Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Update: Ryan Ford

       Here's the latest from Ryan Ford, who graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in History: 

"In the past year, I have completed my coursework for my Ph.D. degree in Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I have lived and researched for two months in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, I have participated in academic conferences, I was requested to be a consultant to write a Lao history curriculum,  and I have been notified that I will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. I speak with utmost sincerity and seriousness when I say that the Roger Sherman Debate program at WCSU is the single most significant factor in all my achievements. My success from being on the team was not due to the fact that I spent hours researching, or all my weekends engaging in debate learning to think critically on my feet with my peers from famous universities, but because my coach let me do all these things myself and taught me to speak my thoughts and have agency in the world. The debate society gave me the chance to do something I could not do anywhere else at WCSU. Yet even as I am lucky to have world-class faculty and institutions at my disposal now, I still feel that the most intellectually challenging courses I have ever taken were in the WCSU History and Non-Western Cultures Department, be they graduate, honors or regular courses. I grew up in Danbury and went through the local public school system. When I transferred to WCSU in my freshmen year I remember I had a very low opinion of the school and I actually thought it was a joke. I had no idea that enrolling in this school was not at all the dead end I envisioned, but a life-changing opportunity. I am deeply proud that I am an alumnus of Western Connecticut State University." 

Congrats, Ryan!  We're very proud of your success.