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October 2010 Archives

Eastern's Day of Giving

Written by Brian Novack

Day of giving Pic 2.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will hold its fourth annual Day of Giving food drive for people who would otherwise go hungry on Thanksgiving. The Day of Giving will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Nov. 24 in Hurley Hall, located on Eastern's North Campus.

People Helping People, a student club at Eastern, currently runs the Day of Giving, which was originally created in 2007 by Eastern alumnus, Jason Budahazy '09. People Helping People (PHP) President Amy Gorman '11 is organizing this year's Day of Giving. Gorman receives support from local stores, Eastern's Honors Club, OLAS, Eastern's Center for Community Engagement, Office of Institutional Advancement and Chartwells Dining Services.

Gorman devotes herself to the food drives, which are held over the five weekends before Thanksgiving. "One food pantry told us that the food collected through the Day of Giving food drives supplied them with food for more than eight months. With the economy being so bad these past few years, more and more people are turning toward local food pantries for help. But with the help of our generous community, we can provide the amount of food our local pantries need."

The Day of Giving food drives are held in Eastern's residence halls and in local stores such as Better Value, Ted's IGA, Willimantic Co-Op, Windham IGA and Wal-Mart. Eastern student clubs, sports teams and residence halls volunteer to help with the food drives, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates: Oct. 30 at Ted's IGA in Hebron; Oct. 31 at Willimantic Co-Op; Nov. 6, 7, 13 and 14 at Wal-Mart in Windham. Times and places are being arranged for food drives on Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.  

The final part of Day of Giving is the meal itself, a Thanksgiving meal with all of the usual carvings and fixings. Last year, Eastern served nearly 400 people in the local community.

"I help run the Day of Giving because I see it as an extremely important event for our community," said Gorman. "Day of Giving brings everyone closer together on a holiday that is all about giving."

     For more information, contact Kimberly Silcox, at (860) 465-4426 or email her at


Actor Maulik Pancholy Kicks Off Art/Lecture Series

Written by Tim Talley

Maulik.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Rising star Maulik Pancholy will open Eastern Connecticut State University's 10th Annual Arts and Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 in the Betty R. Tipton Room in Eastern's Student Center.

            Pancholy is among a handful of Indian-American actors changing the character and face of Hollywood. He stars in two of TV's most critically-acclaimed shows -- the showtime hit "Weeds" and the Emmy Award-winning "30 Rock."

            Pancholy is a classically trained actor with a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama. According to movie critics, he has carved out a career that spans the stage, the small and big screen-- from movies like "Hitch" to plays like "Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom."  

            Pancholy has received a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award for "30 Rock," along with two additional nominations -- one each -- for "30 Rock" and "Weeds." He played the lead role in "India Awakening" at the Samuel Beckett Theater, for which The New York Times praised his " and funny" performance. He also voices the character Baljeet on the top-rated Disney show "Phineas and Ferb." His other credits include guest spots on "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and "The Sopranos."

            In addition to free admission to Eastern faculty, staff, and students, admission to the Arts and Lecture Series events is free to all middle school, high school and college students, who are encouraged to attend. Admission for the general public is $10 per ticket; tickets can be reserved by calling (860) 465-0036 or sending an email to For information on the 2010-11 Arts and Lecture Series, visit


Economic Analyst Fred Cartensen to Speak

Written by Tim Talley

Economist Fred Carstensen.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Fred Cartensen, director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA)  and professor of economics at the University of Connecticut (UConn), will present a lecture at Eastern Connecticut State University at 11 a.m. on Nov. 10 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library. The presentation is part of the David T. Chase Free Enterprise Institute's Distinguished Lecture Series. The public is invited. Admission is free.   

            As director of the CCEA, Carstensen negotiates grants and contracts. In 2006, he contracted with the State of Connecticut to facilitate the Connecticut State Data Center. One of his biggest projects is raising $150,000 annually to support the publication of "The Connecticut Economy: A University of Connecticut Quarterly Review," a quarterly journal published by the Economics Department at UConn.  Carstensen has successfully completed more than one hundred studies during his tenure with the CCEA.

            Carstensen has authored and edited numerous books, articles and scholarly journals that cover topics ranging from the economic and political development of various countries to the history of American business. He is a current member of the Master Planning Advisory Committee at UConn and is a consulting editor for the Providence, a monthly lifestyle magazine.

            Carstensen has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wisconsin, and received both his master's degree in economics and doctorate in history and economic history from Yale University.


Eastern to Host Figurative Painting Panel Discussion

Written by Tim Talley

DESIDERIO, Spiegel im Spiegel, 2010, 7 x 9 ft.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will host a panel discussion on figurative painting at 3 p.m. on Nov. 3 in Shafer Auditorium in Shafer Hall; a reception will follow at 5:30 p.m. Shafer Hall is located at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic. The event is part of Eastern's University Hour series. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            Panel participants include Qimin Liu, associate professor of visual arts at Eastern, and renowned artists Vincent Desiderio, Sidney Goodman and Mel Leipzig. The panel will be moderated by Eastern's Akus Gallery director Elizabeth Peterson, and Gail Gelburd, chair of Eastern's visual arts department. The panel will also draw inspiration from "Solemn and Sublime," a selection of work of 13 American painters that is being exhibited at Akus Gallery from Oct. 21 to Dec. 2.  The presentation was developed from the catalog, "Selected Contemporary American Figurative Painters," edited by Liu and published by Tianjin People's Fine Arts Publishing House of China in 2009.

            Desiderio, a realist painter, is the senior critic at the New York Academy of Art. He has been awarded numerous awards, including becoming the first American artist to receive the International Contemporary Art Prize awarded by the Prince Pierre Foundation of the Principality of Monaco in 1996. Desiderio's works have been widely exhibited all over the world. He received bachelor's degrees in fine art and art history from Haverford College. GOODMAN, Maia with Raised Arm, 2000, 29 x 23 in.jpg

            Goodman, who uses abstract expressionism within his work, teaches at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Much of his work is derived from personal experiences and the human nude figure. His depiction of the human body highlights the interest of realism which was rapid during the 1960s. Goodman has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships including an honorary degree from the Boston Art Institute. He received a degree in illustration from the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of Arts).

            Leipzig is a professor of visual arts at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in New Jersey. His work is dominated by portraits of his social circle and family members. Leipzig's work has been showcased in more than 24 one-person exhibitions, public collections and as part of group exhibitions across the country. He was elected to the National Academy, an honorary association of professional artists in New York City, and received a Fulbright Grant to Paris and four grants for painting from the New Jersey Council on the Arts. One of his many awards includes being the first recipient of the MCCC Distinguished Teaching Award in 1980.  Leipzig received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Yale University and Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute.     

            Curanaj teaches painting and drawing at the Grand Central Academy in New York City. He is an innovator in the worldwide graffiti scene and founder of the "D.F." crew. Before exclusively committing to his current work, Curanaj worked with Disney as a lead designer and painter. Curanaj received his bachelor's degree in fine arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York.


Eastern to Host Poverty Conference

Written by Kate Harner


CTCampusCompact.gifWillimantic, Conn. - Connecticut Campus Compact, in collaboration with Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and Division of Student Affairs, will host the Issues of Poverty Conference from 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 in the Betty R. Tipton Room. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Eastern President Elsa Núñez will greet the conference participants. Patricia Julianelle, legal counsel for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, will deliver the keynote address.

Attendees at the conference will explore the challenges of poverty reduction and opportunities for volunteer partnerships. Representatives from agencies that address issues of poverty in the Windham region, New England and Connecticut will present a snapshot of current efforts. Charlie Chatterton, associate professor of health and physical education, and Elaine Zimmerman, executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Children, will also speak.


PovertyPhoto.jpg          Breakout sessions, led by representatives of Eastern, the New England Consortium, End Hunger Connecticut, Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition, Windham Region Coalition to End Homelessness, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth and Turn the Curve Initiative, will follow.

After lunch, attendees will visit specific community agency tables to learn more about how to get involved.

"This is a great opportunity for students, faculty, staff and community members to learn more about efforts to address the varied issues related to poverty in our communities and to collaborate with local organizations to effect change," said Kim Silcox, interim director of the CCE.

To register for the conference, visit and click on the "Conferences" tab. For more information, contact Colin Doherty and Kristina Scherber at (860) 465-5158 or


Eastern to Host Public Service Panel Discussion

Writtten by Tim Talley

teach for america 1.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will host a panel discussion on community service at 3 p.m. on Oct. 27 in Eastern's Student Center Theatre. Participants will discuss their organizations and how students can engage in national service outside of college. The event is part of Eastern's University Hour series. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            Panel participants include recruiters from Americorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, Our Piece of the Pie and City Year. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions about programs and learn what it takes to become a volunteer.

            Americorps.jpgAmeriCorps 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.

            Teach For America is a national corps of outstanding recent college graduates from various majors and career interests who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity. Corps members are working to eliminate educational inequity, primarily in the lowest income communities, to ensure that all children acquire a first-class education and equal chance in life.

Our Piece of the Pie.gif            Our Piece of the Pie is a leading youth development agency that helps urban young people, ages 14 to 24, become successful adults, by effectively collaborating and partnering with schools, colleges, community agencies and businesses to promote independence and economic success. The program helps the young adults complete high school, receive occupational skill certificates, obtain two- or four-year college degrees and/or obtain long-term employment.

            City Year is a group of diverse young leaders who act as tutors, mentors and role models to help children within the classroom and community for a year of full-service time. While in the corpse young people help break down social barriers, foster active citizenship and develop civic leadership skills that will last a lifetime.


Masterworks by Contemporary Figurative Painters

Written by Kate Harner

BRICHER, Release, 2005,  40 x 36 in.jpg

   Willimantic, Conn. - The Julian Akus Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University will present "Solemn & Sublime: Contemporary American Figurative Painting" from Oct. 21 through Dec. 2.  A University Hour talk will also take place on Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery.


COFFEY, Aphaia, 2008, 12 x 11 in.jpg"Solemn & Sublime" draws together the work of 13 living American painters, all of whom honor a centuries-old tradition of figurative work which they infuse with a contemporary sensibility. "Their paintings and drawings are dramatic in scale and awe-inspiring in their technical virtuosity," says gallery director and co-curator Elizabeth Peterson, "but at the same time, the contemporary figures they depict are firmly rooted in our own time and, as such, are relatable.

Many use the traditional media of oil on canvas, but others combine classic draftsmanship with modern materials such as roofing felt, tar or Mylar, which also lends to the contemporary feel of the work." 

CURANAJ, Emit, 2007, 48 x 34 in.jpgThe exhibition was inspired by the catalogue "Selected Contemporary American Figurative Paintings," which was published in 2009 by the Tianjin People's Fine Arts Publishing House and edited by Qimin Liu, Eastern associate professor of visual art, painting and drawing.  "Despite the focus by popular media on new artistic forms in American art, a large number of painters still work on paintings involving realism or the figurative approach," says Liu, co-curator of the exhibition. "Figurative painting has transformed itself and been reborn into a new and exciting era."

DESIDERIO, Spiegel im Spiegel, 2010, 7 x 9 ft.jpgThe artists whose work will be on view in "Solemn & Sublime" include: Bo Bartlett and Scott Bricher; Federico Castelluccio,

Susanna Coffey, Tony Curanaj, Vincent Desiderio, Katherine Doyle, Sidney Goodman, Anne Harris, Mel Leipzig, Qimin Liu, Nelson Shanks

and Sharon Sprung. GOODMAN, Maia with Raised Arm, 2000, 29 x 23 in.jpgThe Akus Gallery is located in the lower level of Shafer at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  The public is invited.  Admission is free.  For more information regarding this and other exhibitions at Akus Gallery, please call (860) 465-4659 or visit on the web at   


Eastern Concert Band to Perform

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT -- The Department of Performing Arts at Eastern Connecticut State University will present Eastern's Concert Band at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 20 in Shafer Auditorium. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Kathryn Niemasik, part-time professor of music, will direct the band. The eclectic repertoire features American composers and themes, coinciding with Eastern's "Year of the Arts."

"One of our most moving pieces is Frank Ticheli's 'An American Elegy,'" says Niemasik. "Ticheli wrote it as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Columbine High School shootings. The composition represents hope and is a stellar piece of music."

The program also features James L. Hosay's "Black Granite," a march dedicated to those who died in the Vietnam War. A highlight of the concert is Clare Grundman's "Concord," a piece commissioned by the United States Marine Band that puts an innovative twist on three traditional New England tunes: "Yankee Doodle," "America" and "The White Cockade." Other pieces include Robert W. Smith's fast-paced "To the Summit!"; Claude T. Smith's "Incidental Suite"; John Philip Sousa's "The Rifle Regiment March"; and selections from the Broadway musical "Wicked" by Stephen Schwartz and arranged by Jay Bocook.

The musicians who will perform have registered for the Music 107 Concert Band course, a unique course that teaches both student and community musicians on Wednesday nights.

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


Second Annual Veteran's Day Challenge

Written by Tim Talley

Veterans Day Challenge Michael Murphey.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will host its second annual Veteran's Day Challenge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 11. The event consists of a demanding one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 air squats, followed by another one-mile run. Participants can compete as teams of four or individually, and can increase the number of points received by wearing a 10-or 20-pound weight vest. Prizes will be awarded for first, second or third place.

            "There is no equipment involved. It's a raw, bare bones workout that only requires heart and grit to make it through it," says Caleb Diebolt, one of the competition's creators.

            The Veterans Day Challenge competition is based on the workout of Medal of Honor recipient and Navy Seal, Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action during a tour in Afghanistan. The Navy Medal of Honor website describes his sacrifice in his biography:  "Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing it would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, with complete disregard for his own life, moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men."

             "Last year's event brought in more than 75 participants, and we hope to double that this year," says Brandi Schott, veteran services liaison for Eastern. "More than $3,500 was raised for the Veteran's Scholarship Fund."

            "The challenge was a phenomenal program last year, unifying the campus in its support of veterans and active military with the development of a scholarship as a wonderful additional outcome," said Kenneth Bedini, vice-president for student affairs at Eastern. "We are excited this year for a bigger and better event and one that leads to our goal of endowing the scholarship."

            The Veterans Day Challenge is the main source of funding for the Veteran's Scholarship Fund, which, once endowed, will help military, veteran and dependent students at Eastern fund their education. Each team is encouraged to raise at least $100 to donate to the fund.  Art Contest Flyer.jpg   

          The Veterans Day Challenge is also conducting an art contest, with the the winner being honored for how well he or she express what the military means. For more information or to register, contact the VETS Center on campus by emailing or call 860-465-0402.

Eastern to Participate in Relay for Life

Written by Kate Harner

RelayforLife 2010.JPG

                        Eastern students at Relay for Life in 2009.

Willimantic, CT -- Eastern Connecticut State University will host the Windham Area Relay for Life from 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17. The relay, which benefits the American Cancer Society, will take place at the Eastern Sports Complex in Mansfield. Local organizations and businesses, as well as Eastern students, faculty and staff, are encouraged to participate. The money raised through the relay will support cancer research, education, advocacy and patient service programs.

In 2009, the Windham Area Relay raised more than $185,000. Ninety-five teams with 1,268 registered walkers participated. According to many of the walkers, every participant understands the importance of the relay.

"My grandfather passed away from cancer, so Relay for Life is near to my heart," says Alex Cross, a junior at Eastern. "I support the American Cancer Society's research because I want a cure. I don't want anyone else to suffer from cancer."

The relay starts with the traditional survivors' lap, which is dedicated to those who have battled or continue to battle cancer. Afterward, team members walk laps throughout the day and night. Each team provides food and games and has a tent decorated in this year's theme, "Let's Celebrate More Birthdays!" Participants can also enter the daylong raffle to bid on gift baskets provided by the teams. When night falls, the relay will hold its luminaria ceremony, a time when family members and friends of those affected by cancer light candles placed in white paper bags lining the track.

The first Windham Area Relay was held in 1997. Twenty teams participated and raised $33,000. It is part of the American Cancer Society's nationwide event. Citizens of Andover, Ashford, Chaplin, Colchester, Columbia, Coventry, Eastford, Hampton, Hebron, Lebanon, Mansfield, Scotland, Willington and Windham participate in the Windham Area Relay each year.

For more information on how to get involved with Relay for Life, contact Chris Lataille Santiago at (860) 208-9916 or, or Jessie Shea at (860) 208-3647 or

Beverly York to Discuss the History of Windham

Written by Tim Talley

Thumbnail image for BeverlyYork 1.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Beverly York, a lecturer at Eastern Connecticut State University and an educational consultant at the Windham Mill and Textile Museum, will discuss the historical and cultural background of the Windham community at 3 p.m. on Oct. 20 in Shafer Auditorium in Shafer Hall, located at the corner of Windham and Valley Streets in Willimantic. York's presentation is part of Eastern's University Hour series. The public is invited. Admission is free.

York will focus upon the 19th and 20th century cotton thread manufacturers as well as mill workers and their ethnic backgrounds during the industrial age. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from Central Connecticut State University and a Master of Science in History Education from Eastern.


Eastern's Food Runners

Written by Brian Novack


Left to right, food runners Jacqueline Nader, Ismael G, Rachel Berg box fresh crops at CitySeed Market.

Willimantic, Conn. -    Every 3.6 seconds, somewhere around the world, someone dies of starvation. As tragic as this fact is, eight students from Eastern Connecticut State University involved with the Food Runners Organization are trying to impact this statistic. Food Runners is an organization that collects leftover food from local restaurants and farmers markets to give to local soup kitchens.


Food runners_-2- 7273.JPG

Left to right, Eastern food runners Maiyah Gamble-Rivers, Alyssa Pezzello, Kyle Droniak load van in Main St Café parking lot.

Every Tuesday at 2 p.m. the eight students, through Eastern's Center for Community Engagement, head down to the Main Street Café to gather leftovers. Colin Doherty, Eastern's Community Service Coordinator and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, serves as the lead runner. "I have worked in food services since high school, and in doing that you see how much food is wasted when it could easily be donated," says Doherty. "Covenant Soup Kitchen is always in need of food. We are currently in the process of getting more restaurants in the area involved, and if this works out, we should be able to get a lot more food to help feed more people."   

Food Runner- 3-  7839.JPGFoodrunner Andy Geremia helps unload food with Brit Cava at Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. 

Andy Geremia, an alumnus of Central Connecticut State University who originally recruited the Eastern students into Food Runners of Connecticut, had heard about a Food Runners organization in San Francisco on the radio and wondered why there was not a similar program in Connecticut. Geremia immediately called Mary Risely, the organization's founder in San Francisco, for information. "The concept sounded simple; relay excess food to those in need." Geremia turned to the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative at the University of Connecticut's School of Law for support and a few weeks later, the Food Runners of Connecticut was up and running. Eastern students Brit Cava '12, a political science major from Torrington; Maiyah Gamble-Rivers '12, an art history major from Providence, RI; and Jackie Bishop '11, a secondary education and history/social science major from Newington, quickly joined the cause. "I enjoy participating in the Food Runners because I have seen the crippling effects of poverty time and time again," said Gamble-Rivers. "It wasn't until I saw a homeless man eating out of the trash that I decided to stop being apathetic and become active."


Food Runner -4-7842.JPG

Geremia and Brit Cava inside Covenant Soup Kitchen.

"Being in Food Runners is very personable, and I feel as though I am making a difference because I can be involved in the process from start to finish," Bishop said. "Food Runners gives people in need the hope that there will always be someone there to feed them even when they are in dire circumstances."

             The Food Runners are not alone in the fight against hunger. Three local farmers markets in Coventry, New Haven and Farmington are also contributing food. Winter Caplanson of the Coventry Regional Farmers Market recently donated fresh melons, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, apples and squash. "Connecticut Food Runners provides a valuable link between producers and consumers. Coventry Market has been donating food for years, but never with a fully committed organization such as the Food Runners," said Caplanson. "Volunteers in the past were almost always reliable, but occasionally missed their scheduled food pick up due to other priorities, disappointing the recipients and putting the routine of donating that our vendors had become accustomed to at risk. Now that the Food Runners are in charge, risk of missing a week of food is out of the question."

            Peggy Hall, manager of Hill-Stead Museum's Farmers Market in Farmington, sells and donates bushels and bushels of fresh and organic food. "If we do not have a market one day, the surplus food may be fed to the animals or discarded." Now, Food Runners arrives at closing time each week to receive all of the leftovers, or about six bushels of food per week.

CitySeed Market of New Haven is managed by Rachel Berg. "With all of the fruit and vegetables left over at a farmers market and all of the people in the New Haven area who do not have enough to eat, it is a win-win to be able to connect with these two populations," she says. "Food Runners Connecticut is entirely volunteer and I think it is wonderful that people are willing to donate their time to this caring cause."

Food Runners Connecticut is a 501-c3 nonprofit organization. All food and financial donations are tax deductible. Every dollar donated is used to support its mission. Monetary donations can be made directly at or mailed to Food Runners Connecticut, P.O. Box 856, Southington, CT 06489.


Eastern to Host Candidate Meet and Greet

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT -- Eastern Connecticut State University's Conservatives/Libertarians Club, in coordination with Eastern's Student Government Association, will sponsor a candidate meet and greet from 3 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 14 in the Betty R. Tipton Room. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The candidates include Gubernatorial candidates Dan Malloy (D) and Tom Marsh (I); Denise Merrill (D) for Secretary of State; Martha Dean (R) for Attorney General; Christopher Hutchinson (I), First District; Janet Peckinpaugh (R), Second District; G. Scott Deshefy (Green), Second District; Charlie Pillsbury (Green), Third District; Matthew Joseff (I), Third District; a representative for Jerry Labriola (R), Third District; Carl Vassar (L); and U.S. Senate candidates Warren Mosler (D), John Mertens (Connecticut For Lieberman) and Brian Keith Scott.

Each candidate will have three to five minutes to present their platform, followed by a question and answer period. David Green '12, president of the Conservatives/Libertarians Club, will moderate the panel and supervise discussion.

"As an organization, we believe voting to be a fundamental civic right that we should all embrace," said Green. "It is our goal to give Eastern students, faculty and staff, as well as the surrounding community, the ability to make informed decisions on whom to vote for in this upcoming November election."

For more information, contact the Conservatives/Libertarians Club at

Eastern to Host Congressional Debate

Written by Tim Talley

Courtney_Joe_small.jpgWillimantic, Conn. -Eastern Connecticut State University will host a debate between the candidates for Connecticut's Second Congressional District on Oct. 21 from 7:30 to 9  p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center.  The debate is being sponsored by the Norwich Bulletin.  The public is invited. Admission is free. 

           Janet Pekinpaugh small.jpg All of the candidates currently on the ballot -- incumbent Congressman Joe Courtney, Democratic candidate; Green Party candidate G. Scott Deshefy, a former Montville school board chair and retired environmental analyst; and former television reporter Janet Pekinpaugh, the Republican Party candidate -- will participate in the debate.  

            The debate is expected to focus on educational issues that concern students.  Eastern student Judith Frankel, a junior from Brookfield majoring in political science, will be one of two panelists asking questions.

            "I am honored to be chosen to be a student moderator," said Frankel.  "ThisG. Scott Deshefy.jpg event will give Eastern students a firsthand look at the excitement of politics.  Students will get a chance to meet the politicians who are running, which will help them to make a more educated decision when they vote on November second."

            The Connecticut Television Network will tape and rebroadcast the debate.

            For more information about the Congressional debates, contact Raymond Hackett, community conversations editor at the Norwich Bulletin, at (860) 425-425 or email him at


Eastern to Present Phoenix New Play Series

Written by Kate Harner

            Willimantic, Conn. - Students from Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department will perform the Phoenix New Play Series at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 in the Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            This year's Phoenix New Play Series features six 10-minute plays written and directed by Eastern students. Luke Reinwald will direct Nathan Rickard's "The Vineyard" and Shane William Kegler's "Almost Home"; Max Loignon will direct Katharine McManus' "Going Out" and Ben Donnel's "Lackey's Mask"; and Jacob Kapustinski will direct Matt Hulten's "The Interview" and Alison Schiller's "My Last Pediatrician."

            "My script is about a couple staying home for a romantic dinner date, but nothing is as it seems," says McManus, who wrote the play in her scriptwriting class, taught by Communication Professor Edmond Chibeau. "My play's main themes are understanding and the need for companionship."

            The Phoenix New Play Series are rehearsed readings of new plays. A question-and-answer period will follow the readings. "The staged readings allow for the playwrights to hear their work out loud and get feedback from the audience, cast and directors," says Kegler, president of Eastern's Drama Society. "This prepares the playwrights for the next stages of the writing process."

Ellen Brodie, professor/director of theatre, has organized this year's series with the help of Kegler.

For more information, contact Eastern's Drama Society at  


18th Health, Wellness and Benefits Expo at Eastern

Written by Dwight Bachman

2-Officer Mark Kuchta with Jessica Tones Shawn Burns looks on.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. 19 for the 18th 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 Department of Children and Families Foster Care Services, Liberty Bank, the Visiting Nurses Association, Willimantic Food Co-Op, United HealthCare, the Social Security Administration, Planned Parenthood, the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling and Windham Hospital are just some of the nearly 50 participants in attendance.

Free chair massages, free HIV and STD testing, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, body fat 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, descriptions and performances including yoga; accupuncture; massage therapy; and CPR Training offered by Windham Hospital's Emergency Medical Services. In addition, representatives will be on hand with information about retirement, finances, health insurance and cancer prevention.

            For more information, please contact Julie Trainor, associate director of health services, at (860) 465-5263 or e-mail; and/or LaShawn McBride, manager of human resource programs at (860) 465-5220 or e-mail


Eastern Professor to Host Reading

Written by Kate Harner

Fraustino PR Photo.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Lisa Rowe Fraustino, a Fulbright scholar and associate chair of Eastern Connecticut State University's English Department, will hold a reading from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 in Science Building Room 301 on Eastern's Willimantic campus. The public is invited. Admission is free.


fraustino book.JPG             Fraustino will read from two new books she has written: "Hitching to Istanbul" and "The Hole in the Wall." "Hitching to Istanbul" is her first poetry chapbook, and was released in September. Her poetry revolves around adult themes that distinguish it from her adolescent literature. Her poems range from describing how to steal a lover to escaping one's past to declining an invitation to meet Geoffrey Chaucer, medieval author of "The Canterbury Tales." "Hitching to Istanbul" includes the poem, "Lament of the Silk Worm," winner of the 2008 International Publication Prize awarded by the "Atlanta Review."

            "The Hole in the Wall," Fraustino's third middle grade novel, won the 2010 Milkweed Prize in Children's Literature and will be released Nov. 1. The novel follows 11-year-old Sebby, who escapes from his dreary life to the Hole in the Wall, a peaceful glen in the middle of a devastated mining area. Soon after he finds this place, however, problems and mysteries occur, forcing Sebby and his twin sister to solve them.

            When asked if she could create a synopsis of her book in 140 characters or less for Twitter, Fraustino replied, "What's Stanley Odum strip mining across the road? Why'd Jed run away? Will Pa straighten out? 'The Hole in the Wall' has answers."

            Fraustino has also written "Ash," a 1995 ALA Best Book for Young Adults; "Grass and Sky," a Junior Library Guild selection; "The Hickory Chair"; "Soul Searching: Thirteen Stories about Faith and Belief"; "Don't Cramp My Style: Stories about 'That' Time of the Month"; and a Dear America Series novel, "I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembly, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials." Fraustino is also the editor of "Dirty Laundry," an anthology of young adult authors' short stories.

            Fraustino is also a visiting associate professor in the Hollins University Graduate Program in Children's Literature. She served as a 2006 Fulbright Scholar to Mahasarakham University in Thailand.

            For more information about the book reading, contact Miranda Lau at (860) 465-4570 or


Constance Belton-Green Scholarship Fund

Written by Tim Talley

Nancy Wyman with Connie Green.JPG

Connie Green (right) standing with Nancy Wyman, comptroller for the State of Connecticut, who is presenting Green with a special pen and ink drawing of the state Capitol building

Willimantic, Conn. -   Eastern Connecticut State University has established a new scholarship fund to honor Constance Belton-Green, who served 11 years as the University's chief diversity officer. Green retired on Sept. 1.

            The announcement of the scholarship fund was made on Sept. 30 at the Hartford Club. The fund is designed to help students who show academic promise and financial need. Preferred recipients will be from urban communities in Connecticut that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

            "I am looking forward to walking down unhurried paths," said Green, noting that her life and career had been guided by three simple beliefs -- to pursue justice, to practice kindness, and to demonstrate humility.

            Eastern President Elsa M. Nuñez praised Green for her commitment to social justice. "Dr. Green has ably served the University community for the past 11 years as a staunch supporter of fairness and equity for students, faculty and staff, promoting respect and greater understanding among our University's diverse populations," said Nuñez.

Matthew D. Ritter with Connie Green.JPG

Connie Green (left) standing with Hartford City Councilman Matthew D. Ritter who is sharing a proclamation from Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.

Through Green's commitment to affirmative action, social equity, and inclusive employee hiring and student recruitment practices, Eastern has seen significant improvements in the diversity of its student body and faculty over the years. In 2007-08, Eastern ranked first among all 25 members of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges in the percentage of minority faculty (26 percent).  The percentage of students of color at Eastern also has continued to grow; this fall, 20 percent of entering full-time students were students of color -- an all-time high at Eastern.

            Green was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Connecticut Law School in 1972. She completed her doctorate in education in 2003 from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Green practiced law in private practice in New Haven and Bloomfield, primarily in the area of public interest law; was one of the founding incorporators of the Connecticut Women Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF); was an attorney at the New Haven Legal Services and Hartford Legal Aid Society; and served as an assistant professor in the Legal Assistant Program at Manchester Community College.

            During the past 20 years, she has focused on issues in public higher education.  For 10 years she worked at the Connecticut Department of Education, first as assistant to the Commissioner of Education for state and federal matters, and later as education consultant for policy and urban education reform at the Connecticut Department of Education.           

Persons interested in contributing to the scholarship fund should contact at Kyle Verona at (860) 465-003 or email


Alastair Moock to Present Lecture Recital at Eastern

Written by Tim Talley

Alastair Moock.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Alastair Moock, critically acclaimed Boston folk songwriter, will present a lecture recital at 3 p.m. on Oct. 13 in the Betty R. Tipton Room in Eastern's Student Center. The presentation is part of the Eastern's University Hour series. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            Moock will discuss performing for young people; his process of writing and adapting songs; his passion for American roots music; and the music of Woody Guthrie, with whom he is often compared. Similar to Guthrie, Moock uses simple harmonic forms and tight rhythm patterns to illuminate contemporary topics.  His mix of his own music, spoken word pieces, storytelling, traditional blues and ballads prove to be a can't miss show. The Boston Globe says Moock is "one of the town's best and most adventurous songwriters and the Washington Post says of his music "every song is a gem,"."

            Moock has been awarded numerous awards and was nominated for a Boston Music Award for Outstanding singer/songwriter of the year in 2007.

            In 2010, Moock released his first children's album, "A Cow Says Moock." In recognition of the album, he received the Recommended Award by the Parents' Choice Foundation, which honors music for children.

            Moock has performed all over the world in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands, just to name a few of the countries he has visited. He also serves as impresario of a roots music series called "Pastures of Plenty," which serves to help intersect the contemporary and traditional styles with a wide-range of players.


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