. She eventually hopes to earn a business degree to work within the shipping industry.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Lauren chose to recognize Captain Elizabeth B. Stevenson, Vice President of Enrollment Management. “Upon arriving to MMA, I worked in Admissions as a Cadet Admissions Representative. As an alumna and VP at the Academy, Captain Stevenson has been my mentor from both a personal and professional perspective. I look up to Captain Stevenson for her unique people skills, competence, dedication and professionalism.”
Anthony is a 43-year-old career-changer who found his way to social work after 11 years as a professional photographer. His interest in helping others and in social justice led him to found “Invisible Faces” as a way to draw attention to, and work to end, youth homelessness in Massachusetts. Anthony has used his photography skills to mount a massive outdoor exhibit of homeless young people in Harvard Square, in the process engendering dialogue and bringing the issue to the attention of legislators, the public and grant-writing institutions. A social work major, Anthony hopes to secure a development position within a non-profit organization.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Anthony chose to recognize Robert McAndrews, Ph.D., Professor, Social Work. “Professor McAndrews inspires everyone to achieve greatness and made a lifetime impression on my work. Giving back to Massachusetts is a central focus to his curricula. My Invisible Faces project was born in his community practice class. Documenting youth homelessness in Mass. through portraits is raising awareness, and funding, for changing stereotypes across the nation!”
Jaime graduated from Westfield State last December at the age of 20. It took him just two years to earn his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a GPA of 3.97. He did so while working 40 hours a week, volunteering as a Springfield Police cadet and supporting a family. He was a recipient of the President’s Award of Excellence for his efforts. Jaime worked as a math tutor in the Urban Education Program. He was a member of the Westfield State University Honors Program, Criminal Justice Club, and treasurer of the Latino Association for Empowerment (LAFE). Jaime will pursue a graduate degree in criminal justice at Westfield State in the fall.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Jaime chose to recognize Joan E. Fuller, Director, Urban Education Program. “Joan Fuller is the equivalent of a second mother to me. She didn’t only help me excel academically. She helped me grow as a man and a citizen. She taught me the power of giving back to society without expecting anything in return. The gift of humble and selfless service is knowing that I contributed to a better world. I could not have succeeded this far without her.”
As one of Worcester State’s most active and passionate student leaders, Amber served as a Senior Peer Advisor in the Academic Success Center and held multiple positions in the Student Affairs Office including Resident Assistant, Student Activities programming Assistant, and Orientation Co-Director. She also worked tirelessly each year on WSU’s Student Government Association Auction for the Homeless, which raises over $25,000 for Worcester-area non-profit agencies. Amber managed campus activities while maintaining a 3.869 GPA and making Dean’s List all four years. She is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and appears in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Amber will pursue a master’s degree in psychology. She hopes to earn a Ph.D. and become a college dean of student affairs.
Faculty/Staff Mentor: Amber chose to recognize Laura A. Murphy, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Counseling. “When I first met Laurie as a freshman I thought she was simply amazing at what she did. Laurie has helped me so much to realize what I love to do. She has helped me to learn about myself and to grow into the person I am today.”