Allison Galanis, '10, an honors graduate who this fall will enter Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been named by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to the "29 Who Shine" list.
A graduate from each of the 29 Massachusetts public university and colleges is named to the list, which recognizes students who have demonstrated academic achievement and a commitment to community service.
The announcement, made by Dr. Richard Freeland, the state's commissioner of higher education, was hailed by President Dana Mohler-Faria.
"We are exceedingly proud of Miss Galanis," he said. "I know I speak for our entire campus community when I offer heartiest congratulations to her on her selection to this most prestigious and accomplished group. We join Allison and her parents - Peter and Amanda Galanis, who are themselves both graduates of Bridgewater - in celebrating this landmark achievement."
Ms. Galanis, who was a biology major with a chemistry minor, has been admitted to Johns Hopkins' highly competitive Cellular and Molecular Medicine doctoral program. At Bridgewater, she worked on a major research project involving pioneering work in the field of pediatric cancer, which was funded by a National Institutes of Health grant.
Ms. Galanis, a Stoughton High School graduate, believes that her admittance to the selective program would not have been possible had she attended any other school.
"The opportunities I had at Bridgewater, especially the training that I had and the support I received from the faculty at BSC, are chiefly responsible," she said. "While it's unusual for Hopkins to accept a candidate directly into a Ph.D. program from a state college, I'm confident in the background I have from my studies at Bridgewater."
During her time here, Ms. Galanis met two mentors among the faculty in the biology department: Dr. Jeffery Bowen, professor, and Dr. Merideth Krevosky, an associate professor who helped the honor student with her research project, which focused on cancer.
Drs Bowen and Krevosky invite the best undergraduates each year to join their lab team so they can engage in professional-level laboratory research usually limited to graduate students. Only four or five students generally make the cut and they are usually juniors.
Ms. Galanis, however, received the invite as a sophomore, which Dr. Bowen said, "was testimony to the impression she made on us. We saw her talent and drive and knew she'd be a valuable asset to our research."
Dr. Krevosky described Ms. Galanis as "an absolutely ideal student. Her sheer enthusiasm for learning had an impact on all of us, students and faculty alike." (Story and photo by David K. Wilson, '71, Office of Institutional Communication; video by the Moakely TV studio)
Allison Galanis, Dr. Merideth Krevosky and Dr. Jeff Bowen talk about some of the unique biological research opportunities available at the college: