Alumni Profile: Megan Panek
Megan Haggerty Panek left Johnson State College in 1997 with a degree in psychology and a strong commitment to nonprofit development work — a commitment that has grown stronger ever since.
A native of Sturbridge, Mass., Megan chose JSC for the strong sense of community, the chance to play college-level sports, a competitive financial aid package, and on-campus work opportunities. Her JSC experience was a positive one. "I grew as an individual and received a great education inside and outside the classroom," she says.
Megan's education set the stage for her current role as major gifts director at the American Heart Association. By participating in SERVE and the Break Away alternative spring break program at JSC, she saw how her participation made a difference and found that "the fundraising needed to go on the trips was challenging and exciting."
That realization has led Megan to spend the last nine years working in all aspects of nonprofit development. "I've worked at New England's largest homeless shelter, with lawyers and religious organizations and with national nonprofits," she says.
To honor her professional achievements, JSC presented Megan with a Rising Star/Young Alumni award in 1999. The recognition goes to young alums "who have enjoyed considerable early career success and are an inspiration to current students."
Megan's quick rise to the top of her field is indeed a clear marker of success. What is perhaps more notable, however, is the satisfaction she gets from working with major donors to help make the world a better place. In building a career that enriches her life and those of others, this Rising Star is a source of inspiration for the entire JSC community.