Hometown: Norwalk, Conn.
Major: Political Science
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Internships: Will intern in Fall 2008 for conflict resolution project in campus residence halls.
Activities: Humanitarian Travel Club secretary, 2007-08; Habitat for Humanity participant; volunteer and intern at Wildlife in Crisis Inc., 2007
Honors and Awards: Dean's List, 2007; 3.76 GPA
Adam Schwarz is from a small German village called Muennerstadt. "It's in the north of the state of Bavaria, about 90 minutes east of Frankfurt. Middle of nowhere if I'm honest," he says.
After finishing his secondary education in Germany, Schwarz worked as an apprentice.
"During lunch break I started reading German political magazines, like Der Spiegel. I got intrigued by all the things that happened not only in my country but also on an international level, like the Sudan crisis starting, developments in the Balkans, etc. Once my sister offered me the opportunity to come to the United States and start college, I knew that I wanted to take up political science, and especially international or human rights issues, as a focal point."
Schwarz studied for two years at Norwalk Community College before transferring. He was not entering uncharted waters by coming to WestConn. "My sister went here a few years before me, and she had only good things to say about WestConn, especially about the social science faculty," he says. "Another big part, of course, was the cost of studying. As an international student I'm charged out-of-state tuition, which is about three times as high as that of in-state students; therefore state universities like WestConn were the only viable solution for a four-year college."
Schwarz has a great deal of praise for Professor of Political Science Dr. R. Averell Manes, whom he describes as his unofficial mentor. "She has certainly become a central figure in my education," Schwarz says. "Besides teaching wonderful, exciting and insightful courses, she always has time to listen to problems, give advice about what grad schools to go for, how to improve an essay, or simply to stop by and discuss current events. She has a great repertoire of knowledge and wisdom that she gladly shares, and cares immensely about her students. She's also a great, great academic adviser."
Asked what he will remember most about his WestConn experience, Schwarz, who will graduate in December 2008, says, “I still have some time to go here, though generally I'd say meeting a fascinating array of people from different backgrounds and cultures, be it in the darkroom in the arts department, the social science classrooms, or Warner Hall. Specifically though I'd have to say I had one class with Dr.Averell Manes that really opened my eyes quite a lot more. The class, Global Conflict Resolution, really changed my perception about what power is and how it works on a personal as well as on a theoretical level. No matter the major, this is one of the classes anybody that needs some credits should take.”
After graduation, Schwarz’s plan is to "head back to Europe after I graduate here. I hope I'll find some time to travel around there for a while, but eventually I'll start graduate school somewhere in Europe."
Schwarz’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Find an advisor that truly cares about you, what you want to do and where you want to go, and who also knows her/his way around school. Also, make teachers take (positive) note of youself in class; it helps wonders when needing some leniency, help or letters of recommendation later in the term."