Philosophy and Humanistic Studies Department

Students (the most important and interesting people in this department)

Nancy Xu

Interdisciplinary Studies Major with concentrations in Biology and Psychology

Nancy grew up in Canada and moved to Connecticut around middle school. She graduated from Pomperaug High School, went to SUNY Albany for 1 year and then got her Associates degree from NVCC. While going to school, Nancy worked as an EMT and gained some invaluable experiences in the field of emergency medicine. After her Associates, she went to WCSU until she received a full-time job as a 911 dispatcher. There she worked for 3 1/2 years and loved it! In this time she learned so much about herself and the job, not to mention she thrived on the excitement of the job! During this time, she also married her wonderful husband Billy and welcomed their awesome son Cooper. In Fall 2017 she decided it was time to return to school and chase her passion of medicine, specifically obstetrics. She is a senior and after graduating in May, hopes to continue on to a graduate program. In her free time, she loves to hike and backpack with Billy and Cooper. Snowboard/skiing is a frequent winter favorite, gardening and tending to their chickens is a spring favorite. She thoroughly enjoys good food, nature and her friends and family. 

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein


Kelvin Castillo

Interdisciplinary Studies Major with concentrations in Business Administration and Psychology

Kelvin was born in Dominican Republic and moved to Puerto Rico when he was two years old. He came from a military family and knew he wanted to take the same path as his family by joining the US Navy in 2008. His first duty station was the USS Providence 719, where he traveled around the world twice, visiting countries like Dubai, Japan, Italy, Israel, Diego Garcia and the North Pole. His job in the military was Logistics Specialist, and that’s where he knew that business was his passion. Also his curiosity to know more about what people think and their desires made him pursue a career in Psychology as well. Kelvin is currently in his senior year of college.

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm” – Publilius Syrus

Camille Alanano

Interdisciplinary Studies Major with concentrations in Biology and Community Health

Camille was born in the Philippines and came to America when she was 5 years old. She grew up knowing that she wanted to help people in any way possible. This can include making someone food, assisting them with homework, teaching them how important to clean their hands and even guiding someone in life. She went to Greenwich High School, where she realized she wanted to be in the health field. She is concentrating in Biology and Community Health preparing for graduate school. She loves to learn new aspects on how to help others in any way and to learn more knowledge of the human body. She is part of the Biology and Herpetology Club here at WCSU. She loves to work out, eat healthy, travel the world and enjoy life.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller


Sarah Wright

Contract Major in Moral Philosophy

Sarah grew up in Huntington, CT her entire life. After an attempt to persuade a career in Manufacturing Technology, she soon found out the smell of oil was revolting. After some thought, she attempted to peruse a career in the Cosmetology Field, but she noticed the hairdressing lifestyle wasn’t for her. After much debate with herself, she finally decided to go to college, after taking Intro to Philosophy, she has found her calling! Also, she some how attained the position of Vice President of the Philosophy Club at WCSU. Sarah mainly enjoys but is not limited to reading Plato’s Socrates, because he plays a game of hide and seek with his words, and she finds it quite amusing. Her major focuses on applied ethics, insofar, titled her major as Moral Philosophy. Sarah views life as an illusion. The words we speak have no meaning, our identities mean nothing and they most certainly do not define who we are. Essentially we are all basic forms in and of the universe itself. Sarah hopes to focus on either Plato’s Ethics and Epistemology or Existentialism from Sartre’s viewpoints in Graduate School and eventually study Philosophy at a Doctorate Level.

“A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion” Alan Watts

P.S. Look out for the yellow void!



Emily Chauvin

Contract Major in Aesthetic Theory and Practice

I attend WCSU for Creative Writing and Aesthetics Theory & Practice, which I firmly believe somehow adds up to a future as a sculptor, poet, punk star, and/or mountain woman. My favorite materials are broken broken mirrors and riddles, intending to both reflect and confuse the real world with false histories and alternate paradises. I bring all that and more to my role as Social Media Guru in the Philosophy Club, Vice President of the Black & White Journal for the Arts, and Publicity Chair for The Echo Newspaper.Be it scribbling, tree-hugging, hot-gluing, singing, dancing, or volunteering, I just can’t stop moving to the groove of one billion beautiful people.





Amanda Vitti

Contract Major in Philosophy

You may be asking yourself, why is that girl holding a fish? Did she wrangle that fish? Did she find it? Did it put up a good fight? Where is she? I will tell you that none of that matters, what matters is that the girl in that picture graduated from Newtown High School and continued her education as a philosophy major here at WCSU, and is the president of the Philosophy Club. By following her passion for asking questions and learning, Amanda found herself in the philosophy department, a place that has become a home away from home. If there is anything that Amanda achieves in this lifetime (besides picking up large, washed up, yellow fin tuna) she hopes that it’s to show people that philosophy is far more accessible and more useful than people seem to believe it to be.



Ryan Zink

Contract Major in Philosophy

I am an explorer, reader and limit pusher. Spend most of my time hunting for new and exciting things. Whether it’s philosophy, skateboarding or traveling, I’m always having fun. Grateful to have such amazing professors here at Western. My main ambition is more philosophy/logic in grad school. Cheers to the good life! -RZ







Kendyl Harmeling

History Major and Philosophy Minor

I grew up in Newtown Connecticut; I attended Newtown High School, Newtown Middle School, Reed Intermediate School (Newtown Intermediate School) and Middle Gate Elementary (a deviation from the norm of Newtown —– School). I’m a history major and a philosophy minor, hence my addition to this page, of course. I wasn’t originally going to attend Western Connecticut to earn my Bachelors, but life takes the course it’s going to. After an adjustment period, I settled in here. My department is full of faculty who I wouldn’t dream of missing the opportunity to learn from; the philosophy department as well. Having taken Dr. Dalton’s introduction class and two seminars with himself and President Clark, I was guided to find a passion for philosophy, a love of wisdom, I hadn’t known was inside me. Someday I’d like to be a professor like the wonderful people I interact with here, but life takes the course it’s going to. Maybe I’ll be a lawyer, or a secondary education teacher, or maybe I’ll buy a fishing boat. In any case, Western will have prepared me for the future in ways for which I’ll be eternally grateful. Søren Kierkegaard was a suffering soul whose words often strike as ironic as they do somber, but in the regard of looking toward the future he perfectly says what’s on the mind of all college students, if I’m so bold to say it. He endeavored “to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die.” Isn’t that why we’re all here?


Chris Michaels

Chris Michaels

Interdisciplinary Studies Major with concentrations in Philosophy and Psychology

Chris grew up in Wilton, CT and the Wilton Public Schools. After pursuing his hobby of photography for a year at the Cleveland Art Institute, he decided move back to Connecticut and study psychology at WCSU in the summer of 2014. Always having an interest in reality, consciousness, and human thought, he was exposed to the philosophy department in his very first class; philosophy in film. Since then, he has expanded from the traditional psychology major to the Interdisciplinary Studies major to include both philosophy and psychology. He seeks to find a useful common ground of these two disciplines and the day to day existence of human thought. This effort is coupled by his fascination with science, technology, and space, as well as the humanistic passions of comedy, film, and television.

“Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.” – George Carlin