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June 2010 Archives

Eastern to Host 27th Annual STEP/CAP Program

Written by Dwight Bachman


 Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Kim Ward engages STEP/CAP students in a discussion on a math concept.

Willimantic, Conn. - On June 30, more than 70 students hoping to enroll in Eastern Connecticut State University in the fall will arrive on campus to begin the 27th year of the Summer Transition at Eastern Program/Contract Admission Program (STEP/CAP).

            Through Aug. 6, students from Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Norwich, Waterbury, Willimantic and out-of-state will attend intensive credit-bearing courses in math and writing, as well as rigorous workshops in social sciences, library research methods, public speaking, study skills and critical thinking. Those who are successful will be admitted as freshmen for Eastern's fall semester.

            Organized around the theme of "Civility in Public Life," the students will come to campus having read "Dreamer," Charles Johnson's novel about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his role in the civil rights movement.  Their classes will examine the role of race, ethnic origin, cultural differences and identity in America. Once on campus, students will be asked to read essays and poetry by Jimmy Santiago Baca, Rita Dove, Li Young Lee, Yusef Komunyakaa and others.

            "For more than a quarter of a century, this program has made a difference," said Margaret H├ębert, director of Eastern's STEP/CAP program. "We ask the students to be motivated, disciplined and ready to work hard to make the changes needed to start and then complete the transition from high school to college."

            Successful STEP/CAP students have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, insurance executives, personnel managers and much more - remarkable achievement for young people labeled in high school as incapable of college level work.

            Once students settle into Eastern and begin their classes, they will take a field trip to Boston, where they are scheduled to enjoy citywide trolley tours and visit historic spots such as the Freedom Trail.  


Eastern to Host Laurel Girls State

Written by Dwight Bachman


Girls State - file image.JPGWillimantic, CT. - Eastern Connecticut State University again will host more than 170 Connecticut high school juniors for the Laurel Girls State program from June 27 to July 2. 

Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Laurel Girls State prepares young ladies for careers in government through citizenship and democracy.  Some of the guest speakers will include Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who will speak on June 28.  On June 30, State Comptroller Nancy Wyman is scheduled to speak and Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz is scheduled to speak on June 29. Several state representatives and legislators will also attend. 

            "We are delighted to host Girls State for the sixth year in a row," said Victoria Lorenzen, program facilitator in the Office of Professional Development in Eastern's School of Continuing Education.  "We are developing a wonderful collaboration, working with professionals such as Sue Larsen, chair and director of Laurel Girls State. We hope to develop the same type of long-term relationship that we have with Boys State, which returned to campus this year for the 23nd year in a row." 

The Girls State program has provided students with hands-on citizenship experience and government participation for more than 65 years. Program officials focus on patriotism by involving students in all aspects of government and by enhancing pride in our country. Students elect officials on a local and state level, who then carry out the duties of their offices. Students will also write bills and enact legislation. Girls State officials hope the experience will result in lifelong participation in government.


Eastern to Host American Legion Boys State

Written by Dwight Bachman


boys state - file shot 2009.JPG Willimantic, CT--Eastern Connecticut State University will host nearly 250 Connecticut high school juniors as well as state legislators, lawyers, police officers and government officials during the 69th American Legion Boys State, being held June 20-25. This will be the 23rd year in a row that Boys State has been at Eastern.

            Boys State officially begins with formal opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. on June 20, with the keynote address delivered by Connecticut State University System Chancellor David G. Carter.  David Greenleaf, chairman of the American Legion Boys State Commission and American Legion Department Commander Charlie Morrissey will also speak.

            The weeklong program is formatted to educate students on how state and municipal governments operate.  Participants will set up and run mock town, city and state elections.  Students will engage in role-playing where towns are represented, mayors will lobby, and representatives and senators will debate and enact legislation. The election of a governor and signing and vetoing of legislation passed by the legislature will take place on Friday.

Greenleaf praised Eastern for hosting Boys State over the years.  "Eastern makes the summer program a very positive experience for young people who cannot help but return to their communities with a desire to make a positive contribution," said Greenleaf. 

"Eastern Connecticut State University is proud of our longstanding relationship with Boys State, which provides a model of exemplary programming highlighting good citizenship," said Shelly Gimenez, dean of the School of Continuing Education.  "We are delighted to be part of an initiative that grooms future leaders on a local, state and national level. Once again we look forward to hosting Boys State on our campus."

This year's guests include Connecticut Comptroller Nancy Wyman who is scheduled to speak at 9:15 a.m. on June 21; Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz who is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. on June 21; and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will speak on 2 p.m. on June 24.  On June 22, Boys State participants will hear from Rep. Ted Graziani (D-57th District), Windham District Judge Dennis O'Brien Bristol Mayor Art Ward and Essex First Selectman Phil Miller. On June 23, Hartford Superior Court Judge Susan Peck will moderate the Law and Order Panel. Mathew Crocket, assistant state's attorney, also will participate.


CT Students Win "Keep Connecticut Cool" Honors

Written by Dwight Bachman


On April 26, more than 225 Connecticut students in grades 4 through 12 gathered at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford to have their research and development plans for climate change solutions evaluated by a panel of judges. The event was part of the "Keep Connecticut Cool Challenge," a statewide contest for students to create climate change solutions for their towns and communities.

Thumbnail image for Cool- EO_Smith_keepctcool.JPG

For teams entering the contest for the first time, E. O Smith High School in Storrs won the $3,000 prize for having the Best Overall Sustainability Plan.  Lyman Memorial High School in Lebanon won the $1,000 prize for its use of teamwork in developing their sustainability plan, and South Windsor High School won the $1,000 prize for its use of collaboration in developing their sustainability plan. 

cool-lyman image.JPGFor teams continuing in the contest, the SEMI Program at Nathan Hale Elementary School in New London won the $3,000 prize for the Best Overall Sustainability Plan.  Danbury High School won the $1,000 prize for the best use of teamwork in developing their sustainability plan, and Coventry High School won the $1,000 prize for continuing teams for the best use of collaboration in developing their sustainability plan.   

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for cool leahy instructs image.JPG   The contest is administered by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University and funded through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. Towns represented in the challenge included Avon, Bridgeport, Bristol, Burlington, Coventry, Danbury, East Hartford, Hartford, Lebanon, Mansfield, New Haven, New London, North Stonington, Northford, Norwalk, South Windsor, Storrs, Trumbull, Waterford and Westport.

cool  judges group shot.JPG

The students have been working on their projects for the past six months. Prizes totaling $10,000 were presented with awards in separate categories for teamwork, collaboration, and best overall plans. Project plans for raising climate awareness included conducting energy audits; installing thermostats and sensors; replacing lights; promoting energy-saving behaviors; incorporating the replacement of Styrofoam trays in lunchrooms; raising climate awareness among students and community through TV messages; family forums; film festivals; energy fairs; and projects to purchase rainforest land and carbon sequestration.

cool laurel speaking.JPG

Keep Connecticut Cool was started in 2006 as the Cool It Challenge, hosted by Clean Air-Cool Planet and funded by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. The program changed names to Keep Connecticut Cool in 2008 and is now funded by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. To date 78 teams, involving more than 800 students have worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their schools and communities.


cool-participants waiting BEST.JPGThe ISE was established in 2001 to identify, develop and implement the means for achieving a sustainable energy future. The Institute focuses on matters relating to energy education, energy policy, efficiency conservation and load management, renewable energy, distributed generation, protection of environmental resources, and the dissemination of useful information on energy alternatives and sustainability to users and providers of energy. The Institute adds an unbiased focus on practical applications and dissemination of information about how to improve the energy profile and sustainability of Connecticut and the region.  

The Institute is funded and supported by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund through the Energy Conservation Management Board and the Department of Public Utility Control. The Institute also receives grants, conference sponsorships, donations, contracts, and payments for services from organizations, including the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, U. S. Department of Energy, Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, and the Connecticut Green Building Council.  For more information about the Keep Connecticut Cool Challenge, visit


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