WCSU graduate addresses troops with U.S. President
DANBURY, CONN. — As United States Navy Commanding Officer of Public Affairs and Western Connecticut State University graduate Scot Cregan waited to address American soldiers with President Barack Obama during a September 2015 livestream “Worldwide Troop Talk,” he reflected on how his time at Western helped prepare him for such a moment.
“I’m a different person now from the one who first came to Western,” he said. “The courses you think are a waste of time, really flush out. They become the tools in your toolshed.”
After a four-year commitment to the Navy after high school, Cregan came to Western with no specific goals in mind. He left five years later a confident communication major with big plans.
“A lot of the courses force you outside your comfort zone, which is applicable when you are out of college where you are always going to be out of your comfort zone,” Cregan said. “Western prepared me for real life.”
Cregan said it was the quality of faculty who had connections to the real world through their careers and accomplishments.
“The culture and people at Western helped make me successful,” said the 45-year-old Danbury native.
WCSU graduate and CSU Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs Birte Selvaraj has known Cregan for many years, and his success comes as no surprise to her.
“Today I am his Facebook friend and enjoy following his adventures all over the world, from Afghanistan to NATO Headquarters in Belgium,” Selvaraj said. “And no matter who he meets, he always has that same great charm and cheery smile.”
During the talk with President Obama, Cregan was in a studio in Brussels and spoke about the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe. He recently spent a year in Afghanistan, Brussels and Pakistan before returning to his post in Norfolk, Virginia.
“I was nominated by the NATO public affairs to be the spokesperson representing NATO to speak with the president,” he said. He was in Brussels working on NATO project, Trident Juncture, helping with public affairs planning and marketing strategy.
“It was an honor to do it. I am trained to speak with media and deal with high-level rank. I use my skills that I learned at Western,” he said, which also included voice, diction and controlled breathing. Cregan said theatre arts and public speaking courses were key to his ability to address large audiences.
He also credits WCSU extracurricular activities for preparing him for a successful career in military, corporate and government communications. Radio spot production and on-air experience at WCSU’s WXCI FM were a boon. He also gained written communication skills through writing, photography and production at the student university paper “The Echo.” He served as student president for Lamba Pi Eta, earned a spot on the National Communications Honor Society and worked at a student co-op at United Parcel Service Research & Development and Comcast Cable.
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