AMHERST, Mass. – Sara J. Hickey of Cummaquid, a University of Massachusetts Amherst senior majoring in public health, legal studies and French, was honored May 5 at the State House during the state Department of Higher Education’s “29 Who Shine” ceremony saluting public campus graduates for their civic and academic achievements.
Each year, the governor recognizes outstanding students representing each of the Commonwealth’s community colleges, state universities and the five campuses of the UMass system. Approximately 250 invited guests attend the event, including House and Senate leaders, the secretary of education, commissioner of higher education, members of the Board of Higher Education, college presidents, chancellors, business and nonprofit leaders, students and their families. Prior to the awards ceremony, student honorees and family members meet their legislative representatives at a reception outside the House chamber. Students’ state senators and state representatives are invited to present their district honorees with citations and pose for photographs.
During her collegiate career, Hickey has been an active student leader, most recently serving as president of the Student Alumni Association. She was also involved in several community service at the First Baptist Food Pantry in Amherst and UMass Students Offering Leadership, Values and Experiences (USOLVE) program at Hadley Elementary School. She volunteered in an elementary school art classroom, helped kids with special needs learn to play sports and organized dance performances to raise money for both cancer research and veterans’ support. For her senior capstone project, Hickey examined ways to address the opioid crisis in Massachusetts, reviewing and synthesizing state policies on immunization services.
After graduation, she will work as a paralegal at the Boston law firm Meyers and Associates.