DANBURY, CONN. — The honors program at Western Connecticut State University has welcomed 16 full-tuition merit scholars this fall, the Danbury-based university announced in a press release.
The following incoming students are receiving merit scholarships: Killian Bradbury of Bethel, Clare Burke of Litchfield, Emma Casagrande of Wolcott, Margaret Cleary of New Fairfield, Brennan Diaz of Oxford, Sean Geary of Danbury, Nicole Justiniano of New Fairfield, Madiha Kahn of Danbury, Sean Kinkade of Brookfield, Thea Martin of New Fairfield, Rosemary Minkler of Waterbury, Shiny Patel of Danbury, Gabriel De Castro Catao Soares of New Milford, Karissa Smith of Bristol, Crystal Westrate of Groton and Cady Cordes from Nevada.
Two students were awarded half scholarships: Kristy Trotta of Danbury and Meaghan Gustafson of Newington.
The merit scholarship covers tuition at the university for four renewable years. In order to qualify, students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA and have a combined score of 1200 for the math and reading sections of the SAT.
Dr. Chris Kukk, a political science professor who heads the honors program, said the program’s incoming freshmen far exceeded the minimum requirements.
“I think the lowest GPA is 3.75 this year,” Kukk said. “And there are two valedictorians.”
Danbury High School graduate Shiny Patel is excited about being a part of the WCSU honors program. Looking forward to a future in international relations, the 17-year-old student plans to major in political science. Since attending an honors program seminar in June, Patel said she is already excited about the challenges that lie ahead.
“The thing I learned most (in June) is that the students in the honors program have the same mission to succeed,” she said. “Students who are in the honors program are really determined, and I'm going to like being surrounded by that.”