Over the past academic year, Deanna Boucher ’15 has served as a residence assistant for Berkshire Towers and a liaison to the residence hall’s advisory board. She’s also a choreographer for the Dance Company and is on the RPS Recycling Committee.
In addition, she’s the National Residence Hall Honorary Secretary, a youth program assistant for Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) National, Inc., a member of the National Organizations For Youth Safety Board, and a volunteer at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).
It’s no wonder this arts management major – whose minor is leadership – was honored with the 2014 Newman Civic Fellow Award.
Her leadership in SADD served as a catalyst for her interest in social change, according to Boucher.
“It also helped me discover positive ways to influence lives; I felt that I was actually able to help create change in communities, and that was very important for me,” she said. “I became the leader I am today through this organization.”
As a high school senior in Lowell, Mass., Boucher was selected to serve on the National Student Leadership Council. As an MCLA freshman, she became the SADD National Student of the Year, served on its Board of Directors, and traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby for policy and provisions to a key transportation bill.
The opportunity to meet with some members of Congress, work with their staff, and receive help from a lobbyist was “an incredible experience,” Boucher said.
“I’ve always been an overly involved student,” she explained. “College is more than just academics – it’s about using your environment to become well-rounded. I feel as though my education needs real-life support. Especially within my major, I feel as though MCLA has provided me with so many incredible opportunities to get involved and gain experience.”
Boucher continued, “I have had such an incredible experience at MCLA. From the second I stepped on campus, I was presented with so many different opportunities to get involved with my field.”
This includes service learning projects, work as a teaching assistant and multiple internships.
“The classes challenged me to think about aspects of the arts that I never had thought of before. Most of them were structured around discussions rather than lectures, and that helped foster a creative environment for my learning to grab onto.”
According to Boucher, “College is about making yourself who you need to be to get to where you want to go in life, and MCLA can help people discover what that is, in a safe environment.”
After graduation this spring, Boucher plans to get a job and attend graduate school. She aims to work in a museum in either marketing or development, or for a city government, doing cultural development and planning events for communities.
“I really, truly believe in the power of arts as a revitalizing force, so I think that there can be a lot of good through a position like that,” Boucher said.
What’s her favorite part of being an MCLA student?
“I’ve loved getting to know people on this campus. The friends I have made here really encourage me to pursue my dreams, and I’m surrounded by creative people,” she explained.
“My other favorite thing about the people is that everyone is open to new things and to differing opinions. Some of my best friends here are science-based majors. Some of them differ in religion, in how we spend our free time, in what catches our eye at the movies. But at MCLA, people generally want other people to be happy and are willing to talk about their experiences together to help others understand.”