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Andrew Cohen Can Do Anything He Sets His Mind To

By Edelinda Baptista '20 SUNDAY, JUNE 30, 2019 - 1:00 PM WNE100

From being a peer advisor to student ambassador to Stageless Player to a member of FIRST Robotics, sophomore computer science major Andrew Cohen has involved himself in numerous organizations and activities. In the small town of Monroe, Connecticut, Cohen's middle school and high school years were filled with theater productions, both dramas and musicals. Once he reached Western New England University, he decided to explore other interests, including ones that would eventually lead him to change his major from electrical engineering to computer science.

“My original plan was to graduate with an electrical engineering degree, then go back and get my Master's for computer science, but then over the summer, I did a lot of coding.” Realizing that coding was all he wished to do, Cohen made his choice, and he’s much more satisfied. “I went through a week of electrical engineering and was like, 'I just want to code. I should just do this now.' So now I'm a computer science major,” he stated.

His attraction to coding and the computer science major as a whole relates to his love of philosophy, logic, and math. As a logic-based person, Cohen couldn't have found a major that better suited him. “It has this cool mix and I have a lot of ambitions in computer science because obviously computers are the future, that's what everything is, there's computers everywhere. I just want to create something that changes the way people think in terms of computers.” Cohen is passionate about what he does and what he plans to accomplish in the future.

Between choosing to attend Western New England University and the University of Connecticut, he selected Western New England because he felt at home on campus within the community. He feels so close to the University, in fact, that this is the place he now calls home. “I’m so involved on campus, and I feel like I have a second home here. When I'm at home in Monroe, I tell my friends 'I'm going back home next week' and they say 'You mean, here?'” Anyone who has a deep attachment to this campus is bound to experience the same scenario Cohen does with his friends in Connecticut.

Cohen is glad to say that there are so many people on campus he can count on that he can't even count them all. His friends are surely on the top of the list, as they’re to thank for helping Cohen become who he is today. “I think everyone has [had] some impact on me, everyone has changed me in some way, so it's tough to choose one person or a couple of people.” He mentioned people such as Alyssa Caliguri, the Assistant Director First Year Students, Jenna Lussier, the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, his roommate Max Gordon, CJ Westbrook, and Gehrig Burnett. His mom is certainly an inspiration to him also. “I just couldn't be a lot of who I am without her,” said Cohen.

Sophomore pharmaceutical business major Max Gordon rooms with Cohen, whom he describes as a very friendly and positive individual. The pair met during Accepted Students Day, Cohen happened to be the first person Gordon talked to at Western New England. “I consider him a really good friend because he is very easy to talk to, always positive, and overall is an amazing human being,” commented Gordon.

Cohen is determined to try new things and experience life. With many hobbies outside of coding, he can easily list a couple activities he'd like to devote time to. “I want to do things in computer science, but I have a long life so I can do a lot… I'd also like to release music. I play guitar and write my own music.” The music he makes will soon be accessible to students on campus as well. “I actually have something on Spotify soon, so that's going to be cool. My friend and I are going to be playing a set in the Campus Center some time, I'll advertise that when it’s going to happen.” Be on the lookout for Cohen's hits on Spotify and for any flyers advertising his future performance in the Campus Center.

Juggling his demanding workload and a host of extra-curricular activities, it is understandable that Cohen sometimes struggles a bit with time management. However, he's figured out how to manage that feeling of being overwhelmed. “I'm starting to learn that you're strong if you can understand and choose to let things go, know where you are and what you need to do,” advises Cohen.

Though he faces several challenges common to college students, Cohen overcomes them with an easy-going, positive persona. The lesson he teaches us? In the end, it was the University's distinctive “home-like” community that gave him the confidence to explore new activities and reach beyond his comfort zone. In doing so, he developed new skills and interests to become a positive leader in our community.