As they prepare to draw on the skills learned at BSU, two graduate students were recognized for their efforts as both scholars and public servants.
Sean F. Peters, G ’17, and Cassandra Laslie, ’16, G ’18, were selected as the 2017 recipients of the Guy Clifford Scholarship, a $1,250 award that the Political Science Department presents to Masters in Public Administration students who demonstrate academic excellence and commitment to public service.
Ms. Laslie, who aspires to work in the nonprofit field, and Mr. Peters, a Bridgewater firefighter/paramedic, were honored Wednesday night during the MPA program’s annual Public Service Recognition Dinner, held in the Dunn Conference Suite.
Dr. Brian Frederick, associate professor of political science and the department chair, said that Ms. Laslie has been “an academic leader among her colleagues in the MPA program,” and that Mr. Peters “has demonstrated exemplary commitment to public service” as a Bridgewater firefighter.
“I know there are so many other amazing students in the MPA program so it I was unbelievably honored to be chosen,” Ms. Laslie said.
The East Bridgewater resident divides her time between her graduate studies and part-time jobs as an intern at the nonprofit agency, DCF Kids Fund, as a graduate assistant in BSU’s Office of University Events, and a director in the drama program in the East Bridgewater public schools.
After graduate school, Ms. Laslie hopes to work full-time for DCF Kids, which funds enrichment activities for children served by the state Department of Children and Families. Eventually, she aspires to a larger role at a nonprofit, preferably one involving children and the arts.
A 2004 graduate of Stonehill College, Mr. Peters has been a firefighter for 15 years, the last 11 in Bridgewater. He decided to pursue the MPA to further his goal of one day becoming chief of the department.
“I’m humbled,” Mr. Peters said of the scholarship. “I’ve always felt that doing the work is its own reward, but now to have been chosen for this honor it’s surreal, it’s exciting.”
Mr. Peters and Ms. Laslie said that BSU provided them with valuable preparation and guidance for meeting their career goals. Both cited in particular the help they received from Dr. Melinda Tarsi, assistant professor of political science.
“She’s been there to help me with my classes and my career decisions, and to alleviate for me a lot of the stress,” Ms. Laslie said.