The e-newsletter of Eastern Connecticut State University
June 2011 Archives
Graduates at Eastern Connecticut State University's 121st Commencement Exercises heard the roars and cheers of thousands of their family members and friends as they celebrated their accomplishments at the XL Center in Hartford on May 22. In all, 1,077 undergraduates and 102 graduate students earned degrees.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy delivered the Commencement address, telling the graduates that the ceremony proved that through hard work and effort, each could overcome adversity and achieve success. He told the students they should believe in progress and in the future. "We're a forward-thinking people. We internalize this concept -- and then we get to work. This class stands as a testament to that mindset."
Malloy asked the graduates for their help in rebuilding the state of Connecticut. "As the saying goes, 'a rising tide raises all boats.' I need you to be that tide that sweeps across the state. Find a way to reach back and make stronger our society and our communities. If you do that, Connecticut will continue to be the great state that it is. Our nation will be stronger. We will all be better for it."
Approximately half the graduates were the first in their families to earn a bachelor's degree. As Connecticut's only public liberal arts university, Eastern draws students from 165 of the state's 169 towns; approximately 90 percent of graduates stay in Connecticut to launch their careers, contribute to their communities and raise their families.
Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez told the graduates not to sit on the sidelines. "As you go out into the workforce and forge your own way, build your professional careers on the values you have been taught. You are now the next generation of citizen leaders in our state and in our nation. Together, you can be the force of change that can keep our country strong. It is your time. You are tomorrow's leaders, and tomorrow starts now!"
From the Governor's Foot Guard, to the plaintive sound of the bagpipes of St. Patrick's Pipe Band, to Eastern's "Make a Wish" tradition, in which graduating seniors toss a penny into a wishing well, Eastern's graduation ceremonies were marked by dignity, grace and elegance. Eastern also conferred an honorary degree on Anthony J. Brandenburg, chief judge of the Intertribal Court of Southern California. Brandenburg is a member of Eastern's Class of 1975. In 2010, he was named recipient of the University's Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Senior Class President Sarah Potrikus presented President Núñez with the class gift, a scholarship in the name of the Class of 2011, funded by donations from the graduating class. She encouraged the class to continue donating so that the scholarship would grow, telling her fellow graduates, "Leave today knowing that every one of you made a difference to Eastern, whether as an All-American athlete, a community service volunteer, a student leader or an academic scholar.
The accomplishments held by this class, both professional and personal, set even higher standards for future students than those who graduated before us."
Michelle Kaczynski of New Milford and Connor Patros of Columbia, two Eastern seniors majoring in psychology, were honored as recipients of the 23rd Annual Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award on May 11 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
Kaczynski and Patros were two of 12 Connecticut State University System students to win the award; each was nominated by their respective universities. The award is named for the first U.S. commissioner of education, Henry Barnard, a distinguished Connecticut educator who was the state's first superintendent of schools and principal of what later became Central Connecticut State University.
Chandler Howard, president and chief executive officer of Liberty Bank and Eastern's Business Executive in Residence for 2010-11, delivered the keynote address. Chandler shared his own life lessons with the 12 Barnard winners, applauded their accomplishments, and told them, "most of all, never give up."
Kaczynski earned a 3.83 GPA and has been on the Dean's List every semester while studying at Eastern. She has served as president of Eastern's Honors Program and the Psi Chi Honor National Psychology Honor Society. In her introduction of Kaczynski, Eastern President Elsa Núñez said professors called Kaczynski "the total package," one who "excels in virtually every aspect of what we describe as the liberal arts experience; an over-achiever in the very best sense."
Núñez said Kaczynski's honor's thesis -- "Examining Age Differences in the Conceptualization of Romantic Love" -- was "positively groundbreaking." Kaczynski was invited to present her findings at the national conference of the Association for Women in Psychology. Her research is also being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Patros graduated with a 3.68 GPA and a 3.91 GPA in his major. Under the tutelage of Psychology Professor James Diller, Patros has presented at local, regional and national professional conferences, including the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges undergraduate research conference, the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill event and the CSUS Psychology Day conference. Patros also co-authored two manuscripts that are currently under review for publication; completed two internships; and participated in baseball and track and field at Eastern. Núñez said Patros "is the perfect example of a student who has used his time at college to mature both personally and intellectually, and to discover his life's passion in the process."
Patros has been accepted into the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Oklahoma State University, and begins graduate studies this fall.
On April 8, 16 biology majors were inducted into the TriBeta Honor Society in Eastern's Science Building. TriBeta is dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.
Twenty-four business majors were inducted into Delta Mu Delta, the international honor society for business administration, on April 19. The society recognizes academic excellence of students in a community that fosters the well-being of its members and the business community through life-time membership.
Forty-eight students majoring in communication were inducted into the Tau Nu Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta on April 7 in Eastern's Student Center Theatre. The society recognizes students who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, have a communication studies GPA of at least 3.25, are in the upper 35 percent of their graduating class, are enrolled in good standing and display a commitment to the field of communication.
On April 21, eight students majoring in economics, along with honorary inductee Chandler Howard, CEO of Liberty Bank, were inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon. Eligible students must earn a 3.25 GPA overall and must have taken at least 15 credits of economics classes. The society is dedicated to the encouragement of excellence in economics and seeks to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves in their academic programs.
On April 27, 29 students majoring in business information systems and computer science were inducted into Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society for computing and information disciplines.
Forty-eight education majors and one faculty member were inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society on April 9. The society was established to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. Kappa Delta Pi recognizes students who sustain an honored community of diverse educators by promoting excellence and advancing scholarship, leadership and service.
On April 26, 12 history majors were inducted into Alpha Mu Alpha, Eastern's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. The society promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. The society recognizes students who have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours (four courses) in history, have a minimum GPA of 3.1 in history, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and are in the top 35 percent of their class.
Twelve marketing majors were inducted into the Alpha Mu Alpha honor society on April 19. The society is committed to the advancement of excellence in the field of marketing and recognizes senior undergraduates who have a marketing concentration in the Department of Business Administration and hold a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.
Eighteen math majors and one faculty member were inducted into Alpha Kappa Delta, the national sociology honor society, on May 11. The society recognizes students who have a 3.0 GPA, B or better in each the Abstract Algebra and Real Analysis I courses, at least a B+ average in higher level mathematics courses, and junior or senior class standing.
Forty-nine psychology majors were inducted into Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society, on May 13. The society encourages the stimulation, and maintenance of excellence in scholarship and advancement of the science of psychology. Qualifications for inductees include declaring a major or minor in psychology, at least 12 credits of coursework in psychology or sophomore class standing, a 3.5 GPA in psychology and a 3.0 GPA overall.
Fifteen students majoring in social work were inducted into Phi Alpha, the national social work honor society, on April 30. The society provides networking opportunities for social work students and promotes humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement.
Eighteen sociology majors and one faculty member were inducted into Alpha Kappa Delta, the national sociology honor society, on May 11. The society recognizes students who have an officially declared sociology major or demonstrate a serious interest in sociology, are at least a junior (third year), have accumulated an overall GPA of 3.0, rank in the top 35 percent of their class in general scholarship, have maintained a 3.0 GPA in sociology courses, and have completed at least four regular courses in sociology prior to initiation.
Eight health and physical education majors were inducted into their national honor society, Alpha Upsilon Chi, on May 5. The society establishes an intellectual climate by providing instruction for future professionals in the areas of health, physical education, recreation, and sport and dance, and recognizes students for their academic achievement, service and professional involvement in their field.
Seven Spanish majors were inducted into Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish honor society, on May 7. Qualifications for inductees include three years of college-level Spanish, including at least three semester hours of Hispanic literature or Hispanic culture and civilization at the junior level; a 3.0 GPA in all Spanish courses taken; a ranking in the upper 35 percent of their class; and completion of at least three semesters.
Six Eastern art professors are showcasing their work, "Forget-Me-Nots" in an art exhibition at the Hygienic Art Galleries at 79-83 Bank Street in New London. The exhibit began on May 28 and continues through June 25. Artists include June Bisantz, Lula Blocton, Sharon Butler, Ted Efremoff, Tom Hébert and Jane Rainwater. The public is invited. Admission is free.
"The pieces selected for this exhibition bring forward ideas, memories and images gleaned from the artists' pasts," said Butler, who organized the exhibit. "Each artist transforms transient thoughts and vague private recollections, allowing them a place in our shared memory and collective history."
Bisantz's work creates thought-provoking public art on billboards, buses, movie theater screens, shopping mall advertising panels, architectural facades, traffic-control devices and solar-powered street signs. Blocton is fascinated with color, structure and the illusion of transparency. She has traveled to Africa and Europe to study major museum collections and vernacular art. Butler is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work comprises abstract painting, Web 2.0 social networking media, and writing. In "Forget-Me-Nots," Butler presents paintings based on the structure of isolated observation towers that were inspired by the paintings that her reclusive father, who worked as a stockbroker in New London for more than 40 years, made in the 1960s. Efremoff, born in Moscow, Russia, is a cross-disciplinary artist engaged with performance, video, installation and social sculpture. His primary interest lies in exploring how storytelling has the capacity to overcome the immediate constraints of space and time. Hébert, whose recent work includes photorealist paintings and collages that combine digital images and wood construction, has exhibited at OK Harris, Semaphore and Exit Art in New York; Real Art Ways in Hartford; and many other galleries throughout New England. In her artwork, Rainwater explores the paradox of "horrible beauty" in drawings, diagrams, installations, sculpture, performance and prints. Her aim is to engage the viewer with seemingly innocent decorative pleasantry, which upon closer examination reveals darker truths.
The Hygienic Art Galleries is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 12 to 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about "Forget-Me-Nots," contact Sharon Butler at (860) 465-4345 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seated, from left: Kristen Green, Jennifer Green's mother; Jennifer Green, freshman/sophomore winner; Patricia Banach, director of library services; English Professor Maureen McDonnell. Back, from left: Rhona Free, vice president for academic affairs; and Hope Marie Cook, Janice Wilson and Carol Reichardt, librarians and members of the Library Research Award Committee.
From left: Carol Reichardt, instruction librarian; Biology Professor Mike Adams; Patricia Banach, director of library services; Jessica Ruddy '11, junior/senior winner; Professor Phillip Elliott, director of the Honors Program; Hope Marie Cook, Curriculum Center librarian; Janice Wilson, head of reference and chair of the Library Research Award Committee.
The J. Eugene Smith Library recently announced the winners of the first annual undergraduate student library research award competition. This prize has been established to recognize and celebrate exemplary student research projects that demonstrate the ability to locate, evaluate, select and apply information from appropriate resources. Primary emphasis is placed upon the creative and effective use of library resources, services and collections encompassing print, microform and online databases. Two prizes of $350 were awarded, one to the winning freshman/sophomore project and the other to the winning junior/senior project. The winners were Jennifer Green, who won the freshman/sophomore prize with a paper titled "Spain Has Three Million Problems and They're All Immigrants," written for Professor Maureen McDonnell's English 100P class; and Jessica Ruddy '11, who won the junior/senior prize with a paper titled "Modeling Food Web Dynamics," written as an honors thesis in Biology/Hon 488, under the guidance of Professor Phillip Elliott.
Senior baseball tri-captain Jim Schult of Wappingers Falls, NY, earned the ultimate individual honor possible when he was honored as the 2011 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III National Player-of-the-Year. Schult also is a first-team All-America pick.
Schult, a Business Administration major, earned an overall 3.70 GPA and is a member of Eastern's Honors Program. He also was inducted into Alpha Mu Alpha, the Marketing Honor Society and Delta Mu Delta, the Business Honor Society. He has been named to the Little East Conference academic honor roll in each of his three years of eligibility and as an Eastern/E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete.
From left, senior Rachel Soychak and juniors Molly Rathbun and Priscilla Alicea accept the regional championship award following the Warriors' fifth-place finish at the NCAA Division III national softball championship at the James I. Moyer Complex in Salem, VA.
Eastern junior right-handed pitcher Molly Rathbun of Hebron became the first player in program history to achieve first-team All-America honors as many as three consecutive seasons when she was named a first-team Louisville Slugger National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Division III All-America. Rathbun has been voted to the first team for the last two years after earning second-team honors as a freshman in 2009.