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Dracut Resident Recognized for Academic Excellence at Assumption College

Assumption College

WORCESTER-- Assumption recognized 75 students with awards for academic excellence during the 35th Annual Honors Convocation on April 15. Awards ranged from departmental honors to special recognitions, to Assumption's highest honor, Augustine Scholarships.

During the ceremony, Courtney Park, of Dracut, and a member of the Class of 2019, received the departmental award for human services and rehabilitation studies.

"The annual Honors Convocation is an opportunity for the College to recognize those students who have demonstrated academic excellence through an impassioned commitment to learning," said Louise Carroll Keeley, Ph.D., provost and academic vice president. "This ceremony allows faculty to celebrate the most meritorious students in each of their primary programs of study. To receive a departmental award or one of the College's special awards is a significant achievement for any undergraduate student and we are proud to honor them for their accomplishments."

Each year, the College invites a distinguished alumnus to address the honorees on the value of a liberal arts education. This year's keynote speaker was Suzanne Besnia, J.D., '79, a civically engaged attorney, who has worked since 1984 for Riezman Berger, a legal firm in St. Louis. While an undergraduate at Assumption, Besnia focused on politics early, but immediately found an interest in the arts, studying musicology, studio art, drama, and art history. Being liberally educated is something she said "absolutely, without a doubt, has literally shaped my life in every aspect."

Besnia shared that a liberal arts education expands one's wealth of knowledge and opens our eyes to the world; gives students to non-technical subjects demands a different level of thinking and provides the tools needed to look inward and to know ourselves; and develops a self-knowledge that helps lead us to moral happiness through giving back to society.

"Self-knowledge is essential for us to be thoughtful and deliberate people in the decisions we make to bring about our own moral happiness. Moral happiness considers not only our own happiness but the happiness of society and we give back to society," she said. "Those with self-knowledge ethically and morally deliberate the decisions to work for the good of society. These are the people we want as neighbors, coworkers, leaders, and friends. They are not threatened by new ideas and are capable of evaluating and understanding a different point of view The ability to engage in civil discourse on subjects essential to our society is developed here at Assumption and I hope you will all continue to hone that skill."

Founded in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption in Worcester, Mass., Assumption College is a Catholic liberal arts institution that offers undergraduate students 35 majors and 47 minors in the liberal arts, sciences, business, and professional studies; as well as master's and continuing education degrees and professional certificate programs-each through an educational experience that is grounded in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition. The curriculum enables students to gain a depth and breadth of knowledge that leads to professional success and personal fulfillment. Students-whether on the Worcester campus or at the College's Rome, Italy, campus-become engaged participants in Assumption's classic liberal arts education, exploring new ideas and making connections across disciplines. To prepare for the workforce, students learn cutting-edge theory and best practices, conduct innovative research, and develop excellent communication and critical-analysis skills. Assumption graduates are also known for their thoughtful citizenship and compassionate service to their community. For more information about Assumption College, please visit

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