June 19, 2014
Rachael Cooper ’14 was one of 29 students from the public colleges and universities around the state to be honored at the State House on May 8th for civic and academic achievements.
“Rachael Cooper of Framingham State University typifies this group, having committed so much time and energy to helping her community and fellow students while excelling academically,” Gov. Deval Patrick said. “Rachael is the latest example of a State University System student who has proven to be a great asset to the Commonwealth.”
Rachael graduated from FSU in February with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and minors in Spanish and Neuroscience. She is currently studying for the MCAT exam and working as a Medical Assistant and physician scribe at Atkinson Family Practice. She plans to attend medical school in fall 2015, where she is interested in studying primary care, family medicine, public health and medical anthropology. She was honored at the State House along with her faculty mentor, Dr. Aline Davis, from the University’s Biology Department.
Rachael is passionate about using her knowledge and skills to help others. She spent each of the past two summers volunteering in Guatemala with the group Partners in Development. During the most recent trip, Rachael conducted a professional research project examining the prevalence of intestinal parasites in rural communities and the effectiveness of medication in the elimination of infections. This work was approved and funded by Framingham State University. During this time, she treated more than 500 people living in extreme poverty. She is currently working on a manuscript of the outcomes. Rachael also volunteered for Partners in Development to assist with relief efforts following the earthquake in Haiti.
“Rachael exemplifies the idea that the more you put into your college experience, the more you get out of it,” Framingham State Interim President Robert Martin said. “She set a goal of undertaking a significant research project in another country and through her hard work and perseverance was able to obtain funding and complete the project just as she envisioned.”
In addition to being an outstanding student, Rachael is extremely active outside the classroom. She co-founded and served as president of the student club Aspiring Health Professionals. She was also captain of the Cross Country Team at FSU. Rachael ran a book donation drive for the organization World Wide Book Drive, and was honored with an award after collecting more than 2,000 pounds of books to donate.
“The 29 Who Shine are stars of our public higher education system,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “I’m inspired by how these graduates are volunteering their time, whether on campus or in their local cities and towns, while also earning great grades and in many cases, working full time to support their families. These are the types of people you want as your neighbors. I’m very proud of each of them.”
About Framingham State University
Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,400 students with 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a public university, Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.