Mason Pellegrini: Those Who Can Learn, Teach

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With the ultimate goal of becoming a university professor, Mason Pellegrini, '16, will study rhetoric and composition at University of New Mexico this fall.

Mason Pellegrini, '16Mason Pellegrini’s love of knowledge is taking him places. The Tacoma native will attend graduate school at the University of New Mexico where he’ll study rhetoric and composition. Pellegrini’s ultimate goal is to become a university professor. “For as long as I can remember one of the only things I seriously considered doing was teaching,” he said.

The 26-year-old enjoys going to class and listening to his instructors communicate ideas. For Pellegrini each new piece of information is something he may be able to use in his own classroom. “Everything that I learn is something I can use to teach to another person,” he said.

Pellegrini’s road to success has been by no means direct. After graduating from high school, the writing studies major spent years partying and “wasting a lot of time,” as he put it. He has since stopped drinking and has been sober for four years.

Pellegrini’s struggles with alcohol strained his relationship with his father. The two have since reconciled. Mason, his father and brother (both longshoremen) have a standing family get-together on Sundays where they eat dinner and watch movies. “I think I’m lucky, maybe blessed a little with the family dynamic I have now,” Pellegrini said.

At UW Tacoma, Pellegrini entered the Global Honors program and won a Bamford Fellowship through the Institute for Global Engagement, which he used to study palm oil cultivation and production in Indonesia.

After getting his masters, Pellegrini plans to continue on and get his Ph.D. This seems fitting for a person so committed to learning as much as possible. “I want to live my whole life as a student,” he said. “I don’t want to feel I know so much that I can’t learn from other people.”

Written by: 
Eric Wilson-Edge / June 9, 2016
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or