Hometown: Ridgefield, Conn.
Major: Computer Science
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Activities: Work part-time in IT support for IMAS, 3D modeling and animation work for Studio Movie Grill
Honors and Awards:Dean's List, Wohlever Award in Computer Science
After serving his country in the U.S. Navy, Todd Milano started working toward a degree at Norwalk Community College. After spending two years there, he transferred to WestConn. "WestConn is very convenient to where I live," he says. "Also, being able to afford an education is important to me. I knew that in order for me to attend full time as an adult, I would have to make a lot of sacrifices. Thanks to the Veterans Affairs office at WestConn, I was able to afford my education with the G.I. Bill. I am very thankful for that."
Milano says he has always been involved in IT work. "After the Navy, I worked at Charter Communication as their IT Support Specialist," he says. "That is something I know how to do well, but my passion is in creation rather than support. I knew I needed more training in computer programming languages in order to be able to write programs. My goal is either to software-engineer graphics programs, game programs or be a technical director.
While studying at WestConn, Milano found Professor of Computer Science Dr. William Joel to be a great mentor. "He inspired me to want to write graphics programs and to eventually join the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH. Dr. Joel always goes above and beyond his job description and brings so much into his lectures. I definitely learned a lot from him and am grateful to him as well."
Asked what he will remember most about his WestConn experience, Milano says, "I especially liked the special on-campus lecture from the staff at Blue Skies Studios. It redefined and re-enforced my career focus to work in the computer graphics field.”
After graduation, Milano would like to go to graduate school. "Masters for now, and Ph.D. if I can afford the time and money to do it. Of course, finding work is important -- but hopefully this time, I'll do something I really enjoy."
Milano’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “You don't have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life right away (that is in itself a HUGE commitment). For those who do know what their passion is -- that is a great gift! Do whatever you can to pursue it. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't. For those of you who don't know what you want to do, take the time to find out who you are first: job and life decisions will come to you and things will fall into place once you know and are happy with who you are.” To nontraditional students like himself, Milano says, "Don't be afraid to start over in the 'right' direction. You are never too old to pursue your dreams … and life is too short to just do the daily grind and then be miserable. Solidify who you are, find your vision, and then pursue your passion."