The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Student Spotlight: 21st Century Leaders Awardees

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst honored the exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership of some of its most talented and accomplished graduating seniors during Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 10 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

Three of the ten members of the graduating class are within the Department of Political Science. They were honored as 21st Century Leaders at Undergraduate Commencement:

  • Jackson Cote of Framingham is a major in journalism with a minor in political science. Having interned at a cable television station before transferring to UMass as a sophomore, Cote joined the staff of UVC TV 19, the student-run television station and became the station’s news director. He also joined the staff of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, the independent student newspaper and by the end of his sophomore year he became head news editor. As a senior, Cote landed a co-op position as a correspondent with The Boston Globe’s metro section. During his time in Boston, he also worked as a digital producer at the Boston NPR affiliate station, WBUR and at the NPR program Here & Now. After graduation, Cote will continue his radio work and apply to law schools, hoping to pursue a career in public interest law.
  • Kelsey DeWolfe of Shrewsbury is a Commonwealth Honors College student who majored in political science with a minor in economics. An ROTC cadet, she will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation, graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate, putting her in the top 20 percent of cadets in the country. As a student, DeWolfe was active in student government, was a peer mentor and was selected to be the UMass Women into Leadership Fellow. After graduation, DeWolfe will serve as a field artillery officer and later plans to attend graduate school in security studies or political science. She will pursue a career in the public sector.

  • Jiya Nair of  Shrewsbury is a Commonwealth Honors College student graduating with dual degrees in operations and information management and political science. Nair served as attorney general of the Student Government Association and worked to reform the student conduct system. As president and treasurer of the South Asian Students Association, she sought to create inclusive space on campus for South Asian students. As policy advocacy coordinator for Student Bridges, she addressed issues of college affordability. She also served as the student trustee for the Amherst campus. Nair was also a University of Minnesota Public Policy and International Affairs fellow and a fellow at South Asian Americans Leading Together, working to combat Islamophobia on college campus. After graduation, she will travel to India on a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship in preparation for graduate study in public policy.

News Type: 

  • Student News