Local student earns top honors

Maria Meyer of Bellevue, a member of the Boston College Class of 2019, was presented with the University’s most prestigious graduation honor at Commencement on May 20: the Edward H. Finnegan, S.J., Award, given to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Boston College’s motto, “Ever to Excel.” She was chosen for this honor out of a class of some 2,200 students. Meyer is a 2015 graduate of North Catholic High School in Cranberry Township.

Meyer’s undergraduate years at Boston College reflect an outstanding record of academic achievement coupled with significant leadership and service. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in nursing and is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit colleges and universities, and Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society for nursing.

In addition to being a top student, Meyer served as president of BC’s Connell School of Nursing Senate and held leadership positions with the Massachusetts Student Nurses Association and the BC chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. She also served as a student representative on the Connell School’s educational policy committee. She was the president of the Boston College chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu and served on the society’s board of directors.

“I’ve been so blessed with leadership opportunities at BC, and each has given me a new experience and new perspective on leadership,” said Meyer, who recently traveled to Utah as a delegate to the National Student Nurses Association convention.

Meyer “demonstrates energy, creativity, and dedication in her leadership activities,” according to Connell School Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Colleen Simonelli. “Maria’s record of service and volunteerism demonstrate her commitment to improving the lives of others.”

Meyer considers her volunteer work at Samaritans, the suicide prevention organization, her most meaningful experience. For three years, she answered crisis calls during the overnight shift. “I felt so good about the work we were doing,” she said.

Meyer also mentored Boston-area girls in grades 3 through 8 through the Strong Women, Strong Girls program throughout her four years at BC. Her many other activities include preparing high school students for the SAT, tutoring BC students through the Connors Family Learning Center, and serving as a nutrition health coach in the Office of Health Promotion.

Through the Connell School, Meyer was able to partake in two international nursing experiences. Last summer, she traveled to Switzerland and participated in training in disaster nursing with the Swiss Army via the International Committee of the Red Cross. Earlier this year, she went to Chile, where she provided health care and education to rural populations and completed seminars on international health care through the Pontifical Catholic University.

Meyer plans to be a women’s health nurse practitioner and has already begun taking classes in the master’s program at the Boston College Connell School of Nursing.