Governor Ned Lamont Visits UB for Student Panel Discussion
UB welcomed Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to campus for the first time this fall, since his gubernatorial win, to join a student panel discussion at the Arnold Bernhard Center for Arts & Humanities. The Governor addressed a wide range of issues affecting students, including college affordability and career prospects in CT.
President Laura Trombley opened the event recognizing UB’s innovation and rich diversity. “We are entrepreneurial and we are bold. Our mission connects education to careers. We are in a place to transform the lives of our students.”
The student panel was moderated by Elena Cahill, JD, director of the Ernest C. Trefz School of Business, and included President of UB Student Government Association (SGA), Diter Bitri ‘20, Lizanne Cruz ‘21, Richard Greo ‘20 and Kay-Anna Pusey ‘20.
“This is an extraordinary time to be getting a degree from the University of Bridgeport,” Governor Lamont said. “When I graduated there were no jobs. We have thousands of amazing jobs we are having a hard time filling. The University has extraordinary programs to help meet this demand.”
The students asked the Governor to address programs he’s implementing to make college more affordable. He stressed the importance of fully funding K-12 in the state, but also discussed proposals for business tax abatements for graduate hires that could go towards student loan forgiveness, as well as proposals for free tuition for families making less than 50K per year. He added, “I understand the burdens of the cost of higher education and we’re doing everything we can to make college affordable.”
Lamont answered a question related to gun violence and safety. “Bridgeport is safer than it was a generation ago because we’re doing a better job with gun legislation and closing internet loopholes for purchasing guns. We also work hard with police to make them feel part of the community, so they don’t feel threatened by them,” he added.
Governor Lamont was also asked about the importance of cultural diversity in education and the workplace. He acknowledged the need for diverse educators with steps being taken to implement this and fulfill the growing demand from employers for a diverse workforce. “I want the most diverse workforce to learn from each other. UB’s diverse students are an incredible asset to the University and the business community.”
The Governor also encouraged students to follow their passions. “If you love it, don’t be tactical or transactional. Do what you love and it’s amazing the opportunities you will find.”