View upcoming events at Boston College
Books by alumni, faculty, and staff
Order books noted in Boston College Magazine
Join the online community of alumni
View the current BCM in original format
Thirty years, eight lives
This year marks the 30th anniversary at Boston College of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, which annually recognizes an undergraduate junior whose academic accomplishments and involvement with African-American issues exemplify the standards and commitment of Dr. King. A six-member selection committee of faculty, staff, alumni, and students chooses five finalists and from them the winner, based on the applicants’ scholastic records and recommendations, an essay on Dr. King, and an interview with the committee. The award carries tuition assistance for the winner as well as for the finalists, and the winner is announced at a February banquet. Recently, BCM renewed its acquaintance with eight of the first 31 MLK scholars.
Darcel Clark ’83
Major: Political science
Occupation: Justice, Supreme Court, Bronx County, New York
Though she “always wanted to be one,” Darcel Clark didn’t expect to be named a criminal court judge for the City of New York at age 36. After receiving a law degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., the New York City native spent 13 years as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx before Mayor Rudolph Giuliani appointed her to the bench in 1999. Seven years later she won election to a 14-year term as a Justice of the Bronx Supreme Court. Among her non-judicial activities, which include service on the Boston College Board of Trustees (since 1998), Clark teaches classes in criminal justice at Monroe College in the Bronx, where, she says, she can engage with students who “are having second careers or have decided later in life . . . to pursue a college career.” Counting herself “between generations”—”between the last of the baby-boomers and the beginning of Generation X”—she says, “I still believe that anything is possible.”
Candi Carter ’91
Occupation: Founder and CEO, New Chapter, Chicago
Her first job in television—an unpaid internship at CNN—grew out of a chance conversation with a fellow night-shift worker at a telemarketing firm in Atlanta, where Carter was living with relatives after graduation and working during the day at a Gap outlet. Ultimately hired at CNN as a video journalist, the New Hampshire native moved on to a producer’s job at ABC affiliate WISN in Milwaukee, before a friend in Chicago suggested she apply to the Oprah Winfrey Show. Carter worked with Winfrey for almost 16 years, the last five as senior producer (during which time she also started a children’s educational video company called It’s Hip Hop Baby!). With the show concluding last year, Carter has recently founded a television production company, New Chapter, and has begun to train for a half marathon (she competed as a long, triple, and high jumper on the Boston College track team). “I was very Type A and driven when I was in school,” says Carter. “I’m still that same person.”
Simeon Buresch ’98
Occupation: Drama teacher, head dean, Gramercy Arts High School, New York City
A fifth-generation educator, Simeon Buresch had no thought of teaching when he graduated from Boston College. “I moved to New York to act, and I went to the New School to get my MFA in acting at the Actors Studio,” says the Missouri native. He graduated in June of 2001, “and the fall of 2001, of course, was 9/11. I was forced by default to kind of take a pause,” he recalls, “and I realized that my heart wasn’t necessarily in performance per se. So I just threw my hat into the ring and became a substitute teacher. . . . I found myself falling in love not only with the city but also with the inhabitants, including these inner city kids.”
Saya Hillman ’00
Major: English and sociology
Occupation: Founding owner, Mac ‘n Cheese Productions, Chicago
Chicago native Saya Hillman spent her first four years after Boston College working at nonprofits in her hometown—as a program manager at an organization using the arts to teach reading to low-income students and as an assistant producer for a documentary film company. Preferring to be her own boss, Hillman founded Mac ‘n Cheese Productions, making videos for nonprofits and teaching digital media skills to low-income Chicago schoolchildren. Along the way she started hosting what she calls “minglers”—small dinner parties and cocktail gatherings, even dance classes and improv comedy nights—and charging admission. (The rule, says Hillman, is that the attendees, mostly Chicagoans in their thirties, must come alone, without their “security blanket best friends.”) “Hardly any of the things that I get paid to do now started out as business ventures,” says the self-described “accidental entrepreneur.” “They started out as, ‘I am interested in doing fill-in-the-blank just for the fun of it, and then for whatever reason, people wanted to join me and pay me to do fill-in-the-blank.'”
Rufus Caine III ’03
Major: Political science and philosophy
Occupation: Associate, Wilkie, Farr, and Gallagher, LLP, Washington, D.C.
Accepted by the Truman Scholarship Foundation’s Summer Institute following graduation from Boston College, Rufus Caine headed to Washington and an internship in the policy development section of the D.C. public school system. Expecting to apply directly to law school, the New Jersey native instead continued on in Washington for three years, working first as a policy analyst for Senator Lindsay Graham of Florida and then as a legislative assistant to Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland—experiences, he says, that gave him an appreciation of “the power of the stroke of a pen.” A stint with a lobbying firm that represented large nonprofits such as schools and hospitals followed, before Caine entered law school at the University of Pennsylvania. He is now part of a litigation team, working on cases in a range of areas, including telecommunications.
Jacqueline Grant ’08
Occupation: Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
The pursuit of therapies to counter neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease has been Jacqueline Grant’s focus since her time at Boston College. Upon graduation she returned to her home state of California and immersed herself in doctoral studies at the Stanford University School of Medicine, an undertaking, she says, that “in terms of endurance” has “really tested my strength.” She has also been taking classes at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business; recently worked as an intern at Mission Bay Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in emerging bioscience companies; and is active in Stutors, a Stanford-run tutoring program serving the local community. Based on her dissertation research, Grant recently coauthored a provisional patent application for a therapy to treat multiple sclerosis.
Gerrel Olivier ’10
Major: Finance and economics
Occupation: Financial analyst, Morgan Stanley, New York City
As part of his senior thesis at the Carroll School of Management, Gerrel Olivier, a Massachusetts native, worked on a microfinance project—the planning and funding of a small food stall on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, his mother’s birthplace. His interest in small-scale entrepreneurial development remains strong—in September 2010 he and a childhood friend cofounded Xcel, a nonprofit focused on bringing together young professionals in New York City with the goal of raising funds and awareness for 501(c)3 organizations involved in local and international development projects. Currently a member of the mergers and acquisitions department of Morgan Stanley, Olivier will join the Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, this July for a two-year stint with its private equity team.
Angela Donkor ’12
Major: Political science and international studies
For her first eight years, Ghanaian-born Angela Donkor lived with her grandmother while her parents worked in Italy. After her grandmother died in 1995, Donkor joined her parents outside Venice, and then, at age 16, moved with them to the Bronx. (Her first reading of the “I have a dream” speech came in an Italian middle school: “People don’t realize how international Dr. King is,” she says.) As a Boston College student she has reported for the Heights, led admissions tours, tutored at the Connors Family Learning Center, worked at the Suffolk House of Corrections in Boston, and joined international service projects in China, Kuwait, Rwanda, South Korea, and Uganda. When she finds herself especially challenged or “in transition,” she stops by Room 305 in Gasson Hall, “where I had my first college class.” It reminds her, she says, “that I can do it.” After graduation she hopes to work as a paralegal at a law firm in New York City before heading to law school in a couple of years.