Wheelock Senior’s Stories – Tamara Pace-Emerson

Wheelock Senior Tamara Pace-Emerson, speaking at the 2012 Commencement Tamara Pace-Emerson – Undergraduate Student Speaker

Hometown: Grew up in Arlington, MA, moved to Framingham, MA for High School, now spends most of her time in West Hartford, CT.

Major: Professional major in Elementary Education, as well as a Bachelors of Math and Science. She also has a minor in Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy.


Tamara has lived in the Boston area almost all of her life. With no parental figure since age 18, she has had to hold down as many as 5 jobs at a time to support herself throughout college. Tam dedicated two years to City Year Boston prior to attending Wheelock. In her first year after high school, Tam worked at the Ellis Mendell Elementary School in Roxbury as a role model, teacher, reading interventions specialist, tutor, and afterschool manager.

The next year she ended up managing 6 people in the same role she held the year before. That second year the City Year organization awarded her both the Eli J. Segal Bridge Builder Awar d and Core Member of the Year award!

It was during this time that Tam realized her passion for community service, children and education.


During her sophomore year at Wheelock Tam went to London to be part of a four-person start-up team for the first-ever City Year London site. Wheelock approved her 55-page paper documenting the experience as an independent study on leadership.

Tam also helped City Year set up an Alumni scholarship at Wheelock, saying “There’s too much in common that can’t be ignored. We had to build a bridge between the two!”

Tamara has finished her undergraduate years at Wheelock on a personal peak. She was recognized this year with the Walter Burke Award for Science, and was selected as student speaker at this year’s undergraduate commencement .


“The biggest challenge for me is making sure I find what I’m passionate about and pursuing it”

Future Plans:

Tamara is not sure if she wants to be a teacher anymore; she hopes to study nursing or pediatric medicine. For the immediate future, she accepted a summer Research Fellowship with the American Cancer Society, working full time in a local hospital for 10-12 weeks.