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May 2011 Archives

Governor Malloy to Speak at Eastern Commencement

Malloy low res for news flash.JPGConnecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will deliver the commencement address at Eastern Connecticut State University's 121st graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 22, at 10 a.m. at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. Malloy, the youngest of eight children, was born in Stamford, on July 21, 1955.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston College and continued on to receive his law degree from Boston College Law School. In 1982, Malloy married his wife, Cathy, whom he met while at Boston College.

Malloy become a prosecutor in Brooklyn, NY, serving for four years as an assistant district attorney. Returning to Stamford, he served on the Boards of Finance and Education before running for mayor and winning in a landslide victory in 1995.

Malloy served for 14 years from 1995 to 2009, Stamford's longest serving mayor. Under his leadership, Stamford underwent a drastic transformation and became one of the country's top 10 Most Livable Cities, according to Forbes Magazine.

On Nov. 2, 2010, Malloy was elected the 88th governor of the State of Connecticut. He is a former trustee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors; a former President of the Connecticut Council of Municipalities; and a former member of the Stamford Cultural Development Organization.

Look for complete Commencement coverage in the next issue of NewsFlash.

China Scholars Visit Eastern

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From April 27-29, Eastern hosted a delegation from Hanshan Normal University in Chaozhou, a city in Guangdong Province, China. During their stay, the Chinese delegates lectured in Eastern classrooms and took campus tours. Before they left, Eastern President Elsa Núñez sign a formal exchange agreement with Hanshan University Vice President Chen Sanpang. Other guests from Hanshan included Xie Hengxing, chair of Hanshan's Department of Fine Arts; Liang Zhitao, vice chair of the china qimin lecture.JPGDepartment of Fine Arts; Hong Peiwei, director  of finance and administration; and Huang Peizheng, vice director of foreign affairs. Eastern Visual Art Professors Qimin Liu and Gail Gelburd organized the visit. Above, Liu and Hengxing Xie, chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Hanshan Normal University, present an overview of the university and city.

University Meeting

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At the May 12 University Meeting, President Núñez reviewed the status of the state budget and Connecticut's plans to reorganize the central offices of the CSUS, community colleges, Charter Oak College and the Department of Higher Education.

The president also told the faculty and staff present that Eastern's liberal arts mission and the academic performance of our students was the envy of public higher education in the state.  "Last night, I attended Thumbnail image for Kathleen Fabian.JPGthe annual Barnard Scholars banquet.  I was again reminded of the amazing transformation that takes place in our students as they mature to become scholars, engaged citizens, the leaders of tomorrow.  They are worth all the hard work and struggles we are experiencing today."

Vice President Rhona Free announced that the University had exceeded its enrollment goal of 917 freshmen deposits by May 1, thanks to the efforts of the Admissions staff, Financial Aid Office, and others.

Thumbnail image for Mike Kowalchuk.JPGTen-year service awards were presented to Jeff Smith, Monica O'Connor, Gary Lalumiere, Scott Wilson, Paul Melmer, and Mike Kowalczuk. Promotion and tenure were announced for 25 members of the faculty, in addition to 11 retirees who have contributed 234 years of accumulated service to the University. Retirees include Rick Rollason-Reese, Grace Enggas, Bob Horrocks, Sue Law, Linda Sinkoo, Roy Wilson, Paula Goyette, Andy Nilsson, Richard Reynolds, Theresa Richardson and Kathleen Fabian.

Thumbnail image for Hari Koirala.JPGEducation Professor Hari Koirala was announced as the 2011 Distinguished Professor.   Excellence Awards were announced for Brenda Whalen, Andy Nilsson, Ann Anderberg, Pat Banach, and Michael Gerich.  English Professor Chris Torockio and Art Professor Qimin Liu were announced as this year's winners of the CSUS Board of Trustees awards.


Excellence Expo

expo pachis listens.JPGEastern's School of Education and Professional Studies and Graduate Division held its 11th Annual Excellence Expo on May 4 in several locations across campus, including the Student Center, Webb Hall and the J. Eugene Smith Library.
Students presented their work on a variety of topics, including economics; marketing; math and science in early childhood education; communication law and ethics; sport and leisure management; teaching typical and exceptional learners; and systems Thumbnail image for expo- bloggett.JPGanalysis, among others. The expo also featured a photography exhibit, an ePortfolio competition, and a preview of the Association of Information Technology Professionals' Windham non-profits website. Above, Economics Professor Dimitris Pachis listens to Osman Sencan explain his research project on airline fares, and Jessica Blodgett shows her project on "Sport & Leisure Management Blog" to Jaymie Sommers and Christine Akcer.

Students Present at Research Conference and Exhibition

research conference2.JPGThe School of Arts and Sciences held its 10th Annual Student Research Conference and Exhibition on April 16. The conference took place in several locations across campus, including the Science Building, Wood Support Services Center and the Student Center.

The conference and exhibition opened in the Science Building Auditorium with a keynote address from Sociology Professor Dennis Canterbury. More than 85 students, supported by 35 faculty mentors, presented nearly 80 projects and presentations showcasing 11 departments and 13 majors in the School of Arts and Sciences. Exhibits included digital art, prints, paintings, drawings, jewelry, sculptures and books made by Eastern students. The closing reception featured Eastern's Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Joe Tomanelli, part-time professor of performing arts.

Senior Art Exhibit

visartseniors2.jpgEastern senior Visual Arts majors exhibited their art on May 12 in Akus Gallery, and, later, were guests at a reception in the gallery. Among the many outstanding exhibits was Eliza Satterlee's 2011 senior project, "Essentially Explicit Canopies." Satterlee's inspiration for her custom-designed eco umbrellas was the work of American biologists E.O. Wilson and Rachel Carson. Eastern Visual Arts major Trevor Shaw-Mumford also showed off his "Steampunk Living Room," an installation celebrating the "Steampunk" style, which combines imagery of machinery and invention with Victorian Era design.  Photo Courtesy:  Roxanne Pandolfi.  For more information on the Senior Art Exhibit, visit www.easternct.edu/visualarts.

Trawick-Smith and Student Honored

Thumbnail image for timpani trawick speaking.JPGAn article written by Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair in early childhood education at Eastern Connecticut State University, and one of his students, Tracy Dziurgot, has been selected as Outstanding Research Article in Early Childhood Teacher Education for 2011, awarded by the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators and Taylor and Francis Publishers. The article, "Untangling Teacher-Child Play Interactions: Do Teacher Education and Experience Influence Good-Fit Responses to Children's Play?," reports research findings that indicate that higher levels of education predict preschool teachers' sensitivity to and understanding of children's play in classrooms. The award carries with it a cash award of $1,000. Trawick-Smith and Dzuirgot will be honored in an award ceremony in Orlando, FL, in November.

Students Shine at National Conferences

diller - PostersOnTheHill.JPGEastern students recently presented their work at national conferences. Connor Patros, a psychology major from Columbia, CT, was chosen from 700 applicants (only 70 chosen) to present his research poster at the National Council for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on April 13. The title of Patros's poster was "An Initial Investigation of Delay Discounting and Cardiovascular Reactivity," which he worked on with Psychology Professor James Diller. Diller said he and Patros are refining the work to be published Diller-NCUR_Ithaca.JPGin Behavioural Processes. This is the second year that Eastern psychology majors have had a research poster accepted for the Posters on the Hill Exhibition in the nation's capital. 

Three students, Robert Brown, a senior psychology major from Burlington, CT; Erin Galipeau, a senior psychology major from Canterbury, CT; and  Erika Sgambato, a senior from Johnston, RI, majoring in social work, were chosen to present their research at the NCUR's conference held at Ithaca College in March. Galipeau's poster title was "Influences of Relationships on Body Satisfaction in College Students."  Brown's was "Treatment Acceptability for Problem Behavior." Sgambato's was "Social Networking Systems and Campus Life." Above, Diller with Patros in Washington, D.C., and in Ithaca with Galipeau, Sgambato and Brown. Diller supervised Galipeau and Brown's projects, and Business Information Systems Professor Don Petkov supervised Sgambato's project.

Public Relations Students Learn More at NYC Conference

Thumbnail image for prsa in nyc.JPGOn April 26, seven members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at Eastern visited MWW Public Relations in New York City, and toured the PRSA Headquarters there. The group included PRSSA President Lauren Finkbeiner; Vice President Lauren Guerrere; Treasurer David Harrington; Public Relation Officer Carline Charmelus; two club members, Molly McArdle and George Kapetaneas;  and faculty advisor, Communication Professor Chris Ayeni. The goal was PRSA with Ayeni.JPGto expose PRSSA members to public relations companies and a day in the life of a public relations professional, and to network.

MWW Group is one of the five largest independent public relations firms worldwide. "We decided on the MWW Group because it was different from most public relations companies," said Finkbeinger. "Its clientele differs from what students usually think about when they decide they want to do public relations. For example, MWW Group represents McDonald and multiple health care companies instead of movie stars and athletes."

At MWW, students learned that the public relations field is being totally reformed. Instead of public relations professionals directly visiting newspapers and advertising agencies about products, they use social networking to market products. At PRSA headquarters, the students were provided a tour and were encouraged to meet the requirements for professional membership.

Students Provide Service to Willimantic Preschools

CPEL Assessment Photo.jpgTen Eastern students, under the direction of Eastern's Community Partners for Early Literacy (CPEL) project, recently completed 582 early childhood literacy assessments at Eastern's Child and Family Development Resource Center and Windham Public School's Early Childhood Center. The students worked with 236 local preschool children. The ten Eastern students who did the assessments are: Michelle Ayotte, a junior majoring in English and elementary education; Anna Caruso, a senior majoring in visual arts; Sara Dean, a sophomore majoring in sociology and early childhood education; Jessica Fontana, a junior majoring in psychology and early childhood education; Christina Frugale, a junior in majoring in psychology and Spanish; Ashlee James, a senior majoring in English and elementary education; Michele Longobardi, a junior majoring in psychology; Michelle Patenaude, a junior majoring in English and elementary education; Kass Scozzafava,  a senior majoring in communication; and Ashley Mooney, a graduate student majoring in secondary education.

The students received professional-level training from Early Childhood Education Professors Maureen Ruby and Ann Anderberg in administrating standardized early childhood literacy assessment tools. The assessment service is providing critical information to Willimantic preschool teachers, as it enables teachers to plan instruction to best meet their children's learning needs, thereby better preparing them for kindergarten.  For more information, visit www.easternct.edu/cece

"Echoes: Voices from the Church Farm"

Thumbnail image for churchfarm2 (1).jpgEastern faculty, students and staff, as well as local residents, were provided a rare treat on May 6 and 7 when students from Theatre Professor J.J. Cobb's Special Topics class presented "Echoes: Voices from the Church Farm" at the Church Farm Center for the Arts and Sciences in Ashford. The "site-specific" performance recreated the history of the family that owned the Church clothing store chain in Willimantic, Hartford, Putnam and Danielson in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the performance taking place on the family's former country residence. 

Thumbnail image for churchfarm2 (2).jpg"Echoes" was written and directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre J. J. Cobb, based on historical research that she and History Professor Barbara Tucker conducted on the Church family and the farm property. In 2007, Joseph and Dorothy (Church) Zaring donated the Church Farm to the ECSU Foundation, Inc., for the use and benefit of Eastern and its students. 

Eastern's Africa Club

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On May 2, a large audience of students, faculty and staff and area residents came out to participate in the second annual fashion show, "Traditional Fashions from Africa," sponsored by the African Club of Eastern (ACE). The fashion show, held in the Student Center Theatre, featured West African traditional wear, modeled by a cross-section of Eastern's students. The New Element step dancers opened the show, while the award-winning Phantoms entertained the audience with songsThumbnail image for Africa club Officers.JPG appropriate to the occasion. The ACE presented a plaque to former student Vivian Ankrah, its first president, in appreciation of her dedicated service to the founding of the organization. At the end of the show, attendees were treated to exotic African foods.

National Police Officers Week

police2.JPGOn Oct. 1, 1962, President John Kennedy proclaimed May 15 of each year as "Peace Officer's Memorial Day."  On May 15, U.S. flags across the nation are lowered to half-staff to honor federal, state, and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. Eastern's police department placed a black banner on the Police Department sign in front of its building. The banner remained throughout the week. On May 16, 2011, at 7:45 a.m., police officers, students, faculty and staff participated in a brief wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Police Department. Officers also wore black bands over their badges in respect for their fallen comrades.

Tip a Cop

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On April 30, Eastern's Police Department held its Annual Tip-A-Cop fundraiser at Dunkin Donuts on Main Street in Willimantic. During Tip-a-Cop, police officers work behind the scenes at Dunkin' Donuts to solicit donations for Special Olympics of Connecticut. The event raised $926 for Connecticut Special Olympics. All tips are matched by the Dunkin' Donuts franchisee.  Above, Sgt. Lisa Thumbnail image for tip a cop kids.JPGHamilton helps Adam and Mike (wearing red shirt) Dahlke of  Lebanon post paper Special Olympic torches with the names of donors who contributed to the event on the Dunkin' Donuts window. Also, left to right are Manny Jose, manager of the Dunkin Donut on Main Street in Willimantic; Paula Dahlke of Lebanon and a social work major at Eastern; Sarah Bellerive, public relations representative for the Connecticut Special Olympics; Eastern Lt. Thomas Madera and Mike Mason of Willimantic.

Coventry Says "Thank You, Eastern!"

coventry clean up.JPGOn May 2, the Coventry Town Council issued a proclamation at their regularly scheduled meeting in appreciation of Eastern and its students, who conducted a thorough "spring cleaning" of Coventry on April 9. Kim Silcox, director of Eastern's Center for Community Engagement and Community Service Coordinator Kristina Scherber accepted the proclamation on behalf of the University. Coventry Town Council Chairwoman Elizabeth Woolf read the proclamation, which extended the Council's "heartfelt appreciation" for the work of approximately 200 Eastern students. In all, Eastern students worked on 16 different projects during the day.

Occum Doubles Up the Dean's Cup

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Occum Hall won the Dean's Cup Competition for the second year in a row. In the process, they raised $4,000 for the Holy Family Home and Shelter. Over the past four years, the competition has raised more than $10,000 for local agencies.

"Hop to Success" Career Fair

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Natchaug Career Fair - eastern students.JPGFour students majoring in social work majors from Eastern, teamed up with several local businesses and organizations to organize a career fair on April 8 at Natchaug Elementary School in Willimantic. The students included Megan Berube, Namgyal Gyalnor, Delia Welge and Wajiha Yasmeen. The goal of the career fair was to educate, motivate and inspire elementary school students to explore future career options and the importance of education.
Thumbnail image for natchaug career fair - mike palumbo.JPG"The participation and cooperation from the organizations and professionals attending the fair, as well as the local businesses that provided donations, made this career fair a big success for the third- and fourth-graders at Natchaug," said Berube. Participating organizations and professionals included the Brio Academy of Cosmetology; the Willimantic Police K-9 Unit; two radio stations -- Jammin WWRX  and Soft Rock WBMW; Villari's Martial Arts; natchaug careers - coluso's biologists.JPGEastern's Biology and Information Technology and Health Services Departments; the United States Navy; Lawrence and Memorial Hospital; Pampered Pet Day Camp; Willimantic Fire Department; and the Department of Environmental Protection. Bridgett the Frog also attended!

Food and other donations were provided by Bagel One and Dunkin Donuts of North Windham; Big Y and Staples of Mansfield; and The Parent Teachers Organization at Natchaug School. Above, Wajiha Yasmeen, Delia Welge, Namgyal Gyalnor and Megan Berube pose for a picture during the career fair. Also, Michael Palumbo, technical support analyst in Information Technology Services, shows students what his cell phone can do, and students seem fascinated with material provided by Biology Professor Gloria Colurso.

Mark Your Calendars!

On June 9, the 2011 Law Enforcement Torch Run leaves from the Child and Family Development Resource Center parking lot at 8:06 a.m. On June 26, the Second Annual Ride for the Flame, which includes 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-mile bicycle routes, begins and ends at Whelen Engineering in Chester. On Aug. 28, Dream Ride 2011 for motorcycle riders takes place. Persons interested in participating in these events should contact Officer Dave DeNunzio or Sgt. Lisa Hamilton at (860) 465-5310.

LEC Honors 16 from Eastern

A total of 16 individuals from Eastern's men's and women's lacrosse and softball teams have been honored in the Little East Conference's year-ending awards program. Junior All-America right-handed pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) repeated as LEC softball Pitcher-of-the-Year, while junior attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) was named the LEC's Offensive Player-of-the-Year. Fifth-year head coach Christine Hutchison was named Coach-of-the-Year in women's lacrosse, and freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) was selected as LEC Rookie-of-the-Year in softball.

lec honors.JPGIn softball, Rathbun and junior outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) were named first-team all-conference for the third straight season. Prizio becomes the women's lacrosse program's sixth Player-of-the-Year in seven years.

A total of five Eastern players were named to the all-conference team in women's lacrosse, while the men's lacrosse team landed seven all-conference selections - the most by any institution.

Joining Prizio were first-teamers Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) and Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and second-teamers Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) and Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury). Prizio was a second-team pick in her first season at Eastern last year, and Barrett repeated as a first-team defender. Buchanan (first team) and Marchitto (second team) were all-conference selections in the fall on the Eastern soccer team's unbeaten conference regular-season champion.

In men's lacrosse, senior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) and junior defenseman Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) were named to the all-conference team for the third time. Junior midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) joined Flynn and Vasil on the first team, while senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan), senior defenseman Ryan Schneeloch (Glastonbury), junior attack Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) and freshman midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) were second-team selections. For more sports news, visit http://www.easternct.edu/mt-static/athletics/

Eastern in the News

  •  The May 11 edition of the New England Board of Higher Education newsletter reported on Governor Dannel Malloy as Eastern's 121st Commencement speaker.
  • The May 4 edition of the Danbury News Times reported on Christina Cammisa winning Yale University's prestigious Harris Fellowship in Child Development and Early Childhood Education.
  • The May 10 edition of the Norwich Bulletin reported on Eastern's student chapter of Habitat for Humanity helping the Willimantic Lions Club paint several areas in the home of an elderly person in Willimantic.
  • The May 10 edition of The Reminder News reported on the contributions of 10 Eastern students who helped to spruce up Pachaug State Forest on May 7.
  • The May 7 edition of the Norwich Bulletin cited Eastern's role in a partnership with a before- and after-school program at Natchaug Elementary School.
  • The May 13 edition of the Hartford Inquirer ran a story on Dwight Bachman's presentation at the Annual Luncheon of the Adah Chapter 22 at the Chowder Pot Restaurant in Hartford. The story also appeared in the May 8 edition of the Hartford Courant's i-towns section. 
  • The April 27 edition of the Greenwich Times reported on Eastern students Laura Wooley of Monroe and Gary Andrews of Newtown being members of the American Marketing Association Chapter that won six awards at the International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans.
  • The May 4 edition of the MontvillePatch.Com reported on Kevin Chen, a freshman biology major, being named recipient of the 2010 CRC (Chemical Rubber Company) Press Chemistry Achievement Award.
  • On May 3, Wayne Norman talked with Eastern Performing Arts Professor J.J. Cobb and Eastern theatre students Amanda Ardel, Paul Lietz, Craig Harlow, Sarah Dillon and Hilary Osborn about their performance in the play, "Echoes: Voices from the Church Farm," at the Church Farm Center for the Arts and Sciences in Ashford.
  • The Farmer Rick Band's performance at Eastern's Child and Family Development Resource Center was aired on April 27 on WFSB-TV/CBS afternoon show, "Better Connecticut."  (Two band members work in Eastern's Financial Aid Office.) The performance can be viewed by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMLNtHU5Kns.
  • The April 27 edition of the Norwich Bulletin reported on The Windham Area and Eastern's chapter of Habitat for Humanity helping to present the Second Annual Parade of Homes Walkathon in Willimantic.

Eastern Signs Exchange Agreement with Chinese University

IMG_5405.JPGEastern Connecticut State University President Elsa Núñez and Eastern's Visual Arts Department hosted a delegation from Hanshan Normal University in Chaozhou, a city in Guangdong Province, China, during a visit to Eastern's campus April 27-29.  Following a full agenda that included lectures in Eastern classrooms and campus tours, President Núñez and Hanshan officials met to sign a formal exchange agreement on April 29.
"We look forward to exchanging students and faculty with you as we build the relationship between our two schools," said Núñez.  "Our two institutions both share a common heritage of preparing teachers to teach in local schools and a commitment to improving the economy of our regions. Thank you for your hospitality in welcoming Art Professors Qimin Liu and Gail Gelburd to your campus this past summer.  That successful trip is why we are able to come together today."

While Hanshan is about 100 years old in its present form as a university, it began as an  institution of learning 920 years ago.  Like Eastern, it has always had teacher education as the core of its mission, and is proud of its motto, "Teach and study diligently, and behave as a model accordingly." 

"We are really enjoying our stay," said Hanshan University Vice President Chen Sanpang, "and we are honored to be your guests. We had a campus tour this morning, and I was impressed by your beautiful campus and your energetic students. I am also amazed by all of the beautiful artwork that you have displayed throughout your buildings.  Eastern clearly appreciates art!  You are learning about us too.  We feel connected to you -- we share a common mission and Professor Liu has now built a bridge between our institutions.  While this relationship is starting in the area of fine arts, we do not want to limit our relationship to that area.  On behalf of our president, we hope to invite Dr. Núñez and an Eastern delegation to China."

Following these remarks, Chen Sanpang and President Núñez signed a formal exchange agreement that sets the stage for further collaborations between the two schools. 

Other guests from Hanshan included Xie Hengxing, chair of the Department of Fine Arts; Liang Zhitao, vice chair of the Department of Fine Arts; Hong Peiwei, director of finance and administration; and Huang Peizheng, vice director of foreign affairs. 

Eastern Gives Coventry a Spring Cleaning

cce spring cleaning with painters.JPGMax Goto, front, a sophomore from Hamden majoring in History and Murphy Almonte, back, a freshman from Bridgeport majoring in Psychology, lead other Eastern students as they paint the bandshell at Patriot's Park. 

Eastern's student volunteers gave Coventry a spring cleaning on April 9, receiving a warm reception from the grateful townspeople. Approximately 200 volunteers registered for "Community Day 2011," putting in a 4- to 5-hour workday to clear hiking trails, paint the band shell at Patriots Park, landscape that and several other parks and spruce up other town facilities, including the Nathan Hale Homestead and two properties of the Coventry Historical Society.  In all, Eastern students worked on 16 different projects during the day.

"The work the Eastern students did today was amazing," said Coventry Parks and Recreation Director Wendy Rubin.  "I'm just thrilled.  The work would not have been done if these students hadn't been here.  It has changed the face of our town and created pride in our community."
cce spring cleaning with kate.JPGJennie Navarro, a senior English and Elementary Education major from Pomfret Center and a student employee in the CCE, worked behind with scenes with the Coventry Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments to identify projects for Eastern students to work on.  "They were very appreciative and cooperative, and I think, as a result, we had some great outcomes today."

In years past, Eastern has focused the annual spring cleanup in its hometown of Willimantic.  "We have students from 164 of Connecticut's 169 towns," explained Silcox, "and alumni throughout eastern Connecticut and elsewhere.  We thought it made sense to share our students' energy and time with other communities as well."

Two Eastern students Honored at State Capitol

kim kokofsky.jpgTwo Eastern Connecticut State University students were among eight CSUS students honored on April 27 by the Connecticut General Assembly for their outstanding academic achievements.

Business Administration major Kimberly Kokofsky '11 and Health and Physical Education major Matthew Lance '11 were recognized at State Capitol ceremonies by State Rep. Richard F. Roy, 119th District, shown here with Eastern's two student awardees.

matthew lance.jpgKokofsky has coordinated a number of special events as an intern at the Windham Region Chamber of Commerce.  She is also a member of Eastern's American Marketing Association student chapter, which recently won six awards at the 2011 national AMA student conference. Lance was named HPE Student of the Year in spring 2010, is active in the local and Bridgeport communities, and has presented research he conducted with Professor Nanette Tummers at state and national conferences.

Eastern Professors Win CSUS Faculty Awards

torockio award.jpgTwo Eastern faculty members were among eight to be recognized by the Connecticut State University System Board of Trustees on April 7 for their exceptional teaching and research.
Christopher Torockio, associate professor of English, received the Trustees Teaching Award at the university level. Torockio is widely recognized for his ability to connect teaching with his thriving fiction writing career; his contributions to curriculum development; his inclusive and empowering teaching style, particularly effective with first-generation students; and for his success in making fiction writing a means of further writing.

qimin liu award.jpgThe Trustees Research Award at the university level was presented to Qimin Liu, associate professor of visual arts. Liu is acclaimed for his scholarly creative work as a prolific artist with a prestigious exhibition record; his ability to bridge in style and social consciousness the American and Chinese painters world; his effort to establish connections with galleries and museums in China, for promoting American contemporary realism; and for use of art to highlight the struggles of the homeless.

 "The caliber of teaching and research at Central, Eastern, Southern and Western is quite impressive, and the scholarship demonstrated by these faculty members makes a difference in their classrooms and their respective fields," said Board Vice Chairman Richard Balducci.  John Doyle, chair of the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee, concurred: "These awards recognize the exemplary work of the highest promise being done by our up-and-coming faculty. They are all demonstrating an impact on their academic fields, our students and our state."

Christina Cammisa Named Harris Fellow at Yale University

Thumbnail image for Cammisa.jpgChristina Cammisa, a senior from Danbury majoring in sociology and early childhood education, has been granted the prestigious Harris Fellowship in Child Development and Early Childhood Education at Yale University. This fall, Cammisa will work and conduct research at Yale's Calvin Hill Day Care Center/ Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten and the Yale Child Study Center. 

Fellows have a teacher mentor at Calvin Hill and a clinical mentor at the Child Study Center. They regularly meet with their mentors for support, focusing on blending educational and clinical understandings of young children and families. 

Cammisa was chosen from a pool of nationwide candidates, including applicants from Duke and Lehigh Universities, to receive the Harris Fellowship. Cammisa has studied abroad in Australia and is currently engaged in research work with Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Eastern's Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair for Early Childhood Education. She recently completed her student teaching at Chaplin Elementary School, and has worked with students at Kramer and Natchaug Elementary Schools in Willimantic. Details about the Harris Fellow are at http://childstudycenter.yale.edu/services/education.aspx.

Blake Mycoskie Visits Eastern

DSC_4014.jpgOn April 12, more than 400 students heard Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, close out Eastern Connecticut State University's 2010-11 Arts and Lecture Series in the Betty R. Tipton Room.

Marlana Carroll, a senior psychology major from Middlebury, introduced Mycoskie, whose presentation began with a short video highlighting the mission of TOMS Shoes, which donates a pair of shoes to children in need for each pair the company sells. Mycoskie told his audience that he first thought of the idea for his company while vacationing in Argentina and meeting volunteers who had collected slightly used shoes to give to children in a village outside of Buenos Aires. He experienced a great sense of joy when he was on his hands and knees putting shoes on children's feet. However, when he told a friend about his experience, his friend asked, "Did you think about these children's next pair of shoes?"

"My joy was challenged because I did not know the answer to that question," said Mycoskie. "However, when I woke up the next morning, I had come up with a solution. I kept thinking about traditional charity models, but I realized that they had the same problem. They didn't answer who was going to give these kids their next pair of shoes. So, I came up with the One-for-One model for a for-profit company, so that each time the company sells a pair of shoes, it donates a pair to a child in need."

DSC_3980.jpgMycoskie explained the quick success of TOMS, a company that started in a garage in Argentina and Mycoskie's studio apartment in California and then grew to a company featured in "Vogue" whose products now grace the shelves at Nordstroms. Some key aspects of his company that he learned include the fact that "giving feels good, but it's also good for business. There's nothing wrong with that because I truly believe that responsible business could help solve many of the world's problems today." On behalf of Eastern, Carroll presented Mycoskie with an Eastern sweatshirt as a gift.

Computer Science Students to Study National Security

Robert Martin, Michael Calvo and Karl Severin, three Eastern computer science students, have been selected to participate in Trustable Computing UCONN 201, a National Science Foundation Summer Research Experience. The 10-week summer program, which runs from June 5-Aug. 13, provides students the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research in computer systems security and trustable computing systems. The students, guided by faculty mentors, get involved with exciting research that impacts national security; interact with graduate students and learn what graduate study is all about; and attend an international symposium on computer systems security.

Administrative Assistants Raise Money Too!

IMG_0528.JPGIt's true: "If you don't ask for much, you won't get much, and if you don't ask at all, don't expect anything." When Pat Strickland, administrative assistant to Executive Vice President Michael Pernal, was setting up the concert contract for the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, the agent she communicated with suggested that she apply for a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts.  Strickland did, and guess what: Eastern was awarded a grant in the amount of $2,365. 

Professors Take Sabbatic Leave

IMG_5143.JPGCalling the University's sabbatical leave program "one of the most important strategies for faculty development," Eastern President Elsa Nunez wished 11 faculty members well on April 11 as they take sabbatical leaves for the next year. Keynote Speaker and HPE Professor Neil Williams presented his 2009-10 sabbatical leave project.

Faculty taking leave include David Belles, associate professor of performing arts; Maryanne Clifford, associate professor of economics; Alita Cousins, associate professor of psychology; Anne Dawson, professor of art history; Dan Donaghy, associate professor of English; Suzanne Dowling, psychological counselor in Health Services; Kehan Gao, associate professor of mathematics and computer science; Raouf Mama, professor of English; Jamel Ostwald, associate professor of history; Ben Pauley, associate professor of English and Leslie Ricklin, professor of education.

IMG_5135.JPG"We send you off with the hope that you will return from your sabbaticals feeling professionally renewed, academically strengthened, spiritually enlightened and physically rejuvenated -- armed with new knowledge and energized with a new pride for your profession," said Nunez. "We hope that you will come back with your axes sharpened -- because everything that you do and everything that you become will bring even more success to you and to the Eastern community as a whole."

A Friendly Fundraiser

ima fundraiser.JPGOn April 11, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) hosted a fundraiser at Friendly's Restaurant in Willimantic, with 20 percent of the sales between 5 and 8 p.m. going to the IMA. To optimize their profit, club members worked hard to get a large crowd eating at Friendly's.  Customers thought it was a great way for students to connect with the community.

Mama Receives Erasmus Mundus Fellowship

Dr Mama.jpgEnglish Professor Raouf Mama has been awarded a Master Erasmus Mundus Maclands Fellowship for 2011-12. Master Erasmus Mundus Maclands is a European university system that offers a two-year master's program in Cultural Landscapes. It provides training for students from all over the world. Each year Master Erasmus Mundus Maclands awards four research and teaching fellowships to scholars from a pool of international applicants. Professor Mamas received the award on the basis of his record as a writer and a scholar with research interests in the African Oral Tradition; Connections between the African Folktale Tradition and the Folktale Traditions of the Caribbean; Folktales as a Multicultural Teaching Tool; and Storytelling and Healing.

Sustainable Energy Symposium

IMG_1639.JPGOn April 26, the Student Center was full of more than 30 student posters and table top displays by community groups and vendors at the Sustainability Symposium.  Approximately 40 students made presentations in the Theatre. Guests included Willi Waste, the Willimantic Food Co-Op, the Institute for Sustainable Energy, the Neighbor to Neighbor Coalition, and many others. Lecturer Vishnu Khade was the keynote speaker.

Nicholas Jones, a junior from Derby majoring in environmental earth science, won the Energy Efficiency Excellence Prize for his presentation on "The Benefits of Daylighting and the Use of Motion Sensors in Webb Hall." Jones demonstrated how a one-time investment of $8,400 to retrofit Webb Hall would save the University $5,700 in electric bills annually, a 100 percent return on investment in 18 months.

IMG_1637.JPGIn the poster competition, Dennis Scanlon, Jonathan Mizger, Nicholas Milano, Anne Muessel and Justine Ranzoni won first place with their poster on "Water Conservation. A "Recycling Three "R"'s poster created by Allyson Goudreau, M. Messier, K. O'Neill and Helene Fjeldstad, took second place. In the presentation competition, Lauren Armistead, Stephanie Kuzel, Katie Kehoegreen, Nicole Rouillard and Brian Simons won first place with their presentation of a Home Hybrid System. Phil Suillivan, Aaron Zambarano, Ewa Ogorzalek and Jeffrey Brinklow won the second place prize with their presentation on "Residential upgrades." While students, faculty and staff were abuzz with talk of sustainability in the Betty R. Tipton Room, Physical Science Professor Russell Sampson offered an opportunity to view the sun close up.

Three-Mile Trail Race

DSC04612.JPGEighty-four finishers ran the Eastern Outdoors Club's Fifth Annual Three-Mile Trail Race on April 9 at Mansfield Hollow State Park. The event attracted serious runners as well as recreational runners and families from all around the state of Connecticut, and a few from out of state. Twelve children, five years old and younger, participated in the event's first children's race, which was co-sponsored by the Child and Family Development Resource Center. More than 25 students volunteered at the race, which benefits the Outdoors Club's initiative of "No Student Left Inside."

DSC04637.JPG"The trail race is a great community event that Eastern has the good fortune to organize and direct," said Norma Vivar, one of the Outdoors Club advisors. "It's a rare combination of the university and local community working together." John Kelley, National Distance Running Hall of Fame inductee, Boston Marathon and Mount Washington Road Race winner and Olympic Marathoner, started the race.

Trawick-Smith and Student Honored

timpani trawick speaking.JPGAn article written by Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair in early childhood education at Eastern and one of his students, Tracy Dziurgot, has been selected as Outstanding Research Article in Early Childhood Teacher Education for 2010, awarded by the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators and Taylor & Francis Publishers. The article, "Untangling Teacher-Child Play Interactions: Do Teacher Education and Experience Influence Good-Fit Responses to Children's Play?" reports research findings that indicate that higher levels of education predict preschool teachers' sensitivity to and understanding of children's play in classrooms. The authors will be honored in an award ceremony in Orlando, FL in November.

Greetings from the Eastern Greenhouse!

Thumbnail image for DSC_7186.jpgOn April 19, between 5 and 9 p.m. in the Science Building Greenhouse, one of the Amorphophallus titanum genotypes, affectionately known as the "corpse flower" for its rotten smell, started to open its spathe and emit its foul fragrance. Biology Professor Ross Koning, who has a nose for this kind of activity, spoke about the flower. "The specimen in bloom is the same genotype that flowered previously in our former greenhouses behind Burr Hall...this is the genotype we named Rhea with a nod to the Titan who was "mother of the gods." The other genotype in our collection, the one we named Hyperion with a nod to the Titan "sun god," is still only in leaf. But the leaf of the Titan Arum is very stunning if you have not seen one before."

Koning invited the campus to witness the blooming plant, warning those wishing the maximum olfactory experience to come early in the day as the fragrance declines during the first day of flowering. Koning said the excellent HVAC systems in the  Science Building kept the stench out of the classrooms and laboratories of the west wing of the building.

Eastern's Urban Container Garden

Urban Garden potato demo.jpgBiology Professor John Landosky and Mary Gragno, professor of health and physical education, along with members of  the Facilities Management and Planning Department and Eastern's Green Campus Committee, are using the former greenhouse behind Burr Hall to develop a productive green teaching space in an unused area of campus. The space will be used to demonstrate how to grow food in small urban settings through the use of containers and vertical spaces.  

In connection with the garden's development this spring, Landosky and Ragno are holding two community learning sessions at the site. The first, a potato-planting demonstration, took place on April 28 when Landosky planted four kinds of potatoes in three different kinds of containers. He intends to compare the harvests and determine which type of container was most effective for the area.

Urban Garden - Potato_Demonstration_3 (2).jpgThe second activity, occurring on May 13 at 1 p.m., is a learning session on worm composting, where Landosky will demonstrate how to set up a worm composting bin. Worms are important friends of any garden, and they are super-effective consumers and recyclers of food and plant wastes. Persons interested should contact Landosky at landoskyj@easternct.edu or  Mary Ragno at ragnoma@easternct.edu

Easten Police Say Buckle Up!


Here are some statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
• One out of every five drivers will be involved in a traffic crash this year.
• Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among people age 44 and younger
 and the number one cause of head and spinal cord injury.
• Approximately 35,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year. About 50 percent       (17,000) of these people could be saved if they wore their safety belts.
• More than 90 percent of all motorists believe safety belts are a good idea, but less than 14 percent actually use them.
• A common cause of death and injury to children in motor vehicles is being crushed by adults who are not wearing safety belts. One out of four serious injuries to passengers is caused by occupants being thrown into each other.
• And finally, nine out of 10 people buckle up when asked, which is why Eastern police officers are checking to ensure campus motorists obey Connecticut's law to buckle up and not use their cell phones without a hands-free device. (Above) Sgt. Lisa Hamilton checks to make sure everyone is buckled up.

Eastern Sports

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for sports-seniorlacrossegroupmlax72dpi_7308.JPGSenior men's lacrosse players honored prior to their final regular-season home match on April 23 included (from left) Grant Albertson, Sean Leary, Vinny Tornatore (second row), Morty Bouchard, Eric Vasil, Brian Fechtmann, Michael Glennon, Lee Mascolo, Ryan Schneeloch, and Daniel Dowling. The 10 seniors constituted the team's starting lineup in a 17-0 Little East Conference win over Salem State University. For more sports news, visit http://www.easternct.edu/mt-static/athletics/

Eastern in the News

·        The April 19 edition of Public News Service ran a story featuring Eastern's Center for Early Childhood Education for its leading research into children's play.

·        The April 14 edition of the Hartford Courant ran a feature story on alumnus Ted Christian.

·        The April 14 edition of the Newtown Bee ran a story on the Institute for Sustainable Energy's assistance to Newtown Middle School as the school installs a solar panel.

·        The April 7 edition of the Norwich Bulletin ran a story promoting Blake Mycoskie's Arts and Lecture Series event at Eastern.


For more news about Eastern, visit http://www.easternct.edu/mt-static/press_releases/



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