Hometown: Brookfield, Conn.
MajorS: Political Science and Justice and Law (Legal Studies)
Minor: Conflict Resolution
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Internships: Internship at Connecticut Institute for Communities, shadowing experience at Danbury Courthouse, New England Global Issues six-week long internship opportunity in Uganda, West Africa
Activities: Hancock Student Leadership Program, Love 146 Club, former student worker in WCSU Admissions Office, WCSU Christian Ministries
Honors and Awards: Dean’s List, Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences and Ancell School of Business (Fall 2011-present), Merit Scholarship (Fall 2011-present), Western Connecticut State Honors Program Member (Fall 2011-present), Gino Arconti Scholarship (Fall 2013), W. Jason & Ellen M. Hancock Endowed Scholarship (Fall 2013)
Brookfield resident Dena Virzera decided to study at Western because it was close to home and affordable. With a dual major in political science and justice and law, a minor in conflict resolution, several internships, participation in a highly respected leadership program, student clubs and a part-time job, she still was able to graduate in three-and-a-half years.
The next step for Virzera is to start focusing on her future. "I want to use my degree to eventually practice law, as I have an extreme interest in the legal system and being an advocate for human rights."
Virzera says that Professor of Political Science Dr. Averell Manes has served as a mentor and role model. "Dr. Manes has given me guidance regarding my undergraduate career and future plans after college," she says.
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Virzera says participating in the Hancock Student Leadership program is something she will never forget. "The HSLP allowed me to learn about the legal system in an atmosphere other then the classroom," she says. "I was also able to better understand the field that I want to pursue after I graduate."
After graduation, Virzera says her plans are not quite 'set in stone.' "I want to pursue a master's degree. My long-term plan is to work at a nonprofit that deals with human rights issues."
Virzera's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Seek out guidance: professors and advisers are willing to help if you ask."