Hometown: Brookfield, Conn.
Major: Community Health
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion Studies
Internships: Volunteered at a women's group and children's home in an HIV-infected community in Tanzania, Africa, for a month. This summer she will intern with the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.
Activities: Kappa Chi Alpha Sorority member serving as vice president, secretary and fundraising chair; member of the WCSU Rowing Team. Off-campus: enjoys horseback riding, worked part-time at Stew Leonard’s Dairy Store as an ice cream hostess, part-time receptionist at Candlewood East Marina.
Honors and Awards: Recipient of WCSU Holistic Health Award, Dean's List every semester, Merit Scholarship to attend Western
Brittany Chengeri has been enrolled at WCSU her entire college career. While a student here, she studied abroad during the spring 2012 semester with the program Semester at Sea, which enabled her to sail around the world to 11 different countries, including Ghana, Vietnam, China and Japan. "It has taken me five years to graduate but all five years have been a great experience and worth the stay," she says.
Chengeri came to Western because it was close to home and she says she was a 'homebody.' "However, in the last few years this has completely changed. The experiences I have had during college have really shaped me into who I am today and helped me spread my wings. Now I love to travel and am ready to go wherever graduate school or my future career takes me."
Chengeri decided to pursue health promotion studies "because I love the concept behind it," she says. "Health promotion focuses on preventing illness before it happens through healthy lifestyle changes rather than trying to cope with sickness after it has already developed. I am passionate that this mindset is the solution to the majority of health-related problems that people face today. It just makes sense; for example, instead of taking medicine for high blood pressure once it has developed, why not get to the root of the problem and learn ways to prevent high blood pressure from even starting, such as stress-reduction techniques. In my opinion, America's health care system is in trouble and health promotion is the solution. The two areas of health promotion that I am most interested in are holistic health and global health."
As a health promotion major, Chengeri says she was required to take a two-year sequence of classes with Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences Dr. Robyn Housemann and Assistant Professor Dr. Emily Stevens. "I couldn't have asked for more encouraging, dedicated and passionate professors and advisers than these two," Chengeri says. "They really care about the success of each student like parents care about their children."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Chengeri says, "Joining my sorority, Kappa Chi Alpha. I have learned so much and made friends I truly consider my family. I wouldn't be the same person without the organization."
After graduation, Chengeri plans to complete an internship with the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. "Following the internship, I would like to pursue a career in global health, working at an organization that sends volunteers abroad. I am also very interested in holistic health, so a career in that field would be exciting as well."
Chengeri’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Get involved! Join clubs! Go on PAC trips! Actually read the flyers around campus and attend events! Your college experience is what you make of it and these truly are the best years of your life."