Hometown: Cromwell, Conn.
Major: Theoretical meteorology
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Science, Meteorology
Internships: Worked with Professor of Meteorology Dr. Albert Owino on a project related to weather computer modeling
Activities: Honors Program member, student representative on faculty-based Honors Council, Honors Student Organization president and vice president, PASS academic mentor, BRIDGE program mentor, president of WCSU's American Meteorological Society local chapter (Meteorology Club), AccessAbility Services student notetaker, Tutoring Resource Center student tutor, part-time job as a barista at the Daily Grind
Honors and Awards: Dean's List every semester; 3.87 GPA; Alumni Association Scholarship, 2010; Jonathan Mottley Scholarship, 2011; Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 2011, 2012; Merit Scholarship, 2011-12; Henry Barnard Award, 2012; Steven Neuwirth Honors Program Award
When Kelley Bradley was a junior in high school trying to figure out her future plans, she knew her strengths were in the sciences. "I truly became hooked on meteorology specifically when I first watched the movie 'The Day After Tomorrow,'" she says. "Although the majority of the movie is greatly blown out of proportion, I was inspired by the character Dennis Quaid played, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association research scientist. From then on, my dream was to work at the NOAA as a research scientist focusing on climate change."
With that goal in mind, Bradley says she came to Western because of its strong meteorology program. The location in Danbury also was a factor since it was close to her support system at home. "When I first visited the campus, I knew right away that this was the place for me," Bradley says. "When you're walking around, you get the feeling that you can actually see yourself succeeding here. Also, because it is only an hour away, I have been able to stay close with my family, too."
Bradley says there were many faculty and staff members who made her experience at WCSU memorable, but one really stands out. "Professor of Political Science Dr. Chris Kukk, the Honors Program director, has been without a doubt the most spectacular mentor any student could ever have," Bradley says. "He has provided me with countless opportunities and with every visit to his office, I leave feeling like I can conquer the world and he will be right by my side. It is with his guidance as well as some of my other professors that I have been able to succeed as much as I have."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Bradley says, "One of my most memorable experiences would definitely be meeting Dr. Mel Goldstein during last spring's President's Lecture. A small group of the junior and senior meteorology students got the opportunity to sit and talk with him and share our passions for weather together. Especially since he is the creator of our program, sitting and getting to know him was both awesome and inspiring as we let our love for the subject drive our futures."
After graduation, Bradley plans to pursue a terminal degree. "I was accepted to UMASS, University of Rhode Island, Rutgers University, Texas A&M and the University of Maryland," she says. "I received fully funded Ph.D. offers from both Texas A&M and the University of Maryland with equally interesting research projects. After a very difficult decision-making process, I have officially accepted the offer at Texas A&M for a Ph.D. in oceanography with a very generous graduate research assistantship, as well as an additional fellowship to work on creating a coupled ocean-atmosphere long-range global climate model."
Bradley’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "View every day as another opportunity. As a freshman, it's easy to be shy and do your own thing, but once you break out of your comfort zone and let yourself explore, there is so much to see, learn, and get involved in here at WCSU. Be yourself, try your best and never let an opportunity pass you by."