Future students

Meet Michelle: HACC and Harvard Alumna

Date published: Aug. 10, 2020

 Lancaster, PA

“…I am my biggest champion, and I have proven that to myself time and time again, so I want to give myself that credit.” 

Michelle Gherardi, HACC alumna, credits her HACC education with setting her up for success at the Ivy League level. She said, “Through my leadership and academics at HACC, I received a scholarship to complete my studies in a low residency, mostly virtual program at the Harvard Extension School where I graduated with a Bachelor’s [degree] in International Relations.”

The majority of classes Michelle took at HACC were virtual. She was involved in student life as the chair of the Virtual Learning Student Advisory Council (VLSAC) and stewarded a number of successful programs.

When she was a HACC student, Michelle said that scholarships “helped me by allowing me the opportunity to breathe a little bit financially.” She added, “Life and bills do not stop simply because I decided to get my degree, they all still have to be paid. The two scholarships allowed me to take care of my responsibilities.”

After graduating from HACC and Harvard, Michelle continued to thrive in a virtual learning environment and earned a master’s degree in public administration from West Chester University.

Michelle co-authored an article on the critical role mentorship plays in the arc of a woman's career in academia and public administration. She now works at an international non-government organization and is helping create a framework for a nonprofit that “brings women together physically, virtually, and in spirit, to advocate, create, educate/train, and support other women.”

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