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Meet Weston's Lifeguard: Anastasia Gussen

WESTON, Conn. – Anastasia Gussen has been a lifeguard in Weston for seven years. During that time, she graduated from Weston High School and from the University of Connecticut.

“I like being outside, and I like that the pond is fenced in,” said Anastasia. “Because it’s a seasonal job, I was able to go away to college and come back and have a job.”

Anastasia graduated from UConn in 2010 with a degree in molecular and cell biology. She plans to go back to school to study epigenetics.

“You can look up your DNA and find that the diet of your great-grandparents or grandparents could affect what genes are running now,” said Anastasia. She said she likes genetics and biology because “I like to focus on the core cause of things. It explains a lot about the body and how things work.”

Anastasia has been working as a lifeguard to pay her student loans. She also photographs weddings, makes jewelry and designs logos, tattoos and T-shirts. She said she wants to find a link so she can focus on art and science together. She has enrolled in a fall course in brand identity and product design at Pratt University.

Anastasia’s most recent excitement at Bisceglie Pond was about two weeks ago when she and another lifeguard arrived at work and found a raccoon at the bottom of a garbage can.

“We tied ropes around the can and dragged it into the woods,” she said. The other lifeguard, Steven Kos , made a pulley, which allowed the two to tip over the garbage can from a distance and set the raccoon free.

Anastasia also works as a swim instructor at the Weston Middle School pool and has worked for Parks and Recreation’s camps. Her mother is Weston’s town clerk, Donna Anastasia, and she prides herself on being half Lebanese and half Italian.

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