WCSU professors go above and beyond
Study rates schools with caring, inspiring professors: Western graduates say their professors made the biggest contribution to their college experience

DANBURY, CONN. — Beyond the lessons and the exams, there is something equally valuable in a college education. According to Gallup poll results recently released, college graduates said that having professors who cared about students and shared a passion for learning had a big impact on their undergraduate experiences.

And students at Western Connecticut State University agree.

Recent graduate Samantha Taddonio of Ridgefield said she met many faculty members who made her Western experience memorable and that they “challenged, guided and befriended” her.

“My Justice and Law Administration adviser, Dr. Michael Foley, helped me through my JLA major, while my computer science adviser, Professor Gancho Ganchev, has helped guide me through my burgeoning computer science career," Taddonio said. "My experience as a whole has been a long, enlightening and ultimately enjoyable journey.”

William Trotta of Danbury, is pursuing a degree in media production. While media has always been a passion, he credits Associate Professor of Communication Dr. JC Barone with refining his goals and interests.

“Dr. Barone has been an outstanding professor to work with in every sense of the word – innovative, determined, creative, knowledgeable, reliable, exceptional and effective and he’s a dedicated faculty member ready for any task sent his way,” Trotta said. “He is always ready to assist students, faculty and members of the community, and no job is too small or too challenging for him to take on and make the most of the opportunity.”

The results for the Gallup-Purdue Index are based on online surveys conducted in February 2014 with a random sample of nearly 30,000 respondents with at least a bachelor's degree.

Steven Aguayo of Danbury earned a bachelor’s degree from Western and had such a positive experience at the university that he returned to earn a master’s degree. In May, he was awarded a Master of Arts in Teaching: secondary education. He said it was not only the outstanding program, but also the faculty that drew him back to WCSU.

“I actually decided to go for my Master of Arts in Teaching because of my professors in 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.”

Brookfield resident and a recent graduate majoring in political science, Dena Virzera said that Professor of Political Science Dr. Averell Manes served as a mentor and a role model.

“Dr. Manes has given me guidance regarding my undergraduate career and future plans after college,” she said.




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.

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