The e-newsletter of Eastern Connecticut State University
Nearly 2,000 future students and their families visited Eastern on Oct. 13 to tour campus and learn about academic programs, support services and other aspects of academic life at Eastern. The turnout was 15 percent larger than last year. Families came from Clinton, Hebron, Windsor, Guilford, Suffield, and many other Connecticut towns, as well as from out of state. A random sampling of guests found students interested in majors ranging from business administration to marketing, psychology, criminal justice and early childhood education. Several prospective students were interested in playing on such varsity teams as men's basketball, men's lacrosse and women's soccer.
In addition to a fair in the Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium that featured academic departments, athletic teams and student activities, Eastern students, faculty and staff offered presentations on admissions, the arts, residential life, financial aid, and the honors program.
On Oct. 9, more than 300 Eastern students, faculty and staff, as well as emeriti faculty, alumni and local residents were treated to an evening on the healing power of the arts by Canadian blues artist Rita Chiarelli and best-selling author Wally Lamb. The two guests filled the Betty R. Tipton room with a multi-media glimpse into the lives of inmates of two different prisons in Louisiana and Connecticut. Chiarelli was the inspiration and facilitator for the documentary, "Music in the Big House," which showed how the music ministry at Angola Prison in Louisana--"the birthplace of the blues" is bringing redemption and healing to the prison population there. Many of the inmates are serving life terms without the hope of parole, and several have been at Angola more than 30 years. Through their music and testimony, they told a moving story of remorse, forgiveness, hope, and love.
Following two musical selections off the soundtrack she recorded for Music from the Big House," Chiarelli was joined on stage by Lamb, who has been volunteering for the past 14 years at York Prison in Niantic. Through two collections of writings by the female inmates of the prison, Lamb has helped the women to find an avenue for their anger and repressed feelings while also shedding light on the plight of the prisoners there. It was fitting and uplifting, Lamb noted, that earlier that day, long-time inmate Bonnie Foreshaw had been granted clemency for a 1986 murder, after serving more than 27 years in jail.
The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra played a riveting concert on Nov. 11 in Shafer Auditorium. Now in its 41st season, the Aardvark Orchestra is one of the longest-running large jazz ensembles in the world. In addition to playing classics by Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and Duke Ellington, the band featured a new song, "Merry Go Round" by band director Mark Harvey, accompanied by Eastern's Concert Chorale Ensemble and the Eastern Thread City Jazz Ensemble.
More than 50 health agencies, vendors and representatives convened on Oct. 15 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center for the 21st Annual Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo. The theme this year was "Balancing Your Mind, Body and Soul." The program included demonstrations, performances and free health screenings throughout the day.
Free chair massages, free HIV and STD testing, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, body fat analysis and free health food samples were some of the offerings at this year's event. Among the day's activities were a variety of demonstrations, descriptions and performances including yoga; accupuncture; massage therapy; and CPR training offered by Windham Hospital's Emergency Medical Services. In addition, representatives were on hand with information about retirement, finances, health insurance and cancer prevention.
The Health Expo was sponsored by Student Health Services and the Office of Human Resources.
On Oct. 9, in the Student Center Café, Eastern hosted a reception for English Professor Marcia McGowan, in recognition of the establishment of the Dr. Marcia P. McGowan Scholarship for Excellence in Women's and Gender Studies. The reception raised $2,000, which added to the scholarship established in 2011. The reception was scheduled to coincide with writer Wally Lamb's presentation during Eastern's first Arts and Lecture Series. English Professor Maureen McDonnell served as master of ceremonies.
Bernard Lafayette Jr., a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement, spoke on "Reaching Beyond Your Grasp" on Oct. 9 in the Student Center Theatre. His presentation was part of Eastern's University Hour Series. A packed house heard Lafayette say he was "glad" and "shocked" that he is still alive today, in response to a question asked by a student. Lafayette's life has been threatened on many occasions, including a night when white men came to his house to kill him.
Lafayette played a riveting clip from a documentary on the Freedom Riders, who a group of African American and white college students committed to integrating bus stations in the South. The film showed scenes of white mobs as they burned and bombed the Freedom Riders' buses and beat them with crow bars, baseball bats and any other weapon they could pick up. Law enforcement and city officials had made a deal; the mob of people was given 15 minutes to do whatever it wanted to the Freedom Riders and they would not get punished for it. Once the 15 minutes were up, Lafayette said the officers announced, "Alright, you've had your fun," and told the mob, "Not one soul will ever be arrested."
Lafayette also talked about the importance of community engagement, saying that all colleges and universities should be involved in the community. "You've got to bring young people together and organize them. If you don't use your rights, you will lose your rights." As an example, he said students could initiate a voter registration drive by hosting a public birthday party for eighteen-year-olds, where the cost of admission would be showing their voter registration cards.
Education Professor and outgoing Access Community Action Agency Board member Ann Gruenberg was presented with a Volunteer Service Award at the Access Annual Meeting and Dinner on Oct. 24 at Wright's Mill Farm. Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning, will take Gruenberg's place on the board.
Visual Arts Professor Qimin Liu organized an "East Meets West: A Prospective" exhibition that ran from Oct. 12-31 at the LQM Gallery in New London. The exhibition featured four Chinese Women artists taking part in the ICAS (International Contemporary Art Space) International Residency program.
Zhang Shuyun is a painter at the Xu Beihong Art Institute, member of the Beijing Oil Painting Society and director of Qinhuangdao Artists group. Xu Chunli is a teacher, member of the Hebei Artists Association, Deputy Secretary-General of the Qinhuangdao Artists Association and Vice President of the Qinhuangdao Oil Painting Arts Council. Ben Ni is a college lecturer as well as a member of the Artists Association of Hebei Province. Guan Yuling is a freelance painter with a powerful and youthful exuberance which she portrays in her artworks.
In addition to the exhibition, the artists and other invited local women artists participated in a panel discussion, "Through the Eyes of Women," hosted by Afarin Rahmanifar, assistant professor of art, on Oct. 19. The panel examined women artists and diversity, their processes, inspirations, goals and achievements, and a host of other topics facing women in the art world and society.
Eastern hosted its first blood drive of the academic year on Oct. 7 and 8 in the Betty R. Tipton Room (BTR). As usual, the Eastern community pulled together to make the drive a huge success. 188 students, faculty and staff generated 166 productive pints of blood, making this a great start in getting the Eastern community involved in blood donations of which there is always a critical need.
"Over the years, Eastern's blood drives have had many wonderful student volunteers who cannot donate but want to help out," said Irene Cretella, organizer of the blood drive. "This drive was no exception with a total of 39 volunteers donating 60 hours of their time helping with check-ins, passing out donated pizza from Domino's at the canteen and making the donors feel relaxed and comfortable after their donation. The American Red Cross always enjoys coming to Eastern because of the very upbeat spirit and maturity demonstrated by all the students, faculty, and staff who participate."
The next blood drive at Eastern will take place Dec. 2-3 from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the BTR. Appointments can be made by visiting www.redcrossblood.org sponsor code: Eastern, or contacting Irene Cretella at email@example.com.
Nearly 30 members of Eastern's men's and women's basketball teams, along with family members and friends, participated in the Fifth Annual "Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis" Walk on Oct. 13 at the Mansfield Athletic Complex. The walk was hosted by FEMALES (Females Excelling Maturing to Achieve Leadership, Excellence and Success), a campus women's leadership club. This year, organizers raised $598. Proceeds go to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.
Above, members of Eastern's Mens Track Team who participated in the Walk. Also, members of FEMALE and MALES student group participated in the march, inclcuding, left to right, Drew Todd, FEMALES President Shereen Moore, MALES President Todd Aviles, Crystal Jaboin, Marcus and Deidre Montague.
On Oct. 10-13 and Oct. 15-16, Eastern's Theatre Program and Drama Society presented "Dancing At Lughnasa" in the Harry Hope Theatre in Shafer Hall. The play was written by Ireland's renowned playwright Brian Friel and directed by assistant professor of theatre J.J. Cobb. Reflecting upon the script, Cobb says, "This is one of my favorite plays of all time. I've had a true affection for this story since seeing the original production more than 20 years ago. I've waited to direct it until the moment when I could gather the right ensemble, to be led primarily by a core of strong, open and passionate women. Now is that moment." An opening night gala for ticket holders was held in the Akus Gallery in Shafer Hall. Featuring Irish music, the event was co-sponsored by the Performing Arts Department, the Women's Center and the Intercultural Center.
Leading the Warriors into a seventh straight post-season tournament are (from left): Mike Radlbeck, Luke Capezzone, Dan Eisenmann, Carl Stensland, Mitch Power, and Christopher Giustina. (Photo by Liam Murphy)
The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team will be making its seventh straight postseason appearance when the Warriors face Gordon College in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Tournament Saturday at Hitchcock Field on the Amherst College campus.
In Saturday's first round, Eastern (12-3-4) plays Gordon (18-2-0) The regional title match is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.
Ranked in a tie for tenth in New England, Eastern gained an automatic berth after coming off its third straight Little East Conference playoff championship and fifth in seven years. The postseason appearance is the 19th in Eastern history, fifth straight in the NCAA field and sixth NCAA berth in seven years.
Eastern is 2-5 in five years of NCAA tourney play. After losing in their openers in 2007 and 2009, the Warriors defeated Nichols College, 1-0, in 2010, and Springfield College, 2-0, in 2012 before dropping a 2-1 double-overtime decision to St. Lawrence University in 2013.
Seeded first, Eastern won its fifth Little East Conference playoff title in seven years -- third straight -- with the victory over second-seeded UMass Dartmouth in Saturday's LEC title match, giving seventh-year head coach Greg DeVito his 100th career coaching victory.
Senior forward Luke Capezzone of Colchester was named LEC Playoff Most Outstanding Player after scoring the game-winning goals in both of Eastern's playoff matches. Senior Mitch Power of Douglas, MA, is the Eastern team leader with 11 goals and 24 points, with sophomore forward Timothy Jennison of Coventry following with 17 points, including a team-high five assists. Freshman Greg Walton of Brunswick, ME, has started all 19 matches in goal with seven full shutouts, a 0.64 goals-against average and .850 save percentage.
Senior midfielder Carl Stensland of Storrs is the only field player to start every match this year and has played all but 24 minutes. Other full-time starters in addition to Power, Jennison, Capezzone and Walton are senior backs Mike Radlbeck of Westbrook and Christopher Giustina of Enfield; first-year sophomore back Cooper D'Ambrosio of Andover; and freshman midfielder Nicholas Warren of Southbury.