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Central MA College Standout: Assumption’s Maggie Bara

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


Maggie Bara's experience at Assumption brought her a new lifelong passion for biology.

Anne (Maggie) Bara is a biology major in her senior year at Assumption College. Recently Bara organized a 5K Color in Motion run on campus and healthy eating workshops as part of Peers Advocating Wellness for Students. She is a peer tutor at the Academic Support Center on Campus. The former “army brat” from Ipswich, NH was awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship, which has led her to pursue both graduate studies and a career in research.

A Conversation with Maggie Bara

SW: What career do you envision for yourself?

AB: I am interested in a career in research in microbiology and immunology.

SW: What was it that drew you to Assumption College?

AB: The friendly atmosphere!

SW: What has been your most memorable course or professor?

AB: All of my science courses! The more I learn about biology, the more I realize how much I love it. I can’t choose one class that was most memorable because they all build off of each other. When I first started at Assumption, I intended to major in Spanish, but after taking an introductory biology course, I knew that I wanted to learn more about biology. After two semesters, I decided to change my major to biology. I was captivated by the complexity of cells and amazed the fact that even when I am sitting still, my cells are busy carrying out various functions. The entire faculty in the science department is truly amazing and inspiring! I will especially remember Professor Dugan, Professor Schandel, and Professor Sholes.

SW: What leadership roles have you taken on campus?

AB: I am a peer tutor at the Academic Support Center on Campus. I tutor biology and introductory chemistry. I love being a tutor because I get to talk about the subjects about which I am most passionate and (hopefully) help other people fall in love with the material as well.

I recently completed my role as the Practicing Active Lifestyle (PAL) chair in a club called Peers Advocating Wellness for Students (PAWS). The goal of the club is to increase awareness and educate the student body about wellness issues. For my role as the PAL chair, I organized a 5K Color in Motion run on campus, and held weekly food events in which people could sample healthy food learn about healthy eating.

SW: What are you passionate about?

AB: I was awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship through the Assumption College Natural Sciences Department, which allowed me to conduct full-time research over the summer under Professor Aisling Dugan. Through this opportunity, I realized my passion for research. I studied the immune system at a cellular level examined how one type of immune cells responds to bacterial infection. The research process and the results we obtained were exciting to me. Every time one question was answered, my curiosity led me to develop new questions. My passion and curiosity have led me to pursue a career in research and apply to PhD programs around the country.

SW: What is one thing you have learned about yourself since becoming a college student?

AB: In high school, I limited myself because I thought that I could not accomplish certain things. In college, I have learned to stop thinking about myself this way. Hard work and dedication will enable me to achieve my goals.

SW: Where do you go and what do you do when you leave campus?

AB: I love to go to the local venues in Worcester! I come from a small town and I am not used to having so many great venues nearby. My favorite restaurant is Sweet.

SW: What is your favorite quote?

“Its nice to be important, but its more important to be nice.” –John Cassis

SW: What or who has had the greatest influence on you to date? Why?

AB: Until I was in high school, I moved every two years since my dad was in the military. I had the opportunity to live in various places in the United States and overseas. I greatly enjoyed moving and feel that this experience was instrumental in making me the person that I am today. Mostly, it has given me confidence to make new friends and talk to new people.

SW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Finishing my PhD.


Central MA College Standout is a weekly feature that profiles college and university students in Central MA. 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 D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.


Related Slideshow: College Guide 2013: Best Places To Eat On A College Budget

Our college lifestyle experts have hand-picked these restaurants as great dining options for students on a college budget. Enjoy!

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Make a Meal out of it

One way to eat cheap is to pick a food that is generally inexpensive and make a meal out of it. Wings are a college favorite that won’t run up your bill. Whether you have them delivered, take-out, or for a night out, wings can be a great option. Check out one of Worcester’s favorite spots for wings, Wings Over Worcester

1 Kelley Square, Worcester, MA

(508) 421-9464

Hours: Sun-Wed 11 AM - 1 AM, Thur-Sat 11 AM - 2 AM


Also, keep an eye out for GolocalWorcester’s College Guide on Best Places to Get Wings later this week! 

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Find Free Stuff

What is better than free stuff? Nothing when you’re a college kid. If you’re smart you’ll want to find restaurants where you can get the most bang for your buck. Smokestack Urban Barbecue offers a bacon happy hour on Thursdays where they feature; you guessed it, free bacon.

139 Green St, Worcester, MA

(508) 363-1111

Hours: Sun Noon - 8 PM, Mon-Thur 4:30 PM - 9 PM, Fri-Sat Noon -10 PM. 

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If you’re over 21, you know that the biggest part of your bill usually isn’t your meal, but rather your drinks. Though it may be fun to order drinks when you go out, places that allow you to bring your own drinks will save you tons of cash. West Side Steak & BBQ has a great menu and allows you to bring in your own beer or wine.

2 Richmond Ave, Worcester, MA

(508) 756-6328

Hours:  Mon-Thur 11 AM - 9 PM,  Fri-Sat 11 AM - 10 PM, Sun Noon - 9 PM

For more about drinking around campus, keep an eye out for GolocalWorcester’s College Guide on the Best Bars to Grab a Drink later this week!

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All You Can Eat

Pay one price and eat all you want; is there a better deal than that? Though buffets may get a bad rap, there are plenty of good ones around. At Pampas Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse located in Worcester, you can get the all-you-can eat special for $22.99 every day before 5 PM. 

145 East Central St, Worcester

(508) 757-1070

Hours: Open 7 days: 11:30 AM - 10 PM 

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Lunch Buffets

Why eat dinner when you can fill up on lunch? Many restaurants offer lunch buffets so you can get the most out of your midday meal without breaking the bank. Sapporo Korean Barbecue & Sushi is an Asian restaurant in Worcester County that offers great buffet options.

50 E Main St, Westborough, MA

(508) 898-1880

Hours: Tues-Sat 11:30 AM - 10 PM,  Sun 12 PM - 9 PM 

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Lunch specials are another great option if you’re hungry during lunchtime. Sushi spots, which can be expensive later in the day, offer some of the best lunch specials in Worcester. Check out the luncheon menu at 7 NaNa Japanese Steakhouse

60 Shrewsbury St, Worcester, MA

(508) 755-8888.

Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30 AM - 1 AM, Sun 12 PM - 10 PM 

Check out GolocalWorcester’s College Guide on Best Asian Cuisine and Best Sushi later this week!

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Late-Night Deals

You don’t need to have food delivered to your dorm or eat at a diner to get those late-night deals. If you do some investigating you’ll know where to get sushi rolls and delicious desserts for only $6. The Sole Proprietor Seafood Bar offers this deal after 10pm on weekdays, 11pm on weekends, and 9pm on Sundays.

118 Highland St, Worcester, MA

508- 798- 3474. 

Late Night Special Hours: Thurs 10 PM - 1 AM, Fri-Sat 11 PM - 1 AM, Sun 9 PM - 1 AM 

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When in Doubt: Five Guys

Five Guys burger is a classic; if you haven’t been there yet, you’re in for a great experience. Insider tip: if you ask for your order to go, your order of French fries, which are freshly-fried and cut on the premises, is doubled. Now that’s how you get twice the amount of food for less.

525 Lincoln St, Worcester, MA

(508) 853-2000

Open 7 Days: 11 AM - 10 PM 

For more on the best places (and the cheapest) to grab a burger consult GolocalWorcester’s College Guide on Best Burger Joints, coming later in the week!


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