Amber N. Connors, a graduating senior at Worcester State University, received the prestigious WSU Ella M. Whitney Award. Connors is an honors student and was previously this spring designated as the Worcester State recipient of the Massachusetts Department of Education “29 Who Shine” Award. Whitney was an 1891 graduate of Worcester State, then known as the Worcester Normal School. In 1931, Whitney made the gift to Worcester Normal School that would create the prize named that honors her today.
Connors also previously received the WSU Student Center/Student Activities student employee of the year award for 2012-13. She was selected from 35 students employed by the Student Center/Student Activities Office. She was employed as a program assistant within the office. She supported programming and advertising efforts of the office including developing many weekend programs and working with the Student Weekend Activities Team to strengthen weekend programming.
Each year, WSU students nominate, and a committee of University faculty and administrators select, a graduating senior to receive the Whitney prize. The award is intended to recognize the qualities Ms. Whitney exemplified as a student and alumna, including scholarship, social aptitude, personality, leadership, executive ability, growth, loyalty, integrity and above all else, participation in school activities. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for consideration.
Connors received her bachelor’s degree as a double major in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Spanish. A native of Westfield, Mass., she has been one of Worcester State’s most active and passionate student leaders, serving as a senior peer advisor in the Academic Success Center and holding multiple positions in the Student Affairs Office including resident assistant, Student Activities programming assistant and orientation co-director. She also worked tirelessly each year on WSU’s Student Government Association Have-a-Heart Auction for the Homeless, which raises over $30,000 annually for three Worcester non-profit agencies.
“Amber is an exemplary choice as Worcester State’s 2013 Ella May Whitney Award recipient,” stated WSU President Barry M. Maloney. “She has tackled her academic work with vigor, double majoring, while actively engaging in our campus community in a manner that demonstrates her leadership skills and a commitment to our institution. I’m happy to further note that she was not content to learn only from here—she also studied abroad in Spain at the Universidad de Seville. Amber is truly changing the way the world works.”
Amber managed her many campus activities while maintaining a 3.869 GPA and making Dean’s List all four years as an honors student. She is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and appears in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Amber will pursue a master’s degree in psychology. She hopes to earn a doctorate and become a college dean of student affairs.
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