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2014 WCSU graduate inspires from abroad

DANBURY, CONN. — As an international relations graduate student across the globe, Phillip Milani-Wyness will soon be sharing his knowledge with students sitting in the very same classroom at Western Connecticut State University where he was inspired to study international politics.

This August, Milani-Wyness traveled to the Czech Republic where he is studying for a master’s degree in international relations at the Anglo-American University in Prague.

Now that he has gained experience both in the classroom and abroad, Milani-Wyness has a lot to offer current students at Western. When he is Skyped in as a guest lecturer in Professor of Political Science Dr. Chris Kukk’s international relations courses this fall, Milani-Wyness said he will encourage students to have an open mind.

“It’s important to allow yourself to learn from other cultures while also understanding your own,” he said. “You can learn from many different people from all over the world. There are many ideas out there.”

During his sophomore year at Western, Milani-Wyness took his first trip to Europe to participate in the International Student Exchange Program. Milani-Wyness selected Brno in the Czech Republic where he attended Masaryk University. He returned the following year to Prague for a summer internship.

Western is one of only two universities in Connecticut to participate in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), which enables students at U.S. institutions to study abroad at the same per-semester cost as they would pay at home. Southern Connecticut State University is the only other ISEP-affiliated university in the state. Students who participate can choose to study in any of 24 European countries, nine Asian or Latin American countries, several Canadian or United Kingdom provinces or territories, or in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and as far away as Australia, New Zealand or Fiji.

Milani-Wyness knew about the caliber of program at Western and said his expectations were high, but he didn’t realize that most of the faculty had international exposure and experience.

“I wasn’t expecting an international influence,” he said. “The professors here at WCSU have international experience. Dr. Kukk has been all over.”

In his political science courses at Western, Milani-Wyness said he learned to explore a variety of topics and was encouraged to examine and express his ideas. What was unique about his courses at Western was that they allowed for discussion and debate, which Milani-Wyness said made him look more closely at issues and allowed him to develop a strong interest in politically imbued subjects.

Milani-Wyness said a master’s degree in international relations will give him the edge he needs to pursue a career with an international political organization, such as the United Nations or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He also dreams of one day working with UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), an agency of the U.N. that promotes education, communication and the arts. He is interested in protecting cultural landmarks and promoting cultural education.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.