DANBURY, Conn. -- Thousands of smiling faces filed into the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport on Sunday, May 22, to receive their diplomas from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
During the event, the college conferred undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees to the Class of 2016 with addresses by two fellow graduates at this year’s commencement exercises: Nicole Mair addressed the undergraduate class, while Dr. Monica Sousa was the keynote speaker for the graduate class.
Sousa, an assistant professor of nursing at WCSU, received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in Nursing at Sunday’s commencement. Mair received a bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Sousa has taught at WCSU for the past six years and worked in the healthcare industry for more than a decade. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Nursing from WCSU. She was the first candidate to defend her dissertation in the university’s first cohort of the doctoral program.
Mair, who graduated with her twin sister, Colleen Mair, played rugby while at Western and was a competitor with the WCSU Roger Sherman Debate Society. At WCSU, Mair excelled in academics while in the Kathwari Honors Program, volunteered enthusiastically and took advantage of many other opportunities.
She said that WCSU showed her “that hard work does pay off in the end.”
This is the first year in recent history that the graduating classes was addressed by a member of their own.
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