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February 2013 Archives

U.S. Coast Guard Band Swings in Shafer Auditorium

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                                                                                                                                          The U.S. Coast Guard Swing Band entertained a packed house on Feb. 5 in Shafer Auditorium with classics from the swing era. They opened with "You Beautiful Doll" written over 100 years ago by Ayer and Brown; and followed that with Benny Goodman's "A Smooth One." Next was a medley of songs titled "Mellow sounds of the Radio Era," including the White Cliffs of Dover" by Vera Lynn. Other tunes included "Daydreaming" by band member Shawn Nelson; "Yesterdays" by Jerome Kern; Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek"; and "Avalon," by Al Jolson.

"The Masters of Swing" U.S. Coast Guard Swing Band was formed in the summer of 1989. Skillfully arranged by members of the group, the musical selections demand sparkling ensemble playing and highlight the performers' improvisational expertise.  Band musicians include band leader Joel Flunker on trumpet; Cedric Mayfield on clarinet; Greg Case on saxophone; Sean Nelson on trombone; Robert Langslet on piano and keyboards; Mark McCormick on bass; Nathan Lassell on drums; sound engineer Robert Holtorff; and vocalist Megan Weikleenget.

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National Girls and Women in Sports Day Forum

IMG_0165.jpgStudents, faculty and staff filled the Paul E. Johnson Room on Feb. 6 to hear the personal stories of people involved in women sports discuss the impact that Title IX has had on their lives and careers.  The panel discussion was held in connection with National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Panelists included Christina Amato, chair of physical education at Colgate University; Jennifer Bruening, director of the Laboratory for Sport Management; Tom Farrey, director of the Aspen Institute's Sport's and Society Program; Theresa Grentz, former head coach of women's basketball at the University of Illinois; and Carolyn Vanacore, 2006 Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

In 1972, the landmark Title IX legislation was passed prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender in higher education institutions. Since then, Title IX has expanded access to all educational programs, including admissions, financial aid, employment, and athletics. "I think if you establish yourself as a hardworking, powerful woman, you can look to do more of the things that we were never able to do when I was a kid," said Vanacore. "So I encourage you and the women of the world to be the best that you can be."

Bruening mentioned how different things are now from when she grew up. "People used to say, 'if girls competed with boys and won, the boys would quit. It is the right of a boy to play a sport and not a girl's right to be better that them.'  That viewpoint has changed so much." Grentz discussed her experience working as a coach in an all-male profession. "In a profession where all the decisionmakers were male, I had to learn how to deal with that." Amato stated that although women in college have come a long way under Title IX, there are still improvements that need to be made. "I feel like women are still being exploited and objectified in the media for their body rather than their skill. So I would like to see change there."

Center for Early Childhood Education Wins Grant

DSC_1414.jpgThe Windham Area Women and Girls Fund awarded Eastern's Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE) a $6,446 grant that will enable Ann Anderberg, assistant professor of education, Denise Matthews, associate professor of communication, and CECE staff to train bilingual women and girls on reading strategies to enhance reading among young children, and encourage families to read to children in their first language. Eastern's Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC) will partner with the CECE for the project.

The researchers and CECE staff will videotape families reading in both English and their first language, and broadcast the videos on local access television to further promote reading to young children. Eastern education and communication students will be involved in the training and videotaping. The first round of sessions will be offered in spring 2013 to 12 families, while the second round will be offered in fall 2013.

Research indicates that children who master their first language can easily translate those skills to English. Very often though, young children enter an English-speaking preschool and cease all development of their first language. Without a solid foundation in either language, they struggle with literacy throughout their academic career, which hinders their long-term economic security. Ensuring that children are read to in their native language by older family members helps develop their language and literacy skills in their native language and therefore, their literacy skills in English.

Kris Jacobi Chronicles Experiences in the Galapagos

Kris Jacobi with Rosemary  Peter Grant.JPGAlthough it was five years in the making, Librarian Kris Jacobi has collaborated with several other Charles Darwin Research Station volunteer librarians to publish a peer-reviewed article titled, "Cataloging in a Remote Location: A Case Study of International Collaboration in the Galapagos Islands" in a special issue of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly.

 Jacobi spent her spring semester 2008 sabbatic leave as an international volunteer librarian working at the Research Station in the Corley Smith Library on Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos.  It was her good fortune to be at work when the world-renowned evolutionary biologists Rosemary and Peter Grant visited the library. The Grants were in the Galapagos to continue their studies on Darwin's finches. The Grants' research has had a seminal influence in the fields of population biology, evolution and ecology.

Above, Jacobi is pictured with Rosemary and Peter Grant outside the library. The Grants are evolutionary biologists who have studied Darwin's finches in depth on the Galapagos island of Daphne. Vice President for Academic Affairs Rhona Free said "What a perfect example of scholarly work that can be done by a librarian!"

Students Attend American Economic Association Conference

San Diego Economics Image-Enhanced by Ed.jpegEight Eastern students who are members of Eastern's Economics Club, along with Behroz Baraghoshi, assistant professor of economics, travelled to San Diego, CA, from Jan. 4-7 to participate in the annual Conference of the American Economic Association (AEA).  The AEA encourages academic research and discussion on a wide range of economic topics, and holds a three-day meeting each January, when economists gather to present papers on general subjects within the field.

"Students, as well as professors of economics, learn about new ideas and meet people of extraordinary talent in their respective fields," said Baraghoshi. "It is a great place for free speech and exchange of ideas."  Students attended sessions of their interest and saw how new ideas in those fields were presented. They also were able to ask questions or comment. "The vastness of the subject matter was really apparent, and the numerous lecturers discussing completely different topics were very interesting," said Bailey Wilber, president of the Economics Club and coordinator of the trip. "It opened up a new way of thinking about economics and made me eager to study more."

Students who attended the conference included Dean Bonney, Julie Correira, Tony DeLuca, Mackenzie Fannon, Nicole Gaona, Teddy Straub, Stephanie Venuti and Wilber.

Eastern Students Take Global Field Course to Hawaii

hawaii.JPGSeven Eastern students, accompanied by Assistant Professor of Theatre J.J. Cobb, traveled to Oahu, HI, from Jan. 1-13, to perform a series of theatrical pieces ranging from scenes to monologues to readings. The trip was the culmination of the Site-Specific Theatre course the group had taken during the fall semester, when they wrote their performances and learned about the history and culture of Hawaii.

Site-Specific Theatre is a creative approach that illuminates how a location can influence events; theatrical stories are constructed about a particular place, and are then performed onsite. Students participating in the course included Ashley Lovett, Chad Dominique, Paul Lietz, Melissa Conkling, Robert Morgan, Michael Pina and Darcy Bruce.

"During this experience, theatre is being used as a new way of 'encountering' a place," said Cobb. "In the past, the Theatre Program has offered tours for students to go to a location to study and view shows, but this is the first opportunity for students to generate and perform theatrical pieces of their own during travel."

When performing, the students literally "popped up" in various places around Oahu and acted out their pieces. "It was tough to battle the noise of our surroundings, including passing traffic and people," said Lietz, a senior majoring in theatre, "but it was a good obstacle for me to try to find different ways to grab people's attention, since they couldn't always hear me."

The Eastern students visited such sites as the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hanauma Bay, Pearl Harbor and the North Shore, which helped them become familiar with the history of the island. They also experienced cultural activities such as fire-dancing and paddle boarding. Students also worked with local actors who helped them with the historical accuracy of their scripts and the pronunciation of Hawaiian words. "Getting to see their technique and how they perform and vocalize in their native tongue was probably one of the biggest things I could have gotten out of working with them," said Dominique, a junior majoring in theatre. "It made me realize that theatre is and always will be a universal art form."

Know Your Value: Women of Color Net and Self-Worth

Women of Color-Ruth Washington.jpgEastern's Women's Center hosted a seminar, "Know Your Value: Women of Color Net and Self-Worth," on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 in the Student Center. Both seminars were moderated by Ruth Washington, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of Connecticut, and covered a variety of topics including education, career planning and personal wellness. According to Washington, the median wealth among white women in the United States in their prime working years (36-49) is $42,600. However, according to a May 2010 report released by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, among African American and Hispanic women in the same age range, the median is $5. 

Theatre Students Shine at KCACTF Festival

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On Feb. 2, Eastern Theatre student Rachael Perry won the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Allied Design and Technology Award for her work as Projections Designer on the play "Biloxi Blues." The award qualifies Perry to compete in the national festival at the Kennedy Center the week of April 15. She also won a one-week, full tuition $2,000 fellowship to attend the prestigious Stagecraft Institute in Las Vegas this summer.

Theatre major Corey Welden auditioned at the festival and won a half-tuition $1,000 scholarship towards the Commonwealth Shakespeare Internship program in Boston this summer. Zach LaSala, a double major in History and Social Science, and Abby Weston, a Business Administration major and Theatre minor, auditioned at the festival and were cast in two new short plays presented at the festival as part of the National Playwriting Program (NPP) on Feb. 1.

Theatre majors Amanda Conkey and Emily Rieser were part of the collaborative teams of the KCACTF Play Slam that conceived, produced and performed original devised works at the festival. Irene Ryan Candidate Tiane Kneerim, a Psychology major and Theatre minor, and LaSala, Mike Siddell, and Welden, were selected by KCACTF respondents for their  acting in "Biloxi Blues," in the first round of the  Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition.

Blood Drive: The Gift of Life

Thumbnail image for blood drive-bryne and rosado.jpgEastern held its third Red Cross Blood Drive of the academic year on Feb. 4 and 5 in the Betty R. Tipton Room, with 165 students, faculty, staff and area residents donating 131 productive pints. In addition, 50 volunteers worked 63 hours helping with donor recruitment, check-ins and the popular canteen. The aroma of piping hot pancakes, prepared by the volunteers for the donors, permeated the Student Center.  "I am consistently impressed with our students' willingness to give blood," said Irene Cretella, administrative assistant in the Division sof Student Affairs and blood drive coordinator. "Knowing that each pint of blood saves three lives gives the donors the feeling that they have made a difference."  In addition to the traditional pint donation, the Red Cross collected double red cells through a different process with special equipment. The height and weight requirements are higher for this type of donation.

For more information on future Red Cross blood drives at Eastern, visit www.redcrossblood.org  (code Eastern) or contact Cretella at (860) 465-0090, cretellai@easternct.edu.  Above, Red Cross practitioner Alexandra Byrne '13 draws blood from Carmen Rosado.

Snowed in? Shoveled out!

Thumbnail image for Eastern Rugby Snow Removal.jpgOn Monday, Feb. 11, Willimantic residents Winnie and Don Chase called the University in a panic seeking assistance shoveling out from the blizzard. They are in their 70s and were unable to remove the huge banks of snow at their house. Several s members of the Club Rugby team and their coach came to the rescue and shoveled them out.    
Front Row (r to l): Hunter Brochu, Dillion Garrison.  Back Row (r to l): Evan Allard, Ray Aramini (coach), Alex Fredrick, Jeremiah Blankenbaker, Sam Shekman

Virtue and Vice: The World of Lizbeth Anderson

Akus Image by Liz Anderson.jpgEastern's Akus Gallery is hosting "Virtue and Vice: The World of Lizbeth Anderson" through Feb. 28.  A reception was held on Jan. 31. Anderson is a mixed-media artist, tattooer and art historian. She works in a variety of media including paint, beeswax, collage, techniques of printmaking and skin. She also teaches historical painting techniques focused on the methods of the medieval and Renaissance Italian masters. She shows and sells her artwork at various venues.

Anderson has traveled extensively in Italy and has studied the work and culture of 14th century Tuscan painters, as well as Baroque Italian sculpture and architecture. The Akus Gallery is located in the lower level of Shafer Hall at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1-7 p.m. on Thursday and 2-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call (860) 465-4659 or visit www.easternct.edu/akusgallery.  For more information on Anderson's work, visit www.lizbethanderson.net.

Three Share Zimmerman Memorial Award for 2012-13

zimmerman300dpi_9993.jpgSeniors Brittany Garnelis of Ellington and Julie Pietrycha of Newington, and junior Stephanie Johnson of Plantsville, have been named as 2012-13 recipients of the Holly E. Zimmerman Memorial Award. The awards were presented between games of a Jan. 26 women's and men's basketball doubleheader at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

This year's recipients bring to 34 the number of individuals recognized with the award, which is named in memory of the late Holly Zimmerman, an Andover native who attended Eastern between 1989 and 1993. She was a Health and Physical Education (HPE) major, basketball player, and student athletic trainer who passed away in 1993.

"This year's winners are very deserving recipients of this award," said Eastern softball coach Diana Pepin, who was a close friend of Zimmerman when they were both undergraduates. "They are respected by the entire Eastern community for their commitment to their academics and their unselfishness and loyalty. There were many qualified candidates for this award. The task of choosing the winners was difficult, but the committee felt that these three individuals stood apart."

Garnelis is a Sport and Leisure Management (SLM) major with a concentration in Sport Management and a minor in coaching. She is a member of the competitive cheerleading squad and will be heading to Daytona, FL, in April to compete in the nationals. She is a member of the SLM/HPE Club; a student athletic trainer; has a 3.61 overall GPA; was selected for the Excellence Expo and Exercise Science College Bowl; and is a recipient of the Connecticut Recreation & Parks Association Scholarship.

Johnson is majoring in SLM with concentrations in Exercise Science and Sport Performance. She is an outfielder and third-year member of the softball program and also is a student-assistant in the athletic training room. Johnson is planning on attending graduate school and pursuing a doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Pietrycha recently wound up a four-year career with the Eastern swimming program, serving as a team captain this year and as the program's only four-year letterwinner.  She is a Sport and Leisure Management major with a concentration in Exercise Science and minor in Business, and has an overall 2.83 GPA. With plans to pursue an advanced career following graduation, Pietrycha is currently interning at ProCare Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Willimantic.

(by Jennifer Catone, Sports Information Office)


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