Jessica Ulloa, of Lynn, a Commonwealth Honors College senior majoring in psychology with a neuroscience concentration, will be honored Friday, May 3 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, Ulloa served as teaching assistant in the biochemistry department and as a research assistant. A certified nursing assistant since 2016, Jessica also works alternating day and night shifts between rehabilitation and nursing home care.
On a pre-med track, she participates in the Pre-Medical Society’s weekly volunteer program at a local nursing home, New England Health Rehabilitation Center. She is the founder and president of Project Hope, a community service project aimed at supporting individuals in the homeless community through food drives, serving at soup kitchens, collecting donations and hosting holiday events.
She was recently accepted into the UMass Baccalaureate to MD Pathways program, which provides provisional acceptance to the UMass Medical School for underrepresented students. Ulloa’s goal is to become a surgeon.
Ulloa’s faculty mentor, Wilmore Webley, associate professor of microbiology, will also be recognized at the State House ceremony. Webley, says Ulloa, “has been an extraordinary mentor to me. He has provided me with the guidance and opportunity to grow as a scientist and a student. Throughout all my endeavors, he has shown tremendous support and has provided me with invaluable advice as I forge my path to becoming a doctor.”