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November 2011 Archives

President Núñez Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

latino affairs commission award.JPGPresident Elsa Núñez receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from LPRAC Chairman Isaias Diaz and Commissioners Lourdes Montalvo, Enrique Marcano and Juan Perez.

The Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC) honored Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez with its Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 22 during its 14th Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony at Amarante's Sea Cliff Restaurant in New Haven.

Several Eastern staff and faculty were on hand to congratulate President Núñez, including Imna Arroyo, Carmen Cid, Pat Banach, Carlos Hernandez, Dwight Bachman and Ed Osborn.  President Núñez's husband, Richard Freeland, and her son, Antony Wormack, were also in attendance.

Nunez Party -Imna Elsa CarmenSophia Adrianna Pat Carlos UPDATE.JPGNúñez also delivered the keynote address at the banquet. She recalled the days when Latinos worked long hours in difficult conditions in the tobacco fields, thread mills and other factories of Connecticut. The pay was low, the conditions were often dangerous, and families were not treated well. "We have moved away from the tobacco farms and the thread mills, but life is not better for many members of the Latino community."  President Núñez went on to describe the educational achievement gap in Connecticut that exists between Latino students, often living in urban, low-income households and more affluent, white suburban students. "The achievement gap in Connecticut is the worst in the country," she explained, "and Latino students' academic performance actually gets worse as they progress through school.  Our educational system is failing them."

Núñez ended her remarks by encouraging the audience to do all it can individually and collectively to bridge the achievement gap between the larger society and the Latino community.

Eastern student Noel Bautista and Caithlyn Sanchez of Windham High School were among the 15 students who received scholarships.

Eastern Wins Life Share Silver Sponsor Award Two Years in a Row

blood drive Irene Award.jpgTwo years ago, the Connecticut Region of the American Red Cross Blood Services launched a program called "Life Share"  to evaluate and recognize dedicated blood drive sponsors in high schools, colleges and local communities. Eastern was the recipient of the Life Share Silver Sponsor Award in 2010 and again in 2011. Ten percent of Eastern's campus population (students, faculty and staff) has donated blood during campus drives for the past two years.

Eastern has been a blood drive sponsor since 1993 through the efforts of the Campus Ministry and Division of Student Affairs. Since the program's inception, Eastern has experienced a consistent increase in donations. This feat can be attributed to an increase in the number of drives from two to four per year, as well as the sizeable number of volunteer helpers.

Last fall, Ken Bedini, vice president for student affairs, accepted the Life Share 2010 Silver Sponsor plaque at a reception in the Governor's Mansion. This year, an award certificate was sent to Irene Cretella, administrative assistant in the Division of Student Affairs, who coordinates the campus drives and works with the American Red Cross to achieve successful, productive drives.  Recently, the Center for Community Engagement has assisted with recruitment of volunteers who wish to perform a few hours of service to give back to the community for this very worthwhile event.

Affirmative Action Bake Sale

affirmative action bake sale prices.jpgThe Eastern Conservatives/ Libertarians Club hosted an "affirmative action bake sale" outside Webb Hall on Oct.18, where the price of each cupcake or cookie varied by the race, ethnicity or gender of the buyer. In conjunction with the sale, five faculty members participated in a teach-in in Room 110 of Webb Hall to provide a forum on affirmative action.

Psychology Professor Madeleine Fugere discussed "Associations with Affirmative Action: Myths and Misunderstandings."  Education Professor David Stoloff presented on the topic "The Roles of Affirmative Action in Educational and National Development:  An International and Cross-Cultural Discussion." Political Science Professors Nicole Krassas and Bill Salka lectured respectively on "Federal Law and Affirmative Action Supreme Court Decisions" and "Why Affirmative Action is Unconstitutional." (Professor Salka explains that he was serving the role of counterpoint and does not personally believe affirmative action is unconstitutional!)  Business krassas on affirmative action.jpgAdministration Professor Elizabeth Scott discussed "Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity from the Inside: Reflections on the Early Days."

The forum also showed a video, "The Constitution: That Delicate Balance - Affirmative Action Versus Reverse Discrimination."

Eastern's Fall Star Show

planetarium show.jpgOn Oct. 5, more than 60 Eastern students, faculty and members of the local community saw the University's new state-of-the-art Spitz System 512 Star Projector and new $17,000 LED Cove lighting system in action in the Robert K. Wickware Planetarium.

Russell Sampson and Zoran Pazameta, Eastern astronomers and associate professors of physical science, presented the audience with a brief history of the planetarium before revealing a number of stunning constellations projected by the new projector and cove lighting system. "The new star projector provides a truly awe-inspiring simulation of the night sky," said Sampson. "The projector keeps Eastern at the forefront of astronomy education in Connecticut and will also improve our already high community outreach capabilities."

The new 512 Star Projector replaces a 40-year-old projector and can display 2,350 stars, almost twice as many as the old projector.  It features the latest electronic controls, projection systems and precision motors and simulates the night sky in a more realistic fashion.

An upcoming planetarium show will take place on Dec. 5, starting at 5:30 p.m. For tickets or free private star shows, contact Pazameta at (860) 465-5300 or pazameta@easternct.edu, and Sampson at (860) 465-0188 or sampsonr@easternct.edu.

Sociology Students Visit Washington, DC

Thumbnail image for Global Field Study Group at the Capitol.jpgNineteen students in Professor Dennis Canterbury's Sociology of Globalization class took a field trip to the White House, the U.S. Congress and the World Bank Oct. 21-24. Canterbury is a specialist in the areas of development and globalization.

In addition to touring the White House and the Capitol, students heard a lecture on the role of the World Bank in a global setting, and were then given a quiz. The tours of the White House and the halls of Congress were arranged by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney's Washington office.

The students also visited the new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the northeast corner of the Tidal Basin. In addition to Professor Canterbury, participants on the trip included alumnus Ryan Davis; Cliff Marrett, interim director of career services; and students Laura Gervascio, Milan Turner, Sarah Bojorquez, Melissa Heikoff, Anne Kanzow, Whitley Mingo, Nely Montoyo, Melissa Simeone, Garrett Campbell, Deven Zesk, Kevin Rivera, Luen Yeung, Robert Ensign III, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Nicholas Higgins, Charles Ladd, Daniel Parker, Randy Romano, and Conor Sherman.

DSC04516.JPGAt left: Garrett Campbell, left, and Devin Zesk, right, with Rep. Joe Courtney and Professor Canterbury.

 Global Field Study MLK Memorial.jpg

Brown Bag Concert

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for brown bag-stephanie rogers.jpgStudents, faculty, staff and area residents gathered in Shafer Auditorium to enjoy students perform at Eastern's Brown Bag Series on Oct. 14. The series occurs once a month, usually on the second Friday of the month. Brown Bag is a series of informal events, usually involving students playing pieces with the intention of gaining performance experience. At left, soprano Stephanie Rogers sings "Silent Noon" by Ralph Vaughan-Williams. Other students performers included tenor Tyler Sprague singing "Shenandoah" by Celius Doughterty; tenor Brennan Collins singing "Standchen" by Franz Shubert, with Eric Ouellette at piano; soprano Bryanna McKenney singing "Pur dicesti, O bocca bella" by Antonio Lotti; Morgan Brown performing "Vocalise #2" by Marco Bordogni; and Alexis Smith presenting "Rhythm Song" by Paul Smadbeck on marimba.

Somalia Awareness

somalia yuns mohammed.jpgOn Oct. 12, Geography Professor Kwasi Boadi raised awareness on famine and drought in Somalia in a Student Center Theatre presentation titled "Impact the World." Boadi provided a comprehensive overview of the situation in Somalia, and then focused on connections between the geographical features of Somalia and the effect they have on the country's food crisis. The Africa Club of Eastern (ACE) sponsored Boadi's lecture. After the presentation, ACE collected donations to send to the American Red Cross. For more information about Africa Club events, contact ACE at africanclub@my.easternct.edu. Above, the audience listens as Yuns Mohammed discusses the conditions his family is facing in Somalia.

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Davies Discusses Homophobic Hate Crimes

erin davies.jpgErin Davies, activist and co-founder of the Fagbug Project, spoke at Eastern's University Hour Series on Oct. 19 in the Student Center Theatre. Davies' presentation, "Creating Change in Ourselves," shared her inspirational story of traveling across the United States and Canada to raise awareness about hate crimes and homophobia.

Davies refused to be silent in 2007 when her VW Beetle was vandalized and marked with homophobic slurs just because it sported a rainbow bumper sticker.  Her presentation raised awareness about her campaign to give a voice to those who are silent; inspire others to take a stand against bullies; and be an example of how to overcome obstacles with creativity.

Since founding the Fagbug project four years ago, Davies has gained sponsorship from the Volkswagen Group of America and the Sundance Film Festival. In addition, she has produced a documentary of her journey, which can be found at www.fagbug.com.

Professors Dawson and Butler Lecture in New York City

Wier Farm.jpgAnne Dawson, professor of art history, and Sharon Butler, professor of visual art, recently represented Eastern on two different panel discussions in New York City. Dawson, an expert on painter J. Alden Weir, joined Judy Jacobs, senior conservator at the National Park Service, and Peter Trippi, editor of "Fine Art Connoisseur," at the Salmagundi Dining Room and Bar on Park Avenue on Oct. 21 to address the significance of the life and work of the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton.

Many artists have lived and worked at the Weir Farm, continuing the legacy of Weir's artistic expression. Visitors have the opportunity to experience plein air painting and sketching firsthand while becoming a part of a unique and enduring artistic tradition.

Also on Oct. 21, Butler visited the Brooklyn, NY, home of the well-known non-profits Momenta Art and NurtureArt in an event titled, "Rolling Conversations." Butler discussed how emerging artists need to think more clearly and realistically about how they price their artwork. She wrote a brief report of the conversation at www.twocoatsofpaint.com/2011/10/dont-ask-dont-tell-pricing-artwork.html

Earlier in October, Butler discussed how contemporary artists are using Web 2.0 and Social Networking Media to create, distribute and promote their artwork during the New York Studio School's Lunchtime Lecture Series.  On Oct. 6 in Boston, Butler gave a presentation at "Teaching Visual Arts Online," a panel discussion hosted by Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Soccer Player Smiles Cited By LEC Third Time!

sports-smiles_action300_9186.jpgFor the third time in seven weeks this season, senior defender Aaron Smiles of Bedford, MA, was named Defensive Player-of-the-Week in the Little East Conference.  The latest recognition is for the week ending Oct. 23; Smiles was similarly honored in the first weekly report of the season Sept. 12 and in the fifth weekly report Oct. 10.

A first-team All-New England Region and All-LEC selection, Smiles anchored a defense which shut out both the U.S. Coast Guard and the University of Southern Maine, giving the Warriors their tenth and 11th shutouts of the season at the time and breaking the previous team record of ten, set in 1969 and equaled four more times.

(For more news about Eastern athletics, visit www.easternct.edu/athletics.)

Imna Arroyo Wins National Recognition


DSC_6087.jpgCSU Professor of Art-Printmaking Imna Arroyo has been awarded a 2012 Outstanding Latina Cultural Award in Fine Arts by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).  The award will be presented at the Seventh Annual AAHHE National Conference in Costa Mesa, CA, on March 10, 2012.  Imna was nominated for the award by her colleague and department chair, Gail Gelburd.  Congratulations, Imna!


Roberts Visits Campus to Speak on Reproductive Rights

Jane Roberts, well-known activist, author and co-founder of the 34 Million Friends of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), discussed the crisis facing reproductive rights on Oct. 12 in the Women's Center.  Roberts has dedicated her life to women's access to education, health and human rights. Her work deals with teaching reproductive health, family planning, surviving childbirth, prevention of STDs, avoiding HIV/AIDS and the prevention of gender-based violence. The fund, co-founded by activist Lois Abraham, is a grassroots movement that has supported health initiatives since 2002.


The group was created in response to the Bush administration withholding the $34 million that was always given to the UNFPA. The project asks Americans to donate $1 to the organization, which goes to UNFPA. In 2005, Roberts and Abraham were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in international human rights. Roberts has also published a book, "34 Million Friends: Of the Women of the World," which gives details on Roberts and Abraham's mission to achieve social justice for women.


jane roberts on reproductive rights.jpg


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