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October 2009 Archives

Author Charles Baxter to Visit Eastern

Written by Kate Harner


Charles Baxter.JPGWillimantic, CT -- The English Club at Eastern Connecticut State University will host a reading and book-signing by award-winning fiction writer Charles Baxter at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 in Room 301 of the Science Building. After the reading, Eastern's bookstore will offer copies for sale of Baxter's novels, "The Feast of Love" and "The Soul Thief," as well as his collection of essays on fiction, "Burning Down the House." Baxter also will hold a question and answer session at 11 a.m. on Nov. 4 in the Student Center Theatre. The public is invited to both events. Admission is free.

Baxter has authored five novels, "The Soul Thief," "The Feast of Love," "Shadow Play," "First Light" and "Saul and Patsy"; four short story collections; three poetry collections; two collections of essays on fiction; as well as other works.

Baxter has received numerous awards, including the Award of Merit in the Short Story and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the Prix St. Valentine in France; and the Catalan Booksellers' Association Award for Book of the Year in Spain. "The Feast of Love" was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000, and was made into a film by Robert Benton. Baxter's work has appeared in journals and magazines such as the New Yorker and The Atlantic, among others. Baxter currently serves as the Edelstein-Keller Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota.

For more information, contact the English Club at


Award Winning Journalist to Lecture at Eastern

Written by Jack Meltzer


university hour benedict.GIFWillimantic, Conn. -  Jeff Benedict '91, best-selling author and professor of advanced writing at Southern Virginia University, will lecture at Eastern Connecticut State University on Nov. 4 as part of Eastern's University Hour series.  The address begins at 3 p.m. in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room.  The public is invited.  Admission is free.  

Benedict's lecture, "The Story Behind Kelo vs. New London," will provide an account of the New London court case regarding eminent domain laws of transferring land from one private owner to another to further economic development.  The case has been going on since 2005. Benedict's most recent publication, "Little Pink Houses: A True Story of Defiance and Courage," is the story behind the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in this case.             

Benedict is the author of nine books, many of which have been the basis for features on 60 Minutes, ABC News 20/20, Dateline, HBO Real Sports and the Discovery Channel.  He obtained his bachelor's degree in history from Eastern and also holds a master's degree in political science from Northeastern and a law degree from the New England College of Law.  


Willimantic Orchestra to Perform at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner


orchestra.JPGWillimantic, CT -- The Willimantic Orchestra will begin its 2009-10 concert series by performing at Eastern Connecticut State University. The performance will be held at 3 p.m. on Nov. 8 in Shafer Auditorium. The public is invited. Admission is free; however, a donation is suggested.

The fall concert will feature the vocal stylings of "Grande Romanza" with Stefano and Nina Tanchietti. The orchestra will perform selections from Bizet's "Carmen," Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bernstein's "West Side Story" and Webber's "Phantom of the Opera." It will also perform "Memory" from the award-winning Broadway musical, "Cats."

The Willimantic Orchestra is a nonprofit orchestra made up of local community members committed to authentic orchestral music. David Vaughan conducts the ensemble. 

For more information, contact Fred Wengrzynek, president of the orchestra, at (860) 593-0455 or


Health and Physical Education Professor Honored

Written by Jack Meltzer



Willimantic, CT- Nanette Tummers, health and physical education professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, will be honored by the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHERD) at its annual banquet on Nov. 19. The banquet will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell, CT.  Tickets for the event are $35.

 Tummers is being awarded the prestigious professional service award for her years of commitment to health education and fitness. Tummers came to Eastern in 2001 from the University of Miami, where she oversaw the health and wellness curriculum for third-year medical students for four years. She also taught personal nutrition at Miami University's School of Nursing and at Barry University in Florida. 

Tummers is widely published, and her articles focus on yoga, the connection between mind and body and fitness, and resistance training. Earlier this year, she published two books, "Teaching Yoga for Life: Preparing Children and Teens for Healthy, Balanced Living" and "Wellness and Stress Management."   She is also a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

For more information about the CTAHERD banquet, please call Patty Pursell, CTAHERD's awards chair, at (203) 641-4291, or e-mail


Author Charles Morris to Lecture at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner


Charles Morris.JPGWillimantic, CT -- Author and financial journalist Charles Morris will present a lecture titled "The First American Industrial Revolution" at Eastern Connecticut State University. The lecture will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 12 in the Student Center Theatre. Barbara Tucker, director of the Center for Connecticut Studies and history professor at Eastern, will host the event. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Morris says that this first American Revolution "was centered in the Connecticut River Valley in the first half of the 19th century. Its importance is much under-appreciated, but it was a key contributor to American industrial dominance in the next century."

Two of Morris's best-known articles are "The Coming Global Boom" in The Atlantic (October 1989) and "Tough Love for the American Economy" in BusinessWeek (August 2008). Some of his books include "The AARP: America's Most Powerful Lobby and the Coming Clash of Generations," "American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church" and "The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J.P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy."

Morris has also been a guest on several radio and television programs, such as the NBC's "Today Show," CNN's "Money Line" and NPR's "All Things Considered."

For more information, contact Barbara Tucker at (860) 465-4512 or


Eastern's Arroyo Exhibits Work in New London

 Written by Jack Meltzer

  Imna Arroyo's House of Yemaya.JPGWillimantic, Conn. -   Imna Arroyo, professor of visual arts at Eastern Connecticut State University, is showcasing her multi-media exhibit, "Oh, Mi Yemana" at the Provenance Center located at 165 State St. in New London.  The exhibit, which started on Oct.1, will run through Jan. 31, 2010.   The public is invited, and admission is free.

The theme in the exhibit is heavily based on the mythology and spirituality of the Ifa religion, which was brought by millions of Africans to Puerto Rico, Cuba and Brazil. 

Imna Arroyo- Yemayá Achabá and Yemayá Konlá.JPG

 "Oh, Mi Yemaya," includes two major installations by Arroyo; The Many Faces of Yemaya and and La Casa de Yemaya/House of Yemaya.  Each piece of artwork depicts "los siete caminos de Yemaya," the seven paths taken by the Orisha Yemaya. 

 The Many Faces of Yemanya is composed of seven woodblock panels that are printed on satin and framed with Batik fabric from Ghana, West Africa.  Each panel represents the seven paths of the African God, Orisha Yemaya, who has unique charachteristics, both good and bad, that manifest in human life. Shells, glass and hand-made sculptures, along with a six-minute video are  part of the artwork.

The second instillation of the exhibit, La Casa de Yemaya /House of Yemaya,  shows Yemaya living in the bottom of the sea with Olokun, her father and the owner and master of ocean. Yemaya is depicted as a mermaid as well as the Virgin of Merci as she is also known.

This exhibition is sponsored by Connecticut-based Mijoba Communications.  For more information, please contact or the curator Migdalia Salas at or call (860) 443-2545.


Eastern to Perform As You Like It

Written by kate Harner

Willimantic, CT -- Eastern Connecticut State University's Theatre Department will perform Shakespeare's "As You Like It" Nov. 3 - 8 at the Harry Hope Theatre, located in Shafer Hall on the corner of High and Valley Streets in Willimantic. The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 - 7. A matinee will be presented at 11 a.m. on Nov. 6. A final presentation will take place at 4 p.m. on Nov. 8. The public is invited. Tickets are $5 for Eastern students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public.

The performance is directed by Jerry Winters, part-time professor of theatre at Eastern. This popular pastoral shows the worlds of the court and countryside colliding as it explores the themes of love, betrayal and human follies. Eastern's production gives Shakespeare's plot a modern twist by replacing the original Elizabethan aristocracy with the media empire of Duke Frederick and court entertainment and marketing. It uses recorded and live video, which Kara Williams '10, produced with the help of Communication Professor Denise Matthews. The show will also include live wrestling.

The communities of Eastern and Willimantic worked together on the production. The cast includes theatre majors, other Eastern students and community actors. Local musician and songwriter Kevin Scott composed the production's original music. Robert Sweetnum, theatre professor at Eastern, designed the multilevel set for the show.

For reservations, call the Box Office at (860) 465-5123.


Eastern's Citurs Wins Top National Advising Award

Written by Emily Bonoyer

Citurs Award Group.JPG

Congratulating Citurs, left to right, are Carol White, assistant in the Academic Advising Center; Academic Advisement Center University Assistant Christine Guarnieri, Citurs; and LuAnn Saunders-Kanabay, university assistant in the Academic Advising Center.

Willimantic, CT -- Alex Citurs, assistant professor of business administration, was presented the outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit in the academic advising faculty category of the National Academic Advising Association's (NACADA) National Awards Program for Academic Advising during the NACADA Annual Conference in San Antonio on Sept. 30. Established in 1983, the National Awards Program for Academic Advising honors individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. 

"Receiving the national faculty advising award and representing Eastern is a very special and humbling honor," said Citurs. "Creating unique and innovative ways to see Eastern students succeed in the world and achieve their dreams by integrating their liberal arts experiences with their major and minor skill sets is extremely exciting."

Citurs has held information systems-related jobs with Allied Group, IBM and State Farm Insurance, and has also consulted with numerous companies on project knowledge management and technology adoption. Citurs received a doctorate in management information systems from Case Western Reserve University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Iowa.


NACADA was chartered as a non-profit organization in 1979 to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to ensure the educational development of students. NACADA has grown to more than 10,000 members consisting of faculty members, professional advisors, administrators, counselors and others in academic and student affairs concerned with the intellectual, personal and vocational needs of students.         




Cromwell Crawford Speaks at Eastern

Written by Kevin Antonucci


crawford - gesture.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - "'Namaskara,' which means 'I bow to the light within you,'" said Cromwell Crawford, professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, as he greeted more than 100 students, faculty and staff in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room at Eastern Connecticut State University on Oct. 15.

Crawford continued, "I haven't seen snow in many years and so I will not look at it; I will look at all of your faces and become warm that way." Crawford's lecture, which was sponsored by Eastern's Peace and Human Rights and Arts and Lecture committees, focused on timeless values such as justice, human rights, suffering and freedom and how they all are connected to the current bioethics debate.

Crawford said medicine should focus on prevention and promoting healthy lifestyles as much as it does on modern technology. He believes that health care should be a right because good health is essential to one's being, and says that it should not be considered as an industry or commodity.

"Religion tends to be divisive with ideas based on revelation. Those revelations often force people to follow the styles of philosophy, rather than religion itself," said Crawford when speaking of the roles that religion plays in different cultures. "Religion had hardly any sense of what technology would emerge to be today."

Crawford said that there were four important goals that medical technology seeks to fulfill. The first is the focus on disease and injury prevention and the promotion of good health. The second is to relieve pain and suffering. The third goal is to promote the power of hope, giving a positive view of the next day ahead, while the fourth and final objective is the avoidance of a premature death.


Irish Poet to Speak at Eastern

Written by Jack Meltzer

geraldine mills university hour.jpg

Willimantic, Conn. - Irish poet and fiction writer Geraldine Mills will lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre at Eastern Connecticut State University.  Mill's presentation is  part of Eastern's University Hour series. The public is invited and admission is free.

Mills' writing has been described as surreal, vivid and imagistic.  She relies heavily on the naturalistic world of Ireland where most of her stories take place.  She writes about the quirks of human nature making, her poetry resonate with the reader.

Mills has published two collections of short fiction, "Lick of the Lizard"and "The Weight of Feathers," along with three published collections of poetry  Her fourth book of poetry is coming out in December.  Mills won many awards including the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune New Irish Writer Award; the Moore Medallion, the North Tipperary Award, the South Tipperary Award and the Aspire Short Story Competition. 


Eastern's Martin Wins National Liberal Arts Excellence Award

Written by Emily Bonoyer


Maggie Martin Award.JPG          Margaret Martin is congratulated by Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa Núñez for wining the Association for General and Liberal Studies Jerry G. Gaff Faculty Award.   


    Willimantic, CT -- Margaret Martin, distinguished professor of social work and executive assistant to the president for planning at Eastern Connecticut State University, was awarded the Jerry G. Gaff Faculty Award for 2009 at the 49th Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS) conference in St. Louis, MO, on Oct. 2.

            The Jerry G. Gaff Faculty Award is given to those who have demonstrated leadership on their campuses in the area of general and liberal education; who have shown evidence of outstanding teaching in general and liberal education courses; and who have a record of achievement in curriculum development, innovation or implementation in general and liberal education. Martin was nominated for her leadership at Eastern in overhauling the University's general education requirements. The Gaff Award was last presented in 2005.

            The prestigious award is named for Jerry Gaff, senior scholar at the American Association of Colleges and Universities and a respected advocate for general and liberal education for more than 30 years.    

            "We are pleased to recognize the outstanding work of these individuals and this institution," said Stephen Bowen, dean of Emory University's Oxford College and AGLS president.  "Their achievements are great examples of the goal of AGLS - to advance liberal learning through the development of the knowledge, skills, values and habits of mind that are characteristic of educated persons."

            "Dr. Martin is truly worthy of this award," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "She is well respected on our campus as a faculty leader, a serious scholar and a dedicated teacher. Her leadership in directing a deliberative, in-depth discussion of the curriculum changes our University needed to fulfill our public liberal arts mission was instrumental in passing our new liberal arts core. We are very proud of her and know that this award is well deserved."

            "During the two years of Liberal Arts Core development, Dr. Martin gained enormous respect from the Eastern faculty and administration, and especially from those of us who worked closely with her," said Charles Booth, general education program committee member and professor of biology, in his letter of nomination. "She is not a force to be reckoned with; rather, she is a consensus builder with a low-key, gently persuasive personality."

            "Dr. Martin spent hundreds and hundreds of hours and invested great intellectual and emotional energy in the development of Eastern's Liberal Arts Core," said Rhona Free, vice president for academic affairs, in her letter of nomination. "She collaborated, coaxed, compromised and ultimately succeeded in gaining approval for a program that was much more innovative and ambitious than could have been hoped."

            "I am humbled to receive an award that honors Dr. Gaff," said Martin.  "The counsel contained in his writings was invaluable in helping us find best approaches to transforming our general education program. While the award was personally gratifying to me, I see it as recognition for our entire team.  My colleagues at Eastern demonstrated forward thinking and sound educational principles in developing our new liberal arts core curriculum, and it is exciting for me to see our faculty fully engaged in 21st century education."

            The Association for General and Liberal Studies was established in 1961, and is a national forum for inquiry concerning the improvement of undergraduate education. 



Third Wave Feminists Chart Course at Eastern

Written by Allison Kelly

Willimantic, Conn. -The Women's Center at Eastern Connecticut State University will host a panel discussion, "Third Wave Feminists: Charting Our Course," at 3:30 p.m. on March 31 in the Student Center Theatre. The presentation will address the challenges of women in their 20s and 30s.

Third Wave Feminists emerged after the First Wave Feminists of the early 20th century struggled to obtain voting privileges for women and Second Wave Feminists of the 1960s and 1970s challenged the reproductive rights and role changes of women in society.


Eastern to Celebrate Native American History Month

Written by Kevin Antonucci

  julianne on the beacht.jpg

                                  Julianne Jennings


       Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will celebrate Native American History Month in November with several events and activities. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            On November 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Julianne Jennings, part-time professor of anthropology, will present a film series in the Student Center Café titled, "We Shall Remain," which will showcase the natives of New England and their struggle for freedom. A panel discussion and light refreshments will follow.

            On Nov. 11, from noon to 1:30 p.m., the Intercultural Center will host a "Mix-It-Up Luncheon" in the Student Center Café, where participants will discuss a range of issues. Refreshments will be served.

            On Nov. 17 from noon to 3 p.m., in the Betty R. Tipton Room and the Student Center Café, the Intercultural Center will present a "Native American Celebration" that will include basket weaving, pottery, artifacts, musical demonstrations, Native American food and much more.



Sonalysts Animation Experts to Speak at Eastern

Written by Kevin Antonucci

Willimantic, Conn. - Jay Nilsen, vice president for animation at Sonalysts Corp. in Waterford and part-time professor of visual arts at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Steve Eichelberg, senior software engineer at Sonalysts, will lead a discussion at Eastern on careers in gaming, modeling and simulating on Oct. 27. The informational session will begin at 5 p.m. in Room 139 of Eastern's new Science Building. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The presentation is targeted at students taking Eastern's new game design minor, established in fall 2008. The goal of the game design minor is to teach students the computational needs, problem-solving skills and business related teamwork needed to design video games. The minor includes classes in music, art and computer science. 

"We traditionally ask leaders from industry, education and society to speak to our students," said Gary Rommel, professor of math and computer science at Eastern. "This has lead to our students obtaining excellent employment opportunities in the region."

Sonalysts is well-known for its first-class technical capabilities and communication expertise that provide solutions to a wide variety of complex challenges facing the government, corporate and entertainment industries.

The Sonalysts presentation is sponsored by Eastern's Office of Career Services. For more information regarding the informational session, contact Nancy DeCrescenzo, director of career services, at or call (860) 465-0306. For additional information about Sonalysts visit  


Eastern Professors to Discuss Trip to Ghana

Written by Jack Meltzer


Eastern Students Discuss Visit with Ghana Village Residents.JPGWillimantic, Conn. -   Dennis Canterbury, professor of sociology at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Dr. Bonsu Osei, associate professor of mathematics at Eastern, will give a presentation on their spring 2009 visit to Ghana, West Africa at 3 p.m. on Oct. 21 in Room 110 of Webb Hall. The public is invited. Admission is free.


Canterbury Alligator -white.JPGSeventeen students who traveled with Canterbury and Osei to Ghana will also be on hand during his presentation. Some of the students called the trip "life altering." It was aimed at giving students first-hand exposure to development issues in a developing country -    specifically, the theories and uses behind sustainable development, neo-liberal globalization and international economic partnerships.  Canterbury, Osei and the students will relay stories and what they learned from their travels.


Musician Peter Jarvis to Visit Eastern

Written by Kate Harner


Peter Jarvis 2.jpgWillimantic, CT -- Percussionist, composer and conductor Peter Jarvis will visit Eastern Connecticut State University to lecture and perform at 3 p.m. on Oct. 21 in Shafer Auditorium. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Jarvis's lecture and recital will focus on multiple solo percussion pieces. Instruments include snare drum, drum set and vibraphone, as well as electronic media.      "Pete is an excellent performer and a passionate advocate of contemporary music," said Anthony Cornicello, professor of music at Eastern.  "I'm sure this is going to be an exciting event."

Jarvis is an advocate of contemporary music and has been involved in New York City's percussion and new music communities for many years. He has conducted and performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Talujon Percussion Quartet, the Group for Contemporary Music and The New York Art Ensemble, among others. He has toured throughout Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada and the United States. He also directs the new music series at Connecticut College and William Paterson University.

For more information about the Jarvis presentation, contact Anthony Cornicello at (860) 465-0086 or


Akus Gallery Presents Wayfinding Exhibition

Written by Dwight Bachman


Wayfinding JOBANI Intrusive Landscapes.JPG


Intrusive Landscapes, 2009

Itamar Jobani (born 1980)

plywood, 66.5" x 45" x 8"     

Created exclusively for the Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge

Photo by Andrew Vomhof


Willimantic, Conn. - The Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University will present the exhibition, "Wayfinding," which opens on Oct. 15 with a reception on Oct. 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the gallery.  The exhibition runs through Nov. 25. The public is invited.  Admission is free. 

Seven artists in "Wayfinding" include Janice Caswell, Itamar Jobani, Tenzin Wangchuk, Yvonne Jacquette, Nina Katchadourian, Joyce Kozloff and Sandy Litchfield.   "These seven artists explore where we are in the world physically, politically, culturally or spiritually, and then map or chart their experience visually," said Gallery Director Elizabeth Peterson. "They use disparate methods and materials - some ancient such as the hand ground and tinted marble dust sand paintings of Tenzin Wangchuk, and some contemporary techniques such as topographical map-like plywood and cardboard constructs of Itamar Jobani.  All act as 'cartographers' of memory and experience," said Peterson.

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. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 1 to 7 p.m. on Thursday; and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  For more information regarding this and other exhibitions at Akus Gallery, please call (860) 465-4659 or visit on the web at


Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo at Eastern

Written by Kevin Antonucci


health expo-file shot.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - More than 50 health agencies, vendors and representatives will convene in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center at Eastern Connecticut State University on Oct. 20 for the 17th Annual Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include demonstrations, performances and free health screenings throughout the day. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The Connecticut Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, Liberty Bank, the Visiting Nurses Association, Willimantic Food Coop and United HealthCare, Connecticut Poison Control Center, Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling and Windham Hospital are just some of the nearly 50 participants in the expo.

Free massages, reiki energy therapy, acupuncture, free HIV and STD testing, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, zumba, skin damage analysis, and free health food samples are just a few of the offerings at this year's event. Among the day's activities will be a variety of demonstrations and performances including yoga and jujutsu for self-defense. In addition, representatives will be on hand with information about retirement, finances, insurance and cancer prevention.

            For more information, please contact LaShawn McBride, coordinator of Human Resource Programs, or Geeta Pfau, assistant director of Health Services, at (860) 465-5263 or e-mail


Graduate School Fair at Eastern

Written by Kevin Antonucci

Willimantic, Conn. - Graduate schools throughout New England and New York State will be on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus on Nov. 11 for Eastern's annual Graduate School Fair.

The event, which is sponsored by the Office of Career Services and offered to the public, will be held in the Betty R. Tipton Room of Eastern's Student Center from 1 to 3 p.m. All students interested in furthering their education are encouraged to attend and meet with representatives from more than 25 graduate schools to learn about how and when to apply, admissions processes and how to fund graduate studies.

Participating graduate schools include Clarkson University, Roger Williams University, Quinnipiac University, Wesleyan University, St. Josephs College, Sacred Heart University and many more.

For more information about the fair, including the names of other participating colleges and universities, please contact Nancy DeCrescenzo at (860) 465-0306 or email .


Veterans Center to Host Entrepreneur Workshop

Written by Jack Meltzer

Willimantic, Conn. - Robert Polito, president and director of Government Guaranteed Lending at Webster Bank, will be the featured speaker in the entrepreneur seminar at Eastern Connecticut State University on Oct. 8.   The workshop will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in Room 115 of the Student Center.  The public is invited and admission is free.

Polito will discuss the new Patriot Express Small Business Administration (SBA) Guaranteed Loan Program for veterans and other military community members who want to start their own business. 

The Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Center at Eastern Connecticut State University and the New Britain based Small Business Development Center partnered with Webster Bank to teach veterans and military families what it takes to qualify for the SBA Patriot Express Loan Guarantee Program.

The program is a federal program specializing in assisting veterans and their spouses with the information about steps needed to procure loans to start up or sustain a business.  The program has proved to be one of the best outlets for a veteran to raise enough funds for their businesses.

 Starting Sept. 21, VETS began a two-week workshop series to educate veterans, their families and other military community members who want to start or expand a small business.  Topics included tutorials on learning how to start your business in Connecticut and how to write a precise business plan. Participants who attended all five workshops will be awarded a certification of completion. 


Eastern to Host Cultura ljile Workshop

Written by Emily Bonoyer


Willimantic, CT -- Film producers Xavier Garcia and Foley Ibidapo, owners of Affiliate Media, will present a workshop, "Cultura ljile," from 5-8 p.m. on Oct 6. in the Student Center Theatre and Café at Eastern Connecticut State University. The public is invited. Admission is free.  

The interactive film-driven workshop is based on a documentary called "Cultura Ijile." The film follows several former and current residents of Stoneham, MA, of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, and examines the idea that regardless of origins and roots, all human beings encounter experiences that bond them together. Garcia and Ibidapo facilitate and promote reflection and conversation from vignettes of film with the viewing audience.

Garcia was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, in 1983. He moved to Stoneham, MA, in 1989 and attended Stoneham High School, where he began developing his video/film talents at Media One, Stoneham TV and Avid Cinema. Garcia graduated cum laude from Colby College in 2005, earning a dual degree in Spanish/Latin-American Literature with a concentration in creative writing and theater and dance.

Ibidapo, who has been producing and directing films, documentaries and music videos since the age of 14, returned to the Greater Boston area after working with Allied Public Relations and Marketing in Atlanta, GA. He teamed up with Garcia to form Affiliate Media. Foley holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in public relations and education from Morehouse College.  

Affiliate Media has produced numerous multimedia projects using innovative marketing and media strategies including a video for Mobile ESPN; online video presentations for Allure Events; numerous fashion shows in Boston and New York; and documentaries and music videos for hip-hop artists.


Sandy Taylor Scholarship Fundraiser at Eastern

Written by Kevin Antonucci


sandy taylor image.JPG

                               Sandy Taylor


Willimantic, Conn. - Renowned author Wally Lamb will highlight a celebration of the life of poet and publisher Alexander "Sandy" Taylor at Eastern Connecticut State University by reading from his latest novel, "The Hour I First Believed" on Oct. 24. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Shafer Hall Auditorium, located at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets. Also on the program is prominent storyteller, Raouf Mama, professor of English at Eastern, who will team up with folk guitarist Bruce John to perform. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. The goal is to raise enough funds to create an endowed scholarship in Taylor's honor. All proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Alexander "Sandy" Taylor Scholarship at Eastern.                                

sandytaylor bust.JPG

        Sandy Taylor bust, sculpted by Claudia Widdiss


Taylor was a highly-regarded poet and a dynamic high school teacher and college professor. He and his wife, Judy Doyle, co-founded Curbstone Press, an independent publishing company. Their mission was to publish creative literature that promoted human rights, literacy, inter-cultural understanding and appreciation of literature.

Lamb is a critically-acclaimed writer and bestselling author. Some of his finest work, such as "The Hour I First Believed," She's Come Undone" and "I Know This Much Is True," have been on the New York Times bestseller list. "She's Come Undone" was named notable book of the year by numerous publications and chosen by the Oprah Winfrey Show as a "Book Club" Selection, along with "I Know This Much is True."  

            Mama is internationally known as a multilingual storyteller and the only person in the world who tells indigenous tales from his native Benin in French, English, Fon and Yoruba. His most recent book, "Why Monkeys Live in Trees," won the National Multicultural Children's Book Award in 2008.

            Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Student Center Information Booth, (860) 465-4450, or purchased at the door. For more information, please contact Claudia Widdiss at (860) 465-5133 or email


AmeriCorps/Peace Corps Panel Discussion at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner

            Willimantic, CT -- Eastern Connecticut State University's Office of Community Service will present an AmeriCorps/Peace Corps panel discussion from 3 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 7 in Webb Hall 110. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            Panel participants include recruiters from AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and students who have served in the organizations. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions about the programs and learn what it takes to become an AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer.

            AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. It consists of three main programs: AmeriCorps State and National, which helps many local service programs utilize thousands of volunteers; AmeriCorps VISTA, which allows full-time members to work for community organizations to create and increase the size of volunteer programs; and AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, which gives members, ages 18 to 24, the opportunity for a full-time residential program that develops leadership through direct, team-based community service.

            The Peace Corps has served in 139 countries to address issues ranging from environmental preservation to AIDS relief. Its mission is to allow Americans and those from other countries to better understand each other while providing interested countries with trained individuals to fit their needs.

            "This is a great event for students who want to make a difference," says Monica Rochon '09, an AmeriCorps VISTA and coordinator in Eastern's Office of Community Service. "Both organizations provide another option for students if they do not want to attend graduate school yet or join corporate America."

            For more information, contact Beth Zambrano or Monica Rochon at (860) 465-5158 or


Eastern Presents Phoenix New Play Series

Written by Kate Harner


Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department invites Eastern students, staff and faculty, as well as the general public, to the Phoenix New Play Series at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 in the Student Center Theatre. Admission is free.

This year's New Play is "Evolution to Dust," written by Eastern alumna Heidi Stearns-Groeger. After graduating from Eastern, Groeger attended Chapman University in California to pursue her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Scriptwriting. She wrote "Evolution to Dust" as her MFA thesis play. Students Kara Williams and Max Loignon will direct the performance. The cast includes April Blymiller, Ben Donnel, Danny Van Duong, Ben Friedman, Frank-Thomas Grogan, Craig Harlow, Heather McDonald, Hilary Osborn and Luke Reinwald.

The Phoenix New Play Series are rehearsed readings of new plays. Ellen Brodie, professor/director of theatre, has organized this year's series with the help of Shane Kegler, president of Eastern's Drama Society.

"The series helps to develop the creative process of the playwright by allowing playwrights to hear their works read aloud, which helps them with the next step in the writing process," said Kegler. "A feedback session will follow the reading."

For more information, contact Lana Raymond at (860) 465-5325 or


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