Hometown: New Fairfield, Connecticut
Major: Secondary Education, Spanish
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Spanish
Activities: Secretary of the E-board of the coed a cappella group, Play it by Ear (2013-15); participated in Western’s Summer Study Abroad to Spain (Summer 2015); sang in Western’s Concert Choir; volunteered at the New Fairfield/Sherman Animal Welfare Society and participated in Relay for Life's WCSU and New Fairfield events; Autism Speaks Walk in Jones Beach, New York, and Special Olympics in Danbury; WCSU Day of Service with the Alternative School of Danbury; volunteered at the Greater Danbury Multicultural Center (Fall 2015); Spanish Tutor (2014-17); Haas Library Student Assistant (2016-17); Financial Aid Student Representative (2016-17); EAP Pre-Collegiate Spanish, Writing and Psychology Tutor (2016); Sodexo Student Intern (2014-16)
INTERNSHIPS: Student teaching experience at New Fairfield High School (Spring 2017), Professional Development Semester Experience at Bethel Public Secondary Schools and New Fairfield High School (Fall 2016)
Honors and Awards: Outstanding 2017 WCSU graduate, recipient of the School of Professional Studies Certificate of Honor, Sigma Delta Pi Hispanic Honors Society, recipient of WCSU Outstanding Community Service Award, Dean’s List, 3.67 GPA
Bridget Carroll says she decided to come to Western Connecticut State University "when I saw how many opportunities were available for students to study, travel and connect with others while staying close to home at an affordable price." She started at Western in the fall of 2012 as an undeclared major and later switched during her sophomore year to the Secondary Education program. "Learning another language is both challenging and incredibly rewarding," she says. "I decided to double major in Secondary Education and Spanish because it allowed me to continue to challenge myself with my studies and broaden my horizons. By studying education along with another language, I not only learned how to communicate with those from different cultures, but also how to educate others about those cultures and the wonders of this multicultural and multilingual world."
While at Western, Carroll says, "I have been extremely fortunate to have met some of the most compassionate and most intelligent professors. Dr. Stacey Alba Hawkins and Dr. Galina Bakhtiarova are two wonderful examples of mentors who have advised and supported me in my Spanish studies and my travelling endeavors."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Carroll says, "I have had many memorable experiences because of the friends I have made while here at Western. People always say to try new and different things while in college. While it may be easier to merely go to and from class, opening yourself up to all that college has to offer allows you to get out of your comfort zone. During the last five years here at Western, I have been able to meet people of all different backgrounds and experiences from all over the world only 15 minutes from my hometown. Being able to access such a fountain of knowledge, wisdom and opportunity so close to home has allowed me to learn so much and grow into the person I am today."
After graduation, Carroll plans to travel to Peru for three weeks to continue her studies and travels in the Spanish-speaking world. "Upon my return, I plan to pursue a career as a Secondary Education Spanish teacher in the New York/Connecticut area and get my master's in English as a Second Language."
Carroll's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Let yourself be okay with not knowing everything. Let yourself make mistakes. Do not fear failure. Keep pushing forward, for one day you will look around and see how,
despite obstacles in every facet of life, you have made it. Regardless of where you have been and where you are going, know everything happens for a reason."