For One ‘Bright’ Student, Graduation Honor Beckons

With his infectious smile, charismatic personality and outsized intellect, Bright Owusu-Konadu is the natural choice to perform the ceremonial duties of cross bearer at Friday's commencement ceremony for graduate students.

The Ghana native, a member of the Master of Public Affairs program’s inaugural graduating class, will have the honor of leading the procession of faculty and graduates into Lawler Arena alongside Faculty Senate president Josephine Modica-Napolitano, who will serve as marshal.

“Students tend to gravitate toward Bright,” said political science chair Harry Wessel, who oversees the M.P.A. program. “His name, like his moniker, is bright and outgoing, and he’s a great ambassador for the program.”

Owusu-Konadu came to Merrimack, in part, to study alongside his cousin, Chris Marcel Chinebuah, who will receive a degree of his own at Sunday’s undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Little did he know how much he would wind up enjoying his studies.

“The lecturers were very demanding and created an enabling and respectful communicative environment that allowed me to push in whatever topic area I found interesting,” Owusu-Konadu said. “My colleagues brought diverse work and life experiences that made class discussions always super fun and informative.”

Owusu-Konadu, who previously earned a Master of Business Administration from Brandeis University, said he plans to work in the energy sector in his native Ghana.

Cross bearers fulfill the role of a marshal and carry a wooden cross inscribed with the Latin phrase “cor unum in deum” — “one heart in God.” That is in keeping with the Rule of St. Augustine that exhorts members of the religious order to “live harmoniously in our house in oneness of mind and heart intent upon God.”

“I would say it’s a great honor,” said Amy Sison, director of graduate studies in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Samantha Waskowitz will serve as cross bearer at the undergraduate commencement ceremony, and Oscar Zepeda Cagide will fulfill the honor at Saturday’s honors convocation.


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