Michaella Lesieur '18: Passion, internships, and experience

Michaella Lesieur used her mom as the source of her passion and inspiration.

  • Year: Class of 2018
  • Major: English
  • Hometown: Westport, MA
  • Honors & awards: Shaukat Ali Memorial Humanitarian Scholarship Award; Commonwealth Honors Program; 2017 Augustus Silva Scholarship for Grit and Determination; Dean's/Chancellor's list
  • Leadership & service: The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders chairperson; volunteer coordinator for National Eosinophil Awareness Week; Westport High School's Memorial Garden
  • Internships: WPRI, Channel 12 The Rhode Show; Rhode Island Monthly 
  • Extracurricula activities: Dance Team; The Torch- Staff Writer

Update: Fall 2018

Publishing her first book, pursuing a master's degree

I've just published my first book, titled Luna Lung...Meets HES.

It takes the form of a children's book, but it's a story for both the young and the young at heart to enjoy and learn from. It is based on the true story of my mom's journey through the diagnosis of a rare blood disease, HES (Hypereosinophilic Syndrome)—and my own inspiration to find a cure. Luna Lung's adventures motivate readers to come together as a community and promote fundraising towards finding a cure. The story portrays themes of hope, community, and the love shared between a mother and daughter. There is something for everyone as you explore each page.

I started working on the book two years ago as an undergraduate and published it as a current graduate student in the Professional Writing program. I will be promoting the book through Facebook and Instagram. Currently, you can find Luna Lung...Meets HES online at Blurb.com.

As I continue on this journey, I am also an SCI AmeriCorps Member and serve as the SouthCoast Serves Coordinator for the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement.

Michaella Lesieur - Book Launch - Professional Writing Program
Michaella and her mom at the book launch for Luna Lung...Meets HES.

Why English?

I believe my passion started when my mom, my best friend, my inspiration,  was newly diagnosed with a very rare blood disease called hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES).

I learned I had a voice and wanted to use it to advocate. When you think about it our voice is a superpower. From high school, I went to Bristol Community College to obtain my associate's in communications and then later transferred to UMass Dartmouth.

The best part about being an English major is being able to live your life around words. There are so many job opportunities made readily available to English majors.

There is a need for people like me in the industry. It is both an inspiring and rewarding major to be a part of because you are constantly learning, engaging, networking and working both individually and collaboratively. It sends you on a journey that you never knew existed. No day is the same; there is always something new.  

The impact of internships

Working with WPRI Channel 12, The Rhode Show and Rhode Island Monthly was an experience like no other. I was able to contribute my own talents to both internships. I had the opportunity to showcase my work and portray to people who I was. I walked away with a portfolio featuring published works fomr both internships. It was very difficult to leave on my last day.

Patrick Little became one of my mentors for my fields of interest as we partnered on several occasions after my internship to execute my Luna Lung Meet's HES presentation at Westport Elementary School and a video project for Bristol Community College. 

Plan after UMassD

My plans after receiving my degree from UMass Dartmouth is to attend graduate school in the Professional Writing and Communications program. I have also been looking into the Leduc Centers AmeriCorps position. 

Of course, I will continue volunteering and networking with The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders, which benefits my mom’s illness. Furthermore, I will be a co-host for WSAR-1480's "Sports Talk with Nick Friar" show. 

I am excited to see what comes next. I am hungry for life, and I am looking forward to taking these new steps into the future. It's a journey.  

Becoming an engaged member of society

Without my education I would have not had the experiences I have had. It is through my English classes that I have been introduced to so many opportunities allowing me to grow. 

Most notably, I have spearheaded about five fundraisers for APFED since high school and each year I learn how to make it better. I have applied so much of my educational background to my fundraisers.

This past year I chaired my 3rd Annual HOPE on the Horizon Fun Run and Walk, tripling numbers since my first year, and raising a total of $27,000 since 2013. My mom has also been a teacher and role model for me since day one, never once giving up on me and teaching me to never give up. 

A UMassD transformation

UMass Dartmouth has become a huge piece of my life and the person that I am. UMass Dartmouth provides its students with never ending possibilities to both develop and grow.

It has allowed me to both explore and transform into the best English major I could be. It has been a privilege to be a part of the 118th graduating class, and I thank UMass Dartmouth for giving me a wonderful college experience.


College of Arts and Sciences, Features Commencement