Giving to WSU

  • Gifts at Work

    Thank you for your generous gifts to Worcester State University. Your philanthropy helps support scholarships, underwrite student and faculty research, purchase lab equipment, enhance curriculum development, and enrich the learning environment.

    In addition, donor support helps fund academic awards, internships, study away programs, and the Emergency Book Fund. We invite you to meet a few of our students who have benefited from your generosity:

  • Andrew Johnson ’14


    Andrew Johnson ’14
    Major: Communication
    WSU Scholarship:

    • Richard “Okie” O’Connor Scholarship

       “The track program established by Mr. O’Connor instills a type of work ethic you cannot teach.”

      “Being named the Worcester State Freshman Athlete of the Year was pretty special,” says communication major Andrew Johnson ’14.

      Andrew, a key member of WSU’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams, specializes in the high jump. Practicing 90 minutes a day five days a week in addition to regular strength-building workouts, he has won accolades in many post-season tournaments – all while holding down a part-time job and maintaining a 3.4 GPA.

      “I like being in a track atmosphere,” Andrew observes. “It’s really satisfying when you go for higher heights and make it. And my track mates are my friends. We really support each other.”

      He also draws inspiration from his coach, Matthew Swett ’05, who excelled in the high jump, decathlon, and hurdles during his years as a student at WSU. “He’s a great athlete who takes a lot of pride in what he does,” Andrew says. “I respect how he can be your coach and best friend at the same time.”

      Andrew is aiming for a career making videos for sports commercials. In the meantime, he’s making the most of his time at Worcester State. He is also appreciative of receiving the Richard “Okie” O’Connor Scholarship.

      “The track program established by Mr. O’Connor instills a type of work ethic you cannot teach,” adds Andrew. “It is learned through hours of hard work and success on the track or field.”

      Kerri Coughlin ’14


      Kerri Coughlin ’14
      Double Major: Education, Spanish
      WSU Scholarships:

      • DCU Reach Out for Books Scholarship
      • Keith R. Lapierre Scholarship
      • Mary and John Ballantine Scholarship
      • Eileen and William Mullin Scholarship

      “Worcester State is a public university with amazing programs and a private school feel.”

      “I chose Worcester State for two main reasons – the strength of the academic programs and the generosity of the school’s donors,” says Kerri Coughlin ’14. With a double major in elementary education and Spanish, Kerri says, “Worcester State is a public university with amazing programs and a private school feel.”

      A native of Medford, Mass., Kerri says, “The elementary education program is phenomenal. I have been inside local schools since the beginning of my freshman year, and I’m participating in an after-school program for struggling readers.”

      She is also enthusiastic about her Spanish classes. “The state requires all elementary education students to have a second major,” Kerri explains. “My Spanish courses have been simply amazing and include professional translation courses. Professor Guillermina Elissondo has been an inspiration to me.”

      President of the Resident Hall Programming Committee, a Presidential Student Ambassador, a member of the Student Senate, and a member of the Honors Program, Kerri receives the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship and an honors scholarship each year. She has also received the DCU Reach Out for Books Scholarship, the Keith R. Lapierre Scholarship, the Mary and John Ballantine Scholarship, and the Eileen and William Mullin Scholarship.

      Kerri says, “I’m so grateful to all the donors. Their generosity is amazing and inspirational.”

      Jacob Macomber ’14


      Jacob Macomber ’14
      Double Major: Business, Economics
      WSU Scholarship:

      • Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan’55 USMC Ret. Scholarship
      • Dr. Leonard Farrey Scholarship.

      “I looked around and found that Worcester State is veteran-friendly and a good value.”

      “We were in two wars and I wanted to do my part,” says U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jacob Macomber ’14. After enlisting in the Marine Corps in 2005, Jacob was deployed twice to Iraq, where his duties included guard duty, convoy security, and project management involving “a million moving parts.”

      While stationed at Quantico, he was accepted into the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, an officer training program for enlisted personnel. One of the requirements was that he attend a college affiliated with a Naval ROTC unit. “I looked around and found that Worcester State is veteran-friendly and a good value,” recalls Jacob, who is a native of Manchester, Conn. He enrolled at WSU in spring 2011.

      Jacob has a double major – in business administration and economics – and was inducted into the Sigma Beta Delta National Honor Society. In addition, he has received the Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan’55 USMC Ret. Scholarship and the Dr. Leonard Farrey Scholarship.

      An active member of the NROTC, Jacob will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant when he graduates in 2014.

      “The Marines are a good fit for me,” Jacob says. “I enjoy the mission, what we do on a day-to-
      day basis and the larger mission of service to the nation. It’s very rewarding.”

      Lauren Hassett ’13


      Lauren Hassett ’13
      Major: History
      WSU Scholarship:

      • Student Research Grant

      “The opportunities I’ve had at Worcester State have been endless.”

      Lauren Hassett has made the most of every opportunity she’s had at Worcester State. As a result, she’s well on her way to the career of her dreams in the nonprofit sector. The history major has earned acceptance into the highly competitive City Year in Boston, where she will mentor at-risk students. In fall 2014, she will begin graduate study in Brown University’s Nonprofit Leadership and Social Innovation program, which accepts only about 25 students – 8 percent of applicants – per year.

      Lauren, a native of Oxford, Mass., says that a wide range of hands-on learning experiences at WSU were key factors in her acceptance to both programs.

      Lauren was an AmeriCorps VISTA intern in WSU’s Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, where she was involved in a study of the partnership between the Barbara (Hickey) O’Brien ’57 Education Department and Worcester Public Schools. In February 2013, with support from a Student Research Grant, she presented her research at the Professional Development Schools National Conference in New Orleans.

      Lauren also had a paid internship at Chandler Psychological Services, which serves police officers and other first responders.

      Her love of history was deepened during a study away semester in Worcester, England. “I came back really wanting to expand my knowledge of the world,” she says.

      Lauren adds, “The opportunities I’ve had at Worcester State have been endless.”

      Kelly Cutting ’14


      Kelly Cutting ’14
      Major: Biology
      WSU Scholarship:

      • Dr. Imoigele Aisiku Undergraduate Research Summer Fellowship

      “I want to understand how people affect the earth and create more awareness of the earth.”

      For much of the summer of 2013, the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology was like a second home to Kelly Cutting ’14. Under the direction of Assistant Professor of Biology Sebastian Velez, Ph.D., she studied Nuncia, a genus of a New Zealand arachnid commonly known as harvestmen or, in the United States, as daddy-long-legs.

      “Working at Harvard was very exciting,” says Cutting, who is a nontraditional student with a four-year-old son. She received a Dr. Imoigele Aisiku Undergraduate Research Summer Fellowship to support her research. “Professor Velez offered me an incredible opportunity, and I was able to take advantage of it because of the fellowship.”

      Using material on loan from the Te Papa Museum of Natural History of New Zealand, she and Velez worked on a taxonomic revision of several species, with plans to submit the revision for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

      Cutting, a biology major with a geography minor, has a strong interest in biogeography, the study of the distribution of animals on the planet. “Professor Velez’s organismal biology class was really challenging because he has high expectations,” she admits. “But I learned so much that it really helped me clarify my career goals. He’s a great mentor.”

      She adds, “I plan to do research and teach on the college level someday. I want to understand how people affect the earth and create more awareness of the earth. In my heart, I’m a bit of a tree-hugger.”