Hometown: Brookfield, Conn.
Major: English, American/Comparative literature
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in English
Activities: Past president and member English Honors Society, co-chair of English Society, co-president of local chapter of National Society of Collegiate Scholars, SGA senator and chair of fundraising committee, managing editor of Beyond the Margins, treasurer and co-founder of the WCSU Golf Club, Land Use secretary for the Town of Brookfield, administrative assistant and teaching recruiter for Black Hawk literary agency in Redding
Honors and Awards: Elizabeth Tulloch James Memorial Scholarship for merit and service, English Department, Sodexo Scholarship, Student leadership awards from English Society and NSCS, 3.98 GPA, Deans List every semester
When Emily Cole first came to Western, she had set her sights on becoming an elementary school teacher with a focus on writing. Then she met Dr. Margaret Murray from the English department and realized that she wanted to learn more about English and American studies.
“I got into my classes with Dr. Murray and I learned so much from her,” Cole says. “She’s a strong teacher. She’s your friend, but she keeps that balance between that and being a professor.”
Although Cole thought about going elsewhere and received scholarships to several other schools, her priority was to stay close to home and “Western has a great reputation for teaching,” she said.
Cole says one of the things that impresses her most about Western is the dedicated faculty. In addition to Murray’s guidance, Cole says Dr. Don Gagnon has been an invaluable mentor. “He’s taught me a lot about professionalism, especially in the English department. I’ve learned to be professional not just in class but with my peers. I feel that I’ve learned enough that I’m ready to go straight into a career.”
Cole’s most memorable experience at Western was meeting the love of her life. She and fellow senior Ryan Prescott met more than two years ago in an early education course and fell in love. The couple are engaged to be married next year.
After graduation, Cole plans to attend graduate school. Her goal is to teach literature at the college level.
Cole’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Get involved on campus because you’ll have a lot more fun in class if you feel like you’re making a difference outside of it. Pay attention and be a part of the class. You will feel more worthy and like you are contributing to yourself and others. That’s how you learn to grow. You have to find opportunities and being involved is a way to find them.”