New Spring 2024 Worcester State Magazine is online

May 13, 2024
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

The Worcester State Magazine spring edition is out with stories featuring faculty members Nabin Malakar and Rita Mookerjee, alumni superstars Nick Pennucci ‘23 and Brittany Rheault ‘07, plus a thought-provoking English class with professor MaryLynn Saul that explores banned books, and more.

The issue is the first to be published in digital-only format on, hosted on the university’s website, in a cost-effective effort to make the magazine more accessible to the university’s 40,000 alumni and thousands of faculty, staff and friends of the institution. The university will resume the print edition, accompanied by an online version, in the fall with a special edition of the magazine commemorating Worcester State’s 150th Anniversary.

For the spring issue, university staff writer Nancy Sheehan interviewed a number of graduate students, many of them local school teachers, who participated in last summer’s Education Department trip to Kenya led by professor Christina Kaniu to tell the story of their transformative experience. “My world view definitely has changed because of this experience,” Monica Groulx, a psychologist in the Worcester Public Schools, said. “I have never traveled outside of the United States before, so I’ve never experienced firsthand how people live outside of my little bubble. It was eye-opening to see how differently people in the Kenyan culture live when compared to how society is run here.”

Stories by the Communications Office interns Mallory Dupuis and graduating senior Paul Davey each spotlight athletic excellence. Davey’s profile on Nick Pennucci looks at how the former Lancer hockey player is continuing to make his mark on the local hockey scene as a professional athlete and a youth coach. For a story that spotlights the recent success of women’s athletics at Worcester State, Dupuis, who is on the soccer team, interviewed coaches and athletes across numerous sports.

Dupuis found that of the 193 female athletes at Worcester State, 83% achieved a GPA of 3.2 or above in the fall 2023 semester. Last year, the cumulative GPA average for all women’s teams was a 3.50 while 165 female athletes made MASCAC All-Academic Teams this past fall. Many of these women are taking difficult majors as well, such as nursing, occupational therapy, and communication science disorders.

“We have kids that have tough schedules, balancing labs and their sports. And I will say our student athletes have really stepped up,” said Karen Tessmer, associate athletic director and women’s basketball head coach.

Another highlight of the issue is the university’s partnership with McLaren & Associates, a Worcester accounting firm where alumnus Patrick Sweeney ‘20, MS ‘21 leads a program that offers Worcester State accounting students meaningful internships. President Barry Maloney underscored the importance of such experiential learning opportunities in his president’s letter.

“As the only public university in Worcester offering bachelor’s degrees, we are known by many businesses and nonprofits as a pipeline for well-qualified employees—those who can do as well as think—and these practices ensure our students are prepared for their careers from day one.” Maloney wrote. “We graduate about 1,000 bachelor’s-educated students every year. Many of them have benefited from internships with regional employers that then translate into full-time jobs upon graduation.”

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