Amanda Ok '12 of Ayer, Mass., was honored in a State House ceremony last Thursday, May 10, when the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education recognized "29 Who Shine." These students were singled out of the thousands who will graduate from each of the Commonwealth's 29 public college and university campuses this spring.
In its second year, the "29 Who Shine" program recognized these outstanding students for their academic achievements, as well as their record of student leadership and community service. A stand-out on our MCLA campus, Ok, 23, is among those who are poised to contribute greatly to the civic life and economic well-being of Massachusetts.
In addition to being a full-time student at MCLA, Ok is an especially hard worker who has been employed for the past seven years as a pharmacy technician at CVS. Her studies in biology and work experience in the pharmacy have helped her to identify her life's career goal, which is to pursue a career in medicine that will allow her to help others.
According to Gov. Deval L. Patrick, the exceptional students who make up this year's "29 Who Shine" have earned the respect and admiration of the entire Commonwealth. "I look forward to seeing all the ways they will contribute to a better Massachusetts," he stated.
On her own since she was 17, Ok has lived off campus, paid her own bills and maintained excellent grades as an MCLA student.
Like many college students who are financially independent, Ok has struggled to afford her college education. While living in North Adams, she successfully navigated the worlds of work and academia as she learned about Western pharmacology.
Ok is very interested in acupuncture, as well as integral medicine - designed to treat the person, not just disease, with the goal to care for the mind, body and spirit at the same time. She plans to move to the Boston area after graduating this month. There, she will apply to a master's program that will allow her to study acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Aside from her studies, Ok is a disk jockey on the College radio station. She enjoys sharing her love of music with listeners and is proud of her radio production skills.
Richard M. Freeland, state commissioner of higher education, stated, "The collective brainpower of students like the '29 Who Shine' is the Commonwealth's greatest asset in the global competition for industry and jobs. I am thrilled to see this level of achievement by our public college and university graduates."