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On the Front Lines

Members of the BSU community take up the battle against COVID-19

Also in this issue: Striving for Racial Justice on Campus and Beyond, New Academic Programs, Alumna Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

President's Perspective

President Frederick W. Clark JR., ESQ., ’83

"I’m optimistic, and what I’ve observed from the beginning is that we adapt to whatever challenge is in front of us; we don’t succumb to it. It makes us aspire to be better, to improve, to meet the adversity, and to move beyond it by being innovative, working harder and by being compassionate, all of the qualities that have endured here at Bridgewater for 180 years."

Read the full Q and A with President Clark »

Student Perspective

Student Perspective

Jean B. Mercredy, ’22
Faculty Focus

Faculty Focus

 Dr. Walter E. Harper Jr./Anthropology

Standing Tall in a Time of Need

By John Winters, G'11

The stories in this section deal with the ongoing fallout from the spread of COVID-19 and the ways in which members of the BSU community have responded.

Several alumni and students have served on the various front lines of the pandemic. Profiled in these pages are those who answered phones for hotlines devoted to those left depressed or suicidal due to the manifest effects of the virus. Meanwhile, others have worked in area hospitals, served with the National Guard, worked as a local firefighter/EMT, and stepped up to help the homeless. Finally, an alumna in Maine, who is preparing for her future career in medicine, cofounded a volunteer organization to assist medical professionals severely burdened due to the long hours demanded by the pandemic response by helping with chores such as food shopping and pet sitting.

Each of these individuals exemplifies the BSU motto, “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister,” in a time when many around them more than ever need a helping hand.

Chris Laguerre, ’17
Chris Laguerre, ’17, worked in a Boston hospital during the spring peak of the pandemic
Ludmila Silva, ’20

Social work graduate helped Father Bill’s clients through height of pandemic

Laura Knapik, ’15
 Alumna’s organization stepped up when Maine’s medical workers themselves needed help
Sean Peters, G’18
Alumnus discusses what it's like to be on the front lines
Serving the Vulnerable

Senior’s graduation postponed while he helps veterans and others in time of crisis

Donald Larson, ’11, Richard Stang, ’20, and Erica English, ’21

With anxiety and desperation on the increase as a result of COVID-19, these Bears are providing support working local helplines

Dr. Andrea Cayson,  Dr. Heather Pacheco-Guffrey and Dr. Melissa Winchell

A team of BSU faculty members conduct one of the first surveys in the country of K-12 teachers and the impact of COVID-19

Dr. Melissa Winchell
Education professor’s work addresses both the pandemic and racial issues

Speaking Up, Speaking Out

By John Winters, G'11

Racial justice is an ongoing battlefront that garnered new attention in 2020 due to the many highly publicized killings by police of unarmed people of color. The BSU community rushed to get involved.

This section features stories about a current student and recent graduates whose undergraduate research projects took on topics relating to racial justice and immigration. You’ll also read the thoughts of a trio of faculty members who have spent time this year discussing the issues of race and discrimination. Meanwhile, two faculty members are doing their part in the battle against injustice, as is an alumna who is making a career in Boston as an attorney fighting for the rights of the underrepresented.

Each of these individuals demonstrates a commitment to equity, fairness and a more just society.

Research Matters
Careers and more follow from undergraduate research projects examining issues of race and immigration
Listening In

Three faculty members share their thoughts about racial justice in America 2020

Dr. Jennelle Kariotis

Part-time faculty member co-leads local group seeking racial justice

Administrator and adjunct faculty member Dr. Meghan McCoy, G’09, develops lessons addressing bias and diversity issues for area schools
Shayla Mombeleur, ’12, seeks justice for the underrepresented

Alumni Update

Stay Connected: Send your news to the Office of Alumni Relations via email to or mail to: Jones Alumni House, 26 Summer St., Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA 02325.

The class notes editor reserves the right to edit submissions for clarity and brevity. Submitted photos must be either high-resolution digital images or original prints from film. Photos generated on home printers are not of publication quality.

Marie Rudd Thomas
Marie Rudd Thomas, '38
Barbara Stevens
Barbara Stevens, '76

Contact Us

Bridgewater Magazine keeps alumni, faculty, students and their families, staff, and friends of BSU informed about the university community and its impact on the region. This magazine is written, designed and edited by the Office of Creative Services and Publications with the needs of its varied audiences at heart and in mind.

For correspondence regarding Bridgewater Magazine, address all mail to:

Creative Services and Publications
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA 02325

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