Hometown: Simi Valley, Calif.
MINOR: Conflict Resolution
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
Internships: One semester at MCCA Sobering Center and one semester at MCCA McDonough House
Activities: Varsity Volleyball, secretary Psi Chi (psychology honor society), Student Life Committee, Campus & Student Center employee, work part time at New York Sports Club
Honors and Awards: Dean's List, Arts and Sciences Dean's list, Little East All-Academic Team, WCSU athletic department 3.0 club, 3.45 GPA
It's a very long way from Danielle Spangler's hometown in Simi Valley, Calif., to Danbury, Conn. And that was the way she wanted it. "In high school I was always interested in living somewhere completely different from what I was used to," she explains. "I saw college as a perfect opportunity to live somewhere new, with the security of knowing that I could always move back home if it did not work out. I was also interested in continuing my volleyball career as a college athlete."
Spangler took several recruiting trips during her senior year in high school, and one of her visits was to WCSU. "After visiting Western and meeting Women's Volleyball Coach Greg Poole and Associate Director of Admissions Rich Myers, I knew that Western was the perfect fit for me both academically and athletically," she says.
The choice of major also came easily to Spangler. "I always knew that I wanted to be in a helping profession. When I was in high school, I enjoyed a psychology course and decided to pursue this field. My experiences at Western only strengthened this interest."
Spangler says there were many individuals who had a large impact on her college experience. "Rich Myers has been one of my biggest supporters at Western. He encouraged me at volleyball games and has given me advice regarding scholastics. Rich, along with Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Patricia O’Neill and Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Daniel Barrett, also played a large role in my graduate school search — from writing letters of recommendation to preparing me for interviews. Greg Poole was also a mentor to me. Aside from being my coach, he took interest to both my personal and academic life. Knowing that most of my support system lived 2,500 miles away, he frequently 'checked-in' with me to see how I was doing with balancing school, volleyball, clubs, jobs and internship. I am very grateful to each for their support."
Asked what she will remember most about her WCSU experience, Spangler says, "Scholastically, conducting an independent research experiment and presenting it at WestConn Research Day as well as interning at MCCA are among my greatest memories that Western has given to me. Outside of academics, my most memorable experiences are the times I shared with my teammates. These girls have been a second family to me and I will always remember the games, team dinners, funny moments, stories, bus rides and successes we had together.”
After graduation, Spangler will begin pursuing a master's degree in Mental Health and Wellness Counseling at New York University.
Spangler’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Your experience is what you make of it. I encourage everyone to be involved in the WestConn community through clubs or athletics. It will provide you with a feeling of unity within the university and expose you to many great individuals.”