WCSU Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences to showcase student internship experiences

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences will host an internship fair at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, on the first floor of Warner Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The fair will feature tri-fold posters displaying information about internship projects undertaken by students in the department and pictures of the interns working with clients in the community. The event will be free and open to the public.

Students whose internships will be featured include:

Caitlin Avery: Interning at Boys & Girls Club of Hartford, Avery assisted the teen director in planning events such as college tours, open houses and teen-focused programs. Some of her other responsibilities included scheduling, recruiting, setting up and implementing the different events.

Rachel Babecki: Interning in the human resources department at Diageo in Norwalk, Babecki worked directly with the employee benefits team to develop strategies to increase company leadership, as well as employee commitment, to health and wellness. “I am extremely grateful for the time I have spent at Diageo,” Babecki said, “and feel fortunate to have learned so much in such a short time.”

Nicole Bounty: Interning at Western Connecticut Health Network, Bounty’s responsibilities included preparing marketing materials, organizing and assessing employee participation data, creating informational health presentations and planning wellness events. “I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about applying wellness to a real-world setting,” Bounty said, “and know I am in a great atmosphere to do so.”

Iliana Cartagna: Interning at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Cartagna recorded patients’ height, weight, pulse and blood pressure to prepare them for their clinician. She also observed counseling sessions for the patients.

Jessica Caturano: Interning at WCSU’s O’Neill Center, Caturano organized and coordinated Western’s women’s volleyball games and men’s and women’s basketball games for the Athletic Department, as well as concerts, fairs, home shows, keynote speakers and other events held at the arena.  

Caitlin Coyle: Interning at Corporate Health Care, a division of Western Connecticut Health Network, Coyle was in charge of conducting a wellness program for the employees and motivating them to participate. She learned how to make appointments, check patients in and out, scan patients’ charts electronically and conduct hair and urine drug tests.  

Jacquiline Darkwa: Interning at Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Darkwa worked with girls from kindergarten through eighth grade and devised lesson plans that the girls could participate in to earn badges.

Richard Darr: Interning at the Regional YMCA, Darr was involved with teaching youth sports, overseeing the wellness and fitness rooms, and external marketing and advertising for the organizational program “Lose to Win.”

Bianca DeSimone: Interning at Girl Scouts of Connecticut, DeSimone was responsible for planning and implementing programs for girls in underserved communities who would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouts. She also provided adults with information about volunteering opportunities, and registered girls at program sites.

Amanda Genova: Interning at Plus One in Bethel, Genova helped others with their goals, lifestyle requirements and physical limitations through assisting and partaking in one-on-one individual personal training, as well as class group training.

Amanda Ghannam: Interning at Ridgefield Physical Therapy, Ghannam worked as a physical therapist and was responsible for setting up each patient’s exercise routine before the patient arrived, answering phones, making appointments, taking in new patients, cleaning all equipment, laundry and filing patient charts.

Michaela Hastings: Interning as a health coach, Hastings is attempting to build a health coaching business. For her internship, Hastings marketed her business through Facebook and email newsletters. She created workshops on various nutrition topics and used them to attract clients. Whole Foods used recipes Hastings created for the company’s newsletters.

Michael Littlefield: Interning at the United States Coast Guard Academy, Littlefield assisted the strength and conditioning coach with developing, teaching and running the strength programs for the sports teams. He also worked with the athletes daily to help develop speed, strength, power and skills that would translate directly to their physical performance.

Ryan Markward:  Interning for Dr. Pacey Pet of New Milford, Markward learned how to work the front desk (file patient charts, schedule/bill patients, etc.), in addition to working with the medical assistants by rooming patients and taking their vital signs. “Gathering all of this knowledge will further aid me in becoming a physician assistant,” Markward said.

Marty Noenickx: Interning at Atria, a Benchmark senior living community, Noenickx worked in the recreational therapy department and assisted with elder care. Noenickx also tested residents’ dementia and memory loss.

Jennifer Ritch: Interning at Boehringer Ingelheim, Ritch worked with the wellness staff to assist with events and services provided by the company, as well as with the implementation of health, wellness and fitness programs.

Matt Rosbrough: Interning at the Newtown Youth Academy, Rosbrough did walking and resistance band training with people age 55 and older twice a week for eight weeks. He also created a home-exercise program using resistance bands. “Giving the older adults a training program to become more physically active was a great opportunity for me to educate and motivate them,” Rosbrough said.

Marshall Rose: Interning at Blue Streak Sports Training, Rose was responsible for creating a youth strength-training circuit and working with athletes to improve their strength, endurance, speed, agility, plyometrics, reaction speed and explosiveness.

Jamie Trayer: Interning at Green Mountain College in Vermont, Trayer was responsible for working personally with the head strength and conditioning coach, and assisting with coaching and training athletes to become stronger, while reducing the risk of injury. “I am extremely grateful for the time spent with both my preceptor and the athletic staff and the opportunity to learn as much as I did, all while maintaining the utmost respect and professionalism while representing Green Mountain College,” Trayer said.

For more information, call the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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