The e-newsletter of Eastern Connecticut State University
October 2012 Archives
On Oct. 9, in the Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium, former "CBS News" anchor and "60 Minutes" correspondent Dan Rather kicked off Eastern's 2012-13 Arts and Lecture Series with a lecture on the 2012 elections to 2,000 students, faculty, staff and guests.
Rather, who has more than 60 years of experience working in the media, said he is "not an expert on anything," but had been blessed to covered a lot of stories, ranging from covering every presidential campaign since 1952 to serving as the White House correspondent for "CBS News" during the administrations of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.
Rather offered a suspenseful presentation of what election night will look like. "The race for president is breathtakingly close. If the election were held tonight, it's advantage President Obama, but only by the width of a bat's ear because Governor Romney benefited from his post-debate bounce. We have well over three weeks to go in the campaign. One of the things anybody who has ever run for office knows is that in politics, overnight is a long time, and a week is forever." He said the race could pivot at any moment over the next three weeks due to emerging global issues that could shape the contours of the campaign. Rather predicted independent voters in eight swing states will decide the election by a four-to six-point spread.
Rather, who covered the Civil Rights demonstrations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Medger Evers between 1962 and 1964, said the nation must face major challenges squarely after the election. Those challenges included America falling from first place in the world in education to number 13; facing the threat of nuclear war; feeding the one and a half billion people in the world who go to bed hungry ever night; and handling the issue of race. "How we handle race will be the bottom line in American history."
In his closing, Rather encouraged people of all ages, especially students, to engage in civic activity in their communities. "We have a multi-religious, multi-racial, multi-ethnic country, and we can stand united and hold ourselves together. Whether you're a student, whether you're a teacher or a laborer, the country needs you and your work right now, more than ever. The country needs you to be alert, active, engaged and involved in the affairs of our beloved country right now."
The next Arts and Lecture Series features U.S. Marine Colonel Matthew Bogdanos on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. For more information on the 2012-13 Lecture Series, visit www.easternct.edu/artsandlecture.
With the election drawing near, politics has taken center stage on campus. On Oct. 3, David Yosifon, assistant professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, spoke at Eastern's University Hour Series in the Science Building. Yosifon's presentation "Corporate Speech and the Future of American Democracy," focused on the effects of the decision of the 2010 case of "Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission," where the Supreme Court ruled that the first amendment forbids government from restricting the political speech of corporations.
On Oct. 8, the Intercultural Center and Women's Center hosted Jesus Nebot, a renowned filmmaker and transformational speaker, who presented a political lecture titled, "Presidential Election 2012: It's Your Choice," in the Student Center Theatre. Nebot encouraged first-time voters to exercise their right to vote.
On Oct. 10, "CartoonDanceMusic" showcased an improvisational trio composed of Hartford Courant political cartoonist Bob Englehart; dance artist and adjunct faculty member Brad Roth; and musician and composer Neely Bruce, in the Betty R. Tipton Room. During the improvisational performance, Englehart drew cartoons in real time, projecting them onto a large screen. Wesleyan Music Professor Neely Bruce played the piano, while Roth danced in the spaces in-between.
In addition, the Intercultural and Women's centers have sponsored voter registration drives. "In just three days, we have registered nearly 300 students," said Starsheemar Byrum, coordinator of the Intercultural and Women Centers. "In addition, the centers will provide shuttles to the polling sites on election day. We have worked hard to ensure that students are registered, educated and able to vote this coming November."
Derwin Hill, student assistant in the Intercultural Center, is leading the voter registration initiative. Other students helping Derwin include Michael Pina, Jendiya Williams, Ismael Gracia, Dwayne Smoot, Emilie Hattestad, Alisha Benintez, Kaitlyn Jolly, Jahaira Camacho and Sherona Ramsay.
On Oct. 4, students, faculty and staff filled the Paul E. Johnson Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library to hear a panel of distinguished scholars, appropriately called "Ambassadors for Peace and Human Rights," sponsored by Eastern's Peace and Human Rights Committee.
President Elsa Nunez greeted the presenters, saying "learning about human rights is the first step towards respecting, promoting and defending those rights. It is the process of teaching and learning the significance of the inherent dignity and worth of the human personthat is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. This empowerment of peace and human rights education constitutes an important investment for the future, aimed at achieving a just society in which all human rights of all persons are valued and respected."
Charles Prewitt, professor emeritus who taught Peace and Human Rights for several years at Eastern, revealed his gripping experience of working on the Manhattan Project, research and development program that produced the first atomic bomb during World II. Prewitt bailed out on the project because he "didn't want to be part of something that killed people."
Political Science Professor Christopher Vasillopulos talked on the topic, "The Power State and Human Rights." Mary Curran, associate professor of geography, discussed "Human-Animal Relations: Situational Ethics Rather than Rights." Gail Gelburd, professor and chair of the Visual Arts Department, discussed "The Art of Social Commentary." English Professor Raouf Mama offered a perspective on his native land, "From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Beninese Experience." Nicole Krassas, professor of political science, provided details on the evolution of "Women's Rights as Human Rights." Stacey Close, professor of history and interim chief diversity officer, shared insight on "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Struggle for Human Rights in the United States." Philosophy Professor Hope Fitz illuminated the audience on "Spreading Gandhi's Belief in and Practice of Ahimsa, i.e., Non-harm and Compassion, and his Saryagrah, i.e., a Truth Force Against Oppression." David McLeod, a graduate student, addressed the topic, "Transphobia: Is it Fear or Hate?"
On Oct. 4, in the Science Building, Eastern President Elsa Núñez joined representatives from UTC Power, the Connecticut Energy Finance Investment Authority (CEFIA) and other guests to formally dedicate the University's new fuel cell power plant.
"We have a campus-wide commitment to sustainability at Eastern, evidenced by campus conservation programs, the sustainable energy studies curriculum, and our outreach across Connecticut in support of local energy efficiency efforts," said Núñez. "We are delighted to work with CEFIA and UTC Power on a fuel cell generating facility that will provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to the University."
Joe Triompo, vice president and general manager of UTC Power, agreed. "We are thrilled that our Connecticut-grown fuel cell technology is helping Eastern build upon their commitment to energy conservation. "Our PureCell system is a great fit for Eastern because it delivers clean, efficient, affordable energy to the University, while reducing their impact on the environment."
Other speakers included Connecticut Colleges and Universities Board of Regent President Lewis Robinson; Rick Ross, CEFIA senior manager of clean energy deployment; and Eastern alumnus State Rep. Susan Johnson.
Eastern will use 100 percent of the energy produced by the fuel cell system to provide a majority of the power required for the Science Building while maximizing the use of the heat output available from the plant.
Nearly 1,600 people, including potential students, their parents, families and friends, converged on Eastern's campus on Oct. 14 to participate in the fall Open House, sponsored by the Admissions Office. During the open house, potential students engaged in an academic, athletic and activities fair, learned about the admissions process and heard President Núñez discuss the role a liberal arts education at Eastern could play in transforming their lives.
Governor Dannel Malloy recently announced that Eastern has received $464,764 as part of a $12 million consortium grant from the U.S. Department of Labor designed to help dislocated workers, veterans and other under-employed workers for careers in health and sciences. Charter Oak College and five community colleges -- Capital, Norwalk, Manchester, Gateway, and Middlesex -- were part of the grant award.
"Healthcare and the life sciences are two sectors of our economy that are poised to grow in the coming century," said Malloy. "That's the reason we have vigorously pursued companies like Jackson Laboratories and Alexion to relocate and expand in our state. The more we can solidify Connecticut's role as a leader in these industries, the more our residents will have access to goop paying jobs with good benefits. And thanks to today's announcement, we're going to be able to have the workforce in place really make this vision a reality."
On Oct. 3, in the Student Center Theater, several students in Theatre Professor Ellen Brodie's Children's Theatre class came up with creative ways to bring the short stories from the pages of Jorge Hernandez's "Sun, Stone and Shadows" to stage with movement, music, sound and vocalization. Readings included "The Mist" by Juan de la Cabada and "The Square" by Juan Garcia Ponce. The theatrical presentations are part of Eastern's Big Read Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The project is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. For a listing of all Big Read events, visit www.easternct.edu/universityrelations/bigRead.html.
Eastern held its first Red Cross Blood Drive of the academic year on Oct. 8 and 9 in the Betty R. Tipton Room, with 206 students, faculty, staff and area residents donating185 productive pints. In addition, 37 student volunteers worked 64 hours helping with donor recruitment, check-ins and the popular canteen. "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," said Irene Cretella, administrative assistant in Student Affairs and blood drive coordinator.
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.
The next blood drive will be held from 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. on Dec. 3 and 4 in the Betty R. Tipton Room. Appointments can be made online by clicking on www.redcrossblood.org (code Eastern) or by contacting Cretella at (860) 465-0090, email@example.com.
Nearly 50 health agencies, vendors and benefits representatives converged in the Betty R. Tipton Room on Oct. 16 to participate in the University's 20th Annual Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo. The program included demonstrations, performances and free health screenings throughout the day. The Offices of Health Services and Human Resources sponsored the expo.
Aetna Student Health; Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield; CVS Caremark; Connecticut Department of Children and Families' Foster Care Services; Hartford GYN Center; Juice Plus; Planned Parenthood; Eastern's Health Services; and the Willimantic Food Coop were just some of the health providers participating in the health expo. CVS Caremark offered a free flu vaccination clinic for state employees, their dependents over age 18 and retirees.
A main attraction at the event was a robotic surgical device called the "Da Vinci Surgical System," on display at the expo for the first time. The health expo provided free HIV, STD and HEP C testing; body fat analysis; healthy nutrition counseling; blood pressure and cholesterol screenings; foot measuring; massages; passport applications; and giveaways in the form of protein/fiber bars, grip strength, hand sanitizers, and health and wellness materials to expo patrons. (Below, "Wholeness with Linda" featuring Linda Jacques of Columbia, CT.)
From Oct. 8-12, the Women's Center at Eastern hosted the Red Flag Campaign, a public awareness mission designed to promote the prevention of dating violence on college campuses. The Red Flag Campaign was launched in October 2007 on college and university campuses in Virginia before being launched nationally. The campaign was created using a "bystander intervention" strategy, which encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs for dating violence in a friend's relationship. Research indicates that in 21 percent of college dating relationships, one of the partners is being abused. For more information on the Red Flag Campaign, visit www.theredflagcampaign.org.
Eastern senior basketball point guard Joe Ives recently returned from traveling 7,000 miles from his home in Avon to Nairobi, Kenya. Brian Murphy, CEO and Founder of Travelbond, asked Ives to accompany him and four other local Division III basketball players on the trip. The experience is one Ives will never forget.
Travelbond is a non-profit organization founded this past April and its mission is "to create, provide, and sustain opportunities and good health for the women and children of poverty or disaster areas both locally and globally." The organization was founded so that student-athletes and volunteers could embrace the idea of giving back to communities in need around the world.
In addition to staying in Nairobi -- the largest city and capital of Kenya -- the Travelbond team made stops at Lake Nakuru, Sagam and Kolego. The group visited local orphanages in Nairobi, in an effort to give back to the community. Each afternoon, Travelbond ran basketball camps for two high schools and two colleges. At night, it would scrimmage with the players who they had trained earlier in the day.
Ives characterized Kenyan youth as "good, very athletic and extremely tall." Upper Hill High School, the host site of the camp, was the best team that Travelbond faced, according to Ives. A six-foot point guard majoring in sociology, Ives observed after returning home that "we realize how lucky we have it over here. Complaining is something that just shouldn't be done." He said Americans complain over simple things like their phone not working or not being able to get into a movie, but they don't face problems like people who live in parts of Kenya. "Some people there don't have food to eat or running water to use. In the orphanages, the young kids were sleeping three to a bed on the metal bedsprings. They didn't even have a mattress or blanket to sleep on. "Just to be able to help out over there was really special," Ives exclaimed.
The 19th Eastern Connecticut State University E-Club Hall of Fame class was inducted during ceremonies on Oct. 21, 2012, in the Betty R. Tipton Room. Pictured with Hall of Fame chair Scott Smith (far left) are Erin (Byrnes) Klemyk, Scott Chiasson, Norm Worthington, Michelle Cunningham and Donna Poyant. South Windsor native Klemyk played lacrosse from 1996 through 1999; Norwich native Chiasson baseball from 1996 through 1998; Narragansett, RI, native Worthington baseball from 1986 through 1990; Barnstable, MA, native Cunningham volleyball and softball between 1995 and 1998; and New Bedford, MA, native Poyant softball from 1990 through 1993.
Everett Watson '54 (center) and Gerard J. Lawrence, MD (right) were presented with the Michael A. Atkind Exceptional Service Award during the Hall of Fame ceremonies. Also shown at far left is Hall of Fame chair Scott Smith. Following a four-year basketball career, Watson continued to serve the University on a volunteer basis as president of the E-Club and also served a 12-year term on the E-Club Hall of Fame Committee. Dr. Lawrence was the Eastern athletic department's original team physician, serving as Eastern's orthopaedic surgeon from 1969 until 2001. Lawrence was formerly the chief surgeon in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Windham Hospital. The Atkind Award has been presented in conjunction with the E-Club Hall of Fame since 1992 in memory of Michael A. Atkind '75, who served as administrator of baseball affairs and Alumni Field supervisor from 1973 until his death in 1991.
The Office of Housing and Residential Life welcomed more than 2,700 students to campus during the annual student move-in days on Aug. 27 and 28. The demand for on-campus housing remains high as Eastern's residence halls are filled to capacity, which required assigning students to the Best Western Hotel in Mansfield. Despite a short period of rain, the move-in process went extremely well, as faculty, staff, student volunteers, student leaders and Eastern alumni were on hand to greet and welcome students and their parents to the campus.
Residential students come from 44 countries, 26 states, and more than 200 communities, making Eastern's residential population a diverse community of scholars who will benefit from the inclusive communities, active learning opportunities and social life that the residence halls provide.
To help residential students, as well as commuters, learn more about campus opportunities, hundreds of students, faculty and staff attended the Annual President's Picnic and Student Activities Fair on Sept. 6 outside the Student Center. Chartwell's Food Services fed more than 2,000 people, and long lines of students signed up to join more than 70 student clubs.
Hundreds of students also signed up for community service opportunities through the Center for Community Engagement.
For the third year in a row, Eastern is ranked in the top 30 public universities in the North Region in U.S. News and World Report's 2013 edition of Best Colleges. Eastern was the highest ranked university among the four Connecticut state universities. Again, Eastern was in the top 100 regional universities -- both public and private -- in the region.
Regional universities such as Eastern are ranked on the basis of criteria that include peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. The North Region includes colleges and universities from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
"On behalf of the entire Eastern campus community, I am honored to learn that Eastern Connecticut State University is again ranked in the top 30 public regional universities in the North by U.S. News and World Report," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "We are honored to be a Tier One institution with a public mission to provide an outstanding liberal arts education to students from all walks of life. Today's news is a tribute to our entire campus community. To continue to be ranked this highly in the U.S. News ratings is a sign of an improved academic reputation and the quality of our faculty and educational programs. We are also working hard to give Eastern students more opportunities to apply their classroom learning in such experiences as internships, paid co-ops, service learning, undergraduate research and other applied settings. This is a great day for our faculty, staff, students and alumni."
The Education Trust, a national education advocacy group, announced on Sept. 20 that Eastern Connecticut State University ranks number one in a national study of the improvement of six-year graduation rates of Hispanic students among public universities and colleges, according to their report, "Advancing to completion: increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students."
The Education Trust study examined the graduation rates of 391 public and private colleges and universities in the United States, detailing the results for African American, Hispanic and white students, as well as the overall graduation rates of all students at those institutions.
For the class of full-time, first-time students entering in fall 1998, the six-year graduation rate was barely 20 percent for Hispanic students at Eastern. However, for those Hispanic students entering in 2004, the proportion who had graduated by 2010 was 57.8 percent, the largest improvement among the 228 public institutions in The Education Trust study.
Eastern's 57.8 percent graduation rate for Hispanic students is actually above the University's overall graduation rate of 52.4 percent for the entire entering class of 2004. In addition, Eastern's improvement rate of 37.8 percent far exceeds the overall improvement rate among the study's 391 institutions of 3.5 percent, as well as the 3.9 percent improvement rate among the study's 228 public colleges and universities.
"While we know that there is much more work to be done on our campus in supporting Latino and other underrepresented students to achieve their educational goals and graduate from college, I am very pleased with today's announcement," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez.
"This is a tribute to the work of our faculty and staff in providing support to students who face a myriad of issues in enrolling in and succeeding at college -- language barriers, cultural isolation, financial challenges and lack of family history as it relates to college attendance."
For the complete news release on The Education Trust announcement, visit http://www.easternct.edu/mt-static/press_releases/2012/09/eastern-first-in-national-study-of-hispanic-college-graduation-rates.html.
To help youth participate more fully in society and the workplace through reading, Eastern has joined 78 other not-for-profit institutions and organizations nationwide in an effort to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read Project, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), seeks to enhance literacy abilities by raising public awareness of reading. The kick-off event on Sept. 18 in the Betty R. Tipton Room featured Eastern President Elsa Núñez and other dignitaries and scholars.
"Reading is perhaps the most fundamental academic skill we can give young people, for without reading, you cannot work on any other academic subject," said Núñez. "Reading is not only the key to our intellectual development and career success, literature provides a richness of experience and perception that brings a much larger world to us than we are capable of experiencing on our own." Other kickoff speakers included Patricia Banach, director of library services at Eastern; Ann Anderberg, assistant professor of education at Eastern; Lucy Ferriss, Writer-in-Residence at Trinity College; and Denise Merrill, Connecticut Secretary of the State.
With a $14,900 NEA Big Read grant, the University has partnered with libraries, public schools, local and state officials to engage in discussions, lectures, public readings and theatrical performances over the fall semester. Eastern's grant focuses on English language learners in Willimantic, which has a large Latino population. (Below, Jaime Gomez, interim dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies, and Carmen Cid, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, talk about the Big Read on Access TV Channel 14's "Homefront" show, hosted by Eastern Adjunct Faculty Member John Murphy.)
Hope Marie Cook, associate librarian and coordinator of Eastern's Big Read program, wrote the award-winning grant proposal. "Patrons of libraries in Windham County and Willimantic, along with community members, have a deep appreciation for, and interest in, the cultural beauty of the Hispanic population, its history, values, beliefs and literature." Cook said Eastern and the surrounding community is responding enthusiastically to the selection of the Big Read book, "Sun, Stone and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories" because of its rich cultural beauty, relevancy and programming flexibility. For a listing of Big Read programs, visit www.easternct.edu/universityrelations/bigRead.html.
On Sept. 20 at the AquaTurf in Southington, President Núñez was honored as the Top Leader in the Large Organizations category by the Hartford Courant and Fox CT during their 2012 Top Workplaces Awards Reception. The Courant/Fox CT Top Workplace Awards are based on employee surveys of hundreds of organizations in Connecticut, conducted by an independent firm. Dr. Núñez's award was based on the ratings of Eastern employees; the University was also honored as one of the top five Top Workplaces in the Large Organizations category. The Courant ran an interview with Dr. Nunez in its Sept. 21st edition. Read more at http://www.courant.com/business/hc-top-workplaces-elsa-nunez-20120919,0,6456004.story
On Sept. 17, Sila Calderón, former Governor of Puerto Rico, visited Eastern for a series of appearances. In a keynote address in the Student Center Theater, Calderon urged students, faculty and staff to fully appreciate the value of giving back: "There is no purpose nobler than public service; no greater joy than serving others. When a person understands for the first time that he or she is worthy, valuable and must assume responsibility for his or her life, then, a transformation takes place. And once that takes place, there's no going back."
Later, at a press conference, Calderon said education was the best solution for every challenge facing the Latino community. She also encouraged the audience to vote in the upcoming elections. When asked by a reporter which presidential candidate -- Barack Obama or Mitt Romney -- she thought was best for the Latino community, Calderon said, "Obama had addressed issues concerning Latinos more than Romney. I have not heard the Republican Party address anything about Latino economic and educational concerns."
Calderon said there were many ways to help the less fortunate. She went on to state that for over two decades she has "seen the raw face of poverty... felt the pain...and sensed the heavy burden."
On Sept. 20, Caesar Gonzalez, analyst for Wexford Capital LP in Greenwich, CT, spoke to students, faculty and staff in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library. Gonzalez discussed how to pursue a job on Wall Street, and explained the responsibilities of an analyst at an investment bank and hedge fund.
Gonzalez majored in finance at the University of Southern California, and said that when he graduated in 2005, "everyone got a job." He said the economy has dramatically changed the job market since then, urging students to "read articles about where there is growth; learn what is exciting right now; and begin interning immediately."
The American Council on Education (ACE) has awarded a $25,000 grant to Eastern for a pilot project aimed at expanding access to higher education for adult learners. The grant is one of six awarded for pilot projects at institutions around the country, part of ACE's multipronged national initiative to ensure more adults in the United States obtain college degrees. Eastern's grant proposal is titled, "The Reverse Internship: Converting Banked Applied Learning into College Credit."
The Lumina Foundation estimates that the United States must increase the percentage of adults with college degrees from 38 percent in 2010 to 60 percent by 2025 to maintain an educated workforce. Connecticut is hard pressed to be part of that effort for several reasons. College attendance by nontraditional adult students is low, among the bottom third of the states; the cost of attending college in Connecticut is high and growing; and the drop-out rate of adult students attending college in Connecticut is high.
"Eastern has a long history of serving adults students," explained Carol Williams, associate dean of continuing education, "and we have had a Credit for Lifelong Learning program since 1973." Even so, the program is labor intensive and serves only about 20 adult students a year. "Capitalizing upon the idea that working adults have 'banked' valuable applied learning through their work," says Williams, "we will offer working adults a way to turn that learning into meaningful college credit through a 'reverse internship' concept whereby individuals will be able to convert their prior learning into college credits equivalent to a standard practicum or internship usable toward degree requirements."
The Akus Gallery at Eastern hosted an exhibition by Printmakers Network of Southern New England (PNSNE) titled "Score 2012" from Aug. 30-Oct. 1; a special opening reception was held on Sept. 6. The exhibition, which included PNSNE's sixth portfolio, celebrated the organization's 20th anniversary. "Score 2012" featured the work of such New England artists as Shirley Bernstein, Joan Cole, Eric Goldberg, Melody Knight Leary, Amanda Lebel and Rhea Nowak. Founded in 1992 by four artists and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the organization is a loose-knit network of artists and printmakers who remain independent, yet have common goals.
"I have been involved with the Printmaking Network of Southern New England since our first organizational meeting 20 years ago," said Shirley Bernstein, former assistant professor of visual arts at Eastern. "I was drawn to the idea of promoting printmaking by educating potential printmakers and the public through workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions. I find this group and their work personally inspirational. The network creates an environment that encourages collaboration within as well as networking outside the group."
Score 2012 showcased both PNSNE's 2012 portfolio and individual works of art, which explores a variety of printmaking techniques and creative expression of regional, contemporary printmakers. Lebel, assistant professor of visual arts, said she used a technique called "designed repeat" to emphasize the conundrum of collecting, in that even when more is added, the collection is never complete. "I began working on both of my prints for the exhibition while teaching screen printing at Eastern last semester," said Lebel. "Students were able to see my process throughout the semester and, with this exhibition, will be able to experience the final pieces." Above, exhibiting artist Amanda Lebel talks with Elliott Woolworth '13 and Laura Visinski '13.
Eastern participated in an international education trade mission to Brazil from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6. Christopher Dorsey, associate director of admissions, joined Francisco Sánchez, undersecretary of commerce for international trade, on one of the country's largest education missions in history.
"International students seeking top-quality educations are drawn to the United States to take advantage of the high-value programs offered by our colleges and universities," said Sánchez. "The Brazilian government's commitment to encourage its students to seek educational opportunities abroad makes this an excellent time for U.S. schools to promote their programs to students in this growing market. The schools joining us in Brazil demonstrate their commitment to recruiting quality students from across the globe."
"We recognize the interest by Brazilian students in going to school in the United States," said Ned Harris, director of enrollment management at Eastern, "and we are always interested in diversifying our student body. Students from Brazil will enrich our campus culture while enhancing the global perspectives of students at our liberal arts university."
In addition to participating in college fairs in Brazil, Dorsey visited the American School of Brasilia; Colégio Porto Seguro in Sao Paulo; and The American School in Rio de Janeiro. On Aug. 30, Dorsey also attended a special reception with Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Brazil.
In July, Ian McCary '12 and assistant professor Steve Nathan from the Department of Environmental Earth Science (EES) participated in a field trip to the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming. The trip was sponsored by ExxonMobil Corporation and the Geological Society of America.
Fifteen undergraduate students, eight graduate students and two professors from across the United States and Great Britain gained hands-on field experience under the guidance of globally renowned exploration geologists. The students worked in teams and one-on-one with experts to learn how to read the rocks and determine the suitability of a hydrocarbon prospect. More importantly, through this pre-professional experience, students gained marketable skills that were directly connected to a prospective employer. For Nathan, the field trip provided new materials for his introductory courses and a new, advanced class in EES.
After returning from the field trip, McCary said Eastern and field opportunities like this can shape careers: "The professors in the Environment Earth Science Department taught me the fundamentals of geoscience in the classroom, and this lab allowed me to apply these skills to my undergraduate research project, and motivated me to pursue a career in petroleum geology."
On Sept. 14, Eastern's Rugby Team participated in its Second Annual Clean-Up Day in Willimantic. Participating students included Hunter Brochu, Tyler Elliott, David Holmes, Demetri Voukounas, Garrett Halstead, Kelly McGorty, Kyle Knapp and Alex Heston. The team is coached by Ray Aramini.