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During 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, including 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 academic 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.
More 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."
On 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."
Nunez 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."
(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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The 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.
Anita 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.
The 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 email@example.com or (860) 465-5501.
Modern 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
The 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.
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.