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December 2011 Archives

Eastern Hosts Fifth Annual Day of Giving


On Nov. 23, Eastern Connecticut State University hosted its fifth annual "Day of Giving" Thanksgiving dinner for community members who are patrons of local soup kitchens, senior centers and other social service agencies. Upwards of 500 local residents enjoyed the Thanksgiving meal, which took place in Hurley Hall. In addition, almost $2,500 was raised towards food contributions to local food pantries, and more than 5,000 canned goods were collected.


The Day of Giving was started by Jason Budahazy '09 in 2007, and his father, Jay, was on hand to donate more than 300 canned goods and help celebrate the festivities. This year, members of Eastern's student clubs People Helping People and Best Buddies, led by Center for Community Engagement (CCE) staff, organized the event. They enlisted community-wide support from Eastern's administration, housing staff, other student clubs and organizations, Chartwells Dining Services, the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Windham school system, the Windham Housing Authority, Ted's IGA, the Willimantic Food Co-Op, Highland Park of Coventry, Plainfield's Better Value, East Hampton's Stop & Shop, the East Brook Mall, Main Street Café, the Lebanon Green Market and others.


In addition to the Thanksgiving meal, a large-scale food drive took place in the local community as well as on the Eastern campus. All food items were donated to the Northeast Food Collaborative, which consists of local food charities such as the Covenant Soup Kitchen, Access Agency, Catholic Charities and others.



"Eastern's Day of Giving is a special event because it is student-driven," said Scott Nolan '12, a political science major from Windsor Locks and one of the coordinators of this year's event. "It could not be possible without the help of several key professionals and crucial departments here at Eastern, such as the CCE under its director, Kimberly Silcox; Eastern's AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers Brittney Cava '12 and Kristina Scherber; the student club People Helping People; overwhelming support from the University; and especially the ECSU Foundation, Inc., without which this event would not be possible."


"Eastern really stepped up," said Kate Harner '12, another event organizer, in describing how Eastern students doubled the on-campus food collection from last year.  "I love just knowing that we made a difference."


"I walk into this room every year (for the Day of Giving) and I am always so proud that I am president of this great university," Eastern President Elsa Núñez told the crowd. "Our students come to Eastern to study, but they also come to help the community.  For a lot of families, this is the only Thanksgiving meal they will have." 


Girl Scouts of Connecticut Honor President Núñez

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Eastern President Núñez was the recipient of this year's Girl Scouts of Connecticut's 2011 Breakfast Badge at a special breakfast event on Dec. 10 at the Hartford Club. Núñez was honored for her courage, commitment and dedication to education. More than 200 friends and supporters were on hand to acknowledge Nunez's uncommon leadership for the common good, while supporting Girl Scouting's programs for young women.


"We honor a pioneer in education," said Girl Scouts of Connecticut President Teresa Younger, who congratulated President Núñez for her leadership at Eastern, for her work in the community, and for her support of Girl Scouts of Connecticut as a member of the board of directors.


As the 2011 Breakfast Badge honoree, Núñez received a personalized Girl Scout badge depicting strength, character and education. The unique badge was specially designed to reflect her tireless efforts to increase Eastern's visibility - both regionally and nationally. This is the 15th year of the badge program.


 "I want to thank Girl Scouts of Connecticut CEO Jennifer Smith Turner, Board President Teresa Younger, and my colleagues on the Board of Directors for honoring me today with this special Girl Scout Badge," Núñez said in accepting her award. "It is an honor and a privilege to receive this recognition."


Núñez lauded the 47,000 Girl Scouts in Connecticut and the 19,000 Girl Scout volunteers across the state for their work to build girl's "courage, confidence and character." 


"These words are powerful," she remarked, reflecting on recent events at Penn State University and wondering if she would have had the courage, confidence and character to prevent the abuses that allegedly occurred there over the past 15 years.  "I think a lot of the Girl Scouts in this room would have stood tall and straight if they had had those same decisions to make."


President Núñez ended her remarks by commenting on the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts: "Girl Scouting is not out of date.  It has never been more relevant.  The core values that the Girl Scouts share is a great gift to this country."


Concert Chorale Performs in Norwich


Fresh off a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Eastern Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers joined the Concert Choir of Northeastern Connecticut and the Diocesan Choir of Norwich to delight an audience of more than 400 people on Nov. 22 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich.  The Chorale presented Haydn's "Te Deum" and Mozart's "Coronation Mass" with full orchestra and soloists.



Safe Civil Disobedience for Social Justice

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Eastern students, staff and faculty participated in a "Safe Civil Disobedience for Social Justice" workshop in Goddard Hall on Dec. 1.The workshop was sparked by a campus-wide faculty response to news stories showing campus police at the University of California at Davis using pepper spray on students who were engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience.


Faculty and staff shared information on how to engage Eastern students and faculty in raising awareness and promoting social justice on campus. Tracy Sutherland, public service librarian in the J. Eugene Smith Library, presented the audience with numerous resources available to the public that would inform them about the "Occupy" movement, which has spread across the globe. Sutherland has also created a resource page on Eastern's library website that provides information on books, videos, and online journals that focus on civil disobedience. "I am not an activist, said Sutherland, "but doing this research has really opened my eyes."


Starsheemar Byrum, coordinator of Eastern's Women's Center, discussed the center's plans to raise social justice awareness during the spring semester. Her office is working closely with the Intercultural Center to produce a social justice calendar of events that will contain activities supporting Eastern's mission to educate the campus community on a wide range of issues.


Visual Arts Professors Imna Arroyo and Mark Gerard McKee provided a rich historical presentation on the importance and impact of art and dissent, and the power of images on civil discourse.


BEST Fest is great for students


Students majoring in a wide range of academic disciplines at Eastern, as well as from other schools in Connecticut such as UConn and CCSU, participated in  the "BEST Fest" (Business Experiential Skills and Technology Festival) on Nov. 17 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. Students exhibited their experiential learning individual or team projects and competed in up to three of 18 different categories for prizes.


The event was sponsored by several Connecticut businesses and employers, and hosted by the Eastern student Association of Information Technology (AITP) Chapter, American Marketing Association Chapter, Apps Club, and the Economics and Entrepreneurship Clubs.  The judges-- Connecticut and New England employer representatives--examined the exhibits and talked with students exhibitors about their projects,  providing the students with valuable feedback.  


Students used the exhibition as a career networking opportunity to share their resumes and business cards.



Jaime Gomez Presented International Honor

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The Organization of the Americas for Educational Excellence (ODAEE), through two universities -- the College of Graduate Studies of Mexico City and the Catholic University of Cuenca in Ecuador -- have conferred a Doctor Honoris Causa/Honorary Degree upon Jaime Gomez, interim dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies and the Graduate Division. The ceremony took place Oct. 26 in Cartagena, Colombia during the Fourth Annual Meeting of the National Congress for Quality Education and the Organization of Ibero American States for Education, Science and Culture-OEI.


Gomez was presented the honorary degree "in recognition of his great contribution in the development of the sciences, arts and letters." Gomez is widely respected internationally for his work in media production; linking information and communication technology to a liberal arts and science education; Latino history and culture; and the ecology of South America.


The theme of the Cartagena meeting, attended by delegates from more than 23 countries, was "Teacher Professional Development as a Determining Factor for Ensuring Quality Education." Gomez was asked to deliver a presentation specifically addressing the topic, "Training teachers to use information communication technology (ICT) in education." 


Gomez was presented with a Special Recognition Diploma for his "outstanding research and education in the areas of information communication technology (ICT) in the field of education." He also participated on a panel on the same subject with other Latin American scholars. "I was very honored, truly moved, and deeply humbled to receive this honorary degree," said Gomez. 


"It reinforces my lifetime commitment to use media and technology to enhance educational environments. It also reinforces my belief that a quality education for all should be an inherent right and not a privilege because education is the foundation on which we can build a more equitable, sustainable, and progressive society. My teaching, research and administrative experience at Eastern Connecticut State University has helped me tremendously to build on that foundation."


Eastern's African Club Hosts Cultural Extravaganza


Dozens of students, faculty and staff  helped Eastern's African Club celebrate its annual Cultural Extravaganza on Dec. 2 in the Betty R. Tipton Room. Yaw Nsiah, associate professor of biology at Eastern, was the guest speaker. He discussed public health services in Ghana, West Africa, and his native country. "Public health is about the health of the community," said Nsiah. "We all have to do our part in making sure the drinking water is clean; we have good sanitation; the hungry have been fed; and the homeless have shelter."                                                         


The program included traditional African dancers; a display of African artwork; African storytelling by English Professor Raouf Mama; and delicious African food. The extravaganza also provided information on community service programs available to Eastern students.


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Supporting the People of Turkey


More than 130 students, faculty and staff attended a fundraising dinner in the Betty R. Tipton Room on Dec. 1 that helped raise more than $2,700 for victims of the earthquake in Turkey on Oct. 23.  The event was sponsored by the Turkish American Student Association (TASA). Eastern President Elsa Nunez presented a $1,000 check on behalf of Eastern.  The earthquake struck eastern Turkey near the city of Van with a 7.2 magnitude, killing more than 600 people and leaving 60,000 people homeless. Proceeds will be donated through the Helping Hands Relief Foundation. TASA President Zuleyha Ozen said, "The association truly appreciates the generous donations made by the Eastern community, and would like to thank you for reaching out to the people of Turkey in their time of need. Your gift will help those still suffering to recover and we thank you for your compassion."







Nancy Tinker Honored


On Dec. 7, Nancy Tinker, director of Facilities and Management Planning, was presented an award from the Design Build Institute of America at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel in Massachusetts. Tinker was recognized for her successful planning, design and management of the construction of the new parking garage on North Campus, a design build project.

Tummers Authors New Book

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Stress is pervasive in today's world, especially in the lives of today's children and youth who face daunting social challenges. Without adequate coping skills, students might engage in risky behavior and make poor decisions that have negative consequences for themselves and others.


Now, for the first time, there's a resource for K-12 teachers that's devoted to helping kids manage stress.Health and Physical Education Professor Nanette Tummers has authored a new book on how to relieve stress, "Teaching Stress Management." The book presents the most current evidence-based research, with practical applications supplying teachers with 199 low- to no-cost activities that reinforce the curricular concepts.  The book equips students to deal proactively with stress and helps teachers apply various aspects of the positive psychology movement, including optimism, social support, resiliency, right-brain engagement, mindfulness-based stress reduction, responsive classroom techniques, and emotional and social intelligence.


"Teaching students the skills of stress management can have a positive impact on schools' social climate--reducing conflict, bullying and violence," said Tummers. In addition, Teaching Stress Management helps teachers meet the National Health Education Standards with an overall focus on standard 7, in which students practice health-enhancing behaviors.


CECE Produces New Educational Video


Eastern's Center for Early Childhood Education has released "Supporting Children's Individual Needs," an educational video that discusses the challenge that preschool teachers face when planning for an entire classroom while meeting each child's individual needs. In the video, Education Professor Ann Gruenberg stresses the importance of observing children and assessing their strengths and needs to determine how best to support them. The video also features Niloufar Rezai, director of Eastern's Child and Family Development Resource Center, reflecting on strategies she used as a preschool teacher to identify and support a child's learning needs.


Gruenbergweb.jpg The video is the sixth in the e-clips series of free educational videos for early childhood professionals developed by Communication Professor Denise Matthews. The video was developed with the assistance of three Eastern communication students who have since graduated: Karl Gray, Dan Young, and Kerin Jaros-Dressler.  Ken Measimer served as production coordinator, and the staff in Media Services provided studio support. To read more about the e-clips project and to view the videos and supplemental materials, go to: http://www.easternct.edu/cece/e-clips_main.html.

Eastern Places 32 On Fall LEC Academic Team

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Thirty-two Eastern student-athletes representing all six fall sports earned spots on the fall 2011 Little East Conference All-Academic Team. Seniors who attained spots on the fall academic honor roll for the third time were Ryan Hughes (Cheshire) and Bryan Jorge (Bristol) of the men's cross country program; Sam Konopka ( Hebron) and Jo-Ann Merheb ( Bethel) of the women's soccer program; and Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ) of the men's soccer program.


Among the eight full-fledged LEC member institutions, Eastern recorded the second-highest total of all-academic team qualifiers in the fall. Additional academic honor roll repeaters from last fall were junior Ryan Franklin, (Glastonbury) from men's cross country; junior Denica Gagnon (Colchester) and senior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) from women's cross country; senior Lyndsey Zavisza (Suffield) and junior Rochelle Normandin (South Windsor) from field hockey; juniors Jordan Munsell (Waterford) and Cory Tobler (Portland) from men's soccer; juniors Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield) and Daniela Marchitto (Orange) from women's soccer; and senior Gianna Trombino (East Moriches, NY) and junior Danielle Bourne (Branford) from women's volleyball. Senior women's volleyball player Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) returned to the team after qualifying as a sophomore in 2009.


To qualify for the team, a student-athlete must have reached sophomore athletic and academic status with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30. In 2010-11, Eastern featured the most academic honor roll achievers in all three playing seasons, totaling 89; in 2009-10, Eastern won the inaugural Presidents Cup for having the highest cumulative GPA of all conference institutions.                     


President's Leadership Luncheon


Thumbnail image for donor lunch group (1).JPGMore than 100 alumni and friends of the University attended Eastern Connecticut State University's annual President's Leadership Luncheon in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room on Nov. 4 to recognize two outstanding donors and four distinguished alumni.


Eastern President Elsa Núñez acknowledged the leadership and contributions to the University of the six award recipients and said their efforts were part of the reason that Eastern has been ranked in the top 30 public regional universities in the North by U.S. News and World Report the past two years in a row.


Kenneth DeLisa, vice president for institutional advancement, applauded the donors present for their commitment to assisting students in paying for their educations.  "We had a record 3,100 donors this past year, including 1,700 alumni donors," said DeLisa.  "Many of our students would not be here today without your support."



donor lunch group (2).JPGThe Savings Institute Bank and Trust Co. of Willimantic (SIBT) received the ECSU Foundation Board of Directors Distinguished Donor Award.  SIBT has been a strong supporter of Eastern for decades.  In addition to employing more than 30 Eastern alumni, SIBT has provided financial support to such University fundraising initiatives as the Dual Enrollment auction, the Bowlathon, the annual golf tournament and other events. 


Professor Barbara Tucker, a leading expert on Connecticut history, received the ECSU Foundation Distinguished Faculty Donor Award.  Tucker has taught at Eastern for 25 years and written several books on the history of Connecticut industry.  In addition to supporting Eastern students by establishing a scholarship fund in honor of her parents in 2000, Tucker has graciously donated materials to the J. Eugene Smith Library to support Connecticut Studies.  


Professor Emeritus Ralph Yulo received the Eastern Alumni Association's Hermann Beckert "Friend of the University" Award.  Retiring in 1992 following a 25-year career at Eastern as a professor of science education, Yulo has stayed active, serving on boards in his hometown of Eastford and through his involvement with various science education organizations in Connecticut.  He is also one of the most active donors to the ECSU Foundation, in particular supporting the NRY Scholarship named in honor of him and fellow emeriti professors Joe Narotsky and David Rand. 


The Alumni Association also presented Distinguished Service Awards to Arthur Vertefeuille '60 and Thomas J. Serra '70.  Vertefeuille was the first member of his family to get a college education, and he got his diploma only after interrupting his studies to serve three years in the U.S. Army.  He was the principal of Lebanon Elementary School for many years, eventually becoming the superintendent of schools before retiring in 1995.  In addition to being a member and chair of the Board of Governors for Higher Education, Vertefeuille has also been active in the Town of Windham as a selectman and member of numerous committees and boards.


Serra has served the City of Middletown for many years, as a teacher and coach and then assistant principal and principal at Vinal Technical High School; and as mayor and a current member of the Common Council.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce. 


The final award of the afternoon was given to author Jeff Benedict '91, who received the Alumni Association's 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award.  Benedict's career as a professional writer began while he was pursuing his law degree. Since that time, he has written 10 books, including a revealing review of sexual misconduct by professional athletes; an in-depth look at Foxwoods Casino and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe; an inspirational study of the famous eminent domain Supreme Court case, Kelo v. New London; and his most recent book, "Poisoned," a critical examination of the deadly e. coli outbreak that occurred in 1993.  Benedict is also a frequent contributor to Sports Illustrated magazine.


TinkerToys Named Best Toy


tinkertoys.JPGWith Christmas just around the corner, parents are looking for the best toys to entertain and educate their children. These days, those items are usually high-tech, remote-controlled animals and cars, trains, karaoke systems, robots, Star War droids, even baby laptop computers, including baby ipads.

But on Nov. 14, in Eastern's Center for Early Childhood Education, student and faculty researchers at Eastern announced the best toy of all to Inspire Mindful Play and Nurture Imagination (TIMPANI) is an old stand-by, one that baby boomers grew up playing with - the old TinkerToy construction set made by Hasbro, Inc. under its globally popular PLAYSKOOL brand.

The study was the brainchild of Eastern President Elsa Núñez, who said, "When we see a happy child in our own Child and Family Development Resource Center, we need to appreciate how thoughtful the professionals are who created the learning activities on which these children spend their time. The research Dr. Trawick-Smith is conducting is positively impacting the lives of dozens of children in this facility. More than that, it is being shared broadly with other childcare providers so that Eastern's research can support early childhood educators throughout our region and nation."

Núñez expressed her great satisfaction at the undergraduate research that drove this year's study. Kelly Zimmermann, now, an Eastern graduate student in early childhood education, was the lead student researcher, who filmed the children interactions. Zimmerman was responsible for videotaping the toys and coding the videos according to the evaluation rubric.
"This is truly a student-run research project . . . very scientific . . . with the faculty being heavily involved."  The research instrument developed three  years ago was created by former student Heather Russell. Zimmermann and Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Phyllis Waite Endowed Professor of Early Childhood Education, co-presented the results of the study at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Orlando on Nov. 3.


Dan Lauria Captivates Tipton Room Audience

lauria sitting with students.jpgApproximately 350 students, faculty, staff and guests were treated to a collection of classic movie scenes when veteran actor Dan Lauria visited Eastern on Nov. 14. In addition to playing the father, Jack Arnold, on the long-running television series, "The Wonder Years," Lauria has appeared on Broadway as legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. He has also appeared in numerous other television and film roles, written and directed plays, and performed on stage during a career that has spanned more than four decades.

During a lecture in the Betty R. Tipton Room that lasted almost two hours, Lauria answered questions about his craft and shared a series of film clips with the audience to illustrate his contention that today's Hollywood movies no longer require as much acting talent as in years gone by.  With today's technology and multiple cameras, modern actors have the benefit of saying their lines several times until they get it right, with editors' cuts allowing individual actors to work independently of each other. Lauria showed clips of acting legends Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant and Edward G. Robinson to demonstrate how they could mesmerize the screen with single camera "takes" that could last five minutes at a time without cutting away to another angle or scene.  "Today, you will see about 20 minutes of action for every five minutes of dialog," he explained.  Less of an art form and more of a business, today's movie industry is dominated by production studios owned by corporations. "When it said 'Warner Brothers,' there was Jack Warner's name on the credits. He was invested personally in the product."


lauria2.JPGLauria told the theatre students in the audience, "If you can't see yourself doing that (delivering fast-paced dialog from memory), don't be an actor.  There's a real difference between acting and filling an editing machine."   He said that the days of movie actors coming from a theatre background are rapidly coming to an end, with Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt standing out as young actors who still cared about their craft.  Peter Falk, Robert Mitchum, Ed O'Neill, Tyne Daly and Joe Mantegna are just some of the actors that Lauria indicated he has had the pleasure of working with.

Professor Belles and Concert Chorale Perform at Carnegie Hall and in Norwich

carnegiehall.jpgOn Nov. 13, David Belles, associate professor of music, made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the Mid-America Production Concert Series. Belles' role as conductor was the culmination of a five-day Carnegie Hall residency that he was awarded in recognition of his national reputation in the field of choral music and the musicianship and artistry he brings to the stage.

The residency included rehearsals, musicianship building, creative expression and cultural learning opportunities in New York City. "This was a wonderful opportunity for students, me and especially the University, to have a headliner presence at this world-renowned concert hall," he explained. "It is an honor to have my work as a conductor and educator recognized by this invitation."

Eastern's Concert Chorale joined Belles on stage during the Nov. 13 concert.  In addition to singing with 120 other participating singers, the Chorale also performed a 25-minute solo featuring F.J. Haydn's "Te Deum" and Howard Hanson's "Song of Democracy." Combining with the other singers, they performed Robert Ray's "Gospel Mass." 

"What sets this far and above those other experiences is that the 50 singers from Eastern
were featured in a solo portion of the concert, separate from the other 120 singers participating in the festival," said Belles.
The Chorale previously performed at Carnegie Hall in 2008 when they sang Mozart's "Requiem," and in 2005 when they appeared with groups from four other universities to perform Mozart's "Coronation Mass."


norwich chorale concert.jpgThe Chorale revisited Haydn's "Te Deum" and also sang Mozart's "Coronation Mass" at a special concert at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Norwich on Nov. 22. They were joined by the Norwich Diocesan Choir and the Concert Choir of Northeastern Connecticut.

Veterans Honored on Nov. 11

Major Glenn Colby speaks.jpgMore than 75 people, including students, faculty and staff members who are veterans, attended Eastern Connecticut State University's Veteran's Day services on Nov. 11 in the Student Center Atrium.  In addition to current Armed Services personnel, other veterans on Eastern's campus attended the ceremony in their dress uniforms.  Melinda DeDominicis '15 sang the National Anthem.  Lawrence Schmitz '12 coordinator of the Veteran's Education and Transition ServicesThumbnail image for vets-larry schimtz speaking.jpg (VETS) Center, was the master of ceremonies.
Eastern President Elsa Núñez recounted the origins of the GI Bill of Rights and the day in 1944 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation that resulted in two million WWII vets going to college. She also reflected on those veterans who have served in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  "Today is a time to think about and thank those men and women and the millions of others who have served before them.  We have about 250 veterans studying on our campus. Another 50 National Guardsmen are students, and we have 37 employees who are veterans.  We owe all of them a debt of gratitude."

Guest Speaker Army Major Glenn Colby, a decorated veteran who has served in the military for 27 years, reminded the audience that war impacts the families of soldiers in addition to those who serve on the front lines.  "I am very proud of the veterans on this campus."

Thumbnail image for vets shane vega pull ups.jpgFollowing the formal ceremony, the Third Annual "Veteran's Challenge" was held on the campus grounds.  Teams of teams of students, faculty and staff engaged in physical challenges based on the workout sessions of the late Medal of Honor recipient and Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action during a tour in Afghanistan. The challenge raises funds for scholarships for veterans on Eastern's campus. The winning team in the Veteran's Challenge was the Stealth Warriors (Kevin Paquin, Kevin Clancy, Mike Clancy and Josh Harrold), who came in first out of 18 teams with a time of 15 minutes. The men's lacrosse team finished second by 12 seconds. The total amount of money raised for veterans' scholarships was $2,200.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen Visits Campus

jepsen audience-loxsom question.jpgOn Nov. 8 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room, students, faculty and staff listened to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen lecture on Connecticut's support of federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cross-state air pollution rules. Jespen said the EPA has determined that pollution sources in 27 states contribute significantly to the inability by many areas in downwind states to meet or maintain compliance with federal air quality standards on ozone and particulates.

The rule specifically identifies Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland as downwind areas affected by the pollutants emitted by sources in upwind states. The EPA rule requires significant reductions in nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, the precursor pollutants of ozone and fine particulate matter, beginning Jan. 1, 2012, in states that contribute to high or unacceptable air pollution levels in downwind states, such as Connecticut.

"While Connecticut has stringent laws controlling sources of air pollution emissions, the same cannot be said of other states," said Jepsen. "The EPA proposed a rule that controls sources of pollution in other states, which would otherwise blow into our region. We are working to ensure that this rule is not overturned," Jepsen said. Jepsen's visit was hosted by Political Science Professors Nicole Krassas and William Salka.

Beta Israel: Ethiopian Jews Exhibition

Akus-South African photojournalist Ilan Ossendryver.jpgThe Julian Akus Gallery is hosting an exhibition that explores the mass migration of Ethiopian Jews into modern Israeli society and the difficulties of integration they faced. South African photojournalist Ilan Ossendryver discussed the exhibition on Oct. 27 in Shafer Hall Auditorium. Len Lyons, author of "The Ethiopian Jews of Israel: Personal Stories of the Life in the Promised Land," a recent publication featuring Ossendryver's photography, signed books during a reception in the gallery.

The exhibition, which will be on view through Dec. 8, features a 20-minute short film of a mass airlift and display photographs of the Ethiopian Jews travel from Africa to Israel from the early 1980s through the present.  For more information on the exhibition, contact Akus Gallery at (860) 465-4659 or the Akus Gallery Office at (860) 465-4647 or visit www.easternct.edu/akusgallery.

Connecticut Latino Commissioner Montalvo Speaks

On Nov. 1, Lourdes Montalvo '06, a member of Connecticut's Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission and director of community outreach and constituent services for the State of Connecticut, spoke in Anthropology Professor Mary Kenny's 'Women and Work' class about her experiences as an activist, Latina and advocate for a diverse array of populations. 

Montalvo described approaches that are most effective in forging change to improve the quality of life for residents of Connecticut, from those wanting to start a small business to advocacy on behalf of workers, to scholarships for students. Montalvo, a 2011 recipient of Eastern's Latin American Distinguished Service Award, said the spirit and determination that has that helped her confront immense financial, emotional and social difficulties -- homelessness, the loss of a child, cultural disparities and discrimination -- compelled her advocacy, outreach and education on behalf of marginalized populations.  She urged students to get involved, vote, mentor and speak out.

Habitat for Humanity's Shackathon

shackathon - mosher, fedder, lepper.jpgEastern's Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter held its annual "Shack-a-Thon" fundraiser from noon on Oct. 26 to noon on Oct. 27 on Webb Lawn. The shack-a-thon is a campaign designed to create a visual representation of the chapter's mission to eradicate substandard housing. Participants lived outside in cardboard boxes for 24 hours where they slept, studied and relaxed while collecting pledges.

Students continued to attend class as well as participate in extracurricularshackathon exterior of boxes.jpg activities, but returned to their cardboard shelter during the 24-hour period, giving up use of their cell phones, showers, laptops, disposable income and groceries from home so they could appreciate the full shackathon experience. 

Habitat for Humanity members will continue to accept donations until the end of the semester to raise money for their spring break trip to build a house in South Carolina. Participants included Jamie O Connor; Avery Schena; Emily Cameron; Heather Lepper '12; Jackie Fedor '12; Chris Connors; Rebecca Ingoglia; Dave Coffey; Christina Reynolds '12; Katie Lynne Twarog '13; Amy Dias '12; Jackie Giuntini '12; Melissa Timbrell; Scott Nolan '12; Despina M '13; Corey Pelletier and Austin Baldour.

Above, right to left: Alex Moshier '13, Jackie Fedor '12, & Heather Lepper '12 keep warm under layers of blankets in cardboard boxes during Shackathon 2011.

Eastern Presents Hotta Kiyomi's "The Island"


the island2.JPGThe Theatre Program and Drama Society in the Department of Performing Arts at Eastern presented "The Island" from Oct. 27-30 and Nov. 1 and 2 in the Harry Hope Theatre. "The Island" was written by Japanese playwright Hotta Kiyomi; translated by David Goodman; and directed by David Pellegrini, associate professor of theatre history and chair of Eastern's Performing Arts Department.

Kiyomi's 1955 Kishida Prize-winning play was the first drama about the atomic bomb to receive national attention in Japan. "Set on an island in the Inland Sea near Hiroshima toward the end of the Korean War, the play presents a social microcosm of Japan in the post-war era," said Pellegrini. "The play provide a powerful portrait of hope and courage of Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb, it is a timely statement about the dangers of a nuclearized age."

J. J. Cobb, assistant professor of acting, made her Harry Hope Theatre acting debut in "The Island." In addition to Cobb, 16 Eastern students constituted the cast. Kristen Morgan, assistant professor of set design, designed the set for "The Island."

the island - justin duvalland laura cuffe.jpgAbove, Justin DuVall and Laura Cuffe perform in the play. Other actors/actresses included Michael Hinton, Olivia Beaullan, Hilary Osborn, Jillian Ramos, John Capozzoli, Cindy Builbe, Jodran Merrill, Sarah Oschmann, Anthony Piccione, Dennis Ugurlu, J.J. Cobb and Jacelyn Szkrybalo. 

Health and Physical Education Department Hosts Hartford Students

hpe- hartford students play ball with each other.jpgOn Nov. 8, Eastern's Health and Physical Education Department hosted 70 students and eight teachers from the Hartford Sports Medicine/Science Academy for a morning of skills and sports activities. Eastern President Elsa Núñez greeted the students, encouraging them to study hard and attend college at Eastern. Students majoring in Physical Education and Sports Management engaged the students in numerous sport activities in the gym. Following lunch in Hurley Hall, Chris Dorsey, interim director of admissions, and Eastern students provided advice on how to prepare for college.

Menard is Little East's Top Weekly Swimmer

sports-menard head 72_5280.jpgEastern senior tri-captain Nadine Menard of Woodstock, was recently recognized as Swimmer-of-the-Week by in the first weekly report of the year compiled the Little East Conference. A fourth-year letter winner, Menard was recognized with the weekly honor after winning the individual title at the Saint Joseph College Pentathlon in the  season-opening meet  on Oct. 22.

At Saint Joseph, Menard totaled a meet-best time of 5:44.30 in a field of 36 swimmers in five 100 yard events: 1:17.34 in the breaststroke, 1:05.75 in the butterfly, 1:08.45 in the individual medley, 1:09.82 in the backstroke and 1:02.94 in the freestyle.  Her total time was 3.28 seconds faster than sophomore teammate Erin McVeigh (Windsor).

In the meet, Menard won the breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley and was 11th in the backstroke and tied for 12th in the freestyle. An All-LEC performer in the 200 butterfly and All-New England performer in the 100 and 200 butterfly as a junior, Menard was fifth in the Saint Joseph Pentathlon last year among 51 competitors. Her highest finish was fourth in the breaststroke.

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


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