Author: Antonia (Toni) Brunetti

Graduation – A Time of Thanks

“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks; and ever thanks.”

-William Shakespeare

Thank YouAs graduation creeps up quickly there is much to reflect upon as I look back on the treasurable time spent here at the University of Connecticut. The sparks of excitement in finding a newer path of life sometimes are engulfed by the fear of leaving behind UConn’s magnificent walls. I have been shaped and guided by many friends, family members, and professors in this important time of my life. To each that have prepared me for my future, I would like to say thank you.

Thank you to my loving parents and family who have supported me from the beginning.  Thank you for helping me financially, to peruse my career and never doubting what I can do. I am grateful for being loved so deeply and given every opportunity I can reach. From them I have learned to love myself and have confidence in myself that I can make a difference in this world. I am thankful for the friends that have stuck by me through the years of school and always have been there for advice and a helping hand. And to the many new friends I have made here at UConn, I thank you tremendously. We have stuck together through an array of courses and have accomplished so much together. I thank all of you for making the transition to UConn so positive and smooth. I also give my thanks to the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources and the Ambassador program. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent the college and meet a variety of prospective students and wonderful faculty. The networking and training provided has shaped me to become a better student and I thank you for Continue reading

Into the Wild, and Out of My Comfort Zone

Bouncing up and down on a game vehicle at five A.M.  looking for lions and giraffes was a normal South African morning for me for three weeks. One day I was sitting in the middle of a herd of thirty or more elephants and observing their social behavior as they too were observing us. Watching the babies show off their oversized ears and trunks was amusing as they marched towards the vehicle with attitude. Toni in South AfricaTo be in the presence of protected animals like the rhino was spectacular. Even though they are larger than a game vehicle they spend most of the day hidden in the African bush. Searching for leopards and lions was hard but rewarding when they came out from hiding. To be feet away from the king of the jungle with him tolerating the flashes of cameras was an experience in itself. Being able to experience animals up close in their natural habitats was educational. We even went to wildlife sanctuaries to learn more about species from a closer view. Students were rewarded with a ride from an African elephant, came nose to nose with a hyena, and got close and personal with a cheetah.  All of these animals are used to educate the public, whom unfortunately don’t know much about their native species. I learned so much from this experience and never thought I would have traveled so far.

Before applying to college I was not open to much change. It was terrifying thinking about pursuing a degree at an institution far from home. UConn was the best choice I made since great opportunities such as the South Africa program are offered. Three weeks away and a sixteen hour flight was unsettling to me, but Continue reading