Hometown: New Milford, Connecticut
Major: Political Science
MINORS: Psychology, Conflict Resolution
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Internships: Paralegal at Alan Barry's Center of Law and Justice, a law firm in Danbury
Activities: Treasurer of Honors Student Organization (fall 2012 - spring 2015); president (spring 2014-15) and treasurer (spring 2013-14) of Social Sciences Journal; club member of te; part-time job at Aerie; student assistant for the Kathwari Honors Program at WCSU; help out at parents' restaurant in New Milford
Honors and Awards: Deans' List every semester; 3.99 GPA; WCSU Merit Scholarship Award, fall 2011-spring 2015;
WCSU Honors Program Student, fall 2011–spring 2015;
John V. Friel Scholarship recipient, fall 2012 and spring 2013;
Arthur & Alberta Rosien Memorial Scholarship, fall 2013-spring 2014;
Jesse Lewis Compassion Award, spring 2014;
WCSU SGA Student of Merit Award, spring 2014;
WCSU Foundation President Scholarship, fall 2014; WCSU Alumni Association Outstanding Student Leader Award
Jessica Lin looked at several high-profile universities before deciding on Western, but ultimately, the decision was made because "it was the least expensive and closest option that my parents approved of." Her plan was to start at WCSU "and get a great GPA and transfer to Yale." Once here, Lin knew she had found her home and decided to stay.
Her course of study — a combination of political science, conflict resolution and psychology, came about after Lin took Professor of Polictical Science Dr. Christopher Kukk's PS104 - World Governments, Economies and Cultures class. "It had a major impact on me and encouraged me to look at the workings and the dynamics within and between individuals, societies, and countries."
While at Western, Lin says many members of the faculty and staff have taken her under their wing. Among them, Kukk and Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Averell Manes. "They are two of the most inspiring and compassionate individuals on the WCSU campus, who constantly encourage and at times, push me outside of my comfort zone in trying to help me achieve goals that I never even dreamt of."
Asked what she will remember most about her WCSU experience, Lin says, "There are so many, but one that comes to mind was the first time I worked with another Honors Student, Krisa Fitzgerald, to make our event, 'Compassion in Motion' come to life my freshman year. It was part of a sequence of events organized by the honors students in Dr. Brigg's Creativity and Compassion honors courses. I had so many first times as a result of that event and it opened me up to literally all of the people, departments and resources on campus — all of whom and which have helped me throughout my four years here. I made a lot of mistakes and it made me realize that I was not as smart nor as capable as only one person, but with the help of others, I can put what I know to good use, too."
After graduation, Lin says she plans to take a year or two off to look for more experience and opportunities, as well as to generate some funds, make connections and study for and take the GREs for graduate school. "My goal is to get into Yale for a Master's in Public Health and/or Public Administration, but I am also looking at potential Masters/Ph.D. programs at other universities as well."
Lin’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "The first step is to learn the names of those around you. A name is a powerful tool, because it establishes the first link in a connection and you never know who you will meet and where they will take you. Don't be a stranger to WCSU, because while it is a small community, it will give you the foundations to take you farther than you will ever believe."