Hometown: Danbury, Conn.
MAJOR: Secondary Education - Spanish
WCSU Degree: Master of Arts in Teaching: Secondary Education - Spanish
Internships: Student teacher at Ansonia High School in Derby
Honors and Awards: Dean’s List, 3.7 GPA, Spanish Honor Society
Steven Aguayo is one of those students who had such a positive experience obtaining his undergraduate degree at Western, that when it came time to consider graduate school, the choice of where to study was obvious. "I decided to come to Western because it not only has a great Bachelor of Arts program in Anthropology, but also because I like the professors here," he says. "I actually decided to go for my Master of Arts in Teaching because of my professors from the Spanish department: Dr. Luis Bonilla, Dr. Galina Bakhtiarova and Dr. Alba Skar. They are all inspiring figures who hold their students to high standards."
Aguayo decided to major in secondary education because "I want to inspire higher learning among our youth and I value education profoundly," he says. "Even during my enlistment years in the United States Marine Corps, I motivated marines to complete their MCIs (educational courses) in order to expand their knowledge and skills, and be more effective out in the field. Education, to me, is the cornerstone of an individual, and it is from this that I see the profession of a teacher as a vital part in a student's path toward developing character and intellect. I chose my major because I want to contribute to closing the achievement gap that plagues our educational institutions. In this aspect, I want to bring about a culture that cultivates harmony and values diversity; that levels out the observed, persistent disproportion between the educational performances of groups of students, exclusively defined by socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity and gender."
Choosing to teach Spanish, Aguayo says, "came from my passion in the language itself and in the science of linguistics. During my undergraduate studies, I dedicated one of my anthropological projects to the study of language acquisition and the role that language plays in a Hispanic community near my neighborhood."
Asked what he will remember most about his Western experience, Aguayo says, "My student-teaching experience was by far the most memorable experience at WCSU." He also mentions Assistant Professor of Education and Educational Psychology Dr. Bonnie Rabe, coordinator of the M.A.T. program, as a faculty member who served as a mentor.
After graduation, Aguayo says, "I plan to teach in Danbury and join community programs where I can take part in enriching the education of children and young adults."
Aguayo's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "The key ingredients to achieving goals are committing to, planning and evaluating core values. One can be committed toward achieving something; but without a well-developed plan to implement it, chances are that he or she will be shooting in the wind. And if core values are not well-defined, then commitment will eventually crumple. So, during your educational path, make sure that your goals align with your core values, commit to them and have a plan of execution."