Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 09:30

Seniors Recognized for Exemplary Service and Leadership

College honors 16 graduating seniors with prestigious Crown and Shield Award

Crown & Shield 2018 group photo On the eve of their Sunday, May 13 commencement, 16 members of Assumption College’s Class of 2018 were honored with the College’s prestigious Crown and Shield Award. The Award recognizes students who have distinguished themselves throughout their tenure at the College in the areas of leadership and community service. Award recipients have protected (shield) and furthered (crown) the interests of the student body and Assumption as a whole.

“The very essence of leadership is the recognition that one has gifts and talents that can bring to life a vision that can be transformative for individuals, an institution, or society,” Assumption College President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. shared with honorees and their families. “That transformation results from the ability of a leader to inspire, to help people dream of possibilities not yet imagined. Remember that leadership is not about the accumulation of power and wealth or selfish aggrandizement.  Rather, it is principally meant for the building up of society by being the advocates, supporters, and defenders of the weak and the little ones against all who oppress them.”

“The challenge for you as you prepare to leave Assumption College and enter the next phase in your life is to continue to nurture the qualities of leadership that you have cultivated here,” added President Cesareo. “As leaders formed within the Assumptionist tradition, our world needs you to bring it hope by making society a better place thereby bringing about the kingdom of God.  In this way you will be a gift to others.”

The following is a list of this year’s Crown and Shield recipients who were nominated by faculty, staff and administrators:

Tamra Jean Adams, of Quincy, graduated with a bachelor’s in biology with a concentration in neuroscience and behavior with a minor in psychology. During her time at Assumption, she served as class president and a senator on Student Government Association (SGA) all four years; was co-founder and co-president of the Student Philanthropy Club; an Augustine Scholar; and an organic chemistry and biology tutor and head tutor for the Academic Support Center. Adams was also a student fellow in the Assumption College Center for Teaching Excellence where she collaborated with two professors and three other fellows to write articles and plan events to promote teaching improvements. She is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and has been working for the Brewster Ambulance Service for one year now. According to a nominator, Adams “isn’t the kind of person who doesn’t’ check things off her to do list without giving it a lot of thought. She does her research, gathers feedback, assesses the efficiency, and then makes a decision.” After graduation, she will continue to work as an EMT with Brewster Ambulance Service while she applies to physician assistant graduate programs.

John Raymond Brand IV, of West Wareham, was a marketing major and economics minor. As a student at Assumption, Brand servied as a resident assistant and a head resident assistant; a Resident Hall Association advisor; helped lead the Genesis, START, Horizon and SEARCH retreats for Campus Ministry; was a service immersion volunteer on a SEND trip to Immokalee, FL; and participated in the  Assumption micro-lending program, working with Professor Cary LeBlanc to provide  micro loans to those in the greatest of need overseas.  A nominator described Brand as "incredibly personable and relatable” and his "high energy and enthusiasm has inspired fellow students to come out of their shell(s) and get immersed in all Assumption has to offer." After graduation, he will  work with the New England Patriots in their Event Operations Department and with Ace Tickets as a part of their game day staff for Bruins, Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox games.

Ian Joseph Burns, of North Andover, graduated with a bachelor’s in biology. While at Assumption, he was an Admissions Ambassador and tour guide; and SGA vice president for student affairs last year and student body president this year. A nominator described Burns as “a young man who has a quiet presence who weighs all the options before coming to an opinion on things – some of those things are big and important, and others not so much. Regardless, his process for reaching conclusions is always methodical.” Burns will spend the summer working for the Appalachian Mountain Club in New Hampshire before pursuing a full-time job search in the fall.

Isabella M. Camasura, of Bristol, CT, graduated with a bachelor’s in English writing and mass communications and a minor in natural sciences.  During her time at Assumption, she served as a resident assistant and head resident assistant; an Admissions Ambassador; a first-year orientation leader and chairperson; a Reach Out Center service director; Class of 2018 vice president and secretary; Student Conduct & Appeal Board representative. She was also a SOPHIA Collegian; a co-Leader of SEND trips to Camden, NJ, and a service immersion volunteer on a SEND trip to Pine Ridge, South Dakota; and a student representative at the Student Affairs Leaders of Tomorrow conference in 2017. One nominator said Camasura “has a positive spirit about her that makes her appreciated by all who know her, and inspires students to be better versions of themselves." After graduation, she will be a program coordinator on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and in the fall will begin a year of service teaching English in Spain.

Maia Nicole Campbell, of Worcester, earned a degree in political science who achieved this milestone in only three years. During her time at Assumption, Campbell served as a writer and campus life editor for the student newspaper, Le Provocateur; Campus Ministry Praise & Worship team leader as well as a peer minister for two years; a START retreat co-leader; a vocalist in the College’s Jazz Ensemble; a SOPHIA Collegian; as a Campus Activities Board Weekend Entertainment executive, and sub-chair for Family Weekend; and volunteered on a SEND trip to Pennsylvania. A nominator said, "Maia has modeled deep faith to her peers” and “is a conscientious, responsible, thoughtful, and truly gifted young woman who has so much to offer the world." Campbell has been accepted to Queen Mary University of London where she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in political thought and intellectual history.

Mark Raymond Carpentier, of West Islip, NY, earned a degree in economics major and minored in finance.  During his time at Assumption, Carpentier served as an orientation leader; and Admissions Ambassador; a senator and vice president of finance for SGA; and is a member of the Economics National Honor Society.  A nominator described him as a “perpetually happy young man who knows what he wants and makes a plan to make it work.” After graduation, Carpentier will work at The Cafaro Group Wealth Management, a subsidiary of Merrill Lynch. He hopes to pursue multiple licensees, a CFP certification, and later begin work as a financial advisor.

Alexander Jonathan Cerbo, of Cranston, RI, earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and psychology. During his time at Assumption, he served as a resident assistant and head resident assistant for three years; was a Campus Ministry peer minister and co-coordinator all four years; was a Student Athlete Advisory Committee representative; and a member of the men's track and field team all four years, serving as captain his senior year. A nominator said Cerbo "protected and shielded the interests of students in all of his roles, through listening, challenging them to meet their potential, and investing much time and energy into those who know him. He is one of the most authentic people you would ever meet.” He will attend law school at Western New England University in the fall.

Shannon Rose Dewar, of North Grafton, earned a degree in history and minored in psychology, education, and human services & rehabilitation studies. She served as a resident assistant and head resident assistant for three years;  an Admissions Ambassador, tour guide and Ambassador Executive for significant events; a Student Ambassador at the College’s 2017 President's Council Dinner; and an intern in the Office of Residential Life. Dewar was also a student representative at the Student Affairs Leaders of Tomorrow Conference; volunteered for the Reach Out Center; and participated in a SEND trip to Delaware. She was the recipient of this year’s Tom and Mony Plough Scholarship given each year to a student who demonstrates outstanding student leadership skills and plans to pursue a career in student affairs. Her nominators said that she "embodies what it means to be a student leader, with her passion for expanding the Assumption College community and her dedication to education outside of the classroom" and "she has gone out of her way to make sure other students on this campus are able to thrive." After graduation, Shannon will begin her career in student affairs as a resident director at Saint Anselm College.

Alexandra Mary Fleming, of Acton, earned a dual degree in elementary education and English, with a concentration in STEM subjects. During her time at Assumption, she was a resident assistant and head resident assistant for three years; an Admissions Ambassador and tour guide all four years; a swim instructor at the Plourde Recreation Center; a Campus Ministry START team member; a SOPHIA Collegian; a service immersion volunteer on SEND trips to Baltimore and Camden, NJ, and a student leader on a SEND trip to Washington, D.C. Fleming’s nominators described her as a "gentle-spirited, well-mannered young woman with an enviable work ethic" who has "gained the respect of peers, professors, and other members of the Assumption community for her enthusiasm, dedication to task, and conviction that she can make a positive difference in the lives of others." After graduation, she plans to teach elementary school while working toward her master’s degree in special education at Assumption.  

Marissa Jane Gifford, of North Attleboro, graduated with a degree in chemistry and minored in biology. While at Assumption, she served as a resident assistant; a chemistry and physics tutor and head tutor in the Academic Support Center; a Campus Activities Board executive member chairperson and social media executive; and was an SGA class assembly member all four years. She was also a member of the College’s softball team all four year and has officiated locally as an umpire for children’s softball games. A nominator described Marissa as "an unsung hero within the Assumption College community… with her passion to achieve commitment to her roles, and service to others." After graduation, Gifford will work at Charles River Laboratories in Worcester as an associate scientist.

Raysa Guerrero, of Worcester, graduated with a bachelor’s in criminology major and minored in psychology and sociology. During her time at Assumption, Guerrero was a resident assistant and head resident assistant for three years; a student ambassador for the College’s ESL summer program; a research fellow for the Assumption College Honors Program; a SOPHIA Collegian; an Augustine Scholar; and last but not least, Class of 2018 Valedictorian. A nominator said that Guerrero’s "passion for justice, and skill in working with people (to foster) community and togetherness" has defined her place at Assumption and that "she is always looking to bring people together as well as learn new things.” After graduation, she will pursue a job in the field of criminology.

Rafael S. Hamawi, of Waterbury, CT, earned a degree in biology and minored in Spanish.  During his time at Assumption, Hamawi served as a resident assistant for three years; a physics and organic chemistry tutor for the Academic Support Center and a volunteer tutor with Training Resources of America, Inc.; as a senator, class president and class assembly member for SGA; and was a member of the Academic Affairs Committee, Ethics Board and Spirit Fund Committee. He was a Campus Ministry retreat leader and peer minister all four years and was a volunteer on SEND trips to Washington, DC, Immokalee, FL, and Ecuador. A nominator described Hamawi as an "exceptional student, and a young man of very high character, with a deep sense of responsibility to serve others," adding that he “has great potential as a leader and will no doubt rapidly advance to leadership roles in all his future endeavors." After graduation, he will apply to medical schools.          

Sang Thi Le, of Worcester, graduated with a degree in accounting and minored in sports management and fraud examination. While at Assumption, she served as an executive board member, treasurer, vice president and ambassador of the ALANA Network, organizing the group’s 2018 Step & Dance Competition that raised almost $500 for the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester. She was also an orientation leader. Le’s nominators described her as the “consummate professional who approaches her responsibilities with a sense of purpose and a strict timeline to keep her on task” and called her an “exceptional team player, always seeking feedback from her peers and is perceived as not only reliable, but trustworthy.” After graduation, Le will be working with the Massachusetts Pirates in their accounting and game day operations departments, while she attends graduate school at Assumption in its accelerated accounting program.

Kayley Paige Millard, of Swansea, majored in international business and philosophy pre-business and minored in Spanish. While at Assumption, she was a resident assistant and head resident assistant for two years; an RA Perspective team leader; a Reach Out Center Service Director; and a Service Immersion volunteer and co-leader on three SEND trips (Baltimore, MD; Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota; and Ecuador). A nominator described how Millard "intertwines faith with any challenge she faces, and sees the greater purpose."  Another commended her "passionate service work… commitment to social change, and ability to put her values into action." After graduation, Kayley will pursue her MBA from Assumption.

Kara Marion O'Connell, of Medfield, majored in English, writing and mass communications major, and minored in peace and conflict studies. While at Assumption, she served as a resident assistant for three years; an orientation leader and First Year Student executive; an Admissions Ambassador, tour guide and social media manager; a staff writer and business manager for the College’s student newspaper, Le Provocateur; a senator, social media and marketing representative, and vice president for academic affairs for SGA; a service immersion volunteer on a SEND trip to Tuscaloosa, AL; and was a SOPHIA Collegian. A nominator described her as a charismatic student leader, and "an innovator and champion for her peers.” After graduation, O’Connell intends to pursue a career in higher education with a focus on admissions event planning, as well as earn a master’s degree in higher education.

Amber Sue Welch, of Arlington, VT, earned a degree in political science and minored in international business. While at Assumption, she was co-founder and president of the Assumption College Food Recovery Network, which distributed meals to struggling families in the Worcester community. She also served as a resident assistant and head resident assistant for three years; and as a senator and academic affairs chairperson for Assumption’s SGA, and as a delegate for the Worcester Student Government Association. A nominator said that Welch “stands out for her professionalism and confidence in her roles, and as an advocate for her fellow students” and that she “balances all her commitments very well, dedicates her time to all equally, and strives to leave the campus better than she found it." After graduation, she will relocate to Meridian, ID, to live and work as a paralegal or legal assistant. She hopes to attend Idaho State University law school in the fall of 2019.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College
ke.dunbar@assumption.edu @AssumptionNews