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July 17, 2014 40 Under Forty 2014

Christopher R. Zito

Age: 38

Title at work/what do I do: Assistant professor of biology, who teaches at the graduate and undergraduate level at the University of St. Joseph. I am also a pre-health professions advisor at USJ, as well as a faculty advisor for the USJ chapter of Tri Beta National Biological Honor Society. For my scholarly endeavors, I perform translational research at Yale University in melanoma, breast, lung, and renal cancers. I also perform community outreach work running a forensic science summer camp for Greater Hartford area youth. I also supervise and coordinate a program encouraging young girls in middle school to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) areas.

Town where I work: West Hartford

Town where I live: North Haven

College I attended: Wesleyan University (Ph.D.); University of New Haven (graduate); Albertus Magnus College (undergrad)

My passion, hobby or special talent: My wife and kids; playing piano and guitar in my down time.

No. of LinkedIn connections: 40-50

Favorite place to network: Facebook

Favorite drink at a networking event: Diet Coke with lemon

How do I create connections in my professional life?

I network with my research colleagues at national and international cancer research conferences, comparing notes, and results and developing collaborations. I also network with my academic colleagues from USJ and throughout CT at local symposia and academic events allowing me to stay in touch with current instruction modalities that work in and out of the classroom to enhance learning. Lastly, I also network with current and former students and advisees, which allows me to gauge the level of success my advisees and students have attained and make connections that future advisees might be able to utilize to place into careers.

What's been my biggest challenge professionally?

Juggling all the hats in my profession -- that of advisor, teacher, researcher, mentor, colleague, and friend. Note I say juggling hats… not dropping them.

What is the best advice I received?

Just be yourself; be sincere and honest and do your best.

What do I want my legacy to be?

I want my legacy to be the lives I have touched, even if only in some small way. I want to have been some small part in the transformation of these young students into successful adults. Pretty much what we all want… to leave my mark on these young individuals, and that they have some memories (hopefully fond ones) of me to take with them and maybe pass along.

Check out the other 40 Under Forty for 2014 winners

Martin Gugliotti

Bryan Hall, II

Benjamin Howarth

Ashley (AJ) Johnson

Garrett Kenny

Vincenzo M. Landino

Heather Loranger

Ashley M. Maagero

Kim Margolis

Lindsey Mathieu

Tracy I. McKaveney

Ryan McKeen

Adam McLaughlin

H. Scott Miller

Alison Morris

Peter J. Murphy

Kristina Newman-Scott

Brandon Ojakian

Michelle M. Pandolfi

Erin Pirro

Ken Procino

Steven Raider-Ginsburg

Brian Rich

Matthew Ritter

Robert Ruffolo

Lindsay Ryan Jensen

Zachary Schwartz

Jarrett Solomon

Erica Ann Thompson

Jason J. Warnke

Tim Yergeau

Jennifer Young

McKinley Albert

Keshia Ashe

Dr. Jill Buban

Stephen Carrabba

Leticia Colon de Mejias

Erin M. Concepción

Molly Devanney

Jennifer R. Fiereck

Betsey Castle Gainey

Check out the Digital Edition of this year's 40 Under Forty.

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