The Chosen Few

News Feature

News & Events

May 11, 2012

This is a winning week for Worcester's [b]Diana Ramos[/b]. Two days before earning her bachelor's degree in political science and philosophy at Saturday's undergraduate commencement, she was among the state's top students honored at the "29 Who Shine" celebration in Boston.

The list created by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is comprised of outstanding students representing each of the 29 public higher education institutions in Massachusetts. The honorees are chosen based on their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service. The ceremony held in the Massachusetts Statehouse is attended by Gov. Deval Patrick  and other officials.

"It means a lot for me to be here. It's hard to find words to describe it," said Ms. Ramos. "I would never have imagined myself in this spot."

Ms. Ramos remains modest about her achievements, but she boasts an extensive résumé dating back to her freshman year at BSU. On campus she was a member of the Social justice League and Diversity Council, founding president of the Students for Sustainability organization, and publicity chair for AWARE, a student-run organization for GLBT students and allies. In the past, she served as member of the Fair Trade University Steering Committee and publicity chair of Active Minds, a peer-to-peer organization dedicated to mental health awareness.

Off campus, she served as outreach volunteer at Nuestro Huerto, a community farm in Worcester, at various Boston organizations, and has interned in Sen. John Kerry's office, at the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement in Washington D.C., and at Centro de Amigos para la Paz (Friends Peace Center) in Costa Rica. And the list goes on.

(For more on Ms. Ramos click [link]here|[/link].)

Before presenting Ms. Ramos and the other honorees with awards recognizing their achievements, Gov. Patrick lauded the students for their academic success, community service, leadership, and their potential to give back to the commonwealth. "We're not just proud of you, we're grateful," he said.

Additional remarks were delivered by Richard Freeland, commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, who praised not only the students, but also Massachusetts public higher education. "Today's event isn't just about the individual achievements of the students, but the collective success of our state universities," he said.

[b]President Dana Mohler-Faria[/b] made the trip to help honor Ms. Ramos. 

Other speakers included: Charles F. Desmond, chairman, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education; Paul Reville, the commonwealth's secretary of education; and Michael Mizzoni, a UMass Lowell graduate and former "29 Who Shine" honoree. (Rob Matheson, '07, G'12, University Advancement)

Diana Ramos receives her award from Gov. Deval Patrick (photo courtesy of