Feature Stories 2016: Alyssa Nastri: Internship with AHA! Night

Feature Stories 2016: Alyssa Nastri: Internship with AHA! Night
Alyssa Nastri: Internship with AHA! Night

An Endeavor Scholar, Alyssa Nastri '16 is an intern with New Bedford's AHA! Night.

Year: Class of 2016
Dual major: Psychology & English: Writing, Rhetoric & Communication
Hometown: Marstons Mills, MA
Internship: AHA! Night
Leadership: Endeavor Scholars Leader, Honors Council
Service: Writing and Reading Center tutor, Big Brothers Big Sister mentor
Next steps: Master's degree at Tufts University

Endeavoring for international peace

I've had the wonderful opportunty of being the Endeavor Leader this year, which has allowed me to form close relationships with all of the other Endeavor Scholars, as well as the faculty and administrative leadership.

I'm so honored to be part of a group that is making such effective change not only on campus and in local communities, but also the world.

My Global Project was to coordinate International Day of Peace celebrations on campus. These plans featured a peace pole rededication, a viewing of the One Day on Earth documentary, and a One Day One Goal soccer tournament.

I'm currently working on a Change Agent project as well, which focuses on integrating UMass Dartmouth's international students with a local middle school through a week of cultural presentations.

Internship with AHA! Night

I mainly assist with research, planning and outreach for the program. I've met some remarkable people, learned indispensable skills, and discovered amazing things about the city of New Bedford through this internship— I could not ask for more!

I worked on the Earth Eve portion of the March event, which included a parade and the Shrink Your Footprint Festival. The latter is a fair held in the New Bedford Whaling Museum, during which eco-friendly businesses and organizations table and provide information about reducing your carbon impact.

Also, I researched Pop-Up gallery initiatives that have been successful in receiving grants, with the hopes of transforming New Bedford's vacant storefronts into galleries for local artists.

I'm currently working to connect the program with students at UMass Darmouth. We're planning to advertise for AHA! Night on university social media outlets and coordinate groups to travel to New Bedford together via the Loop bus.

AHA! Night is a wonderful opportunity for students to become more familiar with the local community, and I hope to make it more accessible for everyone to experience.

Honors Council

My experiences with the Honors Council have convinced me that the power of a dedicated group of students is limitless. I can't wait to see what the future brings for this valuable program.

My position as Communications Chair taught me so much about marketing skills and the university as a whole. I learned how to produce a newsletter, recruit new students, and combine numerous ideas into a final product.

I served as the Associate Student Director for one semester and as the Student Director for a year. For my last semester of senior year, I am a general member.

Helping others achieve

UMass Dartmouth has provided me with many opportunities to participate in tutoring and mentoring, two activities that connect directly to my passion of helping others to achieve their goals.

I'm a tutor at the Writing and Reading Center and a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program. The most rewarding experience in my life has been participating in BBBS, which brings local youths to the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement once a week to meet with their college mentors.

Importance of communication

My best learning experience has been discovering the importance of communication. I've had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people who have assisted me. I've found that making connections can open up endless opportunities, and I will forever continue to develop my communication skills to see where they can take me.

I believe that these experiences have helped me with both of my majors. Simply learning to talk and work with other people is a real-world use of psychology. Since I hope to go into counseling, the more people I meet, the better! My English skills are continually sharpened by the emails and press releases I'm responsible for.

Next year, I plan on attending Tufts University as a member of the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development Master's program.

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