Compassion & Creativity


Dr. Chris Kukk, Director

Old Main, Suite 108

The Director of Western’s Honors Program and was the founding coach of the university’s Roger Sherman Debate Society. Kukk, who received his Ph.D. in International Politics from Boston College and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, is a former International Security Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tartu in Estonia. His research and publications focus on political economic relations over fresh water resources as well as the creation and sustainability of civil society. Before entering the field of higher education, Kukk was a counter-intelligence agent for the United States Army, a research associate for Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and is often asked by the media (e.g., Associated Press, National Public Radio, and the Economist magazine) for his analysis on issues regarding American politics and United States foreign policy. Kukk is married to his high school sweetheart, Elly, and they have three sons who love baseball, soccer, and rock-n-roll.


Jessica Lin
Assitant Director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation

Honors House  102D

Jessica Lin graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science  and minors in Pyschology and Conflict Resolution at Western Connecticut State University in May 2015. During her time at WCSU, she was a student and an assistant to the Kathwari Honors Program, an executive council member of the Social Sciences Journal and the Honors Student Organization, and a mentor for the Bridges Program and Educational Achievement and Access Program. Jessica is currently the Assistant Director to the Honors Program and the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation with the goals of increasing and strengthening the communal bonds within and outside of the WCSU campus, and of creating and maintaining positive, yet challenging environments for students and community members to learn, to thrive in, and to feel welcome to return to.


Executive Conference Planning Committee