Hometown: Danbury, Conn.
MAJOR: Secondary Education - Spanish
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Science, Secondary Education: Spanish
Internships: Hancock Student Leadership program, Danbury Public School District administrative intern
ACTIVITIES: Latino Scholarship Fund
board member; LETRA
Honors and Awards: 3.84 GPA, Dean's List every semester, WCSU Honors Program, Capitol Scholarship recipient, Macricostas Family Scholarship Endowment recipient, Minority Teacher Incentive Program Scholarship recipient, World Languages Award for Outstanding Community Service, Student Leadership Recognition Award for Rotaract and LETRA clubs, National Society of Collegiate Scholars recipient, Sigma Delta Pi (National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society), Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Awards, Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities
Jessica Coraizaca decided to be a Spanish teacher because it was a way to give back to her community and make a difference in students' lives. "I came to the United States when I was 12 and thanks to my teachers, I was able to learn English and be successful in high school and college," she says. "This is why I want to share my passion for Spanish and my story with all my students. I know that I can change the world by first making a difference in each of my students' lives."
Coraizaca has attended WCSU for four years to receive an undergraduate degree in secondary education. "As a secondary education major, students can partake in student teaching in the fall or spring semester depending on the number of credits they have obtained. My educational path allowed me to student-teach in the fall, giving me the opportunity to observe and participate in the establishment of beginning-of-the-year routines, which I found to be crucial in developing effective classroom management skills as a novice teacher."
She says she decided to come to Western because of its welcoming environment and small class sizes, where she could form a connection with her fellow students. "It is also near home, and the faculty and employers are always willing to help," she says. "It is also one of the top schools for my major."
Coraizaca says all of her professors have become her mentors. "My adviser, Dr. Alba Skar, has opened the doors to many opportunities. Also, my supervisor, Robert Pote, has always been there for me. Everyone who has helped me with a project, internship and other activities have also been mentors to me."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Coraizaca says, "Having the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in Spain. I met new people, saw new places, and I also learned more about myself and my Hispanic background."
After graduation, Coraizaca hopes to hear back about some of the job applications she has submitted to be a Spanish teacher at either a middle school or high school. "I also plan to come back to Western to achieve a Master of Science in Counselor Education," she says.
Coraizaca's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Get involved in WCSU as much as possible and take advantage of every opportunity that either professors, clubs and other faculty offer. Do not be a student who just goes to classes; always do something that is going to make you different from other candidates."