Hometown: Sandy Hook, Connecticut
Major: Professional Writing, Journalism and Freelance
MINORS: Psychology, Communication
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing
Internships: Internship at the Newtown Bee, fall 2013
Activities: Editor-in-Chief of WCSU’s literary publication, Black & White: Journal of the Arts (fall 2014-spring 2015);
editor-in-chief of WCSU’s student-run newspaper, the Echo (summer 2013-December 2013); member and certified DJ at WCSU’s radio station, WXCI 91.7 FM, with own hour radio show (member 2014-present);
tutor in WCSU’s Writing Center (spring 2015); part-time jobs off-campus,
Honors and Awards: Dean’s List every semester; John Tamas Memorial Scholarship, spring 2015; Neil Wagner Scholarship by the WCSU Alumni Association, fall 2014-spring 2015; Raymond F. Gates Memorial Scholarship for Scholastic Achievement, fall 2011;
Student Leadership Recognition Award for Outstanding Leadership for the Echo, 2013 Student Leadership Banquet; Writing Department Award for Service to the University; National Engaged Leader Award from the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success; Outstanding Leadership Award for Black & White, 2015; High Distinction Award for Writing Portfolio, spring 2015
Alissa Silber decided to come to WCSU because of its close proximity to her home and its affordable tuition. "What made me decide to stay all four years was the amazing faculty in the Writing Department. When I experienced their incredible level of kindness and skills, I was reaffirmed that this was the right university for me to get my undergraduate education."
Silber says she majored in Professional Writing because "from a young age I found writing filled me with purpose. Writing is my passion and I cannot imagine pursuing another career."
While at Western, Silber says she was fortunate enough to have two members of the university community become her mentors. "Assistant Professors of Writing, Linguistics & Creative Process Dr. Casey Rudkin and Dr. Patrick Ryan, who is chairman of the Writing Department, have been instrumental in my academic successes here at WCSU," she says. "I am so incredibly grateful for their positive encouragement and support."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Silber says, "When I was tutoring in the Writing Center, many times students came to the sessions already feeling defeated and that they were not good writers. I made it my job to help students realize that writing is a process. I used my time with them to not just edit their paper, but to also give them tools to help them improve as writers. For example, one student in particular has had four sessions with me so far; each time I work with him I notice improvement with his writing and ability to communicate with me. To know that a student feels comfortable working with me and is confident in my skills is very rewarding. I have even had a number of students shake my hand and thank me, saying that they feel so much better about their work than when they came in. These successes make me think about all the people who have helped me grow as a writer, and how I can now use what I know to bring out the best work in others."
After graduation, Silber plans to write for magazines and newspapers. "Also, I plan to write children’s books and young adult novels."
Silber’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Live each day with purpose! Talk to professors, join clubs, make friends, fall in love, challenge yourself – be present every day.”