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Pierce selected as one of 29 Who Shine

Posted 05/02/16

Megan PierceMegan E. Pierce of Rochester will represent Fitchburg State when the state Department of Higher Education salutes 29 Who Shine on Monday, May 9 at the Statehouse. The ceremony will pay tribute to one graduating senior from each of the state's 29 campuses of public higher education.

An interdisciplinary studies major, Pierce has been a standout member of the Fitchburg State community since her arrival on campus in 2012. She has used her skills to enhance the quality of life for her fellow students and has been an effective ambassador for her peers with constituencies in the city and beyond.

As a first-year student, Pierce quickly involved herself in student government, serving for four years including service as class president, treasurer, student trustee and ultimately president of the student body.

Honorees at the 29 Who Shine ceremony are allowed to invite a faculty or staff mentor who has been pivotal in their collegiate experience. Pierce selected President Emeritus Robert V. Antonucci as her mentor.

"Dr. Antonucci is the epitome of everything I hope to become one day:  intelligent, charismatic, a team player, and a visionary," Pierce said. "Throughout his life he's used all these characteristics to help others. Having him as someone to look up to played a monumental role in my current and future success."

In her interdisciplinary studies with a focus on political science, Pierce endeavored to bring the lessons of the classroom into practice. On campus that translated into service on the university's student leadership initiatives and as an orientation leader for incoming students. She also volunteered her time and energy with the Alternative Spring Break program working for Habitat for Humanity.

Beyond the campus, Pierce applied her skills with internships in the state's Executive Office of Education and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey's office. In her final semester on campus, she interned in the office of Fitchburg Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale, again helping to bridge the university and its host city.

She has been a responsible and enthusiastic partner in university-community events such as the political debates Fitchburg State co-sponsors with the local newspaper. She knows the importance of being a positive ambassador for the university with the wider community.

Pierce has been hired as legislative aide for state Rep. Stephan Hay (D-Fitchburg). She plans to continue her studies in public policy at a later date, including the pursuit of a doctorate.

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