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December 2010 Archives


Written by Brian Novack

Willimantic, CT -  In August 2008, Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Early Childhood Education received a three-year, $3.9 million U.S. Department of Education "Early Reading First" grant. The grant funds Eastern's Community Partners for Early Literacy (CPEL) program, which has helped approximately 700 preschool age children in Willimantic and given Eastern students important experiential learning opportunities.

"The intention of CPEL was to study preschooler's early literacy skill development with the implementation of scientific and evidence-based literacy programs," says Associate Professor Maureen Ruby, who, along with Assistant Professor Ann Anderberg, is the project's co-principal investigator. Ruby is a specialist in reading, learning disabilities and early literacy assessment. Ruby has served as a literacy facilitator for "Reading First" and as a research consultant for Yale University's Haskins Laboratory. Anderberg is a bilingual and bicultural education specialist and an experienced instructor of curriculum, English instruction, and linguistics and assessment for English language learners, and has held leadership positions in bilingual programs in the Windham School District.

The CPEL project has employed 32 Eastern undergraduate and graduate students from eight majors. The students work as early literacy assessors, classroom substitutes, and literacy kit managers, and are considered critical to the project's success.

"The Eastern students on the project learn how to work as professionals; they gain real-world experience that they often can apply to their university coursework," says CPEL project manager William Black. "Several Eastern students have mentioned that their CPEL job has given them insight into themselves, made them more confident, opened their eyes to the education profession and helped them see how early childhood education and psychology theories apply to the development of young children."

christina frugale head shot.JPG

Psychology major Christina Frugale '12 of Cheshire and early childhood education major Jessica Fontana '13 of Farmington both work in the CPEL program. As a bilingual assessor, Frugale administers literacy assessments in English and Spanish to preschoolers at the Child Family Development Resource Center and the Windham Early Childhood Center. Frugale is also one of four Eastern students who manage the weekly distribution of literacy kits containing a book, notebook, colored pencils and a reading guide to each child, expanding the children's home reading opportunities.

"As an assessor, there is nothing more rewarding than re-testing students in the spring and seeing them excel in each of the aspects taught in the class," says Frugale. "The CPEL program is important to me because I truly value education and believe that everyone should have an opportunity to receive an outstanding education."

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Fontana works as a bilingual assessor for the CPEL program, evaluating children's learning with a number of assessment tools. "I am an early childhood education major, and it is very interesting to see how these kids progress and learn over time," she says.

Federal "No Child Left Behind" legislation authorized the "Early Reading First Program" to improve the school readiness of young children, particularly those from low-income families. Eastern was one of only 31 agencies and public school districts throughout the United States to be chosen for "Early Reading First" grants out of nearly 400 applicants in 2008.

For more information, contact Julia DeLapp, Center for Early Childhood Education, at (860) 465-0687.


"Help for Haiti: This Too Shall Pass"

Written by Kate Harner

haiti-choir.JPGWillimantic, CT - On Dec. 8 in the Betty R. Tipton Room., students from Eastern Connecticut State University and local community members raised more than $500 during "This Too Shall Pass," Eastern's second Help for Haiti Benefit Concert. Eastern will donate $350 of the amount raised toward building a house in Haiti; the remaining money will be donated to the Haitian Health Foundation. An estimated three million people were affected by the earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 of this year. The Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people died; 300,000 were injured; and 1,000,000 were left homeless. Today, cholera is claiming scores of lives daily.

Haiti- keynote speaker.JPGEastern's Center for Community Engagement and the Office of Housing and Residential Life sponsored the event. Maiyah Gamble-Rivers '12, Robert Closs '12, Brittney Cava '12 and Colin Doherty '10 organized the concert. Roland Blocker '12 hosted the event.

haiti-robert closs.JPG"After hearing all this news, I knew it was time to band together to support those people who are still suffering," said Closs, a sociology major from East Hartford and vice president of M.A.L.E.S., a student group on campus. "The Haitian people still need much support and help. This event is meant to open people's eyes to the catastrophe that happened and come together so we can help those in need."


haiti-band.JPG"Our first event was successful, but I knew that there was more work to be done," said Gamble-Rivers, a junior art history major from Providence, RI. "We are trying to raise money to help rebuild a country, but, more importantly, we are celebrating the strength of Haiti!"

  "I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for attending this event," said Joanna Auriantal, Occum Residence Hall Director. "My husband and children are Haitian, and when the earthquake struck, my heart broke. There is still a lot of work to be done, and it is wonderful to see everyone here who came out tonight."

Stefan Wawzyniecki Jr., a representative of the Norwich, CT-based Haitian Health Foundation, delivered the keynote address, informing the audience about the current situation and the volunteer efforts in Haiti. "While in Haiti, my daughter met a 19-year-old boy whose leg had been trapped underneath the rubble of a building that collapsed in the earthquake. His brother found a hammer and had to amputate the boy's leg because it could not be moved. However, this story has a happy ending. After seeking medical attention and going to the Haitian Health Foundation, he was able to get a prosthetic leg within three days."

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Haitian native Claude Michelle Aubourg from Elmwood Avenue Church of God in Providence, RI, recited a prayer in Creole. Heavenly Praises from the Elmwood Avenue Church of God and Eastern's New Element Drill Team performed. Marcus O'Neal '12 presented an original poem titled "Flowetry," and Jennifer Succi '11 read poems with themes focused on leading life with love and conviction.


Desiree Battle '14 sang about love and hope; Stephanie Canada '12 performed acoustic versions of George Michael's "Faith" and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy"; Eastern's female a capella group, "Key of She," sang "Stand By Me" and "In My Life"; and Jordan Lorrius '11 and Matthew Grosjean '11 performed original songs, "Innocence" and "Haiti Canpe," with their band, the Phantoms. Father Larry LaPointe of Eastern's Campus Ministry closed the event with a prayer.

During the performances, volunteers sold ribbons, bracelets and dolls to support relief efforts in Haiti. The Hoot, Fred's Brick House Café, Angelino's, Asian Bistro, Tony's Pizza, Mansfield Restaurant, Mansfield Movieplex and Eastern students and faculty donated to the silent auction.


Chatterton Receives Prestigious Award

Written by Dwight Bachman

Thumbnail image for CharlieChatterton w Lacrosse Team Members.JPGWillimantic, Conn. -Charles Chatterton, associate professor of health and physical education at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been awarded the 2010 New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (NEACSM) Honor Award.

            The NEACSM Honor Award recognizes a professional member who has provided significant contributions to both NEACSM and the field of exercise science. It is the highest honor bestowed by the chapter. The recipient of this award is recognized at the NEACSM annual meeting.

            Chatterton served as Connecticut State Representative of NEACSM the New England Chapter from 1998-1999; member-at-large from 2001-2003; and president in 2004. He currently serves as the organization's regional chapter representative. Chatterton also serves as the president of the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and has recently served as chairman of the Connecticut Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness.

            Chatterton is well-known for running 41 marathons in 40 months from 2006-2009, totaling 1,078 miles through 11 states and the nation's capital. He ran the marathons to raise public awareness of the 41 million people living in poverty in America.


Sustainable Energy Symposium Report

Written by Dwight Bachman

Sustainable Energy Symposium Report

sustainable  poster.JPGWillimantic, CT --  On Nov. 30, more than 250 students participated in a Sustainable Energy Symposium at Eastern Connecticut State University. Students presented their research results using posters, PowerPoint presentations, pamphlets, videos, and, in one case, as a musical performance.  Topics ranged from analysis of environmental problems to the use of wind power, energy conservation, and renewable energy to reducing consumption of fossil fuels.

sustainable guitar.JPGA healthy crowd of students, faculty, staff and members of the Willimantic community attended the symposium, held in Eastern's Student Center, to see the posters, talk to the student authors and watch the presentations. Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez and Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning, were among those in attendance.

Students are studying sustainable energy either as part of their liberal arts course requirements or as majors completing the Energy Science track in the Environmental Earth Science bachelor of science program.

sustainable presentation.JPGIn addition to the student presentations, Dan Britton from Sunlight Solar presented a lecture about his experiences working in Connecticut's Green Energy industry. Faculty and staff members, including Bob Horrocks, Drew Hyatt, Bill Leahy, Denise Matthews, Bill Black, Joel Rosiene, Carol Williams and Norma Vivar, judged the student posters and presentations.

The judges presented awards for technical contents, communication and originality. They also presented awards for outstanding work by students in the introductory course, "sustainable energy and the environment," and outstanding work by students in advanced energy courses. The winning groups included:







Water Conservation

Olivia Puckett, Katie


Rouillard, Katie

Nystrom, Sheridan





Cape Wind Advantages


Robert Azukas, Joseph

Cassella, Jonathan

Holtzworth, Stefanie

Paschen-May, Alexis





Recycling in the Willimantic Community


Shannon Delahanty,

TaylorRenaud, Lauren



Outstanding Introductory


Cape Wind


Jordan Brayman,

Katherine Cote, Justin

 Kessler, Karyssa




Outstanding Advanced


Assessing Marine Hydrate Deposits


Ian McCary, Eric

Lindquist, Connor

Morrison, Christina


Eastern Percussion Ensemble

Written by Kate Harner

percussion ensemble.JPGWillimantic, CT -- On Dec. 5, Eastern Connecticut State University's Percussion Ensemble performed a collection of percussion pieces in Shafer Auditorium. Jeff Calissi, assistant professor of performing arts, directed the concert.

The Eastern Percussion Ensemble encompasses a broad spectrum of musical styles from original and transcribed works in the percussion and marimba ensemble repertoire. The performance focused on American composers as part of the Performing Arts Department's "Year of the Arts" initiative, which utilizes an American Identity and theme.

The ensemble consists of psychology major Chelsea Dauphinais '14 from Brooklyn; undeclared major Michael French '14 from Fairfield; music major Brittany Gould '13 from North Grosvenordale; music major Paul Kamenitsky '12 from Wallingford; music major Alex Renner '11 from Uxbridge, MA; music major Alex Smith '12 from Windham; communication major Ethan Tollin '14 from Riverside; and music major Bethany Vorchheimer '12 from Vernon.


Concert Band, Chorale and Chamber Singers

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, CT -- On Dec. 4, students and community members from Eastern Connecticut State University's Concert Band, Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers performed a seasonal concert in Shafer Auditorium.

Kathryn Niemasik, adjunct professor of music, and David Belles, director of vocal studies, directed the performance. The program included Daniel Pinkham's "Christmas Cantata"; Robert Jager's "Hebraic Rhapsody"; Samuel Hazo's "Whisper to Their Souls"; Alfred Reed's "Russian Christmas Music"; and Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival."

The Concert Chorale consists of 56 members; the Chamber Singers consist of 18 members; and the Concert Band consists of 64 members.


Eastern Performed "Pleasure Beach"

Written by Kate Harner

Thumbnail image for PleasureBeach1 (2).JPGWillimantic, Conn. - Students from Eastern Connecticut State University's Theatre 474: Experimental Theatre course performed "Pleasure Beach" Dec. 2-4 in Eastern's Harry Hope Theatre.

            "Pleasure Beach" followed fictional characters at Pleasure Beach, a modern ghost town on the barrier beach between Bridgeport and Shelton. The play consisted of three parts: "Daytime on the Beach"; "An Evening at Le Grand Guignol"; and "Nighttime on the Beach." David Pellegrini, chair of the Performing Arts Department and professor of the Experimental Theatre course, directed the performance, which combined singing, dancing, improvisation, live video and projection video filmed on location at Pleasure Beach.        PleasureBeach Two.JPG

          Students who acted in "Pleasure Beach" are theatre major Amanda Ardel '11 from Coventry; theatre major Laura Cuffe '12 from Tolland; theatre major Ben Donnel '11 from Groton; theatre major Keri Dumka '12 from Burlington; communication major Ben Friedman '11 from Bristol; theatre major Amanda Hale '11 from Willimantic; theatre major Craig Harlow '11 from East Haven; theatre major Shane William Kegler '11 from Mansfield Center; communication major Stephanie LaPointe '12 from Willimantic; performing arts major Max Loignon '11 from Chesire; communication major Katharine McManus '12 from Columbia; theatre major Hilary Osborn '12 from Columbia; theatre major Kerri Panciera '11 from Killingworth; theatre major Sarah Paprocki '13 from Norwich; theatre major Luke Reinwald '11 from Branford; English major Elizabeth Swan '12 from Woodstock; and theatre major Denis Ugurlu '12 from Haddam Neck. Seana Hendrickson '12, a theatre major from Thompson, was the stage manager, while live music was performed onstage by music major Alex Renner '11 from Uxbridge, MA, and music major Alex Smith '12 from Windham.



Eastern to Host Help for Haiti Event

Written by Kate Harner

Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Center for Community Engagement, the Office of Housing and Residential Life, and the student clubs M.A.L.E.S. (Men Achieving Leadership, Excellence and Success) and People Helping People will present the second Help for Haiti Benefit Concert, "This Too Shall Pass," from 7-9 p.m. on Dec. 8. The event takes place in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free; however, a $5 donation is suggested.

The concert will feature music by Eastern students Jordan Lorrius and Desiree Battle; Key of She, Eastern's women's a capella group; and Heavenly Praise, a gospel choir from Providence, RI.  Juniors Steph Canada and Marcus O'Neal will read original poetry. A silent auction will also take place. Lorrius, who is of Haitian descent, will display Haitian art. Marilyn Lowney, executive director of the Haitian Health Foundation, will be the guest speaker.

An estimated three million people were affected by the earthquake that struck on Jan. 12 of this year. The Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people died; 300,000 were injured; and 1,000,000 were left homeless.

Junior sociology major Robert Closs, vice president of M.A.L.E.S., helped coordinate the event. "After hearing all this news, I knew it was time to band together to support those people who are still suffering," said Closs, a native of East Hartford. "There is no greater gift than the gift of giving. They still need as much support and help as they can get today. This event is meant to open people's eyes to the catastrophe that happened and come together so we can help those in need."

Maiyah Gamble-Rivers, a junior art history major from Providence, RI, also helped organize "This Too Shall Pass," as well as the first Help for Haiti event earlier this year on Feb. 5. "Our first event was successful, but I knew that there was more work to be done," said Gamble-Rivers. "We are trying to raise money to help rebuild a country, but, more importantly, we are celebrating the strength of Haiti!"

For more information, contact the CCE at


Students Remember the Troops

Written by Tim Talley

Willimantic, Conn. Fifteen members of People Helping People (PHP), a community engagement student group at Eastern Connecticut State University, along with schoolchildren from Sweeney Elementary School, will host an event to show their support for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Sweeney Elementary School.  With the holiday season in mind, students will design T-shirts with children's hand prints; create Christmas cards and ornaments; package a small Christmas tree; and collect food and other holiday goodies to send to the troops.

            To kick off the event, the children will discover more about the soldiers they are helping by looking at pictures of the soldiers in their uniforms and also on the battlefield. Eastern students will read letters they have received from the soldiers explaining to the children exactly what it is that they do on a day-to-day basis.

            The T-shirts will show the student's support and gratitude towards the troops.  Messages like "Thank You for Serving" will appear on the front of the apparel and have a soldier's name on the back with the children's handprints around the name. In addition to the T-shirts, the children will make holiday cards for all of the soldiers.

            "We thought it would be a good idea to get younger students involved in volunteering through fun ways," said Suzanne Slater, head of PHP's youth committee. "We thought making cards would be a great idea. I have a 20-year-old friend in Iraq who is away from his family for the holidays. He's having a really hard time, as are all the other young men in his platoon. I am very excited and the soldiers are as well. I hope it makes their day and their time a little easier, knowing people do care about them and appreciate what they are doing for us."

            PHP members participating in the event include Sarah Bojorquez '14 of Columbia, major is undeclared; Bria Bristol '14 of Brooklyn, majoring in psychology; Allie Brodeur '14 of Bristol, majoring in psychology; Kasey Cornwell '14 of Bristol, majoring in psychology; Alex Cross '12 of Manchester, majoring in history; Megan Duncan '14 of Danbury, majoring in psychology; Kelsey Hallock '14 of Aqubogue, NY, majoring in math; Rebecca Ingoglia '14 of Oakdale, majoring in visual arts; Cassie Marion '14 of Norwich, majoring in math; Suzanne Slater '13 of Brooklyn, majoring in psychology; Kate Smachetti '13 of Glastonbury, majoring in math; and Jamie Vallarelli '13 of Vernon, majoring in psychology.

            Donated items can be dropped off from 6 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 in Room 219 of the Student Center or at the front desk in Occum Hall. uNon-perishable food such as chips, cookies and candy are needed.

            For more information, contact Suzanne Slater at or (860) 786-8426.


Eastern Students Win College Bowl

Written by Tim Talley


From left to right, Darren Robert, Charlie Chatterton (President Elect of CTAPHERD), Robert Horrocks, Brian Lowe, Conal Brandon, Gianna Trombino, Jamie Kohn, Maxim Fantl, Cory Wasniewski, Gregory Kane, and Nanette Tummers, associate professor of health and physical education.


Willimantic, Conn. -Six Eastern Connecticut State University students from the Health and Physical Education Department placed first in the Connecticut Chapter of the Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) College Bowl on Nov. 19. The Eastern team fended off challengers from Central Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University and Western Connecticut State University.

            The "Jeopardy"-style event contained questions from categories such as exercise science, tests and assessments, motor development, games and sports and pedagogy.

The students were split into two teams of three and were allowed 15 seconds to discuss the questions proposed with their team before writing their response on a white board for judging. 

            In its first year, the College Bowl was designed by Sean Walsh, Eastern graduate and Central Connecticut State University assistant professor of physical education and human performance. 

            Eastern students participating in the event included Conal Brandon '12 of Baltic; Maxim Fantl '11 of West Hartford; Jamie Kohn'12 of Columbia; Brian Lowe '12 of Enfield; Gianna Trombino '11 of East Moriches, NY; and Cory Wasniewski '11 of Norwich. Faculty captains were Robert Horrocks, chair of the health and physical education department, and Greg Kane, assistant professor of health and physical education.


For more information on CTAPHERD, contact Horrocks at or (860) 465-5168.


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