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Shannon Tonelli ’10 wins Fulbright

April 26, 2010

Regis College Senior Class president Shannon Tonelli, has won a Fulbright grant and will be heading off to Peru next March to teach English for ten months. No stranger to Peru, she has twice done volunteer work with Regis’ campus ministry in Villa El Salvador near Lima. It was participating in a cultural exchange and service project during spring breaks that shaped her decision to apply for the Fulbright grant.

"Spring break got me thinking about doing service as a way of giving back," said Tonelli, noting that it was a "life-changing experience."

The Fulbright Program awards some 1500 grants nationally on a competitive basis to U.S. graduating seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study abroad for one academic year. The program’s purpose is to foster international understanding, to build leadership skills, and enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges.

When she learned she had won a Fulbright, Tonelli said, "I literally jumped for joy," adding that she still has a smile on her face. Her experience at Regis, she explained, was key to her achievement. "Regis is a warm and supportive environment that has helped me to face challenges and take on risks. Knowing that I have had faculty and staff to lean on has allowed me to practice my leadership skills and shaped me into the person I am today."

At Regis, Tonelli majored in history with a concentration in elementary education. She will be certified to teach in grades 1-6. After substantial course work, field work, and student teaching all day every day for a semester, she passed three Massachusetts tests for educator licensure and, after completion of the Fulbright program, Tonelli plans to put that education to work in the teaching field.

In addition to being class president, Tonelli is Education Club treasurer, co-captain of the Regis soccer team and a participant in the honors program. She has studied Spanish for six years and looks forward to polishing those skills in Peru.

Regis’ faculty Fulbright advisor has high praise for Tonelli. "She is self-motivated, caring, kind, organized, athletic, a natural leader and is always pleasant," said Professor Mary-Anne Vetterling.


Regis College is a Catholic co-educational community that prepares undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students for engagement and service in a changing world. In the School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences and the School of Nursing, Sciences and Health Professions, approximately 1,600 students are enrolled in 20 undergraduate majors; 10 interdisciplinary pathways toward professional success; and master’s degree programs in education, communication, health administration, health product regulation, nursing, public administration, and radiology, and a doctoral program in nursing practice. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regis in the top tier of universities with master’s programs in the North. The College is listed by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) among benchmarking colleges for the quality of educational experience. With a strategic graduate focus on health care, Regis College was recently named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing. The College also provides accredited pre-school and kindergarten programs and a Life Long Learning Program (LLARC) for retired seniors.
CONTACT: Marjorie Arons-Barron, (617) 969-2707, aronsbarron@barronaw.com

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