Central MA College Standout: Assumption’s Devon Holmes
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
A Conversation with Devon Holmes
SW: Can you describe the career and/or future you envision for yourself?
DH: During my time at Assumption I have found that what I am most passionate about is giving back. As an Economics major I hope to pursue a career in public policy helping those who have found themselves in hard times. I want what I do to positively impact the local community around me. In addition to this, I hope to have a lovely family with two to four kids.
SW: What made you choose Assumption?
DH: Although I am not a practicing Catholic, I attended a Catholic high school. When visiting Assumption I felt an overwhelming sense of community. An adage that I’m sure you will hear from many in the Assumption Community is that it is very common to have the door held for you numerous times walking around the campus. Such a simple gesture meant a lot and I found myself falling in love with the school.
SW: What do you consider your most memorable course or professor?
DH: My most memorable course at Assumption was Ethics. Ethics was a philosophy course that examined how people should live their lives. The class was run in a very open discussion setting, and a lot of the topics that we discussed made me consider how to live a good and ethically proper life.
SW: What leadership roles have you taken on campus?
DH: I attended St. Bernard’s in Fitchburg, MA for high school. I played Lacrosse and Football for four years but was not involved in any leadership activities beyond these sports. I decided that I wanted to be actively involved in college and ran for Class Treasurer and Senator my Freshmen year. Since these I have held the positions of Treasurer and Senator, and I am currently the Class President. I have also been a First Year Mentor for two years, and I joined the Latin Dance Team this year. I also work at the Library and Media Center and Intern as a Research assistant at the Worcester Regional Research Bureau on campus.
SW: What are you passionate about besides giving back?
DH: I am very passionate about politics and the local community. Even though I consider myself a New Hampshire resident, Worcester has become my second home. I am constantly reading the Telegram and Gazette to find out what the latest developments in the community are and how it will impact my life. In addition I have served as an intern to Massachusetts State Senator Michael O. Moore and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.
SW: What is one thing you have learned about yourself since becoming a college student?
DH: I have found that I can accomplish anything when I set myself to it. As I stated before, during high school I was not very involved in many leadership activities. Upon entering college I decided I wanted to really step out of my comfortable environment and try different things. I set my mind on being elected as a Class Officer and accomplished that. I decided that I wanted to intern in a political environment and found myself that summer interning in New Hampshire and Massachusetts for two very influential members.
SW: Where do you go and what do you do when you leave campus?
DH: I enjoy going down to Shrewsbury Street to try the different restaurants. One thing that is remarkable about Worcester are the different venues you can find in such close proximity to one another. I also enjoy going to the Worcester Library which has a great collection of books.
SW: What is your favorite quote?
DH: “Be who you are and say what you feel, for those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” –Dr. Seuss. I heard this quote in high school and realized that too many people attempt to fit into social norms too often. Why not live your life in manner that allows you to be happy and truly do what you enjoy doing.
SW: What is your favorite book or movie?
DH: My favorite book is definitely the Harry Potter series. I have read all of them numerous times and saw as many of the movies on opening night as I could.
SW: What or who has had the greatest influence on you to date? Why?
DH: I know it is a cliché to say, but my parents have definitely had the most influence on me growing up. I have always looked to them and tried to live my life based on the good values they hold. My mother is very involved in the community as a Girl Scout director and the Recreation Department Chair. She is constantly trying to think of ways to bring new events to our small town and bring the community closer together. My dad is always willing to lend a hand. Whenever someone needs help, whether they ask for it or not, he is the first one there to help out in any way possible.
SW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I hope to be working my way to an advanced degree in Economics, hopefully my doctorate, and be on the way to establishing a family. I would like to teach at the collegiate level later in life and truly enjoy learning about Economics so I hope to pursue a graduate level degree after graduating this May.
Central MA College Standout is a weekly feature that profiles college and university students in Central MA or from the region. Join us every Tuesday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of today’s local college student. If you have suggestions for a profile, email [email protected].
Susan Wagner is the president of Susan Wagner PR. In this challenging economy, she has begun a new division to offer affordable start-up packages to new and emerging small businesses and non-profit organizations that include professional writing services, websites, collateral, marketing, social media, grassroots outreach and PR campaigns.
Related Slideshow: 14 To Watch in Central Mass in 2014
EcoTarium's Cox, who took the helm in 2012, is one to certainly watch in 2014. If you don't know Joe, he helped raise over $26.5 million at his previous post at the Galisano Children's Museum in Florida – and broke attendance projections in the process. If a track record of success is any indicator of a future one, expect to see amazing things at the Ecotarium.
Thanks to a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, EcoTarium will soon house one of the most unique exhibits in the country. A team of researchers led by Robert L. Ryan, professor of landscape architecture and regional planning at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, along with Worcester's Clark University and Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, will integrate the science of urban systems into a new "City Science" exhibit.
Next City Manager
With Michael O'Brien's departure from the City Manager post he'd held since 2004 for the private sector, Ed Augustus got tapped from his Director of Communications post at Holy Cross to fill O'Brien's shoes – but for an interim basis only. The former McGovern staffer and State Senator will take the helm for nine months only, leaving the big question in 2014 as to who will be the next City Manager.
The next City Manager will have a myriad of issues to deal with, from economic development, to crime – a top issue as far as residents are concerned. Will the next City Manager address the fact that while more than 40 percent of Worcester's population is a minority, the City has more than 1,600 full- and part-time city employees and well over 80 percent of them are white. Will city government ever reflect the population of Worcester?
The Hamilton native, who did a stint at Syracuse before declaring for the NBA draft this year, is already making an impact as a pro.
In February, GoLocal's John Barone broke the news that Hamilton native, and Syracuse Orange guard, Michael Carter-Williams would declare for the 2013 NBA draft after his sophomore season.
Carter-Williams, a 2011 McDonald’s All-American at St. Andrews in Rhode Island, was drafted 11th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. He is currently having himself quite a rookie year, with 17.6 point and 7.8 assist per game averages.
Dr. Dickson, who was named President and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care this past February, will no doubt continue to have an influential role in the community.
During his tenure to date, challenges have included financial and labor issues, but also oversight of major changes as well -- Dickson appointed a new president of UMass Memorial Medical Center, Patrick Muldoon, and embarked on closer collaboration with Baystate Health to improve quality, access, and affordability of care.
Republican activist and Boylston school committee member Brad Wyatt will definitely be someone to watch in 2014, having just announced he's running for State Representative.
Wyatt is eyeing Hank Naughton's seat in the 12th Worcester District, as Naughton's now seeking the office of Attorney General. According to the Red Mass Group, the district, which includes Boylston, Clinton, Lancaster, and Berlin is the 38th most Republican leaning district in the Commonwealth. Scott Brown took the 12th in 2010 63-36, and Charlie Baker got 51% to Deval Patrick's 40%. Could Wyatt see a similar success in 2014? Stay tuned.
The Holy Cross senior is no stranger to politics – both locally, and in Washington, DC, having worked as an intern in the Office of Communications at The White House (and before that both in the office of the Governor of Massachusetts and the Mayor of Worcester.)
As President and co-founder of the Worcester Student Government Association, Hakim told GoLocal's Susan Wagner, "Lately I have been describing myself as a pragmatist. I’m definitely a dreamer, but I believe the only way to get anything done is to make an honest assessment of where things stand and then go from there."
Who will get medical marijuana licenses in Worcester County will be watched for certain in 2014.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health in November released the names the 100 applicants for potential medicinal marijuana dispensaries who made it through to Phase 2 of the state’s licensing process. Worcester was named by 10 different applicants, more than any other city. The county itself has 14 finalists for dispensaries, more than any other county than neighboring Middlesex, which has almost twice the population.
Future of the T&G
What will become of the Telegram and Gazette will no doubt be closely watched in 2014.
GoLocal's Dean Starkman wrote in November of the scenario, "The Telegram and Gazette, a wallflower among New England newspapers that has suffered years of benign neglect by distant owners, seemed poised for a revival, after John Henry scooped it up as part of his landmark deal to buy the Boston Globe. Now a month later, he’s putting it on the block."
The potential future of the paper that has a nearly 150-year presence in the city and circulation of roughly 75,000 was broken down by Starkman. One of the major question marks is if new ownership would be local, or a return to a New York parent company.
The quintessential power player in Worcester has been a tireless advocate for the Commonwealth's tourism and visitor industry – with clear focus on developing the Canal District and the Blackstone Valley.
Giangregorio sits on the boards of Preservation Worcester and the Worcester Convention and Visitor Bureau, and also serves on the steering committee of Citizens for Business and as representative for the Canal District on the Mayor's Small Business Roundtable.
Be Like Brit
The legacy of Britney Gengel, who perished in the 2010 Haiti earthquake while on a service trip with Lynn University, continues to move forward through the Be Like Brit orphanage.
What started as a project built in her memory is now home to 35 children, and employs more than 40 full-time employees. According to the Be Like Brit website, hundreds of American and Canadian college students and other volunteers visit or volunteer at Be Like Brit each year.
He might have gotten the nod earlier this year for his cool factor, but GoLocal is putting Corazzini on our list of people to watch because of his "kid" factor.
While we feature the business and political minds needed to move Worcester – and all of Central Mass – forward, we recognize that the future of the Commonwealth depends on the education, and development, of our youth.
Waterman, the CEO of Girls, Inc., didn't always know she'd end up in the role of spearheading the 97-year-old organization in Worcester that allows girls the ability to participate in enrichment programs and get the tools, opportunities, and encouragement needed to grow.
A 20 year veteran of the mortgage banking industry, Waterman created "Divorce Mortgage Specialists" to help women in transition, before switching gears to head up Leading Women Massachusetts as President, providing cutting-edge leadership development solutions for women in organizations. Now, Waterman is setting her sights on the 100 year anniversary of Girls Inc. in 2016.
Central Rock Gym
Could 2014 be the year you start climbing to the top? If you haven't already been to a Central Rock Gym, watch out, because you could just catch the climbing bug.
Now in four locations in MA and CT, the gym offers climbing opportunities for all ages and abilities, and hosts climbing camps, regional, national – and international – competitions.
Trial attorney Paczkowski is as busy out of the courtroom as she is in – sitting on the Community Legal Aid Access to Justice Campaign Leadership Committee and co-chair of the Young Lawyers' Division of the Worcester County Bar Association, Paczkowksi is also the founding member and President of the Young Professionals Women's Association.
With goals of serving as a platform for women to share their voice on issues relating to the region's vitality, connecting with women through social and educational events, and providing opportunities for self-enrichment, the YPWA's esteemed found was recently named a 2013 Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star.
- Central MA College Standout: Worcester State’s Phyllis Duff
- Central MA College Standout: Clark University’s Maya Singh
- Central MA College Standout: Clark University’s Rebecca Liebman
- Central MA College Standout: Clark University’s Alexander Marshall
- Central MA College Standout: Clark’s Brenna Merrill
- Central MA College Standout: Assumption’s Patrick Giroux
- Central MA College Standout: Clark’s Jeremy Levine
- Central MA College Standout: Assumption’s Roger J. Clapp
- Central MA College Standout: Holy Cross’s Emily Sullivan
- Central MA College Standout: Becker’s Kevin Finkelstein
- Central MA College Standout: Holy Cross’ Neema Hakim
- Central MA College Standout: Clark University’s Allegra Marra
- Central MA College Standout: Howard University’s Jazmin Hampton