Angela Rossi Zurowski Andersen-International Institute of Connecticut (ARZA-IICONN)
Internship Program
Department of Social Sciences
Western Connecticut State University (WCSU)


Program Description and Objectives:

Affirming Angela's Passion fundraising event on Saturday, November 5

This initiative is designed to honor and commemorate the life and legacy of Ms. Angela Rossi Zurowski Andersen, and her devotion to the cause of helping new immigrants, by providing a Social Sciences student with a paid internship at the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN) in Bridgeport, where she worked as the Executive Director. 

Angela was born in Waterbury on December 12, 1978, daughter of Regina “Gina” (Rossi) Priest of Cheshire and Anthony J. Zurowski Jr. of Cheshire. She graduated from Cheshire High School Class of 1996. She completed her undergraduate work at Western Connecticut State University and her Masters of Science at Southern Connecticut State University, earning both degrees in the field of political science. She was the Executive Director at International Institute of Connecticut for several years and sat on the board of the Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust, devoting her life to the non-profit sector. On October 13, 2013 Angela married her sweetheart Evan W. Andersen, in Mystic Connecticut. Angela balanced her passion for helping people with her ability to enjoy every moment of her life while keeping her unique sense of humor.

The International Institute of Connecticut, founded in 1918, provides immigration services to over 3,000 individuals in the state each year. IICONN is a non-profit, non-sectarian agency dedicated to helping foreign-born persons achieve self-sufficiency. Their services include refugee resettlement, basic needs, English classes, job training and placement, counseling, translation/interpretation services and legal assistance. IICONN advocates for fair and equitable treatment of immigrants, refugees and others, and works to increase public awareness of the contributions of foreign-born persons to American culture and values.

In Angela’s memory, several private donors and the WCSU Alumni Association have contributed the means to create a paid internship position with IICONN each year, hereafter referred to as the ARZA-IICONN Internship Program. The program offers student interns the opportunity to learn about and contribute to the mission of IICONN, and offers IICONN the chance to work with and learn from a Social Sciences student intern each year.

The ARZA-IICONN Internship Program meets the mission and objectives of the University by providing

  • Strong skills in communication, problem solving and critical thinking
  • Opportunities for experiential, cooperative and field experiences
  • A strong sense of commitment to public service

The ARZA-IICONN Internship Program offers interns the opportunity to achieve the following Student Learning Objectives:

  • To learn about a state-wide non-profit human services agency
  • To learn about the need to provide new immigrants and refugees in Connecticut with services to help them become self-sufficient, integrated and contributing members of society
  • To gain insight  into diversity, intercultural exchange and community building
  • To understand one’s own philosophy and role in providing public service
  • To develop skills and strategies to manage common human services challenges such as motivating people, working with people’s strengths and weaknesses, managing interpersonal communication, demonstrating empathy, boosting morale, and managing difficult situations, conflict and change effectively
  • To understand and manage one’s own strengths and weaknesses
  • To learn about fiscal responsibility, transparency, accountability and being able to manage budgets and resources effectively
  • To act as an ethical service provider, to have integrity, and to live in alignment with one’s values
  • To be able to balance one’s personal and professional responsibilities

ARZA-IICONN Internship Program Logistics and Timeline:

  • Internship Timing and Location:   
    • One intern will be selected each academic year, and placed either during the fall or spring semester of each academic year, beginning with the Fall semester of 2018.
    • Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
    • Interns will be placed at the International Institute of Connecticut, 670 Clinton Avenue, Bridgeport, CT, 06605
  • Application Process:
    1. Eligibility: WCSU full-time undergraduates, majoring in Social Sciences, with a minimum of 45 credits, are eligible to apply for the ARZA-IICONN Internship Program. Please note that applicants must be able to provide their own transportation to the site of the internship, in Bridgeport, CT. Students may apply independently or any member of the Department of Social Sciences (Full or part-time faculty, students or staff) or the Dean of the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences may encourage students to apply for the program.
    2. Application forms are available from the Department of Social Sciences Office, 224 Warner Hall, through the Social Sciences Department website ( or by emailing the Program Advisor, currently Dr. R. Averell Manes, at The completed application includes several brief essays, a current résumé, unofficial transcripts, two letters of recommendation and a Statement of Academic Integrity (See Application Form for detailed requirements).  Application materials will be submitted in hard copy to the secretary of the Department of Social Sciences, 224 Warner Hall during normal business hours or after hours to the drop box outside the office. The application deadline will be the third Friday in March of each academic year. For the first year of the program the application deadline Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 4:00 p.m., 224 Warner Hall, in hard copy.
    3. An ARZA-IICONN Internship Selection Committee shall be comprised of at least one member of the Department of Social Sciences (who shall also serve as the Program Advisor), one member of the WCSU Office of Institutional Advancement, Ms. Regina “Gina” (Rossi) Priest (Angela’s mother), Mr. Evan W. Andersen (Angela’s widow) and Anthony J. Zurowski III (Angela’s brother). Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within four weeks of the application deadline. Students will be provided with orientation materials after their acceptance into the program.
  • Program Awards:
    1. Students accepted into the program will receive up to a $1,500.00 Award, (based on the current availability of funds), to be disbursed to the student’s WCSU account during week eight of the semester in which the internship takes place. The award may be used for any educational and travel expenses, and will be provided to the student in the form of a disbursal check if the student’s WCSU account is paid-in-full at the times of disbursal.
    2. Students accepted into the program will receive three academic credits for their internship, supervised by the President (and his/her designees) of the IICONN and the ARZA-IICONN Internship Program Advisor or by a full-time faculty member/advisor in their area of study.
  • Program Requirements:
    1. Internship placements will require eight hours per week for fifteen weeks, beginning during the second week of the semester and ending during the last week of the semester, for a total of approximately 120 hours, on site, at IICONN. Preferably the student will intern at IICONN on Fridays, or whatever other days may be negotiated depending on the needs of the placement site and the student’s schedule commitments.

      Student interns will be assigned a faculty advisor.  The student’s faculty advisor will complete and submit a Student Independent Study form, with a standardized proposal, to the department chair and school dean in order for the student to receive three academic credits. Students may receive ANT, ECO, PS, SOC or SS 297 credit.  Also, the faculty advisor will provide appropriate support and guidance to the student interns.

    2. The faculty advisor will facilitate the internship placement by managing the Student Independent Study process, and by providing interns with support and with required readings from relevant books and articles to place their internship activities in context. The faculty advisor will lead the intern in discussions about their readings and internship placement at IICONN, during three mandatory Reflection Sessions, scheduled at regular intervals during the semester. 
    3. Interns will be required to write a Final Reflection Paper (See Final Reflection Paper guidelines, provided with the orientation materials) at the end of their placement. This essay will be submitted to their faculty advisor by Monday at noon of final exam week.
    4. Interns will complete a Student Evaluation of ARZA-IICONN Internship form, provided in their orientation packet. The Student Evaluation form should be submitted with the Final Reflection Paper.
  • Program Benefits:
    • Financial awards
    • Experiential/Service-Learning/Internship opportunity with three academic credits
    • Résumé enhancement for future employment or graduate education
    • Improved public service, communication and other “real world” skills
    • Potential letters of recommendation from IICONN personnel and faculty advisor
    • Networking opportunities and connections
    • Contributing to the community
    • Enhanced confidence and competence
  • Program Sponsors:  
    • International Institute of Connecticut
    • Alumni Association at WCSU
    • Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences at WCSU
    • Department of Social Sciences at WCSU
    • Office of Institutional Advancement at WCSU
  • Initial Program Advisors and Contacts:

    Claudia Connor, JD
    President and CEO,
    International Institute of Connecticut
    (203)336-0141, ext. 150

  • R. Averell Manes, PhD
    Associate Chair/Professor of Political Science,
    Department of Social Sciences, WCSU
    (315) 869-0869


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