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January 2012 Archives

Eastern, Colectivo Mestizal Celebrates Three Kings Day

three kings-kids petting camel.jpgMore than 300 area children, their families and friends celebrated Three Kings Day in Eastern's Sports Center on Jan. 6.  United States Senator Richard Blumenthal; Donald Williams, President Pro Tempore of the Connecticut State Senate; Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill; State Rep. Susan Johnson (D-Windham) and Windham Mayor Ernest Eldridge joined Eastern President Elsa Núñez to greet the guests. The event, hosted by Eastern and organized for the ninth year by    Windham's Colectivo Mestizal, celebrates the Feast of the Three Kings, a day in Latin American cultures when children receive their Christmas gifts.

three kings day-nunez dancing with kids.jpgNúñez greeted the crowd, saying she was pleased and honored to host Three Kings Day. She said she wanted the audience to always know that Eastern was a part of the community, and she hoped the young people would come to study at the University. Blumenthal concurred, calling Eastern a great university. He said the greatest gifts anyone can give someone are love and caring. Blumenthal presented Colectivo Mestizal a special certificate of recognition for its commitment to the Latino community.

State Rep. Susan Johnson thanked Nunez for hosting the celebration year in and out and said, "We really feel we have a home when we come to Eastern. Today's celebration is a celebration of hope for the future." Windham Mayor Ernie Eldridge issued a proclamation naming Jan. 6 as Three Kings Day in Windham. Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, called the event "wonderful for our community. I am very happy to be a part of this celebration."

three kings-blumenthal plays the quatro.jpgMerrill presented event organizer and Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commissioner Juan Perez with a Connecticut Blue Book, an invaluable listing of state resources for community organizations and institutions. Donald Williams, President Pro Tempore of the Connecticut State Senate, thanked "everyone in Windham, including all the volunteers who made this wonderful day possible."

Geissler Gymnasium came alive when Arnaldo Rivera and Friends, along with Joe Diaz strumming the Puerto Rican quatro, got the audience in a groove with the song "Burrito Sababero," which means "Donkey, Donkey," and "Saludo Saludo," which means "Hello! Hello!" President Núñez answered the call with a smooth Puerto Rican salsa that soon formed into a huge circle of people, including parents, children, Mayor Eldridge, Jaime Gomez, dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies,  and Connecticut Latino Affairs Commissioner Lourdes Montalvo.

Finally, to the absolute delight of the children, the Three Kings entered on stilt walkers and handed out gifts to more than 200 children.

The Three Kings Day is also supported by the Town of Windham and the town's Department of Recreation and Department of Human Services.

Field Hockey and Women's Lacrosse Teams Make Holiday Special

Thumbnail image for three kings day-brit cava cce unloads van full of toys.jpgToy collection had decreased during this year's Three Kings Day campaign due to a depressed economy. Realizing the campaign needed help, athletes on Eastern's field hockey and women's lacrosse teams pitched in during two women's basketball games and a men's basketball game, encouraging fellow athletes, parents and Eastern faculty and staff to donate a new unwrapped toy for charities. The effort paid off, as the teams collected nearly 50 toys to donate to local charities; another $250 worth of toys from the ECSU Foundation; and nearly $400 in cash.

Eastern Appoints New Director of Athletics

Thumbnail image for konin[1].jpgEastern President Elsa Núñez has announced the appointment of Jeff  Konin '88 as director of  Eastern's Department of Athletics, effective July 2.  Konin, a native of Hamden, CT, is a nationally recognized expert in the field of sports medicine and athletic training, and has significant teaching and administrative experience in collegiate athletics. 

In his current positions at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL, as vice chair of the Department of Ortho and Sports Medicine and executive director of the Sports Medicine and Athletic Related Trauma Institute, Konin has significant financial, staffing and operational management duties. During his time at South Florida, Konin was instrumental in securing a major philanthropic gift exceeding $1 million and was recently named the Kennedy Family Endowed Chair of Athletic Training as part of the gift.  

Before his appointment at the University of South Florida, Konin served as an assistant athletic director at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.  His academic appointments include faculty positions at Delaware Technical and Community College, James Madison University and the University of South Florida.

Konin has authored and edited academic texts and numerous journal articles and is a frequent national and international lecturer on athletic and sports-related topics.  He also served on the 1996 medical staff for the Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, and currently serves as the medical coordinator for Team USA Wheelchair Rugby.

After earning his Bachelor of Science degree at Eastern, Konin received his master's degree in education from the University of Virginia in 1989, a master's degree in physical therapy in 1994 from the University of Delaware, and his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in 2004.

U.S. Coast Guard Dixieland Band Visits Campus

Dixieland Band.jpgOn Feb. 15 at 7 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band brings its special brand of jazz, blues and New Orleans ragtime to Eastern's Shafer Auditorium as part of the University's Annual Arts and Lecture Series. The band was organized in 1970 to perform classic jazz, blues and rags with a New Orleans flavor. The ensemble has entertained audiences across America, in the former Soviet Union, Japan, Taiwan and in England. Notable venues include the open-air theater in Disney World; the Boardwalk in Atlantic City; the Galaxy Jazz Festival in Milwaukee; the Embarcadero in San Francisco; and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The five-member group has also performed on numerous radio and television broadcasts across the nation.

This event is free of charge, but seating is limited.  Seats can be reserved by calling (860) 465-0036 or e-mailing tickets@easternct.edu.

Veteran journalist Laura Ling wraps up the 2011-12 Arts and Lecture Series on March 13 with a lecture in the Betty R. Tipton Room.  Ling is the host and reporter on "E! Investigates," a documentary series on the E! Network that explores such topics as teen suicide and the challenges faced by military spouses.

College Goal Sunday

Thumbnail image for Financial Aid Staff.jpgOn Jan. 29, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., students and their parents will receive one-on-one expert advice in learning about financial aid and planning for college during College Goal Sunday at Eastern. The event takes place in Room 410 of Webb Hall.

Eastern is one of 12 locations around the state participating in the annual event. Students and their families will be able to talk with financial aid counselors and college staff in person to become familiar with college entrance requirements; learn about planning for college; and obtain on-site assistance in filling out financial aid applications. In addition, valuable information will be shared about the benefits of attending college, student support services, and areas of study and degree programs. Spanish language interpreters will be available.

For students who are the first ones in their families to attend college, the process of applying for college can seem complicated, especially finding financial resources and applying for financial aid. Participating in College Goal Sunday gives students and their families a jump start on the pathway to college by learning about preparing for college and financial aid in a welcoming setting.  Participants can get assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Most grants and scholarships require a completed FAFSA form, which does not obligate applicants to attend college, but is required for most sources of financial aid.

College Goal Sunday is funded and sponsored by Lumina Foundation for Education, the Connecticut Association of Professional Financial Aid Administrators (CAPFAA), the Connecticut Association of Educational Opportunity Programs (CAEOP), and the YMCAs of Connecticut.

For more information, contact Neville Brown at brownn@easternct.edu or (860) 465-4428.  For a list of all participating institutions and to find out what to bring to the event, visit www.collegegoalsundayct.org.

Eastern Bears the Cold for Special Olympics

penguin plunge - into the water.jpgNineteen Eastern Connecticut State University students plunged into the chilly waters of Coventry Lake on Dec. 3 at the Penguin Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics. Students or "penguins" solicited donations from family, friends and local businesses in order to take the plunge. More than $1,100 was raised during the event.

Incentive prizes for the amount of money raised along with individual and group awards were given in several categories. People who raised between $50-300 were given a bow tie and a t-shirt. Gift cards were given to people who raised a higher amount of money. Volunteers stood by to assist jumpers with warm beverages and towel support.

The "Penguin Plunge" fundraiser was created to provide funding for the Special Olympics' athletic competition for adults and children with disabilities. The Special Olympics offers its participants opportunities to develop and demonstrate their talents through sports training and competition, and by increasing the public's awareness of their capabilities and needs.

Eastern Places High in Regional Math Competition

shutterstock_73072447.jpgEastern students Richard Magner, Colton Alexander and Robert McDonald placed second out of 21 teams in the sixth Collegiate Mathematics Competition on Nov. 18 at Connecticut College in New London.   The event, sponsored by the Northeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, was open to undergraduate students throughout the Northeast. 

Other schools participating included Bridgewater State University, Norwich University, Sacred Heart University, Merrimack College, Connecticut College, Gordon College, Amherst College, Salem State University, Southern Connecticut State University, the University of Maine, Worcester State University, Keene State College and Westfield State University. Since opening its new Science Building in fall 2008, Eastern has seen the number of science and mathematics majors grow by more than 50 percent.

The Robert Horrocks Scholarship Fund

horrocks.jpgOn Nov. 18, Eastern faculty and alumni honored Health and Physical Education (HPE) Professor Robert Horrocks at a lunch reception during the annual Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance convention in Cromwell. Horrocks retired on June 1, 2011, and HPE faculty has established a scholarship to recognize his many contributions as a full-time Eastern professor.

Horrock's career at Eastern spanned 32 years, including service as a faculty member and department chair for 14 years.  "I feel fortunate to have been his colleague for the past 31 years," said HPE Professor Dan Switchenko. "I know, firsthand, the energy, passion and knowledge that Bob brought to the classroom every day.  A true professional, he had a positive impact on hundreds of Eastern graduates over the past three decades. What truly excites me is the tremendous opportunity we have to honor Bob in a lasting manner.  The Robert Horrocks Scholarship will be earmarked for an HPE major with unmet financial need.  Our current Strategic Plan emphasizes that Eastern is a university that provides access to talented students at all socio-economic levels. The Horrocks scholarship will help to punctuate this point." 

Persons interested in donating to the Horrocks Scholarship can visit www.easternct.edu/advancement/documents/Horrocks.pdf

Give the Gift of Life

blood drive.jpgOn Feb. 6 and 7, Eastern will partner with the American Red Cross to hold its first blood drive of the spring semester. The blood drives runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center.  The blood drives take place four times during the academic year.  Appointments can be made online at www.givelife.org sponsor code Eastern, or by contacting Irene Cretella at (860) 465-0090, cretellai@easternct.edu.

Bisantz Displays Work Across Country

FashionCrimes2c.jpgStartHereBusQueen.jpgWorldPeas.jpgJune Bisantz, professor of graphic art, has artwork displayed across the United States through "Art Here, Art There, Art Everywhere" and the Billboard Art Project. "Art Here, Art There, Art Everywhere consists of a series of five altered street signs on display on the Dunham Mall in front of the Pittsfield, MA, City Hall since February. The project was commissioned by Pittsfield's Artscape 2011-12.

The Billboard Art Project is a non-profit organization that takes billboards from Pennsylvania to California and repurposes these billboards normally used for advertising as artwork. The exhibition has already occurred in Duluth, MN; Chicago; Reading, PA. New Orleans; Baton Rouge; and San Bernadino, CA.

The Billboard Art Project was organized by David Morrison, an artist and advertising media specialist. Lamar Advertising has given artists space on electronic billboards across the country to complete the project. "I'm really happy to be involved in this," said Bisantz. "Morrison's philosophy and mine are identical: to replace advertising with art and give the public an opportunity to experience creative statement in the midst of a pressured, highly commercial environment."

Six Eastern Graduates Named to Athletic Hall of Fame

sports - hall fo fame inductees72dpi_1660.jpgFrom left: Amy J. Keane Steed '90 of Tolland (women's soccer); Shannon D. Sligo '00 of South Hadley, MA (men's lacrosse); Kathleen Kimball Tredwell '96 of North Stonington (women's volleyball); Paul Martineau '09 of Willimantic (baseball); Melissa J. Kowolenko Angle '94 of Killingly (women's basketball); and Joseph J. Funaro '95 of Hamden (baseball) were honored on Jan. 8 as the Class of 2011-12 Hall of Fame inductees at the induction ceremony held at the Student Center.

Funaro led Eastern to two NCAA Division III national tournament appearances and was named first-team All-America and ECAC Division III New England Player-of-the-Year as a senior in 1995.  Kimball led the Warriors to two NCAA and two ECAC tournament berths between 1991 and 1995 and a combined record of 126-49. She was a three-time all-region selection, three-time All-New England pick and MVP of the first Little East Conference tournament as a senior in 1995. Keane was a four-year starter between 1986 and 1989 and was a member of the first intercollegiate women's soccer team in 1986.  She started 52 of a possible 55 matches in her career and was a member of the first post-season tournament team in 1988 and first NCAA post-season tournament team the following year.  Kowolenko graduated as the program's all-time leader in career (1,429), season (521) and game (36) points and still ranks third all-time in career points. Between 1989 and 1993, she led the Warriors to three NCAA tournament appearances, including back-to-back Final Four berths.

Martineau helped the Warriors to four straight NCAA tournament berths between 1982 and 1985, including back-to-back regional championships and national tournament berths and the 1982 Division III national championship. The left-handed power hitter was a three-time All-New England pick who earned third-team All-America honors as a senior in 1985. Sligo becomes the first player inducted to the E-Club Hall of Fame from the men's lacrosse program, which began in 1996. A four-year starter on defense from 1997 through 2000, Sligo was the program's first All-America, earning honorable mention honors in 1999 and 2000. As a senior in 2000, he became the first Eastern player to participate in the prestigious USILA Senior North-South All-Star Game.  In addition to the inductees, local radio personality Wayne Norman was presented the Michael A. Atkind Service Award for his contributions to Eastern athletics since the early 1970s. Dr. Bonnie Edmondson '87 served as Mistress of Ceremonies.  The induction ceremony was the 18th since the formation of the Hall of Fame in 1986. A total of 97 individuals representing 12 men's and women's intercollegiate programs have gained induction prior to 2011.

Eastern Baseball No. 9 in Division III Pre-Season Rankings

chamberlain300_2411.jpgThe Eastern baseball team is ranked No. 9 nationally in the 2012 ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Division III national pre-season poll. A winner of 34 of 47 games last year en route to its 11th straight 30-win season and 28th in the last 39 years, Eastern returns 13 letter winners in 2012 from last year's team, which qualified for its 32nd NCAA tournament in 36 years last season and competed the New York Regional Tournament on an at-large basis.


Eastern is top-rated among five New England institutions in the poll. 2011 New England Regional champion Western New England University is 11th, Wheaton College 16th, Tufts University 20th, and the University of Southern Maine 21st.

Eastern was ranked first in the first five weeks of last year's New England poll, second in the next two and fourth in the final two polls. From a starting lineup which dropped a 6-3 decision to College at Brockport in the 2011 finale, Eastern returns four position players, as well as five of the seven pitchers who saw mound work.  Top returning position players are senior all-conference catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA), sophomore all-conference shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) and junior third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin). Projected as top returning pitchers are senior righties Jim Dimon (Seymour), Michael Hepple (Newington), Mike Riemer (Ellington) and Evan Chamberlain (Amston), and junior righties Matt Purnell (Stafford Springs) and Andrew Merritt (Norwalk).

A 12-time NCAA regional champion since 1982 and four-time national champion, Eastern won regional titles five times in the first eight years of the last decade, last claiming a national championship in 2002 with an 8-0 shutout of Marietta College in the championship round at Grand Chute, WI.

Eastern is scheduled to open its 45th season under head coach Bill Holowaty March 24-26 with four games in three days at Whitman College (WA). Whitman is coached by Holowaty's son, Jared (now in his third year), a former four-year Eastern letter winner and captain on the 2002 national championship team. The Warriors return home and will visit Kean University on March 10 before playing eight games in eight days in California and Arizona. Eastern is scheduled to host Suffolk University March 26 in its home-opener.


Calendar of Events