The banner celebrates the 2010 Monroeville graduate “blending scholarship, service and schtick.”
His parents, Doug and Sharon, said they are proud and grateful to have the school bring their son back to honor him.
“It’s a proud moment as a parent,” added Sharon, a Monroeville graduate who has been the superintendent at EHOVE Career Center for many years.
Mastroianni, during a short assembly Tuesday afternoon for junior and senior high students, said while it’s an honor to be recognized and “to have you all listening to me,” it’s important to remember that the walls of the MAC are for banners to celebrate the accomplishments of many people — both academic and athletic.
“Let’s fill the walls,” he told the students. “I think you’ll be the ones who will make (the world) better.”
Mastroianni graduated from Monroeville in 2010 as a distinguished scholar.
“It’s hard to imagine it’s been eight years since the guest we are here to honor walked the halls here at MHS as a student. He left his mark as an Eagle leading our academic team to two Firelands (Academic Challenge) championships and finishing at the top of his class, earning the distinction of a distinguished scholar and a National Merit Scholar,” Principal Jim Kaczor said. “In those eight years, he has accomplished much more than most other 27-year-olds.”
In 2014, Mastroianni earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University.
“With summa cum laude honors, mind you,” Kaczor said. “While an underclassmen at Princeton, he was selected as a Rhodes Scholar, an honor bestowed upon only 32 individuals in the nation annually with winners being chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good and their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.”
Mastroianni, in 2016, earned his master’s degree from the University of Oxford in England. His degree was in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation.
He currently is working toward his doctorate in psychology at Harvard University.
“I get paid to study people. that’s what I do all day,” Mastroianni told the students as he shared the results of various data he gathered from them that very day.
It’s not all academia for the Monroeville graduate.
Mastroianni has been performing and teaching improvisational comedy at Improv Boston, a comedy theater, for the last two years.
“I perform twice a week,” he said after the assembly. “It goes pretty well, but I’m part of a team; I have a great team.”
While studying at Princeton and in the United Kingdom, Mastroianni also did improv. He also has performed in Scotland, China, South Africa and the Netherlands.
As an Eagle, Mastroianni said he knew he was destined to accomplish things outside of Monroeville. He told the students he loved his time in the village, but he knew there was a bigger world out there.
For those teenagers who “don’t feel like they belong, that place exists for you,” he added.
“The world does not end at the end of the village limits,” said Mastroianni, who encouraged students to experience life in the other parts of the world.
Mastroianni was asked what important messages he wants the students to take away from what he has accomplished.
“Life isn’t about being smart, it’s about getting smarter,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re from a small place like Monroeville, you can do anything.”