Framingham State senior Bailey McLernon was honored by Governor Charlie Baker and other legislators during the annual 29 Who Shine Ceremony on May 9 at the Massachusetts State House.
“I congratulate Bailey and all 29 of the 2016 award recipients and thank them for their substantial contributions to their campuses and local communities,” said Gov. Baker, in a statement. “Each of the 29 Who Shine honorees represent our future citizenry and workforce and have already made a positive impact on the Commonwealth.”
McLernon will graduate from Framingham State on May 22, with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in math.
In the fall, she will begin working toward a doctoral degree in organic chemistry at Boston University.
Her goal is to become a college professor at a local college or university that has a strong focus on undergraduate students.
“Bailey is truly deserving of this recognition,” says Framingham State President Javier Cevallos. “Not only is she a terrific student, she is civically engaged and has demonstrated a commitment to helping others.”
This summer, she will make her third trip to the Dominican Republic, where she spends a week handing out food and other sorely needed items in the local villages.
Locally, she has volunteered her time at MetroFest, an event for the community put on by the MetroWest Visitor’s Bureau.
She is a supplemental instructor at Framingham State, helping other students navigate their coursework in chemistry.
Professor Shelli Waetzig is McLernon’s faculty mentor at Framingham State and was also honored at the ceremony.
“Dr. Waetzig is the reason I want to become a professor,” says McLernon. “I have learned so much from her. She really cares about her students and wants them to do well. I have certainly been a beneficiary of that care.”
The 29 Who Shine ceremony launched in 2011 to recognize an outstanding students from each of the state’s 29 public colleges and universities.
“Bailey is a shining example of a student who has made good on the taxpayer’s investment in her education,” said Carlos E. Santiago, Commissioner of Higher Education. “The outstanding students on this year’s list of 29 Who Shine honorees have come from many countries, overcome many obstacles. I am so proud of what they have achieved and look forward to seeing how they continue to put their talents to work on behalf of us all.”