Regis College is pleased to announce the co-valedictorians for the class of 2023: nursing major Nicole O'Brien from Wrentham, Mass. and English major Jacob Pardo from Plaistow, N.H. O’Brien and Pardo, who will receive this year’s highest-ranking undergraduate academic honor, will address their classmates during the university’s baccalaureate ceremony on May 5.

“Regis is proud to honor Nicole and Jacob for their years of tireless commitment to their academic programs,” said provost and vice president of academic affairs Mary Erina Driscoll, PhD. “Regis has benefited greatly from their presence and contributions not only in the classroom, but in their co-curricular activities as well.”

Image of Nicole O'Brien smiling outside at the Regis campus
Co-Valedictorian Nicole O'Brien '23

At Regis, O’Brien was a Presidential Catholic Scholar and nursing major, who challenged herself academically by taking three graduate level courses as an undergraduate. Outside of the classroom, O’Brien participated in the Student Nursing Association, was President of the Pride of Christ Club, a Pride Guide for three years and a Pride Guide Coordinator during her senior year, as well as a peer tutor, a position that inspired her passion for nursing education.

"My Regis education provided me with the knowledge and skills to serve others,” said O’Brien. “The abundant support I received from professors, staff members, and friends has allowed me to succeed and achieve more than I would have ever imagined. I have learned through my experiences at Regis that even though I am only one person, I have the ability to make a powerful difference in the lives of many."

After graduation, O’Brien will start a position as a registered nurse on a medical-surgical and progressive care unit (PCU) floor at Milford Regional Medical Center. She also plans to pursue her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with the goal of becoming a nurse educator.

Image of Jacob Pardo reading from a book on the Regis Campus
Co-Valedictorian Jacob Pardo '23

During his time at Regis, Pardo majored in English and completed his coursework in 3.5 years, finishing a semester early. He served as editor of Hemetera for three years, represented Regis at the 2022 Greater Boston Intercollegiate Poetry Festival, performed in Regis’ Reading Frederick Douglass Together event in fall of 2022, and contributed to the recently relaunched Regis Herald.

"I learned the most at Regis from working together with my professors and peers. In our editor meetings for Hemetera, we would always read each other's work and give constructive feedback. Hearing everyone's suggestions really showed me the power of peer reviewing; they all had a great eye for editing and were each talented writers themselves, and that helped me to better shape my own writing,” said Pardo. “I think these experiences will be my biggest takeaways, as I will always remember their advice and continue to learn from my peers, wherever I may go from here.”

Pardo has just started a full-time proofreader position at Homeyer Consulting in Tewksbury, Mass. and plans to continue working there after graduation. He also plans to continue creative writing in his spare time, submitting to different journals and magazines.