headshot of Renee Lucas

Renee Lucas '17

Hometown

Millis, MA

Path

An ambition to drive change led her to study sociology

As a Community Coordinator for the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, Renee Lucas ’17 is working to close the gender wage gap in one of the country’s largest cities. Through the Council, a first in the nation public partnership between Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office and the Greater Boston business community, Lucas works with more than 250 companies, across a range of fields and industries, on closing the gender pay gap.

To have a seat at that table, she knows, is important. “I'm only a year out of college and I’m meeting with executives and CEOs,” Lucas notes. “You have to be comfortable with that, and know that you can show that you belong there.”

Her ambition to drive change is what led her to study Sociology. “I wanted to know why things are the way they are and how can I work to better people’s lives,” says Lucas. “I wanted to figure out how I can do my part to help solve big societal problems.”

Her mentors at Bryant helped prepare her to make that difference. Sociology Professor Judith McDonnell, Ph.D., helped her develop a career path that let her use everything she’d learned at Bryant, ranging from history to human resources management. That mix, she says, is invaluable. “I work with a small team, so it is an asset for me to know a little bit about a lot,” she explains. “I can pick from different skills and viewpoints, depending on which conversation I'm in, or what I need to look at.”

Sociology Professor Sandra Enos, Ph.D., was her faculty advisor for a directed study research project focused on the wage gap that helped prepare her for her current position. “When we were deciding on a topic, she asked me, ‘What are you interested in? What’s going to affect your life?,’” says Lucas, who found that student-centric focus to be invaluable. “I think it’s important to study something you’re actually interested in. That's how you're going to make the most impact.”

Through the Boston Women’s Workforce Council she’s making that impact on a major scale. “This issue is something that's going to affect every single person in their lifetime one way or another,” says Lucas, “and I want to help.”

Real World Experience

Leadership

Advisor, College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Council
• Reviewed current issues and future improvements on campus with other student leaders and the Dean of Bryant’s College of Arts and Sciences

Treasurer, Riding Club
• Assisted with the organization and management of Bryant’s Riding Club, including budget matters

Study Abroad

Sophomore International Experience: Germany and Spain

Mentoring

MyPath Program
• Served as a peer mentor for exploratory students considering major and career options

A Connected Community

Bryant's purposeful student life delivers co-curricular immersion with an inspiring, collegial community. Students forge deep connections that last a lifetime.

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“One of our tasks as educators is to challenge [students], encourage them and nurture them so that they graduate as individuals ready to do something positive.”

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