Hometown: Chelsea, Mass.
Major: Operational Meteorology
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Science, Operational Meteorology
Internships: Three internships: two at New England Cable News Network, working with meteorologists and learning behind-the-scenes aspects of meteorology broadcasting, and one at WHDH-Channel 7 learning more about the weather and practicing as an "on-air" personality
Activities: Women's Varsity Soccer, Meteorology Club president, student coordinator for Meteorology Bridge Program, mentor, part-time work at Country Kids' Playfarm and at Bunker Hill Community College
Kerri Copello needs to be good at reading maps in order to excel in her desired field of meteorology. So the fact that she grew up in Georgia, now lives in Massachusetts, and went from Massachusetts to Wisconsin to Connecticut to pursue her degree probably isn't a bad thing. After a year-and-a-half at Northland College in Ashland, Wis., the school dropped its meteorology program. Copello visited several options in New England and "once I visited Western I knew that it was a perfect fit for what I was looking for in a school."
Copello is one of those lucky few who figure out early on what they want to be when they grow up. "I knew I wanted to be a meteorologist since I was 7 years old and saw severe weather forming right over my house in Georgia," she says. "From the moment I learned how to spell 'meteorologist,' I never looked back."
When talking about her studies at Western, Copello says there were several members of the university community who became mentors to her. "Weather Center Assistant Director Gary Lessor, Meteorological Studies & Weather Center Director Dr. Albert Owino, School of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean Dr. Abbey Zink and Adjunct Instructor Marjorie Salem are only a few who have left lasting impressions in my life," Copello says.
Asked what she will remember most about her WCSU experience, Copello says, "Each day at Western created a new and exciting memory. I had an awesome experience playing soccer for the university and the friendships made through that program will continue for a lifetime. Meteorology gave me the knowledge to be successful in my career and also gave me the opportunity to find my passion in teaching and mentoring. Being able to make a difference academically in a child's life is one of the best feelings in the world.”
After graduation, Copello says, "I would love to settle into a news station and forecast weather on television. After a few years of that, my plan is to go to grad school and work on a master's degree in secondary education focused on earth science."
Copello’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Get involved! With that, have the time of your life; it goes by quickly so cherish each moment."