The following information was provided by Office of Governor Deval Patrick.
Governor Deval Patrick this week honored Lexington resident Hannah D. Barrett, a student at University of Massachusetts Amherst, at the annual “29 Who Shine” Awards at the State House.
"Hannah’s story reminds us all of the power of education to transform lives," said Patrick. "Investing in them is exactly how we invent a brighter future for Massachusetts."
Hannah Barrett, 21, is a Commonwealth Honors College student at UMass Amherst. She is known to faculty and staff as a student with a passion for learning, a strong sense of personal integrity and a desire to use original research to improve public understanding of the lives of people with disabilities. One of Hannah’s UMass faculty admirers writes, “Hannah is clearly in the top 1 percent of undergraduates with regard to her potential as a scientific and medical researcher.”
A psychology major, Hannah has shown a particular interest in stigma and stereotyping. She has pursued projects to investigate the development and demise of interracial friendships and also completed an independent study on the role of the bystander in cases of overt racism or sexism. While interning at Tufts University 2010 and 2011 she studied the social implications of both skin tone differences and facial paralysis. Hannah’s senior thesis focused on the social and psychological well-being of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, an area of psychology that has been relatively understudied.
Hannah has been awarded a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to conduct research related to hearing loss at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. She says, “My thesis and the research I plan to conduct will, I hope, contribute to improve the experience of those with hearing loss here in the Commonwealth and throughout the country."
Each of Massachusetts’ 29 public college and university campuses selected its own honoree for the 29 Who Shine awards based on criteria established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Students were required to be residents of Massachusetts who had a strong academic record and a history of civic engagement. Please visit http://www.mass.edu/29whoshine/home.asp for more information.