Success Stories

Recent graduate Charlotte Bishop embraces family legacy and earns experience and her WCSU degree

Charlotte Bishop with her parents, Jennifer Kelsey and Daniel Bishop

Charlotte Bishop with her parents, Jennifer Kelsey and Daniel Bishop

Charlotte Bishop comes from a long line of Western Connecticut State University graduates. In fact, her parents Daniel Bishop ’96 and Jennifer Kelsey ’94, her aunt and uncle Ted ’04 and Anne ’03 Kelsey, and her cousin Mason Kelsey ’24 all hold WestConn degrees. And despite their happy stories and praise for their alma mater, the Southbury resident felt she wanted to go “anywhere else” if for no other reason than to create her own path. But when she was a senior at Pomperaug High School in 2020, the pandemic began, and Bishop worried that she might spend a lot of money to go somewhere else, only to be sent home. So, she enrolled at WestConn, fully intending to transfer elsewhere when Covid went away.

To her surprise, Bishop soon saw for herself why so many members of her family had encouraged her to attend WestConn. “I fell in love with the small school aspect and all the ways you can be involved on campus,” she said. “I realized it’s okay to go to school close to home where all your family went.”

Originally enrolled as a Justice and Law Administration major, Bishop took a number of Communication classes as electives, and discovered that this was what excited her. She became a Communication major with a JLA minor and began to look for campus employment so she would have spending money to enjoy college. A friend who worked for WCSU’s Event and Conference Management (ECM) office, raved about her job and recommended Bishop to the department as a potential employee. After a successful interview, Bishop was hired.

“I loved working for ECM, and kept taking on more and more responsibility to work at events,” she said. “During my junior year, I saw at the Student Leadership Banquet that some of my senior coworkers received awards for their work with ECM, and I determined that I had my heart set on working hard to receive one. They noticed my level of responsibility, willingness to do whatever was needed to make an event successful and that I always had a smile on my face, and at the Leadership Banquet my senior year, I was honored to receive the Long Journey Award, which is given to a student employee who has dedicated three consecutive years to the department, symbolizing traits of reliability and student leadership. It is presented to individuals who consistently exceed expectations in their roles.”

Bishop said her favorite event to plan for and work at during her time with ECM was Homecoming. “I enjoyed meeting all the people and making sure they enjoyed their Homecoming experience,” she said. “At all of the events, I met interesting people — professors, guest speakers and other students. It was such a rewarding job because of the people I got to interact with. I also worked club events and athletic events, so I got a well-rounded aspect of everything going on around campus. My job not only provided me with valuable insights into the events industry, but has also fostered personal growth,” she added. “Starting as a student worker, progressing to Building Manager and culminating as the Events Manager for White Hall really taught me how to manage my time and I learned so much. I’m grateful for the opportunities and experiences the department offered me.”

Those experiences are already coming into play for Bishop. A relative told her about an event-planning internship at Haymarket Media US in Manhattan, and Bishop went through the grueling two-month interview process that included six interviews with multiple staff members in the search for a candidate that would be a good fit with the all-women team. “Haymarket focuses on advertising and medical advertising awards, shows and conferences,” Bishop said. “I’m only three weeks into the internship right now, but I’m already learning about doing large corporate events. My priority right now is to get real-world experience, and I hope to be hired full-time when the internship ends.”

In retrospect, Bishop is glad that circumstances led her to attend WestConn despite her initial reluctance. “I’m grateful I had family members in my corner telling me I would enjoy it. They were right: I felt so at home here. My whole family loves and appreciates WCSU.”



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.