Melissa Gurzenda

Bryant University

Melissa Gurzenda has a passion for community engagement that extends past her own self interests and plays an instrumental role in enhancing the overall student body's commitment to social issues. As President of “Community Activism and Leadership Organization (CALO)” she has worked to get fellow students connected with engagement opportunities that make an impact while personally connecting to their interests. Under her leadership, CALO has seen tremendous growth, including the creation of a new community based annual conference.

Gurzenda is ambitiously driven with a desire to positively influence her community. Her involvement does not stop with CALO. She has served as VP for Bryant’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization and played a key role in the success of their annual student conference, BUNEEC. In addition, she has been a presenter for TedX Bryant, Director of Marketing for the Realtor Association, and a member of the ODK leadership honors society.

Melissa uses every experience as an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. She is an energetic fast learner with an eager passion to accept new challenges and develop new skill sets. She looks forward to taking on a Newman Fellowship where she can be interactive and creative with a diverse group of thinkers.

Ronald K. Machtley
Bryant University

Personal Statement

Growing up I always felt a desire to use my voice and encourage others to use the power they have to make an impact within their communities. When I stepped foot in the Boys and Girls Club eight years ago, I immersively understood the power of human interaction outside of one’s social bubble. This ignited a spark within me that I needed to share with the world. As I approached college, I identified with the goal of proving to students, specifically business students, that they have the power to not only earn a profit but also serve their communities. Through the entrepreneurial spirit and an understanding of our unique passions, both can merge together and create a movement. One that encompasses all people solving various problems yet sharing the sole purpose of working towards advocacy. In developing a conference, Community Activism Leadership Conference, I was confident that this would provide students with the awareness that conferences can be selfless, focusing on why “a better you is a better world”; how their decisions within sustainability, diversity, and service matter. Programs like this drives the community together to shed light on how we can be movers and shakers.

Melissa Gurzenda
Team & Project Management and Leadership & Innovation Management; Minor: Women, Gender, Sexuality, Studies : Class of 2021
written 2020

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