shows prowess beyond athletics
For Bridgeport native and retired school administrator
Joe Giaquinto, his recent appointment to the WCSU
Foundation Board of Directors offers the opportunity to make an
overdue contribution to the alma mater where he enjoyed wide-ranging
athletic success and earned a bachelor’s degree in English more than
four decades ago.
away too long,” remarked Giaquinto, who graduated from Western in
1970. “My involvement now is a sort of payback.”
Giaquinto’s versatile athletic career at
Western capped off a series of earlier accomplishments in sports for
the Boys’ Club in Bridgeport, Notre Dame High School and Southern
Connecticut State University. At WCSU he lettered in football,
basketball and baseball, establishing numerous milestones and
records. As baseball captain, he led the team in home runs and
maintained a batting average consistently above .300. He also joined
Western’s first football team and scored its first touchdown,
serving as captain in his senior year and averaging more than 100
yards gained per game.
Following his graduation from Western,
Giaquinto went on to earn a master’s degree in secondary
education/English and a law degree, as well as teacher certification
in English and psychology and a Sixth Year Professional Certificate
in education administration.
Beginning as an English teacher at Central High School in
Bridgeport, he went on to serve for many
years as an administrator and expulsion officer for the
Danbury school district.
After retiring in 2008, he renewed his
relationship with Western as an executive committee member of the
Board of Directors of the WCSU Alumni Association. Other volunteer
activities have included service as chairman of the Board of
Directors of the Bridgeport Boys and Girls Club and as vice
president of the Greater Bridgeport Athletic Association. Among his
avocations are skiing, scuba diving, gardening and travel.
As he enters this new chapter in his commitment
to Western as a WCSU Foundation director, Giaquinto is impressed
with the growth in enrollment and diversity in academic disciplines
at his alma mater.
really like what’s happening at Western,” he observed. “The
university is undergoing tremendous change. This really hit home
when I attended commencement this year, and realized that elementary
education was the smallest graduating class when it used to be the
Giaquinto agrees with WCSU President James
Schmotter’s commitment that the university must put students first
and ensure they receive a quality education at an affordable cost.
“As my mother said about students at more pricey schools, ‘they have
the same books you do,’” he recalled.
As a member of the Foundation board, he said,
“my agenda is to help the school that did so much to provide me with
the educational base to continue moving forward.”
Alumna is eager to start giving back
Tracy Hoffman Horosky has many reasons to be
grateful for her experience at Western — both professionally and
A 1993 WCSU graduate, Horosky said it was her
top-notch, affordable education that landed her a great job right
out of college with a Fortune 500 company. “It was the start of a
very good career,” she said. She also met her husband Rich, a former
Colonials soccer player, at Western, and they have been married for
“Western has been such a huge part of success
for me,” Horosky said.
As a new member of the WCSU Foundation Board of
Directors, Horosky is eager to start giving back to the school that
gave her so much. A senior vice president with Dubraski &
Associates, an independent insurance brokerage firm in Kent, she
said public education should be valued because it provides
opportunities for everyone.
“I was honored to accept a position on the
board,” said Horosky, who also serves as chairman of the Kent Board
of Education. “I’m a huge advocate of public education and am doing
what I can to improve it.
“I like the diversity at Western,” she
observed. “It’s more ‘real world’ while being supportive and
accepting of people. I support an environment where everyone is
given an opportunity to succeed on their own merits. I also
appreciate what Western brings to the community. Without the
would be a very different city.”
Horosky is looking forward to her new role on
the board and eager to learn where her background and skills will
have the biggest impact in contributing to Western’s future success.
says Danbury area thrives because of WCSU contributions
"Hard work and education are the keys to a successful life," says
"which is why the university is such a vital part of the community."
Now Hagman is becoming an even more vital part of the Western
community by joining the Board of Directors of the WCSU Foundation.
Hagman, a member of the WCSU President’s Club, recently donated
$5,000 to the Veronica Hagman Memorial Scholarship in memory of his
daughter, a psychology major at Western who died during her senior
year. Recipients of this scholarship must be female and have a
minimum 3.5 GPA and at least 70 credits, 40 of which are from WCSU.
Hagman supports Western because of its critical community role,
which includes providing opportunities for students long after they
have earned their degrees. “WCSU has a good foundation to grow its
student size and student caliber,” he said. “And I want to be part
of that success story.
“It was an honor to be asked to join the board,” Hagman said. “I
have watched all of the positive changes being made at Western. With
my strong business and academic background, hopefully I can make a
real contribution toward the future.”
Hagman sees the educational system’s biggest challenge as preserving
the capacity to provide a quality education in today’s climate of
Because both of his daughters attended the university, Hagman knows
firsthand about the quality of a Western education. “Our students
need a good education to compete in today’s global environment. The
WCSU curriculum, new campus and teachers are wonderful and provide a
good value for a college investment. I want to support Western and
all the good work they do for young minds,” he said.
is the founder and owner of Ergotech Inc., a producer of
ergonomically beneficial equipment in Danbury. He earned an
engineering degree from Lund University in his native Sweden, an MBA
from Pace University and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University. He
worked for other companies, including Asea Brown Boveri and Curtis
Instruments, before launching his own firm.
Hagman explained his view that Western’s contributions extend far
beyond education by sharing students’ talents and passions with the
“One of the things I enjoy most about Western is the music and
theater performances throughout the year,” Hagman said. “The
talented music and arts students provide a broad and excellent
family entertainment. Every year I try to attend as many
performances as I can.”