Volodymyr Kebalo, M.A. in Global Development and Peace


“The classes are like one big family to me.”

Where are you from?

What is your field of study?
Culture and Conflict Resolution

What do you enjoy most about the program?
I enjoy having the opportunity to communicate with international students. The GLDP classes are like one big family to me.

What has your classroom experience taught you?
My writing skills have greatly improved, thanks to the many research papers, while I have also had the opportunity to enhance my presentation skills.

What do you hope to do after graduation?
I hope to be working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in my home country of Ukraine, and to ultimately pursue a career in politics.

Fun Facts:

Previous education
BA, International Law, Ivan Franko National University of L’viv, Ukraine

Previous work experience
Intromisiya, Legal intern, Ukraine

Current employment
Office System of Connecticut, Court Interpreter, Connecticut

Ukrainian, English, Russian, Croatian, German

Meghan Gonik, M.S.Ac. in Acupuncture


“Being in Shanghai gave me an appreciation of how much we can learn from immersion in another culture.”

At the University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Institute, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from very knowledgeable teachers with different backgrounds in TCM and from our clinics with their diverse patient populations. This past summer I was honored and delighted to be the first recipient of our study in China scholarship. This trip gave me the opportunity to visit Shanghai and see how TCM is practiced in modern China.

I stayed at a hotel only a few blocks from the Shanghai Traditional Medicine Hospital where I attended Acupuncture shifts. I was also near the metro, so in the evenings and on days off I got to explore the gardens, museum, temples, shopping, and food of Shanghai.

At the hospital, I worked with Dr. Yang, his resident, and interns from China and other countries. I got to see treatments for a variety of conditions, which I can now incorporate in to my strategies with patients here. I also had the opportunity to practice needle moxa, cupping, and free needling with direction from Dr. Yang. Being in Shanghai gave me an understanding of the language challenges facing international students and an appreciation of how much we can learn from immersion in another culture. Everyone at the hospital was very kind and generous.

I would like to thank the Acupuncture Institute for selecting me and having taught me so well, and I’d like to thank Dr. Yang, his resident, and interns for their kindness and help.

Megan Ey, B.S. in Mass Communications and B.S. in Martial Arts Studies


“During the time that I’ve been at UB I’ve learned so much, not even just academically, but about myself.”

Looking for colleges was extremely important to my parents and myself when I was still in high school. Throughout my four years I was constantly looking at universities around the Northeast in search for a place I could call “home”, and after taking campus tours of UB five times, I fell in love. Looking at the faces of UB students around campus and touring with different Student Ambassadors left me starstruck and sure that I was going to go to the University of Bridgeport. Everyone I saw had a smile on their face and a warmth to them that I couldn’t explain until I was accepted and ready to go into my first year of college.

During the time that I’ve been at UB I’ve learned so much, not even just academically, but about myself. I have become an individual and my opinions do matter. In the Martial Arts Studies program I learned about Eastern Asia and how to cultivate myself both mentally and physically – a perfect balance of both – and I did better academically than I did when I was in high school. And even now, I know that adding the Mass Communications to my studies will make me a more well rounded person, while also making me a competitive candidate in the work force. But it wasn’t just academics that made me into the person I am today. Being a member of the Taekwondo Club and team, the Student Programming Board and Student Government Association has brought me to an entirely new level of understanding. The same could be said about the places I work on campus. I am now an Orientation Leader, Residential Assistant, and a Purple Knight Society Student Ambassador, all of which influenced me positively and made me love my university.

In short? I AM a Purple Knight.

Maria Donayre, B.S. in Dental Hygiene


“Fones School will provide with you with an excellent education, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

I loved UB primarily because of the dental hygiene program! Once I went to visit the school and got a tour from a faculty in the Fones School of Dental Hygiene I was in love… it was just a plus when I was told that UB held students from all over the world.

The program was challenging, I am not going to lie, but at the same time it pushed me to be the best I can be. While in the program, I did my summer internship in Miami (my home) at the local dental hygiene program. I was able to network with hygienist that later became my mentors, friends, and a great support to my career.

While in the program I was fortunate enough to be an ambassador of the school. One of the best experiences in my life was working for the admissions office. I am very happy that I came to UB, I received amazing opportunities here. While taking my last research class I was able to get more opportunities in publication. Fones School will provide with you with an excellent education, I wouldn’t change it for the world. The professors are all amazing and they all work hard to help you obtain the most knowledge as possible. Our clinic, at Fones, has state of the art equipment and it prepares you in every way possible!

Kingsley Udeh, M.S. in Technology Management


“People think engineering is too difficult, and we want to build an understanding, especially among domestic students, that it’s not.”

Home country: Nigeria

When he was in high school in Nigeria, Kingsley Udeh dreamed of becoming a doctor. He wanted to help people, make a difference.

Then he went to college. “My intention was to study medicine,” he says. “But along the way, I just couldn’t keep up with the demands. It was my uncle who suggested computer science and engineering. He told me, ‘Why don’t you try it?’ When I realized I had an ability for it, I went into it. I changed plans.”

It was a far better fit. At 35, Udeh will receive his Master’s in Technology Management with a concentration in Project Management. He hopes to use his degree in IT, banking, or engineering.

In the meantime, Udeh has sought out opportunities to use his skills to help others. He developed a software system for the Bridgeport chapter of American Red Cross, for example, that allows the nonprofit to match volunteer opportunities with individuals, based on their skills, availability, and interests.

In March, Google and the Connecticut Small Business Development Center ran a day of workshops and instructional seminars at the University that showed business owners how to build websites so they could get their ventures online. Udeh was among the first to volunteer.

“We helped design and make a website for a woman who owns a boutique in New Haven,” says Udeh. “It was exciting.”

He also worked on developing a website geared to high school and college students that encourages them to test their math and engineering skills by tackling a series of challenges. “People think engineering is too difficult, and we want to build an understanding, especially among domestic students, that it’s not,” says Udeh. “This will be something where they’ll be able to log on to a web-based system and solve problems, and hopefully realize that engineering is not as complicated as they think.”

Katie Kilroy

“I hope to work for a NGO, focused in West Africa, which promotes sustainable agricultural development, alongside women’s empowerment.”

Major: Global Development and Peace

Why I chose UB Global Development and Peace Program
I chose the program because it is exactly what I want to study and it fits perfectly for me at this point in my life. I believe all of the learned knowledge will best prepare me in the future.

What I enjoy most about the program
The diverse student population allows a wide array of opinions and voices to stand out, which complements the program immensely. The night class schedule is also convenient for working professionals.

On classroom experiences
I enjoy the interactive components, such as videos and interviews, and simulation exercises many of the professors include in their classes.

Plans for after graduation
I hope to work for a non-governmental organization, focused in West Africa, which promotes sustainable agricultural development, alongside women’s empowerment and advancement.

Education before UB
BA, Political Science with Minors in International Studies and Human Rights, University of Connecticut, Connecticut
Study Abroad, Uppsala University, Sweden

Experiences before UB
China Care Foundation, Development Coordinator, Westport, CT
Peace Corps, Urban Agriculture Extension Specialist, Kebemer, Senegal
Human Rights Institute, Organized Human Rights Awareness Week, University of Connecticut
The William Benton Museum of Art, Assistant Education Coordinator, University of Connecticut

Awards and/or major achievements
Sigma Iota Rho, National Honor Society for International Studies, May 2012
Scholarship award, Irfan Kathwari Foundation, Inc., May 2012
Dean’s List 2005 & 2006, University of Connecticut

English, Wolof, French

Kali Mason, B.A. in Literature and Civilization


“It made the difference between going back to school or not, and I’m not sure what I would have done if it hadn’t been for that.”

Without the Bigelow, she wouldn’t have made it.

At least, that’s how Kali Mason tells the story. The 21-year-old, who graduates on May 5 with honors and a Bachelor of Art in Literature and Civilization, was about to start her sophomore year at UB when her father was laid off. Without his income, Mason would have to delay college, get a job, and figure out Plan B.

Desperate, she contacted the financial aid office. Because of her top marks (she had a 3.8 gpa at the time) Mason was invited to apply for a David and Eunice Bigelow Scholarship. Two weeks before the fall semester began in 2010, Mason got the good news: she had won the award.

“The Bigelow was significant. It made the difference between going back to school or not, and I’m not sure what I would have done if it hadn’t been for that. I was afraid I’d never finish college at all,” says Mason, who returned to campus with an intensity to learn and experience as much as possible.

Classes with history professor Thomas Juliusburger (enlivened by his personal accounts of England and studies at Oxford) and philosophy classes with Timothy Eves made Mason hungry to learn more about the subjects and to travel to Europe. During her junior spring, she was accepted to a program in Paros, Greece, where she spent the semester studying philosophy, art history, and ancient history.

Mason’s passion for learning helped her maintain superlative grades as she balanced school with work-study jobs; she won other scholarships to help pay for college. This year, Mason also interned at the Museum of the City of New York, where she helped host and plan lectures, walking tours of Manhattan, and exhibition openings.

“There was one night where they had a chair on view from the 1930s. It was on loan from the Met [Metropolitan Museum of Art], and they didn’t want anything to happen to it, so they asked me to watch the gallery. I had to babysit the chair,” says Mason.

Mason will see a lot more art in the not-so-distant future: she was accepted to a master’s degree program in museum studies in Florence, Italy, that starts in the fall. And she ultimately hopes to learn how to restore and preserve ancient documents and books or be a museum curator. “I’ve already found a program,” she says with characteristic enthusiasm. “It’s in Canada!”

Justin Hume, M.A. in Global Development and Peace


“My experience helped to give me a first hand understanding of microcredit and loan distribution.”

Microfinance Internship in Africa

I had the opportunity to perform an internship at the Grounded and Holistic Approach to People’s Empowerment (GHAPE), a social model microfinance organization located in the North West Region of Cameroon.

There, I worked with the office staff performing the regular duties of a GHAPE credit officer. I wrote grants, created borrower profiles for the Kiva website, and was even involved in the day-to-day financial aspects of the organization (data entry, loan distribution, and borrower check-ups). In between our regular duties, during my stay, we secured three separate grants for increasing borrower education, for creating a new borrowing center, and even one more grant for establishing a third major office in Momo Division.

Gaining First-Hand Understanding

Together, these things served as a capstone experience to the University of Bridgeport’s masters program in Global Development and Peace, and not only helped to give me a first hand understanding of microcredit and loan distribution, but also helped me to become much more in tune with the challenges that many countries face in building a better tomorrow.

A Deeper Perspective

With these experiences in hand, I have since been able to the following:

  • Join the faculty of the College of Public and International Affairs
  • Write on the subject of microloan distribution from a more informed perspective
  • Become involved in the building of a new Non-Governmental Organization with the help of two other students from the Global Development and Peace program
  • Expand our activities beyond more academic pursuits and on in to helping people in the rural villages of East Africa

Jianfeng Lin

“The most valuable thing I learned was how to work as a team.”

Major: MBA

I chose UB because I had heard that it is a fantastic University and my college back in China has a program with UB. I learned a lot from UB. The most valuable thing I learned was how to work as a team. UB gives students a great chance to work together. I learned to get jobs done more efficiently and put trust in other team members.

After I graduated from UB, I tried to find a job, in a very tough job market.

Now, I’m working in a wholesale store locate in Dallas, TX as an online sales manager. Online sales have a large potential, as well as a huge competition. To be successful, I need to find the right thing to sell, so spending time on research is necessary to be a success.

UB gave me the skills to do the research, a deep knowledge of marketing, and great teamwork experience. Now, I have built the company an online storefront and I also have helped build an efficient online sales team to support the store.

Thanks to UB, I am dedicated to keep learning and growing.

Jessica Perez

“It is never too late to go back to school.”

Major: B.S. General Studies with Social Science Concentrations
State: Trumbull, CT

The IDEAL program has allowed me to reach my dream. When I spoke to my friend, Kindra Jones, and she told me how she completed the IDEAL program, that was an “Aha” moment for me, and I decided to start the IDEAL program.

Don’t Forget to Register

The IDEAL staff has made it really easy for me to register every semester and not forget by calling me at home….time to register.

My Advice

If you are thinking about enrolling in the IDEAL program it’s never too late to go back to school.

Education is key to success.