RAM - Student Spotlight
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Research Aligned Mentorship


Student Spotlight


Tyler Heavens

Tyler HeavensTyler Heavens (right) is a sophomore CCSU RAM student. Tyler is an MIS major and was paired with Dr. Olga Petkova at the beginning of his freshman year. Tyler has been very involved on the CCSU campus and works two jobs outside of his courses. At CCSU, Tyler serves as a Peer Advocate for the RAM program after being recommended by Dr. Petkova. His job is to help the RAM Faculty Mentors connect with their mentees by serving as a peer mentor.

Tyler had a project for his STAT 200 class. The project asked him to collect data and to see if there was any relationship that he saw using descriptive statistics. He decided to use relevant data from the RAM program and was able to determine that students who meet with their RAM Faculty Mentor at least once have a higher GPA than those students who do not meet with their RAM Mentor.

Tyler learned how surveys are created and how data can be collected and used to better analyze a problem. He also will continue to apply this knowledge gained through improving outcomes. Tyler also presented his findings at the annual Mid Atlantic Consortium conference that was held at CCSU on April 23, 2018.


Kobe Onye 

Kobe and Dr. Dischino

RAM Mentee Kobe Onye and Dr. Michele Dischino meet to discuss Kobe's plans for this semester. It was important to Kobe that this meeting happened early in the semester, before he became overwhelmed with assignments. Kobe meets with Dr. Dischino regularly and is excited to be in the RAM program. Kobe is a freshman majoring in Computer Science. Dr. Dischino meets with Kobe help him navigate his plan of study, find on campus resources and serves as an extra resource for many other issues.


Matt Callahan

Mathew Callahan

Mathew Callahan is a sophomore CCSU student in the RAM program. He is majoring in Accounting and his RAM Faculty Mentor is Dr. Cheryl Crespi. When Mat first came to CCSU as a freshman, he had no idea about planning his academic program or scheduling his classes. Mat knew Dr. Crespi could point him in the right direction for networking and finding out what areas he would like to pursue further. As a result of fine tuning his resume with Dr. Crespi, Mat did an internship with Junior Achievement and is now professionally connected to people in that organization.

Mat has applied for another internship with Travelers for the summer of 2018. He is happy to have been selected for the RAM program. He's comfortable going to Dr. Crespi for advice and feels that he can align his studies with his post-graduation plans.

Mat has some advice for students who may be hesitant to meet with their RAM Faculty Mentor:

"Meeting with my Mentor has given me so much more clarity about my major and how I can get involved on campus. At first I was scared and nervous to meet with 'the professor', but I was amazed to see how eager to help me with everything. I would not have attended any of the School of Business Information Sessions without Dr. Crespi, and Dr. Crespi always e-mails her mentees about opportunities for us to get involved."


Christabel and Dr. CChristabel Akrong

Pictured here are RAM Faculty Mentor and Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Sourav Chakraborty and RAM Scholar and first year Honors student, Christabel Akrong.

Dr. Chakraborty and Christabel met to discuss her academic plans for the Spring 2018 semester and into the Summer 2018. Christabel is weighing her career options and is considering going to medical school with a minor in business. We are excited to follow Christabel through her academic journey here at CCSU as a RAM Scholar! 




Isaac and Dr. Petkova


Issac Diaz Soto

Pictured here are RAM student Issac Diaz Soto and MIS Professor, Dr. Olga Petkova. Isaac is a senior student who transferred to CCSU from MCC. While at CCSU, he made the Dean's List and has worked with Dr. Petkova on a special project. The coursework involved creating a website as part of a group project. Isaac continued with this project outside of the course requirements. His work connects children of incarcerated parents with a website to create opportunities to discuss books. The books are chosen by the children and student mentors from CCSU. 

Isaac said that he now has a better sense of "project management from top-level decision making and I had the ability to work with real customers and take responsibility for the architecture of the project". Isaac said that being part of the RAM program has helped him perform better in his courses and views it as another avenue by which to learn course material. Isaac feels more comfortable with his career planning and decision making. He has completed an IT and Engineering internship which has allowed him to expand his knowledge.

kuoBriana Kuo

RAM Scholar Briana Kuo has been very active here at Central Connecticut State University. Briana is a Criminology major and currently is planning to either become a detective or work with the FBI. Her RAM Faculty Mentor is Dr. Steven Block. Briana meets with Dr. Block on a regular basis, usually at the beginning and the end of every semester. She says her Mentor has helped her academically and feels more confident about her coursework and study strategies. Briana also is involved on campus in the CCSU Women’s Center and Admitted Students Day, while serving as an At Large Senator in the SGA.

Briana hopes to do a semester abroad over the next few years and plans to complete an internship. Her advice to other RAM students is simple- “You will get out of it what you put into it”. We are excited to follow Briana’s journey here at Central Connecticut State University!