Hometown: Brookfield, Conn.
Major: Chemistry and Biochemistry, ACS accredited
WCSU Degree: Honors Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Activities: Member and treasurer of WCSU Chemistry Club for three years; founder and president of Collegiate Health Service Corps at WCSU; volunteered for two years at Danbury Hospital and with Connecticut AHEC; volunteered as a coordinator for the Migrant Farm Workers Free Health Clinic for two summers; worked on campus as a lab assistant for Survey of Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry; was a tutor for three years for chemistry and biology; started, operated and owned my own pool construction and maintenance company for two years, working full time during the summer
Honors and Awards: Dean's list every semester; WCSU
Summa Cum Laude at graduation;
Connecticut Metal Finishers Association Scholarship, 2007;
Tek-Air Systems Science Scholarship, WCSU, 2009;
General Chemistry Academic Achievement Award, WCSU, 2009;
Bruce E. Gould Service Learning Award, University of Connecticut, 2009;
Carl F. Norden Science Scholarship, WCSU, 2010;
Collegiate Health Corps Service Learning Award, WCSU, 2010;
Connecticut Microelectronics and Optoelectronics Symposiums Best Undergraduate Poster Paper Presentation, Yale University, 2011;
Ronald E Teague Fellowship, University of South Carolina, 2011;
Outstanding Senior Award, WCSU, 2011
Before coming to WCSU, Brandon Litwin was "coerced" to attend Naugatuck Valley Community College for one academic year. "I had been out of high school for a few years before deciding to come back to college when the real estate market collapsed," he explains. "I had been working in the construction field with a builder as a general apprentice for several years." When Litwin attempted to enroll at Western, he was told he couldn't be admitted "because of how poor my high school credentials were." That's why he had to prove himself for a year at NVCC. Now, he'll be graduating Summa Cum Laude from Western.
Litwin says he chose chemistry as his major "because I liked science, am a workaholic, and decided it was a logical, rational and productive pathway for both my immediate and future plans. I think my maturity level played a significant role."
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Yu-Fong Yen was Litwin's research mentor. "Ultimately he has provided me with sound advice on chemistry, research and life itself," Litwin says. "I can say there is never an empty word from the man; I learned a great deal and now have a global perspective. My outlook is to maintain a competitive edge on an international level."
Asked what he will remember most about his WCSU experience, Litwin says, "My most memorable experience at WCSU would probably be meeting Dr. Story Musgrave, I have never been more inspired in my entire life. I will never forget that man or his speech. To know that at 70 years old I have the option to be a multi-leveled successful, determined and productive individual is a reassurance and inspiration of epic proportions.”
After graduation, Litwin says he plans to attend graduate school, transferring to medical school soon after. "I want to obtain a dual M.D/PhD degree. This way I can treat patients and perform medical research to my liking. My ultimate goal is to own a research firm and practice medicine, most likely on foreign soil. The U.S. is an incredibly hostile business environment on numerous levels."
When asked to give advice to new students entering WCSU, Litwin says: “I don’t have one piece of advice for an incoming freshman; I have philosophies and directions for being a successful student and productive member of society, although I’m realistically skeptical about their impact: Leaders aren’t chosen and there are no qualifications for being one — it’s a choice, a voluntary decision. Be a leader in your life. Study hard and perform at your highest potential, work as hard as you can and don’t take days off. Do research as early as possible, volunteer and push your intellectual limits as far as you can possibly go; try to get into the honors program, it's phenomenal. Try to wear yourself out academically, professionally and philanthropically; you have no idea how much you’re going to surprise yourself with how often and to what degree you will surpass your own expectations. Grow up, this isn’t high school. Mom and dad can still help you, but that’s a horrible way of approaching life. Be self-sufficient, independent and put on a happy face. Life is going to get tough, and you’re going to quit. When you do, make sure you come back the next day, try harder with a new perspective and open mind …and make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Do not do poorly in classes — ever. GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL. Choose a career that you will like. You’re never going to love what you do all the time, not a single person on the planet does. Save money and realize that there’s a world outside of Connecticut, but more importantly outside the United States. Don’t go to school to get a job; go to school to be a job provider, start a business and generate your own ideas, be creative and don’t be a lazy piece of flesh. Don’t ever listen to people who tell you that you can’t do something. When you’re getting anti-aircraft fire, you’re right over the target: let the bombs fly."