Academic Impact

Western Connecticut State University is proud to participate in Academic Impact, a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in actively supporting 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, literacy, sustainability and conflict resolution. The program asks each participating college or university to actively demonstrate support of at least one of those principles each year.

The critical role of higher education in economic and social development and as a foundation for world peace is widely acknowledged. Only lacking is the resolve and action of academic leaders around the world. By formally endorsing the 10 principles in the Academic Impact, institutions make a commitment to use education as an engine for addressing global problems.
Here are some of the programs that qualify WCSU for membership in this prestigious program:

  • Friar Michael Lasky, who runs a WCSU campus ministry, travels with students to the United Nations “Eradication of Poverty” conference, where they hear Elie Wiesel urge them to “think higher and feel deeper.” [read more]
  • Dr. Theodora Pinou, assistant professor of biological and environmental sciences, tracks sea turtles around the world with the help of WCSU students. [read more]
  • The university serves as host to the International Education Conference, with discussions about global warming, climate change, carbon neutrality, and ‘Green Collar’ jobs.
  • Students visit Nicaragua, a land rich in culture and natural resources, as part of the annual Global Academy led by Dr. Alba Skar, assistant professor of world languages and literature and Dr. Theodora Pinou, Assistant Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences. [read more]
  • Madrid is the site of the annual Summer Study in Spain, organized by Assistant Professor of World Languages and Literature Dr. Galina Bakhtiarova, with visits to a bullfight, the International Book Fair and an opera. [read more]
  • Abigail Disney, a scion of the Walt Disney family, speaks movingly on campus about how individuals can make a difference. [read more]
  • Dr. Christopher Kukk, associate professor of political science, built on the connections he made selection as a Fulbright Scholar teaching in Estonia during the 2007-08 academic year to create an online course that he co-teaches with a professor at the University of Tartu.
  • The Theatre Arts Department, in addition to annually staging two full productions on campus, travels every other year to Scotland to perform in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which bills itself as the world’s largest arts festival. [read more]
  • WestConn is the site of the National Center for University Roots & Shoots, an organization founded by world-famous scientist Dr. Jane Goodall to engage and inspire youth through community service and service learning. [read more]
  • Dr. C. Thomas Philbrick, professor of biology, specializes in the research of river weeds. He regularly leads expeditions to sites around the world. [read more]