The e-newsletter of Eastern Connecticut State University
September 2011 Archives
On Sept. 9, more than 150 students, faculty and staff participated in a memorial service on the Gelsi-Young Hall lawn to pay tribute to the more than 3,000 people who lost their lives on Sept. 1, 2001. They heard Eastern President Elsa Núñez say that those who died were heroes. "For all who died on 9/11, let us hold them up today and forever, in our prayers, in our thoughts, and in our determination to remain staunch to our own values -- respecting life and respecting the diversity of culture, opinion and beliefs that make our country strong."
Núñez said our greatest strength as human beings is the capacity to love. "Our greatest weapon against the forces of hatred is decency. Let us each be a force of good and let us express it individually. When we observe 9/11 today, we not only honor the innocent victims who died that day, we also honor everyone who has ever put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, including our service men and women."
The University installed the "9/11 Tribute Tree," surrounded by a ring of 152 paving stones, as a permanent memorial to the 152 people of Connecticut who died on 9/11. A granite bench next to the tree allows people to stop by to sit and reflect on their own values.
To honor those who lost their lives and to support the causes of world peace and global understanding, students and staff from 16 different campus offices spent the summer making 1,000 paper peace doves that were displayed in the Student Center throughout the weeks of Aug. 29 and Sept. 5. Students, faculty and staff wrote their names on the doves and then displayed them prominently in the center.
On Sept. 11 at 9 p.m., more than 250 students and community members joined together in a solemn candlelight commemoration of the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Holding candles in a large circle in front of the Foster Clock Tower, students heard retired Eastern Police Detective Louise Wright share her experiences as a first responder in New York City. Father Larry LaPointe of Campus Ministry and Kyle Droniak from the Campus Activity Board encouraged students to find ways to make a difference in their communities. Brittany Cava from the Center for Community Engagement encouraged participants to add their handprint to a large banner that contained the handprints of Windham schoolchildren as a commitment to supporting youth. Area resident Chris Savitski provided music, and members of the Willimantic Fire Department and Eastern Police Department also attended the ceremony.
On Sept. 7, Professor Charles Wynn described how the events of Sept. 11, 2001, inspired him to write the book, "And God said, 'Let there be evolution!': Reconciling the Book of Genesis, the Qur'an and the Theory of Evolution." The book explains how Darwin's Theory of Evolution can be reconciled with Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Wynn's lecture was the first event in this year's University Hour series.
On Sept. 7, Eastern opened and dedicated the new Virginia and Charles Prewitt Office of Peace and Human Rights, located in Room 110 of Goddard Hall. Charles Prewitt, professor emeritus at Eastern, has donated more than $90,000 to the Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation, Inc. in honor of his late beloved wife, Virginia, to support the operations of the Peace and Human Rights Office and to provide additional scholarship support to students interested in the cause of peace and human rights.
In 2002, Prewitt and his wife established the Virginia and Charles Prewitt Peace and Human Rights Studies Endowment to support students who are active in the community and demonstrate an interest in peace and human rights. Prewitt began teaching the sciences at Eastern in 1952 until he retired in 1979. He continues to teach peace and human rights courses part time, bringing state and national dignitaries to campus to explore how to pursue world peace and basic human rights for all human beings.
"It is wonderful to see us dedicating this office in honor of Virginia and your own legacy," Eastern President Elsa Núñez told Prewitt. "I have enjoyed presenting each year in your classes. I have observed with pleasure how you stay connected with your students; that is how you stay young!
"We thank Dr. Prewitt for his commitment to peace and the rights of all human beings, and we are delighted to be able to dedicate this room in honor of him and in memory of his wife, Virginia."
It is fitting that a quote attributed to Prewitt is on the door of the Peace and Human Rights Office: "If you don't have a dream, how can your dream come true?"
Office of Housing and Residential Life officials reported that move-in went well this year, considering that Hurricane Irene knocked out power to much of the surrounding area. Even though the ground was still damp, the hurricane did not dampen the spirits of students on move-in day. In a span of 12 hours, more than 2,600 students moved into the residence halls on-campus and the Best Western Hotel in Mansfield. Residential students hail from many countries, 15 states and 207 different communities in Connecticut. A team of returning students were on hand to greet the new students and their parents.
New and returning students arrived on campus this past month to witness Eastern's impressive new entrance. Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning, said the entrance was designed to coordinate with the building and wayfinding signs seen across campus. "If you notice, the black wrought iron that spans the sidewalks has the same shape and design -- with the notch at the top -- that the building signs have. There are also hints of the clock tower design in the boundary monument wrought iron. Finally, we have an entrance that reflects the significance of the institution. When you get to the entrance, you know you have arrived someplace important!"
Of course, textbooks are always a part of the start of the new year. Textbook purchases typically cost students hundreds of dollars each semester. For the past year, Eastern has been offering students a new cost-saving option through a textbook rental program that allows students to rent textbooks for 45 percent of the cost of purchasing a new textbook. Faculty are encouraged to make students aware of the offering by Barnes & Noble. For more information about the textbook rental program, please contact Benjamin Blake at (860) 465-5283.
On Sept. 1, hundreds of students, faculty and staff attended the Annual President's Picnic and Student Activities Fair outside the Student Center. Chartwell's Food Services fed more than 2,000 people, including those who went up for seconds! Long lines of students signed up to join more than 60 student clubs. Nearly 80 people volunteered to donate blood at future Eastern blood drives.
Hundreds of students also signed up for community service opportunities. The service fair is an extension of the clubs and activities fair. Community partners seeking volunteers and interns set up tables to provide information to students about their work and to encourage students to volunteer. The Center for Community Engagement also provides information about ways students can get involved in the community. This year, the CCE has an estimated 20 community partners who have expressed an interest in working with Eastern students, and the number keeps growing.
At this year's University Meeting on Aug. 25, Eastern President Elsa Núñez said that Eastern was continuing to stand tall in the face of difficult times. Citing many world challenges, including unemployment in America, Núñez announced that "for the first time in 20 years, Eastern has modest reserves, which shows the University is a mature and well-run institution!" She also said Eastern had been named by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a "Great College to Work For" the third year in a row; the Princeton Review again recognized Eastern as one of the Northeast's Best Colleges; NEASC re-accreditated the University; USA Today cited Eastern's service to community as being among the best in the country; Eastern was admitted into the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability; and a new corporate-sponsored, onsite internship center in Winthrop Hall will pay students to perform information technology services. Núñez thanked Eastern employees for working together to help the University produce a balanced budget for this fiscal year.
During the University Meeting, the University announced several new hires, recognized retirees, and honored those with 10-, 20- and 25-years of service. In photo above, retiring English Professor Marcia McGowan (center) is congratulated by Executive Vice President Michael Pernal and President Elsa Núñez. The list of hires can be found here: University Meeting Recognition.pdf and the photos of honorees can be found here: Photos.pdf.
At the New Faculty Orientation held on Aug. 24, new faculty and staff were encouraged to explore teaching resources opportunities; to enjoy campus cultural events such as the Arts and Lecture Series and much more; and told that student success is the University's top priority. Susan Heyward, director of academic advising, provided an overview of the Four-Stage Advising Program -- pre-enrollment advising, first-year
advising, exploratory advising and
major advising. Dual advising services,
where first-time full-time students are assigned to both a professional advisor at the Advising Center and a faculty advisor within the students' academic departments, were also explained. Above, Susan Heyward gives an overview of advising. At left, Michael Palumbo, technical support analyst in Information Technology Services, introduces the computer resources available to new faculty.
As we start this academic year, the fruits of discussions in monthly Project Compass meetings, faculty development workshops, Writing Center and First Year Writing coordination, and funds from a Title III grant have resulted in a great example of putting theory to practice: "From Tutor to Tutor: A Guidebook for Writers." The idea of a student-authored text arose in fall 2009 when tutor-trainees in Lauren Rosenberg's Tutoring Writing class began discussing the possibility of creating their own book of essays, lore and tips for new tutors authored solely by writing tutors. The book was also designed to be a resource for everyone who works with student writers and who thinks about the best ways to consult with people about their writing.
"From Tutor to Tutor: A Guidebook for Writers" consists of 18 essays written by Writing Center and classroom tutors under the editorial supervision of English Professor Lauren Rosenberg. The cover artwork was also done by one of Eastern's students. The book demonstrates how Eastern's English majors, as well as majors in Environmental Earth Science, Music, and Sport and Leisure Managment apply their liberal education knowledge to their career development and also shows how they make a difference in enhancing student success for the entire Eastern community. "From Tutor to Tutor" is a great example of how Eastern develops leadership in our students through hands-on learning, with the guidance of great faculty mentors and supportive staff.
Hundreds of senior citizens from the region (Andover, Hebron, Lebanon and Columbia) attended and participated in a senior fair on Aug. 22 Monday in the Betty R. Tipton Room. The fair was organized by Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams Jr., (D-Brooklyn) and State Sen. Edith Prague (D-Columbia), shown at right.
Five Eastern athletes received honors by the Little East Conference in the first weekly report of fall 2011. Freshman David Klein (New Milford), at left, was named male cross country Rookie-of-the-Week and junior forward Daniela Marchitto (Orange) took the honors as women's soccer Offensive Player-of-the-Week. Members of the men's soccer team earned three of the four weekly awards: junior forward Cory Tobler (Portland) was named Offensive Player-of-the-Week, senior back Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA) Defensive Player-of-the-Week and senior keeper Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) Goalkeeper-of the-Week. In his first collegiate race, Klein led the Warriors at the finish line with an overall finish of eighth in a field of 43 this past Friday at the Jim Sheehan Memorial at Coggshall Park at Fitchburg, MA. Klein was timed in 27:37 over the 4.75 mile course. As a team, Eastern finished second in a field of four.