New students greeted with messages of encouragement at Convocation

September 11, 2023
By: Rebecca Cross

More than 1,000 incoming students—part of the second largest group of first-year students since 2017—gathered in the John P. Brissette ’88 Competition Court for Convocation on September 5. Several speakers—including the university’s president, faculty, and a recent alumna—welcomed the students to Worcester State with messages of encouragement and motivation.

“You are joining a learning community where everyone is pursuing knowledge,” said President Barry M. Maloney, “a place where you can bounce ideas off your classmates, engage in discussions, and pursue intellectual and professional passions. And you will be taught by scholars—the best minds in their fields of study—who will be there to support you but also push your boundaries as well.”

Dr. Hy Ginsberg, associate professor in the Mathematics Department, also highlighted the quality of the university’s faculty. “At Worcester State, teaching comes first—we don’t hire anyone who isn’t a truly great teacher,” he said. “Worcester State is a place where you can get a great education; it’s a place where you can get as fine an education as you could get anywhere else.”

In her keynote address, alumna Taneisha Mings ’13, M.Ed. spoke about the transformative experience she had at Worcester State. “Much like many of you, I came to campus with many hopes and aspirations,” she said. “As a first-generation student, hailing originally from the beautiful island of Barbados, attending college was monumental. It signified a new beginning, an opportunity to achieve more than my parents did. Worcester State provided countless other opportunities that crafted my growth during my time here and shaped the start of my professional journey.”

Speakers encouraged students to take advantage of opportunities to make connections and develop their interests and leadership skills.

Student Government Association President Nicholas Holm ’24 encouraged students to get involved and find their niche in one of the university’s many clubs and organizations—or to start their own. “One of the drawbacks of college is that we only have four years here,” Holm said. The sooner students make connections, he said, the longer they have to enjoy them.

Dr. Mariana Calle, professor in the Health Sciences Department, welcomed students in Spanish. “Quiero invitarlos a que aprovechen todas y cada una de las numerosas oportunidades que nuestra universidad les ofrece y recuerden siempre: ¡Ustedes ya son parte de Worcester State!” she said.

A common theme among the speakers was the support students can find at Worcester State.

President Maloney encouraged students to persevere through difficult times. “One day, while you’re here, you may hit that proverbial Heartbreak Hill on that route towards completing your Worcester State marathon, wondering if you can finish. If that happens, think back on this day, when we promised to help you—when I promised to help you. Seek our support if you need it.”

“We know—I know—that you are among the best and brightest students in this state, in this region, in this country,” he said. “Students, never doubt that you can do this.”

Dr. Raynold Lewis, dean of Education and Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies, said, “Your professors and advisors can help you, but only if you talk to them. So, please, talk with them.” He encouraged students to use faculty office hours. “Use them to discuss your classes, get advice about careers and graduate school, or find out about the many learning opportunities that are available to you. Everyone here is rooting for you. We all want you to succeed.”

President Maloney emphasized the importance of making school a priority, but he also urged students not to rush through their college experience. “Work hard, play hard, take care of yourself, take care of your classmates,” he said. “I look forward to seeing all of you at the finish line—at the DCU Center stage at graduation in 2027.”

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