Hometown: Danbury, Conn.
Major: Health Education
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Science in Health Education Pre-K - 12
Internships: Student teacher at Ridgefield High School
Activities: Co-chair of The Men’s Initiative to end violence, a division of The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury; youth sports coach; volunteer fire fighter; work part-time at The Women’s Center as a prevention educator for domestic violence and sexual assault
Honors and Awards: Dean’s list,
graduating magna cum laude,
member of Pi Lambda Theta
James Ascone says the path that brought him to Western is a personal story that led him to want to inspire youth to be their best and apply themselves. "When I was in eighth grade, I was failing science," he says. "My science teacher pulled me aside one day and told me that it was a lot easier to pass his class than fail it. He explained that if I went to class every day and felt lost or was bored, the class would feel like it was taking forever. If I would apply myself and try, I would understand what was going on, the class would seem more interesting and the time would go by faster. That teacher showed a true interest in my education and my life. He inspired me to apply myself not only in his class, but in all things that I do."
As a result of his renewed dedication to his studies, Ascone successfully made it through eighth grade and high school. He attended Naugatuck Valley Community College from 2003-11, part-time, earning an Associate Degree in General Studies, cum laude. He next looked to Western to continue his education.
"Western offered health education as a major, and boasts great education and health promotion and exercise science departments," he says. "My wife was an education major at WCSU and encouraged me to join the program."
Asked what he will remember most about his Western experience, Ascone says, "Working with students from the Western Connection program as a mentor. We created an individual wellness plan for students with disabilities, and worked with them to achieve their goals."
After graduation, Ascone plans to continue to work with The Women's Center conducting community education. "Raising awareness to end violence is one of my true passions," he says.
He also plans to get a job in a public school system as a health educator. "I will continue my education, as I am a lifelong learner, with a master's in administration."
Ascone's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Take one semester at a time. I remember feeling overwhelmed when I first started college, looking at all of the courses that I would need to graduate. I had to stop looking at everything and just chip away at one semester at a time. Once I did that, it didn't take long for the credits I earned to start piling up."