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Graduates in the Spotlight : 2019 Graduates in the Spotlight

Gina Atanasoff

image of Gina AtanasoffHOMETOWN: Danbury, Connecticut

MAJOR: Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing, Public Relations and Political Writing

WCSU DEGREE: Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing

ACTIVITIES: Worked for the Jahana Hayes for U.S. Congress Fellowship Program and currently volunteer for the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, Connecticut Against Gun Violence and has been sworn in to the Danbury Democratic Town Committee. Also works part-time at Rosy Tomorrow’s as a server and part-time as a graduate assistant in the Writing Center on campus

INTERNSHIPS: Interned at Ives Concert Park as a Digital Marketing Associate and at the Office of University Relations as a Public Relations Intern

HONORS AND AWARDS: Stein Intern Scholarship Award and was awarded a fellowship with the Jahana Hayes for U.S. Congress Fellowship Program

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Danbury resident Gina Atanasoff attended the University of Rhode Island for four years and received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Writing and Rhetoric. When it came time to pursue a Master’s degree, Atanasoff stayed closer to home. “I chose to come to WCSU because the Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing program is affordable, online and low-residency. It allows me to work two to three jobs at once, volunteer and still pursue a higher education at the same time.”

Atanasoff says, “I decided to pursue this MFA degree because I want to incorporate my bachelor’s degrees and a public relations writing degree. Ideally, a career that involves some intersection between communications, writing, public relations, journalism or politics is what I’d prefer.”

The MFA in Creative and Professional Writing program incorporates the use of established writers as mentors. Atanasoff’s internship in the WCSU Office of University Relations also provided another perspective. “Erik Ofgang, Anthony D’Aries and Sherri Hill are tremendous mentors who have helped me along the way,” Atanasoff says. “They have given me so many opportunities, tested my writing, challenged my thinking and pushed me to become a stronger writer. They have been extremely supportive during this journey.”

Asked what she will remember most about her WCSU experience, Atanasoff says, “A memorable experience  involves working on Jahana Hayes’ campaign; an MFA mentor sent me the fellowship opportunity, put in a good word and helped lead me to one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

After graduation, Atanasoff says, “My plan for the future is to secure a career working in politics. While I have learned to write effectively and communicate with the public from my schooling, I want to exercise those skills in a venue I care most about.” She’s starting June 1 as a field organizer for Elizabeth Warren for President 2020.

Her advice to new students entering WCSU is: “I would suggest getting as many internships as possible. Students learn so many new skills, can network with the community and build a strong resume with more internship or fellowship experiences.”