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Gina Lanzano '18 Continues Student Achievement Into Graduate Studies At Emerson College

By Emily McGuinness '20 TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2019 - 2:00 PM WNE100

After graduating at the top of her class, working several jobs on and off campus, and receiving a Skookum student leadership award, Gina Lanzano '18 finds it extremely difficult to forget her rewarding time spent at Western New England.

Gina graduated with a degree in Creative Writing with a minor in Film Studies. After touring the University with an English professor, she knew where she wanted to spend the next four years.

“I visited the campus and loved the open space and range of amenities offered,” said Lanzano. “It was one of the only colleges in the area I could find with an awesome creative writing program and English department.”    

Gina is currently a second-year, full-time graduate student studying publishing and writing at Emerson College in. She also works as an editorial assistant for Harvard University’s Alumni Association, where she reviews submissions for the department’s Red Books, published about thirteen times annually.

Gina stated that this is one of the first jobs that has ever made her excited to go to work the next day.

“I’ve really tested my skills here,” Lanzano stated. “It has helped me develop confidence as an editor, both with copy editing and developmental editing, and allowed me to formulate some editorial instincts of my own.”

At Emerson, Gina is an Academic Success Consultant to undergraduate students while studying in a liberal arts setting. She commented on the differences between Western New England and Emerson in an optimistic way, because she has been able to experience two separate university environments.

Gina has gained a great appreciation for the visions and ideas that Emerson students bring to the table. With all of the art students on campus and the competitiveness of her cohort, she has experienced the driven and ambitious side of graduate life while living in Boston.

“Living in Boston is hard!” admitted Lanzano. “Regardless, I’m challenging myself to push past my comfort zone in order to explore what I really want to do after graduation.”

Since her Western New England graduation, Gina has maintained strong relationships with some of her professors, who she still visits on occasion and can rely on when her busy life gets too overwhelming. In the upcoming years, Gina would like to be more involved in campus life as an alumni, and remembers her time spent here positively.

“Everything I’ve learned has come from WNE. Every part of who I am has come from who I became there. I learned how driven I was as a student and what being ambitious really meant, which has helped me get through my first year at Emerson,” she said.

As she remembers how hard she worked as a student in classes at WNE, she also finds it hard to forget campus traditions she took part in. Homecoming was an unforgettable community event for Gina and her peers every year, as well as painting the famous rock on campus and riding Spirit, the campus Golden Bear statue.

Lanzano also has the significant memory of working with the student newspaper, The Westerner, as Editor-in-Chief for two years. She remembers this position with gratefulness and feels proud of the work her and her team accomplished. This was the part of Western New England that she couldn’t have experienced elsewhere as she was brought very close with a tight-knit group of like-minded students and quickly became the highlight of her undergraduate time.

“I would truly not be the person I am without being in that leadership position for as long as I was” Lanzano said.

However, the one event Gina cannot seem to place out of her mind from Western New England is her Skookum award ceremony. This prestigious award is presented to only fifteen students out of the one hundred applicants for their outstanding achievements. Gina was recognized her senior year in the warm company of her advisor, professors, friends and family. The rewarding feeling stuck with her.

“I was touched by the speech I received and the love I felt,” Lanzano said. “It felt like all of the hard, demanding work I’d poured into my studies had been recognized, validated, and appreciated.”

It was this accomplishment and recognition that remains with Gina today when reflecting on her time spent at Western New England, and is something that keeps her motivated in her professional graduate student life in Boston, and as she moves further ahead into her bright future.

Lanzano walked out of Western New England at the top of her class with an accomplished mind and a positive outlook on her future. She began her post-graduation life with a position in the Alumni Relations office as the Advancement Writing Intern, and has not looked back since.

“I’m really happy to have gotten the position at Harvard; it has helped me develop editorial skills that I know I’ll use for future jobs. I’m excited to see what my next ‘most significant accomplishment’ will be,” she commented.

With the combination of support, accreditation, and success she gained from WNE, and the wonderful new beginning she has sprouted in the city, Gina is on a fast track to an extremely successful future in the world of editing and publishing.