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From MassBay to UMass Amherst: MassBay’s Honors Program Prepares Students for Academic Success

Thursday, March 1, 2018

WELLESLEY HILLS, MA (March 1, 2018) - Michelle Gallego, of Watertown, never thought she would have the time or the grades to be able to take honors courses in college, but she proved herself wrong and has taken four honors courses here at MassBay. The Watertown High graduate studied at Emerson College briefly before financial reasons forced her to take leave to work full-time. When she started to miss the academia setting, she decided to take classes at MassBay to continue what she loved - learning.

Since being at MassBay, Gallego, a Humanities major, has taken Honors Freshman English I and II, American History I and Spanish in the Community: Service Learning and Travel Abroad.

“The honors courses I’ve taken here have been my absolute favorite classes,” said Gallego. “They are the classes that have the most intellectual stimulation, because everybody there genuinely wants to be there to share a thoughtful dialogue. It feels like my contributions to the discussions are seen and valued as equal, eliminating the teacher-student dynamic to just being people, debating or arguing in a respectful and open-minded, encouraging environment.”

Gallego is a former Teaching Assistant for Dr. Jeanie Tietjen, co-coordinator of the Honors Program at MassBay. She is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, member of the International Club representing the country of Colombia, and part of the Multicultural Mentoring Program. When she isn’t on campus, she works part-time at Apple and she also enjoys finding opportunities to improve her repertoire of languages or honing her skills in painting and illustration.

“I will owe my future career to MassBay for making such a future possible, I would never have dreamed I could get there and truthfully wouldn't have been able to without the support and immense opportunity I've been afforded in my short time here. The people I have met here have made a huge impact on me and I want my success to be in tribute to them all.”

Gallego believes her honors courses have prepared her well to transfer to a 4-year institution to major in Linguistics and someday become an interpreter. She plans to graduate MassBay in May 2018 and pursue her bachelor degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.