WCSU alumnus and Harvard graduate at the helm of Summer STEAM

DANBURY, CONN. — Being a student at Western Connecticut State University changed the course of Ben Wild’s life – and he is ready to give back, starting with WCSU Summer STEAM.

For two weeks this summer, area high school students will have an opportunity to take a college course at Western. From Aug. 1 through 12, 2016, approximately 20 high school juniors and seniors will participate in STEAM, navigating their way through college-level biology, history, communication and sociology instruction, while earning three college credits. 

“I received an excellent education at WCSU,” said Wild. “I feel indebted to Western and want to do whatever I can to support the school. Most importantly, I want other students to know that there’s a great education waiting for them – right here in Danbury.”

Wild, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the university in 2014 with a 3.97 GPA, recently graduated from Harvard University with a master’s degree in education. He will be the coordinator for the STEAM program. WCSU Professor of History Dr. Martha May is the program director and also Wild’s mentor while he was a WCSU student.

“I would not have gone to Harvard if not for Dr. May,” Wild said. “She is a shining example of the outstanding academic and personal support available at Western. It gives me great pleasure to return to the university to work alongside her in bringing her vision of Summer STEAM to life. We’ve got some great experiences planned for our first cohort.”

The cost of the program is roughly $1,000, which includes tuition and fees for one three-credit course, lunch and snacks. Scholarships are available. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Classes will meet in the morning and, after lunch, students will have access to the Haas Library and the Computer Café to keep up with coursework. The afternoons will feature a variety of programs that allow students to explore college life, including choosing the right college, understanding how to pay for college and how to apply for financial aid, and learning how to handle college stress.

The acronym for the program is a play on “STEM” and stands for Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. In addition to earning three college credits, students will also learn about college life through STEAM’s enrichment component. The program will also include a guest speaker on engineering.

Any area high school student entering his or her junior or senior year in the fall is welcome to apply. Students must have a B average or better and, in addition to the application, must submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher. The deadline to apply is July 15, and the application can be found online at http://www.wcsu.edu/steam.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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