Spotlight


Megan Carroll

Yale  |  Public Health

Megan Carroll was first exposed to biostatistics as a high school student at the Yale Center for Analytics Sciences’ (YCAS) Young Scholars first summer program for high school students. Established in 2008, the two-week intensive program immerses high school students in R programming and public health research at the Yale School of Public Health. Last summer, the Hamden native helped lead the program while interning with YCAS.

Megan is a second-year student in the Master of Science program. She gravitates to R programming in her work and is particularly interested in applying her skills to infectious disease research and helping disadvantaged populations. For her thesis, she is working with Dr. Jaimie Meyer, Yale School of Nursing, to examine women in the Connecticut’s criminal justice system who are HIV-positive or at risk for HIV.

Read the original article here


Matthew Garneau '19

University of Hartford  |  Civil Engineering

For elementary school children living in villages outside of New Delhi, India, learning in dim light and sweltering classrooms has become a way of life. With limited access to water and electricity, teachers often choose between holding classes in the hot, humid outdoors or using kerosene lamps indoors with their inherent fire and air quality risks. A group of students in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, led by civil engineering major Matthew Garneau ’19, set out to improve this difficult learning environment by increasing the water and power supply in two local schools. Over the course of nearly two weeks, Matthew directed the team as it installed higher-powered water pumps and UPS' in two government primary schools in the villages of Rithoj and Raisena, located about an hour outside of New Delhi.

This was Matthew’s second trip to India during winter break, and his first leading the team as vice president of the University’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter. “I wanted to return to India in a leadership role because our efforts made such a dramatic difference to the quality of the children’s school days,” says Matthew of South Windsor, Connecticut., who, during his first trip in 2015, installed faster well pumps and Uninterruptable Power Systems (UPS) in primary schools.

Read the full story from University of Hartford here.


Doug Curtin '17

Trinity College  |  General Studies

For the past two years, Doug Curtin ’17 and other members of the swimming and diving team have led the Trinity College chapter of the Food Recovery Network, which delivers extra food from the Mather Dining Hall to a shelter in Hartford each week.

Curtin’s passion to initiate the Food Recovery movement at Trinity began when he started bringing food to a homeless man named Jake. Curtin was inspired by his friendship with Jake and wondered how to use his resources to feed larger numbers of people in the Hartford area. Curtin then set up a partnership with the McKinney Shelter, which is located near Hartford Hospital and serves up to 100 men daily and provides them a place to sleep.

Read the full article by Lorig Purutyan from Trinity College here 


Mariah Gormas '16

Albertus Magnus  |  Art Therapy - MA

Mariah Gormas, a proud student member of the AATA, will obtain her MA in Art Therapy in August of 2016 from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT. She appreciates the scholarship award opportunities that AATA provides for its student and New Professional members. Throughout her career as a graduate student Mariah has worked with numerous populations including homeless women, at-risk children and adolescents, individuals with eating disorders and LGBTQ adolescents. Mariah has experience leading anti-racism trainings, working with homeless mothers recovering from substance abuse in New York and New Jersey, and participating in traumainformed training in South Africa and Connecticut. Additionally, she is a regular LGBTQ panelist for the US Health Justice Course at Yale School of Medicine.

Read the full article here


Krystalyn Horvath

St. Vincent’s College  |  Radiology

Horvath recently penned an article for her school’s website describing her volunteer experience in her community. She is proud parent and radiology student at Saint Vincent.

“Operation Hope is a shelter located in the downtown area of Fairfield the main building where I worked offers a place to stay for homeless in the area in addition they also provide meals to the community and have a food pantry that offers food for those who need assistance. The building houses 16 beds for the males, 6 beds for females and 3 single rooms for families… My duties at the shelter were to prepare, set up and serve lunch. Food is donated to the shelter from all around the area. People from the community as well as local restaurants donate the food that is served.”

Read the rest of her piece at here


Rachel Prior

Goodwin College  |  Human Services

Meet Rachel Prior of Goodwin College - She is a residential Support Assistant at HARC and fifth semester student from Berlin, Connecticut. Rachel is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Human Services and plans on becoming a Psychologist. She began 2016 by seeking volunteer opportunities with organizations that aligned with her aspirations. Mental Health Connecticut (MHC), a statewide, nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve mental health for all Connecticut residents, was her first stop.

Prior approached MHC with a plan to raise awareness within her community of Berlin. After seeing a post on Facebook about a walk to benefit cancer awareness and research, she wondered if her town had a similar walk for mental health.

Prior outlined her plan for the awareness walk as part of her final assignment for her Community Organization and Advocacy course at Goodwin, taught by Assistant Professor of Human Services, Karen Carney. Prior says her positive outlook and belief that nothing is impossible comes from her brother Dave, who taught her that no dream is too big, and the continued encouragement from Carney and another professor at Goodwin, Betsy Delacruz.

“I have always been passionate about mental health.” said Prior, “My main goal is to help people and make a difference.”

Read the full article here


Allison Owsianko '17

University of Saint Joseph  |  Child Studies

Allison Owsianko is a Child Study major and Psychology minor at the University of Saint Joseph from Forrestville, Connecticut. She recently had a chance to complete in the Miss Connecticut Pageant and is also an advocate for improving her community.

Allison’s recent community service project is with the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance, an organization she began working with after her uncle passed away from cancer two years ago. After attending and volunteering at multiple events, she later held her own fundraiser and raised over $7,000 for the Alliance. This money helps families with their financial needs and goes towards continued research efforts. Due to the success of the event, Allison’s fundraiser will now occur annually and will award $1,000 to a Bristol student whose life has been affected by brain tumors.

Read the original full article about Allison here.


Colleen Young '20

Fairfield University  |  Communications

From a young age, Colleen Young knew that swimming is something that she loved to do. “I’ve always been very competitive; I’m a pretty competitive person. I’ve been swimming competitively since I was around 8 or 9-years-old.” Young’s passion has already taken her far in life, from taking her to college halfway across the country [as Young hails from St. Louis, Mo.], to competing in the most prestigious international sporting event in the world. Young went above and beyond in her star performance, earning a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Young looks to bring her experience to Fairfield University swimming now that she has returned home. She tries to stay loose, even though her history of success might cause pressure from high expectations. “I try not to take myself too seriously … I try not to put pressure on myself,” Young  said.

This past summer, Young had the opportunity to represent her country on the international stage at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It wasn’t her first time at the big show; Young had already competed four years ago at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. “There is no feeling to describe it,” said Young on how it felt to represent the United States in the Games

Read the full story from the Fairfield Mirror here.


Matthew Gines

University of Bridgeport  |  Nutrition

Since graduating from The University of Bridgeport,  I have been working as a nutritionist with my own practice at The Breath of Life Wellness center in New York and I also do nutrition ghost-writing for some of the most prominent names in the health and wellness industry. I’m currently working towards obtaining my CNS credential.

I have definitely been able to utilize the education I received at The University of Bridgeport in a significant way. I actually completed the graduate program in human nutrition online and I found it to be a very rewarding experience. The professors, who are active leaders in the field, were very knowledgeable, eager to share their expertise and were always available whenever I had any questions. When my peers and professionals in the health and wellness industry hear the name Bridgeport it immediately demands recognition and admiration and is revered as one of the best in producing some of the most highly-skilled and unique group of professionals in the field.

I am extremely proud and honored to say I am a graduate of the human nutrition program here at The University of Bridgeport. The expertise and knowledge I acquired from Bridgeport allowed me to go out into the world of health and nutrition well-equipped and confident to start my mission to help as many people as I possibly can.


Paola Peshkepija

Connecticut College  |  Biochemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology

Without financial aid I would have not been able to attend Connecticut College. My family and I are grateful for all the help we have received through financial aid which has allowed me to attend the college that I love.

There are many reasons why I chose to attend Connecticut College. I was interested in attending a small college where there is greater opportunity for one-to one contact and collaboration with the professors. At Connecticut College I found that and more. I have also had the amazing opportunity to conduct research with two professors at my school, Professor Zimmer and Professor Ching, in the chemistry department – experiences that I have thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from.

I plan on getting a Ph.D in Biochemistry and working as a research scientist. I want to stay in the New England area in the future.

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