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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

Norfolk Resident Selected for Dept. of Higher Education’s “29 Who Shine” Award 

MassBay Community College’s General Studies Science student Vincent Briselli has been selected as MassBay’s representative for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s “29 Who Shine” award.

In May 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education launched “29 Who Shine,” a commencement season awards program to recognize 29 outstanding student graduates from the Commonwealth’s 29 public higher education institutions. Each honoree from a community college, state university, or a University of Massachusetts campus is nominated by a faculty or staff member or by a university awards committee. This award is typically given out at a State House ceremony, but due to the coronavirus the ceremony was canceled and Briselli will be recognized virtually at MassBay’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Briselli, a Norfolk resident, is a full-time student who also works part-time as a licensed pharmacy technician, while also volunteering at Voices Against Violence, a sexual and domestic violence support center in MetroWest. He is heavily involved on campus in several MassBay groups and organizations. 

Briselli serves as an orientation leader, welcoming new students to campus. He is a senator in the Student Government Association (SGA), where he was nominated to be the diversity and inclusion liaison and was on the Academic Affairs committee to expand access to Online Education Resources (OER). He works on new initiatives to bring to campus domestic and sexual violence resources, such as the White Ribbon Day campaign. He is also a part-time tutor in the Academic Achievement Center for STEM subjects, a part-time STEM laboratory assistant, a founding member of the Life Sciences club, and the student representative on the President’s Safe and Supportive Community Committee. Briselli is a member of the STEM Mentor Program and was selected to conduct research at UMass Boston this summer as part of the Bridges to Baccalaureate program, along with participating in Sanofi’s Experiential Learning Opportunity over spring break.

 In addition to his volunteer and on-campus activities, Briselli has been on the Dean’s List every semester he has been a full-time student. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society for two-year students and is a recipient of a MassBay Impact Award and a Silver Key Honor Society recipient for community services and volunteerism. Briselli will receive his Associate of Arts degree in General Studies Science, with a 4.0 GPA, and will transfer to a four-year university to complete a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, where he hopes to conduct research on sustainable energy and the environmental impact on at-risk populations. 

 “Vincent represents the very best of MassBay and of this Commonwealth,” said MassBay President David Podell. “His passion for learning is infectious, while his genuine commitment to social justice is to be admired. We are thrilled to stand with Vincent and honor him for all that he has accomplished during his journey here and look forward to his future successes.”

“Vincent refuses to isolate discourses in the humanities and the sciences,” said MassBay Professor of English Jeanie Tietjen. “When he is working in the lab, he incorporates narrative, public health, and sociology. When he is in the writing classroom, he brings scientific inquiry and a deep respect for the value of observation. Interdisciplinary competency has proven to have both historical value and clear dividends now, in the 21st century. Any community Vincent joins will be enriched by his deep respect for a conversation equally invested in both eco arts as well as the sciences.”

Students selected for the “29 Who Shine” award must meet the following criteria:

Show exceptional promise as a future leader in civic affairs or in business or professional activity in Massachusetts, having already demonstrated an ability to contribute to the civic and economic wellbeing of the Commonwealth.

Pursue a career track or interest for which there is a demonstrated need in the Commonwealth, such as a high-demand STEM-related career (health care, life sciences, information technology), or a start-up business that will produce jobs, or a community service role to better the lives of fellow Massachusetts citizens (such as teaching, working in a social service agency, or community organization, etc.).

Be a Massachusetts resident who plans to continue living and working in the state upon graduation. A student who plans to live in Massachusetts after furthering his or her education, either in or out of state, would also qualify.

Complete his or her degree or certificate requirements at the Massachusetts community college, state university, or UMass campus within the academic year.

To learn more about MassBay visit For more information on “29 Who Shine” visit

MassBay Community College is ranked by the Brookings Institution as one of the top schools for value added and earned salaries in the workforce. Ranked #1 for two-year colleges in Massachusetts, #2 in New England, and #16 nationally. The College’s facilities in Wellesley Hills, Framingham, and Ashland house day, evening and weekend classes that meet the needs of degree-seeking students and career minded lifelong learners. Online options provide convenience and allow faculty to facilitate the learning process. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and strives to meet the needs of the diverse local communities it serves.