Hometown: Danbury, Conn.
Major: Professional Writing - Journalism
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing
Activities: Resident assistant for 3 years; The Echo - 3 years, editor-in-chief for one year; part-time manager of Sandra’s Jewelry Store in Danbury
Honors and Awards: Arnold C. Brackman Memorial Journalism Scholarship, HRL’s Peer Academic Advisement Mentor of the Year, The Echo Outstanding Leadership Award, Distinction for Writing Portfolio award, 3.15 GPA
Danbury resident Mike Schwartz had WestConn on his radar screen well before he enrolled here. "WestConn’s notorious music department first got my attention because I was interested in jazz percussion," he says. "Also, I love the Northeast and its close location to New York and Boston."
After five years at the university, Schwartz is graduating in May with a bachelor's degree -- but not in music. Instead, he's receiving a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing. "Thanks to the student newspaper, The Echo, and some professors in the English and writing departments, I was able to utilize my skill in writing and turn it into my passion," Schwartz says. "Professor of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Dr. John Briggs aided me in many of my academic endeavors."
Along with the positive experiences he had as a writer, and later as editor, for The Echo, Schwartz also points to his three years as a resident assistant as having had a positive impact on his undergraduate experience. "Lamar Coleman and Eva Jones, former resident directors of Centennial Hall, acted as my mentors and supervisors in 2005 and 2006."
Asked what he will remember most about his WestConn experience, Schwartz says, "Becoming a part of The Echo in 2005. The staff was great and the environment was exciting. It’s truly gratifying to inform the WestConn population with news from a student-run origination.”
After graduation, Schwartz hopes to "write for the media and influence people in great ways. My goal is to someday write for a publication I am proud of."
Schwartz’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Get involved with a club immediately because going to class is only half the college education. Find yourself and empower your skills. You can change people in great, positive ways if you try.”