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August 20, 2018 Class of 2018

40 Under Forty: Bonnie J. Walker, 39

Foto: Photo | Erika Sidor 2018 WBJ 40 Under Forty award winners (from left): Alexis Kelleher, Erin Jansky, Bonnie J. Walker and Tom Lubelczyk at another POW! WOW! mural at Worcester Arts Magnet School.

Executive director of diversity & inclusion strategy

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Lives: Millbury

Birthplace: Hanover, N.H.

College: Clark University

Walker's committed her entire career to helping and supporting young people. Walker worked to increase enrollment of underrepresented minority students at WPI and has restructured the college's Connections Program, a pre-orientation program for minorities and first-generation college students. She works to educate community members on diversity, inclusion and equality efforts, and oversees initiatives at WPI to improve on those ideals on campus. Walker received the emerging leader award from the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce's Diverse Professionals Roundtable last year. Walker began her career in admissions at WPI and returned to Worcester after a stint at Boston College to take be WPI's associate director and coordinator of multicultural recruitment, before transitioning into be director of multicultural affairs and then assuming her current role in 2016. Walker's work keeps her involved in industry organizations, including the New England Association for College Admissions Counseling, American College Personnel Association and Northeast Consortium Bridging Access to College, where she served as vice president from 2007-2009. Walker serves on the board of the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts.

From 40 Under Forty judge Kate Sharry: “Already recognized for leadership roles and celebrated for success, Bonnie continues to keep her focus on her commitment to diversity and inclusion in our community.”

If you could go back in time, when would you go back to? To college in '00; I would do a whole variety of new things, navigating the opportunity all over again!

Who is responsible for your success? My mom and dad. They are outstanding role models, great supporters and provided me great privileges.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Bonnie J. Walker took over the position of Worcester Polytechnic Institute executive director of diversity & inclusion strategy immediately after rejoining WPI from Boston College. She rejoined WPI as associate director and coordinator of multicultural recruitment and was eventually promoted to executive director of diversity & inclusion strategy in 2016.

Read about the entire 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty

Michael Alden - Ascentria Care Alliance

Che Anderson - City of Worcester

Victor M. Archila - VMA Electric Inc.

Allison Beckler, DO - YOU, Inc.

Sam Bitar - Webster Five

Mark A. Borenstein - Seder & Chandler LLP

Kate D. Campanale - Massachusetts House of Representatives

Derek Canton - paerpay

Ryan Canuel - Petricore, Inc.

Jennifer Caron - Body Therapeutics

Danielle J. Clark - Clark Career Coaching

Heidi Cooper - Cooper’s Hilltop Farm

Matthew M. Copeland, P.E. - Copeland Building Envelope Consulting

Pat Davis - The DAVIS Cos.

Efua T. Dufu, MSW, LCSW - Ellite Event Planning

Grace Elton - Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. - Becker College

Jared E. Gentilucci - Nitsch Engineering

David Gilchrist, MD, MBA - UMass Memorial Health Care

Alvara Gjylapi - Santander Bank

Erica Grinkis - The GazBar Sports Grill

Meredith Harris - Marlborough Economic Development Corp.

Erin Jansky - Worcester Housing Authority

Ben Jones - Boston Scientific Corp

Alexis Kelleher - Crust Bakeshop; North Main Provisions

Bert LaValley - Sustainable Comfort, Inc.; deadhorse hill & simjang restaurants

Jennifer Leger - Fidelity Bank

Brian Lemerise - Quiet Logistics, Inc.

Tom Lubelczyk - The Worcester Jazz Collective

Laura Marotta - Creative Hub Worcester

Ryan Matson - Small Business Insurance Agency

Michael P. McDonough, CPA - McDonough, McDonough & Corsini, LLP

Madeline Mendoza - NewVue Communities

Jessica Morris - MCPHS University

Nathan Oriol - Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (Oriol Health Care)

Nicholas Pelletier - Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams North Central

Courtney E. Pelley - Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

Lilian Radke - Unic Pro Inc.

Blaine Schnare - Harrington HealthCare System

Bonnie J. Walker - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Learn how the winners were picked on our judges' page.

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