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February 2012 Archives

President Núñez Named to AACU Board

official portrait of dr. nunez.jpgAt its recent annual meeting in Washington, DC, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) named seven new directors and elected a slate of new officers.  Eastern President Elsa Núñez was one of the seven newly appointed directors. 

"I am honored to join the board of directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities," said Núñez. "As the leading advocacy group for liberal education in the country, AAC&U has an important role to play in ensuring that our nation fully understands the value and importance of undergraduate, liberal arts education. The work of the association also closely aligns with Eastern's mission as Connecticut's only public liberal arts university. I am delighted to serve in this new capacity as a member of the board."

Dixieland Band Comes to Campus

dixie band.jpgThe U.S. Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band gave a rousing performance of New Orleans-flavored jazz and blues tunes to a packed Shafer Auditorium on Feb. 15.  More than 500 people cheered and clapped during the two-hour concert, as the six-man ensemble masterfully played such classics as "Creole Love Call" by Duke Ellington, the traditional gospel tune "Down by the Riverside" and "Swing That Music" by Louis Armstrong.

Current band members Cedric Mayfield on clarinet, Thomas Brown on trumpet,  Sean Nelson on trombone, Nathan Lassell on drums, and bass player and band leader Mark McCormick were joined by guest keyboardist Tom LaMark. In the best of the jazz tradition, the group effortlessly moved from tightly arranged song sections to perform solos before returning to the root arrangement of each tune.

"It was a pleasure to hear such fine music on our campus. To have more than 500 students and local residents pack Shafer Auditorium to enjoy the concert was a special treat," said Executive Vice President Michael Pernal.

People's Bank Donates to Child and Family Development Resource Center

DSC_7670lorez.jpgOn Feb. 2, officials from People's Bank visited the Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC) and presented a check to the center as the final installment of the bank's $25,000 financial donation.  (from left:) Niloufar Rezai, interim director of the CFDRC; Dianne Kent, senior specialist for community relations at People's; Renee Goupille, market manager and vice president of People's Storrs office; Kenneth DeLisa, vice president of institutional advancement; and Tricia Willis, financial services manager and assistant vice president of People's branch at the Willimantic Stop & Shop.

Black and White Ball Demonstrates the Power of Unity

Thumbnail image for black white ball - students dancing2.jpgStudents, faculty and staff of all races danced and dined together after first sitting at "Whites Only" and "Coloreds Only" tables at the Black and White Ball on Feb. 9. The goal of the event was to show how far society has come since the days of segregation.

The theme for the evening was "Coming of Age: Respecting Differences and the Power of Unity." The ball was designed to commemorate the life of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "The event is a reflection of the 1960s of where weThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for black white ball-stacey close speaking.jpg have come from, where we are today and where we are headed," said Maiyah Gamble-Rivers, who coordinated the event.

The ball was co-sponsored by several Eastern organizations, including the Campus Activity Board (CAB), the Women's Center, the Intercultural Center, the Center for Community Engagement, and the Office of Housing and Residential Life. Black and White Ball committee members included Alisha Benitez (Women's Center), Derwin Hill (Housing and Residential Life), Kristina Scherber and Brittany Cava (Center for Community Engagement), Lauren Hopper (CAB) and Michael Piña (Intercultural Center).

History Professor Stacey Close, who is currently serving as an American Council of Education Fellow at Wesleyan University, was the keynote speaker.  He cited Eastern's role in helping to break down Jim Crow racial barriers in higher education in the hiring of  Juliette Bursterman in 1948, years before the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education ruling ending segregation in 1954.  Bursterman was the first African American college professor in Connecticut, and remained at Eastern until her retirement in 1974.

Eastern Participating in STARS Program

EasternGreen.jpgNancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning, recently announced that Eastern is participating in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) program administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. The STARS assessment involves three areas: Education and Research, Operations and Planning, Administration and Engagement. 

Eastern's Green Campus Committee is overseeing the administration of the STARS program, which provides a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education; enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community; creates incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability; facilitates information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance; and builds a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

To learn more about the STARS program, visit https://stars.aashe.org/ or call Fred Loxsom at (860) 465-0368.

Kirchmann Receives National Award

kirchmann.jpgHistory Professor Anna Kirchmann received the Haiman Medal, the highest distinction awarded by the Polish American Historical Association (PAHA), on Jan. 6.  PAHA is an international professional organization based in the United States and active since the early 1940s. The Haiman Medal is awarded annually to an American scholar for sustained scholarly contribution to Polish American studies. This year, the award ceremony was held at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. Professor Neal Pease, president of the Polish American Historical Association, presented the award.

Another Successful Blood Drive

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At right, Carl Mayhew '15 gives blood.


Eastern held its third Red Cross Blood Drive of the academic year on Feb. 6 and 7 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. A total of 166 students, faculty, staff and area residents donated 135 productive pints!  In addition, 23 student volunteers worked 57 hours helping with donor recruitment, check-ins and the popular canteen.  As with each Eastern drive, the made-to-order chocolate chip pancakes were a big hit.  "Student volunteers really enjoy making these for all the presenters after they complete their donation as well as assisting with any other tasks to make the donors feel comfortable," said Irene Cretella, who organized the blood drive. "Many of our donors and volunteers have come repeatedly to our blood drives because they enjoy the experience of giving to others and making a different on the campus they love." 

In addition, blood drive volunteers conducted a concurrent bone marrow registration on both days.  Donors were made aware of how crucial bone marrow transplants are to help people with leukemia and other forms of cancer.  A simple cheek swab enrolls individuals into the Marrow Registry to increase the pool of suitable matches for those in need.

The next blood drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.on April 17. This drive will be dedicated to the legacy of civic leader Cesar E. Chavez, who was instrumental in improving working and living conditions for migrant/seasonal farm workers in California.  Appointments can be made online by clicking on www.redcrossblood.org  (code Eastern) or by contacting Irene Cretella at (860) 465-0090, cretellai@easternct.edu.

Beltran to Lecture in Hungary

beltran.jpgCesar Beltran, lecturer in the Communication Department, will serve as an emissary for Eastern in Hungary from March 6-11. Beltran, who also serves as senior advisor for the International Centre for Democratic Transition in Budapest, will  present a guest seminar  on "Communication, Politics and Power" at McDaniel College Budapest. While in Hungary, Beltran also will give an informal presentation on Eastern to the college faculty, discuss McDaniel's very active study abroad program, and visit their dorms and other facilities.

Beltran previously taught international students at McDaniel after retiring from the Foreign Service in 2006. He said he hopes his experience in Hungary will help him to design a global citizenship study abroad proposal for Eastern students for the coming year.

Arroyo and Jones Display Their Art

Thumbnail image for A. Jones Mattatuck.JPGThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for I. ArroyoMattatuck.jpgVisual Arts Professors Andy Jones and Imna Arroyo are part of the collection and exhibition, "Many Visions/One Community," on display through June 1 at the Mattatuck Museum Exhibits Gift of Contemporary Art. The exhibition features an array of art mediums and art forms including paintings, photography, watercolors, etchings and mixed media. It represents such movements as figurative, realism, feminist art, social commentary, color and abstracts. To learn more about "Many Visions/One Community," visit www.mattatuckmusuem.org or call (303) 753-0381.

Sharon Butler Published in Journal

sharon butler.jpgVisual Arts Professor Sharon Butler was recently published in the 25th anniversary edition of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: A Journal of Contemporary Art Issues for her essay titled "Free Love."

Professor Butler's essay considers why artists are drawn to social media. She writes that people experience the feeling of being loved from their smartphones. "Each ding or buzz indicates that someone is retweeting our tweets, sending us a note or 'liking' our status on Facebook. An iPhone doesn't actually give us the love, but it transmits it."

To read Professor Butler's entire essay, visit www.writing.upenn.edu/epc/meaning/. The essay also is accessible via Kindle or other e-book formats.

Wynn Radio Show Celebrates Anniversary

wynn.JPGFor the past year, WILI-AM Radio has been broadcasting "Books on Parade," a 15-minute radio show created by Chemistry Professor Charles Wynn. Every Friday at 9:45 a.m., Wynn samples a book from the New York Times Hardcover Fiction and Nonfiction Bestseller List.  He reads information from the dust-jacket and as much of its beginning pages as time permits.  Listeners can then decide whether or not they wish to  borrow the book from their local library. The Connecticut Radio Information System (CRIS), a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the needs of the blind and print-handicapped, rebroadcasts the show twice a week.  Previously broadcast shows are also available on WILI's website.

Kohn Repeats As a First-Team CoSIDA Pick

sports-candid-kohn sc 300_1145.jpgEastern senior Jamie Kohn of Columbia has repeated as a first-team selection to the College Sports Information Directors' Association (CoSIDA)/Capital One Academic All-District Team in men's basketball. Kohn was named as one of five selections to the NCAA Division III District 2 team from an original pool of 15 nominees. District 2 encompasses institutions located in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Kohn is the only selection from New England on the District 2 team.

A four-year member of the men's basketball program, Kohn has been a member of the Dean's List every semester at Eastern, and carried a 3.95 overall GPA into his senior year as a Health and Physical Education major.

Staff and Faculty Recognized for Service to Eastern

IMG_3677.JPGDuring the University Meeting on Jan. 17, several individuals were recognized for their years of service to Eastern. Ten-year service awards were given to Nick Messina, Peter Drzewiecki and Kim Silcox; and 25-year service awards were presented to Susan Heyward, director of the advising center, and Steve Nelson, technical support specialist.

Several staff and faculty who are retiring were also recognized, IMG_3678.JPGincluding Sally Keating in the Math Department, who came to Eastern in 1987; Margaret Hebert, associate director of the Academic Services Center and the heart and soul of the STEP/CAP program, who has been at Eastern for 31 years; and Vice President Dennis Hannon, who is retiring after 14 years at Eastern.

In addition to recognitions, Rhona Free, vice president for IMG_3679.JPGacademic affairs, and Professor David Stoloff discussed how Eastern will use recommendations contained in the NEASC accreditation report to help guide the next strategic planning process. 

President Elsa Núñez gave brief remarks, talking about the new Board of Regents and some of their policy initiatives -- developing Connecticut's workforce; college readiness; the achievement gap; and improving community college-university transfer.





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Eastern Hosts College Goal Sunday

college goal sunday1.JPGMore than 75 students and their families visited Webb Hall on Jan. 29 to get one-on-one expert advice on financial aid and planning for college during College Goal Sunday.

Eastern was one of 12 locations around the state participating in the annual event. Students and their families talked with financial aid counselors and college staff 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 was shared about the benefits of attending college, student support services, areas of study and degree programs.
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.

"We had another great turnout this year," said Neville Brown, assistant director of financial aid and coordinator of the event. "It is always rewarding to be able to sit with students and their parents and answer their questions face-to-face and alleviate their concerns.  As we have in the past, we had a small army of Eastern faculty, staff and students serving as volunteers for the afternoon.  I thank all of them for making this year's College Goal Sunday a big success."

Dennis Hannon Retires

dennis 1.JPGOn Jan. 20 in Room 301 of the Science Building, a reception was held to honor Dennis Hannon, vice president for finance and administration, who retired Feb. 1. President Elsa Núñez wished Hannon the very best as he enters the next phase of his life. "His professional approach and warm personal style have added much to the spirit of collaboration and the common sense of purpose that marks our campus community. Dennis is deeply committed to the well being of Eastern and the people who study, teach, and work here. I could not have been served better by a more dedicated colleague. I will miss his sense of humor, his respectful approach to working with colleagues and his passion for Eastern."

dennis2.JPGNunez said Hannon's "strong and intelligent leadership have been particularly evident during difficult budget discussions at the state level over the years, and he has stood tall in representing Eastern's interests in those deliberations." She cited his ongoing commitment in addressing the inadequacy of the funding formula; his leadership in developing the University's Master Plan; and his calm and thoughtful approach to many other financial and administrative projects and responsibilities, which have helped make Eastern a strong institution and have set the stage for our continued success into the future.

Hannon also serves as president of the board of directors at Windham Hospital, where he will be missed as well. "In addition to being a leader at Eastern, he has also been committed and dedicated to the success of Windham Memorial Hospital, " said Catina Caban-Owen, hospital board member and adjunct professor of social work. "Dennis is also keenly aware of the social disparities which exist in our town and how these in turn, affect health care specifically to Latinos and others in Windham. He has always had an attitude of inclusion at the board level, listening with care to the input of those of us who advocate for equal access to health care and treatment."

LaQuana Price Honored for Exceptional Leadership

Price -College Board231.JPG(at left) Andrea Mainelli, senior vice president for the College Board's Region and Account Services, congratulates LaQuana Price after presenting her the Board's Edward B. Wall Award in College Counseling-Admission.

The College Board has named LaQuana Price, assistant director of admissions and enrollment management at Eastern, as the 2012 recipient of its Edward B. Wall Award in College Counseling-Admission. The award, presented to Price on Jan. 31 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel during the Regional Awards Luncheon of the 2012 New England Regional Forum, recognizes the service and leadership of a college admission professional in the College Board's New England Regional Assembly who mentors and supports the professional development of new college admission counselors and advisors and advances the mission of the College Board.

"I am truly honored and humbled to be the 2012 recipient of the Edward B. Wall Award," said Price. "This award came as a complete shock to me. I have a passion for promoting and providing access to quality educational experiences. What I do is not for the recognition, but for the joy of knowing that I have helped someone get one step closer to realizing their future goals and dreams of higher education."

Rhona Free, vice president of academic affairs, nominated Price for the award. Price began serving as assistant director of admissions at Eastern in 2006. She travels across the state and region to recruit students; reviews freshman and transfer student applications each year; advises students on major requirements and prerequisites; and sets up and hosts group tours and information sessions for inner-city high school students.

Price also created and implemented an annual early college awareness program for students in grades 5-9; works closely with guidance counselors, outside agencies and parents and students to promote educational access and awareness; and works closely with Eastern's STEP/CAP program and Office of Financial Aid. In addition, she sits on the University's Minority Recruitment and Mentoring and Diversity and Justice Committees; and serves as a mentor for the University's award-winning Dual Enrollment Initiative.

Veterans Offered Help with Writing

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for eric alan.jpgVeterans attending Eastern are can now get help with their writing projects. Eastern's Writing Center is offering tutoring services in the Veteran's Center. Eric Alan, a Writing Center tutor and an eight-year veteran, will provide six hours per week of writing tutoring in the VETS Center.

"Veterans can bring anything from assignments and basic ideas to complete drafts," said Alan, "and I will work with them one-on-one in the informal setting of the VETS Center to help answer all of their questions and    concerns, and in the process help them become better writers."

Alan will be in the Veteran's Center on Tuesdays from 11-1 and Thursdays from 10-2. He will be in the Writing Center on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 1 and 3-5 p.m.

Veterans can make appointments three ways. They can visit www.easternct.edu/writingcenter and go to the "Make an Appointment" link. On the top of the page there is a pull-down menu that will show you the appointments for the Veteran's Center. They can also email Alan at alane@my.easternct.edu and he will schedule an appointment. "Walk-ins are also welcomed," said Alan, "but an appointment reserves time, which can be useful near mid-terms and finals when the tutoring load is high." Veterans interested in help with writing may also call Alan at (860) 422-5757.

Unfiltered V: Vito Bonanno Riding with the Train Girls Exhibition

Unfiltered art 2 -VITOBONANNO NEONLUIS.jpgThe Akus Gallery at Eastern is presenting "Unfiltered V: Vito Bonanno Riding with the Train Girls" on view from Jan. 19 through March 1.  An interactive mural project, which also is a Dean's Cup event, took place Feb. 2 in the Akus Gallery. Students, staff, faculty and members of the community joined Bonanno in creating the mural. 

Bonanno's work is image and concept driven and may incorporate any media that will fuel his expression. "He has found a way to tap into the intensity of focus and insight afforded him, through autism spectrum disorder, to unleash a formidable creative power and vision," said Elizabeth Peterson, director of the Akus Gallery. "Using spray paints, gouache, India inks, oils, acrylics and other media, Bonanno works on paper, canvas or whatever support may suit. Most of the characters or topics he draws are important to his life and embedded in his personal philosophy. His work has been described as raw, unfiltered, unedited, truthful, comedic, irresistible, bold, playful and charming, much like the man himself."

The Akus Gallery is located in the lower level of Shafer at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The public is invited.  Admission is free. For more information regarding this and other exhibitions at Akus Gallery, please call (860) 465-4659 or visit www.easternct.edu/akusgallery

HPE Professor Lee to Head AAHPERD Council

anitalee2_lorez.jpgAnita Lee, professor of health and physical education, has been elected as  chair of the Measurement and Evaluation Council of the  American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). AAHPERD is the largest professional organization in the health, physical education, recreation, sport and dance disciplines, with more than 25,000 members. Lee's two-year term begins in March.

Study Abroad in Jamaica

JAMAICA GROUP PHOTO (2).jpgThe Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work is conducting a three-credit Tier II cultural perspective course titled "Global Education Field Experience in Jamaica" from March 17-24.

Students will serve as teaching aides at an infant, primary, junior high and/or high school in Hanover or St. James parishes in Jamaica. Eastern students will also have the opportunity to study ecotourism; interact with Jamaican teachers and students; and experience Jamaican culture and history.

Students participating in the excursion will stay at the Global Villa in Lucea. Students will have the opportunity to swim with dolphins in Lucea and Bull's Beach near Global Villa. Assignments and activities for the course will include visiting a family court, orphanage, a pre-school, a high school sex education class and conducting a community survey in rural Jamaica.   Highlights of the trip will include sightseeing locations at Rick's Café and Bloody Bay in Negril and the Hip Strip in Montego Bay.

For more information on the class trip, contact David Stoloff at stoloff@easternct.edu or (860) 465-5501.

Snow Ball 2012

Students in June Bisantz's Graphic Design III class have created posters for the annual Snow Ball 2012 event on March 3 to benefit the Windham Textile Museum. The theme for this year's Snow Ball is movies of the twenties, thirties and forties. To publicize the benefit, the posters, which Visual Arts Professor Gail Gelburd described as "very beautiful, professional and artistic looking," will be displayed throughout downtown Willimantic and in the windows of the Town Hall's Bellingham Ballroom. To see all the poster designs visit: junebisantz.com/SnowBall.


Prof. Michèle Bošković Publishes New Book

Thumbnail image for boskovic book.jpgModern World Languages and Cultures   Professor Michèle Bošković has published a new book, "Annie Ernaux: de la perte au corps glorieux (Annie Ernaux: From Loss to the Glorious Body)." The book is published by the prestigious Presses Universitaires de Rennes in France.

Bošković is considered to be the leading expert in the nation on Annie Ernaux, who was recognized as "a major figure in the world of contemporary French letters, a figurehead of what some critics have called 'new women's writing'." This is Bošković third book of literary criticism. For more information, visit http://www.pur-editions.fr/detail.php?idOuv=2753

"Thieves" Arrive in March

Theives Carnival_Page_1.jpgThe Eastern Performing Arts Department, Theatre Program and Drama Society will present "Thieves' Carnival" by French playwright Jean Anouilh (translation by Lucienne Hill) March 8- 11 and March 13 and 14. Thieves' Carnival will be presented Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 4 p.m.; Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Harry Hope Theatre, located in the lower level of Shafer Hall, at the corner of High and Valley Streets in Willimantic.

The play is directed by J.J. Cobb, assistant professor of theatre/acting.  The play is filled with fanciful characters in fantastical comic circumstances of disguise and deception. Categorized by Anouilh, Thieves' Carnival is a pièce rose - a rosy play in the mischievous manner of Moliere whom he admired and emulated. Cobb said patrons will see "love-struck heiresses, pickpockets, and world-weary provocateurs take turns playing the fool in this updated classic."

Ticket prices are $5 for students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $12 for general public. Reservations are required and must be made by Feb. 23. For more information, call the Box Office at (860) 465-5123.

Two from Eastern Cited in LEC Weekly Awards Program

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Eastern sophomore swimmer Erin McVeigh (Windsor) and senior men's basketball player Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) were honored by the Little East Conference in its eighth weekly awards program for the week ending Jan. 22.

McVeigh was named Swimmer-of-the-Week after helping the Warriors to a pair of home dual meet victories for the week ending Jan. 22, while Nedwick was named Player-of-the-Week after leading the Warriors to two conference wins. McVeigh was named for the first time and became the program's second Swimmer-of-the-Week this year; Nedwick was recognized as Player-of-the-Week for the first time in his standout four-year career. As a sophomore, he was selected to the LEC honor roll on Jan. 25, 2010.  Nedwick becomes the team's first individual honoree this season.


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