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February 2010 Archives

Book Reading at Eastern

Written by Sarah Swann


Christopher_Torockio.jpg-HOLD.jpg            Willimantic, CT - Chris Torockio, associate professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University, will read from his books of fiction, "The Soul Hunters," "Floating Holidays" and "The Truth at Daybreak" at 3 p.m. on March 10 in Eastern's Student Center Theatre.  Torockio will also answer questions on how to write fiction stories.    The public is invited.  Admission is free. 

            In 2003 and 2004, Torockio earned the Pushcart Prize Special Mentions, a prestigious award given for literary work such as poetry, short fiction or essays published in small presses over the previous year.  He also has been awarded with grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council and the Vermont Studio Center.  His writings have been published in the Antioch Review, The Gettysburg Review, the Iowa Review, Northwest Review and Denver Quarterly.    

            Torockio, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts.  He also has a doctorate from Western Michigan University.  


Eastern Professor to Discuss Change in the Balkans

Written by Sarah Swann


EricMartin2.JPGWillimantic, CT -- Eric Martin, associate professor of business administration at Eastern Connecticut State University, will discuss opportunities and obstacles to social, economic and political change in the Balkans, a southeastern peninsula located in the European continent.  The presentation will take place at 3 p.m. on March 3 in Eastern's Student Center Theatre.  The public is invited.  Admission is free. 

            Martin's work is based upon his research and teaching as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Belgrade in Serbia.  His research involved nearly 200 interviews with development assistance professionals in the field.  While living in Serbia, Martin traveled extensively throughout the Balkans. 

            Martin holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from the University of Vermont; a Masters of Public Affairs in comparative international affairs from Indiana University; and a doctorate in public administration with a concentration in organizational theory from Rockefeller College at the University of Albany.  Martin was a Peace Corps volunteer in Poland from 1992-94. 


Problem Gambling Awareness Month at Eastern

Written by Jack Meltzer

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa M. Núñez has declared March 2010 as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month at the University.  Eastern will join the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) in a month-long campaign to increase public awareness of problem gambling.  This is the second year in a row that CCPG has awarded Eastern a mini-grant to support its problem gambling awareness campaign.

This effort will help educate the Eastern campus community about problem gambling warning signs; tell where to call for help; and raise awareness of the consequences of problem gambling and the resources available for individuals whose gambling is disrupting their lives. It seeks to provide recovering problem gamblers in the local community with an opportunity to educate the public and policymakers about the social and financial effectiveness of services available for problem gambling.  

 "Problem gambling is a public health issue affecting millions of Americans of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds in all communities at a significant and economic cost," said Núñez. "However, problem gambling is treatable and treatment is effective in minimizing the harm to both individuals and society as a whole," "In order to make a positive impact in the community, we need to be sure that the individuals and families that are in need of our services are available to access them."

Thomas Broffman, assistant professor of sociology, and a team of five of his junior Bachelor of Social Work students are leading the university's problem gambling campaign, which extends into April. Broffman said that college students are at high risk for problem gambling because of the proximity to the casinos, the prevalence of online gambling and their age range, which is prone to high-risk behavior. He also noted that, "Gambling is the third highest source of tax revenue for the state of Connecticut."

Eastern is encouraging all members of the campus community to spread the message that there is help for problem gamblers through treatment, and to support those who are in treatment.

Two special events occurring as part of the campaign include a Recovery Panel on March 10 from 7-9 p.m. in Room 219 of the Student Center, and a Hot Dog Event on April 13 from noon to 2 p.m. in front of Webb Hall.  Literature on problem gambling will be available. 

            National Problem Gambling Awareness Week at Eastern is a collaborative effort sponsored by the National Council on Problem Gambling, the Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators, the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, Eastern's Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work and Office of Wellness Promotion.


Eastern Names Winners of MLKing Jr. Awards

Written by Emily Bonoyer

MLK Winners-Lorrius Ward Frazier.JPG

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award winners, left to right, Jordan Lorrius of Stamford; Kim Ward, professor of mathematics at Eastern; and Lynn Frazier, reading and language art teacher at Windham High School.

Willimantic, CT --Eastern Connecticut State University student Jordan Lorrius, Kim Ward, professor of mathematics at Eastern and Lynn Frazier, a Windham High School teacher, were honored on Feb. 24 at Eastern's annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards.

            Al Duncan, author of "My Success Journal for Young People" and "Get All Fired Up!" and recipient of the President's Call to Service Award and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Lifetime Achievement Award, was the keynote speaker.

            "Great people are not recognized for what they know; they are recognized for what they do," said Duncan.

            Duncan, also known as the "Millennial Mentor," emphasizes the motto, "You are guaranteed to win once you defeat the enemy within's all mental!"  

In her welcoming remarks, Eastern President Elsa Nuñez urged the audience to lead a "life of conscience," which she described as one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s great lessons. She said that living a life of conscience is being aware of the people around us, making a conscious decision to follow the right path and being aware of the consequences of our actions.


            "We honor three people tonight who are conscious of the challenges facing our nation," said Nuñez. "They are conscientious in trying to make a positive difference on this campus and in the community. They do so because their conscience will not allow them to be silent. They will not settle for a society that considers justice to be something of only relative value."     

            Student awardee Jordan Lorrius,  of Stamford, has taken part in student government; helped organize Eastern's first "Day of Giving"; helped to start the student run club "People Helping People"; and is a member of Eastern's "Habitat for Humanity.

            Lorrius also has recieved a "Person to Person Scholarship," which is provided to students who aspire to serve in their communities. He traveled to Serbia over the summer to shoot a documentary feature film about a handicapped girl in order to help fulfill her dream about being a world-recognized painter.

            "Jordan exemplifies a very motivated and conscientious person, and with the talent he embodies, is destined to succeed in his professional career," said David Mariasi, assistant to the financial aid director. "He is definitely a people person, enjoys college and volunteers in the community."

            "Jordan thinks big, has extraordinary energy, charisma and talent," said Eric Martin, associate professor of business administration, in his letter of nomination. "He works hard to overcome stereotypes, looking past superficial differences to see what lies underneath. He has a profound optimism about life and, more importantly, about people. This coupled with his talent, drive and charm, will lead him to do great things. Indeed, this is what makes him a leader."

            Kim Ward, associate professor of mathematics, received the award in the faculty/staff category. She was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Mathematics Achievement Center (MAC); has worked with the Summer Transition at Eastern Program/Contract Admissions Program (STEP/CAP) for five years; and has served as the program's math coordinator for four years, as well as teaching regularly in the STEP/CAP program.

            Ward's academic interests include mathematical modeling of cancer growth and wound healing. She conducts research on the HIV virus in the African American community, serves as a tutor in public school systems, and engages in numerous community programs, seminars and forums, all designed to forge partnerships that help strengthen the transition from high school to college for underrepresented youth. She has made five presentations regarding research related to developmental mathematics and teaching and actively pursues funding through writing grant proposals designed to support student success.

            "Kim Ward has made it her mission to help Eastern students, who are having trouble achieving their math requirements," said Susan Heyward, director of academic advisement, in her letter of nomination. "Her efforts in designing curriculum and testing procedures to evaluate and support student growth continue to be an enormous contribution."

            Eastern presented the community member award to Lynn Frazier, reading and language arts consultant and teacher, and founder of the Young Poets at Windham High School. "The Young Poets" are a  community group of high school and college students who have used their writing to help overcome obstacles. With the motivation of Frazier, "The Young Poets" have appeared on "Good Morning America"; performed at the Bushnell Theatre and the Nuyorican Poets Café; became finalists and members of the Connecticut State Youth Poetry Slam Team; and published ­"The Streets Hold No Secrets."

            "Lynn's work has surpassed the requirements laid out for her in her job description," said Shawn Lewinson, director of human resources at the Wadsworth Atheneum. "She has created an extended family for these young people, empowering them with a taste of success and allowing them to create new dreams from their tragic realities."

            Frazier received her bachelor of science in elementary education and master of arts in human relations from Eastern, as well as a web design certificate, a reading/language arts consultant certificate and a remedial reading certificate.  

            Frazier's extensive teaching experience includes teaching at local schools such as Horace Porter School, Windham Middle School, Windham Center School, Saint Mary  Saint Joseph School, Natchaug Elementary School and Kramer Middle School.

            Frazier's recent awards include Teacher of the Year 2006-07 at Windham High School and the New England Regional recipient of the Bob Costas Grant for Writing; Freedom Writer Institute Scholarship; and grants from the Connecticut Association of School Flanagan and Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.


Colonial Brass Quintet to Perform at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner


  colonial brass.jpg

                                               The Colonial Brass Quintet

            Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will host a concert by the Colonial Brass Quintet. The performance will be held at 3 p.m. on March 6 in Shafer Auditorium, located at the corner of Windham and Valley streets. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            The Colonial Brass is the United States Air Force Band of Liberty's brass ensemble. The group has a wide musical repertoire ranging from Bach to Sousa to Miles Davis. It has performed at numerous prestigious venues such as the Music Educators National Conference and the New York Brass Conference. 

            The Thread City Brass Quintet will join the Colonial Brass for several 10-piece brass arrangements of popular works by Susato, Strauss, di Lasso and Gabrieli.

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



Advertising Professional to Speak at Eastern

Written by Sarah Swann

Willimantic, CT --  Joel Sobelson, a consultant with the New York City-based Advertising Education Foundation (AEF), will speak at Eastern Connecticut State University at 10 a.m. on Feb. 25 in Room 104 in the Science Building. 

Sobelson has worked for some of the most distinguished advertising agencies in the world, including Doyle Dane Bernbach, McCann-Erickson and Foote, Cone and Belding Communications, Inc. Sobelson also served as executive creative director of Wunderman, a marketing/advertising agency in New York, where he produced some of the most creative work in the industry for AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, Citibank, Kraft, Pfizer, BlubMed, Zyrtec and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. 

While working at Colangelo Marketing, Sobelson won the Webby Award for his Trojan Condoms and Arm and Hammer websites.  He has won numerous advertising awards including the Caples Award, Effies Award, Echos Award and the Addys Award, awards that honor individuals for their creativity and excellence in marketing, advertising and branding.

Sobelson has lectured at advertising and marketing conferences across the nation and at several universities, including the University of North Carolina, Texas Tech, Lehigh University, Fairfield University and Quinnipiac University. 


Eastern to Present Haiti Relief Benefit Concert

Written by Jack Meltzer


haiti-flag[1].gifWillimantic, CT -- Eastern Connecticut State University will present a relief concert designed to raise money for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 in Shafer Hall Auditorium, located at Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic, CT.  The public is invited.  Admission is free.  All donations will support relief efforts for Haiti.   

            "Watching the tragedy unfold in Haiti, the music faculty felt we have no choice but to respond by using the tremendous power of music to bring community together in an effort to help in whatever way we can," said Professor David Belles.

Thumbnail image for Haiti-Performing arts poster.JPG             More than 120 students, faculty and artists ranging from solo singers to large student/community ensembles will perform. The concert will feature the Eastern Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers conducted by Belles, along with the Thread City Brass Quintet and Eastern Concert Band, conducted by  Kathryn Niemasik.  Among the singers and performers include soprano Jordan Lorrius whose aunt died in the tragedy, and Robert Lemons, trumpet with the Thread City Brass Quintet.   The concert will include a banjo performance by Richard Jones-Bamman.    



Eastern's "Help for Haiti" a Success

  Written by Kate Harner


haiti- jordan crying- awesome shot.JPG

Jordan Lorrius '10, along with Peter Gamble '12 and Samantha Goodale '13, performed "Haiti Canpe," which received a standing ovation and brought many to tears as Lorrius, a Haitian student, shared that he lost his aunt in the earthquake.

haiti-flag[1].gifWillimantic, CT - The evening of Feb. 5 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the

Student Center at Eastern Connecticut State University was filled with emotion as

students, faculty and staff, and residents from the Willimantic community and surrounding

towns showed their support for the Haitian people in the aftermath of the devastating

earthquake that shook the island on Jan. 22.  "Help for Haiti: A Night of Reflection,

Inspiration and Action!" brought with it speeches, stories, tears, musical and dance

performances and a silent auction. The event raised $1,000 for Haitian relief.

            "This night was an example of the true essence of higher education," said Monica Rochon '09, Help for Haiti organizer and one of Eastern's AmeriCorps VISTA Community Service Coordinators. "Collaboration, participation, engagement, reflection and action shined brightly during the event."

            haiti- dancer updated.JPGEastern Executive Vice President Michael Pernal brought greeting on behalf of President Elsa M. Nuñez. Judy Secord, former member of the board of directors of the Haitian Ministries of the Norwich Diocese and now a volunteer for the organization, told the audience that in spite of the earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people and left more than three million homeless and desperate for food, water, medicine and clothing, "the Haitian people still have a positive attitude and generous, gracious spirit."

Milton Jackson, programming assistant in Eastern's Intercultural Center, emceed the event and read an original poem inspired by the earthquake. Marcus O'Neal '12, a resident assistant, also read an original poem titled "After Disaster," which encouraged the audience to actively continue volunteering in their communities.

            Father Larry LaPointe of Eastern's Campus Ministry led the audience in an extended moment of silence, asking each member "to remember that silence is no longer comforting to Haitian citizens, who are afraid to sleep inside if another earthquake hits."


Thumbnail image for haiti-choir.JPGPaul Cameron, adjunct professor of performing arts, presented three songs performed by the United Voices of Praise (UVOP), Eastern's gospel choir. Maiyah Gamble-Rivers '12 and Whitley Mingo '12 of Eastern's Anointed Power of Praise dance team performed to Smokie Norful's "I Need You Now."

            English Professor Raouf Mama interacted with the audience as he presented "Story Time." One of the lessons in his story was that "the richest people are the people who need the least."

Jordan Lorrius '10, along with Peter Gamble '12 and Samantha Goodale '13, performed "Haiti Canpe," which received a standing ovation and brought many to tears as Lorrius, a Haitian student, shared that he lost his aunt in the earthquake.

            After the performances and presentations, a silent auction was held. Participants bid on items ranging from a Cafémantic gift card to gift baskets to a professional photography shoot. Eastern's Education Club, local businesses and community members donated items for the auction.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for haiti- tummers,zambrano rochon.JPG Health and Physical Education Professor Nanette Tummers, left, and AmeriCorps VISTA Community Service Coordinators Beth Zambrano and  Monica Rochon '09, who organzied Help for Haiti, pose for a picture during the "Help for Haiti" event, which raised $1,000.

"Help for Haiti: A Night of Reflection, Inspiration and Action!" was sponsored by Eastern's Center for Community Engagement, Office of Housing and Residential Life and the Intercultural Center. Eastern staff members and students from Men Achieving Leadership, Excellence and Success (MALES); Females Excelling, Maturing to Achieve Leadership, Excellence and Success (FEMALES); the Peace and Human Rights Club; Housing and Residential staff and international students also supported the effort.

            Eastern's Center for Community Engagement will host more relief efforts for Haiti in the coming months. Eastern's Performing Arts Department is also planning a concert in Shafer Hall on Feb. 28.


Bowling for Buck$ at Eastern: Annual BOWLATHON

Writen by Sarah Swann


Thumbnail image for BowlathonLogo.jpgBowling for Buck$ at Eastern: Annual BOWLATHON

 Eastern Connecticut State University will hold its Annual BOWLATHON at 11 a.m. on March 6 at Willi Bowl on Route 6 in North Windham, CT.  

The BOWLATHON has become an annual fundraising tradition involving the Eastern community, alumni, local businesses and the general public.  While Eastern employees and local residents battle it out for pledges and pins, the real winners of the high-spirited event are the students who receive scholarships from the BOWLATHON'S proceeds.   

Scholarships are awarded to a minimum of five high school seniors who will enroll at Eastern next fall.  Eligible students must be attending a high school within a 20-mile radius of Eastern's campus.      

 Students, faculty and staff, alumni and local businesses are encouraged to send teams to participate in the BOWLATHON.  Each team consists of four bowlers, who will each bowl three games.  Each bowler must raise a minimum of $30 to bowl.  Prizes will be given to the winning teams.  Gifts will be given to everyone for participating.  A pizza lunch is included.     

Business-sponsored teams must register as "Striker" level sponsors ($300) or higher.   Pledge sheets, team registration forms and sponsorship forms are located online at:  Team registration and sponsor forms should be returned to The ECSU Foundation, located at 83 Windham Street, Willimantic, CT 06226, Gelsi-Young Hall, Institutional Advancement, Room 120.  Pledge

Sustainable Energy Activities at Eastern

A Three-Part Series Written by Fred Loxsom and Dwight Bachman


        While "greening the campus" is a relatively new program at some colleges, Eastern Connecticut State University's sustainability initiative has been an essential component of the campus culture for almost two decades. Today, the University's commitment to protecting and preserving the environment permeates campus life, academic programs, faculty and student research and community outreach.


PART ONE: Campus Life 

Students on Eastern's campus In Willimantic, CT, are increasingly embracing environmental issues. The student club "People Helping People" (PHP) has developed a recycling program in residence halls and also provides support to the Willimantic Whitewater Partnership's effort to improve river access in Willimantic. "Getting involved in one of the on-campus initiatives that promotes environmental awareness is an easy way to help the planet," said Kate Harner '12, a communications major and head of PHP's Environmental Committee. "Our members dedicate themselves to projects that give back to the Earth because they know what they are doing is right and they enjoy doing it, which makes me hopeful for the future."


recycilng.JPGBrittney Cava '12, a political science major, agrees. "In today's society, people have become more environmentally aware than ever before. Being "green" has become a movement that is helping the planet and creating new jobs. This is why it's important for college students to be aware of green practices. Since the recycling initiative started in spring 2009, it has brought recycling bins to the inside of every residence hall except Windham Street Apartments. We have recycled over 20,000 items, including paper! This speaks volumes about where the students at Eastern stand when it comes to going green."

In Eastern's new Science Building, political science major Mike Hislop created a display of recycling information to heighten awareness about solid waste and the implications of disposal methods, and to promote recycling.  "I designed the recycling display to inform students of what can be recycled and how to do it across campus and to encourage an increase in the amount of recycling that occurs. The display contains information about how to recycle, where to recycle and sets a goal to increase recycling output."


Thumbnail image for recycilng2.JPGAccording to Norma Vivar-Orum, energy assistant in the Environmental Earth Science Department, Eastern recycles at a rate of about 10 percent. (The University's goal is to eventually recycle as much as 55 percent of all waste.)  To increase the rate, she says the department instituted a campus community outreach campaign that includes participating in Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR); producing educational posters/displays; developing programs and presentations to promote recycling; and organizing student group fund raising through deposit returns. "As part of SOAR, I give a presentation on recycling and invite new students to get involved in sustainability and conservation efforts across campus, even mini-trash audits to show students how much dorm room trash they can recycle," said Vivar-Orum. "Students are surprised sometimes to see how much recyclable material is in their trash, and how much less frequent their trips to the dumpsters are when they begin to recycle."

Another big success on campus being run by Vivar-Orum is the annual Earth Day celebration, which runs the entire spring semester.  The celebration includes a three-mile Earth Day run at Mansfield Hollow State Park, tours of the Geothermal Heating Plant, and Renewable Energy demonstrations. 

The Eastern Outdoors Club also offers opportunities for students to explore the outdoors through its "No Student Left Inside" initiative and partners with the Sustainable Energy Studies academic program to promote recycling and energy conservation.


PART TWO: Academic Programs and Faculty/Student Research


Academic Programs


Thumbnail image for fred.jpgProfessor Fred Loxsom, endowed chair of Sustainable Energy Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University, has worked with his colleagues in the Environmental Earth Science Department to develop an Energy Science track within the Bachelor of Science Environmental Earth Science (EES) major. The new track is being offered for the first time in the spring 2010 semester. Students will complete a core course in earth science as well as a sequence of courses that will prepare them to understand energy-related environmental issues and policies and to design, analyze and monitor fossil fuel and renewable energy systems. 

"This is an exciting development in the Environmental Earth Science Department," said department chair Drew Hyatt. "We are very pleased to be able to offer a track grounded in Earth Science that will prepare students to understand the science behind sustainable energy. This program broadens geosciences at Eastern and is already drawing new majors to the program. We look forward to implementing this track and continued support for sustainable energy at Eastern."

The department also offers an interdisciplinary minor in the field.  In spring 2010, Eastern EES students will travel to Jamaica on a study tour, accompanied by Loxsom and Political Science Professor Helma de Vries.  As part of the trip, they will carry out a service learning project.  "Study abroad broadens student perspectives in ways that are not possible within our own borders," said Hyatt.  "Coupling this experience with service learning related to sustainable energy is an outstanding learning experience, and one that likely will shape the students' career aspirations."

"The strong relationships that we have forged over the past 10 years serving teachers in Jamaica have laid the groundwork for this project led by Dr. Loxsom," explained Carol Williams, associate dean of continuing education.  "He and Eastern students will work with our colleagues in Lucea, Jamaica, to carry out sustainable energy projects such as installing a wind turbine as a backup source of electrical power for the Educational Resource Center at Lucea High School.  Eastern students also will have a chance to experience the 'real' Jamaica and its rich culture as they examine the need for other sustainable energy projects."


Faculty and Student Research. 

This past summer, Environmental Earth Science and Physical Sciences faculty, led by Loxsom as principal investigator, wrote a National Science Foundation (NSF) research proposal to acquire a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM).  If NSF awards Eastern the funds, the University will use the TEM for a range of projects, including the study of nanostructures essential to the operation of innovative fuel cells.


Thumbnail image for DSC_7445.jpgEnvironmental Earth Science Professor Alevtina Smirnova conducts research work on fuel cells and recently was awarded a Connecticut State University grant to offer a fuel cell workshop for Eastern faculty and students. Two students working with Smirnova, Lauren Armistead of Lisbon and Connor Morrison of Coventry, recently received National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research fellowships. Armistead is developing miniature fuel cell components, while Morrison is synthesizing aerogels to make super-capacitors, which have the potential of replacing batteries as energy storage devices. 


NASA-Conner.JPGSmirnova said sustainable energy courses provide students knowledge regarding climate change due to consumption of fossil fuels such as oil, petroleum, natural gas and methane hydrates, along with information on alternative fuels, such as solar, wind or geothermal power that will make the nation's future economy independent from exported power supplies. From these courses, students learn about major energy generating and storage devices such as batteries, fuel cells and super capacitors that will eventually replace inefficient combustion technology.

Smirnova says the sustainable energy program provides research opportunities for motivated students who are interested in sustainable energy, and initiate students' interest in independent research. She says research related to sustainability energy studies in the area of power storage and power generating devices and nano-materials will pave the way for a new generation of supercapacitors, batteries and fuel cells.

"Students who participate in research activities will design and synthesize novel nanostructured materials; evaluate their chemical, physical and electrical properties; and assemble them into storage or power-generating units. This will help them understand structure-properties relationships and provide insights into their electrochemical nature."


IR_Image.jpgSmirnova says undergraduate research helps students prepare for careers in exciting growth occupations in nanotechnology and sustainability.  She says she believes that student presentations at local and national conferences and opportunities to publish their research in scientific journals will enhance Eastern's brand as a place that gives students the edge in the job market.  For instance, Charles Stoloff, one of Loxsom's students, is submitting his research work on regional solar and wind energy potential for presentation at the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) in May 2010. 

Timothy Collins, another one of Loxsom's students, is an intern at Willimantic Waste Paper, where he is studying the efficiency of the new single stream recycling sorting machine at the company's Willimantic plant. Collins is a full-time student and will graduate in May 2010 as the first Connecticut State University System student with a "Green Degree," a BGS in Environmental Management & Policy with a minor in Sustainable Energy Management.

"This internship has exposed me to new recycling technology and the different materials that are commercially viable for recycling," said Collins. "This applies directly to my studies in Environmental Management and Sustainable Energy Management."

Working with Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning, intern Peter Governale has completed an in-depth study of energy consumption in Gelsi-Young Hall.  Under the direction of Professor Loxsom, Governale has used his research to present a series of recommendations for reducing energy consumption in that building and elsewhere on campus.


PART THREE: University Operations and Community Outreach



Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning, is the head of the Green Campus Committee at Eastern Connecticut State University and has a leadership role in the development of the Climate Action Plan required by Eastern's participation in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

energy sustain thermometer-DSC_7288.JPGTinker is working with Fred Loxsom, endowed chair in sustainable energy studies, to prepare the University's Climate Action Plan that will serve as the blueprint for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. "While the development of the Climate Action Plan has been time consuming and challenging, it is the vehicle that will keep us on course for carbon footprint reduction and energy conservation," said Tinker.  "We will be tracking our progress against our published goals throughout the coming years.   This process will ensure that we stay on top of the latest technology and thinking in the green campus arena."

 Over the years, Tinker and her colleagues have instituted an array of conservation and alternative energy measures.  The new Science Building was designed for LEED Silver Certification for its use of gray water to irrigate and its many other green features. 

Thumbnail image for energy sustain-geotherma pipes-DSC_7253.JPGIn addition, a geothermal system provides heat and air conditioning to a 62,973-square-foot residence hall, the largest geothermal-heated building in Connecticut.  The building was the most costly on Eastern's campus to heat until the geothermal system was added in 2001.  The campus also generates 6.2 kilowatts from photovoltaic solar panels to light bus shelters, trash disposal areas and building perimeter lighting. In addition, dual fuel burning capability in Eastern's heating plants allows the University to switch from gas to oil and vice versa based on prices and/or the requirements of its gas utility agreement.  Water saving features also exist on a number of showers, toilets and urinals.  Finally, an energy monitoring system analyzes energy usage for each building, and can automatically reduce electricity usage through pre-programmed initiatives, to reduce peak demand and energy costs.

Tinker says Eastern also is staying current with local developments in sustainable energy.  "Willimantic Waste has recently moved to a single stream recycling, which means that we can now recycle plastic, paper and bottles in the same recycling bin. Previously we had 'white paper only' recycling bins in the buildings and large recycling dumpsters for cardboard and plastics outside the buildings.   The single stream recycling means that it will be much easier for the campus community to recycle plastics and bottles."

             "With Eastern's budget being squeezed by record enrollment and reductions in state support, our actions to reduce our carbon footprint can also reduce overall University expenditures," said John Sweeney, associate vice president of finance and administration.  "Through the efforts of our Information Technology Services (ITS) and Facilities staffs, Eastern has been able to reduce our impact on our environment and save money."


green campus loxsom with sutdents.jpgChief Information Officer Joseph Tolisano said ITS is already saving money through a number of projects that contribute to the University's green initiatives. "ITS is replacing existing computer labs with thin client machines; up to 100 computers are being replaced by a single server using thin client technology." He said the vendor, NComputing, uses technology that reduces electrical consumption and operating costs and is seamless to students, who still see a fully functional monitor, keyboard and mouse. energy sustain- energy use-DSC_2183.JPG

He said advances in print technology also have allowed Eastern to reduce its carbon footprint.  "The University is replacing environmentally costly laser printers with Energy Star-rated, multifunction copiers that scan, fax, print and copy.  This reduces electrical costs and cuts the amount of ink cartridges, maintenance kits and fusers as laser printers are removed."  

In addition, ITS implemented a University-wide printing policy that gives students a 200-page credit per semester, and charges .05 per page once the credit is exhausted.  "This has already resulted in reducing the amount of pages printed by 832,278 pages from the 2007-08 academic year to the 2008-09 academic year, saving the University more than $25,000," said Tolisano. 

Tolisano said ITS is pushing faculty to use VISTA, a web-based course management system that allows faculty to conduct a course fully or partially online.  By using VISTA, faculty can reduce the amount of material presented in classrooms, thus reducing the consumption of trees and printer-related materials. 



Eastern is exporting its commitment to energy conservation beyond its own campus eco-system through the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE). The institute is recognized and widely respected throughout New England as an invaluable resource for supporting sustainable energy conservation efforts in municipalities and public schools throughout Connecticut and the region. The ISE, founded in 2001, continues to provide leadership in a number of outreach projects and recently has been concentrating on workforce development in preparing certification training for green collar jobs. This effort involves ISE staff participation on the Connecticut Green Jobs Council, the Connecticut Energy Workforce Consortium as well as developing training programs with a number of Regional Workforce Development Investment Boards.  In addition, the Institute's director co-chaired the Legislative Fuel Diversity Task Force to develop an infrastructure for the production of bio-fuel in Connecticut and current serves on the Governor's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council.


green campus energy-ise students.JPGISE also promotes opportunities for green careers by sponsoring workshops for teachers at the secondary and community college levels. This activity also includes facilitating a complete revision of the curriculum in the construction trades at Connecticut's 16 technical high schools, to include green building design practices and the installation of renewable energy equipment. 

"The students graduating from our technical high schools and community colleges are the technical workforce of tomorrow," said ISE Director William Leahy. "They need to be equipped with skills and experiences to compete in the new Green Economy."

Student interns at ISE also have provided Energy Star benchmarking to 30 communities around Connecticut, so they can identify opportunities to reduce the rising cost of energy to heat and power their schools and public buildings. "I cannot thank the institute enough for the guidance and expertise they provided us as we move ahead with our school building projects," said Michael Kohlhagen, superintendent of Wethersfield Public Schools.  In addition, ISE staff and students have developed, a website that connects more than 15,000 users each month to energy information on more than over 100 energy-related websites.  "The work performed by the staff and students at the institute supports the energy policy goals of the State of Connecticut. We find the service they provide to communities a valuable resource to the state," said Department of Public Utility Control Commissioner John Berkoski.



       energy- residence hall-DSC_3187.JPG   

Whether it is Eastern's residence hall recycling program, the new major in sustainable energy studies, student research into alternative fuels or the new eco-friendly science building, Eastern Connecticut State University's holistic approach to sustainability is helping prepare tomorrow's green workforce while conserving energy today. "At Eastern, we have long understood that we can't teach students the skills they need to help conserve our natural resources and ensure a sustainable future without practicing green principles on our own campus," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "It is gratifying to see our students engage in sustainability projects on campus while sharing their knowledge and expertise with Connecticut's towns and municipalities. With this type of commitment and scientific knowledge, we hope to continue to serve a leadership role in Connecticut's environmental future."


Eastern Receives College Board Award

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT - The College Board has announced that Eastern Connecticut State University has been named a recipient of a 2010 CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award for its "Dual Enrollment Initiative" program. Eastern won in the "Getting In" category of the New England Region. The award was presented to Eastern at the College Board's 2010 New England Regional Forum, held Feb. 8 and 9 in Boston, MA.

            "Now more than ever, it is critical that as a nation, we work together to make college access and success a reality for all students, including those from low-income backgrounds," said College Board President Gaston Caperton. "The CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards program was established to recognize institutions and agencies that are leading this charge and to highlight promising practices from across the country."

            The Dual Enrollment Initiative is a program created in 2007 by Eastern, Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) and Hartford Public High School. Spearheaded by Eastern President Elsa Núñez, the program began by enrolling nine at-risk youths from the Hartford area in full-time courses at QVCC in fall 2008. The students also took one course at Eastern and lived in Eastern's residence halls. The students, who came from low-income backgrounds and were not planning on applying to college, were recommended for the program by guidance counselors at Hartford Public High School and interviewed by Eastern staff members before admission.

            Now in its second year, the program emphasizes a mentoring plan for each student in order to help the students adjust. If participating students achieve academic success within their first semester, they enroll at Eastern as full-time students in their second semester with the goal of graduating with a college degree.

            The CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards recognize programs and practices designed to help find solutions for low-income students trying to attend and graduate college. Categories include "Getting Ready," "Getting In" and "Getting Through." All 18 recipients received $5,000 to expand or maintain their programs.


Wanted: Volunteers for Special Olympics

Written by Kate Harner


IMG_0006_1.jpgWillimantic, CT - Volunteers are needed for the 31st Annual Windham Invitational Special Olympics Swim Meet, which will be held on March 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Windham High School on High St. Volunteers must return the registration form before Feb. 28.


IMG_2198.jpg            Eastern Professor Charles Wynn, who has been the swim meet director for the last 16 years, estimates more than 350 volunteers will be needed to make the event the largest and most successful Special Olympics Swim Meet in Connecticut. Volunteers, who are each paired with one athlete, assist the participants in registering for events, cheering on their efforts and involving them with activities when they are not swimming. In addition, volunteers will be needed for sports clinics, food service and water safety.


IMG_0313.jpg            "More than 200 athletes with intellectual disabilities from Connecticut and Massachusetts are expected to register for the event," said Wynn. "In addition to swim competition, clinics are offered in various sports, aerobics and arts and crafts."

            Volunteers will be provided with lunch and a souvenir Windham Special Olympics T-shirt. The event is approved for community service credit. Volunteer forms may be picked up at the main office in Eastern's Sports Center.

            The Special Olympics is a year-round program of physical fitness, sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

            According to a study conducted at Yale University, Special Olympics athletes perform better at school, at work and at home the longer they participate in the program. The study found that the Special Olympics has a direct and positive effect on their self-image and ability to function in a social setting. They acquire skills that help them gain employment, maintain relationships, function independently and contribute to community life.

            For more information, please contact Charles Wynn at (860) 465-5258 or Geri White at (860) 455-9196.


Theatre Students Honored at Kennedy Center Festival

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University theatre students and their productions were recognized at the annual Region I Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, held at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH, from Jan. 26 - 31. Director of Theatre Ellen Brodie; J.J. Cobb, assistant professor of theatre and acting; Robert Sweetnam, assistant professor of theatre and design; and Chase Rozelle, associate professor of theatre and technical director, accompanied 25 Eastern students to the festival.

            "It was a wonderful learning experience for all," said Brodie. "It is also affirmation that Eastern is on the right track."

            Stephanie Armagno '13 and Sarah Paprocki '13 were cast and performed in "One X Ten's," which are premieres of new plays. Paprocki was the lead actress in that production. Kyle Charles '10, Jason Wadecki '11 and Ryan Gearity '12 were chosen and worked as festival technical theatre interns. Jonathon Knust '10 won the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) first prize for "Technical Craftsmanship" for the deer he created for Eastern's Fall 2009 production, "As You Like It." Guest Director Nora Cole and the cast of Eastern's Spring 2009 production, "The Black Girl in Search of God," won Merit Awards for both "Best Ensemble" and "Best Storytelling."



Eastern Reducing Greenhouse Gasses

Written by Jack Meltzer

loxsom-the climate is changing.JPG

Fred Loxsom, professor of environmental earth science and chair of   sustainable energy studies at Eastern, presents Eastern's plans for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Willimantic, CT -- The climate is changing and Eastern is doing its part to reduce green house gasses. That was the message conveyed by Fred Loxsom, professor of environmental earth science and chair of sustainable energy studies at Eastern, to a packed crowd of students, faculty and staff in the Student Center Theatre. His presentation, "Our Vanishing Footprint" discussed Eastern's plans and strategies for achieving the goals set out by the American College and University Presidents Climate Committee (ACUPCC).

Loxsom said energy consumption is the problem.  Electricity, heating and solid waste disposal can all be attributed to the carbon dioxide footprint that Eastern is leaving on its campus. Right now, Eastern emits 13 thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.  Loxsom wants to reduce that figure to 9.3 metric tons by 2015, and eventually reach the ultimate goal of achieving climate neutrality, reducing greenhouse gasses to zero by the year 2050. 

In 2007, Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez was one of the early signatories of the ACUPCC.  That same year,  Eastern designated the Green Campus Committee (GCC) as the campus group responsible for implementing the Climate Commitment set out by the ACUPCC.  The University constructed three LEED-certified residence halls in 2003-04 and purchased Energy Star-certified appliances. In 2008, the GCC submitted its greenhouse gasses report to the ACUPCC, showing that it had complied with the tasks set out by the ACUPCC and the report included all the factors that are contributing to the carbon dioxide emissions. 

The Presidents Climate Commitment also recquired Eastern to develop an institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral. "We demonstrated this commitment through our Sustainable Energy Studies academic program; the Institute for Sustainable Energy; LEED certified buildings; our president's commitment to sustainability goals; a strong recycling program; and several renewable energy and energy conservation projects," said Loxsom. 

He also said most of the heating energy on campus comes from hot water heating and space heating.  At least 70 percent of campus hot water heating energy could be supplied by solar hot water systems, thus reducing the carbon emissions by 1.1 metric tons.  Space heating, he said, can be reduced by improving insulation in existing buildings, especially with the use of geothermal heating and cooling.  By using geothermal heating, Loxsom estimates a reduction in space heating by 50 percent.

"Solid waste also is one of the biggest problems on the Eastern campus; we produce over 2,440 tons of solid waste a year.  We can reduce this number by recycling.  Loxsom wants to raise the percentage of recycled waste from 10 to 55 percent by 2015 by incorporating more receptacles on campus. 

The Green Campus Committee (GCC), which was founded in 2004, includes students, faculty and staff who serve as the tracking body and inform the campus community about Eastern's success in meeting these goals through an annual report and open forum.

Loxom concluded, "As we progress toward our climate neutrality goal, new technologies and new environmental pressures will inevitable require changes in the plans and may allow the University to meet this goal sooner. Nevertheless the target date, interim targets and analysis presented in this document will serve to guide this ongoing effort."


Motivational Speaker Al Duncan to Speak at Eastern

Written by Sarah Swann


alduncan.JPGWillimantic, CT -- Al Duncan, also known as the "Millennial Mentor," will speak at 3 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Eastern's Student Center Theatre.  The public is invited.  Admission is free. 

Duncan is recognized as the world's leading speaker for at-risk and troubled young people.  He has spoken to approximately one million adolescents around the world. 

            He has been called on to speak at numerous organizations and institutions, including The National Guard, Job Corps, University of Connecticut, Georgia Tech and the Department of Juvenile Justice.  Duncan emphasizes the motto, "You are guaranteed to win once you defeat the enemy within's all mental!" 

Duncan is the author of, "My Success Journal for Young People" and "Get All Fired Up!" He has been named the recipient of the President's Call to Service Award and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Lifetime Achievement Award.  Duncan serves on the advisory board of the American Intercontinental University School of Business, and is the former executive producer and host of "The State of the Mind Address," a self-development television program. 


Eastern's Energy Institute Energy Wins Major Energy Grants

Written by Emily Bonoyer

LeahyGif.gifWilliam Leaghy 

Willimantic, CT --The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University has been selected to provide counsel to three major energy projects that fall under energy grants from the U.S. Department of Labor.

            The ISE was granted $200,000 over two years to serve as educational program design and consultant to "Pathways from Poverty," a $4 million project that brings together local partners to provide green-collar job occupational training and job placement for unemployed disadvantaged individuals living in areas of high poverty in 12 Bridgeport neighborhoods. The grant supports the City of Bridgeport's B-Green 2020 initiative.

            The U.S. Department of Labor has also awarded the ISE $92,000 of a $3.3 million grant for the "Connecticut Green Jobs Partnerships" project. With this grant, the ISE will provide technical training to local building code officials on the proper installation of renewable energy systems. The project will build the capacity of the statewide education continuum to inspire students to pursue careers in green industries; build the capacity of the statewide workforce development system; ensure training and education programs match the evolving workforce needs of energy sector employers; develop a seamless set of career pathways in green industries; and connect green workforce development efforts to related economic development efforts.

            The U.S. Department of Labor also granted $300,000 to the Connecticut State Energy Plan. The grant will be used to upgrade the state building code and train local code officials with the Connecticut Department of Public Safety on the project. ISE was awarded $30,000 over two years to teach code officials how to conduct, construct and administer a pre- and post-training assessment of the department's energy code compliance.

            The ISE has a proven track record of successful service. In 2004, the ISE was named the recipient of the National Energy Star Partnership Award for Community Leadership in Energy Education for the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. 


Eastern to Perform Vagina Monologues

Written by Emily Bonoyer

Willimantic, CT -- Eastern Connecticut State University students, faculty and staff will perform "The Vagina Monologues" on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center. The theatrical performance will include actresses from Eastern and the larger community who will bring to life various monologues concerning domestic abuse, body issues and reclaiming sexuality.

            "The Vagina Monologues" were written in 1996 by performance artist Eve Ensler. In drafting her early monologues, Ensler conducted interviews with 200 women on the subjects of sex, relationships and violence against women. Since 1996, a new monologue has been added to the performance each year to highlight a current issue affecting women around the world.

"The Vagina Monologues" is part of a global movement known as "V-Day." The "V" in V-Day stands for Valentine, Vagina and Victory, linking love and respect for women to ending violence against them.


Eastern Celebrates West Indian and African American Culture

Written by Jack Meltzer

Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University's Intercultural Center will host "West Indian and African American Storytelling and Food Tasting" on Feb. 9 from 5 - 7 p.m. in the Student Center Cafe. The program is part of the center's monthly cultural celebrations. The public is invited. Admission is free.


                                             Abolitionist Frederick Douglass

            The event will give Eastern students, faculty and staff the opportunity to tell stories from their own personal lives as West Indians or African Americans. In addition, Carl Dean Jr., poet, drummer and counselor at the University of Connecticut, will share African American stories and provide insight into the life of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Stacey Close, professor of history at Eastern, and Jordan Lorrius '10 will also present. Authentic African American and West Indian food will be served.

            For more information, contact Milton Jackson at (860) 465-4421 or


Poet Ravi Shankar Visits Eastern

Written by Kate Harner


RaviShankar.JPGWillimantic, CT -- Ravi Shankar, associate professor of English and poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University, will hold a poetry reading at Eastern Connecticut State University. The event, which is hosted by Eastern's English Club, will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 in Room 301 of the Science Building. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Shankar will be reading from his book of poems, "Instrumentality," which was a 2005 Connecticut Book Awards Finalist, as well as selections from his new book, "Deepening Groove," which was awarded the National Poetry Review Prize and will be published in 2011. Shankar is a founding editor of the international online journal of the arts, "Drunken Boat," and a co-author of the collaborative chapbook, "Wanton Textiles," with Reb Livingston.

His awards include the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize and the Bennet Prize for Poetry at Columbia University, where he received his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry. Shankar has received a 2009 Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Fellowship in Poetry, as well as fellowships from Breadloaf Writer's Conference, the Blue Mountain Center and the MacDowell Colony.

Shankar currently reviews submissions for the "Contemporary Poetry Review" and serves on the faculty of the Wesleyan Writers Conference, Stonecoast Writers Conference and in the first international MFA program in Creative Writing at City University of Hong Kong.

For more information, contact the English Club at


Eastern Professor to Present Poetry Reading

Written by Sarah Swann


donaghyd[1].jpgWillimantic, CT --Daniel Donaghy, assistant professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University, will read from his latest book of poems, "Start With the Trouble," at 3 p.m. on Feb. 17, in Room 301 of Eastern's Science Building. The public is invited.  Admission is free. 

The book title references people who do the hardest part of a task in the beginning.  Donaghy's theory is that after you finish the hard part, you are home free.

When he writes, Donaghy explains, "I try to speak to the reader in language that is clear, precise, conversational and inviting, and driven by a strong rhythm."  The theme for most of his poems focuses on his adolescence.

Donaghy also is the author of "Streetfighting," a Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist,   an award offered for a book of poems that is 48 pages or more and has a print of 500 copies or more. 

Donaghy earned a bachelor of arts from Kutztown University; a master of arts from Hollins University; master of fine arts in creative writing from Cornell University; and a doctorate in English from the University of Rochester.  His poems have been published in News Letters, The Southern Review, Poet Lore, Cimarron Review, Texas Review, Commonweal, Image and West Branch.     


Japanese Internment Observed at Eastern

Written by Kate Harner



image8-2[1].gif               The Amache Japanese Internment Camp, 1943 


Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University's Intercultural Center will host "Days of Remembrance: Japanese American Internment." The program, which is part of the center's monthly cultural celebrations, will be held from Feb. 2 - 5 in the Intercultural Center, located in the Arthur L. Johnson Unity Wing of the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            The Days of Remembrance seek to bring awareness to the internment of Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which ordered the internment of approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans, 65 percent of whom were United States citizens. The program will include a compilation of images, photographs and historical annotations from and about the internment of Japanese Americans, as well as a showing of the acclaimed documentary "Children of the Camps." The documentary highlights the stories of six Japanese-Americans who were interned in American concentration camps during World War II.

            For more information, contact Milton Jackson at (860) 465-4421.


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