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November 2010 Archives

Eastern to Present Freshman Showcase

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University's Performing Arts Department and Drama Society will present the Freshman Showcase at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 in the Harry Hope Theatre, located in Shafer Hall at the corner of High and Valley Streets. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The showcase will represent work done by freshman and sophomore theatre majors. First-year students will perform 10-minute scenes, and sophomores will join them in a special movement piece titled "Revolutions," directed by movement consultant Alicia Bright Holland. Scenes are directed by Theatre Professors J.J. Cobb, Jerry Winters and Leigh Cremin.

Cobb will direct a play called "Traces of Memory" by Ann Wuehler. The play focuses on two women who meet on the side of a road in Nevada. Both are running from the law.

Cremin directs a piece titled "Lift and Bang," which was originally produced at the Actors Theatre of the Louisville Humana Festival of New American Plays. "A short play, 'Lift and Bang' demonstrates well the complexities of loving after a misstep divides a couple," said Cremin. "The playwright, Julie Marie Myatt, cleverly uses the making of bread as a metaphor throughout the 10-minute play.  The two freshmen actors, Olivia Beaullan and David Thomson, do a terrific job of capturing the emotional roller coaster ride of the characters' circumstances."

Winters directs "Beauty" by Jane Martin. "In this piece, a young woman discovers a magic lamp and is granted three wishes by the genie inside," said Winters. "By the time she arrives at her friend's apartment, two of the wishes are gone. The last wish provokes an intriguing conversation about the meaning and relativism of beauty."

The showcase will feature the talents of first-year students Olivia Beaullan, David Thomson, Melissa DiPasquale, Amanda Conkey and Kelsey Guggenheim. Janaya Barnes '12, Sarah Paprocki '13 and Paul Lietz '13 will also perform. Jason Wadecki '11 will head the technical aspects of the performance.

The showcase is a result of a Title III grant awarded to Cobb and David Pellegrini, chair of the Performing Arts Department, through the U.S. Department of Education. Maggie Martin, professor of social work, facilitated the grant. Its purpose is to encourage retention and graduation rates within the major programs.

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

Eastern to Perform "Pleasure Beach"

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT - Students from Eastern Connecticut State University's Theatre program will perform "Pleasure Beach" from Dec. 2-4 at the Harry Hope Theatre, located in Shafer Hall at the corner of High and Valley Streets. The show opens each night at 7:30 p.m. A late-night performance will be held at 11 p.m. on Dec. 4. The public is invited. Tickets are $5 for Eastern students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public.

The play follows characters traveling along Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport for a day. The performance is more abstract and experimental than typical stage shows. It includes improvisation, singing and dancing.

"Instead of running like a normal show with a script, much of 'Pleasure Beach' takes its cues from music, video projections and live video with little script," said stage manager Seana Hendrickson '12. "Many of the film captures were taken on location at Pleasure Beach. This show is sure to excite everyone in new and interesting ways that many of the people at Eastern have not been exposed to."

The performance is directed by David Pellegrini, chair of Eastern's Performing Arts Department. Students and faculty members from the performing arts, communication and visual arts departments worked together to create the piece.

According to Pellegrini, Pleasure Beach is "an original performance piece created in collaboration with students in experimental theatre. In that class, we explore performance techniques such as the use of media alongside live performance (including live video feeds), movement and improvisation-based construction of works, non-narrative techniques and heavy use of sound and technical effects which emphasize a 'theatre of images' over traditional drama." 

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


Eastern's Evening of Jazz

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT -- On Nov. 21, students from Eastern Connecticut State University's Jazz Ensemble performed "An Evening of Jazz." Joe Tomanelli, adjunct professor in the Performing Arts Department, directed the performance in collaboration with Anthony Cornicello, assistant chair of the Performing Arts Department.

The ensemble consists of Douglas Green '14, a music major from Thomaston on guitar; Brittany Gould '13, a music major from Thompson on bass; Jeremy Camacho '13 from Scotland on drums; Earl Mundle '14, a theatre major from Hartford on drums; and Peter Palmer from Tolland on trumpet. Tomanelli played the tenor saxophone, and Cornicello performed on the Hammond organ. Special guest Phil Palonen accompanied the performance with guitar.

The ensemble performed a variety of pieces, including "Four" and "Solar" by Miles Davis; "Bye Bye Blackbird" by Mort Dixon and Ray Henderson; "Lady Bird" by Todd Dameron; "Blue Trane" by John Coltrane; "Let It Snow" by Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne; "Mercy, Mercy" by Cannonball Adderley; "Tough Talk" by the Jazz Crusaders; "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots; and "Take the 'A' Train" by Duke Ellington.

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


World AIDS Day Events to be Held at Eastern

Written by Tim Talley


World AIDS Day.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University is hosting World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. The day's events include free HIV testing, an information fair with free food and educational games, and a panel discussion to help create awareness for HIV/AIDS advocacy. The culmination of the day's events will be a reception open to the audience, which will be held directly following the panel discussion in the Betty R. Tipton Room in Eastern's Student Center.

The schedule of events are as follows:

            From 12:30 to 2:45 p.m., there will be a free HIV testing conducted by local nonprofit organizations in the Student Center Room 223.

                  From 1 to 3 p.m. in the Student Center, there will be an information fair with live music; free food; educational games; and tables staffed by local nonprofits and student organizations.  Groups involved include the Windham AIDS Program and their Housing Department, Planned Parenthood Southern New England, Planned Parenthood of Willimantic, Generations, Perceptions, the No Freeze Shelter, the Windham Harm Reduction Coalition, the Women's Center, the Student Wellness Promotion Center, People Helping People Global Issues Committee, PRIDE Alliance, the Peace and Human Rights Student Organization, the International Student Association and campus radio station WECS 90.1.

            The main event will be a panel discussion held by HIV/AIDS activists from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Betty R. Tipton Room. The presentation is part of Eastern's University Hour series. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            Panel participants include Elsie Cofield, founder of AIDS Interfaith Network in New Haven; Betsy Correa, community advocate and Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition board member; Shawn Lang, director of public policy at the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition; and Rev. Robert Warren.  They will speak about their experiences in conducting advocacy about HIV both nationally and locally and in providing services to those affected by HIV.  They will share some of the ways that they have been personally impacted by HIV and by their work. 

            For more information on World AIDS Day at Eastern, contact Helma de Vries, professor of political science at Eastern, at or call (860) 465-5091.


Students Receive Community Service Awards

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT -- Five Eastern Connecticut State University business and accounting students were honored by the Access Community Action Agency at its annual meeting on Oct. 26.  President/CEO Peter DeBiasi and Mary DeMarco, chairperson of the Access Board of Directors, presented the awards.

Brian Mills '11, a business administration major from Tolland; Linsy Lopez '13 from Hartford; Ogoegbunam Chukwuogor '12, an accounting major from Mansfield Center; Noemi Tello '11, an accounting major from Norwich; and Charlotte Smith '14, a business administration major from West Hartford, received the Volunteer Recognition Award for their work with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The student volunteers, who participated in the VITA program as part of the activities of Eastern's Center for Community Engagement (CCE), were trained and certified in the newest tax laws by the IRS to provide free income tax preparation for low-income tax filers.

"Last season, $1,611,244 in federal refunds were channeled through Windham VITA sites, $588,006 of which can be attributed to the Earned Income Tax Credit," said Mills. "However, to many residents, the benefits of the VITA program are more than a number. After finding out that his refund would be much larger than expected, one client said that he would finally be able to make repairs to his vehicle and begin working again."

"Through the tax returns, we were able to help many Willimantic residents receive the money they deserved and otherwise may not have gotten," said Charlotte Smith.  "Seeing their reactions and how happy they were to receive any amount of money was gratifying. I look forward to participating again in the VITA program this coming year."

"I think the VITA program is the most enriching program I have been involved with," said Chukwuogor. "I am very honored and humbled to be a recipient of this award and encourage everyone to volunteer as much as they are able to. When you help someone out without asking for anything in return, you feel like you have made a little difference in the world. We should not underestimate the little differences we are able to make because little drops of water make a mighty ocean. I am very glad to have been a part of VITA and thank the community for an opportunity to serve."

The Access Agency is a nonprofit community action agency that has been working in Windham and Tolland Counties since 1965. Its staff and volunteers help individuals and families rise above the challenges of poverty by offering participants programs that provide food, housing assistance, mentoring, life skills training and more. Due to Access Agency's efforts last year, 8,177 households received help to pay home-heating costs; 181,000 meals and snacks were provided to low-income children; and 970 tax returns were prepared at no cost to low-income tax filers.

For more information, contact the CCE at


Silcox Receives Community Service Award

Written by Kate Harner

silcox award.JPG

                                             Kim Silcox and Peter DeBiasi.

Willimantic, CT -- On Oct. 26, the Access Community Action Agency awarded

Kimberly Silcox, director of Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for

Community Engagement (CCE), with its Community Service Award. President/CEO

Peter DeBiasi and Mary DeMarco, chairperson of the Access board of directors,

presented Silcox with the award at the Access Agency's annual meeting.

Silcox was awarded for her "commitment to nurturing civic responsibility and engaged learning among youth and [her] dedication to building effective, productive partnerships that strengthen our community."

"This award means a lot to me because so many people in this community do so much," said Silcox. "To be recognized as part of that group is a wonderful thing. We don't do our work to receive awards, but it's rewarding to know that the work we've done to connect Eastern with the Willimantic community is appreciated."

Silcox spearheaded the creation of Eastern's CCE, which opened last year. The center focuses on service learning, which connects the classroom with real-life experience, and collaborates with nonprofits, agencies and individual community members dedicated to improving their local and global communities. The CCE employs two AmeriCorps VISTAs as community service coordinators and works with student clubs such as People Helping People and Best Buddies.

"Kim is more than deserving of this award," says senior Jennie Navarro, a CCE student employee. "She has helped motivate me to accomplish things I never thought imaginable. I am an aspiring teacher, and Kim provided me with an opportunity this summer to create a curriculum and participate in a math summer camp for students in the Willimantic area. My co-workers--senior Jackie Bishop and Beth Zambrano--and I created a successful program that made an impact on these students. They not only became interested in their schoolwork, but they became motivated to think about future college experiences. Being in the presence of such a leader and community member like Kim has been more than rewarding."

For more information, contact the CCE at


TIMPANI Research Reveals Best Toy for Children

Written by Dwight Bachman

TIMPANI TOY IN WOODEN BOX.JPGWillimantic, Conn --  Wooden Vehicles and Traffic Signs, a basic toy created by Wilton, CT-based Melissa and Doug, LLC, has been named the 2010 best Toy to Inspire Mindful Play and Nurture Imagination (TIMPANI). The research results of the 2010 TIMPANI Toy Study were announced on Wednesday, Nov. 17, by faculty and student researchers at Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE).


The high-scoring Wooden Vehicles and Traffic Signs toy set includes a variety of painted wooden vehicles, including a fire truck and ambulance. It also includes 10 common traffic signs that children may be familiar with, such as a stop sign. TIMPANI researchers noted that children playing with the toy engaged in high levels of language and social interaction. Children also exhibited unexpected creative play, even using the container that the vehicles came in to construct garages and bridges.

timpani trawick speaking.JPG"The results of this study should give pause to parents and teachers who believe that children today need high-tech, complex toys in order to learn," said Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, the Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education at Eastern. He is the principal investigator of the TIMPANI toy study, and also engaged Eastern students in the research project.

"This simple, beautiful, wooden toy set engaged children in almost every type of play behavior that is useful for development: solving problems, pretending, communicating with peers and staying engaged for long periods," said Trawick-Smith. He previously had announced the study findings at the annual meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children Anaheim, CA, last week.

timpani nunez.JPG

"This first Annual TIMPANI Toy Study is intended to identify toys that best promote the intellectual, social and creative development of children," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez.  "I applaud Professor Trawick-Smith and his students for this ground-breaking research.  I cannot think of a more important research field than early childhood education, for the work our faculty and students are doing to build strong foundations for young children will last a lifetime." 

timpani delapp speaking.JPG

Parents, teachers, faculty and students at Eastern screened and selected several toys, placed them in a preschool classroom, and videotaped how children interacted with the toy. The toys were rated using a scientific instrument developed by faculty. Wooden Vehicles and Traffic Signs came out on top.

The TIMPANI Toy Study will be an annual empirical study that looks at how young children in natural settings play with a variety of toys to examine which toys best promote children's development in three areas: thinking and learning; social interaction and cooperation; and self-expression and imaginative play. timpani student.JPG   In addition to providing useful information to parents and teachers about toys, the TIMPANI Toy Study provides opportunities for Eastern students to participate in research. "It was very interesting to see that such a simple toy made such a big difference in the classroom," said Eliza Welling, a senior from Marlborough majoring in sociology who also is pursuing certification in early childhood education. "You don't, as a teacher, have to include all these high-end toys that everyone is saying are amazing. Letting students use their imagination and create their own world is actually more important."

 Other students participating in the research project included Heather Russell, a psychology and early childhood education major from Lisbon who graduated in 2009; Huihui Yu, a graduate student from Mansfield majoring in early childhood education; Ashlee Marouski, a graduate student from Mansfield majoring in early childhood education; and Niloufar Rezai; a graduate student from Manchester majoring in early childhood education.

For more information about the TIMPANI Toy Study, contact the Center for Early Childhood Education at (860) 465-0885 or visit


The TIMPANI Toy Study did not consider, nor did it test the safety of toys. The study makes no claims about the safety of any toy tested. Neither the Center for Early Childhood Education nor Eastern Connecticut State University is liable for any mishaps related to the use of toys mentioned in the study findings. Concerns about any toy listed in the study findings should be directed to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.


Lamba Pi Eta to Conduct Public Coat Drive

Written by Tim Talley


LAMBDA PI ETA  logo.pngWillimantic, Conn. - Members of Lamba Pi Eta, the communication honor society at Eastern Connecticut State University, are conducting a public winter coat drive through Dec. 1. The society is asking people to donate old coats to help the less fortunate in Willimantic.

            Donors can drop off coats in a red box inside the Communication Department, located on the second floor of the Communication Building.

            "We are holding the coat drive for the benefit of the less fortunate," said Christine Cardot, president of Lamba Pi Eta. "As a community, our goal is to collect 100 coats.   Something as small as a coat can make a significant difference during these cold winter months.  This experience has been very heart-warming because I get to see everyone pitch in and do what he or she can to help others."


coat drive.jpg            For more information on the coat drive, contact Cardot at


Eastern Faculty Present at Geoscience Conference

Written by Tim Talley

Blue Bear outside of Convention center.JPG

A giant, environmentally-friendly blue bear, eavesdrops on the presentations in the convention center.

Willimantic, Conn. - Several Eastern Connecticut State University's faculty members presented at the 122nd annual meeting and exhibition of the Geological Society of America (GSA), from Oct. 31- Nov. 3 in Denver, CO. Eastern presenters included Peter Drzewiecki, associate professor of environmental earth science (EES) and secretary of the Limnogeology Division of the GSA; Fred Loxsom, Eastern's endowed chair of sustainable energy studies; Drew Hyatt, chair of the EES Department; and Alevtina Smirnova, assistant professor of environmental earth science. More than 6,000 scientists attended the convention, which covered 156 topics including geochemistry, petrology, volcanology and alternative energy.

            Drzewiecki presented with Hyatt on the data they collected from their research in modern alluvium at the bottom of Providence Canyon State Park in Georgia. Several EES students helped with the research.

            "Through our presentation, we were able to generate substantial interest in our research," said Drzewiecki.  "I was able to discuss ideas and create research collaborations with geologists from Ohio University and the University of Massachusetts for additional research I am conducting on rocks in central Connecticut.  These discussions will drive the direction of my research for the next few years."

            Hyatt presented a poster titled "Utilizing Interdisciplinary First-Year-Program Clusters and Interactive Media to Enhance Field-Based Learning in Connecticut and Georgia." Andy Jones, associate professor of visual arts; Craig Naumec, media production specialist from media services; Lisa Curtiss, multimedia assistant from media services; and Drzewiecki contributed to the presentation.

            "The conference was quite worthwhile both for feedback on the poster, but also because of growing interest in terrestrial laser scanning which we are now using with our students in EES," said Hyatt. "There were also opportunities to discuss media development with Wiley Publishing and to discuss research and program development with colleagues from many institutions."

            Loxsom and Smirnova delivered a presentation on "Energy Education in the Geoscience Classroom: Preparing Future Citizens, Scientists and Policy Makers." With colleagues from other universities, Loxsom also presented workshops on electric vehicles, wind energy and a new course that he and Smirnova developed, called Methane Hydrates.

            The GSA is the nation's premier organization for geologists of all disciplines, and its annual conventions provide a venue for geologists to present their research ideas to others and receive critical feedback. 


Eastern Art Professors Visit China on CSUS Grant

Written by Kate Harner

quimin and gleburd and nunez.JPG

     Gelburd and Liu share a gift from Hanshan Normal University in Guangdong with President Elsa Núñez.

Willimantic, CT -- Gail Gelburd, visual art department chair at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Qimin Liu, associate professor of art at Eastern, traveled to China under a Connecticut State University System (CSUS) Research Grant this past June.

            The grant enabled Gelburd and Liu to visit the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts; Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts; Shanghai Normal University; Shanghai University; Hanshan Normal University, Chaozhou; Hunan University, Zhangzhou; and Qingdao University. The purposes of these visits included studying new media, painting and drawing facilities offered at the schools; reviewing facilities and exhibition areas; and meeting with faculty and staff. Artists and professors of art interacted with each other to better understand the cultural and educational similarities and differences between Eastern and schools in China. Gelburd and Liu have been invited to return as visiting professors and consultants at these universities.

            Gelburd and Liu lectured at Hanshan Normal University on liberal arts education and American contemporary art to more than 500 students and faculty members. Liu also presented a lecture on painting at Qingdao University to more than 300 students and faculty members.

Gelburd and Liu also visited galleries and museums in Beijing, Shanghai, Chaozhou, Souzhou, Lhasa Tibet and Xian. They are creating an online joint project with each of the universities they visited; are working on developing a student/faculty exchange program; and are planning to invite faculty and artists and performers from the National Academy of Theatre Arts in Beijing to Eastern.

            For more information on the Gelburd-Liu visit to China, and the emerging faculty exchanges, contact Carla Sheldon at (860) 465-0197 or


Eastern to Host Poetry Reading

Written by Kate Harner

Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's English Club, in collaboration with the University's Organization for Latin American Students, Education Club and Office of AccessAbility Services, will present a poetry reading by Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez on Dec. 1. The reading will start at 7 p.m. in the Paul E. Johnson Community Conference Room in the J. Eugene Smith Library. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The 23-year-old poet was born in Amatlan, Mexico, and now lives in Massachusetts. He was considered a child prodigy when he published his first book of poems, "Soy (I Am)," at the age of 12. Two years later, he published "Palabras Inagotables (Never-ending Words)." His third book of poetry, "Weaver," was published when he was 16 years old. His fourth book, "The Coyote's Trace," features an introduction by Mary Oliver. He is currently working on a chapbook, "Love on Wheels." 

Adler-Beléndez also has written three plays and has begun writing prose. He was awarded an Honorable Mention by the Governor of the State of Morelos for the Premio Nacional de la Juventud (National Prize for the Youth). Mexico's National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA) granted him a six-month scholarship twice, a rare honor for someone his age.

Adler-Beléndez's story is even more unique due to the fact that he was born with cerebral palsy. He was born 10 weeks premature, weighing less than two pounds. He was featured in the NBC "Dateline" special titled, "The Gift," which followed his journey with Roy Nuzzo, a pediatric orthopedist and surgeon in New Jersey who led a team of NYU Medical Center doctors in a life-saving spinal surgery on Adler-Beléndez. He and Nuzzo were the keynote speakers at the 2006 National Association for Poetry Therapy.

"Ekiwah's poetry and life cross many cultural lines both because of his dual citizenship between Mexico and the United States, as well as the cerebral palsy with which he was born," said English Club President Kellin Atherton. "I think our students, faculty, administration and staff will be captivated by how powerful the life of one man can be, as well as how much, no matter how different we may be, such a life can impact us."

For more information on the poetry reading, contact the English Club at


Hartford Courant Columnist Tom Condon to Speak at Eastern

Written by Tim Talley

tom condon.JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Tom Condon, columnist, editorial writer and editor of "Place," a Sunday commentary section of the Hartford Courant that focuses on architecture, planning, transportation and the environment, will present a lecture at Eastern Connecticut State University at 3 p.m. on Nov. 17 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library. The presentation is part of the Eastern's University Hour series. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            Condon will discuss how cities can grow "smartly" in the future, focusing on current projects in Eastern Connecticut, and will indicate ways in which students can be involved in these developments. Condon is an advocate for green building designs; mixed-used town centers; and ways to get more citizens involved in the conservation of historical sites and the development of their towns.

            Condon has won more than 30 journalism and community awards, including the New England Society of Newspaper Editors Master Reporter. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Connecticut School of Law.


Craig Hotchkiss to Discuss Mark Twain

Written by Tim Talley

mark twain house.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Craig Hotchkiss, education program manager for the Twain House and Museum, will discuss the transformation of Samuel Clemens into Mark Twain as a consequence of living in Hartford for 20 years when he speaks at Eastern Connecticut State University at 3 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library. The presentation is part of the Eastern's University Hour series. The public is invited. Admission is free.

            Clemens once said of Hartford, "I think this is the best-built and handsomest town I have ever seen." Hotchkiss's presentation, along with the Eastern Theatre Program's production of an adaptation of Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's "The Gilded Age," Nov. 9-14, represent Eastern's contribution to the 2010 Centennial Celebration of Twain's role as one of our nation's foremost literary icons.


Peace and Human Rights Lecture Series

Written by Brian Novack

Willimantic, CT -- A government official, a prominent author, an attorney and a state legislator will highlight the fall Peace and Human Rights Lecture Series at Eastern Connecticut State University. The series, presented by Charles Prewitt, professor emeritus of chemistry, begins on Nov. 11 in Room 212 of Webb Hall with a lecture by Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney. Courtney will discuss "World and Peace" at 4 p.m. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Also on Nov. 11 at 5:30 p.m., Wally Lamb, author of the New York Times bestseller, "She's Come Undone," will lecture on "Prisons and Peace in the United States."

The series continues on Nov. 18 with a lecture on "Community and Peace" by Lisa Maruzo-Bolduc, Willimantic chief of police, at 4 p.m. Her lecture will be followed by a presentation from State Senator Donald Williams at 5:30 p.m., who will discuss "The Nation and Peace."

On Dec. 2, Andrew Schneider, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), will give a speech at 4 p.m. on the "U.N. Human Rights Charter." At 5:30 p.m, State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield, will lecture on "State and Peace."

The Peace and Human Rights Lecture Series will conclude on Dec. 9 with a lecture by Sociology Professor James Russell, who will discuss "Latin America, the United States and Peace" at 4 p.m. Prewitt wraps up the series with a lecture titled, "A Better World," at 5:30 p.m. All of the lectures will be held in Room 212 of Webb Hall.

For more info on the Peace and Human Rights Lecture Series, call (860) 456-1281 or email


Dual Enrollment Program Wins Robert J. McKenna Award

Written by Ed Osborn

Willimantic, Conn. - The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) has chosen Eastern Connecticut State University's Dual Enrollment Initiative as the 2011 recipient of NEBHE's Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Achievement.   The McKenna Award will be presented at NEBHE's Annual Higher Education Excellence Awards Dinner at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel on March 11, 2011. 

In announcing the award, NEBHE President and CEO Michael Thomas said the program's "outstanding commitment to students". . . was "truly exceptional."

            "We are honored to be recognized by the New England Board of Higher Education for our Dual Enrollment Initiative," said Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez. "While our focus has been on the inner-city students who are served by the program, it has been our hope that the insights we have gained could be applied in other communities and on other campuses."

The Dual Enrollment Initiative is in its third year.  Partnering with Hartford Public High School and Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC), Eastern co-enrolls a cohort of 10 Hartford Public High School graduates each fall, students who have the determination and potential to succeed, but who had not planned to attend college. The students take nine credits of remedial instruction at QVCC in their first semester, while also taking one course at Eastern, living in Eastern's residence halls and fully participating in campus activities. 

Most of the students then enroll at Eastern full time in the spring semester.  Sixteen of the 19 students who enrolled in the program's first two years are still enrolled at Eastern as sophomores and juniors. The program has received significant financial support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Wal-Mart Foundation, the U.S. Department of Justice and private donations.


Eastern to Perform "The Gilded Age"

Written by Kate Harner

the gilded age, sarah paprocki and shane kegler.JPG    Sarah Paprocki as Laura Hawkins and Shane Kegler as Washington Hawkins, her  brother.

Willimantic, CT -- Students from the Performing Arts Department at Eastern Connecticut State University will perform a theatre rendition of Mark Twain's "The Gilded Age" Nov. 9 - Nov. 14 in the Harry Hope Theatre in Shafer Hall. The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on the evenings of Nov. 9, 11, 12 and 13. A 6:30 p.m. performance takes place on Nov. 10. Matinees will be presented at 11 a.m. on Nov. 12 and 4 p.m. on Nov. 14. The public is invited. Tickets are $5 for Eastern students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public.

David Pellegrini, chair of Eastern's Performing Arts Department, and Ellen Faith Brodie, director of theatre, dramatized and adapted the 1873 novel, "The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today," by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. Brodie directs the performance. Warner was the founding editor of the Hartford Courant.

As a social satire, the work examines the greed within Washington, D.C., as well as the average family. As a Tennessee family struggles to sell its land and move west, upper-class members Philip Sterling and Henry Brierly attempt to get rich quickly through land speculation. The play reveals excess and corruption in politics and society after the Civil War. Many of its themes translate to modern times.

Tickets can be ordered through the Harry Hope Box Office at (860) 465-5123.


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